Slide background
New This Week
& Where To Find It

Collierville Man Ready to Kick Off New Season on Walmart FLW Tour

NEWS

Memphis Man Ready to Kick Off New Season on Walmart FLW Tour

NEWS

TWRA Announcements

REPORTS

Interviews from OLR on February 28th

VIDEOS/INTERVIEWS

Bassmaster Classic Photos

PHOTOS

Lew's & Missouri FOP in fundraiser for wounded Springfield police officer

EVENTS

Plano's Perfect Tackle Bag for Combat Fishing

PRODUCTS

What's Happening at Discovery Park

NEWS

layer image layer image layer image layer image layer image
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background

The Show

"Outdoors with Larry Rea" is in its 14th year on the air, broadcasting from Entercom Studios in Memphis, TN. The show's host, Larry Rea, is an expert in Outdoors media, having been the Outdoors Editor for the Memphis Commercial Appeal prior to his move into radio. The show, as well as its website, www.lroutdoors.com, has consistently won awards for excellence in broadcasting, most recently at the annual Southeastern Outdoors Press Association conference. Airing on Saturday mornings, the show features a broad list of segments, including interviews with the most interesting and accomplished Outdoorsmen and women in the U.S. and beyond, but offers a local flavor as well. Larry and his team of show contributors cover the latest news, reports, products and events. In addition to the radio booth, the show hits the road to cover some of the most prestigious events in the industry, such as the Bassmaster Classic, the National Field Dog Trials and more.
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background layer image layer image layer image layer image layer image layer image layer image
Slide background


National Wild Turkey Federation Grand National Calling Championship

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — An excited crowd packed the auditorium to watch Billy Yargus of Missouri, take top honors at the NWTF Grand National Calling Championships (GNCC) Senior Division Finals, sponsored by Lynch Calls, emceed by NWTF Spokesperson Michael Waddell.

This year's calling contest changed dramatically from previous GNCC Senior Finals. Judges Chris Parrish, Brad Taylor, Steve Stoltz, Preston Pittman and Mike Batty, all legends of the turkey calling industry, faced the stage and critiqued each competitor's routine regardless of the caller's notoriety.

"I feel very blessed to have won," said Billy Yargus, GNCC Senior Division champion. "Although I was a little against the new format in the beginning, it was absolutely fantastic."

Callers under the newly reformatted senior finals appreciated the minor critiques because historically judges didn't provide feedback or know the identity of a caller until the contest was complete. This left many callers in the old format wonder what could have been improved upon.

Chris Piltz, NWTF and GNCC events coordinator, had a vision to make the calling championship more exciting for the callers, as well as the audience.

"Everyone who lined the walls or filled the seats of the auditorium could learn from the judges' critiques," said Piltz. "If even one person in attendance hits the turkey woods with new vigor for hunting and conservation, we are doing our job to Save the Habitat and Save the Hunt."

About Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.

The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.

To learn more about the NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, visit www.nwtf.org.
Slide background

Kaumeyer Named Delta Waterfowl Board Chairman

BISMARCK, N.D. — Larry Kaumeyer has been named chairman of the board for Delta Waterfowl.
Kaumeyer, 52, a life-long waterfowl hunter from Edmonton, Alberta, has served on Delta’s Board of Directors since 2007.
Kaumeyer credits his father, Gerry, for igniting his passion for waterfowling as a young man.
“I absolutely love hunting ducks,” he said. “If I have a choice of doing anything in the outdoors, I will hunt ducks. I enjoy every aspect of being out there.”
The chief executive officer of Infracon Energy Services said he joined the board because he respected Delta’s long history of excellent waterfowl research and involvement in protecting hunters’ rights.
“It’s an exciting time at Delta,” Kaumeyer said. “We’re taking the science and putting into action. We want to make sure that research is being used to produce ducks for duck hunters.”
Kaumeyer takes over the chairman’s seat as Delta Waterfowl embarks on a new five-year plan that asserts its role as “The Duck Hunters Organization.” Delta will continue to ensure the tradition of duck hunting through hunter advocacy work and First Hunt recruitment efforts.
Through member and donor support, Delta will ramp up and focus tremendous resources on duck production programs, he said.
“From a board perspective, we're comfortable taking steps into active duck management by expanding our Hen Houses and Predator Management programs,” Kaumeyer said. “It's a big change for Delta. We're putting our money where our research tells us and we're doing it for every duck hunter on the continent.”
Delta’s Board of Directors includes: 

Larry Kaumeyer, Chairman, Edmonton, Alberta 
William M. Yandell III, Vice Chairman, Memphis, Tennessee 
William M. Mounger II, Treasurer, Flowood, Mississippi 
Chip Pitfield, Secretary, Toronto, Ontario 
Charles C. Hager Jr., Past Chairman, Bozeman, Montana 
John H. Dobbs Jr., Memphis, Tennessee 
George C. Freeman III, Richmond, Virginia 
Daniel C. Hughes Jr., Jackson, Mississippi 
R. Parker LeCorgne, New Orleans, Louisiana 
Donald W. Morrison, Calgary, Alberta 
Charles S. Potter Jr., Lake Forest, Illinois 
Dr. Frank Rohwer, Delta Waterfowl President
For more information, contact Jason Tharpe at (888) 987-3695 or jtharpe@deltawaterfowl.org.
Delta Waterfowl Foundation is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group dedicated to ducks and duck hunters in North America. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.

Slide background
Plano's Commitment to Serving Those Who Serve

PLANO TACTICAL ENGINEERS FULL LINE OF SPECIALIZED GEAR FOR MILITARY, FIRST RESPONDERS, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS

Plano, IL (February 15, 2015) – Few brands hold more meaning to hunters, shooters and anglers than Plano.  From its humble beginnings producing the world’s first molded plastic tackle boxes over 65 years ago, the company has built its reputation on a mission of keeping customers’ valuable gear organized and protected.  Today, Plano Synergy continues to put its tremendous engineering and manufacturing resources to work, offering thousands of individual hunting, shooting and fishing lifestyle products across twelve unique brands.

 

Do a job well and your customer base will grow.  Plano has attracted a loyal following over the years, including many from the stringent military and law enforcement communities who have come to appreciate and rely upon the utility and reliability of Plano’s shooting products. 

Plano Tactical has grown out of this demand.  “Plano is using its significant resources to design and manufacture several lines of specialized gear and accessories for professional use by military, first responders and law enforcement personnel,” says Plano Government and Law Enforcement Sales Manager, Eric Flesvig. 

 

While the company has long been an industry leader in the design and sales of medical boxes widely used by first responders and emergency personnel, the development of Plano Tactical marks the company’s first targeted and comprehensive launch of professional grade tactical products. “We looked at the Plano recreational products these professionals were using, and then applied significant engineering advancements to create unique new products to meet the exacting standards of the military and law enforcement communities,” Flesvig continues.

 

Initial Plano Tactical product offerings are expected to be available at select Plano Tactical retailers and online in April, and will consist of two all-new Tenzing Tactical packs, five all-new Field Locker Mil-Spec small arms cases, a full line of Plano medical bags and boxes, as well as a variety of other gun cases, ammunition boxes and task-specific accessories.

 

Tactical teams perform at an elite level.  So does Plano’s Tenzing brand, equipping hunters with the industry’s top-performing packs that allow them to go further and hunt longer in extreme environments.  Similarly, Tenzing Tactical’s TT SP14 Shooter’s Pack and TT2220 Tactical Pack help give military and law enforcement pros the edge in their own extreme situations.

 

Tenzing Tactical TT SP14 Shooter’s Pack

 

The only pack of its kind, the TT SP14 Shooter’s Pack is designed to keep snipers fully equipped and mobile.  The versatile TT SP14 quickly converts from a scoped rifle pack to a self-contained shooting rest that enables marksmen to take aim and fire without removing the weapon from the pack.  In its shooting configuration, the pack’s two lower foldout pockets keep ammunition and ballistic information cards at-the-ready.  The 4-lb. 6-oz. Shooter’s Pack has a total capacity of 1,940 cubic inches inside 16 specialized pockets and compartments, and is available in OD green or Kryptek Typhon camouflage.

 

Tenzing Tactical TT 2220 Tactical Pack

 

The TT 2220 is the essential tactical pack for special response professionals, allowing them to organize and carry all necessary gear in one incredibly durable, comfortable and lightweight pack.  A highly adjustable ergonomic fit allows maximum mobility while its rugged construction guards against the varied abuses of heavy field duty.  The 4-lb. 5-oz. TT 2220 Tactical Pack has a total capacity of 2220 cubic inches inside 13 total pockets and compartments, and is available in OD green or Kryptek Typhon camouflage.

 

Made-in-the-U.S.A. Berry-compliant versions of both Tenzing Tactical Packs will be available.

 

In the jurisdiction of small arms and accessory storage, the most exacting users are in law enforcement and the military – and justly so. Product failure is intolerable when lives and security are at stake.  Plano Tactical makes the small arms cases that perform to these elite standards.

Plano Tactical Field Locker Mil-Spec Cases

 

Mil-Spec is a claim that Plano doesn’t make casually.  Each of these five new cases have been certified by an accredited testing facility as meeting military specifications for immersion, dust, vibration and transit drop per MIL-STD-810G. 

 

Available in Single Long, Double Long, Tactical Long, Large Pistol, and Extra Large Pistol configurations, each case features a high-density closed-cell customizable foam interior, reinforced padlock gates, extra wide latches, heavy-duty gasket, molded heavy-duty handle, and pressure-release valve.  Additionally, the Double Long and Tactical Long models feature Easy Glide enclosed ball-bearing wheels.  Plano Tactical Field Locker Mil-Spec Cases are engineered and made in the U.S.A.

 

A full assortment of customizable options, including unique colors and logos, are available on Plano Tactical products to meet specific customer needs.

 

Elite forces require elite products.  Like the shields sewn on their sleeves and inked on their arms, the Plano Tactical logo serves as a visual reminder of the company’s commitment to serve the specialized and demanding needs of the tactical professionals who protect our communities and country from harm.  For the brave men and women who answer this call of duty, Plano Tactical offers the products that help ensure a successful mission.

For more information, call 630-552-9463, or visit www.planomolding.com/tactical

Slide background






Brownells Title Sponsors Miss BattleBorn – Janna Reeves

MONTEZUMA, Iowa – Brownells is proud to announce its primary sponsorship of popular 3-Gun pro shooter Janna Reeves.
Also known as “Miss BattleBorn,” Reeves picked up a firearm for the first time just four years ago in 2011. Since then, the native Virginian has built a tremendous set of shooting skills, and has taken the ranks of professional 3-Gun and United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) competition by storm.
To date, Reeves has amassed numerous “high-lady” match titles and top-three performances. She also notched a top-four finish, placing her among the world’s best, in the grueling and highly-competitive 2014 3-Gun Nation Pro Series final.
“Janna’s list of accomplishments reads like someone who’s been shooting professionally for many years,” said Matt Buckingham, Brownells’ President/COO. “Transitioning from a basic firearm owner to highly-competitive professional shooter in such a short time is almost unheard of. It’s a testament to Janna’s dedication to the shooting sports; that’s what makes her a fantastic ambassador for Brownells.”
Reeves will compete in more than 25 shooting events across the country and around the world in 2015, including several National championships and the IPSC Shotgun World Championship in Italy.
“I started shooting 3 gun completely casually after watching a video online,” said Reeves. “I was hooked from the first match and immediately started training seriously, as I knew I wanted to compete at a high level. Traveling all over and shooting 3 gun has become my life and I’m so grateful to companies like Brownells who support the shooting sports.”
Keep up with Reeves, her shooting performances and updates on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.
About Brownells
Serious About Firearms Since 1939™, Brownells is the world’s leading source for gun parts and accessories, ammunition, gunsmithing tools, survival gear and archery. With a large selection of both common and hard-to-find items, and an extensive collection of videos, articles, and gun schematics, Brownells is the expert for everything shooting-related. Committed to maintaining our great traditions, Brownells has more, does more and knows more – and guarantees it all, Forever. For more information or to place an order, call 800-741-0015 or visit Brownells.com. Stay up-to-date with Brownells on YouTubeFacebookTwitter and Instagram.
Slide background
Local angler Bill Terrell has high expectations for new season

Local angler Bill Terrell has high expectations for new season
 
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2015) – The first tournament of the 20th anniversary season of the Walmart FLW Tour, the most competitive Tour in professional bass-fishing, kicks off March 5-8 with the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Toho presented by Mercury. Hosted by Experience Kissimmee and the Osceola County Department of Tourism, the tournament will feature 154 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the pro division and up to $25,000 cash in the co-angler division.
 
Local angler Bill Terrell of Memphis, Tenn., will be one of the 154 anglers competing on the FLW Tour this season. Terrell is entering his first rookie season as a professional on the FLW Tour and will be looking to successfully transition to the pro ranks after a successful career as a co-angler.
 
One of the anglers competing against Terrell is 18-year FLW Tour veteran Terry Segraves, who lives near Lake Toho and is considered an early favorite.
 
“I think that the timing of this tournament is going to be perfect,” said Segraves. “It’s cold right now, but the warm weather is expected to return in the next few weeks. With the expected sunshine and the full moon, the fish are going to pop. There really isn’t going to be much of a local advantage; we’re going to see a lot of really big fish.
 
“The weather conditions are going to be a huge determining factor for the winning weights,” Segraves went on to say. “If the weather is nice, I think you’ll need to catch an average of 20 pounds through the first two days just to make the top-20 cut and fish the weekend. This tournament has the potential to set some new records.”
 
Fishing fans that can’t make the trek to Central Florida can still follow along with all of the tournament action at FLWFishing.com. Live on-the-water tweets, updates and videos will be posted throughout the four days of competition as well as a live streaming video feed of the weigh-in held at 5 p.m. each day.
 
In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 20-23 on Lake Ouachita and is hosted by Visit Hot Springs. The Forrest Wood Cup Champion could win as much as $500,000 – professional bass-fishing’s richest prize.
 
Coverage of the Lake Toho tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) when Season 20 of “FLW” premieres Sept. 28 from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
 
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
Slide background
Park Completes Comprehensive Stream Mapping Project

Great Smoky Mountains National Park geographic information system specialists and scientists in collaboration with scientists from Tennessee, North Carolina, and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), completed a three-year stream mapping project. Park scientists used a combination of aircraft-mounted scanners and a Global Positioning System verification system to re-inventory streams throughout the park.
 
Using this modern mapping technology, scientists determined the park contains 2,900 miles of streams. Of these, 1,073 miles of streams are large enough to support fish. Previously, using topographic maps, the scientists estimated there to be approximately 2,000 miles of streams in the park. A water features is considered a stream if it exhibits the hydrologic, geomorphologic, and biologic characteristics of moving water at least part of the year.
 
Working with the USGS, the park incorporated the new stream data into the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) which allows the researchers and the public real-time access to detailed information about streams across the nation. Park staff and research partners rely heavily upon the accurate information in the NHD to manage park water quality and aquatic ecosystem health. The NHD data is accessible via The National Map at http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/viewer/ and re-mapped streams within the park can be seen at http://www.nps.gov/npmap/park-tiles/#10/35.6032/-83.4659.
 
For more information about aquatic resources in the park, please visit the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/aquaticworld.htm.
Slide background
Mister Twister® is Clent Davis’ Title Sponsor for 2015
FLW Tour pro, Clent Davis adds Mister Twister® as his title sponsor for 2015. The fourth-year pro, and 2012 Rookie of the Year said, “I’m looking forward to great things with Mister Twister®! They have been a big part of my success in years past, and will continue to be for years to come.”
Mister Twister®, the original manufacturer of the Curly Tail® Grub, is committed to producing baits that catch more fish, more often. “Utilizing the experience and dedication of Clent, will go a long way to helping Mister Twister® live up to its promise,” says Mister Twister® Communications Director, Kurt Mazurek. “Plus, Clent’s style of fishing is a perfect match for us. This guy really knows how to catch bass on soft plastic baits.”
A couple of Davis’ favorite Mister Twister® baits include the The Flip’n OUT and the brand new Magnum SinSation. “Those two have become go-to baits for me on tournament days! That Magnum SinSation works whether you’re flippin’ heavy cover in six-inches of water or dragging it on a football jig off channel ledges 20-feet deep. And the Flip’n OUT is hard to beat for punching mats. The little Twister Curly Tails® on the sides really set it apart from other baits in that category. Plus, I’m really excited about a new lure I’ve been working on with Mister Twister®, that will be out in early Spring 2015. I can’t wait to show everyone. It’s going to be big!”
Mister Twister® is enthusiastic about the future with Clent Davis.”We really like what Clent adds to the Mister Twister® team. He’s a good communicator and a team player who shares our passion for bass fishing. We’re proud and excited to have him on board,” said Mazurek.
Follow Davis as he begins his fourth season with the FLW Tour on Lake Toho in March. In addition, he’ll compete in the B.A.S.S. Southern Opens starting in early January at Lake Toho and the FLW Rayovac Series on Lake Okeechobee. For more information on Clent Davis, please visithttp://www.facebook.com/Clent.Davis
For more information on Mister Twister, please visit http://www.mistertwister.com
Slide background

Collierville Man Ready to Kick Off New Season on Walmart FLW Tour

Local angler Michael Wooley has high expectations for new season
 
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2015) – The first tournament of the 20th anniversary season of the Walmart FLW Tour, the most competitive Tour in professional bass-fishing, kicks off March 5-8 with the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Toho presented by Mercury. Hosted by Experience Kissimmee and the Osceola County Department of Tourism, the tournament will feature 154 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the pro division and up to $25,000 cash in the co-angler division.
Local angler Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn., will be one of the 154 anglers competing on the FLW Tour this season. Wooley is entering his second season as a professional on the FLW Tour and will be looking to match his stellar rookie campaign that saw him finish the year ranked No. 30 in the Angler of the Year race and was highlighted by an eighth-place finish at the championship  Forrest Wood Cup.
 
One of the anglers competing against Wooley is 18-year FLW Tour veteran Terry Segraves, who lives near Lake Toho and is considered an early favorite.
 
“I think that the timing of this tournament is going to be perfect,” said Segraves. “It’s cold right now, but the warm weather is expected to return in the next few weeks. With the expected sunshine and the full moon, the fish are going to pop. There really isn’t going to be much of a local advantage; we’re going to see a lot of really big fish.
 
“The weather conditions are going to be a huge determining factor for the winning weights,” Segraves went on to say. “If the weather is nice, I think you’ll need to catch an average of 20 pounds through the first two days just to make the top-20 cut and fish the weekend. This tournament has the potential to set some new records.”
 
Fishing fans that can’t make the trek to Central Florida can still follow along with all of the tournament action at FLWFishing.com. Live on-the-water tweets, updates and videos will be posted throughout the four days of competition as well as a live streaming video feed of the weigh-in held at 5 p.m. each day.
 
In FLW Tour competition, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The 2015 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 20-23 on Lake Ouachita and is hosted by Visit Hot Springs. The Forrest Wood Cup Champion could win as much as $500,000 – professional bass-fishing’s richest prize.
 
Coverage of the Lake Toho tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) when Season 20 of “FLW” premieres Sept. 28 from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
 
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
Slide background
Top Hunting and Shooting Equipment Brands for 2014
FERNANDINA BEACH, FL. - Southwick Associates has announced 2014 top selling brands for many hunting and shooting product categories. Several sources were used to compile this list, including Southwick Associates' HunterSurvey.com andShooterSurvey.com panels, household surveys conducted in late 2014 and other proprietary research by Southwick Associates. In 2014, most frequently purchased brands included:
  • Top handgun brand:  Smith & Wesson 
  • Top traditional rifle brand:  Remington / Ruger (Sturm, Ruger)
  • Top rifle ammunition brand:  ATK
  • Top handgun ammunition brand:  ATK
  • Top boots brand:  Cabelas
  • Top scopes:  Bushnell
  • Top binoculars brand:  Bushnell
  • Top game feeder brand:  Moultrie
  • Top trail camera brand:  Moultrie
  • Top tree stand brand: Big Game
  • Top muzzleloader: Thompson Center / CVA
  • Top crossbow:  Barnett
  • Top shotgun ammunition brand:  Winchester
  • Top blackpowder brand: Pyrodex
  • Top arrow brand: Easton / Carbon Express
  • Top broadhead brand:  Rage
  • Top bow case brand:  Plano
  • Top archery sight brand:  Trophy Ridge
  • Top game call brand: Primos
  • Top reloading bullet brand:  Hornady
  • Top reloading primer brand:  CCI
  • Top reloading powder brand:  Hodgdon / IMR
  • Top GPS device brand:  Garmin 
  • Top knife brand:  Buck
  • Top holster/ammo belt brand:  Blackhawk
  • Top choke tube brand:  Carlson
Information for many other product categories is available from Southwick Associates. Additional details available include total consumer spending by category, breakouts for caliber and gauge, type of retailer, average retail prices, customer demographics, and more. We also help companies design products preferred by customers (versus in-house engineers), identify better price points, learn where the competition is doing better, and other custom research insights. 
 
To purchase a report or subscription to Southwick Associates' reports, or learn more about custom research opportunities, contact John DePalma or visit our website.
 
About Southwick Associates: Southwick Associates is a market research and economics firm specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing, and outdoor recreation markets. Celebrating 25 years in 2015, Southwick Associates has a distinguished reputation for delivering comprehensive insights and statistics to support strategic decision making across the entire outdoor industry. Aside from custom market and economic data, Southwick provides custom and syndicated research including customer-driven new product development, outdoor media consumption insights, and equipment purchase tracking studies. Visit www.southwickassociates.com for more information. 
Slide background
What's Happening at Discovery Park


Now through May 2nd- Titanic Traveling Exhibition
Want to purchase tickets? Please click here!
 
Saturday, February 28-
Last Chance February Members! 
 If you joined in February last year, it is time to renew your membership! If you do so before 2/28/15, you will keep your current member rate of $54.87 (ages 13+) or $27.44 (ages 4-12), including tax. After 2/28/15, you will be required to pay the new rates of $65.85 or $32.92. (All members can keep the old rates as long as they renew prior to their membership expiring. All memberships expire the end of the month one year after purchase.) 
 
Friday, March 13th- Wine & Paint Class
Call your friends and plan to meet them at Wine & Paint! Click here for details!  
 
Saturday, March 14th & 21st-
Exotic & Invasive Animal Program
Want to learn the impact that non-native animals have on the habitat of our native animals? The program will feature a Pot-Bellied pig, Burmese python, Corn snake, King snake, Iguana, and Cane toad. Be sure to check out this animal program on March 14 and March 21 at 2 PM in the Reelfoot Room! Tickets are $3.50(plus tax) for members and $4.50(plus tax) for non-members.
 
Thursday, March 19th- Potter's Wheel Class
A chance for beginners to try their hand at the potter's wheel! Let potter Jim Keeling be your guide as you create your very own piece! Click  herefor more information!
 
Saturday, March 28th- Professional Development Opportunity for Teachers! Are you searching for a way to address both science and literacy standards in your classroom? Jason Lindsey, aka "Mr. Science" with Hooked on Science, will show you how to address your science standards while exposing your students to fiction and non-fiction science books. Click here to learn more!
Slide background
Arkansas Outdoors

Today’s topics:
Late winter can be productive in trout fishing
Take a look back at your shooting last deer season
South Arkansas refuges to seek input on fee increases
Lucky anglers take home prizes after catching tagged fish
 
Late winter can be productive in trout fishing   
            COTTER – Snow, ice and cold have marked Arkansas weather recently. It’s certainly not the best of conditions for fishing, but there may be an exception.
Trout fishing is an option anglers may want to check out as February lapses into March, suggests the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
In contrast to other waters in the state, trout are living in temperatures virtually equal those of other times of the year. Experienced trout anglers also know that they have much less competition than during the warmer periods.
A suggestion is to go after trout with what has worked for you in the past, and this means summer, spring and autumn patterns and baits.
If worms and nightcrawlers have produced trout for you, try them in winter as well. Wax worms and whole kernel corn may work. Try jig colors that have been productive in recent outings but be prepared to change skirts and even jig heads if necessary. For fly fishermen, start with one or two of your favorites but be ready to switch to other flies.
Power generation affects trout fishing on the White River, North Fork River and Little Red River, and in winter this often means the generators run in mornings and in afternoons, meaning higher water in those periods.
Some recent trout reports:
Little Red River -- Streamers, pheasant tails, San Juan worms, midges and pheasant tails are working well for fly-fishermen. Favorite Trout Magnet colors continue to be hot pink and purple haze bodies on chartreuse jig heads. Trout are also biting on wax worms with marshmallows.
 White River -- Egg patterns have been effective. The higher flows on some mornings and afternoons have been conducive to fishing large streamers. Use a fast sinking sink tip line and an eight weight or more rod.
North Fork River -- The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday. The most productive flies have been small midge patterns and soft hackles. The hot flies have been sow bugs and San Juan worms in brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise colors.
Beaver Tailwaters -- Trout are being caught on purple and wine-colored midges and small jigs. Trout Magnets and Colorado spoons are working well as are jigs fished under a bobber with a wax worm. Power Bait is always a good bet.
Spring River -- Y2Ks and big nymphs have been the most productive flies lately. Anglers are catching some bigger browns on olive woolly buggers and guppies worked upstream. Hot pink and white Trout Magnets and silver spinners have been doing well for spin fishermen.
Lake Catherine -- Wax worms, meal worms, red worms and nightcrawlers fished under bobbers or just off the bottom with marshmallow floaters have caught trout. Small minnows have taken some larger rainbows. Fly fishermen casting San Juan worms in hot pink or red under a strike indicator have been successful in periods of generation over sand bars and shoal areas. Spin fishermen casting Rooster Tails in brown or white across current that covers rock structure are catching some rainbows.
 
Take a look back at your shooting last deer season
LITTLE ROCK – Planning ahead for your next deer season should include a look over your shoulder.
How was your shooting last season? Maybe it wasn’t entirely to your liking. You missed a shot at a whitetail. Or maybe you got the deer, but the shot placement was less than desirable.
Several options are open to you for improving your deer shooting skills before next season, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
First and the one recommended by most any experienced hunter is to take yourself and your rifle out to a firing range and put in some practice time. Don’t do it once. Do it several times. Make an investment in time and in ammunition.
Oh, you can buy a better rifle, a more costly telescopic sight. You can take a step up in ammunition grade. These may help you somewhat in shooting, but they may also be talking points – topics for conversations with hunting buddies and at the shop or office.
That rifle you used in the last season may not need replacing at all. Unless it has a physical problem, the rifle should last you many years, maybe enough to be a hand-me-down to a future generation. If they are not mistreated, rifles don’t wear out – short of firing multiple thousands of rounds through them. Mistreatment includes failure to clean them properly.
Now, think about when you missed a shot at a deer, if you did.
Were you shooting from a standing position? Were you sitting in an elevated stand? Did you have a clear shot at the deer? Was the lighting dim, like just before darkness? Was the deer broadside, head-on or at an angle from you? And, did you follow proper shooting technique, meaning line up the sights, take a breath, let part of it out then squeeze, not pull, the trigger?
Any or all of these factors could have come into play with that shot that you missed, and some of them can be corrected.
For improving deer shooting odds, a major step is to rest the rifle. If you use an elevated stand of any type, a rail to lay the rifle across is a tremendous asset. This is something you can correct or add to your hunting equipment before next season, and if you do, practice with it. Set up the stand with the rail, even in your backyard, and do some dry firing or at least practice sighting and getting ready to squeeze off a shot.
A rail on your deer stand is a stand-in for the bench rest that you use at a shooting range.
If you are not convinced about the odds in shooting positions, military shooting experts can help out. The four shooting positions they teach are -- in order of steadiness -- prone, sitting, kneeling and standing.
Prone shooting is rare in Arkansas deer hunting. Sitting, in the military concept, means using a seated position and bracing the rifle with both elbows on knees. That is a lot different from sitting on a stand and holding the rifle in the offhand position, without bracing.
Consider working on your shooting time. This means the short moments you have after seeing a shootable deer for you to get the rifle up and aimed. The key is to do this quickly but accurately. Learn to sight quickly. It’s not easy sometimes, but it’s an element you can work on. See a deer, get the rifle positioned and line up the sights. Practice at home can help on this point, even if the stand-in for a deer is a light switch on the den wall.
Practice and learn to do this positioning and sighting without looking at anything but the target. Make it automatic to find the rifle’s safety by feel and to move it from “safe” to “fire” with just your thumb’s tip or fingertip and not by looking down at the safety, which requires head movement.
Most times when a deer comes into view, it is only for a few seconds. Seldom does that buck or doe stand there and let you think about shooting. You need to reduce the time to get off the shot after you’ve made the decision to take a crack at the deer.
By working these elements into your hunting routine, you’ll get the odds of success more in your favor, whether or not you retire that .30-30 for a scoped .300 Mag.
 
South Arkansas refuges to seek input on fee increases
CROSSETT – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to increase quota hunt permit fees for Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, Overflow National Wildlife Refuge and Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge. All of the refuges are located in south Arkansas.
Beginning July 1, the USFWS is proposing to increase the current $12.50 fee for successful applicants to a $5 nonrefundable application fee for all applicants and a $15.00 hunt permit fee ($14 permit Fee and $1 processing fee) for those successfully drawn.
Refuge fee prices and structures have remained unchanged for the refuges since 1996. Although the fees have stayed the same, the administrative costs for the public use program continue to rise. The proposed modification to increase the recreational fees and retain a portion from all applicants will aid the refuges in supplementing the overhead costs of the program.
Since 1981, the USFWS has had authority to collect recreation fees. Since 1997, the USFWS has been able to retain fees collected at the station, first under the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program and then, in 2004, under the authority of Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. The FLREA was established to provide funding for recreation program improvements. Typical projects paid for by recreation fee funds include road and parking lot maintenance, brochures, signage, and trail maintenance and improvements.
The Recreational Fee Increase Proposal is available on-line at: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/felsenthal/.
Copies may also be obtained by visiting the Felsenthal NWR Headquarters/Visitor Center at 5531 Hwy 82 West in Crossett between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
 
Lucky anglers take home prizes after catching tagged fish
LITTLE ROCK – Three lucky anglers are winners of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program tagged trout campaign. Trout from the AGFC’s cold-water hatchery facilities were stocked at 26 Family and Community Fishing Program locations around the state.
Leon Sabbs of Little Rock took top honors. Daniel Soholoski of North Little Rock and Evan Jou of Sherwood each won a fishing package ranging in value from $150-$300 donated by  Pure Fishing, Abu Garcia and Shakespeare.
Each of Arkansas’s Family and Community Fishing Program trout stocking locations had 10 trout tagged with special Family and Community tags. Every angler that caught a tagged fish received prizes. Winners also were entered into the grand prize drawings.
For more information on the Family and Community Fishing Program, go to www.agfc.com/familyfishing
 
Boating education class schedule
Click here for boating education information: http://www.agfc.com/education/Pages/EducationBoating.aspx.
 
Hunter education class schedule
Click here for hunter education information: http://www.agfc.com/education/Pages/EducationHunter.aspx.
 
What’s open for hunting
Click here for hunting season information: http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Pages/HuntingSeasons.aspx.
 
Coming up in the outdoors
Click here for information on programs, meetings and other things to do in the outdoors: http://www.agfc.com/Pages/eventsAll.aspx.
 
For the latest in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission information go to www.agfc.com or call the Wildlife Information Hotline, 800-440-1477.
Slide background

JOHN BERRY FISHING REPORT 2/27/2015

During the past week, we have had snow (about half an inch here in Cotter), brutally cold temperatures and heavy winds (to include lake wind advisories). The lake level at Bull Shoals fell one tenth of an inch to rest at six feet below seasonal power pool of 659 feet. This is forty two feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock rose two tenths of a foot to rest at five and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool and twenty one and nine tenths feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake remained steady at seven and two tenths feet below seasonal power pool or sixteen and eight tenths feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had brief periods of heavy generation in the morning and afternoon with several days of wadable water. Norfork Lake fell nine tenths of a foot to rest at five and nine tenths feet below seasonal power pool of 553.7 feet and thirty two and one tenth feet below the top of flood pool. On the Norfork, we had wadable water every day with generation most mornings.
 
The siphon to accommodate minimum flow on the Norfork is down for repairs. They will be running the generators on a speed-no-load option to make up for the lost siphon flows.
 
The water level for the top of power pool has been reset for the lakes in the White River system. All of the lakes on this system are well below seasonal power pool.
 
The Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam was closed from November 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015 to accommodate the brown trout spawn. The State Park was seasonal Catch and Release for the same period. There are redds in the area. They will appear as shallow clean depressions in the gravel.  Please avoid them when wading or dragging chains to protect the eggs in them.
 
On the White, the hot spot was Catch and Release section below Bull Shoals Dam. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers (#8, #10), Y2Ks (#14, #12), prince nymphs (#14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead #16, #18), pheasant tails (#14), ruby midges (#18), root beer midges (#18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (#10), and sowbugs (#16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a flashback beadhead pheasant tail nymph with a ruby midge or red fan tail midge suspended below it). Egg patterns have been very effective.
 
Conventional wisdom states that hopper fishing ends with the first frost (we had several heavy frosts this past week). I reject this idea and fish them during the winter. I favor shorter leaders (seven and a half foot 3X) and a stiff six weight rod to proper deliver these weighty flies. My favorite flies are Dave’s hoppers (#10) and the western pink lady (#8). To increase hook ups I always use a dropper. I am currently using a ruby or root beer midge in size eighteen on a three foot or longer tippet (depending on the depth of the water I am fishing).
 
The higher flows on some mornings and afternoons have been conducive to fishing large streamers. You need a fast sinking sink tip line and an eight weight or better rod. This is a heavy lift that requires casting skills and patience. Streamer season started on opening day! The most popular patterns have been large articulated streamers in tan and yellow and olive and yellow.
 
The Buffalo National River and Crooked Creek have cleared and are navigable. With the colder weather, the smallmouths are not active. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
 
 
The Norfork River has fished poorly recently. With the colder weather there was little fishing pressure on the Norfork.  The most productive flies have been small midge patterns (#18, #20, #22)  like ruby midges, root beer midges, zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead) and soft hackles (#14, #16) like the green butt. Egg patterns have also been productive. Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended eighteen inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise #10). There have been reliable hatches of small midges (try a size 24 Adams parachute) and caddis (try a size 18 elk hair caddis).The fishing is better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.
 
There was little fishing pressure on Dry Run Creek due to the cold weather weather. It has been a great time to fish there. The hot flies have been sowbugs (#14), Y2Ks (#12) and various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise #10). While you are there take a few minutes to visit the adjacent Norfork national Fish Hatchery. It is fascinating. Be sure and remove your waders before entering to prevent the spread of aquatic diseases.
 
The water on the Spring River is clear and wadable. This is a great place to wade fish, when they are running water on the White and Norfork Rivers. Canoe season is over and there are fewer boats on the river to interfere with your fishing. Be sure to wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash (#10), cerise and hot pink San Juan worms (#10) and Y2Ks (#10).
 
Remember that the White and Norfork Rivers and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Be sure and thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
 
John Berry is a fly fishing guide in Cotter, Arkansas and has fished our local streams for over thirty years.
 
 
 
 
 
UPCOMING CHANGES AT THE SOWBUG ROUNDUP
BY JOHN BERRY
As many of you know, our premier fly tying event, the Sowbug Roundup, is coming up. It will be held on March 26, 27 and 28 at the Baxter County Fairgrounds and is put on by the North Arkansas Fly Fishers, our local fly fishing club. Last year I joined the Sowbug Committee as the Chairman of the Fly Tying Contest. I have been involved with the Sowbug Roundup, since I moved here fifteen years ago. I started as a seminar presenter, became a fly tyer, then a vendor and now a Committee Member.
 
Being involved with the Committee has been a very rewarding experience for a number of reasons. First I have the opportunity to work with some great volunteers. These people are hardworking and committed to making the Sowbug Roundup the best fly tying show possible. They begin meeting monthly as soon as the Sowbug Roundup ends to prepare for the next one. Every aspect of the festival is carefully planned and managed. Most of the Committee members have been involved for several years and know their jobs well.
 
Next, I have the ability to add my input and help shape the future of the festival. Last year, when I joined the Committee, I was able to convince them to allow me to add the fly tying contest to the Sowbug Roundup. Now it is an integral part of the festival.
 
Finally, I am able to see firsthand the changes to the festival, as they happen. This year is a banner year for improvements to the Sowbug Roundup. The major big change is the Friday night fly tyers dinner. In the past this event was limited to the tyers, committee members and club members. Now they are opening this event to the public and renaming it the Sowbug Shindig. They are also adding adult beverages. In the past this was a sit down dinner. Now it will be a much more casual buffet featuring lighter fare and finger foods. This makes for a great place to mingle and meet the tyers, program presenters and other fly fishers with the same interests as you.
 
In the past, there was a live auction. It was held in the festival on the last afternoon. The problem was that most of the attendees were not present and did not get a chance to bid on some really great stuff. This is a three day festival and many attendees spend a day or more at the event and then go to the river to get in some fishing. It always seems that the Sowbug Roundup occurs during our most prolific caddis hatch of the year. By moving the live auction to the Sowbug Shindig on Friday night, the Committee makes it easy and pleasant for all of the Sowbug attendees to have a chance to bid on the great items in the live auction.
 
I have also tweaked the fly tying contest a bit. I have added a couple of new categories for the competitors to enter their flies in. There has always been a lot of interest for there to be a saltwater and salmon/steelhead flies. I know that Paul Little, English fly tyer who specializes in salmon flies will attend this year and I am hoping for an entry from him.
 
As you can see there are some subtle changes to an already great Sowbug Roundup happening this year. Come by and check them out. I am sure that you will be impressed.
Slide background
PHOTO CONTEST DEADLINE COMING UP FOR 2015-16 TENNESSEE WILDLIFE CALENDAR ISSUE

NASHVILLE --- The March 11 deadline is nearing for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency‘s 2015-16 photo contest. Winning entries will be used for publication in the Tennessee Wildlife Magazine ’s popular annual calendar issue.
All interested photographers are invited to submit their best photos on fish and wildlife species native to Tennessee, and fishing and hunting scenes in Tennessee.
The photos will be reviewed for publication in the annual calendar edition of Tennessee Wildlife Magazine which is the summer issue. If a photo is selected for the calendar edition, the photographer will receive a cash stipend of $60.
The format is horizontal digital images on disk. Only digital images in JPEG format and of high resolution (300 dpi) sized as an 8 1/2x11 will be accepted.
Each disk submitted must have the name of the photographer stamped or written on it. No prints can be accepted. (Sorry, disks cannot be returned).
Entries can be mailed to:
Tennessee Wildlife Magazine
Calendar Issue
P.O. Box 40747
Nashville, TN  37204

Tennessee Wildlife is the official magazine for the TWRA. Subscription rates are $10 for one year, $17 for two years and $25 for three years.


2014-15 HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES NOW EXPIRED

NASHVILLE --- Tennessee’s 2014-15 hunting and fishing licenses are now expired, as of Saturday, Feb. 28. The new 2015-16 licenses went on sale Feb. 18 and are valid through February 2016.
Licenses are available at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) regional offices, license agents and on the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org.
The new licenses annually go on sale each Feb. 18. License sales provide the primary funding for the TWRA, which does not receive any funding from the state's general fund (i.e. state sales tax). Licenses purchased before July 1 are available at current prices.
Resident licenses may be purchased by persons who possess a valid Tennessee driver’s license; persons who have lived in Tennessee for 90 consecutive days with the genuine intent of making Tennessee their permanent home; military personnel on active duty in this state and their immediate families, who reside with them, regardless of resident status; students who are enrolled in a Tennessee school, college, or university for at least six months. A Social Security number is required to purchase a Tennessee hunting or fishing license.
Licenses may also be purchased online at TWRA’s website: www.tnwildlife.org or the TWRA On the Go App and charged to a credit card. Licenses may also be ordered by telephone and charged to a credit card by calling 1-888-814-8972. All licenses purchased by credit card will be charged a processing and handling fee.  The fees over the telephone are $7.50 for those licenses mailed and $6.25 for those not mailed. Through the internet, charges are $4.25 for those licenses mailed and $3 for self-prints.
To expedite telephone orders, the caller should have ready the name, address, physical description, Social Security number, driver’s license number, TWRA ID number (if renewal), and credit card number.
Licenses are printed on a special tear-resistant, water-proof paper.  In case of a lost license, duplicate licenses can be obtained from any REAL license agent for a $7 fee.

LAND TRUST FOR TENNESSEE’S EMILY PARISH TO LEAD MARCH NATURE @ NOONTIME PROGRAM

NASHVILLE --- Emily Parish, Director of Conservation for the Land Trust for Tennessee will be the featured speaker for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s March Nature @ Noontime.
The program will be held on Thursday, March 5 at the TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building located in the Ellington Agriculture Complex.
Mrs. Parish will speak about the history and programs for The Land Trust for Tennessee. Since joining the Land Trust, she has been instrumental in protecting almost 100,000 acres of Tennessee lands. She won the 2012 Nashville Emerging Young Leader Award for “Environment and Sustainability.” She is also a founding member of the Farmland Legacy Partnership, a 13-agency working group focusing on the protection of Tennessee farmland.
Hosted by the Information and Education Division, Nature @ Noontime is held the first Thursday of each month. TWRA Nature @ Noontime presentations are about natural resources related topics and last about 30-45 minutes, allowing time for discussion during the allotted lunch hour. Contact Don King (615) 781-6502 or by e-mail: don.king@tn.gov for more information.

Slide background
2015 Fishing Forecast for Flood Control Reservoirs

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists predict mixed success in 2015 on the Corps of Engineers’ flood control reservoirs (Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Lakes), based on sampling completed last fall.
One to two pound largemouth and white bass were abundant in Sardis and Arkabutla Lakes, but the biggest largemouth bass were collected in Enid Lake.  The daily limit on largemouth bass is seven at these lakes, but anglers can keep an unlimited number of white bass.
Blue catfish (white humpbacks) were the most numerous catfish on all lakes except for Enid, and many weighed over 10 pounds.  Cut or whole shad are better baits for blues than typical “catfish stink baits.” Channel catfish were most numerous at Enid Lake.
Black and white crappie had big spawns in 2013 and 2014 on all lakes, but all the fish were under the 12 inch minimum length limit.  Anglers have had good luck the last few years catching white crappie which averaged about 2 pounds, but their numbers have been reduced by harvest.  Weaker spawns in 2010 and 2011 led to few white crappie from 13 – 15 inches.  However, black crappie of that size are plentiful on Sardis and Enid Lakes.  These fish have been surviving by hanging around standing timber and brush tops.  Anglers will have to give up trolling and use a single jig to catch these fish.
MDWFP operates state parks on Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Lakes; book ahead as they fill up quickly during peak fishing times.  Food, lodging, and other amenities are available in Hernando, Batesville, Oxford, Grenada, and other nearly towns.    
For more information regarding fishing in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com or call us at (601) 432-2212. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.

MDWFP Announces Pond Management Workshop Schedule

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is conducting 11 pond management workshops during 2015.  The workshops consist of an hour-long presentation and include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow.
 
“These workshops allow biologists and private pond owners an opportunity to discuss management options to improve fish populations and habitat,” according to MDWFP Assistant Bureau Director Larry Bull. “We talk to people each year that want to manage their ponds effectively and this is a great way for us to provide how-to information that can help pond owners achieve their goals.” 
 
The complete workshop schedule can be found at www.mdwfp.com under the Pond Assistance tab of the Fishing and Boating page.
For more information regarding fishing in Mississippi, visit our website at  www.mdwfp.com or call us at 601-432-2212. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.
Slide background

Clagett Talley Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

Pickwick Lake Elevation 410
Water Temp. 44
BASS 
The cold and rainy weather has slowed down some of my fishing trips over the past few weeks. I fished under windy conditions Monday because but the water was so muddy I had to look for places to fish.  I had to disregard the dramatic weather changes and fish like I normally would for this time of year. Using the same baits and methods I would in the past worked out fine for me now even under these crazy weather changes.  To  catch bass I had to stay shallow and although I did not catch anything big in shallow water I did catch a good number of fish.  I fished along river banks, cranking Strike King Series 3 crank baits real slow to catch the majority of bass.This is actually a good time of year to catch a really big fish on these baits using these methods if you can stand the weather.
White bass
White bass continue to bite.  I have caught them mostly on grubs and small crank baits while bass fishing. Some banks will just have more white bass than large mouths and small mouths, these banks tend to be gravel banks and sandy banks. The areas I have caught a good number of white bass in have been between the Dam and Savannah, I would not put much faith in catching them in the lake right now.
Stripers
Stripers remain tough. I do not expect to catch a large number of stripers right now but they will start biting real soon.  I do not start really striper fishing until mid to late March. 
Sauger
Sauger have been really tough. With the muddy water I believe the more productive areas are in deeper water, These deeper water areas are usually good anytime sauger are biting anyway I just put more faith in the deeper water bites when the river is as muddy as it is now.  Dark colored sauger jigs seemed to work better.  I often check deeper depths and more shallow depths to check to see if they are more productive. 
Compliments of Clagett Talley 731-607-5266
Slide background

Gary Harlan Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

Pickwick

March fishing forecast

02/17/2015

Water temp: low to mid 40’s

Clarity: 2’-6’ depending where you are

It’s Ice Storm 2015 time! Icicles are hanging off the bird feeder outside my window right now. There is freezing rain and sleet falling all across Northern Mississippi. The bass are just beginning to heat up especially the big ones. There were several big fish caught in the warmer days leading up to this front we are experiencing now. Keep this in mind and look for warming trends during the month. This is the best month of the year to catch that fish of a lifetime. I like the KVD 200 & 300 series jerkbaits from Strike King. Fish them in and around points and drop offs in the creeks and on the main river channel. Use a jerk-jerk-pause cadence and vary the length of the pause (up to 15 seconds) until a rhythm is established that the Bass will respond to. I fish these baits on 8-12lb Vicious Elite fluorocarbon line. Jig–n-pigs fished slowly on steep rocky banks will work as well. The end of the month should provide us with some warmer weather and the fish will be moving into the shallows to spawn. All species of fish will be moving up shallow by the end of the month. I have heard of a few good catches of Crappie coming out of the creeks around submerged cover. Crappie fishing should be going full blast around the end of the month. Be safe out there cold water kills!

Slide background

Steve McCadams Kentucky Lake Fishing Report

ANGLERS RIDE WAVES OF WEATHER PATTERNS

By Steve McCadams

 

    Kentucky Lake’s fall fishing scene this week started off with above average temperatures and mellowed out at midweek but the weekend forecast indicates a dose of winter weather may enter the picture. In fact, a big change in temperatures is already in progress.

    From windy, warm and wet to cold, crisp mornings; that’s what anglers have encountered this week as it has been a roller coaster of conditions. In-between the extremes were a few days of nice normal weather and both crappie and bass fishermen took advantage of it.

    Lake levels this week slept around the winter pool mark and haven’t fluctuated much. Elevation for the weekend will be in the 354.8 range at Kentucky Dam. Upstream at New Johnsonville lake levels will be in the 354.6 range. Water color remains clear.

    Surface temperatures warmed slightly to start the week off in the 67 degree range but cooled to 65 at midweek. Watch for a two or three degree drop by the weekend as the cold front will pull surface temps back into the low 60’s.

    Crappie fishing was fair this week but anglers had to battle more wind than they bargained for. Fall isn’t normally a season of unstability but it seems conditions have rotated with one or two nice days each week sandwiched in-between several days of unruly weather. 

    A few good size fish were taken in 8 to 12 foot depths and some had even moved up to 6 to 7 foot depths in the Paris Landing sector. A few boats were still working main lake ledges at times and finding some scattered fish in 10 to 14 foot water but windy days kept a lot of boats off main lake areas where whitecaps were dancing.

    Jigs tipped with Berkley crappie nibbles seem to be the bait of choice, although some fish were opting or live minnows at times.

    The overall crappie bite lately has been a bit off as numbers have been a bit below average. On days when light winds and cloud cover were present the fishing improved.

    Bass fishermen are still finding enough action to keep them interested but that too has been a bit below average as the bass have been sluggish as have the crappie.

    Some topwater action was underway in the early mornings and late afternoons as fish moved up on shallow gravel banks in hot pursuit of shad. Shallow running crankbaits were still productive on rocky points and along gravel as were some suspending jerk baits.

    A few bass were showing up in the backs of bays where aquatic vegetation was present. Some schooling activity was taking place and anglers tossing rattle trap style lures and some spinnerbaits were scoring.

    Grassbeds are still abundant along the main river shorelines and island rims. Bass are still relating to the grass too.

    A few boats continue to toss big crankbaits, Carolina rigs and Alabama rigs, and jig and pig combos on drop-offs as well.

    Although a drastic weather change will put a chill in the air this weekend, it appears mild weather will return by early next week as temps are expected to rebound back to the mid to upper 60’s soon.

Slide background
Ducks Unlimited News

Ducks Unlimited Launches New Online Film Series for Waterfowlers

Memphis, Tenn. – February 25, 2015 – Ducks Unlimited has launched a new online film series for anyone who is passionate about waterfowl and waterfowl hunting. “DU Films” includes six short films that will premiere on the DU website this spring. Viewers can watch the first film, “Carving a Legacy,” and find more information about the series at www.ducks.org/dufilms.
“This new film series captures the essence of what it means to be a waterfowler,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “We set out to explore the lives and stories of duck hunters across the country—to find out why they became hunters, what drives their passion, how they are passing on the traditions and why they are giving back to the resource. I think viewers will really enjoy the thoughtful and artistic approach we have taken with this project. These short films help to convey some critical values that drive us to do what we do: Family, love of our country and our responsibility to take care of the natural gifts from our creator.”
Produced in partnership with Rock Road Creative, DU Films goes beyond the confines and formulas of traditional duck hunting shows, presenting the beauty and passion of waterfowling in new and unexpected ways. Advances in digital cinematography help capture breathtaking waterfowl action like never before. Remote cameras catch the action from unique perspectives. And with state-of-the-art editing and evocative storytelling, viewers will find themselves immersed in unforgettable waterfowl experiences.
At the heart of this series is a drive to conserve the habitats that make it all possible--from the prairie breeding grounds in the north to coastal wintering grounds in the south and countless areas in between.
DU welcomes Sitka Gear, Buck Gardner Calls and The Original Muck Boot Company as sponsors of this unique project. “We’re thrilled to have these organizations partner with us to bring DU Films to the waterfowling community,” said Hall. “Their support of DU Films illustrates their commitment to the future of waterfowling and the conservation of the resources that make it all possible.”
Sitka Gear is the leading manufacturer of high-performance hunting apparel that utilizes cutting-edge technology to keep hunters warm, dry and comfortable in any condition. For more information visit the Sitka website or call 877.SITKA-GR.
Buck Gardner grew up duck hunting. In fact, calling became such a passion of his that it led him to a multitude of awards for his skill with a call, culminating with taking the “Champion of Champions” World Duck Calling Championship in 1995. Buck channels his unique passion for duck hunting into every call he designs. Each call is hand tuned for a precise and defined sound that is true. Find out more at buckgardner.com.
The Original Muck Boot Company provides premium, high-performance footwear for hunters, hikers and all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. The brand’s signature neoprene material provides comfort and 100-percent waterproof protection, offering lightweight boots for every season.  With temperature ratings in cold weather conditions to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit and for warm weather up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, Muck Boots offer style with substance.  
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at www.youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.


Slide background
Avery Outdoors Migration Reports

Migration Reports
For the week of February 23-29, 2015

Pacific:
Name:  Kent Contreras
Date: 2-9-2015
Location: Newport, WA.
Weather:  Mixed bag last week with rain showers and a slight warming trend. This week’s forecasts show more of the same. Partly sunny skies with morning fog. Temps will remain mild with highs in the 40's and lows in the 30's
Snow Cover: Snow has been slowly melting away. Valley floor coverage is going fast – bare ground showing up now
Water Conditions: Water levels continue to fluctuate as the dams release and hold back water – very high level now
Feeding Conditions: Feeding conditions are good due to the snowmelt
Species and Numbers: Those that are staying in the area are big Canada geese, divers and some puddle ducks. The biggest population of birds in the area is the diver species with some larger flocks of widgeon
Migrations: Nothing new in the area but with the warming trend I’d expect to see more birds coming into the area soon
Season Stage: The 2014-2015 waterfowl season closed
Hunting Report: Season Closed – Some Depredation hunts are scheduled for Oregon
Gossip:   Not hearing much from the Oregon hunters on outlook for the coming hunts

Name:  Travis Lyle
Date:  2-9-15
Location: Western NV
Weather:  60’s for a high, and low in the 30’s.  Well above average temps for this time of year.
Snow Cover: The Mountains got a little, mostly rain.  We will take whatever we can get right now.
Water Conditions: Bad.  Water levels have come down and no end in sight, with above average temps water is going down.
Feeding Conditions: Its’ the same as the water, little to none.  Been seeing some plots of widgeon grass floating around in a few areas.
Species and Numbers:  Snows are returning and a bunch of swans showed back up.  Lots more ducks showed up for the youth hunt.
Migrations:  The reverse migration is starting now.
Season Stage:  Snows start Feb 21st.
Hunting Report:  Youth hunt went good.  Kids got lots of shooting in.
Gossip:  The wives are happy again.

 

Central:
Name: Kirk Steffensen

Date: February 11, 2015

Location: Lincoln, NE

Weather: Highly variable, we are either in unseasonable warm or cold.  Normal and steady temperature don’t seem to occur.

Snow Cover: A little but most everything is back open.

Water Conditions: Breaking apart again, a few more warm days and most water will be open.

Feeding Conditions: Good, birds feeding back in cornfields.

Species and Numbers: Good numbers of geese back on Salt Creek with lots and lots of ducks.

Migrations: Reverse migration occurring with south winds.

Season Stage: All seasons are closed, waiting for snow geese to show back up in numbers.

Hunting Report: Fair end to the season, poor wind and highly pressured birds equaled limited success.

Name: Jared Shepard       

Date: 02/09/15

Location: Scottsbluff, NE

Weather: Warm weather is sticking around….longer!!! Temps are expected to stay in the 50’s and 60’s all week with overnight lows only dropping into the 30’s.

Snow Cover: NO SNOW!

Water Conditions: The water level is stable in the river and at a good depth and speed for hunting. Most local lakes and ponds are now open again.

Feeding Conditions: Lots of corn and beans are available for the ducks and geese.

Species and Numbers: Only a few random flocks of lesser snows have been spotted hanging around the area in fields and on ponds but it’s still early.

Migrations: The spring snow goose migration has begun!

Season Stage: The spring light goose conservation season is ON!

Hunting Report: No birds have been taken yet to my knowledge.

Gossip: Rumors of an early snow goose migration are true. Birds have been spotted flying the river to the west but not many sticking around to rest yet.

 

Mississippi:
Name: Will Harvey
Date: 2/10/15
Location: Glenwood MN
Weather: Ice Storm.
Snow Cover: Very little. Currently getting some ice cover though!
Water Conditions: Froze
Feeding Conditions: Icy
Species and Numbers:  None
Migrations: Walleyes and pan fish are beginning to migrate toward their spawning grounds.
Season Stage: Closed
Hunting Report: Heard of some people coyote hunting with little success. Hard with little to no snow.

Name:  Richard Shamla
Date: 02-10-15
Location: Clara City MN
Weather:  Cold and windy with highs in the single digits.  We had a fresh coating of freezing rain that came through the area in the past tow days.
Snow Cover: Couple inches
Water Conditions:  Most water is frozen except the river and just above the dam on Lac Qui Parle Lake.
Feeding Conditions: The remaining geese and ducks are feeding in cornfields around the refuge.
Species and Numbers: Couple hundred geese and a few ducks remain on the refuge.
Season Stage:  Closed
Hunting Report: Not much activity and even coyote hunting has been slow.
Gossip: Ice Castle ice fishing tournament was held this past weekend and close to two hundred fish were caught.  Fishing has slowed down but can still be good depending on the weather.

Name:  Greg Owens
Date: Feb 10 2015
Location: Rochester, MN
Weather: About normal for this time of year.
Snow Cover: about 5”
Water Conditions:  Everything is frozen up except the rivers through town.
Feeding Conditions:  There is still plenty of food around.  
Species and Numbers:  We have quite a few Ducks and Geese hanging out around town. And with no hunting pressure, the birds that are still here will probably stay here through the winter.  The huge wintering flocks of Mallards are feeding in the area now. These birds always show up after the duck season closes, and they usually stay here all winter as long as they can get food.
Migrations:  None noted.
Season Stage: The season is closed now.
Hunting Report: N/A.
Gossip:  Ice fishing is tougher now than it was.  But it’s still more fun than sitting on the couch all day.

Migration Reports
Season Summary

Rocky Mountain:
Name:  Vance Stolz
Location: Johnstown Colorado (Northern Colorado Front Range)
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Significant weather swings throughout the entire season. October and early November was warm and dry for the most part, and then a significant cold front pushed in just prior to the opener of regular goose season. This front arrived before Thanksgiving bringing very cold temperatures and lots of birds, but also a very early freeze-up of our smaller bodies of water. Since then it’s been one extreme to the next…very warm and dry conditions, then very cold again. Overall snowfall seems to be less this year than last. The season is ending with dry conditions and daytime highs in the 60’s.
Winter Snow Summary:  Overall, less snow along the Front Range than we had last year at this time. Other than during some of our cold stretches, which lasted 1-2 weeks, the snowfall we’ve had has melted relatively quickly.
Season Water Conditions: As mentioned earlier, the first major cold front in mid-November froze up the small water very quickly. Most the large bodies of water and rivers remained open until another cold front hit on Christmas Day. That front brought very cold temperatures and snow that lasted for several days and froze even the larger lakes and reservoirs. Fortunately, we warmed up again and most water systems opened back up.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Feeding conditions seemed to be better this season. Most of the harvest was completed on time and we never had a significant snow event that kept the birds from being able to find food sources for extended periods of time. The winter wheat crop in the area came in strong, which is a major source of food for the birds in this area.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Overall the mallard numbers seemed to be up in the area while other duck species remained about average. This was somewhat difficult to get a good feel for due to our extreme weather patterns, which seemed to keep the birds moving and certainly concentrated during the cold stretches.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: The dark goose numbers were better than average this season for sure. One significant change this year was the number of big geese. We always get significant numbers of Lessers in the area, as well as medium and big geese, but this year it seems we had way more of the bigger birds that stuck it out throughout the entire season.
Notable Duck Migrations: The most notable duck migration took place in mid-November with the first significant cold front that came in from the north. It seemed we went from below average duck numbers to peak numbers literally overnight. We had another push in late December and kept birds throughout the rest of the season.
Notable Goose Migrations: As with the duck migrations, the geese pushed in along the Front Range during the same time frame. Many reports from hunters throughout the region called it one of the largest migrations they had seen in many years. It seemed all the birds came at once, which was a fear for many of us, however that wasn’t the case. The front in mid-November brought very large numbers of lessers as well as some bigger geese, but the cold front in late December pushed in plenty of big geese, which stayed in our region throughout the entire season.
Overall Hunting Report: Overall, this waterfowl season is well above average. We were fortunate to have very good timing on the cold fronts from the north, which brought very large numbers of both ducks and geese here along the Front Range. There were certainly times when some hunters had slow times due to extreme cold etc... Fortunately they were short lived. For those who had the option and property access to move around and get close to where the birds were during the tough spells, overall success was consistent. Generally speaking, even when hunters found themselves in a slow area, the weather patterns shifted and the birds moved, giving more opportunities for those staying persistent. As with any season, there are certainly the good and the bad, but overall Colorado waterfowlers should be able to remember this season as one with plenty of birds to chase and some very impressive migrations. Hopefully that’s enough to get us through until we can start it all again next fall… 

Name:  Tailor Sponcey                  
Location: Twin Falls
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: For the most part the winter was mild but we had a few cold snaps where temperatures stayed below freezing for consecutive days.
Winter Snow Summary:  Valley floor had around 8 inches of accumulation throughout season.
Season Water Conditions: Water conditions were average except for the draining of the Hagerman WMA at the beginning.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Feed conditions were abundant.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Numbers were down from the previous year because of the drastic weather changes in mid-winter.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Goose numbers were down as well and stayed pretty low throughout the season.
Notable Duck Migrations: Ducks pushed in a little earlier than usual but didn’t build very big at any one time due to weather patterns.
Notable Goose Migrations: Large numbers of geese didn’t show up until late in the season.
Overall Hunting Report: Hunting was below average for most this year but good hunts were possible when work was put in.

Name:  David Harper                     
Location: Jerome, Idaho
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Overall the winter was pretty mild around here with the exception of some major drops in temperature that happened at odd times. We had a real roller coaster of above average highs to lower than average temps multiple times through the season. This certainly affected the birds and even caused some to push straight through.
Winter Snow Summary: We had a couple weeks of storms that put down 6-8 inches across the valley for about a month at just past the mid-point of our season and then it melted off to become muddy and wet in most areas. 
Season Water Conditions: Conditions were average for the amount of water as the Snake River ran about normal and some refuge ponds were drained for habitat improvement projects but other area ponds were left full in order to provide aquifer replenishment.
Overall Feeding Conditions: With the exception of a couple weeks of frozen snow in the fields, we had above average feed through the season as farmers harvested through the entire season due to an above average wet August.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: We had a lot of birds move through the area but they never stacked up in large numbers as they have in previous years with the exception of some diving ducks on the Snake River.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Canada goose numbers never ramped up into large numbers like normal as the roller coaster of a winter pushed birds in and out of the valley.
Notable Duck Migrations: It seemed most weeks of the season we had birds move into the area but they didn’t stick around in the normal areas that they normally do.
Notable Goose Migrations: Most geese didn’t arrive in the valley until later in the season when they usually arrive about half way through.
Overall Hunting Report: Hunting was above average for the guys that put in the miles and time to scout for much of the season. A lot of the weekend warrior guys found some tough hunting for the majority of the season as birds were constantly changing their habits almost daily.

Name:  Travis Madden
Location: Orem, Utah
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Weather was warmer than normal as with most places. The winter was pretty light even with a few cold spells of freezing temperatures.
Winter Snow Summary:  Snow was pretty mild, we did have a few storms roll through just before Thanksgiving and Christmas that put some snow on the ground but not much in between.
Season Water Conditions: Water conditions early were low but navigable. As the season wore on water levels dropped quite a bit changing things.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Feed in the fields was actually pretty good considering the little amounts of snow we received the birds had good access to them.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Duck number seemed down from last year.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Goose numbers also seemed down from last year I think a lot of it was due to the warmer weather.
Notable Duck Migrations: Had a good amount of birds until the freeze near Thanksgiving and then the thaw. Not a lot with the warm weather. Did start seeing more ducks at the seasons end and a little colder weather.
Notable Goose Migrations: Again same as the ducks the warmer weather delayed the migration and did not see much until the tail end of the season and by that time it was warm enough they were already pairing up!    
Overall Hunting Report: As a whole the season was not as good as last years. It was rough at the beginning with the lack of birds and also as water levels dropped. The season had a long lull as we waited for weather and birds to arrive. We did receive it towards the end but almost to late. Hopefully next year will bring more birds.

 

Pacific:
Name: Allen Riggs 
Location: Metaline, WA
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: The winter was/is very mild. Snowfall was well below average and temperatures were well above average. The hard freezes we usually get only happened a couple times and were very short lasting.
Winter Snow Summary:  Our average snowfall is around 50 inches and at the close of the season it was around 13 inches. There were only a few measurable snowstorms, and the warm temps melted most away.
Season Water Conditions: Water levels on the Pend Oreille River were all over the place. The levels were adjusted several feet per day at times; this made hunting the river extremely difficult.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Due to the warm temps and lack of snowfall, birds were able to feed in harvested grain fields throughout most of the season. The changing water levels in the river made for difficult feeding for the birds.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Duck numbers, especially puddle ducks were much lower this year as compared to the past. Diver ducks did begin to show up toward the end of the season, however, their numbers were also lower.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Canada goose numbers were lower than previous years.
Notable Duck Migrations: Not much as far as puddle ducks are concerned. Diver duck migrations started later than usual, but also in fewer numbers than years past.
Notable Goose Migrations: Goose migrations were low and sporadic.
Overall Hunting Report: Everyone says this was a slow year and that waterfowl numbers were very low all around.

Name: Geff Duncan          
Location: Chehalis, WA
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season:  Had 3 times when the rivers broke the banks and gave us high floodwater in fields. Other than that it was a pretty mild year.
Winter Snow Summary:  Zero snowfall.
Season Water Conditions: Mid-late season water was pretty high from flooding.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Good, lots of grain and cornfields this year.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Up
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Up
Notable Duck Migrations: A lot of pintail showed up the last few weeks of the season, widgeon were here for most of the year in pretty good numbers also.
Notable Goose Migrations: Lots of honkers and cacklers this year.
Overall Hunting Report: The year went great, lots of geese, and Cacklers early. November was slow with not many birds in the area but it really picked up in December and January.

Name: Kent Contreras       
Location: Newport, WA
Notable Weather Changes/Differences: The season for the most part was relatively mild. Hard freeze occurred in late December/early January but did not last long. Normal weather patterns have us in the negative temperatures for about 2 weeks and that did not occur this year. October was very mild to start the season and November cold snaps occurred at the end of the month – normal. December on the other hand was very mild and we received only one major snowstorm that covered the valley floor. Temperatures though remained mild and gave way to fall like conditions. January was below average for temperatures and snowfall.
Winter Snow Summary:  Snowfall in the valley was almost non-existent. We did start to get some snow in December and shots throughout January but total snowfall amounts were way below average.
Season Water Conditions: The Pend Oreille River fluctuated so much that it kept hunters guessing the whole season as to what the level would be the next day. With three dams in our county water levels can lower or raise over 18 inches in a day, which kept hunters and birds moving all over the place. As for amounts of precipitation – we were below average.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Weather conditions and lack of snow kept birds in the valley with plenty of fields and shorelines to fill their bellies. Conditions were good to excellent most of the season.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Puddle ducks were good at the start and middle of the season until December – then they pretty much disappeared. On average years, we keep a lot of puddle ducks in the area so why this occurred is only a guess. I would say that without new birds migrating in and the amount of pressure they received they just moved out of the area. Diver ducks arrived on schedule – late December/early January and they too were below average for numbers.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Canada goose numbers were lower than previous years.
Notable Duck Migrations: Biggest notable migration was the puddle ducks that moved out of the area early. We had no real migration of new ducks for most of the season except for the Divers as mentioned above.
Notable Goose Migrations: Goose migration occurred around the end of November – first big influx of geese into the area. During normal years, we receive more geese throughout the season after Thanksgiving but this year it didn’t happen. Only a few new migratory birds came into the area in January.
Overall Hunting Report: Hunting was very tough this season. With the water levels fluctuating, warmer than normal weather, lack of cold snaps and educated birds my harvest numbers were well below average. Overall, the area was below average for most of the season for geese and ducks.

Name: Zach LaBorde

Location: Seattle, Washington
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: One of the major differences this season is that we saw no snow on the west side of the state. Also, we saw considerably less major windstorms. Without looking at the reports, I would say rainfall was fairly consistent with years past, as we had several decent floods.
Winter Snow Summary: On the west side of Washington we did not see any snow. Snow pack in the mountains was considerably less and we did not see any consistent snow pack on the east side of the state at lower elevations.
Season Water Conditions: For most of the year, we held decent water on the west side of the state. Rain totals appeared to be about normal. All year we had some water somewhere on our club to hunt.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Harvest this year was normal. Several fields in the area were not harvested cleanly and filed for crop damage. This provided great feeding opportunities for birds and kept them in the area.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Duck numbers this year were down a little in the southwest part of the state. We held massive numbers of Pintail and decent number of Green-winged teal and Widgeon, but we did not get a good push of Mallards. Most of them stayed up in the Skagit Valley area.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Goose numbers were stronger this year than last, but still down a little bit by historical trends. At peak migration, we always had a field holding cacklers and a few White-Fronted geese along with a few large honkers.
Notable Duck Migrations: Around late November and early December we saw our first big push of ducks. We saw good numbers of Widgeon, Pintail, and Teal.
Notable Goose Migrations: The last week of October and the first week of November proved to be prime time for Cacklers. We were able to consistently hunt good fields of cacklers for about a month and a half. Some of these cacklers stuck around all season allowing for a few bonus-gunning opportunities on them.
Overall Hunting Report: I was fortunate enough this year to hunt several states across the country, ranging from Alaska, to Texas. This year stands as one of my most successful seasons to date. I was able to get into the field close to 50 days and saw the highest bird per hunt and bird per hunter average I have seen in my hunting career. Hunting in Washington was the most consistent, mainly because it offers so many different options. Last year saw a few more “epic” hunts, but this year was more consistent. Overall, a year for the books.

Name:  Travis Lyle  
Location:  Western NV
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season:  If you thought the weather was bad last season it was worse this one.  Snow pack is almost nonexistent.  As it stands right now most of the duck clubs will be dry by June.
Winter Snow Summary:  Put it this way, ski resorts have shut the doors in mid-January do to the lack of snow.
Season Water Conditions:  Lowest I’ve seen in my life of duck hunting.   It’s looking like next season will be even worse.
Overall Feeding Conditions:  If it didn’t grow wild there was no man made food like corn due to the lack of water for the farmers.  Lots of widgeon grass in some spots but not much else.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years:  We seem to have more gadwalls this season, just as many spoonies around as previous years.  Mallards were hard to come by.  Most other puddlers and divers were lower numbers.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years:  Most of the geese came and went. We only had a small window on the snows and swans this season.  Had to scout real hard if you wanted to get any honkers, or own land.
Notable Duck Migrations:  Never had big numbers.  Most stopped for a day or two and pushed on. 
Notable Goose Migrations:  Geese were the same as the ducks.  You had to hit it just right.  Or, if you could have hunted the golf course you could have killed a few.
Overall Hunting Report:  Lots of guys didn’t even bother with buying stamps to hunt ducks and most guys hung it up early.  With that said if you put time in scouting and knowing a little bit about ducks/geese behavior you could get a few.  Hunter edict is dead, found out first hand this season.  Weekdays were the best days to get out, and mid mornings worked well too.

Name:  Gene Carter
Location: Upper Sacramento valley
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Drought conditions continued in CA throughout most of this season. We did how ever have a wet December, but a very dry January - over 33 days with no precipitation at all.
Winter Snow Summary:  Very little snow in the mountains of CA
Season Water Conditions: Below normal – Record low water numbers
Overall Feeding Conditions: good
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Banner year for duck numbers.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: There were more snow geese where I hunt this year. Specks are up as well. It was another great year for geese in the Sacramento valley this past season.
Notable Duck Migrations: Pintail, Green wing Teal, Widgeon & Spoon Bill numbers are very good. Mallard count / numbers seem lower then past years.
Notable Goose Migrations: Both specks and snow geese have moved off the flooded fields and into the dry harvested fields. Those I have spoken with this past week are doing well with large decoy spreads - 500 to 3,000 decoys.

Overall Hunting Report: for this past season it was very good, even with low water conditions in the State. For those that were able to receive water via state or from ground wells had great hunting success. If the drought continues we could see a negative impact on hunting in the future. 

 

Central:
Name: Kirk Steffensen

Location: Lincoln, NE

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Highly variable temperatures were the main player during this year’s season.  We had below freezing temperature during early teal season and 60o+ during the late season.  Most ponds froze out very early this year (mid-November).

Winter Snow Summary: Not much during duck season, just this past 13 inches during the last week of goose season.

Season Water Conditions: Good water conditions; however, shallow water and small ponds froze out very early.  Even the big rivers started carrying ice way before normal dates.

Overall Feeding Conditions: Typical, lots of corn and bean fields in the area and farmers got them picked on time.

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Duck pushed into and mainly through the area in one mass migration in mid-November.

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Dark goose numbers seem to increase annually.  City limits were holding thousands and thousands of birds.

Notable Duck Migrations: One notable migration occurred in mid-November and one smaller migration in early-November.

Notable Goose Migrations: Similar to the duck migration but more geese hung around.

Overall Hunting Report: Overall, our duck numbers were slightly down from previous years but this in highly inflated by some early teal and small, dabbler ducks hunts.  Mallard numbers would have been way below average.  Goose hunting was more difficult as the variable weather conditions made them tough to pattern. 

Name: Jared Shepard

Location: Scottsbluff, NE

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: This year brought much more moisture than last year in the form of snow. It was also much colder for a longer period of time than last year.

Winter Snow Summary: We received over 30 inches of snow in this region.

Season Water Conditions: The river remained slush and ice free for the majority of waterfowl season but due to the prolonged colder temps, local ponds and non-warm water creeks froze sooner and stayed frozen for most of both duck and dark goose seasons.

Overall Feeding Conditions: Plenty of food remained on the ground but due to the depth of the snow it remained difficult to get to.

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Duck numbers were down drastically from last year but only in spurts. Last year duck numbers were more consistent throughout the season. I believe overall numbers were good but only when they were here…

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Dark goose numbers were excellent this year and definitely comparable to the good numbers we have seen the past couple years.

Notable Duck Migrations: Three notable migrations occurred this past season. All three were reverse migrations around Christmas, the middle of January and the last weekend of duck season.

Notable Goose Migrations: I did not observe any notable goose migrations as we had a good number of geese almost all season despite the cold and snow.

Overall Hunting Report: This past season may not have been one for the record books but I don’t think you will hear many complaints from the local waterfowl hunters. Some days lead to barnburners while others left you wanting to burn a barn to keep warm. After all, it is called hunting…

 

Mississippi:
Name: Justin Weber
Location: Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: This year was probably one of the coldest years I can remember. The early season started out pretty typical with storms and lots of rain. Once November rolled around it was a completely different weather pattern. The temperatures were in the single digits in the middle of November and the weather stayed this cold until early December. The late season was actually quite a bit warmer than I expected with the extremely cold weather in November.
Winter Snow Summary: We had snow on the ground from the middle of November to the end of the season. Most snow in a hunting season that I can remember!
Season Water Conditions: Water levels weren’t very high by any means but most ponds and sloughs had enough water to hold birds.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Corn was cut earlier that most years due to the cold weather and snow. The birds had good feed throughout the whole season. Birds were hitting fields day and night for the majority of the season.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Duck numbers were very high in the state at certain points of the season. Teal hunting was all about scouting and being right where the birds wanted to be. Good numbers where found if you were willing to get out the mud motor. Wood ducks had another great hatch and were like mosquitoes it seemed like. The real highlight to the year was the concentration on Canvasbacks that made their way down the Mississippi all at one time. Watching groups of 1,000+ plus cans work your spread never gets old. Mallard numbers were very high as they were forced to come down sooner than previous years.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Goose numbers were pretty normal compared to previous years until it got to be later in the year. It was a challenge having to hunt the huge numbers of birds that were roosting in the area. Big spreads were an absolute must to get birds to even give you a second glance.
Notable Duck Migrations: We had a big push of mallards come through in November. Cans also came through in good numbers on the Mississippi River. A lot of birds did fly right through the state, it seemed like, with the extreme weather conditions. Greenhead hunting was stellar if you were willing to put in the time.
Notable Goose Migrations: The early season was pretty typical with small groups of geese using the area and birds migrating every now and then. Once the cold front hit birds we everywhere and stuck around for the remainder of the season.
Overall Hunting Report: It was hands down a great season. Early season teal hunting was fantastic as well as big duck season. Goose hunting was phenomenal during the latter half of the season. Ducks hitting cornfields was a nice little treat to top it all off!

Name: Brandon Geweke  
Location: Lake County
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: This season was exceptionally great for weather, it was pretty consistent gradually getting colder throughout the year, typically mid Nov. we get a freezing snow mix that will push the birds just 2 hours south of us, but this year we did not get that and the birds staged heavy in our area.
Winter Snow Summary:  we did not see an heavy snows until season was closed, throughout the season we got roughly 8-10 inch’s total. Which was very light compared to previous years.
Season Water Conditions: Most of the lakes that connect to the fox lake water system were low this season, if you did not have a mud motor for the second half of the season then you were staying home.
Overall Feeding Conditions: For the majority of the year I saw geese and Mallard hitting Corn fields hard, normally when we get any rain they will transition over to soy bean but this year they hit the corn fields hard which was great for us.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Our duck numbers were great this year; I would have to say the best we have seen in 10 years. We were having shoots our of the fields like we were in North Dakota
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Goose numbers were up greatly as well. Like I stated previously the migration that came through our area staged here for 3-4 weeks and made it for some unreal hunts.
Notable Duck Migrations: Mallards did not really show up until the end of Oct and stayed until the 1st week in Dec. The numbers continued to build until the end of the season.
Notable Goose Migrations: We started to see heavy numbers mid Oct. and continued until end of Dec.
Overall Hunting Report: Our early season goose season was one of our weakest seasons to date, but on the reverse our regular season was one of the best we have experienced in years. Normally when Dec comes we are having to sit all day to try and scratch our limit but this year there were so many birds that wanted to work almost every time made for some great shooting and great hunts!

Name:  Steve DeMaster
Location: Peoria IL 
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season:
Had a very bad cold snap right when me got our main push of ducks and they kept on going. Had the same ducks all year long. Never got the big push of geese due to not enough snow north of us. 
Winter Snow Summary:  very little amounts of snow 
Season Water Conditions: frozen half the season 
Overall Feeding Conditions: dry fields and open water. 
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: we had good numbers in the start and tapered off through out the season 
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years:  last year outstanding. This year was about half.  
Notable Duck Migrations: none 
Notable Goose Migrations: none 
Overall Hunting Report: bad year 

Name:  Shaun Patrick
Location: Troy MO
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: We caught a huge cold front the second week of the season that started forming ice early. We experienced flooding in the summer that forced us to not complete a few of the projects we needed to at our club.
Winter Snow Summary:  Basically non-existent
Season Water Conditions: Water levels for us were good all season long; we caught rains when we needed it. We did ice up earlier than normal.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Good food in the area throughout the season. Ducks were hitting the corn hard from the start to the finish.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Good numbers in our area, our problem was that when they got on the full moon phase about mid season, they stayed that way until the end.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: We had some birds push into the area, but nothing like last season.
Notable Duck Migrations: Veterans Day was the biggest push of the season; we had a few smaller pushes but nothing of note. Our birds stayed in our area because our weather did not change, and they were educated within 2-3 weeks of being there, overall made for a tough go of it the last half of the season.
Notable Goose Migrations: We had one notable push about mid January, other than that our numbers stayed lower than in the past.
Overall Hunting Report: This was a tough year, with some excellent hunts, and others that were extremely difficult. I can’t remember a season that stalled out as much as this season only mid way through, and never remember birds staying on a night feeding pattern for as long as they did. Overall it was a mediocre season, not the worst, but certainly not the best in recent years.

Name:  Will Harvey
Location: Glenwood, MN
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Cold early and then warm mid season, then bitter cold for the end of the season.
Winter Snow Summary:  Low snowfall this year. What little we got melted during the many warm ups we had in December and January.
Season Water Conditions: Water levels were a little low, but pretty close to normal.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Feeding opportunity was there, lots of corn around that came out pretty close to the average date.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Poor
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Poor
Notable Duck Migrations: Big one pre-season when we got a hard frost in the beginning of September. Also had the big freeze 2nd week of November.
Notable Goose Migrations: We had a good push in the 2nd week of November when the big snowstorm hit and most everything froze overnight. Lots of geese moving south for a week or so.
Overall Hunting Report: It was a tough season. Goose numbers were low throughout almost the entire season until mid November. Our local ducks froze out early, weeks before the season, and then warm temps in October never pushed new birds down. In early November, it went from unseasonably warm to freeze up in about 5 days. Overall, it was a pretty rough season for this guy. Lots of miles on the truck, and not much to show for it. Next year will be better

Name: Richard Shamla
Location: Clara City MN
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: The was mild for the first part of the season.  From November on the weather turned cold and snow pretty much shut down the late season hunting.
Winter Snow Summary: About a foot of snow came in early November and after that it was low amounts of snow.
Season Water Conditions: Water levels were higher prior to the duck season and receded to below average as the season opened.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Harvest was early this year, which made for good feeding opportunities.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Beginning numbers were good and the first weekend was good.  After the first week we saw little migration through the area.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Early season population was the lowest I have seen in a long time.  As for the regular season the number were never very high in this area. The snow and cold pushed a lot of geese right through the area without a stop over.
Notable Duck Migrations: Most notable was during the storm in early November and it pretty much closed our season down at that point. 
Notable Goose Migrations: Late October saw a trickle of the migrating geese that was followed by a pouring of geese through the are in November around the cold and snowstorm.  Unfortunately most just went right through the area. 
Overall Hunting Report:  Weird year lowest numbers of geese I have seen early season, but we harvested the highest number I can remember.  The duck was good for about a week, but not after that.  Regular goose season was the season that never came.  Everyone was waiting for late season in this area instead we got a foot of snow and cold that ended the season when it was supposed to be its best.

Name:  Greg Owens
Location: SE Minnesota Rochester Area
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: We had a very early freeze up this year in the beginning of November.
Winter Snow Summary:  Very little snow
Season Water Conditions: Everything froze up very early this year, other than that, the water conditions were about normal.
Overall Feeding Conditions: very good
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: They all came through in one giant wave.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Lower than normal
Notable Duck Migrations: Huge migration in early November as everything was freezing up
Notable Goose Migrations: Huge migration in early November as everything was freezing up.
Overall Hunting Report: We had a very good season around here.

 

Atlantic:
Name:  Kevin Addy
Location: Reading, PA
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Much warmer year until late Dec. Birds trickled down again this year.
Winter Snow Summary:  Much less snow than last year. We didn’t have anything until Jan.
Season Water Conditions: The water levels were low most of the year and we didn’t have to fight ice until late this year
Overall Feeding Conditions: Good year for feeding – late harvest followed by late cover crop or none at all.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: The duck numbers were up a little and we had a better variety.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: About the same, maybe a little less due to the weather
Notable Duck Migrations: After NY got hit with some weather we would see more birds a day or 2 later.
Notable Goose Migrations: They seemed to trickle down. No real big pushes that lasted for 2 days. Some pushes were better than others but not like it used to be.
Overall Hunting Report: The overall hunting was good. We worked hard this year and had a lot of great hunts. It wasn’t an easy year but I think those days are gone.

Name:  Mike Bard
Location:  Montezuma, NY
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: A warm October, followed by a sub-freezing cold snap mid-November.  December had unseasonably warm temps mid to late month, followed by heavy snow and sub-freezing temps in early January through February.
Winter Snow Summary:  Very little snow up until late season, when several inches arrived and has continued to accumulate since.
Season Water Conditions: Water levels were normal with little flooding this season.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Conditions were good to excellent September through early December, then again briefly in late December.  Once January hit the conditions turned poor.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Lower numbers overall, however widgeon and pintail numbers seemed to be up.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Numbers remained similar to previous years.
Notable Duck Migrations: Small push of smaller puddle ducks mid-October, followed by nothing more until early December when a good migration of Redheads and mallards arrived.  More divers and mallards came down in early January.
Notable Goose Migrations: Late October into Mid-November there was a steady influx.
Overall Hunting Report: A lot of ups and downs this season, as duck numbers, particularly mallards, seemed lower in the area, which created a lack luster November. Late season started off slow, but got hot at the very end.

Name:  Eric Bartlett
Location: Hollis, Maine
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Weather this year was fairly mild with an abrupt transition to extreme cold.
Winter Snow Summary:  We saw snow early in November that seemed to stick around. Through December not much new snow fell as the season came to an end.
Season Water Conditions:  Lots of water got cold early, which created ice to form extremely fast depending on temperate. Ponds locked up fast leaving moving water the primary target areas to hunt.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Lots of ducks fed on abundant acorns. Due to extremely efficient corn harvesting geese stayed coastal and fed there and on green grass until snow completely covered it.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: My numbers were very poor to years past, about 1/3 less. Hunters I talked to that hunted coastal areas seemed to have had better bag limits.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: We went toward the coast and worked the geese a few times and did fairly well. Once again inland numbers were fairly light
Notable Duck Migrations: I never saw any big pushes of ducks come into my area. We always saw a few ducks or very few.
Notable Goose Migrations: While hunting the coast we did have one day prior to a storm that we got lucky and saw about 1500 geese work the area.
Overall Hunting Report: Anyway we look at the season, the dogs had some great retrieves and memories were made. Numbers were light, but we will still be looking forward to next year.

Name:  Russell Brzezinski
Location: Southeast Michigan
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Weather was predictably, unpredictable.  Warm to unseasonably cold in early November, to warming up in December, to bitter cold, to warming up once again now in the late season
Winter Snow Summary: Early snow in November had us thinking it was over before seasons end.  Probably 14” total season to date
Season Water Conditions:  Good water conditions.  Plenty of water to hunt
Overall Feeding Conditions:  Corn was late in getting off. Hurt us early on, but helped I think later in the season to hold some birds in the areas
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Mallards were up, teal were up, but I thought Pintails were down slightly and not as many woodies as years past.  Divers seemed higher than before.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Goose was about average.
Notable Duck Migrations: Early November had a good push and then again late in December.
Notable Goose Migrations:  Early on and before season saw a lot of geese, then it tended to taper out.  A fair amount around and small migrations coming and leaving.
Overall Hunting Report: Outside of the odd conditions throughout the season (seesaw effect of hot/cold temps season long), the bag was about average for us to maybe slightly better than average.  If puddlers were light, we went after divers on the big water.  If they were stale, we went inland to the fields and marshes to enjoy some days afield.

Name:  Kenny Gray
Location: Chestertown, MD
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: No two days were alike, I know it is an old saying, but “if you don’t like the weather just wait until tomorrow.”  This pretty much summed up our season.  One day rain and warm, the next cold and sunny, with the constant changing weather patterns it made it very hard to pattern birds this year. 
Winter Snow Summary:  Minimal snow during the season and again with the changing weather, when we did get snow it would be gone in a few days.
Season Water Conditions: Water levels were good throughout the season.  With good rains early the small ponds were full throughout most of the season.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Food wasn’t a problem this year.  With early rains, came good cover crops and the birds has plenty to feed on. 
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years:  Duck numbers were down for me this year, it seemed like with the early cold snap we had, a lot of bird just continued South past us.  The divers didn’t show up in good numbers until three days after the season closed. 
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years:  Good numbers were good, maybe even up from last year. 
Notable Duck Migrations: There wasn’t really a good duck migration this year.  We had birds trickle in throughout the season, but I believe the biggest push from the north occurred during our early cold snap and with the rivers and ponds locked up the birds continued south to Virginia and the Carolinas. 
Notable Goose Migrations: A good push early in the season, followed by several smaller pushes throughout the season. 
Overall Hunting Report:  Overall the hunting was tough for me this year, based on past years, you could kill a limit of birds in the first couple of hours and still make it to work, but this year, the birds moved a lot during the mid-day or early afternoon slots, which made it tough on my schedule.  Definitely wasn’t one of our best years, but not the worst either.

Name:  Richard Foley
Location: Fairfield, NC
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: This season we experienced rather mild temperatures most of the season. We dipped below freezing at some points, but it was never consistent.
Winter Snow Summary:  Never got any during the season
Season Water Conditions: We got a good amount of rain during the season which kept water levels stable. Ice was not a big issue either, we had about a week of pretty substantial ice, but that was it.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Birds were feeding early and would loaf a lot of times. Luckily, everybody had a good crop this year, which aided in the bird count.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Above average
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years:  Below, no huge pushes. Snow geese never truly showed up either.
Notable Duck Migrations: We had two notable migrations, one in November and One in mid-January.
Notable Goose Migrations: None
Overall Hunting Report: Good season overall, we bunted a lot of educated birds; however we managed to be successful.

Name: Gerry Mazur
Location: Toledo Ohio just a few miles south of the Michigan border.
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: This season’s weather really ran the spectrum. We had a lot of rain at bad times, which really hampered harvesting of fields. Leading up to the early season not enough rain to fill in potholes and creeks. Low water hunting was then altered by strong southwest winds, which pushes out the little that is here. Boat ramps were very tricky. Cold weather went from extremes. Normal cold weather hunting was crippled by deadly cold for days and shut things down. Not a lot of good weather breaks in this area. Birds stayed ahead of the fronts.
Winter Snow Summary: Pockets of the white stuff a few inches at a time then followed just recently by a foot of snow in the area. Drifting was a huge problem and shut down many counties.
Season Water Conditions: Army Corp of Engineer has levels listed as normal and depending where you hunt it could be that. You do see a fluctuation here in river level depending on runoff.
Overall Feeding Conditions: The food source was here but harvesting didn’t match the little migration that came through. Again as I have stated and have seen articles backing up my observations from the last few years, there is just too much city feeding areas for the birds. The area of Bass Pro just south of Toledo is a prime example. It holds more birds than the 2 refuges on the Lake. City loafing areas are really changing patterns.
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Talking with many hunters here, ducks this season were way down. The most I witnessed in Maumee Bay was maybe 100 ducks and not a very good mixed bag.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Canada’s are around but not where you can hunt. My scouting mileage like many is outrageous and you just didn’t see the birds. As of today at the golf course 2 miles from the house this is the most geese I have seen. Rough count had about 750 in the fairways.
Notable Duck Migrations: Thanks to my great friend and Avery Dealer Jeff Teeter, I saw the greatest duck migration during November at his duck camp.
Notable Goose Migrations: Same sentence as above, firkin amazing!!!!!
Overall Hunting Report: Locally, the absolute worst in 15 years. To the great white north, the most ducks I have ever shot in a season.  Can’t let this pass by without saying. Any of you that have a dog, enjoy each hunt, each retrieve, each moment. I lost my Stella just before Thanksgiving; she was everything and my hunting partner, RIP.

Name:  Marshall Starkey
Location: Essex, MD
Notable Weather: In my opinion it was a mild winter. The cold snaps didn't last but a week or so. Changes/Differences This Season: The geese seemed to be very localized until the last two weeks of the season. Parts of the Shore that normally hold geese had very little while other parts were loaded up.
Winter Snow Summary:  Very few snow events this season.
Season Water Conditions: There was a week or two of ice on bigger water and ponds froze during the latter part of the season.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Good
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Down
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: A little down to average.
Notable Duck Migrations: The divers showed late. There seemed to be a lot of redheads this year.
Notable Goose Migrations: Christmas week and the middle of January showed pretty good pushes of new birds into our hunting areas.
Overall Hunting Report: This year seemed average for geese and less than stellar for ducks.

Name:  Dave Weidner
Location: New Jersey
Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Slightly warmer and less ice.
Winter Snow Summary:  Minor
Season Water Conditions: Good
Overall Feeding Conditions: Good
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Decrease
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: No change
Notable Duck Migrations: One – during second week of December
Notable Goose Migrations: Thanksgiving Week
Overall Hunting Report: Overall fair duck hunting – rather disappointing overall.

Name: Bryn Witmier
Location: Strausstown, PA
Notable Weather:  November was very cold, December was mild and January was in between.  I wish it had stayed cold from November on.
Winter Snow Summary:  We didn’t get much snow until after the season closed.  Now we can’t get rid of it.
Season Water Conditions:  We had an early freeze-up in November and then again in January.  Everything that isn’t flowing has been locked up tight since the first week of January.
Overall Feeding Conditions: Good
Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: About an average duck year.
Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years:  Average.
Notable Duck Migrations:  Nothing great.
Notable Goose Migrations:  We got our normal push during October and into mid-November.  Then it was a trickle after weather to our north.
Overall Hunting Report:  Hunting was good.  Always a good time outdoors.

 

Slide background
Rage Reinvents Its Legendary 2-Blade with the Introduction of the 2-Blade SC
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. (Feb. 24, 2015) — Continuing to lead the evolution in lethal technology, Rage has revolutionized its flagship broadhead and has introduced the 2-Blade SC. Incorporating the latest technological advances from the X-Treme ferrule design with the addition of the proven Shock Collar blade retention and deployment system, the new Rage 2-Blade SC broadhead takes the original design to a new level of lethality.
 
Initially introduced in 2006 with its innovative SlipCam design, the original Rage 2-Blade set the benchmark in mechanical broadheads and quickly surpassed its competition, becoming a staple in quivers around the world. After nearly a decade of dominance, Rage engineers redesigned the 2-Blade with a tapered aluminum-alloy ferrule similar to that of the X-Treme for even better penetration. The utterly reliable Shock Collar blade retention and deployment system was also included to ensure that the blades would remain in place from the time it was spun onto the arrow until the moment of impact.
 
The Rage 2-Blade SC carries over the time-tested leading-edge design, 2-inch cutting diameter and deployment geometry of the original, but new manufacturing techniques ensure that the .035-inch stainless steel blades are even sharper out of the packaging. With a 3/4-inch in-flight diameter, the 2-Blade SC retains its legendary field-tip-level accuracy.
 
The new Rage 2-Blade SC will be available at retailers nationwide this spring. The suggested retail price is $44.99 for a three pack with an included practice head.
 
Rage Outdoors is the world’s leading manufacturer of expandable broadheads, quivers and accessories. A Feradyne Outdoors brand, Rage is headquartered at 110 Beasley Road, Cartersville, GA 30120. For more information please visit www.ragebroadheads.com, or call 866-387-9307
Slide background
Dropshot Panfish

The Best Rig You’ve Never Fished?

By Ted Pilgrim with Brian “Bro” Brosdahl

 

Amazing that such a versatile rig — this prefect presenter of soft plastics and livebait — would be so little employed by panfish fans. In reality, a dropshot rig can be as productive as a bobber and bait, or even a tiny jig. It’s even possible that the dropshot is the most versatile rig of all, providing instant depth control; fishes heavy without impairing or impeding the presentation; shines in shallow and deep water; and activates softbaits like no other presentation.

 

Despite the rig’s “advanced” connotation, the dropshot couldn’t be simpler. Think split-shot rig in reverse. As a softbait delivery method, the dropshot excels for bass. So it’s no surprise that small baits twitched and wiggled in new and tantalizing ways hold equal appeal for crappies, sunfish and big perch. If you can cast, you’re in. If you can tie a Palomar knot, you can master a dropshot rig.

Dropshot Baits

 

Tons of small softbaits now give panfish angler’s an arsenal of sweet options. Yet, while shapes like twister tail grubs excel on a jig, a dropshot activates straight tail worms, minnows and other subtle shapes. Moreover, many classic softbait shapes traditionally threaded onto 1/8 to 1/64-ounce jigheads spring to new life when pinned to a plain hook above a sinker.

 

Consider the Custom Jigs & Spins Wedgee, a lively microbait “twitcher” that marries perfectly with a dropshot. Impaled onto a #10 or #12 short-shank hook above a dropshot sinker, the Wedgee and other wispy sliver-tail baits can be almost magic for palm-stretching pans. Deployed with a ¼- to 3/8-ounce weight, these tiny morsels move with spellbinding action. Other microbaits like Custom Jigs & Spins Finesse Plastics and Noodel and Northland Tackle’s Impulse Bro Bloodwormperform truly captivating dropshot dances.

 

Anything with nice soft appendages and a fine quivering tail is a potentially perfect dropshot enticement. So long as you can nose hook it on a #6 to a #12 fine-wire hook, such as an Eagle Claw L2B, nearly any miniature morsel can be made to tempt bites, including livebait.

 

“Any time I need to put a bait at an exact level and keep it in the fish’s face,” contends guide and panfish pioneer Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, “a dropshot is priceless. Not only can I cast a dropshot and simply twitch it in place, I can also drag the rig, swim it, troll it or even work it vertically beneath the boat or a hole in the ice.”

 

As with any presentation, of course, limitations exist. Shallow dense cover areas, such as thick vegetation or brush are largely off limits. Fish suspended higher than three feet above bottom are also better served with other approaches. But even this situation has exceptions. When crappies or sunfish suspend in treetops or sparse brush deep enough to fish vertically beneath your boat, a dropshot can be the perfect presentation.

Rigging the Drop

 

Based on countless cover, depth and other conditions, a well-armed dropshot can be built with an array of possible componentry. “To detect bites,” says Bro, “I use a 4- to 8-pound test braided mainline, joining it to an 18- to 36-inch section of mono or fluorocarbon, using back-to-back Uni knots or an Improved Albright knot.” Often, when hunting fish within a foot of bottom, Bro says, an 18-inch length of 4- to 6- pound test mono is perfect.

 

The most critical aspect of the dropshot is tying the Palomar knot so the hookpoint faces up. Bro interjects that an exception to the standard dropshot rig often becomes necessary with light biting fish. “Big bluegills often mouth a softbait like humans taste red hot food. So it’s sometimes best to rig with a short dropper, or pair of droppers jutting from the mainline, as opposed to pinning the bait to the line with a Palomar.” Beyond the obvious advantage of allowing fish to more easily flush a bait entirely into its craw—thanks to the semi-slack dropper line—Bro also extols the ‘flutter factor.’

 

“Once the sinker hits bottom,” he says, “a short 3- to 8- inch dropper gives your bait a nice fluttering effect—more movement—as the dropper and bait slowly descend to catch up. I also like that a dropper gives baits a little extra whipping action when you move the rod-tip.”

 

Situational Droppin’

 

“Best rig there is for fishing just inches above low growing grass or small rocks, keeping a bait clean and at eye-level with the fish,” Bro asserts. “With a ¼-ounce sinker and 4-pound test, I can even get down to 20 feet of water fast, and fish with finesse and precision.

 

“In flooded trees and bushes, I’ll position my boat directly above a school of fish, and slide the rig down to a certain level—tops of the trees or mere inches above the level of fish I’m marking on the Humminbird. With Spot-Lock engaged on my i-Pilot, I’ll hover directly above and simply shake the rod tip to activate the bait’s tiny tail. The control you have with this presentation is unbelievable.”

 

For casting to shallow spring panfish, a dropshot can be powerful medicine. “Fish that have just moved up onto shallow flats aren’t real active yet. I use a 7-foot St. Croix Panfish Series rod to pitch a compact dropshot rig past the fish and slowly work it into position. Once there, give the rod-tip periodic nervous shakes, so the sinker stays put, but the bait’s little tail quivers like a defenseless invertebrate, inches above bottom.

 

"A dropshot is absolutely beautiful for putting a bait at the fish’s eye level—right where they’ve got no choice but to eat it.” 

Slide background
Class of the Classic

Four top St. Croix Rod pros qualify for 2015 Bassmaster Classic

Park Falls, WI (February 15, 2015) – To qualify is a big badge of honor. Winning? Well let’s just say the medals and commendations might require a caddy to carry and reinforcement of the fireplace mantle. The Classic trophy alone looks to exceed the maximum poundage for check-in luggage. The Classic is a weighty matter, indeed. And there is a quartet of Elite anglers who will be throwing their weight and baits around under the flag of an all-American brand. Classic qualifiers James Niggemeyer, Stephen Browning, Scott Rook and Brian Snowden will have St. Croix Rod pinned to their chests and immaculately crafted rods in their hands.

 

South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell sets the battlefield for the 2015 campaign. The phrase “intimidating” might best describe the 56,000-acre reservoir and its 962 miles of shoreline. Rugged foothills and plummeting piedmont foretell what lies beneath the surface, as Hartwell’s waterscape is a pulmonary arrhythmia of structure.  

 

True, for one, Niggemeyer is impressed by the scope and cragginess of Hartwell, but definitely not intimidated by the manmade lake. “Hartwell reminds me of some of the lakes I fished out west,” said the California native, now proud Texan. “Before Christmas, I went on a scouting trip to familiarize myself with the lake. I left feeling pretty comfortable.”

 

Pre-fishing is one thing, prognosticating another. Niggemeyer tested the waters in late December, but the dates of the Classic put him back on Hartwell in late February. So how does he expect the bite to play out?

 

“I predict that the bass will be in a late-winter pre-spawn mode, meaning both deep and shallow patterns will be in play,” said Niggemeyer, mentally preparing for basically everything. “I want to fish my strengths, and working a Strike King jig is one of them. It’s a powerful cold-water tool when fished around vertical structure and cover types both shallow and deep.”

 

Painting a waterscape with a precision jig necessitates the right brush, the perfect rod. “I’ll fish a St. Croix Legend Elite (LEC70MHF) 7-foot medium-heavy rod to get the job done. It’s extremely sensitive to soft bites from sluggish cold-water fish, but still has the action and backbone to maximize my potential to land each bite.”

 

Niggemeyer’s secondary approach involves raking crankbaits along fast-falling banks. “I have had a lot of success in late winter/early spring, fishing a variety of Strike King crankbaits to draw reaction strikes from fish that are otherwise reluctant to eat a slow-moving presentation.

 

“Pre-spawn bass tend to relate to 45-degree banks because they offer quick access to deep water. And using the right rod for crankbaiting is crucial, which is why I will reach for a 7-foot 4-inch St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass (MBGC74MM). The fiberglass rod gives me an edge anytime I fish crankbaits, but especially in this cold-water timeframe when fish have a tendency to swipe at baits, resulting in fish that are just barely hooked.”

 

Niggemeyer’s larger Classic prediction? “The tournament will most likely be won by the guy who consistently catches them day after day, as opposed to the one who has a monster day and hangs on for the win. With that in mind, a carefully thought out strategy with multiple options will be important.”

Similarity, not familiarity, is the battle cry echoed by St. Croix Rod pro and Bassmaster Classic qualifier, Brian Snowden. The Missourian is intimately acquainted with Table Rock Lake, which he says mimics South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell. “I have never fished a tournament on Lake Hartwell, but I did have the opportunity to spend an entire week on the water prior to off-limits. It fishes very similar to my home lake, Table Rock.”   

 

In Snowden’s academic opinion, the calendar and cold water will have bass in a pre-spawn frame of mind. “The fish should be in a late winter or early pre-spawn pattern. For fish staging deeper than 10 feet, I plan on using a 1/2- to 3/4-ounce football jig. For this technique, my all-time favorite rod is the 7-foot medium-heavy St. Croix Legend Elite. The rod is very light and phenomenally sensitivity. Plus, the Legend Elite has a fast tip allowing for accurate casts, but with plenty of strength through the lower section of the rod.”  

 

Snowden, like Niggemeyer, already has his fingers on the seams of a follow-up pitch. “My second prediction is that bass will be in major creeks, on channel swings and secondary points. One of the best techniques for catching them is running a crankbait. My choice for throwing smaller, lightweight crankbaits is the 7-foot 2-inch St. Croix Legend Tournament Bass(TBC72MM).”

 

There is a hardened Lake Hartwell expert in St. Croix’s ranks as well. “I fished the 2008 Bassmaster Classic on Hartwell,” said Arkansan Stephen Browning. “I didn't fare well, but I really like the lake. I did spend some time before cutoff trying to familiarize myself with some areas that I didn’t fish during the 2008 Classic.” Seems that a winning formula for Browning will involve hybridizing 2008 intel with knowledge gained from more recent pre-fishing efforts.

 

“I'm going to hope for stable weather patterns leading up to the Classic,” said Browning, metaphorically pounding the Farmer’s Almanac with this fist. “This will help me analyze the winning pattern, or patterns, during the Classic. Nothing would suit me better than if there was substantial rainfall about a week out. That would move bass shallower, which would set up nicely for some shallow cranking.”

 

Again, akin to Niggemeyer, Browning snares a crankbait-specific St. Croix Rod off the front platform. “I've put the Mojo Target Cranker to the test the last two years with wins on the Red River in Shreveport, LA, and would love the opportunity to do the same at the Classic.”

 

Browning’s Plan B considers dryer conditions. “If we don't see the rain and the fish are relating to deeper structure, a football jig on the end of a Legend Tournament Bass Carolina Rig rod will play a big role. This is one of my favorite ways to catch fish during the late-winter season.

 

“If I can find fish using either of these techniques, I should do very well. Confidence is a major player, especially at the Classic, and I know that there are no better rods that fit my styles of fishing than those that carry the St. Croix logo.”

 

Rounding out St. Croix’s fearsome foursome is veteran B.A.S.S. angler Scott Rook. The Arkansan is maybe best known for his adaptability; able to drive crankbaits with a burly baitcaster and effortlessly drop it to the deck and come back up with a finesse spinning outfit.  

Matching Browning’s history with Lake Hartwell, Rook laced ‘em up at the 2008 Bassmaster Classic. And this time around, as he stated in a recent story written by David A. Brown for Arkansas Wild magazine, Rooks said deciphering prevailing weather conditions will be the key to the kingdom.

 

“In late February, if we have a warming spell, it will be shallow-water fishing; if we have a cold spell between now and then it will be more deep-water fishing,” he said. “More than likely, it will be won deep, but if it continues to warm, you can continue to fish shallow.

 

“The weather is going to be the biggest factor in what you can do. And you might have to mix it up some.”

 

St. Croix Rod, like its water-warriors, wears a badge of honor. And the symbol stands as the company’s pride in both its pros and the premium rods they’ll be fishing. 

 

 


Slide background
Plano Elite KVD Speedbag Wormfile Keeps Plastic Shapes Perfect

Plano, IL (March 2, 2015) – It’s often said the simplest solutions are the best answers to life’s little tribulations. Take, for example, the quandary of keeping your soft plastics in the same pristine shape as they were the day you bought them. You know, having them remain in the very fish-catching forms they were designed to be even after seasons of storage later.

Gone are the days anglers would take softbaits from their original wrappings, tuck them into heavy-duty resalable plastic bags and then squeeze as many as of those they could into totes. All it took was one cast with one of these compressed creatures just a few days later to realize this was not the right way to go about it.

The end result? What was once a package of expensive swimbaits, grubs, minnows, worms, lizards and the like were mashed, smashed and mutilated; basically each and every bait rendered worthless because they got bent out of shape and stayed that way.

So what’s the uncomplicated answer to the worm-warping predicament these days? Plano Elite KVD Speedbag Wormfiles – rugged gear that allow anglers to keep their precious plastics in their original packaging and perfectly organized and easily sorted. And the Elite KVD Speedbag Wormfile is constructed tough enough for the world’s most well-know and respected angler, Kevin Van Dam (KVD), to initial them.

“The Plano Elite KVD Speedbag Wormfile is the most efficient system for storing soft plastics, and they allow quick and easy access to your baits for when the bite suddenly changes,” says seven-time Angler of the Year Van Dam. “You can load these bags up yet still keep the integrity of your softbaits. And using only the most reliable plastics is more important than many anglers realize.”

The Plano KVD Speedbag Wormfile features a unique aperture that folds out and opens wide to allow easy access to each and every package of plastics, and then closes tight via a heavy-duty zipper with pulls that are easy to grip, even with gloves on. Durable nylon handles make transportation by hand a breeze.   

New for 2015, the Plano Elite KVD Speedbag Wormfile comes in three sizes to meet every angler’s needs. The 480570 is a 7.5” x 4.5” x 5.5” bag that holds up to 20 packs of plastics, while its bigger brother, the 480670, is a 9.5” x 4.5” x 6.25” totes up to 20 magnum packages with room to spare. And then there’s the massive 480770, which at 14” x 4.5” x 5.5” can house up to 40 packs of your favorite plastics while still keeping its contents un-crushed. 

The Plano Elite KVD Speedbag Wormfile truly is a simple solution to keeping soft plastics in tip-top shape.

Plano’s Elite KVD Speedbag Wormfiles retail for around $14.99 - $24.99.

Slide background
Grip & Grin with Confidence

Rippin Lips new PRO Big Fish Gripper clutches cats and other fish with beastly maws

Chambersburg, PA (February 27, 2015) – Having a good grip is pivotal to premium performance. Consider the carpenter. Without a solid grip of his hammer-handle, there’s little chance of sending a nail true and deep. A NASCAR driver would eat the wall coming off turn-two without gloves planted firmly on the wheel. And the angler? Well, let’s just say feeble handling can result in a lunker dumped boat-side, or worse, that same animal going psycho onboard, injuring itself, even you.

Adult-strength fish-grippers have been subduing aquatic brutes for decades. First finding their way onto crusty commercial boats and saltwater charters, fish-grippers have long tamed oceangoing savages like barracuda and billfish. Today, freshwater anglers manage mega-fish like striped bass and leg-length catfish with these now must-have, handheld devices. Catfish experts Rippin Lips is following the successful release of their original gripper with the new, beefier, simple to operate, PRO Big Fish Lip Gripper. The tool’s burly clamps clutch a fish’s jaw in a single, one-handed motion. Just as easily, a temperamental fish can be released in a solo stroke, making the PRO Big Fish Gripper ideal for both crews and one-man operations.

Defying rust and the nemesis of saltwater, the PRO Big Fish Gripper is constructed of non-corrosive stainless steel, affording years of flawless operation. Giving grip to the gripper – the angler – the solid-state tool features a non-slip rubberized handle with adjustable wrist-strap, yielding even more control.

Rippin Lips cofounder and professional catfish angler John Jamison is a control freak when it comes to dealing with tape-measure catfish. “Safety is number one,” says the decorated tournament champion. “A giant blue, flathead or channel can tear you up. Getting gashed by a dorsal or pectoral fin will ruin your day. The PRO Big Fish Gripper helps hold a giant cat solidly in place while you remove the hook, take photos and measurements, and bring her right back down to the water for a clean release.”

On the topic of weights and measures, Rippin Lips’ PRO Big Fish Gripper features a built-in scale that goes to 50-lbs of fins, scales and fillets. Anything bigger and you’re probably going to round up for storytelling purposes anyway.

The Rippin Lips PRO Big Fish Gripper is introductory priced at $29.99

Slide background
THE PERFECT TACKLE BAG FOR COMBAT FISHING

PLANO'S NEW SOLDIER-STRONG MILITARY BAGS HONOR WAR VETS WITH DISTINCTION AND FISHABILITY

Plano, IL (February 18, 2015) – Word has it that in the days following the Iraq war, U.S. military members relieved stress by wetting a line in the private lakes of none other than Saddam Hussein. Not surprisingly short on tackle, these brave angling soldiers fashioned their own hooks, whittled lures and scavenged odd forms of livebait from the Iraqi desert. Some interesting fish were caught, and for a few hours, the defenders of our freedom relived a passion they’d left at home, but never truly forgotten.

It’s in honor of these service men and women around the world that Plano has designed new military-themed tackle bags—tough-as-armor 3700 and 3600 Military Bags. Constructed with a durable canvas that’s reminiscent of an army rucksack, these fully armed soft bags include two 3700- or 3600-size StowAway® Utility Boxes and feature four external zippered pockets, as well as an adjustable shoulder strap.

Adorned with the exclusive emblems of the Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF), Plano Military Bags make a statement that supports this special organization. Providing recreational fishing, hunting and other family outings for wounded military members, the goal of the MWSF is to give back and thank these men and women for loyal service to their country.

To further demonstrate Plano’s military appreciation and support, these striking Military Bags wear specialized A-Tacs camo – the same tactical Arid/Urban pattern that has proven itself in a variety of outdoor environments.

Soldiers have since talked about the strange monster fish lurking in Saddam’s lakes. If only they’d been armed with Plano Military Bags and StowAway boxes stuffed with their favorite fishing tackle...

Plano Military Bags

Models 447053 / 446053

Includes: Two 3700 or 3600 StowAway® Utility Boxes, 4 external zippered pockets, adjustable shoulder strap

Dimensions: 3700 – 18” L x 9.5” W x 10” H / 3600 – 14.5” L x 8.5” W x 8” H

Slide background
Tenzing Heavy Hauler Sling

Plano, IL (January 7, 2015) – An outdoor lifestyle is physically demanding.  Whether laboring around the farm, ranch or homestead or recreating in your vast outdoor playground, you’ll move a staggering quantity of gear and supplies in your lifetime.  This tonnage can take its toll on your back.  And if you aren’t careful, the outdoors lifestyle you treasure can come to a premature end.

Don’t trade your tomorrows for today.  Get the job done, but lift those loads easier and more safely using Tenzing technology. 

 

The new Tenzing TZ SS15 Sherpa Sling is the ultimate carryall load sling – a relatively simple idea executed with maximum impact through Tenzing’s brand-defining engineering and attention to detail.  The secret?  The Sherpa Sling takes heavy loads off the back and arms and distributes them among the stronger muscle groups in the legs, shoulders and core.

The Sherpa Sling is designed to comfortably tote light or heavy loads, as well as any difficult or awkward-to-carry item. Sure, it makes a great bow, crossbow or rifle sling, but the TZ SS15 Sherpa Sling comes into its own when carrying the hunter’s tree stands, climbing ladders, coolers, decoy bags and more.  Around the homestead, it’s the perfect tool for carrying propane tanks, firewood, hay bales… even laundry baskets. If you can secure the load with rope or any of the three included strap sets, the Sherpa Sling will carry it… easier and a lot more safely. The Tenzing TZ SS15 Sherpa Sling can attach to itself and be worn like a belt until its heavy lifting power is needed.  When pressed into duty, the Sherpa Sling can be worn over a single shoulder, or across the body, bandolier-style.

 

Tenzing has engineered and constructed the TZ SS15 Sherpa Sling with the same standard of care it gives to its industry-leading hunting packs, bird hunting vests and optics holsters.  The result is a product that is extremely comfortable to wear and will perform for a lifetime. 

 

The core of the Sherpa Sling is its 1-1/4-inch ballistic Nylon webbing strap, ensuring heavy lifting capability.  The middle section of the strap is covered with 2-3/4-inch wide, ¼-inch thick Neoprene, providing both grip and just the right amount of stretch for amazing comfort.  This Neoprene section is finished in Realtree Xtra Spandex for additional comfort, durability and concealment in hunting applications.  Both ends of the Sherpa Sling accept Hypalon straps with high strength Velcro closures to secure your chosen cargo.  Three sizes of straps are provided, but rope, paracord or even ratchet straps can also be used in a pinch to attach particularly large or unwieldy loads.  Duraflex hardware completes the list of this small wonder’s high-end components.

 

 

Tenzing TZ SS15 Sherpa Sling

  • 1-1/4-inch wide primary strap webbing
  • 2-3/4-inch wide x 1/4-inch thick non-slip Neoprene shoulder sling covered in Realtree Xtra Spandex
  • 8, 10 and 12-inch Hypalon carrying straps with Velcro closures to secure a variety of loads
  • Duraflex hardware
  • MSRP: $49.99

 

Tenzing products are renowned for their ability to comfortably carry heavy loads, and their new, workmanlike TZ SS15 Sherpa Sling is sure to broaden that reputation.  So start playing it safe by playing it smart.  Take care of your back by letting the new Tenzing Sherpa Sling take over your heavy lifting duties… and start adding many good years to your outdoor lifestyle.

Slide background
Stimulating the “Food Web”

Successful hardwater applications of Aqua-Vu’s new Bio-Lume system

 

ICE BELT, USA (February 2, 2015) – Anglers are constantly searching for the latest difference-maker to help them extract more fish from ice-capped lakes. The new Bio-Lume from Aqua-Vu, a fully submersible, fish-attracting LED light system, is the most recent tool to be adopted by ardent anglers across the northland, leading to rod-bending results. We caught up with Dr. Jason Halfen, The Technological Angler, a technophile and avid ice angler, to learn how he has been using Bio-Lume to put more fish on the ice.

“We have enjoyed tremendous results with the Bio-Lume system fishing for crappies, perch, and even largemouth bass,” reports Dr. Halfen. “We have noted two distinct scenarios where Bio-Lume tipped the odds in our favor. The first is when fishing very stained bodies of water. These lakes are known for strong midday, full-sun bites, and at the same time, limited action on cloudy days or after dark. On such stained waters, we use Bio-Lume to our advantage during the day, especially when fishing under a full cloud deck. Bio-Lume helps by enhancing the dim sunlight that works its way into the old river channels and deep main lake basins that hold winter panfish.

“When Bio-Lume is illuminating the depths, we see more fish on our flashers, and more fish beneath the ice invariably leads to more fish in the bucket.”

 

Dr. Halfen continues: “The situation changes on very clear bodies of water, where the daytime bite is often tough. Savvy anglers recognize that a slow bite during the day often leads to significant fish activity as light levels change, especially at dawn and dusk. A three-step approach that includes Bio-Lume helps to enhance success with this low-light crappie bite.

“First, we spend the midday hours scouting for key locations with a Humminbird ICE 688ci sonar/GPS combo and Aqua-Vu Micro 5 camera system. Specifically, we are searching the deep edges of still-green weedbeds, in depths of 8-12 feet of water.

 

“Second, we set up a base of operations inside a Frabill thermal shelter. In addition to drilling holes inside the shelter, we drill another hole outside the shelter, and drop the Bio-Lume in this hole approximately 6 feet below the surface of the ice. Keeping Bio-Lume outside the fishing area eliminates the possibility of a hooked fish getting snagged on Bio-Lume’s cable.

 

“Then, we proceed to step three, turning Bio-Lume on for at least an hour before the sun tickles the treetops. While short term use of Bio-Lume certainly helps, having the system on longer, to really activate the local food web, can lead to some bucket-busting results!”

 

Already a quick hit with ice anglers, look for Bio-Lume to cast its fish-attracting luminescence across the country as winter turns slowly into spring.

 

Check your local fishing regulations to ensure that you can take advantage of Bio-Lume’s ability to stimulate your fishing area’s food web, and then be sure to add Bio-Lume to your fish-catching toolbox.

Dr. Jason Halfen operates “The Technological Angler”, a media company that produces award-winning instructional products to help anglers learn to use modern technology to find and catch more fish. Let your learning begin at www.TheTechnologicalAngler.com.
Slide background
NEW PREMIUM AERATORS SUCK (AND SPRAY) BIG TIME

Plano, IL (January 26, 2015) – There’s no need to remind you about the price of bait nowadays – but we did anyway. And there’s really no reason to point out the cumulative costs of gas, coffee, breakfast burritos and lost sleep to capture your own bait at zero-dark-thirty. But we did it again… (Stick in there, we’re building a case for common sense.)

 

It was in the spirit of conservation and fiduciary responsibility that Frabill masterminded two new best-of-class, extremely-portable, non-corrosive aerators that will suck, spray and roil the water’s surface in any large container to keep oxygen flowing freely. Welcome the AQUA LIFE 1438 Spray Bar Pump System and 1439 Tower Pump System…  

Got an oversized cooler or rain barrel lying around? Now you can turn it in to the “Bait’s Motel”. How about a boat livewell that didn’t come with a respectable recirculation system, or none at all? Now your catch can stay healthy and happy until tournament weigh-in. And then there are those multi-tasking moments you need an extra bilge pump to either remove splash-water from your vessel, or, to spray water direct from the drink to clean-up fish slime or your buddy’s spilt beer.

 

Engineered to saltwater specifications, Frabill’s AQUA LIFE Tower Pump System stays put on the floor of a non-porous bucket, tank or cooler with its grippy suction-cup feet. The powerful pump pushes 360 gallons-per-hour (GPH) through its PVC spray tube, which is also customizable for length. Tighten or loosen the tube to adjust spray intensity, amplifying or trimming oxygenation. Frabill recommends keeping the surface water constantly roiling to remove naturally produced gasses that can be harmful to fish.   

  

The brawnier AQUA LIFE Spray Bar Pump System purges an impressive 500-GPH through its amply sized spray bar, which comes with suction-cups and 5 ½-feet of flexible tubing to accommodate virtually any sized tank. The device crosses over as a pump-out system, too, for bilging water out of the boat or for a freshwater spray-down of your saltwater craft after a day on the bay.

 

Both models come with a 6-foot power cord and hardwearing copper battery clips for easy on-and-off to any 12-volt battery.

1438 AQUA LIFE Spray Bar Pump System

  • 12V DC 500GPH low current pump
  • Aerates up to 30 gallons
  • Used to pump water in or out of boat or bait tank, as well as wash surfaces
  • Suction Cup Mounts allow mounting to any non-porous surface
  • Spray bar can be permanently mounted or mounted with suction cups
  • Produces close to 100% saturation of dissolved oxygen
  • Package includes: Pump with suction cups, spray bar, mounting hardware, 5.5 feet of flexible tubing
  • Spray tube can be cut to fit bait container
  • Standard 1/2 inch PVC pipe can be used to extend spray tube
  • Replaceable Filter removes livewell debris
  • 6’ power cord with copper battery clips and on/off switch

MSRP $59.99

 

 

1439 AQUA LIFE Tower Pump System

  • 12V DC 360GPH low current pump
  • Suction Cup Mounts allow mounting to any non-porous surface
  • Spray Pattern adjusts from tight to wide spray
  • Produces close to 100% saturation of dissolved oxygen
  • Aerates up to 30 gallons
  • Spray tube can be cut to fit bait container Standard 1/2 inch PVC pipe can be used to extend spray tube
  • Replaceable Filter removes livewell debris
  • 6’ power cord with copper battery clips and on/off switch

MSRP $44.99

Slide background
Missile Baits Reloads with the D Stroyer
Salem, Va. – February 11, 2015 – Missile Baits is reloading their lure line up with the all-new D Stroyer. This new bait is a monster creature bait like the D Bomb that has morphed into a bait with more arms, bigger appendages, and twin tails on the back that will not stop moving. Dick’s Sporting Goods has begun arming all of their stores with four colors of the D Stroyer that will be complete by the middle of March. Dick’s will also be featuring the D Stroyer in their booth at the Bassmaster Classic. The full run of D Stroyers is expected to land in early March.

“The D Bomb has been a great bait for me and many anglers but I have wanted a big profile creature with action to add in my mix,” says pro angler and company owner, John Crews.  “The D Stroyer is a beast of a bait with great action but it is not too big. I am already dreaming of all the events that I will be using the D Stroyer this year.”

The D Stroyer will come with 6 baits in a pack for a suggested retail price of $4.99. The big creature bait will come in 8 colors: Green Pumpkin, Bruiser, Superbug, California Love, Bruiser Flash, Watermelon Red, and Green Pumpkin Flash. Applications for the D Stroyer include pitching, flipping, Carolina rigging, punching, or dragging on a wobble head jig.
 

MISSILE BAITS is a small company dedicated to creating SERIOUS soft plastic baits to help anglers catch more fish. The designs are straight off the top-level professional bass tour. Based in Salem, Virginia, MISSILE BAITS works relentlessly to make the best baits, show their customers how to use them, and stay on the cutting edge of bass fishing. Founded in January 2012, new products and videos will continue to be launched. Log ontowww.MISSILEBAITS.com for videos, tips, forums, and more.
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
2015 Wild Game Suppers

Kirk Baptist, 6365 Raleigh/LaGrange Road in Collierville (Feb. 21); Men/Boys dinner; 5 pm.; Door Prize; free, but everyone attending brings game dish, chicken or vegetables; 854-5884; speaker – Larry Rea of Outdoors with Larry Rea on ESPN 790-AM.

Piperton Baptist Church, 205 E. Old Stateline Drive, Piperton, Tenn.; 901-853-1711 (Feb. 21); speaker Kevin Twisdale, Redemption Outdoors TV; Covington, Tenn.

Poplar Heights Baptist Church Men & Boys Wild-Game Dinner, 1980 Hollywood Drive, Jackson, Tenn. (Feb. 27); speaker Larry Rea, Outdoors with Larry Rea on ESPN-790 AM; 6 p.m.; 731-668-2425; www.poplarheights.com.

Hope Baptist Church Men & Boys Wild-Game Dinner, 6800 Centerhill Road, Olive Branch (Feb. 28); featured speaker crappie angler Robbie Jordan of Bartlett; point leader for Memphis chapter of Legacy Outfitters; 662-890-4673 or 662-893-4173.

Longview Heights Baptist Church Beast Feast, 4501 Goodman Road in Olive Branch (Feb. 28); featuring John Croyle, founder and executive director of Big Oak Ranch in Springville, Alabama; defensive end for the University of Alabama’s 1973 National Championship football team; free family expo from noon to 5 p.m. featuring Brodie Swisher, Joe Mac Hudspeth, Carl Graham and Buck Gardner; Beast Feast tickets $10 for adults and $6 for children under 12 (dinner space is limited).

Trinity Baptist Church wild-game supper, 8899 Trinity Road in Cordova (March 5); speaker Brodie Swisher; 6 p.m.; 901-759-5955.

LaBelle Haven Baptist Church Wild Game Dinner (March 6), 4800 Miss. 305 North, Olive Branch, Miss., 38654; speaker Marvin Tharnish, pastor of Brookside Baptist Church; tickets $5; door prizes will be awarded; 6:30 p.m.; (662) 893-2273; www.labellehaven.org; pastor Dr. Jim Butler.

Bartlett Hills Baptist Church, 4641 Ellendale Road in Bartlett (March 7); speaker Andy Morris, senior pastor at The Highlands Church in Finger, Tenn.; guide and founder of Southern Drake Outfitters.

Slide background




2015 Mid-Show Sports & Boat Show
Info and Seminar Schedule

It’s that time again – Mid-South Sports & Boat Show
The 51st annual Mid-South Sports & Boat show is coming to the Agricenter in East Memphis Feb. 20-22.
If wall to wall boats, fishing tackle, seminars, vacation destinations and even a chance to rub shoulders with some of the Mid-South’s most well-known outdoors personalities aren't enough, the 2015 Mid-South Sports & Boat Show will have some special guests.
Noted Mid-South angler Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service on Greers Ferry Lake near Heber Springs, Ark., will be among the featured vendors and seminar speakers. Among the topics Cauley will also talk about is the Tennessee-based Cricket Rocket and, for sure, tips on how to fish Greers Ferry Lake.
“The Professor,” Wilson Frazier of Frazier Marine Group will conduct a seminar on Sonar and GPS. With more than 30 years of Pro-Staff and technician work for Lowrance, Frazier started developing products that would help aid him in his work. Eventually this led to developing products for the average consumer as well as the pros.
Big Joe Napier of Springville, Tenn., will talk spring bass fishing with seminars at 6 p.m. on Feb. 20, 3 p.m. on Feb. 21 and 11 a.m. on Feb. 22. Napier is a cancer-survivor who has taken his love of fishing to the highest level.
“You see life has been hard but I never give up and I am still alive even after cancer tried to take my life at the age of 6 months,” Napier says on his web site (www.bigjimnapier.net). “From a mother who never gave up and said this baby will live if it’s the last thing I do in life and I owe everything to her.”
You will not want to miss Napier’s story.
If that’s not enough, Polaris’ new Slingshot will be featured at this year’s show. The three-wheel motorcycle made its Mid-South debut at a recent auto show in Memphis.
“It was the hardest I have ever worked a show in 40-some odd years of working shows,” said Frank Barton, owner of Barton Powersports in West Memphis and Jonesboro who will have a Slingshot in his booth at the Mid-South Sports & Boat Show.
To be truthful, Barton said, “The Slingshot is a motorcycle that is not a motorcycle. It’s a motorcycle in name only, and it is a motorcycle until you sit into the seats. When you sit in the seats it becomes a sports car.”
And the most common reaction when people first see the Slingshot? “It looks like the Batmobile,” Barton said with a laugh. “I think it is going to be a game changer in the automotive industry because it’s a three-wheel motorcycle that actually rides and acts and everything like a sports car and it is affordable.”
Check out the hottest new boats and dealer incentives; load up on tons of tackle with discount pricing, along with hourly door prizes and more than 10 hours of seminars.
Show hours will be 2-8 p.m. on Feb. 20, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Feb. 21 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Feb. 22. As usual, parking will be free. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $3 for children 7-14. Children 6 and under are free.
For additional information go to www.midsouthboatshow.com or call (901) 867-7007, where you can print a coupon for $1 off per person.

2015 Mid-Show Sports & Boat Show Seminars

Friday, February 20 (show hours 2-8 p.m.)
3 p.m. – Wilson Frazier, the Professor, sonar/GPS for all fishermen and all brands.
4 p.m. – Jamie Richmond, Natural Resource Specialist-Park Ranger. Arkabutla Lake Field Office, Water Safety.
5 p.m. – Tommy Cauley, Fish-Finder Guide Service on Greers Ferry Lake.
6 p.m. – Big Jim Napier, spring bass fishing.
Saturday, February 21 (show hours 9 a.m.-7 p.m.)
10 a.m. – Jamie Richmond, Natural Resource Specialist-Park Ranger, Arkabutla Lake Field Office, Water Safety.
11 a.m.  – Wilson Frazier, sonar/GPS for all fishermen and all brands.
Noon – Tommy Cauley, Fish-Finder Guide Service on Greers Ferry Lake.
1 p.m. – Mike Whitten, Shakey Heads and Drop Shots—sure ways to get a limit
2 p.m. – Wilson Frazier, the Professor, sonar/GPS for all fishermen and all brands.
3 p.m. – Big Jim Napier, spring bass fishing.
4 p.m. – Wade Hendred, crappie fishing in the spring.
5 p.m. – Mid-South Fly Fishers, Home Waters.
Sunday, February 22 (show hours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
9 a.m. – Vendor Worship Service, led by Larry Rea
11 a.m. – Big Jim Napier, late winter and early spring bass fishing.
Noon – Tommy Cauley, Fish-Finder Guide Service on Greers Ferry Lake.
1 p.m. – Mike Whitten, Fishing with Jigs—Getting down and getting bit
2 p.m. – Wilson Frazier, the Professor, Sonar/GPS for all fishermen and all brands.
3 p.m. – Mid-South Fly Fishers, Home Waters.
Note: All seminars are subject to change; www.midsouthboatshow.com

Slide background






2015 Pickwick Lake Catch-A-Dream Bass Classic

May 30, 2015

For complete information, CLICK HERE

Slide background
TITANIC: THE ARTIFACT EXHIBITION ON DISPLAY AT DISCOVERY PARK OF AMERICA

UNION CITY, TN- Titanic: the Artifact Exhibition is on display at Discovery Park of America from January 31st through May 2nd.  The Exhibition stars more than 200 actual objects recovered from the ship’s wreck site.  This Exhibition is Discovery Park’s first traveling exhibit, and is produced by Premier Exhibitions out of Atlanta.  RMS, Titanic, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier and was granted exclusive rights to recover the artifacts from the wreck site by court order in 1994 (reconfirmed in 1996).  The exhibit is sponsored exclusively by First State Bank, and will be located in the ATA Traveling Exhibit Hall inside Discovery Center.
According to CEO Jim Rippy, Discovery Park plans to have one or two traveling exhibits each year.  “When we built Discovery Center, we built a special 4,000 square foot room just for traveling exhibits”.  The room was built to Smithsonian standards including dust free and temperature controlled features.  “By offering a secure, controlled environment, we have the opportunity to bring more compelling exhibits to Discovery Park,” Rippy added. 
Along with dramatic room re-creations and in-depth research of the ship’s passengers and crew, objects on display in the Exhibition tell one of the world’s most compelling stories.  Every aspect of the ship’s brief history is included in the Exhibition; from its conception and construction to its encounter with the iceberg that changed so many lives forever.  Visitors will come face to face with history as the Exhibition connects them to the tragic events of the maiden voyage and the passengers who make her story so poignant. 
The Exhibition is educational and exciting, offering one of the most compelling opportunities to learn about this historic event.  The story has applications across all curricula including science, math, history, social studies, language arts, reading and fine art.  The Education Department at Discovery Park has worked closely with the Premier Education team to develop a vast array of tools and programs designed to enrich the Titanic story for students and teachers. 
“In addition to entertaining and educating our regular guests at Discovery Park, we are hoping that schools will take advantage of the unique opportunity of having an Exhibition of this caliber so close by, and will bring students here on field trips to see the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” Rippy said.  “To have something like this in rural West Tennessee is amazing.  We are so hopeful that the people of this area and this region will show support by attending the Exhibition!”
Upon entering the Exhibition, each guest will receive a Boarding Pass with the name of an actual passenger who was on the Titanic.  The Boarding Pass will tell where the person traveled from and where they were going, whether the passenger stayed in a 1st, 2nd or 3rd class cabin, why the passenger was traveling and other interesting facts about the passenger.  While going through the Exhibition visitors can imagine what it was like to board this amazing, brand new, practically unsinkable ship.  Guests will learn about the difference in treatment of 1st and 3rd class passengers.  And guests will be exposed to amazing details like the cost of a first class ticket.  (The two most luxurious suites were located on B deck and were a staggering $4,500 dollars; approximately $103,000 today!)
Park officials estimate that a trip through the Exhibition will take approximately 45 minutes for most guests.  Some might take longer if they wish to read all the educational information and watch all the videos available.  At the end of the tour, each visitor will have the opportunity to see if the passenger’s name on the Boarding Pass that they received at the beginning is on the list of survivors or the list of those who did not survive.   In addition, there is an opportunity to have a picture made that can be purchased at the end of the experience as a keepsake.
Titanic:  The Artifact Exhibition will be open to the public during Discovery Park of America’s regular hours:  Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  After gaining admission into the park, the cost of visiting the Titanic Exhibit is $7.00 for a non-member; $6.00 for Discovery Park members, anyone 65+ and groups of 20 or more and $5.00 for school groups and children ages four through 12.  Anyone three and under can go through the Exhibition with a paying adult, free of charge.   
In addition to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Discovery Park of America offers monthly wine and paint classes, clay classes and animal education classes.  Park officials say that Discovery Park has plans for helicopter rides, singer songwriter events, the second annual cardboard boat regatta, visits from PBS characters, a Car & Bike show, concerts, a BBQ cook-off, a chili cook-off, an air show, a beer fest, wine tasting events, a special Alvin York exhibit, a Polar Express event, Santa and an expanded Christmas exhibit in 2015.  The complete calendar is now available on the website.

     Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  To find out more about the Titanic or the park, you can visit the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com .  The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.
Slide background









St. Jude Bass Classic adds Club Division

For the first time, the St. Jude Bass Classic will have a Club division. Members can fish for the chance to win the $1000 top prize for their club.

There is no extra fee to participate. You must be a active bass club member. Deadline for entry is at check-in May 23rd.

The top 3 weights from club teams will be awarded:

1st place: $1000 to the Bass Club /$250 Bass Pro gift card/plaque for the team

2nd place: $750 to the Bass Club /$200 Bass Pro gift card/plaque for the team

3rd place: $500 to the Bass Club /$150 Bass Pro gift card/plaque for the team

The more teams your club enters, the better your club’s chance to win. Each team qualifies for all other team prizes. Money provided for the club tournament is provided by the sponsorship of the Memphis Auto Market. For more information, contact Rick Lesley at ricklesley@hotmail.com or call 901-412-7683.

Slide background
Lew's partners with Missouri FOP in fundraiser for wounded Springfield police officer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Feb. 13, 2015) - Lew's and the Missouri Fraternal
Order of Police have teamed in a major fundraiser to benefit
Springfield, Mo., police officer Aaron Pearson and his family. Pearson was seriously wounded late last month while responding to a burglary call.

The fundraiser, deemed the "Team Pearson Boat Raffle," is the result of Lew's officials providing the FOP with significant prizes to stimulate ticket sales in support of the Pearsons' needs. The grand prize is a fully rigged 2015 Ranger boat with trailer and a Mercury 250 horsepower outboard motor, a package valued at $75,000. The two runner-up prizes are considered "dream fishing trips," as each is with a nationally recognized angler.

One trip is with Hank Parker, host of the "Hank Parker's
Outdoor Magazine" television show and a two-time
Bassmaster Classic champion. The other trip is with Jason
Christie, a highly successful Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour bass tournament angler, who is currently ranked the #1 pro in the world by BassFan.com. Both trips are for the respective prize winners and a guest.
Officer Aaron Pearson was shot while on duty in
The Parker prize package is valued at $10,000 and the Springfield. Groups from all areas have rallied insupport to help Pearson and his family.
Christie trip $5,000. All three prizes also include an assortment of fishing rods, reels, tackle bags and lures. Raffle tickets cost $20 each and can be purchased at www.officerpearson.com.

Lew's is headquartered in Springfield. CEO Lynn Reeves says that Pearson is a true American hero, and the team at Lew's has a responsibility to help.

"Officer Pearson is an American hero," Reeves said. "He sacrificed to keep our community safe. We know that it's now our turn to make sure Aaron and his family have everything they need to see them through their challenges ahead."

While Pearson has been steadily improving, and is now out of the ICU, he will face long-term care and rehabilitation.

"Aaron's an outstanding officer and we're ready to stand by him," said Mike Evans, president of the Springfield Police Officers Association. "So many local businesses have come forward to help, and we're thrilled to see this effort from Lew's. With everyone coming together for this raffle, I think we'll be able to take great care of Aaron and his family. And that's what it's all about."

Reeves also said a number of outdoor industry companies in addition to Lew's helped make the prize packages possible, and extended a "thank you" to them on behalf of everyone in the Springfield area. packages possible, and extended a "thank you" to them on behalf of everyone in the Springfield area. Among the other prize contributors were Grosse Savanne Waterfowl and Wildlife Lodge, Gene Larew Lures, Plano, Onyx Lifejackets, Strike King, River2Sea, Rat-L-Trap, Owner Hooks, Bullet Weights, K2 Coolers, Ranger Boats, Mercury, Humminbird, MinnKota, Power Pole, TH Marine and HydroWave.


Mike Evans, president of the Springfield Police Officers Association, stands alongside the "Tournament Ready" 2015
Ranger bass boat that is the featured item of a grand prize package that local-based Lew's and many of its fishing industry friends helped provide for a raffle to benefit wounded Officer Pearson. (Click for hi-res image)

Team Person Boat Raffle tickets are available for purchase during the period of Feb. 13 - May 31, 2015. A third-party accounting firm will conduct the drawing on June 5, 2015.

The Missouri Fraternal Order of Police Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization. The Missouri Constitution, Article 3, Section 39(f), states that any organization recognized as charitable or religious pursuant to federal law may sponsor raffles and sweepstakes in which a person risks something of value for a prize. Such laws vary by state. The Team Pearson Boat Raffle is void where prohibited.

Visit www.officerpearson.comfor more details about Officer Pearson, the fundraiser and prizes.

Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Rules...On The Go?

We had some deer hunters using the pot on the wrong spot. All along a road. I wrote a little something to help them understand they could leave their rifle in the road but needed to unload in the bushes …………………
As some of you perhaps saw, I wrote a note on the sign-in board about the need to do alimentary paper work out of the road. Some of the Ames house wives, having occasion to be out on the field trial courses and one class of Vet Students made comment about how unsightly toilet paper was, as one metaphor-minded wife put it, “strung along the road like popcorn on a Christmas string.” I will have to confess, I went, I saw and t’was so … and popcorn strings no longer adorn my tree. Now, certainly nature calls and sometimes it comes on a fellow about like a tactical team coming through the door. It is something that cannot be ignored or denied. When you gotta go, dawdling is often not an option and the woods are after all, deer stand aside, our throne.
It reminds me of a day about 10 years ago when I was making one of my “get-in-shape” jaunts down toward Calley Bell. Suddenly, and I mean suddenly, that niggling little back-of-the-mind discomfort came roaring to the fore, or to be more precise about the whole thing, to the aft. It was almost certainly the courtesy of a lunch time pork sandwich catalyzed by a 90-degree day. There was no denying the urgency and there was no way I was going to get back home. I was not going to get half way back home. I was not going to get much of anywhere except right here.
I bounded off into the bushes and made do as best I could under the circumstances.
At the time we had two Golden Retrievers, one of which is still alive. Timber was just under two years old and was already a powerful dog, not full grown but pushing 85 pounds and strong enough to pull a truck out of a mud hole. He once confounded two vets who thought they were going to have to break off his clamped-down tail to get his temperature. I cannot repeat just what it was the vets said, but they did indicate it was the first time the rear end of a dog had nearly whipped them.
From my perch I could see Timber out in the soybean field. Our other dog, Nugget, would lay down, hiding in the tall vegetation and this would drive Timber to distraction as he tried to find her. He was bouncing in great kangaroo leaps, high above the tops of the 3-foot-tall beans as he looked for her. I was peeping out among the grasses hoping against hope he did not find me.
But of course he did. At the top of one of his leaps I saw gleeful recognition as he spied me hiding in what surely seemed to him to be a “let’s play” stance.
And so, here he came, head periscoping above the beans with a look or pure and unadulterated joy. This was shaping up to be a disaster of major proportions … 85 pounds of enthusiasm in my lap was not what I needed at the moment.
Overwhelmed with his good fortune in finding me, he looked a little flummoxed on how to make the best of the opportunity. Questing about for few seconds he picked up several sticks before settling on a big one, a small log really. He has always carried things, usually sticks of wood and spends a fair amount of the winter dismantling my firewood pile. The stick he had in his mouth was full on to 5-feet long and carrying it sideways here he came, a bundle of canine catastrophe, full tilt, head up and convinced that the best game in the world would be to knock Master over. There was simply no where I could go. I felt like Robin Hood facing Little John, and condemned to play the part as a wee gnome jabbing my finger frantically at Little John’s knees.
I could not even crab around and try to get away. I was stuck.
At the last moment I spied me own shillelagh, a small whip of a stick, but it was all I could reach. Balanced in a most precarious three point stance I could do little to counter the thrust except to parry the intended blow over my head as he pounded past. He raced on about 30 feet and turned much like a battle horse, big neck bowed, eyes on me and the stick tilting in his mouth like the wings of a banking airplane. Then he came again, charging from behind.
My fighting blood was up now. The uncouth lout, he had me at every disadvantage. Coming from behind was entirely unsporting; but the geometry worked a bit to my favor should he actually manage to topple me over. With that small strategic advantage I was able to give a little more attention to counter moves.
This time as he came flying by I was able once again to parry the blow over my head, and also to give him a stout whack on the rump. The effect was much like hitting a tractor tire with a ball peen hammer. There was no effect. He was a big dog and tough. I doubt he felt it.
But my parry had managed to partially dislodge the stick and as he made the turn this time he dropped it and gave me a speculative look. I watched him too, barely able to peep above the grass, but I could see him clearly enough. He studied the situation for a moment and picked up the stick again, but this time very near one end. It looked like he was smoking an enormous cigar and here he came, his great head cocked sideways and the stick, much like the jouster’s lance was aimed directly at the center of my chest.
This was a new strategy and it took me unaware, so much so I barked out an involuntary little “oh.” I had known him to be a highly intelligent dog, but I had not given him the credit he just now proved he deserved. I was actually a little proud of him, but was not able to dwell on the matter because here he came, a knight of old; and the image would not have been any less vivid if he’d had a demonic monkey on his back holding the lance and clearly bent on ignoring every ideal of chivalry in the pas d’armes. Lance against shillelagh, the only battle so far, and so far as I know, ever recorded.
But once again, with an effort inspired by position, posture, and very nasty potential I managed to ward off the blow and this time gave him a smart rap on the snout as he passed, the sharp little blow sounding like a coconut dropped on concrete. This one he felt. He dropped the stick, giving over to a sneezing fit and gave me an aggrieved look as if to say I had not played by the rules. I took all this in with considerable satisfaction. The break in the action gave me time to finally, after a moment, stand and assume my place as leader of the pack.
Completely unfazed he came over for a scratch and a look up to see if maybe we could play this game some more. Seeing no particular enthusiasm on my part he went bounding off into the beans looking for Nugget carrying my small stick with him.
The point of this little story to is to say I went off into the bushes to do my business.
Slide background

Anticipation

While walking on our evening walk
I heard some quacking overhead
And though so dark I knew it was ducks
In a “V” formation and in good stead.

The moon and stars could not be seen
Clouds had hid them from my sight.
How could those ducks be finding their way
Navigating through the darkened night?

Ol’ Dan looked up me and moaned,
He knew quite well they were ducks.
He recognized that quacking sound
And recalled past rides in pick-up trucks.

Now Dan’s a lab and black as night
And he can retrieve downed birds
Which have fallen in the chilly marsh
Following my hand and commanding words.

“We’ll just have to wait ‘till opening day
And fields are flooded in Arkansas.”
Then pent-up energy can be released
With a wagging tail and a waving paw.

The ducks have gone but not very far,
They’ve flown to some nearby lake
Where they’ll doze and spend the rest of the night
On water which has no wave or wake.


Charlie Covington        10/05/14

Slide background

Only You Can Make The Choice

Into the Fray Episode 16: Only You Can Make The Choice Whether or not you choose to shoot is up to you. Just because you have the legal right to shoot someone does not mean you SHOULD pull the trigger. Remember, your problems don't end when you shoot someone; they are just beginning. If you can get out of the situation without firing a shot, by all means, please do that. But, again, that decision is up to you and based on the circumstances at the time.
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background
Slide background