It's a sad yet true fact: many upland and waterfowl hunters meticulously pore over hunting gear in preparation for a hunt, only to load their hunting dog into a kennel in the back of a truck as a last minute thought. Should that loyal hunting dog become injured while afield, however, the hunter is often unprepared to properly and successfully aid man's best friend.   Hunting dogs are important, and they rely on you. Make every effort to be prepared when medical emergencies arise, or your dog could pay the ultimate price — its life.   Dangers Afield and…
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    Walleye rivers of all sorts feature piers, vertical structures where walleyes collect during the summer months. Bridge piers, which often funnel the river's current, are the most common. Typically depressions are formed at the base of bridge piers during high water events; woody snags also wrap around the structures. It's common on larger, navigable rivers for sections of riverbank — particularly near industrial sites — to be stabilized by way of corrugated steel walls. In some instances shore anglers can gain access to such spots. Add to this the many fishing piers that exist in combination with hydro-electric stations on…
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Biologists in state fisheries agencies have stated that underutilized catfish populations exist in smaller creeks and rivers from Virginia to Texas. Catfish can live in any water but cold streams at high elevations. These fish are adaptable to a broad range of current and turbidity conditions, thus their abundance. Also, they are extremely hardy, and they will eat virtually anything organic.   Smaller creeks and rivers from Virginia to Tennessee are thriving with catfish. Joe B. Sweeney of Lobelville, Tenn., should have a business card that says "river rat, specializing in catching catfish." The retired angler spends his days on…
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I do most of my crappie fishing in eastern Arkansas where clear waters are as rare as 5-pound crappie. I have no trouble catching crappie in the highly colored oxbow lakes I usually visit, but put me on a clear mountain reservoir, and I find it hard to get a nibble.   To be better prepared for my next clear-water experience, I consulted three experts on clear-water crappie fishing. I explained some problems I've encountered when fishing transparent water and asked how they catch fish in similar situations. The advice they offered should help any crappier score more consistently.  …
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No gas? No boat? No problem! Fuel prices or the lack of a walleye rig shouldn't limit your opportunities for catching summertime 'eyes. Swap petro for boot leather to take advantage of lightly pressured flowing water walleye options — all available on foot.   Bar-Hopping     Shore-bound anglers can enjoy successful walleye fishing by keying in on several specific patterns on rivers and large streams. Rock/gravel/sand bars, typically formed where a feeder creek joins a medium- to large-size river, draw walleyes year 'round. Feeder creeks attract baitfish throughout the seasons — even in the 70-plus-degree waters of summer — and the…
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Maybe you've cruised past their huts on impoundments in your boat as you sped toward a distant hotspot. Or perhaps you've driven past the dams they created with their handiwork and the small ponds behind them on your way to a big lake destination. In either case, you'd do wise to step on the brakes of your boat or car and stop in to check out the tree-cutting work of your local beaver population a bit more thoroughly.    An angler casts to a large beaver hut on a Virginia lake. Work the very outside edge first, then move in…
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For anglers, dealing with the sun and hot temperatures is part of summer fishing. Like most things outdoors, one's comfort and safety in hot weather are directly related to planning and preparedness. It's important to take the time to get organized when heading out into hot weather to ensure you don't get dehydrated, sunburnt or succumb to heat stroke. Here are some tips to keep you cool during hot days on the water.          1. Staying Hydrated         Perspiration is one way your body regulates its temperature. In hot and humid conditions, you need to frequently…
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Selecting the right weapon for bear hunting is important, and knowing how to skillfully use it is even more important.   Black bears often weigh 300 pounds or more; so using the right weapon for hunting may make the difference in a wounding or killing shot when a trophy finally makes an appearance. When hunting with a rifle, most experts recommend .30 caliber or larger. A .30-06 or 7mm Remington Magnum will do the job, but for more killing power, it may be best to use larger cartridges like the .300 Winchester Magnum or the .338 Winchester Magnum. Remember, too,…
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Smaller rivers and large creeks often harbor excellent smallmouth bass populations. Because these places require extra effort to get to, these populations often see fairly light fishing pressure. Such places are the home of the angler with a shallow water jet boat, kayak or waders, depending on the size of the water in question.   Chances are there's some good summertime smallmouth bass fishing in a flowing water near you. Here are some ways of catching those bronze batters during the summer and early fall.   Get on the Water Early During those clear, stable-weather nights of mid-summer river valleys often fill…
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Now that you purchased a game camera, how do you best use it? Well, it depends on the game you are scouting. Trail cameras can be used year around to keep a watchful eye on that buck of a lifetime. First and foremost, be discrete. Don't overuse the game camera, there is no need to check it every other day. Daily intrusion into your hunting spot can only do one thing: scare game away. The whole point of a trail camera is so that you don't have to enter the woods often to scout the area, just leave it be.…
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