Silence is sometimes golden, and when the woods are full of loud bugling and constantly mewing elk hunters, pressured elk simply go silent—and hunker deep into thick cover. Maybe you should also go silent and move less. The less you do, the greater your chances of filling an elk tag.   Staying silent and moving less while scouring the area for antler tips, moving ears and shiny eyes can help elk hunters fill their tag.  1) Know the Turf: Study all available topographical maps and carry a handheld GPS unit (with fresh batteries in your pocket), so you know what’s…
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This autumn, your favorite trout fishing river may be faster and higher due to heavy rains. While fly fishing and wading may be difficult, you can always try swinging streamers. Swinging a fly streamer is one of the easiest, most intuitive and effective ways of catching trout I know. Essentially, you cast slightly upstream, mend the line as required, and let the flow take the streamer until it swings in the current below you. At the end or during the swing, you can add life to the streamer by twitching a rod tip or raising and lowering it here and…
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My guide client Dave and I were drifting along a river section that split around a small, gravel-covered island.  We were concentrating on the main bank, where a deeper trough hugged the shoreline.  We saw steady action all morning, but nothing for 15 minutes or so and were just about ready to move to another area.  Then I happened to look over my shoulder, toward the island, and noticed surface disturbance and a spray of jumping minnows.  Excitedly I asked Dave to fire a cast in that direction.  A moment later he was hooked up with a three-pound-plus river smallmouth. …
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Stand placement is always a tricky thing. So many deer hunting factors need to come into play. One important thing I’ve learned over the years is to try to visualize what you will have to consider on the stand at the time of day and part of the season you want to use it. While this is clearly a good place for deer, the cedars mean that treestands cannot be too high or visibility is affected. With that in mind, here are a few key things to consider before setting up any treestand  or ground blind. 1. Wind direction —…
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It may surprise you to learn that the fabled toothy monster of the Far North, the muskellunge, occurs in a growing number of lakes and rivers throughout Dixie. In highland reservoirs, where muskies gravitate to offshore humps and dropoffs, fish are most commonly caught using trolling methods. Fall and winter are prime times to fish for Southern muskies. As the water chills, muskies suspending in cavernous reservoirs or holding in dark river holes move shallower and feed more aggressively. It can't get too cold for these beasts — they're highly catchable in Dixie all winter long. Want to experience musky fever?…
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As elk hunters across America head afield in search of bugling bulls, the one elk hunting dilemma every hunter faces is deciding whether or not to make a move to get closer or stay locked in place and try to call the bull in. What to do, what do?   Look ahead, into shadows and all around you. Elk can be anywhere as they move. Study and plan a route and keep good quality binoculars on a sholder harness. These rules will help elk chasers everywhere make the moves that help them fill their tag: 1) Watch the winds. While…
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Coyotes can be hunted year round in most states, and if you have problem coyotes keeping your local deer herds (or the family pets) on high alert, then maybe it’s time to turn the tables. There are many good reasons to hunt coyote during early fall as the first frosts begin to sweep the land. The following tips will help make your trips afield more effective. To fool sharp-eyed coyotes, make sure you’re in head-to-toe camouflage, including your hands and face. 1) Bigger coyote packs are easier to spot: During fall months, coyote groups are still close knit and the…
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I was fishing one of our local brook trout rivers the other day when I was reminded of something that makes a huge difference in fly fishing success – fishing current seams. A current seam is a recognizable feature in flowing water where two current flows meet and one is faster than the other due to the geography of the river. In this case, the current seams were caused because the flow was concentrated through two narrow openings under a bridge. These ran beside water slowed by the central bridge pier and the shallower bank. So when that sped up…
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Early teal season is a time for wiping sweat, slapping mosquitoes and popping shells at some of the testiest targets in the marsh. It's also when special know-how must be applied to hunt these fleet birds. They aren't difficult, but neither are they gimmes. Following is a collage of advice on where, when and how to pursue these first ducks of autumn, which few hunters unexplainably do. Where to Find Blue-Winged Teal Blue-winged teal's smaller size and erratic flight characteristics make them sporty targets for hunters in the September special season. Blue-winged teal frequent both large waters and small: lakes,…
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The popularity of ATVs among anglers and hunters is no surprise — these workhorses can carry or tow an incredible amount. They're easy to operate and, when handled responsibly and driven on established trails, they're totally safe as well.         Some say ATVs have taken the place of the horse. They're being used by hunters to haul gear in and pack meat out. Fishermen use them to access backcountry lakes and streams. They're used for other forms of recreation, too, and many owners use them as part of their jobs — on family farms, in oil and gas exploration, by…
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