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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    Ready to spice up your bowhunting with an antelope spot and stalk hunt? Then be ready to boost your skills up a notch by preparing months in advance for perhaps one of the most challenging, exciting and frustrating hunts you'll likely encounter.   The antelope is often referred to in the west as a "speed goat," and for good reason. It's the fastest North American animal with recorded speeds of up to 70 mph on the open prairie. Additionally, their eyesight is superb — comparable to 8-power binoculars — making a stalk extremely difficult on arid land that offers,…
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For fly anglers, as we enter the long dry conditions of late July and early August, fishing your favorite streams and rivers can become exceedingly difficult. This difficulty is due to the low water conditions and abundance of insects to satisfy hungry fish. Fly anglers need to be able to turn from their time trusted nymphs and streamers techniques and go with a more radical approach, flamboyant hopper patterns. As far as fly fishing is concerned, there is not many more exciting ways to catch big browns than with topwater flies. And better yet, big browns seem to have a…
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Flukes — brand name anglers often use to describe one basic style of soft stickbaits — are highly effective river walleye baits when water temperatures rise into the mid 50s and beyond. Feeding fish are found in surprisingly shallow water, often a foot or two deep, in strong current. Less active walleyes often hold in main channel areas, deeper places that still exhibit a fair amount of current. In both situations, the judicious use of soft stickbaits is a top summertime ploy. When to Toss Flukes Fluke-style baits excel when targeting active fish feeding in shallow areas with a fair amount of…
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Grilling is an ideal way to sear in juices and capture the distinctive flavor of each type of fish, including freshwater species such as catfish, salmon, trout, walleye and crappie, and saltwater varieties such as redfish, seatrout, mahi-mahi, shark and tuna. You also keep the kitchen cool, a big benefit on hot summer days. And best of all, perhaps, grilling is quick and easy. Learn a few tips and you can have a delectable meal of fresh grilled fish cooked and on the table in less than an hour. Grilling is a healthy, delicious way to prepare fish like these…
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There's nothing like a small backwoods lake, especially when fishing it for the very first time. The upside is that you rarely see another angler and you're rewarded with a sense of adventure, solitude, and discovery that's hard to beat. The downside is that it's hard to know just where to begin.   A buddy joined me on a classic Canadian Shield brook trout lake. Tall spruce and cedar lined the rocky shore and the long, narrow finger of tea-colored water plunged deep, like a giant trough cut into the earth's bare bones. Everywhere you looked fallen trees connected water…
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    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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