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Capture Better Hunting Photos with Your Phone

In today’s world, most everyone has a phone that they use to take pictures. Where you may have to search for a camera, our phones are almost always with us and the cameras in many of  these phones can shoot some amazing images. We’re capturing split seconds of time we cherish later, sometimes years later, and love to relive the memories. As time passes, photos and video are all we have to look back on special times that meant something to us. Whether it is a beautiful sunrise, an antler you found glistening in the sun, or a photo to show your friends the deer you were chasing and finally caught up to this past fall, it’s always great to have a camera at your fingertips. Cell phone technology has improved so much within the past few years; it allows you to have access to an excellent camera wherever you go.

The roots of my job as a photographer began just like that, walking around with a phone looking for anything that caught my eye. Looking back at those pictures, there were several things I wish I had known then that I know now. One quick way to make your photos stand out is to try different angles of the subject. This allows the audience to see your subject in a different perspective and maybe in a way they never have before. A slightly different angle can bring in more or less light and might compose a unique and different scene.

One thing I always ask myself when I’m photographing something is “how does everyone else do it?” Usually I try to go the opposite direction of that or add some sort of a twist to make it more exciting and stand out. The next thing I wish I had learned was to use the focus for your benefit. Using the focus in creative ways can add depth of field or make your subject stand out more than the [Read more…]

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Those Dog Days Of Summer By Gary Howey

  Not long ago, late winter we wished it would warm up, well, it is happening now with those wishes coming true.

  It is the time of the year, when the temperatures rise, along with the humidity, perfect conditions for some nasty weather and tougher walleye fishing conditions.

  There are numerous adjustments fish have to relate to during the Dog Days of Summer season including: rising water temperatures, rising or falling barometric pressure, high water, low water and the bright summer sunlight all making walleye fishing during this time of the year tougher.

  This is generally when the deeper water areas with less sunlight penetration are where you will find many fish.

  Because of the heavy rain, we have had and the fluctuations in temperatures, things may be different this year, some of the walleyes and other species not in a big hurry to head for deeper water. 

  Just as it has each year, water temperatures will warm up and fish will be searching for more comfortable water temperatures, with the deeper water providing cooler water temperatures the fish need when things heat up. Not only will the cooler water temperatures attract the fish, they move because their food source, the baitfish will also move deeper, bringing the predator fish with them.

  When fish go deep, there are several things you can use to get your bait down to the depth the fish are holding.

  Try trolling using line counter reels spooled with Berkley Fireline and Off Shore snap weights or leadcore line, which allows anglers to get their crankbaits deep. 

  A fish’s movements can vary drastically; this is the time of the year, especially just prior to a severe weather change.

  Fish can detect a weather change long before it occurs using their lateral line, a series of sensitive nerve endings extending from behind the gills along their side out to their tail.  

  Because they feel the weather, changes coming and cannot be are sure how long it may last, walleyes, other species of fish will go on a feeding binge prior to the storms arrival, and then as the weather change arrives move deep, lying dormant, tight on the bottom until weather conditions stabilize.

  It is during the Dog Days that the sun is at its highest point and walleyes, who are very light sensitive, will be more active in periods when sunlight penetration is minimal. Which would be early morning and late evening, when the sun is at its lowest point and sunlight penetration is least. [Read more…]

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Fish the Weeds and Wood For Bass By Gary Howey

  Some anglers seem to develop tunnel vision this time of the year, when some anglers go after just one species of fish and head for the larger bodies of water. 

  When an angler develops tunnel vision, they are missing some of the finest early season fishing.

  Many anglers are hooking onto their boat and running great distances going by some of the best fishing available found, right in their own backyard, those smaller waters that hold big bass.

  Throughout the upper Midwest and especially and in our area there are excellent populations of bass, both small and largemouth and this is an excellent time to take good numbers of both species.

  You will find small and largemouth bass throughout the Missouri River system on upstream in Lake Francis Case, Sharpe and Lake Oahe, in ponds, farm and stock dams, lakes and reservoirs with most having  catcheable populations of largemouth bass.

  After the rigors of the spawn, bass are located in the deeper water, where they are resting up and beginning to feed and as the water temperatures begin to warm, they will become more active.

  As water temperature move into the low 70’s, bass will start to feed aggressively.

  Look for bass this time of the year spending much of the day in the deeper water, moving into the shallows early in the day and later in the afternoon looking for an easy meal.

 In the Missouri River and areas with current, bass will be hanging out throughout the day tucked in behind some sort of cover and in areas with warmer water such as backwaters and in open pockets in the rushers and in deeper bays.

  Anything that cuts or slows down the current, those slack water pockets, are good locations for bass to find shade and a place to ambush prey.

  Points, rock piles pockets in the weeds and down timber, all cut the current and make excellent locations to look for bass in the river.

  Both large and smallmouth bass take spinnerbaits, crankbaits, worm rigs and jigs, but when fishing for smallmouth, it is a good idea to downsize your baits as the larger baits used for largemouth may over power a smallmouth.

  In the lakes, ponds and stock dams look for largemouth bass in ambush areas that are shaded those areas with pockets just inside the weed line, under boat docks, next to down timber or adjacent to brush piles. [Read more…]

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GameKeeper Quick Tip: Managing Your Bass Pond

For a recreational bass fishing pond to reach its full potential and maintain that peak, it must be managed throughout the year. One major component of managing a fish pond is controlling the fish population. If a pond gets overpopulated, there becomes a lack of food and there will be a corresponding decrease in fish size and health.

Controlling the fish population in a pond requires it to be fished enough to take out the right number of fish per year as well as keeping the right size. This process also needs to be organized and kept up with, instead of just “ball-parking” how many fish are taken out of the pond. One great way GameKeepers can keep a detailed track record of their ponds is to have a mailbox by every one of the main docks. In each mailbox is a notebook that everyone fills out when they are finished fishing for the day. This keeps a record of the date, exactly how many fish were caught, the size of each fish and how many were taken out.

For fertilized ponds, try to keep about 20 to 35 pounds of bass per acre per year depending on how bad the overpopulation problem is. If the population in one of your lakes or ponds is balanced, you need to keep about 10 to 20 pounds per acre per year. The sizes of the bass that are generally kept are 14 inches and smaller.

Letting family members and close friends fish these ponds on a regular basis is a great way for all to enjoy and have a part in managing its success. It would not be possible to keep an accurate record of the amount of fish taken out of our ponds without these mailboxes that we put at every dock. Since we have started keeping up with the number and size of the fish caught as well as culling the proper size, there has been a very noticeable increase in the size of the fish in our ponds.

For more info on pond management, read “Habitat Structure for Producing and Holding More Fish”. Some fish species relate to bait more than structure. But even when that’s the case, the bait they’re after usually relates to structure of some kind. So giving your fish something to relate to in the form of structure is a huge step forward to producing and holding more fish.

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Redlin Art Center featuring Terry’s Final Painting And his Farewell Collection By Gary Howey

  When travelers made their way north on Interstate 29 as they came into the Watertown, S.D. exit twenty-one years ago, when the Art Center first opened its doors, they could not help but notice the Redlin Art Center as it rose majestically from the South Dakota prairie landscape.

  Today, there are several buildings adjacent to the Center, but its size and beauty dwarfs them as do the grounds, concrete walking paths, ponds and gazebo.

  The Art Center, designed by Redlin’s son Charles, is the home of one of America’s greatest and most respected Wildlife-Americana artists, original paintings by Terry Redlin.

   At the Center, visitors have an opportunity to view one hundred and fifty of his original paintings as well as other of his artwork.

  The Center, opened in June 1997, is located just on a beautiful tract of land just off the Interstate on Exit 177 along U.S. Highway 212.

  This magnificent 52,000 square foot brick building, with its 38-foot white granite columns, resemble those seen on large southern mansions of the Civil War period.

  Once inside, you will find polished granite, with the main floor of the gallery covered with more than 9,000 square feet of white granite tile.

   There also, you will find over 24,900 square feet of granite from countries throughout the world including India and Africa.

  The grand entrance, welcomes you to more than 10,000 square feet of black Galaxy granite brought in from India.  The same black granite lies behind the railings in the Gallery.  The walls of the Gallery also feature another 5,900 square feet of white Impala granite from Africa.

  The Redlin Art Center an architectural marvel a fitting place to display Terry’s artwork, in Watertown, the place he called home.

  As Terry once quoted, “An American novelist once told us that you ‘can’t go home again.’ He was wrong. In my mind, I never left home, even when physically away. And when I finally returned, it was a great relief. I had a deep feeling that, finally, things were going to be okay. I was reconnected to my past, and to a childhood that was magic.”

  Redlin, a Master Artist, received numerous accolades from numerous conservation groups, such as Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever.  Redlin was designated many times in the 1990’s as “America’s Most Popular” U.S. Artist, and was inducted into the U.S. Arts Hall of Fame in 1992, the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Watertown Hall of Fame in 2014.

  The paintings displayed at the Art Center depict some of nature’s most beautiful scenes, reminding us of our childhood memories and those days gone by. 

  A huge supporter of wildlife and the organizations that work hard to preserve them, Terry’s artwork raised $40 to $ 50 million dollars for numerous wildlife conservation groups including Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and the National Wild Turkey Federation. [Read more…]

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Understanding Food Plot Seed Labels

  Buying your food plot seed can sometimes be a little confusing, given all the choices that are on the market today.  Each year the team at BioLogic gets hundreds of phone calls asking about the seed analysis for the blends they are buying.  Often people want to know if they are really buying good seed or are they buying less than perfect seed. 

  At BioLogic we put a lot of thought, time, and effort into each blend to make sure the end consumer is getting the best bag of seed for the money they are spending.  Before buying a bag of seed, be sure to look for the seed analysis label on the bag.  The label will tell the consumer everything about the components inside the bag, so they will know exactly what they are buying.  We get a lot of questions about the seed label and want to try to explain all aspects of the label. There are numerous items on the seed label, but one item you will really want to pay attention to. 

[Read more…]

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Foliar Feeding Your Food Plot Crops

When using herbicides to kill the weeds in your food plots before planting, M.E.E.N. Green can be very useful. If you are using a non-selective herbicide such as glyphosate to kill weeds, the addition of M.E.E.N. Green will increase the efficacy of the glyphosate. Glyphosate has to be taken up by the weed and translocated within the plant. This is where the addition of M.E.E.N. Green comes into play. M.E.E.N. Green is readily absorbed by the weeds thereby speeding up the absorption of the glyphosate and killing the weed faster. As with any product that has to be taken up by the plant, the plant must actively be growing and not drought stressed. If weeds are drought stressed, they are not actively growing and therefore translocation of nutrients and herbicides are greatly reduced, resulting in very little control of the weeds. When using products in combination always do a small jar test to make sure they are compatible. An added benefit of using M.E.E.N. Green is that you will have some residual nutrients for your food plot to get off to a great start.

If using a selective herbicide in your food plots, such as Weed Reaper  to kill grasses, the same principles apply. M.E.E.N. Green will hasten the uptake of the herbicide greatly increasing the efficacy of the herbicide. In addition to the added benefit of better weed control, you are also foliar feeding your food plot crops. Foliar feeding helps young seedlings produce bigger root systems that aid in the growth and palatability of the food plot. Bigger root systems mean less stress on the plant during dry and cool periods. Food plots that are foliar fed by M.E.E.N. Green are more palatable to deer, because they are getting the vital nutrients they need to produce the sugars, amino acids, and carbohydrates within the plant.

For more food plot tips, read “Getting The Most Out Of Your Clover Food Plots”. Most companies will claim a lifespan of three to five years on their perennials. However, if you care for them properly a perennial stand can last for many years. Perennials like red and white clovers, alfalfa, trefoils and chicory provide dependable nutrition and attraction and are especially important for antler growth, fawn rearing and early hunting season attraction.

 

 

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Exposure to the Sun, It can be Good, Bad and it can be Ugly By Gary Howey

   Summer has not arrived and  we have had ninety-degree days, with more sun and warmer weather ahead.

  A warm sunny day can bring a lot of warmth to people, especially those of us who long to be outdoors after our long cold winter.

  When I was growing up as a kid, there did not seem to be a whole lot of concern about skin protection and skin cancer.

  As I became older, skin cancer was more of a concern as skin cancer was on the rise and if I had paid attention to what was written and said about protecting oneself from the sun, I could have avoided some pain and surgery.

  Too much of anything is not good for you”, especially when it comes to the sun, and spending too much time in it.

  Who does not want to have a nice tan, but there is a very thin line when it comes to getting a tan and developing skin cancer.

   We all need to take certain precautions as getting too much sun can turn into a life-changing event.

  It is really not that hard to figure out, if you get too much sun, it can and will lead to skin cancer!

 Some folks think that skin cancer is something others get but do not have to worry about because it will never happen to them.

  We all need to be aware of skin cancer, as it can happen to anyone at any age and we all should know what we need to do, to prevent it,.

  When a patient hears the word cancer, it will scare you to death, literally. That was the first thing that came to mind when I told that I had skin cancer.  

  I can remember vividly.  I had gone in for an annual Veteran’s Administration (V.A.) physical and thought I was home free when a dermatologist stopped in to talk with my doctor.

   I mentioned that there was a spot on my lip that had been there for a while, not a big spot, anything that hurt, just a spot that would break open from time to time.

  He looked at it, talked with my doctor and told me he thought it was “Cancer”.

 I thought he must be wrong, as it has been there forever, since I was in Viet Nam, it never really hurt and really had not gotten any larger, at least on the outside.

  There was no doubt in my mind that he had made a mistake, but when he ordered a biopsy, that is when I really started to worry.

  How could that be, I thought that I had lead a pretty clean life, never really doing a whole lot  wrong, treated people the way I wanted to be treated, this just couldn’t be happening to me.

  It had come and gone since 1971 when I was in the Army serving in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam. During an assault on our camp and our bunker, I ended up with shrapnel in my hands and face.  It was no big deal, the metal in my lip burnt a little, and I just pulled it out, and after the assault , had a medic look at it, he cleaned and bandaged the wounds, gave me a couple of pills and I went back to duty, never thinking much of it again.

  When the dermatologist asked how long it had been there, I told him thirty years, he became extremely concerned, as did I when he told the male nurse he wanted it biopsied within the next week or so.

  Of course my first thoughts were, I must have not heard him right, my hearing is not the best, so I asked him to repeat it, the next words out of his mouth were “Cancer” and we had better get a biopsy on it.

  A few days later, they performed the biopsy and I spent the next week worrying about what the results might be.

  When the tests came back, the V.A. informed me it was Melanoma cancer, the bad stuff. If it was Melanoma, I had waited way to long as Melanoma is the skin cancer that spreads out throughout the body and it did not look good for me.

  The V.A. made several appointments for me with a plastic surgeon, who told me the only way to see how far it had spread was to keep cutting until there were no signs of the cancer.

  Too say the least, I was worried, as I was in my forties then and thought there were many things I would like to have accomplished before leaving this world.

   The surgeons and my V.A. doctor set up the surgery in Sioux Falls V.A. and when it came time for the surgery, my wife drove me to the V.A., where they got me prepared and rolled me into the operating room. 

  I do not recall how long I was in there, but once I came out of it, the surgeon said, that he thought the diagnosis may have been wrong and it may not be Melanoma and that it could instead Squamous cell cancer and they thought they had gotten all of it.

 Once I heard back that it was squamous cell cancer, talk about being relieved, and today many years later, the cancer has not come back and I have become much wiser about how I prepare when I plan to spend time in the sun.  

  As many of you know, I have  always been an outdoorsmen, hunting, fishing, trapping, outside all the time and I knew that the sun could give me problems, but I never really took enough time to protect myself.

  When I guided and fished in tournaments, I did not use much, if any sunscreen because I worried about getting a scent on my hands that the fish could smell which would affect my ability to catch fish.

  Which is really STUPID?  So what if I catch a few less fish on the  trip, if I get skin cancer, I’m going to catch a heck of a lot less fish as I may die at an early age from not protecting myself from the sun.

  Ever since that day, I worry about skin cancer as you should, if you spend much time outdoors.

  You do not have to be injured, as I was to get skin cancer; you can get it by spending too much time in sun, while camping, fishing, hiking or just lying out on a blanket trying to get a tan. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and one that is easy to prevent.

  There are three types of skin cancer, the two most common types being Basal cell and squamous cell cancer. 

  Most people are aware of Basil cell as it is the type of cancer, that is removed by freezing or burning it off and usually found on the head, face, neck, ears, hands and arms and can be dangerous and spread if not taken care of in its early stage.

  Squamous cell is more serious as it may spread quickly if not taken care of and needs to be surgically removed.

  Melanoma is more dangerous as it spreads throughout the body rapidly, but it is less common. [Read more…]

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Re-Release of the Outdoorsmen Adventures “COOKING GONE WILD” cookbook

Because of a big demand for copies of our 196 page cookbook we are re-releasing our Outdoorsmen Adventures “Cooking Gone Wild cookbook.

It is a collection of recipes that include : Big Game, Dutch Oven Cooking, Fish, Game Birds, Small Game, Turkey, and Waterfowl.

These are recipes our Team members gathered on our travels throughout North America while filming out Outdoorsmen Adventures television series.

The hard cover cookbook is beautifully Illustrated with artwork by Team Outdoorsmen Adventures member and award winning South Dakota Wildlife Artist Mark Anderson, whose awards include winning the 2005 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest.

In the  book you will find some great  Hunting and Fishing tips from Team Outdoorsmen Adventures member Larry Myhre .

 If you are an outdoorsmen or outdoors-women, the recipes in this book will help you to create excellent meals with the wild game and fish you bring home from your successful trips afield and on the water.

Autographed copes will be available for $14.99 plus $5.50 for shipping from Outdoorsmen Productions, 405 N. Broadway Ste 354, Hartington, NE. 68739

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Tick Borne Diseases & How to Protect Yourself Gary Howey

   If you look through your states Game, Fish and Parks, D.N.R. web page or calendars you are going to find all most of the hunting seasons, including deer, turkey, trapping, antelope and pheasant but there is one you will not find there, and that is the tick season.

   Just because you cannot find it listed, do not let that stop you from being prepared for this season in the same way you would prepare for any other season.

  Ticks are those small, sometimes minute disease-carrying insects found just about anywhere, you would find vegetation, grass and wooded areas.

   Once on your skin, they look for a warm moist area to embed themselves to gouge on your or your pets blood.

   They come out in the spring, about the time outdoorsmen and women head into the woods looking for morel mushrooms, wild asparagus or hunting turkeys.

  However, spring is not the only time you will see ticks as these pests hang around all summer on into the fall.

  There are two groups of ticks, the hard or soft ticks. In our area, you will run into the hard ticks, those we see in wooded, grassy, and densely vegetated areas.

  The soft ticks like to live in bird nests, on rodents, and on bats but either can find their way onto our bodies luckily, no species of ticks solely depend on in order to with some ticks are only found on a certain host; luckily and we are not one of them.

  Female tick can are good at what they do, and can lay an enormous number of eggs, anywhere from three thousand up to eleven thousand eggs, so we need to be aware of them and keep them from hitching a ride on us.

  There is really only one way to avoid the possibility of becoming infected with a tick borne disease and that is to avoid areas they inhabit, “DUH”, like that is going to happen, if you are an outdoorsmen or women like me who spends every spare moment we have, out in the field or woods.

  Since we know we are going to be “out and about”, in the same areas where ticks inhabit, here are a few simple precautions that can reduce your chances of a close tick encounter.

  Because ticks crawl upwards onto a host, it is a good idea to cut off any route they might have as they attempt to get on your skin. It is an excellent idea when you are out in the field and woods to tuck your pants legs into your boots.

  To keep ticks from going from your pants, under your shirt and onto your skin, tuck your shirt into your pants and for extra protection, you can tape your pant leg shut with duct tape.

  When out in the outdoors, it is a good idea to wear light-colored clothing whenever you are in an area where you may run into ticks. That way, ticks are easier to see before they find their way onto your body. [Read more…]