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Learning from the Outdoors By Gary Howey

  I’ve been serious outdoorsmen for over 40 years, each time I go out, I learn a lot from my trips to the field as well as those on the water.

  When I first got into the outdoors, I did it because I thought it would be a great way to get away from it all, those little problems, molehills that I’d blown way out of proportion, making them seem like huge mountains.

  I’m sure that some people just think that hunters and anglers do what they do because they enjoy eating what they harvest.

  To a certain extent that’s true, but too many, like myself, it’s more than that!

  It’s the experience as a whole, an opportunity to spend time in the outdoors.  Where we can enjoy all that Mother Nature has put together and have an opportunity to spend time with individuals who have the same interest that you have.

  I’ve learned from spending time in the outdoors is that there are some people I truly enjoy hunting and fishing with.

  While others, I’d never want to spend time with because of some of the things they do and their complete disrespect for the game & fish they’re after.

  It seems that some people don’t understand why we have limits, while others are down right dangerous when you put a gun in their hand or put them behind the steering wheel in a boat.

  One question that continually comes up at my seminars and personal appearances is why we release so many fish on our television show.  I’m sure that some people believe it’s because we’re fishing all the time and our freezers are probably full of fish.

  Nothing could be further from the truth; we release them because we’ve learned in order to have fish to catch on the next trip, we need to release some of them today.

  If we release some of the fish, especially the larger ones, it will allow those fish, the breeders to reproduce another year and there will be more down the road for us to catch.

  Perhaps that fish we release today will be an even bigger trophy the next time we catch it. [Read more…]


Perch, Panfish & And Kids

I remember when I was growing up in Watertown, when my Grandparents Butch and Mary Menkveld took my brother and I fishing.  They were always fishing and knew about everything there was to know about the outdoors.

  I don’t remember the lake, but I do remember Grandpa giving us a cup full of bait, just enough to get start fishing and telling us, he wasn’t going to clean any of those little fish we usually catch unless we caught over twenty-five.

  He thought that it was a safe bet, but forgot he’d showed us how perch eyes were such great bait for perch.

  That evening when he and I were out behind the house cleaning the dozen of little perch we caught, he mumbled under his breath, “I should have never showed those kids that trick”.

  We were fortunate to have several people in our lives to show us all the great adventures that were part of the outdoors. My father Cal, my Grandparents and good friend and neighbor Glen Matteson got us interested in the outdoors.  Which was good as it kept us too busy to get into trouble, well anyway in much trouble?

  Kids and fishing just naturally go together but there are a couple of things you’ll need when it comes to teaching a youngster about fishing, one is a lot of patience on your part and the other is something pulling on the fishing line, an eager biter, a fish that will take the bait.

  When fishing with kids, the old K.I.S.S. rule is in effect, or the Keep It Simple Stupid rule, which means go with the basics, the old hook, line, sinker and a small bobber. The more difficult you make it, the quicker you’re going to lose the kids interest, as a kid’s attention span is very short.

  In the fishing classes I give to kids as a Nebraska Aquatic Education instructor, I start with the basics, keeping it short and not too complicated, starting with how to handle a rod & reel, the short Mickey Mouse set-ups for the younger kids and a Zebco 202 for the older ones. I teach them how to cast, rig up the basic rig, including how to put a wiggly ole worm on a hook. With some of the girls, this may take a bit of coaxing, but after they’ve completed it once, and have something to wipe their hands off and after they’ve did it the first time, it’s not so bad. [Read more…]


I think its Spring, What we have been waiting for By Gary Howey

  As I look out my office window, I realize, that perhaps, the time of the year outdoorsmen and women have been waiting for has finally arrived, Anyway, it’s suppose to be here, but after this last week, I’m not sure.

 I thought spring was when things changed from winter to spring, the turkeys would break up from their winter flicks, putting together their harems and really start to gobble, the fish should start to bite and getting things done in the outdoors were the norm.

 Well, last week where I’d planned to head for the woods and do some turkey hunting, the wind had really picked up; I thought to myself, thank God, it’s not snowing. I spoke too soon as in came the snow and a late season blizzard and a few days later another, ending my day dreaming about a spring turkey hunt as we had to move wet snow that was piled up over my head,

  Yes, turkeys can be hunted in the snow as I’ve tagged several where the Tom had to push snow with their chest to get to my decoys, but as I “matured”, I find it a lot more enjoyable to hunt on nice sunny days rather than those with wind, cold and snow drifts.

  No matter what Mother Nature throws at us, spring is the time of the year when things really start happening in the outdoors. We can hunt turkeys, hunt sheds, do some open water fishing, as well as getting ready to hunt morels and asparagus.

  It’s a great time of the year, when we discard the long johns and heavy coats, and break out our warm weather clothing.

  As I mentioned, spring turkey hunting is on my mind right now, as we have three tags in Nebraska, two in South Dakota and my partner has one in Iowa, so we are going to be spending some time in the woods before the season ends.

  In some areas, during last season, we had a big bunch of Toms, but things have changed this year, I was having a problem locating them in their old haunts, they’d changed their pattern and moved to another roosting area.

  I generally scout the area a couple of weeks in advance, using my binoculars to check out the hills and valleys where I’d seen them in years past.  This year, not seeing much, no large flocks or even a small harem, so I switched tactics, getting out before sun up and sundown, using my locator calls to get a Tom to shock gobble. [Read more…]


Lake Oahe Mid-Summer Walleyes By Eric Brandreit

Without a doubt May and June might produce some of the best walleye fishing that South Dakota has to offer.   The saying “fish are jumping in the boat” can be as close to reality as it comes with almost every type of bait and lure being productive. As the summer grows, the water warms and the baitfish hatch, naturally slowing fishing success.

Hearing that half the summer is over once the 4th of July passes on the calendar, many turn to camps and family vacations. With the weather turning hot to say the least, many try to take advantage of the weather knowing what is coming in the upcoming months.   Surprisingly, many boats get parked for a siesta convinced that the fish just aren’t hungry. Do you think that walleyes just take the months of July and August off from eating? Not a chance!

Having not quite the 10,000 lakes like our neighbor, it still can easily be said that South Dakota is rich in lakes teaming with fish of all species.   What is very different from neighboring states lakes is often water depth. In marginal depth lakes, mid-summer walleyes scatter and migrate to weedy areas seeking food and shade decreasing angling success. [Read more…]


Kids and Fishing By Gary Howey

When you spend as much time in the outdoors as I do, you realize there are many things that just naturally go together.For instance, spring – mushroom hunting, summer – walleyes, fall – pheasant hunting or the fall colors and winter – ice fishing and of course – kids and the outdoorsWhen I think about kids, I think fishing. Because kids and fishing just naturally go together.

Kids have a lot of energy and are always looking for their next great adventure. Of course, one thing they are short of is a whole lot of patience, but that can be something fishing can teach them.

To a kid, fishing can be an adventure into the unknown. All you’ll need to do is to make it interesting and keep the action going.

You don’t want to make it to complicated as you want them to catch a bunch of fish. [Read more…]