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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…]


The Speedy Sharp “The World’s Fastest Sharpener”

  I am a decent hunter and fisherman, one who is on an outdoor  television show each week throughout  the year, but a person who never seems to have the time it takes to sharpen myr knives, then you will want to read on as this tool makes even those like myself,  those who were poor at sharpening knives and other tools to be as close to being a knife sharpening expert as you are ever going to get.

  I recently received the Speedy Sharp, a small hand held sharpener with a carbide blade, advertised as “The World’s Fastest Sharpener” and after using it twice, I am convinced, it is the fastest sharpener I have ever used.

  It is easy to use as all you need to do to put a fine edge on your knife or other  tools, is to  hold the Speedy Sharp at a slight angle to your knife edge and tilted away from your knives surface and slide the sharpener from the from the handle to the point of the blade. Then  repeat this above step on the underside of the blade. To finish the edge, by running the Speedy Sharp, three to five strokes, giving you  a super sharp edge on your knife.

What a great product, made in the USA that allows, even someone like me who has had trouble sharpening knives and other tools to make quick work of sharpening my dullest knives. It’s an amazing product!

Check out their web site at  www.speedysharp.com


On the Water The Firefighters/Paralyzed Veterans of America Memorial “Fishing Event” By Gary Howey

  The weather forecast for this two-day event was going to be a scorcher, but that did not seem to bother the attendees who showed up for this Memorial  event,  some were in wheel chairs, others walked with walkers, canes or assistance from family and friends, another great event put allowing those with disabilities to be involved in.

  Pulling into the staging area, the sound of the lift assisting those in wheelchairs, echoed across the Arrowwood Cedar Shore boat launch parking lot.  To some, it may have sounded rather loud and rough, but to those attending the sixteenth annual Firefighters/Paralyzed Veterans of America Joel Niemeyer Memorial “Gone Fishing “event, it was music to their ears.

  With the help of the lift and assisted by several area students, the anglers  wheelchairs were tethered to by a special lift system that gently lifted them into the boats that would soon take them out onto the Missouri River, giving many of the attendees their only opportunity to get on the water and do some fishing.

  Co-host Josh Anderson and I made the trip up to Chamberlain May 23 to film this 16th annual memorial two-day fishing event.

  The event,  a memorial to Joel Niemeyer, who served as the executive director of the North Central P.V.A. for fifteen years, a strong advocate for veterans and one who truly cared about those who served and the P.V.A. members.

  According to Bill Curry, one of the many organizers and volunteers of the event, the first event had sixteen participants and this year there were fifty individuals from several states as far away as Texas invited along with fifty boat captains and their first mates.

  The boat captains, one of the numerous volunteers helping with this event furnished their boats and their time all in support of those veterans and others invited to participate in this event.

   We would be the official videographers, capturing footage of the disabled P.V.A. members: disabled anglers, firefighters’ and volunteers on the water, fishing and enjoying this wonderful event.

  Once the invitees arrived, their only cost incurred would be their South Dakota fishing license, as the P.V.A. would take care of Thursday night’s lodging at Arrowhead Cedar Shore Resort. With the volunteers and sponsors providing sack lunches, water and drinks in the boats for those on the water Thursday and Friday.  Sponsors along with local volunteers that included the North Central P.V.A., Firefighters from several states, and Veteran’s organizations would be there to provide the Thursday night group dinner held at the Oacoma’s Community Center.

  As the boats started launching, we made our way north, with some boats heading for their secret fishing spots, while others fished off the points and flats along the river near several well-known walleye fishing locations.

  Others motored to the south in the direction of the White River, with some venturing even farther south, hoping to locate that big fish hole that they had found the week before.

  The Ranger bass boat with a 200 Mercury good friend Chuck Doom had furnished us got us up north quickly and when we arrived, several boats were already working the flats, trolling or drifting one ounce bottom bouncers and spinners, or Slow Death Rigs pegged with half a  crawler and a few trying their luck with minnows.

   Others were slow trolling, 1.2 to 1.5 miles per hour pulling up to one hundred feet of line behind the boats using crankbaits, hoping to get into one of the more aggressive larger fish. [Read more…]


Early Season Crankbaits By Gary Howey

  When Bill Christensen, Hartington, Nebraska asked if I would want to go fishing the following Monday, I was ready as I had not done much open water angling for some time.

  Bill is a crankbaiter, loves to pull cranks throughout the year, which works very well, as you can cover more ground and takes the more aggressive fish.

  I had all weekend to finish my next week’s column, and time to re-spool my two main jigging and livebait rods with lighter line, just in case the crankbait bite was off.

  When we arrived at Santee, the dock was crowded with Santee police, tribal game wardens, along with a dozen other folks who were loading up to head out and look for an four wheeler accident victim.

  They asked which way we were heading and asked if we happen to see anything to dial 911 and let them know.

   Bill’s a  crankbaiter and likes pulling # 5 & # 7 Rapala and Berkley Flicker Shads using line counter reels spooled with 14# Berkley Fireline, its smaller diameter line allowed the baits to dive quickly and deeper, yet, when needed, had the strength to land large fish.

  The reels, coupled to eight and ten-foot rods allowed us to spread out the lines, with the longer rods fished out each side and the shorter ones running straight out the back of the boat.

  Once our rigs were ready, we checked to make sure that our baits were tuned correctly, running straight in the water, as if they are not, they go through the water erratically, not running smoothly, in a way that turns off the fish.  They will also run off to the side, running shallow. getting snagged up or tangling with your other lines.

  This time of the year, with the higher water, there s a good chance there will be a lot of trash coming down the lake, grass, weeds, twigs and even logs and when this happens, we clip a small split shot about two to three feet above where the crankbait is snapped onto the line.

  The split shot on your line intercepts grass, weeds etc. from following down your line, ending up on your bait and messing up its action.

  But, It did not take us long to realize that even with a split shot above, the heavier current and trash coming downstream there was  trash getting by, fouling up the action of our crankbaits. [Read more…]


Preparing a Dove Field: Sowing the Seeds of Success

We all know there are many options for preparing a dove field.  Wheat and millets, such as brown top, Japanese, proso, and foxtail, are common choices in this area. But my recommendation for a successful dove field is a sunflower field. At Prairie Wildlife, sunflower fields have resulted in better hunts than millet-planted fields.  On our “opening hunt” in September, bird limits were common among participants. Here are some ideas for your next dove field.

Getting Started

A textbook plot begins with a clean slate. Doves do not like to feed in thick grass or weeds so soil preparation is a key. Your work should ideally begin a year before the hunt. I have found that you should disk and prepare your plots during the late fall (fall in the north), if you plan to use a drill or planter.  By doing the prep work in advance, you get a jump start on the grass and weeds. You also help hold soil moisture in the plot to help the small plants through their most crucial period during the growing process. [Read more…]


6 Essential Camping Tips for Hunting By Chris Cole

Camping is camping, and hunting is hunting, they come together yet in a slightly different way than usual.

If you are on a hunting camping trip, you don’t want to be lugging a 6 person family tent around with you. This would undoubtedly make you stand out to the deer or whatever you are going hunting for.

Apart from this, there are absolute necessities that you need if you wish to go hunting and camping. A host of excellent ghost stories that will liven up the talk around the campfire while you’re cooking your latest kill.

The must-have camping gear for a hunting trip could fill pages as there a lot of things that change depending on the type of hunting you are doing. Here is a condensed version of what might be obvious, and what might be forgotten, these are things you definitely can’t go hunting without.

Weapons and Certificate

If you are off on a hunting trip, it is plainly apparent that you will be in need of a weapon. A lot of this is down to choice and what you are hunting for. There is the fact also of what you are capable of owning and also what you are capable of using.

Some hunters prefer to use a bow or a crossbow, while some hunters prefer the feel of a shotgun or a rifle for larger game. What is crucial is that you know how to use it, and how to use it safely.

If you are new to hunting, it is advised you attend a firearm safety course on how to handle your weapon of choice correctly. It has been known for a hunting partner to receive one in the leg by mistake.

With your weapon sorted, and your new found knowledge of how to use it, you will need a Hunter Education Certificate for most states. For this, you have to attend and pass a hunter safety course. It might sound like “Oh No! Another course” yet without this you cannot purchase your all-important hunting license.

Your Treasured Hunting Knife

Any seasoned hunter will tell you that a good knife is essential, it isn’t just for skinning, it can save your life. Many people who go hunting frequently will have a favorite that they have probably used for years.

You need one that feels good in the hand and will withstand the rigors of chopping branches and the like. Make sure you choose one that will meet all the needs that you think you will need, just make sure it is not a standard pocket knife, that won’t be any good at all.

First Aid Kit

Just in case you are the one who gets a slug in the leg a good safety kit is essential. At the bare minimum, it should have alcohol swabs, bandages of varying sizes and antibiotic cream.

For any cuts or abrasions this will suffice, but it is better to make sure you have plenty more band-aids and such just in case.


 Survival Kit

This can be worth its weight in gold, yet they don’t weigh that much. What they should contain though on the safe side is a Mylar heating blanket. You never know if you get separated and can’t find your way back to camp, you might need something to keep you warm.

Waterproof matches, a fire starter, a good compass, some rope, flashlight and extra batteries, water purifying tablets and some emergency food rations.

These can be worth the extra cost, and when kept safe they can be a real lifesaver. Keep it close to your first aid kit then all you have to do is find your way back to camp.

Hunting Apparel

This isn’t to look good and stand out in the crowd. This is to make you stand out, so the other hunters know where you are. Apart from that, you do need the right clothes when hunting, a pair of Nike just won’t do it for you.

A good pair of boots that will keep your feet dry, a hunting jacket that is robust and will keep you warm and dry and plenty of base layers to keep you warm.

It is these base layers that are the secret of warmth, rather than one thick sweater, wear a couple of thinner items. They trap warm air in between.

Wet Wipes

It might sound a dainty little carrying around wet wipes, yet when you have been lugging a bloody carcass around all afternoon, you will have some dirty hands.

These wet wipes can make sure your hands are clean and sanitized for when you need to eat. Make sure not to purchase scented ones. The animals you are hunting might realize you are coming for them.


Author Bio: Chris Cole is the main writer for Nature Sport Central. He is an outdoor activity specialist having spent the majority of his years either hunting on the land or kayaking and fishing on the water.

Chris can also be found on social media – Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.


South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks new geo-fensing

Earlier this week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) launched a new geo-fencing technology feature within the outdoor mobile app to alert anglers and boaters to pull their plugs at Lewis and Clark in the southeast part of the state.

A geofence is a virtual perimeter that you can draw around any location on a map, and target customers who enter that location. This new feature allows us to reach not only anglers but recreational boaters as well.

The goal is to trigger anglers and boaters to pull boat plugs at the right time and place. This technology has been enabled at these boat ramps: Lewis and Clark Marina, East Midway, West Midway and Gavins Point. 

If a boater or angler comes within 100 feet of these four boat ramps, an automated alert will be sent to their phone reminding them of South Dakota’s aquatic invasive species regulations.

It is essential that the user have location services and notifications enabled for the outdoors mobile app on their mobile device for the new feature to function properly. 

Thank you,

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks


It’s all in the Presentation! By Gary Howey


  A few weeks ago, we talked about locating fish by finding the structure they relate to. This article will deal with attracting and catching fish once you have located them.

  Presentation is the way you present or deliver your bait to the fish. It is the key to catching fish because without correct presentation, you’re simply anchoring your bait on or close to the bottom.

  The way you present your bait is important, no matter what bait you are using!  You need to make your bait smell, sound, taste and appear lifelike.

  The key to this is the line, if you are using too heavy of test or weight of line, it can make your bait appear very unnatural as it will run through the water in circles or appear erratic.

  Because heavier line has more memory or coiling effect than lighter line, when used with a lighter lure, it can run through the water appearing unnatural.  If the fish does grab your bait these coils or line memory will create problems not only feeling the bite, but also in setting the hook as you have to deal with all the slack in the line.

  Heavier line also has more resistance so it takes longer for it to reach the bottom. This is especially important when trolling crankbaits as heavier line will not allow your crankbait to dive as deep as the lighter line will.

  Another thing affecting your presentation when using crankbaits, is the way your bait runs through the water, so the first thing you should do before trolling a crankbait is to run it along the side of the boat, making sure that it is tuned or runs correctly.

  You want your crankbait to run straight not off to either side.  If it runs off to one side or the other you need to bend the eye, the wire that comes out of the bait in the opposite direction the bait is running.

  A slight bend is all that is needed to tune or make a crankbait run correctly making for a more lifelike presentation.

  Livebait rigs such as the Lindy or Roach rig allow anglers to use a subtle approach. This method gives anglers a very simple yet effective way to present minnows leeches, crawlers or plastics to finicky fish.

  As I mentioned earlier the key to fishing these rigs and all rigs is to present the bait in a lifelike manner.

  Live healthy bait hooked properly will appear more lifelike and catch more fish.

  Hook your leeches through the sucker, allowing them to coil and uncoil, string your crawlers out so it flows through the water and hook your minnows and soft baits through the front part of the lips or eyes, which keeps then straight and with live bait allowing them to last longer on the hook.

  When livebait fishing, yo will not have to worry about loosing your bait as you would when jig fishing because once the bite or tug on the line is felt, the angler releases line, allowing the fish to take the entire bait and hook into it’s mouth.

  You will not want to get caught in the trap where you think your worm, leech or minnow looks good enough, as in order to consistently catch fish with this rig and any other you need to redo your bait often.

  If your bait is not moving or squirming or if you feel a bite, get hung up on weeds, rocks or other debris, replace your bait as fresh bait will out produce old bait 100% of the time.

  When jig fishing, your presentation is not quite as critical as yo will create the lifelike motion by jigging your rod up and down.

  Again when using livebait on a jig, replace it often, keeping fresh bait in front of the fish as much as possible. This is not something you will need to worry about when using plastic baits. [Read more…]


Muff is junior high champion at Cornhusker Trap shoot



Doniphan, Neb. Nebraska Cornhusker Trap Shoot. – Thursday’s opening day of the 49th Cornhusker Trap shoot came down to a duel between two Lincoln shooters. Tanner Muff of Scott Middle School won a shoot-off to win the junior high division championship.

Muff and Jacob Uphoff of Mickle Middle School each hit 99 of 100 targets at 16 yards. In the shoot-off, Muff hit 22 of 25 targets and Uphoff hit 21.

Elmwood-Murdock 4-H repeated as the ladies team champion, with shooters Katelyn Stewart, Taylor Douglas, Alexis Bacon, Sela Rikli and Makenna Schomaker returning from last year’s title team.

Anslee Langrehr of Grand Island Northwest won the ladies individual title, edging second-place and defending champion Ashley Rose of Centura. 5 Clovers 4-H won the 4-H team title and Ogallala, with shooters Garret Duba, Grady Packard, Derik Kennicut, Kade Robertson, Braden Reeser, won the junior high team championship.

On Thursday, 850 junior high shooters competed.

On Friday, 1,683 senior high students are expected to shoot 75 rounds of 16-yard targets. They will shoot 75 handicap targets Saturday, and the combined scores of the two days will determine the overall champion, the Cornhusker Cup winner.

The junior high results are:

Top 20 Individuals – 1. Tanner Muff, Scott Middle School, Lincoln, 99 of 100 (won shoot-off); 2. Jacob Uphoff, Mickle Middle School, Lincoln, 99; 3. Benjamin Menking, Trinity Lutheran, 98; 4. Cade Robertson, Ogallala, 98; 5. Will Hershiser, Lux Middle School, 97; 6. Sawyer Kunc, 5 Clovers 4-H, 97; 7. Luke Beckman, Malcom 4-H, 97; 8. Tyler Johnson, Gordon-Rushville, 96; 9. Zach Eggland, Merrick County 4-H, 96; 10. Hunter Schmidt, Blazing Clover 4-H, 95; 11. Mason Gerdes, Raymond Central, 95; 12. Dylan Martin, Golden Clover 4-H, 95; 13. Aiden Boch, Buffalo County 4-H, 95; 14. Tucker Maxson, Raymond Central, 95; 15. Andrew Stadler, HTRS, 95; 16. Garrett Tachovsky, Blue River 4-H, 94; 17. Cody Zalesky, 5 Clovers 4-H, 94; 18. Robert Kovarik, Western Nebraska 4-H, 94; 19. Tanner Parrish, Irving Middle School, 94; 20. Mason Feely, Elkhorn Ridge Middle School, 94

Top Six Ladies – 1. Anslee Langrehr, Northwest, 94 of 100; 2. Ashley Rose, Centura, 92; 3. Claire Thompson, 5 Clovers 4-H, 92; 4. Kayla Hendricks, Elkhorn Middle School, 90; 5. Cori Combs, York, 90; 6. Haley Yonker, North Platte, 89

Top Three 4-H Teams – 1. 5 Clovers 4-H (Sawyer Kunc, Claire Thompson, Cody Zalesky, Adam Kotas, Holly Zoubek), 457 of 500; 2. Merrick County 4-H, 449; 3. North Star 4-H, 437

Top Ladies Team – 1. Elmwood-Murdock 4-H Pink (Katelyn Stewart, Taylor Douglas, Alexis Bacon, Sela Rikli, Makenna Schomaker), 395 of 500; 2. Burwell, 293; 3. Norris, 274

Top Six Teams – 1. Ogallala (Garret Duba, Grady Packard, Derik Kennicut, Kade Robertson, Braden Reeser), 458 of 500; 2. North Platte Blue, 445; 3. Sutton 1, 434; 4. Beatrice 1, 432; 5. Centura 1, 430; 6. Papillion-La Vista Middle School, 429