Archive for October, 2009

Note: This release is from our friends at Mallory Communications and is part of a periodic look at some new hunting items for the coming seasons.

Drop the birds and not your calls this waterfowl season with the help of the EZ Wings Lanyard, in Realtree APG HD.

This handy and innovative lanyard will keep your calls organized and within a hand’s reach at all times. You’ll never again have to fumble through a gear bag or your oversized pockets in search of your calls with birds on the brink.


With the EZ Wings Lanyard, you can attach up to four calls to your clothing or equipment strapping. In addition to game calls, the EZ Wings Lanyard is also perfect for carrying your expensive caller remote as well as dog trainer and decoy remotes, GPS, flashlights, walkie-talkies, keys, cameras, cell phones, wind meters, compasses, small rangefinders and other essentials.

All items can be removed and detached as needed. The lanyard is made of soft, lightweight polyester webbing for comfort and years of use.


  • One lanyard with quick-detach buckle
  • One phone cord assembly
  • One black key ring
  • Four call lanyards
  • Four sets of clips to attach and adjust calls and dog whistles

Take advantage of the EZ Wings Lanyard’s ingenious design and make it a part of your essential waterfowling gear this season.

Available at select Scheels stores, Mack’s Prairie Wings, www.ezaccessgear.com and www.sportsmansguide.com.

Suggested retail price is $16.99.

For more info, check out www.ezaccessgear.com.


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Earlier this year during the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Guntersville Lake, I was chatting with Clark Reehm of Arkansas while he prepped some tackle for the next day.

One lure he had in his boat was a big buzzbait with a large blade and heavy-gauge wire. This one had heft, with the wire not flexing too much and an appearance of an obvious bass-slamming bait. I asked why he didn’t use one with a lighter wire.

“Why would I?” he said. “A buzzbait isn’t a finesse bait. It’s a power bait and I use it on heavy line. When I set the hook I want it in the fish’s mouth and the fish coming to the boat.”

Makes sense. Buzzbaits are a bitch-slap to a bass, something they see toodling along on the surface and most of the time will attack it pretty savagely. So it stands to reason you would use a bait that puts the steel to them.

One  of the nicest and steadiest anglers on the Bassmaster Elite Series, Dustin Wilks of North Carolina, recently offered his autumn bass tactics for a piece on Bassmaster.com that you should read.

Wilks has been around the block a few times. A few years ago he had elbow surgery (two times, actually) and missed a full season. Unlike other sports, professional bass fishing does not have an injured reserve list or anything like that. If a guy misses a day, a tournament or a season … he’s just out.

Fortunately, Wilks rebounded nicely from the elbow problem and his sponsors stood by him. His insights into autumn fishing should help you catch one or two more bass this month.

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FA Eliminator Cargo Blind

Note: This release is from our friends at Howard Communications and is part of a periodic look at some new hunting items for the coming seasons.

Successful waterfowl hunters know that mobility is the key to success particularly late in the season after birds have been pressured. The new Eliminator Cargo Blind from Final Approach makes it easy to move all your gear – ground blind, decoys, guns, etc. – with minimal effort.

The Eliminator Cargo Blind is a full-featured ground blind with removable wheels that will carry up to a dozen full body decoys, four dozen silhouettes or more than 200 rag decoys, plus your gun, flags and other gear. The blind is built on a lightweight, collapsible aluminum frame so it won’t rust. Just attach the wheels, roll it out to your favorite field and set up your decoy spread. No need to make multiple trips. If the action moves to another location, you can be on your way within minutes.

The ground blind is constructed with durable 600-denier poly fabric with a waterproof coating for extra protection from the elements. The base of the blind uses ¾-inch closed cell foam to insulate the user from head to toe against wet and cold. For extra comfort and convenience, the blind has fast-access flagging holes on each side, a padded head and gun rest, built-in gun scabbard for transporting shotgun and a roomy interior.

When set up, the Eliminator Cargo Blind has a very low profile for better concealment. It features the original FA double lid system for fast shooting access and Stubble Straps for attaching natural cover. At the end of the day, it can be easily cleaned out with the quick-zippered foot pouch. The collapsible design of this blind allows it to fit into short bed pickups while retaining its structural integrity.

For greater versatility, the Eliminator Cargo Blind is available in three popular camo patterns: Advantage Max 4, Mossy Oak Duck Blind and FA Field Brown.
For more information, visit www.fabrand.com or call consumer inquiries at 800-423-3537.

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One of the nicest art shows around is the Southern Wildlife Festival held every October at Kelly Gym on the campus of Calhoun Community College north of Decatur.

I suspect every art show is nice. You never hear about drunken brawls or biker gangs or a guy selling “Dogs Playing Poker” on blue crushed velvet. That might liven things up a bit, though it could cost a ticket sale or two. People just don’t like to be around crushed velvet.

(Why is it always dogs playing poker in the velvet prints? Why not “Bass Pro Breakdancing on Front Deck” or “Woodpecker Scaling a Pine” or “Legislators Adding Pork to the Amendment?” Don’t cats play poker? Why only dogs? And why are those dogs smoking? Don’t they know today’s 5-Card Stud game is friendlier to your health? Such questions … maybe the artists this weekend could provide answers.)

The Southern Wildlife Festival has been going on for a couple of decades. It has attracted top artists from the Southeast, and features a wide variety of works. It is a juried show, meaning artists will enter their works for judging by a panel, and also will have a “working decoy” competition among waterfowl decoy carvers.

This year I was asked, and have accepted, to be a judge in the art competition. I’m flattered by the honor, and appreciative. A few years ago I also helped judge the decoy competition over at Wheeler Lake where the decoys were not only examined for realism but also how they fared in the water as a working decoy. That was quite fun and I’m looking forward to seeing all the great works again this weekend.

In the past I’ve seen nice little paintings of songbirds and larger oils, pastels and other pieces featuring birds of prey and a variety of wildlife. There are some crafts, prints, sculptures, photographs apparel, jewelry and other neat pieces. Much of what will be on display will be for sale.

Presentations will be held on different topics and a special “Kids Gone Wild” section will be set up for youngsters to make bird feeders and artwork.

The festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults (good both days), $2 for students and senior citizens (65 years and older), and children under 6 years old are free.

Calhoun Community College is on U.S. 31 north from the “Y” where the highway meets U.S. 72. If you’re coming from Athens or points north head south on U.S. 31. The gymnasium is located on the south end of the campus and there’s plenty of parking.

Visit www.sowildfestart.com for other info.

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One of the coolest things each year is to see the results of the big catfish tournaments held on the Tennessee River lakes, especially Wilson and Pickwick lakes where some giants lurk.

Wilson is only about 14 miles from Wheeler to Wilson dams, but that short run is one of the most fertile, oxygenated and forage-rich lakes anywhere. Gravel bottoms, rocks, bars, cuts, the main channel, tributaries and an angler’s paradise of largemouth, smallmouth, at least three species of catfish, sauger, crappie, drum, bream, paddlefish (yes, paddlefish) and probably a few others I’m forgetting all create one cool fishery.

This weekend the Cabela’s King Kat Classic catfishing championship will be held on Pickwick and Wilson lakes, and will be based in Sheffield. The tournament is Friday and Saturday at Sheffield Riverfront Park on Alabama Street. Anglers must be in the weigh-in line by 4 p.m. each day and can have up to five catfish; only live cats will be allowed, so good livewell maintenance will be a must.

The weigh-in is free and open to the public. If you want to see some giant catfish, round up the kids and head over. You won’t be disappointed.

Kids fishing derby is Saturday

The Cabela’s King Kat Kids event Saturday morning, a free derby for kids age 12 and younger.

Registration is from 8-9 a.m. and fishing is from 9-11 a.m. at Riverfront Park. All kids must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Bring your own rod, reel and bait.

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The venerable Boone & Crockett Club has revealed its hotspots for North America’s big game species, which includes walrus.


Bubba and Joe Bob might have an interesting conversation about that.

“Yep, gonna get me one of them ugly walruses this season.”

“Watche gone do with it?”

“Put it on the smoker. That there teevee “Sportin’ Chef” from California told me about a dry rub and I’m a’gonna try it.”

Anyhoo, the latest from the B&C:


MISSOULA, Mont.—Which areas of North America have produced the most Boone and Crockett trophies so far in the new millennium?

With appearances in nine categories of big game species and subspecies, Alaska is tops. Longtime trophy mainstays like Colorado for mule deer and Montana for bighorn sheep also remain at their lofty spots. But even the most discerning hunter might be surprised at other states on the list.

Illinois, for example, is out to a big jump on record-class whitetail deer. Utah is the new hot destination for monster elk. Nevada has emerged as No. 1 for desert sheep and, amazingly, also makes the list for trophy mountain goats.

“Boone and Crockett records have always been a classic indicator of habitat quality and on-the-ground performance of conservation and management programs. The states and provinces on this list are the best of the best right now,” said Eldon Buckner, chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club’s Records of North American Big Game Committee. “We congratulate these respective wildlife agencies and hold up their work as a model for conservation and game management in the 21st Century.”

Here are the top 3 trophy producing areas, by type. The number in parentheses is actual entries into Boone and Crockett records (typical and non-typical combined, where applicable) since 2000.

Alaska brown—Alaska (195), n/a, n/a
Black—Wisconsin (238), Pennsylvania (118), Alaska (97)
Grizzly—Alaska (88), British Columbia (50), Yukon Territory (5)

Bison—South Dakota (42), Wyoming (36), Utah (17)

Barren ground—Alaska (55), Yukon Territory (8), n/a
Central Canada barren ground—Northwest Territories (74), Manitoba (19), Newfoundland (1)
Mountain—British Columbia (48), Northwest Territories (44), Yukon Territory (29)
Quebec-Labrador—Quebec (113), Newfoundland (10), n/a
Woodland—Newfoundland (89), n/a, n/a

Cougar—Idaho (36), Alberta (31), Colorado (31), Montana (31)

Columbia blacktail—California (155), Oregon (76), Washington (20)
Coues’ whitetail—Mexico (117), Arizona (60), New Mexico (6)
Mule—Colorado (234), Saskatchewan (88), Wyoming (67)
Sitka blacktail—Alaska (54), n/a, n/a
Whitetail—Illinois (523), Wisconsin (442), Iowa (339)

American—Utah (120), Arizona (86), Montana (47)
Roosevelt’s—Oregon (54), California (50), British Columbia (19)
Tule—California (28), n/a, n/a

Alaska-Yukon—Alaska (158), Yukon Territory (30), Northwest Territories (7)
Canada—British Columbia (117), Maine (39), Alberta (25)
Shiras’—Wyoming (84), Idaho (70), Montana (62)

Muskox—Nunavut (56), Alaska (34), Northwest Territories (31)
Pronghorn—Wyoming (339), New Mexico (207), Nevada (102)
Rocky Mountain goat—British Columbia (107), Alaska (52), Nevada (24)

Bighorn—Montana (220), Alberta (32), Oregon (29)
Dall’s—Alaska (59), Northwest Territories (26), Yukon Territory (20)
Desert—Nevada (61), Arizona (53), Mexico (41)
Stone’s—British Columbia (30), Yukon Territory (4), n/a

Atlantic—Nunavut (2), n/a, n/a
Pacific—Alaska (11), n/a, n/a

Complete Internet access to the Boone and Crockett Club’s trophy records database is available via subscription to Trophy Search. Records from 1830 to the present may be searched by species, locations, years and more. An annual subscription is $50 (Boone and Crockett Club members receive a discount). Order at www.boone-crockett.org or by calling 888-840-4868.

About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair-chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the National Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Mont.

For details, visit www.booneandcrockettclub.com.

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Ducks should be wending their way south as colder conditions in Canada and northern states are keeping hunters in their wool socks and Gore-Tex outerwear.

The latest report on habitat and ducks from DU-Canada is favorable. Glad to hear things are doing well.

Check out the latest reports and all the other reports from the biologists in Canada to see what’s going on.

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