Outdoor Alabama’s Wild Eats Page…Find and Share Recipes

  • More and more people are interested in wild table fare, which has made learning to hunt a priority.
  • Outdoor Alabama gives everybody the opportunity to cook wild game with unique recipes.
  • Outdoor Alabama gives everybody a place to share their best recipes.

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

If your hunting season has gone well and you have plenty of wild game to prepare, you may be looking for new ideas on how to put the best dishes possible on the dinner table. Or you could be a novice hunter getting ready to prepare a meal with wild game for the first time and looking for helpful resources.

With that in mind, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) website, Outdoor Alabama, has just what you’re looking for in the new Wild Eats page at www.outdooralabama.com/WildEats. The page features a list of tasty recipes for a variety of wild game.

Courtesy of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“The culmination of a hunting or fishing trip is food,” said Billy Pope, ADCNR’s Communications and Marketing Director. “We wanted to provide a platform on Outdoor Alabama that gives everybody the opportunity to cook wild game with unique recipes and a place for everybody to share their recipes.

“We’re asking people to submit their unique recipes for wild game and fish. We’ve already had submissions for stir-fried duck and collard green soup with venison.”

Pope also said ADCNR realizes many late-onset hunters are pursuing wild game with a different mindset from who grew up in a hunting culture.

“People being introduced to hunting or wanting to learn to hunt are doing it for a different reason,” he said. “They want to harvest their own meat, so they know where it comes from. They want sustainable, healthy protein for their families.

“More and more people are interested in wild table fare, which has made learning to hunt a priority. ADCNR’s Adult Mentored Hunting Program has been able to fill the void and introduce new hunters to the art of field-dressing and butchering wild game.”

Justin Grider, ADCNR’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division R3 Coordinator, said the process of placing tasty wild game dishes on the dinner table starts well before the hunt.

“Before it’s time to hunt, you need to become proficient with whatever firearm or bow you’re using,” Grider said. “You want to make sure it is shooting where you’re aiming so you can make a good, clean, quick kill. You owe that to the animal as a hunter to make that as quick and painless as possible. When you are proficient with the firearm or bow, it leads to a better end-product when it comes to putting it on the dinner table.”

When the hunter makes a quality shot, it leads to a quick recovery of the animal, and the processing of the animal can proceed without delay.

“The quicker you can get those internal organs and entrails out of that animal, especially deer, and get that body cavity cooled down, the better,” Grider said. “You’re fighting three things – heat, moisture, and dirt. You’re trying to avoid all three.

“Most days in Alabama are relatively warm, so if you don’t have access to a skinning shed, grab a couple of bags of ice from the nearest gas station and throw it into the cavity, so it starts to cool down that body cavity. Make sure you get the ice between the hip joints. There’s a lot of heat down there. When you get that cooled down, it will delay any bacteria growth and meat spoilage.”

Grider said when you’re able to get the animal field-dressed in a reasonable amount of time, it allows you to move to the next step in providing that quality wild game for the family.

“I like to let my deer age for seven days,” he said. “If you have access to a walk-in cooler, you can let it hang and allow that deer to go through rigor mortis. That whole product will start to break down and become more tender. If you don’t have a walk-in cooler, which most of us don’t, you can quarter the deer and age that animal in a 55-quart cooler.”

The key to using an ice chest/cooler is to keep the meat elevated above the ice by using some type of rack or baking sheet to keep the meat from coming in contact with any water from the melting ice. Refresh the ice often to maintain the proper temperature.

“That will accomplish the same result as if you had used a walk-in cooler,” Grider said. “That’s going to lead to your best-tasting product. Any time you can age that meat for seven days, that’s the magic number.”

After the aging process is complete, Grider starts with the hind quarters. He debones the quarters and separates the muscle groups. He trims as much of the connective tissue as possible and decides whether to use the meat for roasts, steaks, jerky or ground venison.

“I start from the back of the animal and work my way forward, all the way up to the neck,” he said. “I save that neck roast for slow cooking to break down the connective tissue and make it really tender. Of course, it depends on your needs. Later in the season, after you’ve got some steaks and roasts set aside, you may focus on grinding the whole thing, so you have plenty of ground meat for the year.”

Grider removes all the venison fat, which can cause the meat to have a gamey taste. Instead, he heads to a butcher shop or grocery store and procures beef or pork fat to mix with the venison for grinding. He tries to get the ratio of venison to fat to around 85-15 or 80-20.

“You can call the day before you plan to grind the meat and ask them to set aside 10 to 15 pounds of fat,” he said. “Venison is so lean, you need to put in a little fat. I’ve seen people use bacon ends, or you can buy a chuck roast and grind that in.”

If your hunt ends in a difficult recovery, Grider says hunting conditions will dictate whether the meat is salvageable.

“If the temperature is above 45 degrees, which is pretty common for most of the hunting season in Alabama, and the deer is out in the field for 6, 8, or 12 hours, be cautious about that end product,” he said. “Bacteria grows so fast. Rancid meat has a distinct odor and color. Use your eyes and nose to make the best judgment.”

When the hunt goes well, and the deer is processed correctly, it’s time to dine on some delicious wild game. One of Grider’s favorite preparations is venison burger, and he depends on the Maillard reaction to help him serve the best dish. The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that occurs when browning meat. After that reaction has occurred, the meat won’t stick to the cooking surface.

“When I’m cooking burgers or Korean beef on a grill or cast iron, I’m cooking it so that it gets a crisp, nice brown edge to it,” he said. “That’s the Maillard reaction, and it gives it a better taste. I see people browning meat, and they put it in the pan long enough for it to turn brown. If they leave it in just a little longer and continue to stir it, it gets a nice crispy edge from the Maillard reaction and the breakdown of the sugars. It changes the flavor profile for the better.

“A good way to check on the grill is if you try to flip the burger and it’s stuck to the grill, the Maillard reaction hasn’t happened. If you wait a little longer, it will unstick from the grill, and you can flip it easily.”

Grider said the worst mistake consumers of venison can make is to overcook it. If you’re not going the slow and low route with plenty of liquid, don’t go past medium rare.

“If you cook venison burgers hot and fast on the grill or flattop about 2 minutes on each side, that will leave you with a medium rare burger, which, in my opinion, is the best,” he said. “With a backstrap or inner loins, and you grill it hot and fast, you get a really crispy, tasty outside with a medium rare center. If you cook a burger or loin too long, it gets dry and tough. A well-done venison burger is not palatable.

“If you’re cooking shanks or neck roast, you want to cook it long and slow and keep it in some type of braising liquid.”

When it comes to waterfowl, Grider uses the same techniques that he does for venison, with one exception. He does not trim the fat on waterfowl.

“The only thing is I may go even a little rarer on waterfowl,” he said. “A lot of people just cut the breast out, and you can be missing a great opportunity with the skin and fat. If you’re lucky enough to harvest a duck with a good layer of fat, like early-season teal or wood ducks in a cypress brake, you leave the skin on and add a ton of flavor. You can also pluck the duck and cook the thigh and leg meat, which is delicious.”

Even with small game, Grider prefers to age the meat before he prepares it. He removes the entrails from small game and waterfowl and ages them in the refrigerator.

“Not to say you can’t cook it right out of the woods, but I find that if you age it to break down the protein, it makes for really tasty wild game,” he said.

Ticks the Season! It’s Turkey Time

Olympus Digital Camera, from the late Joe Forma photo collection

YES, that’s a dime! Blacklegged ticks are much smaller than common dog ticks. In their larval and nymphal stages, they are no bigger than a pinhead. Adult black-legged ticks are larger, about the size of a sesame seed (left to right: larva, nymph, adult male, adult female). Courtesy of CDC

By Bob Holzhei

With tick season just a few weeks away, outdoor folks – especially turkey hunters, are preparing to sit their butts down in the woods. It might be good to know about the tick prevention safety guide that has been developed by Brian Anderson, who is from Iron Mountain, MI., known as the Tick Terminator.

“The guide has been used by hundreds of safety directors, outdoor workers and enthusiasts across the country to help them learn and share new prevention ideas in the battle with ticks,” says Anderson.

A follow-up bulletin titled “The Hidden Cost of Lyme Disease” assists readers of the tick season which runs from March through November each year.

What is Lyme Disease? 

“Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdolferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of black-legged ticks (deer ticks).  Symptoms include headache, brain fog, chills, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, neck stiffness, achy joints, bulls-eye rash including other rashes, facial palsy, heart palpitations, dizziness, vision changes, and sensitivity to light,” stated Anderson.

If left untreated the disease can spread to joints, heart and the nervous system.  It is estimated that the disease results in 300-400,000 new cases each year.

Early detection and treatment are important.  If diagnosed soon enough, within a few weeks of a bite, antibiotic treatment by an MD will be sufficient to combat the disease.  Allowing the disease to go untreated for months will lead to a chronic condition.  Many doctors treat patients early with antibiotics to be safe.  Lyme disease can take months in the body to show up positive on a test.

Where Does Lyme Disease Come From?

Ticks get Lyme disease by feeding on an infected animal, often a mouse or rodent, which is then passed on to the next host.  Using good repellants and checking for tick bites during the season is advised.

The Hidden Costs of Lyme Disease

The person infected with Lyme disease enjoys a normal active life.  Then suddenly overnight they become exhausted, can barely make it through a day of work, and can’t wait to get home to rest.  Often folks feel it’s just a temporary bug, which will pass.  Lyme disease is nicknamed, “the great imitator,” and the medical costs continue to rise.

“Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not recognize the disease, and therefore will not pay for it,” added Anderson.

Where Are Ticks Found?

Ticks are found in tall grasses and low-lying shrubs, preferring moist shaded areas.  They don’t jump, fly or fall out of trees.  They wait patiently to smell the odor of an animal or human walking by.  They then latch on and enjoy a 2–4-day, blood meal.  When temperatures rise above 32 degrees or warmer, the tick season has begun.  Ticks do not die off during the winter.  The small younger nymph ticks are the size of a poppy seed and are responsible for most Lyme disease cases. See the photo.

Preventing Lyme Disease

The use of Deet on the skin and Permethrin on clothes and gear was suggested by Anderson.

  1. Tuck in your pants into the socks!
  2. Wear light-colored pants to easily spot ticks!
  3. Walk on well-used paths and stay away from vegetation!
  4. Use 25-34% Deet on the skin.
  5. Treat shoes, socks, pants, and shirts with Permethrin.

After the Bite

Quick medical attention is advised by a physician that knows about tick-borne diseases.  The disease can be treated with antibiotics.  Early detection and treatment are stressed!

“If you keep the ticks off of you, you won’t get bit,” concluded Anderson.

For more information:

Shark Tooth Hunting – Peace River near Arcadia

  • Look for gravel on the bottom, shovel in, dig, lift, drop into a floating sifter, shake out the sand. Place your hand underneath the sifter and lift up slightly, look for the teeth. There they are!
  • Place the teeth into a collection jar, get on to the next shovel-full. 
  • It’s not unusual to find several hundred shark teeth treasures in a single outing of just a few hours n the right spot. The right spot can be anywhere there is gravel on the bottom. Dig there. No teeth? Move on a few feet away, try again. 

By Forrest Fisher

Buck called me in the afternoon. It was a Tuesday. He said, “Hey dude, I was thinking about taking my rig out of Arcadia and heading upriver for a shark tooth dig. Wanna go?” Of course, I said, “SURE! What time?!” He said, “Can you be at my house around 830ish? Then we’ll head out.” He added, “Just bring your big sifter and a shovel.” I said, “I’ll pack us some water and a sandwich for when we take a break; sound OK?” Buck replied, “Yea, that’s great.”

Buck was waiting at the door when I arrived, but I asked, “Can I see your teeth collection one more time?” He said, “Sure, come on in.” Inside his living room, there are two giant glass cases, each standing about 6-feet tall. Each has several glass shelves, and each shelf has several mounted picture-style frames of Megalodon shark teeth. Some are shiny, others are dull in color, some are black, others gray, others brownish. I could only simply say, “Wow, these are fantastic.” Buck said, “OK, let’s go.”    

Buck has a handrail built onto the boat to provide balance for standing. Note the campground in the back of the picture. Shark teeth abound here, and usually get renewed with every large rainfall.

Buck is an 80-year-old man who thinks and acts like a 40-year old. Buck is a cancer survivor, doesn’t smoke or drink. Still, he occasionally shares colorful word expressions, especially when he is driving. He says, “Florida drivers just don’t follow the rules. No turn signals. No stopping at stop signs. No common sense, for the most part, they pass on the right! Speeding too, and the sheriffs must be blind or lazy. They let it all happen right in front of them. I’ve watched it. I make up new words when these things happen, so please forgive those moments.” He smiled. “Really bugs me when folks here don’t follow the traffic safety laws. I’m from New York near Albany, but I’ve been here more than 10 years now, and it is worse than ever.” I changed the subject and asked how far it was. He smiled again and said, “OK, I get it. Time for me to stop walloping new words. Sip your coffee.” No kidding, I was laughing so hard. This was honest fun.  

Buck is a tough old guy that doesn’t shirk his responsibilities to get the job done, whatever it is. He welded up a trailer to hold his 14-foot shark tooth hunting boat, then equipped it with a homemade 4-stroke air-cooled engine from Harbor Freight and attached a custom-made 10-foot shaft and propeller. Buck added a steel guard for the propeller after the first time out a few years back, so the prop could move the boat over very shallow water at high speed. He said, “I prefer to stay in the boat until I get to where I’m going. Hey, I’m getting a little older and getting into the water in the shallow rapids. You know, there could be potholes in the phosphorous bottom around the river. I could twist an ankle – that would hamper my digging style.” Yea, he was grinning all the way. He likes the power of that homemade boat engine sounding loud enough to scare the gators on both banks into submission. 

The boat is in the water at the Arcadia boat launch site, above, but note there are no dock or handrail facilities here. Just you, your boat, a rope, and your launch skills.

We launched on the steep bank at Arcadia Park near the American Legion Post. The Peace River was really low. The gauge at the bridge said 1.3 feet. Check the gage online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/02296750/#parameterCode=00065&period=P7D.

As we headed upriver, we waved to campers set up along the river on the west bank at Peace River Campground (https://peacerivercampground.com/). Just before that, we noticed one long gator that liked to sit in the sun on the eastern bank. He was there on the glistening, hot white sand, about 25 feet up the bank from the river. A beautiful critter. That gator just continued his sleeping lesson as we headed on by. Never even opened his eyes. “He’s tired,” said Buck. “Hope he stays up there, but no matter, we are going upriver another mile or so.” Then we came to an ancient railroad bridge, a trestle, with logs, all jammed along the structure’s base in several places. At relatively high speed, we skimmed over the tree branches with Buck throttling the motor down as we crossed the spot where the prop had to be lifted out of the water. It was a manual effort to do so, but Buck had no issue with it. He was grinning and talking to me at the same time. “Darn branches! No snakes to ward off, though. That’s good.” No fear in this guy.

In about 10 minutes, we slowed up and pulled over near the base of a large swamp oak that had fallen into the river. The bark was mostly worn off from the current, but the tree was more than 100 feet long. “You’ll like this spot. It has been a treasure finder place for me and my girlfriend.” Buck smiles and grins a lot for good reasons. He is an example of an age-old, golden-era American that is hard to find these days. He will address any issue just for a friendly talk based on what he understands about it. A fun guy. Someone who never stops learning from common sense and he builds on it with every hour of the day.

Using a shovel, sifter and his heavy-duty drag-style sea-flea rake, Buck probes the gravel bottom for shark tooth fossil treasures.

We moored the boat to shore and stepped into the river. It was about waist deep at the start but shallowed up as we moved back toward the middle of the river. I was using a square-ended shovel, he was using a sharp-nose shovel and a large, heavy sea flea rake that he bought at Bass Pro. He said, “I dig a few spots in the gravel bottom areas and sift each dig. Then, I rake that same area and hope to drag in anything that fell off or couldn’t fit onto the shovel blade. You know, that’s my method. I have found many, many Meg’s in this area here. I’m hoping you find one today.” I was still looking for my first Meg after 3-years of digging the Peace River and scouring the Gulf Coast beaches. I did not have a drag device, though. Next time.   

Over the next 3-hours, we talked to about 10 kayakers paddling upstream and downstream. We were about two miles from the campsites mentioned earlier. We found new gravel areas in the spot where we had stopped and probed with our dig and sift gear. We watched one water snake cross the river, and off he went, wanted nothing to do with us people. Buck said, “That’s the way it is most of the time, with gators too, unless it is mating season. The critters leave us alone. We like it that way.”

There were no Megalodon teeth this time, but we brought back several hundred beautiful, sharp-edge shark teeth. Primarily Bull/Dusky shark teeth, though several Mako, Tiger and Snaggle-Tooth (Hemipristis) shark teeth fossils were in the treasure pile too. A good friend and shark tooth expert and his wife, Tim and Jeanie (https://www.ebay.com/usr/sharkartguy?_trksid=p2047675.m3561.l2559), have shared that most of the shark teeth in the Peace River originate from the Miocene era (5-25 million years ago). They are genuinely ancient fossils. One reason why going on these river adventures is so exciting. We are looking at history from so long ago. Tim says, “We retired in SWFL to golf and fish, which we did for the first six weeks. Then we discovered shark teeth on the beach. The first thing we did was sell the golf clubs and spend less time fishing so we could collect shark teeth. WE LOVE SHARK TEETH! There are a lot of us out there like Tim and Jeanie and Buck. Me too. Buck is not a guide, Tim neither, but they love to share the fun of shark tooth hunting with folks they meet wherever they are. I was lucky to meet both of these folks through casual circumstances. Tim will give away shark tooth necklaces to the kids looking for teeth in the surf on the beach. Quite a “hello traveler” gesture.  

With his dig, sift, and drag method, Buck has done well.

The railroad trestle is quite old and is a navigational deterrent for power boaters, but kayakers make their way through with little trouble.

A boat journey in any float craft will provide a beautiful experience, as giant cypress trees, colorful birds, and butterflies abound. The moments afloat are unforgettable.

That handsome 10-foot alligator was still in the same elevated sand spot as we neared the boat launch on our way back. Not more than 300 yards upstream, several dozen camper folks were sitting in the river, on the bottom of 1-foot deep water. They were sifting gravel in the river near the spot locals call the “cliffs” with tiny shovels. It is a shallow area where the water in the river drops about 2-feet from the upstream to the downstream side of the rapids. They said, “We’re doing great!” Happy shark tooth hunters are a good sign to try that spot next time.

Of course, anyone can hunt for shark teeth in the Peace River. Access is mostly near the boat launch areas (https://myfwc.com/boating/boat-ramps-access/). Besides Arcadia, there are several other boat launch access areas including Brownsville, Zolfo Springs, Wauchula and others.

For our efforts, I weighed our shark tooth finds to realize we had nearly 14 ounces of shark tooth treasure in the jar. Not bad for a 3-hour effort.

Good luck to all.   

Handicapped Life in the Outdoors…WITHOUT Barriers

  • A place designed for individuals with physical disabilities and their families. Big fish are waiting to greet you!
  • Located on beautiful Lake Shebandowan about 50 miles west of Thunder Bay, Ontario, the newly modernized Wilderness Discovery Centre provides outdoor adventure for disabled persons. It’s all about sharing access to the wilderness with them.
  • Visitors can enjoy a 3-season lakefront resort with modern accessibility.  Donations are welcome.
  • Bed lifts, ramp systems, aquatic lift render, grab bars, and additional assistance technology devices are used here.
  • The facility also caters to seniors, military veterans, first responders, non-profit groups, corporate retreats, non-profit groups, families for reunions, and social gatherings.

By Forrest Fisher

With songful loons sounding off at sunrise, the call of a warm breakfast in the Canadian wilds beckons to all. Especially to folks that may require assistance to enjoy a lakeside resort. Visitors to one special place called the Wilderness Discovery Center can now enjoy pontoon boat rides, accessible swimming facilities, dock fishing, lake fishing, and a warm bonfire at the sunset hour right before bedtime.

There are laughs for the fun of it, all from the heart and soul of dedicated camp administrators. The Wilderness Discovery Centre provides active participation to include everyone, regardless of disability and assures an ultimate, safe, outdoor, vacation-style experience. The discovery of “no barriers” is special all by itself.   

At the Wilderness Discovery Centre, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the unique outdoor adventure found here, by staff who maintain the principles of personal independence, dignity, integration, and equal opportunity for everyone. The staff strives to create a no-pressure camping and outdoor experience that affords all guests a “Life without Barriers.” That’s the goal of Mr. Bob Hookham, the President of the Board of Directors of Wilderness Discovery Centre (WDC), and the rest of the Board, since the facility began re-opening in 2019. 

Bob says, “The staff is fun and works to provide a fully accessible family resort that promotes a secure and barrier-free camping experience. Everyone will have fun and enjoy their time together. They work hard to engage the community in a way that fosters these values.”

Bob Hookham

Bob adds, “As able-bodied people, we take many things for granted: Fishing, swimming, having a bonfire, or even just a BBQ. This facility will allow anyone with any kind of disability to do all those things every day of their stay. We have a special pontoon boat designed with wheelchair access so that anyone can go for a lake cruise or go fishing. There will be a lift to lower individuals into the lake for a swim or a boat ride in a fishing boat. Every camper can navigate the camp using the ramp system from their cottage or the main lodge to the beach and bonfire area. They can enjoy these simple pleasures. Life here will afford our guests a ‘Life without Limits.” For the Board of Directors, dedicated volunteers, and committed carpenters, it has been a long and winding road to revamp the facility. Discover an information capsule on the history of this facility at the end of this article.  

By July of 2019, Wilderness Discovery added the final touches to cabins. In a report from TBN News Watch (www.tbnewswatch.com), Bob Hookham estimated the cost for repairs was around $1 million. Today, reservations are open for 2022. Additional revamping and expansion will likely continue with help from local support groups such as the Rotary House in Thunder Bay and many others across Canada and the USA. If you would like to help, please visit https://www.wildernessdiscovery.net/donate/.

The modernized cabins feature an open concept living room, brand new sliding door entryways, sliding glass doors leading to the sun deck with access to a meadow of colorful dandelions. The cabins feature a fully accessible L-design kitchen and 3-piece bathroom with shower stall, dining room, and entertainment area. The cabins are completely furnished, including a fully-equipped kitchen (dishes and cutlery, countertop stove, microwave, pots, pans, toaster oven, coffee maker, dish towels and cleaning supplies), essential bedding and towels (pillow, sheets, blanket, bath/wash towel), fireplace and window air conditioning, a large wrap-around deck with tables/chairs, TV’s and DVD player, with Wi-Fi access in the Main Lodge. Hard to beat all that! To book a reservation, please visit https://www.wildernessdiscovery.net/rooms-cabins/ or call 807-346-9722, or email info@wdcentre.net.

Is there good fishing in Lake Shebandowan? YES! It’s home to big walleye, smallmouth bass and northern pike. Anglers Edge fishermen stars James Lindner and Dave Csanda did a colorful and informative fishing show from the lake. This heartwarming angler duo shares a video presentation where viewers can learn finite details to locate fish in Lake Shebandowan. Lindner uses a Humminbird sonar with a MinnKota Ulterra electric motor, using spot-lock and speed control to demonstrate finding the strike zone while incorporating speed dynamics and position location control to refine angler presentations. The show illustrates how they bring Lake Shebandowan whopper fish to the boat. Lures that imitate whitefish and tullibee are the main forage base.

I plan a donation to the Wilderness Discovery Centre, and I want to visit and fish there soon! Please join me with a donation.

 

HISTORY: The history of this Centre has always been about helping others. In 1951, the land was deeded by the Carson and Cross families to the YM-YWCA as a summer camp for youth. By the early 1980s, Handicapped Action Group, Inc. (HAGI), had a dream of expanding this camp into a facility that would allow persons with disabilities and their families to enjoy life at the lake. In August 1983, HAGI entered into a 20-year lease to develop the HAGI camp. In 1993-1994, the lease was amended and expired in 2013, followed by yearly extensions until the fall of 2015. In July of 2015, Bob Hookham of the Fort William Rotary and Jeff Jones of the Hill City Kinsmen met with Minister Bill Mauro to discuss the possibility of assisting HAGI to maintain the operation of this facility at Lake Shebandowan. In April 2015, HAGI announced that they would be forced to stop operating the facility unless there was a significant change in the financial picture concerning the facility. In February 2017, negotiations culminated in an official announcement from Minister Bill Mauro regarding a new management group. On April 7, 2017, Wilderness Discovery received its Letters Patent as a Non-Profit Corporation with representatives on its Board of Directors from the Thunder Bay Rotary Clubs, Hill City Kinsmen, HAGI, and the Shebandowan Lake Campers’ Association. In July of 2017, the Corporation and the Ministries signed an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for the Lake Shebandowan Property. Since August 11, 2017, the Wilderness Discovery Centre officially took possession of the Lake Shebandowan facility that HAGI previously operated. Immediate upgrades have been in progress since that time.  

Editor note: All photographs are courtesy of the Wilderness Adventure Centre.

Remarkable Hunting – Lightning, Rain, one Old Barn and one Old Deer

  • As I sat there, I thought, “Deer hunting is about sunrises and sunsets, the wildlife that go about their daily routines not knowing you are there. It’s about all the memories you make with family and friends or alone in a barn.”

By Larry Whiteley

The rain stops. Through my binoculars, I see a buck by himself – he has a weird set of antlers. Then I think about next year.

The forecast for opening day of the firearms deer season was for rain with a chance of thunderstorms. My son was out of town, and my grandson was at college in Kansas. It wouldn’t be the same without them, so why not just stay home? Wait a minute, this is opening morning I’m talking about. A tradition for goodness sake. How many years in a row have I enjoyed this special day? I had to be out there even if I was going to be by myself. Even if it was raining.

The alarm jarred me from my sleep. I got the coffee pot going, brushed my teeth, did my duty, grabbed my hunting clothes and rifle, filled my thermos, and was out the door. I could see stars in the night sky, so maybe, just maybe, the weatherman was wrong. My truck came to a stop at the metal gate on the gravel road, and I got out to open it. No rain! I drove on down the road, crossed the creek, and pulled up to the old barn sitting majestically in the field.

My plan was to leave the truck there and hike across the field to a tree where my stand waited for me. I got out of the truck, thunder rumbled, and lightning cracked and lit up the dark sky. I was sure thankful I had gone to the bathroom before leaving home. My hair would have stood on end if I had any.

I quickly decided I did not want to walk across a field with the lightning while carrying a rifle to go sit in a metal treestand. Then the sprinkles started, the thunder and lightning continued, and I got back in my truck. As I sat there thinking about what to do, the sky lit up again, and it seemed like heaven opened. I swear I heard the angel chorus singing hallelujah and trumpets bugling. There before me was the answer that would save this day. I would deer hunt from the old barn hayloft. My son, grandson, and granddaughter had all taken deer from the old barn before, and so had I.

I jumped out of the truck, grabbed all my hunting stuff, and ran inside. Then I remembered I had a folding chair I used when hunting in blinds, it was still in the truck, so I ran back out to get it. The rain was getting heavier, but the old barn would keep me dry. It was still dark, so I was in no hurry to climb up in the barn loft. I looked around with wide eyes, and my headlight assured me there were no wild animals in the barn ready to attack me. I also made a mental note not to step in all the groundhog holes in the dirt floor.

 

The old barn was built over 100 years ago by a gentleman named Christopher Columbus Meadows. I remembered the old black and white picture the owner of this land had shown me of Christopher Columbus holding a horse by the reigns and standing next to the barn.

My headlight shines on, the big stacked rocks and hand hewn beams light up. These are the foundation on which the old barn has stood for over 100 years. I look at the ax marks on the wood, and I see, in my mind’s eye, Christopher chopping and shaping the log to become this foundation. I imagine him in the wooden wagon, pulled by the horse in the picture, going down to the creek to find the flat rocks for the beam to set on.

I look around at all the weathered wood that covers the old barn. There was no electricity in this valley when the barn was built and wouldn’t be for another 30 years or more. So how did they get this wood to build it? How has the wood lasted this long? There is no paint or sealant of any kind on it. Where did they get the old rusted hinges and nails? I will never know the answers.

My mind travels back in time, and I see the horse in the picture standing in a stall. I see corn stalks stacked in another area. Maybe this was where they milked the old cow. Is that daylight coming through the cracks? It sounds like the storm has let up. I better get up in the loft.

I climb the stairs that are just as sturdy as they were when they were built but step carefully around rotted boards on the loft floor. I set up in the big opening where they once brought hay up from below to be stored in the barn loft. My chair is comfortable. I pour a cup of coffee and stretch out my legs. This is a great way to hunt deer, even if it’s not raining.

I look around the old loft, still amazed at how they built the old barn this big and how it has stood this long. The owner tells me it’s home to barn swallows, field rats, mice, a pair of black vultures that come here to raise babies every year, and the groundhogs who made all the holes, these will probably be the biggest reason the barn comes down someday.

The rain stops. Through my binoculars, I see a buck by himself – he has a weird set of antlers. On the left, it is normal but only three points. On the right, it is short with two points and ugly. He slowly saunters across the field with his head down. I figure all the bucks have teased him about his weird rack, and the females don’t want anything to do with this ugly buck.

I think for a moment about putting him out of his misery and click off the safety. But then I think maybe next year when he grows back a new set of antlers, they will be prominent and handsome. Then the ladies will be attracted to him, and the bucks that made fun of him will regret it when he kicks their butt. I click on my safety.

Rain starts again. He will be the only deer I see this day, but that’s okay. I don’t know why we have to get older to realize that deer hunting is not just about getting a big buck you can put out on social media to brag about. Deer hunting is about sunrises and sunsets, the wildlife that go about their daily routines, not knowing you are there. It’s about all the memories you make with family and friends or alone in a barn.

This day will be added to my storehouse of memories. Before I get too old, and as long as it remains standing, I would like to have a few more days of deer hunting from the hayloft of the old barn.

Are You Using the Right Turkey Choke Tube?

  • Trulock Chokes Can Improve Your Shooting

By George Trulock

The answer is obvious – every turkey hunter wants better performance in the field. But the solution to getting better performance may not be as obvious. Usually, hunters try, more or less at random, different shotshells to see if they can find something better than what they are using.

The truth is, pattern density, uniformity, and downrange energy are a product of not just the shell and pellets, but of how the shot interacts with the choke tube as it leaves the barrel.

Trulock, an industry leader in cutting-edge choke tube design and manufacturing, knows that with the right choke tubes, you don’t have to randomly search for a load that works in your shotgun.

The right choke tube starts with the kind of quality in Trulock’s Turkey Choke tubes. Designed in-house at their headquarters in Wigham, Ga., these chokes are manufactured with cutting-edge numerical computer control (CNC) equipment and are tested at the range to assure high-quality performance. Just using one of these high-quality chokes will improve your patterns.

Trulock doesn’t stop there. They also have new lines of chokes designed to achieve maximum performance from specific, popular brands of high-quality turkey loads.

For example, this year Trulock has introduced a new line of chokes engineered to achieve maximum performance with Federal’s new Heavyweight® TSS 7 and TSS 9 turkey shells. The Trulock TSS chokes were designed from the ground up, with the best internal configuration and exit diameter for each Heavyweight TSS load. At 40-yard targets, these shells deliver nominal 100 percent patterns in a 30-inch circle, 90-percent patterns in a 20-inch circle and 60 percent patterns in a 10-inch circle. That means that every time you pull the trigger, hundreds of pellets end up in that 10-inch circle.

Almost no turkey hunters are getting patterns that effective out of their guns. You can, this season, with Trulock.

If you prefer a shotshell from Winchester’s line of XR Longbeard series, Trulock also produces 12-gauge chokes designed for #4, #5 and #6 Longbeard shells. As with the Heavyweight TSS chokes, Trulock built their Longbeard series specifically to get maximum pattern density and downrange energy from these shells. You can take the guesswork out of finding an effective load in the field with these Trulock chokes and Winchester loads. It really is that easy.

Effective turkey hunting takes a lot of work – scouting, judgment, execution in calling, as well as choosing the right set-up. Making sure that your pattern is extremely effective no longer has to be that much work. Trulock has put in the hours for you.

This turkey season, resolve to step up the effectiveness of your shooting with Trulock choke tubes. When the goal is to improve your shotgun’s performance, Trulock Choke Tubes doesn’t compromise on that goal. In fact, they guarantee it.

Any customer who is not satisfied for any reason can return the tube for their money back or an exchange within 60 days of purchase. And any customer who likes the choke tube knows that the best customer service in the industry stands behind it: all Trulock choke tubes are guaranteed against failure for life.

For more on the full line of Trulock products as well as some technical information on how shotguns and choke tubes work, check out their homepage at WWW.TRULOCKCHOKES.COM.

The staff at Trulock Chokes prides itself on providing excellent service and an excellent line of products. In the event you are not completely satisfied with your purchase you can return it for a refund or exchange within 60 days from the date of purchase – with other firms, the moment you open it, you own it.  For more information, please visit WWW.TRULOCKCHOKES.COM or on Facebook. Like us on Facebook

 

Over-Under Turkey Gun, Close or Far: CZ Reaper Magnum

  • This 12-gauge camo shotgun ships with 6 interchangeable choke tubes, including an extra-full version.
  • Picatinny rail mount option for optic addition is included.
  • QD swivels are attached at front and back

Whether the shot is longer-range or considerably closer, the CZ Reaper Magnum over-and-under offers choke tube options to fill your turkey tag. Outfit one barrel of this 12-gauge turkey gun with a tight choke, the other with a more open variation, then you’re good for that big tom at nearly any distance by merely flipping the barrel selector switch on the Reaper Magnum.

You can even match your shells to the chokes you have selected. For example, fit one barrel with an extra full choke and load it with a magnum turkey load for that 45-yard shot, and a less powerful shell with a more open choke in the other barrel when a bird suddenly pops up at 18 feet. Try that with a semi-automatic or pump shotgun!

The 3.5-inch chambers of the Reaper Magnum allow the use of nearly any 12-gauge turkey shells, while the automatic ejectors vigorously pop out the empties. The shotgun’s 26-inch barrels makes this O/U very maneuverable in the field, whether hunting from a blind or sitting with your back against a tree trunk. Prefer an optic for your turkey hunting? A Picatinny rail mount is included just above the chamber on the rear of the barrels, making any optic an easy addition.

The CZ Reaper Magnum’s sturdy polymer stock can take all that Mother Nature has to offer, and the Realtree Xtra® Green Camo finish will hide this shotgun from those sharp-eyed turkeys. QD swivels are attached at the front and back, and the shotgun ships with six (6) extended, interchangeable choke tubes, including an extra-full version.

Retail cost: $993.

For more information, please visit WWW.CZ-USA.COM.

CZ Reaper Magnum Specs:

  • SKU: 06588
  • Chambering.: 12 Gauge
  • Operation: Over and Under
  • Max Shell Length: 3 ½ in.
  • Barrel Length: 26 in.
  • Rib: 8mm Flat Vent
  • Chokes: 6 Extended Black tubes, including C, IC, LM, M, IM, EXTRA FULL
  • Stock: Polymer, Realtree Xtra® Green Camo
  • Overall Length: 44 ¼ in.
  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Length of Pull: 14 ½ in.

Master Your Own Turkey Call – Build it Yourself. Here’s How!

Jim Monteleone Photo

  • Learn about different turkey call materials that offer different turkey sounds
  • Soundboard, plating surface, striker – all offer options in tone choice
  • Learning the sound variations and practicing tone undulations with your own call, it’s the MOST FUN and  will help you learn the turkey calling ropes

By Jason Houser

Turkey calls are at the top of the list to be a successful turkey hunter. Walk through the doors of the NWTF convention, and you will see more people selling turkey calls than just about anything else.

A fun and inexpensive project during the off-season is to make a pot call all your own. To make things even better would be to make your own pot call and then kill a turkey with it. Several companies sell turkey call kits, but I recently bought a kit from Brookside Game Calls that included a walnut pot, glass soundboard, slate playing surface, striker, and directions. This is a fun project you can do at home.

The materials needed are easily obtained and include:

  • Fine Grit sandpaper for sanding the call. I used 150 grit with excellent results.
  • Brookside recommends GOOP, but I used Loctite with excellent results. It is essential to make sure the glue you use is waterproof.
  • Oil-based polyurethane to protect the call.
  • Nylon Style Clamp.

Step 1:

When I received the call kit, the pot had some rough surfaces. We used 150 grit sandpaper until the edges were smooth.

Step 2:

To protect the surface, I applied a fine layer of oil-based polyurethane that I wiped on with a rag. You could also use the polyurethane from a spray can. I finished the shafts of the strikers in the same manner, but the tip end was left unfinished for better sound.

Step 3:

After the pot was dry, we applied a thin layer of glue to the center of the call. Center the soundboard on the soundboard standoff, then clamp the soundboard into place and allow it to dry.

Step 4:

Once the soundboard is dry, it is time to apply the top of your call. This can be done by either applying a bead of glue to the underside of the playing surface or apply a thin bead of glue to the rim of the call where the playing surface will sit. I chose to apply glue to the rim of the call, and it worked well.

Step 5:

With the playing surface of the call in place, use your clamps and allow the glue to dry for about 12 hours.

Practice

Now that you have made your very own turkey call, the only thing left to do is practice with the call until you can make realistic turkey sounds and then go hunt.

Brookside Game Calls has many kit choices to choose from. Even though I purchased a kit that had everything needed to make a call, you can purchase products separately to make the call you like. There are a variety of woods to choose from for pre-cut pots and soundboards, including all the well-accepted materials and playing surfaces such as glass, slate, aluminum, and crystal.

There are also many different kinds of wood for striker pegs and tops to choose from to complete your pot call. Another option is to purchase a kit to make a box call. It is just as fun and simple to make.

Watch this video to see more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlG4XqklPws&t=29s.

The Sounds of Nature, THEY CALL US BACK…to the Wild

  • Is that the haunting howl of the wolf or the call of a loon?
  • Can you ever forget that buck grunt in a November woods or a turkey gobble on a spring morning?
  • The sounds of nature are everywhere in the wild if we just take the time to listen.
The sound of lightning can bring fright, but the sight of lightning can be beautiful in a night sky.

By Larry Whiteley

There are some sounds in the great outdoors that you hear and they touch your soul. You don’t have to see what made the sound because when you hear it, you instantly see it in your mind. You may even hear them and see them as you read these words.

To some, the bugle of an elk is like that and so is the haunting howl of the wolf or the call of a loon. It might even be a cougar’s throaty growl or the gruff huff of a grizzly or black bear. Those of us who don’t live where these animals live, rarely if ever, get to hear these sounds in the wild unless we travel to where they are but if we do, they linger in our memories. Can you hear them?

An elk bugle can linger forall time in our minds. Howard Communications Photo

Most of us have sounds in nature that stir us. A buck grunt in a November woods, the sound of a majestic eagle flying over a quiet lake or a turkey gobble on a spring morning. It could be the kingfisher’s rattling call as he flies up and down the creek or a coyote yelp.

Maybe it’s the quacking of ducks or honking of geese as they settle onto the water. The drumming sound of a woodpecker trying to attract a mate, the booming sounds of prairie chickens during their mating ritual and maybe the strange music of a woodcock doing his sky dance trying to impress the ladies too. Some of us hope that one day we will once again hear the sound of the bobwhite quail. Can you hear them?

Songbirds also add to nature’s chorus. Chickadee’s sing “chick-a-dee-dee-dee,” the cardinal’s join them with their “purdy-purdy-purdy” and the robin’s whistling “cheerup-cheery-cheerio-cheerup” are joined by the tweets and whistles of all their friends. The squeal of a hawk can silence the bird music and get the squirrels barking an alarm to their buddies.

Owls ask us “who, who, who cooks for you.” Crows, “caw-caw-caw,” and then caw some more. The sound of peeper frogs or a whip-poor-will means spring is finally here. The flapping sound of hummingbird wings and their distinctive chirp will soon follow. The rhythmic choruses of katydids can be so loud that they drown out nearly all other sounds. Tree Crickets are known as the thermometer cricket because you can count the number of its high-pitched musical chirps in 15 seconds and add 40 to calculate the outdoor temperature in Fahrenheit. Believe me, it works!

A beautiful painted bunting sings a patented song that is wonderful to hear. 

The sounds of nature are everywhere in the wild if we just take the time to listen and it’s not only from the animals and birds. A rush of wind through the treetops, the rattling of dried fall leaves in a breeze and the sound of crunching leaves as something nears your secret hiding place. Booming thunder, the crack of lightning and rain dripping on a tent or the popping and crackling of a campfire. A stream tumbling over rocks and the soothing sounds of a waterfall small or big are music to the ears. To some, it is the ocean waves crashing onto a sandy beach. To others it may be the “plip-plop, plip-plop” sound of a jitterbug gurgling across the water followed by the loud splash of a big bass rising out of the water to engulf it.

Nature sounds not only soothe our souls but they are also suitable for our mind and body. Researchers say there is a scientific explanation for why sounds from nature have such a restorative effect on us. According to a study, they physically alter the connections in our brains to keep other thoughts out and the sounds even lower our heart rate. The exercise we get going to and from our listening places is an added benefit.

A swiftly, silently, soaring eagle, singing a majestic tune in a bright blue sky.

You’re not likely to hear or for that matter see wildlife unless you force yourself to just sit still. We hike, we hunt, we fish, we camp, we canoe, we are continually on the move when in the great outdoors and not very quietly. We also carry with us the baggage of everyday worries, what’s on the news, bills to be paid and work to be done.

You have to block all that out. Remaining still and quiet and actually paying attention to the sounds of nature is what is essential. But that doesn’t come easy. You can’t just stop, listen for a few minutes and then move on. You have to settle down and tune into the sounds around you.

Those of us who sit in a treestand and a turkey or duck blind usually have no problem doing that because we have to if we want to be successful. If you wish to go out and listen to nature sounds though I suggest you find a fallen tree, a stump or a big rock. Make a comfortable cushion of leaves, pine needles or take along some kind of pad and sit down. Now, don’t do anything but relax. Don’t let restlessness or thoughts of other matters creep back into your mind. Stay relaxed and breathe slow and easy. If you remain still the wildlife around you will forget you are even there. Soon enough the sounds of the wild will return.

Soothing sounds of flowing water can bring us to new place in time in the hallows of our mind.

The real art in listening to nature is not so much hearing the sounds of life in the woods as it is in identifying them. Listening carefully to nature sounds and learning what makes that sound can help you begin to distinguish one sound from another and that gives you a greater appreciation for what you’re hearing. The digital age has made it easier than ever to school yourself in Nature Sounds. Although this and other aids may be able to help, there’s no substitute for firsthand experience. It’s not just an ability to identify sounds, but also an understanding of their meanings, that will come to you when you spend time listening carefully.

Yes, you can download and listen to nature sounds on your computer, tablet or smartphone. I listen to nature sounds accompanied by the melodic sounds of the Native American flute as I drive down the road in my truck. If it is a cold, nasty day not fit for man nor beast I will put my headphones on and drift off to sleep listening to the sounds of nature. That is all good too but it does not replace actually being out there in the great outdoors and being stirred by the sounds of nature that call us back to the wild.

Listen closely, can you hear them?

LIVE & LEARN about LAMPREY’S, there are Many Species

  • Lampreys, lampreys everywhere…some are part of nature
  • Native species vs invasive species are always a concern for understanding
  • Lampreys live in the Great Lakes, isolated northern lakes, the Mississippi River, other places

By Mike Schoonveld

A couple of years ago I fished for sturgeon on the Rainy River in Minnesota, just upstream from where it flowed into Lake of the Woods. As luck would have it, I caught one and it came with a surprise.

My Lake of the Woods sturgeon came with an attached Silver Lamprey, see the wound right above the dorsal fin.

Last fall I fished for largemouth bass on the Mississippi River near LaCrosse, WI and one of the bass we caught that morning also came with a surprise. Each of these fish flopped on the deck with a lamprey clinging to their side.

I have not lived a fish-sheltered life. I’ve fished every Great Lake and dozens more not quite so great lakes. I’ve studied, fished for, and caught nearly every game fish available in these waters. When I landed that Minnesota sturgeon, the tag-along lamprey was an unexpected surprise.

As a Great Lakes fisherman, I am very familiar with sea lampreys, an invasive species from the Atlantic Ocean, now present in all five Great Lakes, as well as New York’s finger lakes.

It’s not a surprise when I catch a trout or salmon with lamprey scars, or even with a live lamprey still attached.

Sea lampreys in the Great Lakes are invasive species, and they kill thousands of trout and salmon each year.

My Rainy River surprise was a mystery. How had sea lampreys moved from the Great Lakes to Lake of the Woods and why hadn’t I ever heard about them damaging the fish populations there as they do in the Great Lakes?

Mystery solved; it wasn’t a sea lamprey. The lamprey suctioned to the sturgeon I caught was most likely a silver lamprey, one of four native species of lampreys found in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and the other Great Lakes states. Two of them, like sea lampreys, are parasites. Chestnut lampreys – the other native parasitic lamprey – have been found in Minnesota, but have not been seen in Lake of the Woods.

I identified this silver lamprey after the fact. I was trying to get a grip on it so I could treat it the same way I treat the sea lampreys which come on my boat attached to a salmon or trout. They come aboard in one piece; they go back to the lake in two parts. Lampreys are slick and squiggly, and the sturgeon-sucker squiggled back into the river before I could decapitate it.
Neither silver or chestnut lampreys are protected species in Minnesota so that I wouldn’t have been in trouble had I put it on the chopping block. Since then, I have now learned they don’t deserve to be hacked into pieces as do sea lampreys in the Great Lakes.

By the time the lamprey came on board the boat with me on the mighty Mississippi, I knew better. It could have been either a silver or chestnut lamprey. Both are endemic to the big river. I released it, all in one piece, soon after snapping a photo (shown here).

This native Chestnut Lamprey was released back into the Mississippi after I plucked it off a largemouth bass.

NATIVE VS. INVASIVE

Why was I so soft-hearted about the bass-sucking lamprey encountered on the Mississippi River and why am I so ruthless about the sea lampreys “vampiring” on lake trout in the Great Lakes? Aren’t the silver, chestnut and sea lampreys all doing similar things? Aren’t all of them blood-sucking parasites potentially and probably injuring or killing the fish they attack?

Absolutely! The difference is the silver lampreys in Lake of the Woods and the chestnut lampreys in the Mississippi River have never wiped out entire populations of fish where they have been found. Invasive sea lampreys did that in the Great Lakes and would still be doing it if not for lamprey control programs in the US and Canada. Even with silver and chestnut lampreys there is still plenty of sturgeon in Lake of the Woods – along with walleye, lake trout, pike, crappies and other fish. There is still plenty of fish in the Mississippi River as well.

Native lampreys and native fish all evolved together and co-developed a host/parasite relationship and achieved a natural equilibrium. The long and short of it is through a complex web, which involves many more species than just bass or sturgeon and lampreys, there aren’t ever enough native lampreys in a system to overwhelm the fish on which they feed. Nature is a savage place. Big fish eat little fish, herons and ospreys eat bigger fish. For the most part, nature is always interacting to maintain the balance. Native lampreys parasitizing native fish are as much a part of that balance as an osprey snatching a pike.

THE END

 

Are you ready for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Safari?

  • The true safari experience requires experienced professional hunters and skilled camp/field staff
  • Find hunting areas that provide a variety of game: Buffalo, Zebra, Wildebeest, Kudu, Antelope
  • Safari hunts are life-altering experiences, they captivate all your senses. Special moments in life.

By Forrest Fisher

Whenever folks think about a safari, they have shared with me that they think of the old Tarzan movies and the baggage carriers from those old movie films. I was that way too until I learned more from folks that experienced modern-day safari trips that found fun, hunting efficiency and that they are less costly than going to fish or hunt in Alaska. True fact. So what to do? Find a Safari business that caters to out-of-country visitors and ask for info. My good outdoor friend, Kevin Howard, speaks very highly of a service he has encountered that is run by a man whose name is Graham Sales.  Sales has been a professional hunter since 2000 and received the prestigious “Uncle Stevie” award in 2004 and again in 2007 from the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa. This award is an acknowledgment of excellent trophy quality. In addition, Sales received the “Professional Hunter of the Year” award in 2018.  That’s quite an honor, there is lots of competition for this award, his services are provided for hunting in South Africa and Mozambique.

South Africa:  Graham Sales Safaris has the exclusive hunting rights on South Africa’s largest provincial nature reserve – Songimvelo Nature Reserve (the film “The Ghost and the Darkness” was filmed on the Reserve). Songimvelo Nature Reserve received “World Heritage” status during 2018. Graham Sales also has the hunting rights to the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve which shares a common open boundary with the world-renowned Kruger National Park. The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve forms part of the Greater Park area, which allows free movement of the game across 432,000 acres of land. The area is made up of Mopani bushveld, acacia shrub, watering holes and riverbeds that attract a huge variety of game including elephant, buffalo, zebra, Blue Wildebeest, kudu, and several other antelope. These, in turn, attract several predators, such as lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena, which makes this a popular choice for a ‘real’ African wildlife experience.

Clients experience a free-range safari with Graham Sales Safaris in their tented Safari camp that is located on the banks of a dry riverbed which adds to the whole African Safari experience.

Mozambique: Graham Sales hunt 988,000 acres in pristine wilderness in the Niassa province – northwestern Mozambique. The area is situated north of the small town, Marrupa and south of Block C – Niassa Reserve. The concession is flanked on the left by the Ruambeze and on the west by Lureco rivers. The main habitat is Miombo woodland with some open savannah areas, seasonal wetlands, and riverine forests along with the many watercourses, rivers, and streams. The landscape is scattered with spectacular rock formations and mountains, many of them have thickets of montane forest growing in the narrow gullies that extend up the smooth-sided rock faces. The magnificent scenery combined with the vastness of the area, an abundance of game and pristine nature makes this without a doubt one of Africa’s last great wilderness areas. The Marangira area is home to prolific wildlife, including elephants and more than 60 of the critically endangered African Wild Dog. Leopards are in abundance, lions and hyenas are common with big numbers of buffalo, Roosevelt Sable, Lichtenstein Hartebeest and Livingstone Eland including three endemic species, Crawshey’s Zebra, Johnston’s Impala and Niassa Wildebeest.

In all their areas, Graham Sales clients will have exclusivity and will enjoy a true safari experience with experienced professional hunters complete with skilled camp and field staff that always have a smile on their faces.

To learn more directly, visit https://www.grahamsalessafaris.com/.

Those attending the 2020 SCI Hunters’ Convention can meet and talk with Graham Sales and Armand Theron at their SCI booth #1438 in Reno, Nevada, February 5-8, 2020.

About the SCI Hunters’ Convention: Safari Club expects upwards of 24,000 worldwide hunters to visit Reno, Nevada, February 5-8, 2020.  The SCI Hunters’ Convention represents the largest and most successful event to raise money for advocacy to protect hunters’ rights. The 2020 Hunters’ Convention will be held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center with over 452,000 square feet of exhibits and almost 1,100 exhibiting companies. Register and book rooms at www.showsci.org

Becoming an SCI Member: Joining Safari Club International is the best way to be an advocate for continuing our hunting heritage and supporting worldwide sustainable use conservation, wildlife education and humanitarian services.  JOIN NOW: www.joinsci.org

Safari Club International – First for Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI has approximately 200 Chapters worldwide and its members represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs empower sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.safariclub.org or call 520-620-1220 for more information.

Easy Venison Crockpot Chili from a Woodsman – It Will Have You Coming Back for Seconds

This chili recipe does not call for many ingredients and is delicious.

By Jason and Lotti Houser

This easy Venison Chili recipe is hearty and delicious, perfect for the cold months of hunting season, or any time you have ground venison in your freezer.

I grew up on venison. If you lived in a family of hunters, you probably did too.

When properly butchered, you end up with a lot of meat and eat it in everything from goulash to tacos to spaghetti to burgers and chili.

If you are reading this, you are probably a hunter or know someone who hunts. If that is the case, you probably have a freezer full of venison and are always on the lookout for new recipes.

A lot of hunters have their meat “processed” by a local butcher and you get back neat little packages of ground venison, venison steak, venison tenderloin, venison sausage, stuff like that. Hopefully, it is the same deer you dropped off and you hope it was properly handled. But in my house, we do it ourselves, ensuring we get as much meat to the freezer as possible, insuring that it is handled properly.

Allow the venison, onion, and pepper to cook until the meat is brown, and the vegetables are tender.

Below, this recipe is a favorite in our home. In just a few easy steps, you will have a hearty chili cooking up with great taste. You can go do other things or relax until it is time to eat. If you like, this can be cooked on the stovetop at low heat until ready to serve.

Chili is best cooked over low heat for a longer period of time to allow all the flavors to mix. Otherwise, it can be cooked over high heat if you are in a hurry. Once the meat is browned and everything is mixed, all that has to be done is to warm it up and enjoy it.

Chili is a hearty dish on these cold winter nights.

Ingredients:

  • 1-pound ground venison
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Chili powder, to taste (0 – 1 Tbs or more)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cans, 15-ounce, chili beans, drained
  • 1 can, 28-ounce, diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can tomato juice, 46-ounce
  • Diced onions, shredded cheddar cheese, scallions and sour cream for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Add ground venison, olive oil, chili powder, onion, green pepper to skillet. Cook until meat is brown, and vegetables are tender, adding the garlic during the last minute of browning. Transfer the meat mixture to a crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine all ingredients. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 hours. Garnish as desired.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Holiday Gift-Giving “From-the-Heart” Made Easy for Outdoor Folks

  • Outdoor Holiday Gifts for Friends and Family
  • One-stop shopping even when you are not sure what to buy
  • Buy a $15 coupon to support Youth and Military Veterans, earn up to $5,000 in discounts

By Forrest Fisher

Most outdoor folks have little time for shopping, even for their loved ones and best friends of the outdoors. Well now, the 2019 Online Holiday Sportsman Show can help you make a good choice in very little time with their interactive online shopping offers. Visit the outdoor show halls to find exceptional outdoor products and gifts at discount prices for everyone on your list. The Online Show allows shoppers to avoid crowds, traffic, and parking.  Stay at home and visit with hundreds of exhibitors to help make selecting the perfect outdoor gifts for outdoor enthusiasts easier than ever.

If you are looking for even deeper discounts on great products at the Holiday Sportsman Show, consider a $15 Fundraiser coupon package will open the door to more than $5,000 of exclusive savings for a wide range of gifts and products.  Gain instant cash discounts and 10 to 50 percent discounts on larger offerings, like a fishing trip or hunting trip vacation. The best part is that this coupon purchase will directly benefit our youth, conservation and U.S. veteran groups across the United States. For more information on the Fundraiser Coupon, visit www.holidaysportsmanshow.com and click on “Discount Coupons” at the bottom of the opening page. The fundraiser program helps consumers extend their holiday purchasing power while supporting Kids, Conservation and Veterans.

With the Holiday Sportsman Show, sit back, relax and have a stress-free holiday shopping experience. The show is open through Dec. 31.

The Online Holiday Sportsman Show is a property of Vexpo Marketing that also produces the award-winning www.SharetheOutdoors.com website. 

Milwaukee’s Hidden Ice-Fishing Gem

  • Fun to catch fish through the ice in a new way: “FISH ON!”
  • Ever use the ice as a live well? Learn why. Catch, Care, Release.
  • Walking (running) on the ice to a raised Flag…an Adventure!
Bait down, lines, set, it wasn’t a long wait for a flag to rise, indicating a fish.

By Jason Houser

When you think of ice fishing for big trout, the last place you probably expect to drop a line in Milwaukee.  If you haven’t experienced fishing with the Milwaukee skyline as a backdrop, you are missing out.

Getting the call from Pat Kalmerton, owner of Wolf Pack Adventures, stating he had a cancellation for a couple of days was all I needed to hear. I dropped what I was doing and pointed the truck north from my home in southern Illinois. My wife Lotte was quick to start packing, and my nephew Jordan Blair quickly jumped on board too.

Arriving in Wisconsin, the cold temperatures and snow on the ground screamed ice fishing.  It was a restless night as we anticipated with hope what the following day would bring.

Jordan Blair holds a nice trout before releasing it.

Winding our way through the streets of Milwaukee, we could only hope our GPS was taking us to where we were supposed to be.  After a few stoplights, we spotted waves bashing against a rock wall.  Then there it was, the marina had ice, and ice shanties were visible in the distance.

Roe from previously caught and released fish tied in colored mesh cloth was the bait of choice.

Parking the truck, we made the short walk to the Wolf Pack crew that already had their Frabill shacks in place, and the heaters were putting out enough heat to stay comfortable from the brutal elements outside.  Tip-ups belonging to numerous anglers dotted the ice, all with the hopes of a flag-waving proudly to signal a bite in the near future.

With an explanation from Tyler Chisholm, Jordan Bradley, and Jerrad Kalmerton what to expect throughout the morning, we went to face Mother Nature to get our rigs baited.  Our bait was going to be one of two things: shrimp or eggs that were milked from previously caught and released trout.

Having our bait lowered to the proper depth, it was just a matter of waiting.  If you like to toss a football, there is no better time to do it than when you are waiting for a tip-up to spring to life. Or, maybe grilling a burger on a portable grill better suits your taste.  Within 30 minutes, shouts of “FISH ON” came from our guides.

As they ran to the flag, we southerners gingerly made our way to the hole.  Not wanting to lose the fish, they set the hook on a fish as they patiently waited for our safe arrival.  I’m sure a few jokes were made on our behalf, but at least we didn’t fall.

My nephew Jordan was first up to bat.  Having never ice fished before, he was anxious to pull a fish through the ice.  Jerrad and Tyler did a great job coaching him as he worked the big trout to the surface.  When they realized Jordan was a little too forceful with the fish, they got him to calm down.  After a few minutes of reeling and lifting, a glimmer of silver showed right below the hole in the ice.

A makeshift Livewell was chiseled into the ice.

It was easy to realize that this was a nice trout.  Within seconds, a nice Brown Trout emerged from the hole.  The fish was quickly taken to a live well that had been chiseled into the ice.  This would be done to allow us to get the fish in water and prevent the fins from freezing, a critical practice for catch and release intentions.  Then, it was a simple task to take some fun photos of the fish, as time allowed, before releasing it back into the chilly depths of the big lake.

The action continued for the next couple hours as we caught brown trout and steelhead.  By noon, we were ready to pull our lines to get someplace that was a little warmer.  The shack was heated, but with all the action we were having throughout the morning, a seemingly permanent chill invaded our bodies.  Our hands received the brute of the punishment from wanting to get first-hand instruction on baiting the hooks and holding big chilly fish.

Throughout the course of the day, we were able to witness eggs being harvested from big trout and then releasing the fish to be caught again sometime in the future. This practice is something I have never seen or even heard of before, but it is special. It is a sustainability practice. The care that was taken with the fish to ensure survival was something I will never forget. It was a great reminder that fishing isn’t about filling the freezer, but about enjoying the catch, keeping enough for a meal, and releasing the rest.

Wolf Pack Adventures is based out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and offers ice fishing for other species, including whitefish, walleye, panfish, and more.  Fishing out of one of their many boats from spring through fall is another option for anglers looking to land walleye, trout, salmon, musky, and more.  And, if turkey hunting suits your fancy, they do that too.

With the City of Milwaukee in the background, the fishing was exceptional.

BOWHUNTERS: Dress for Success, Stay Warm, CONTROL your SMELL

  • The Parka and Bib are soft, quiet, flexible fleece shell fabric.
  • The Parka has 10 pockets for storing gear and warming hands.

By Forrest Fisher

A month ago I met Nick Andrews from ScentLok at an outdoor meeting event and he explained the technology controlling human odor during the hunt. I’m from a scientific background and it all made sense to me. Finding success in the wilds from a tree stand or ground blind is more likely with human odor containment. The Late-Season staple garments in ScentLok’s pinnacle Bowhunter Elite:1 Series, the new BE:1 Fortress Parka and Bib provide hunters, especially determined archers, the ultimate protection from the nastiest elements of smell during prime hunting season.

Nick and his associates shared many stories.

During the rut and even after the rut in areas where hunting season is still open and the days become noticeably shorter, the deep chill of winter may cause deer to move when they are trying to warm up. Watching the weather and being on stand during the minutes and hours before a major winter storm system arrives can provide a moment to capitalize on an “opportunity window” of increased whitetail activity. Hunters need to bear the elements too, during long sits on stand. Now more than ever, bowhunting success often comes down to bowhunting dress.

As the name suggests, the ScentLok BE:1 Fortress Parka and Bib are the late-season cold-weather bowhunting garments that check every box. Fully waterproof, windproof and critically insulated, they’re ultra-quiet and super-comfortable in the nastiest conditions. Purposely tailored for optimum bowhunting performance, this premium apparel features compression and sculpting for minimal bulk, full articulation to support maximum bowhunting motion and mobility, and pockets aplenty for storing gear and warming hands.

Designed and built for elite bowhunters willing to put in the time it takes to outsmart big-beamed bucks, the ScentLok BE:1 Fortress Parka and Bib are ideal for demanding late-season hunts. With a soft, quiet and flexible brushed fleece shell fabric, thermal-mapped ThinsulateTM insulation for perfect warmth, and ScentLok’s proprietary Carbon AlloyTM technology for maximum odor adsorption, this 100% waterproof, windproof and breathable system provides unparalleled late-season performance.

The new BE:1 Fortress Parka’s thermal-mapped insulation features 150g of ThinsulateTM insulation in the body, 100g in the arms and 200g along the back. It has a soft, quiet and flexible fleece shell fabric with ten pockets for storing gear and warming hands, plus a concealed safety harness access opening to keep harnesses close to the body for safety with maximum scent control. Extremely archery-friendly, the BE:1 Fortress parka’s articulated elbows ensure exceptional comfort and range of motion throughout the draw, while the articulated hood’s three-piece construction reduces bulk and allows for a positive anchor point.

ScentLok BE:1 Fortress Parka

  • Carbon AlloyTM for maximum odor adsorption
  • 100% waterproof/breathable protection
  • Thermal mapped ThinsulateTM insulation for perfect warmth (150g in the body / 100g in the arms / 200g along the back)
  • Soft, quiet, flexible fleece shell fabric
  • Ten pockets for storing gear and warming hands
  • Articulated elbows for a greater range of motion & comfort
  • Concealed safety harness opening
  • Available in Mossy Oak Elements Terra Gila at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s
  • Men’s sizes MD-3X

The new BE:1 Fortress Bib features 100g of ThinsulateTM insulation in the chest and lower legs and 150g from the waist through mid-thigh. Unmatched in storage, the BE:1 Fortress Bib is equipped with six easily accessible pockets and two additional chest handwarmer pockets.

A full-length center zipper makes for easy dressing and fly usage, while extended leg zippers with storm flaps ensure easy on and off. Upper stretch panels and adjustable suspenders keep the bib in place and minimize restrictions.

ScentLok BE:1 Fortress Bib

  • Carbon AlloyTM for maximum odor adsorption
  • 100% waterproof/breathable protection
  • Thermal mapped ThinsulateTM insulation for perfect warmth (100g in the chest & lower legs / 150g waist through mid-thigh)
  • Soft, quiet, flexible fleece shell fabric
  • Full-length center zipper for easy dressing and fly usage
  • Six storage pockets and two chest handwarmer pockets
  • Leg zippers with storm flaps for easy on and off
  • Available in Mossy Oak Elements Terra Gila at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s
  • Men’s sizes MD-3X

In addition to the new late-season BE:1 Fortress Parka and Bib, the ScentLok, Bowhunter Elite:1 apparel series includes the mid-weight BE:1 Voyage Jacket and Pant, BE:1 Reactor Jacket and Pant for on-demand insulation, plus a complete lineup of gloves, headcovers, and caps.

It’s an elevated suite of premium gear, purpose-engineered for the serious bowhunter who’s committed to solving problems, creating their own opportunities, and increasing their chances for success.

All BE:1 garments are fully compatible with ScentLok Liquids and OZ by ScentLok pre-hunt and post-hunt ozone and storage products for Complete Odor Management.

ABOUT NEXUS OUTDOORS: Nexus Outdoors, headquartered in Muskegon, MI, USA, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of performance, hunting and casual odor-controlling apparel, footwear and equipment under the ScentLok Technologies®, OZ®, Blocker Outdoors®, Whitewater, Hard Core® Waterfowl Hunting Apparel and Tree Spider® brands. It also owns American Range Systems, manufacturer and distributor of the world’s strongest and safest bullet traps. Nexus Outdoors is the only company with access to all scent-controlling technologies, including their patented Carbon Alloy™ and Cold Fusion Catalyst™ technologies, which provide superior success in the field.

 

 

 

Wildlife Trafficking Ring BUSTED in Florida, was smuggling 1000’s of turtles – all returned to wild

Thousands of turtles have been illegally taken from the Florida wilds.

  • Over 600 turtles were returned to the wild
  • Illegal commercialization of wildlife ranks 4th behind guns, drugs and human smuggling
  • Illegal trade of turtles is having a global impact on many turtle species and our ecosystems.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has charged two suspects for poaching thousands of Florida’s native turtles from the wild and selling them illegally in Florida, with final destinations in international markets. These charges represent the state’s largest seizure of turtles in recent history.

“The illegal trade of turtles is having a global impact on many turtle species and our ecosystems. We commend our law enforcement’s work to address the crisis of illegal wildlife trafficking,” said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton.

“Putting a stop to this criminal enterprise is a significant win for conservation,” said Col. Curtis Brown, head of FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “Arresting people engaged in illegal wildlife trafficking supports our environment and legal businesses. It is especially positive and rewarding to be able to release many of the turtles back into the wild.”

“We know that the global black market in live animals includes traffickers smuggling protected species of turtles out of the United States, usually for export to the Asian pet market,” said Dr. Craig Stanford, Chairman of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. “This sinister and illegal trade threatens the future of many species of North American animals, and as one of the most threatened animal groups on the planet, turtles are at the forefront of our concern.”

The illegal commercialization of wildlife ranks fourth behind guns, drugs and human smuggling and, in many instances, is connected due to the monetary gain. The International Fund for Animal Welfare estimates illegal wildlife trade in the US at $19 billion annual income.

The FWC launched an undercover investigation after receiving a tip in February 2018. Through surveillance and other investigative tactics, FWC investigators determined that a ring of well-organized wildlife traffickers was illegally catching and selling wild turtles to large-scale reptile dealers and illegal distributors, who shipped most of them overseas on the black market. Michael Boesenberg (DOB 02/05/1980) of Fort Myers, directed individuals to illegally collect turtles in large numbers; once he had enough turtles on hand he would then sell to a buyer with links to Asian markets.

To fulfill a buyer’s request, these poachers targeted habitats known for the specific species. Over time, they depleted the populations so much that they had to expand into other parts of the state to meet the growing demand. The FWC predicts that turtle populations are most heavily impacted in Lee County, the primary source for the seized turtles, but that the suspects worked with other wildlife traffickers around the state and country. The total negative impacts to wild turtle populations stretch beyond Lee County and Florida.

“Wild turtle populations cannot sustain the level of harvest that took place here,” said Dr. Brooke Talley, the Reptile and Amphibian Conservation Coordinator for the FWC. “This will likely have consequences for the entire ecosystem and is a detriment for our citizens and future generations.”

Depending upon the species, the poached turtles sold wholesale for up to $300 each and retailed for as much as $10,000 each in Asia. Evidence indicated turtles sold within one month totaled an estimated $60,000. The sellers received mostly cash, occasionally trading turtles for marijuana products.

The FWC documented more than 4,000 turtles illegally taken and sold over a 6-month period, including Florida box turtles, Eastern box turtles, striped mud turtles, Florida mud turtles, chicken turtles, Florida softshell turtles, Gulf Coast spiny softshell turtles, spotted turtles and diamondback terrapins. As a result of a search warrant served on Aug. 12, investigators found the poachers in possession of hundreds of turtles, along with the skull and shell of a protected Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. The turtles seized had an estimated black market value of $200,000.

All seized animals were evaluated for health and species identification by FWC biologists. Over 600 turtles were returned to the wild, two dozen were quarantined and released at a later date, and a handful were retained by a captive wildlife licensee since they were not native to the area. Nearly 300 of the freed turtles are now part of a long-term monitoring project by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

“SCCF has been conducting research on these turtles for nearly two decades.Thanks to FWC for uncovering this illicit activity that has adversely affected wild turtle populations,” said Chris Lechowicz, Wildlife & Habitat Management Program Director at SCCF.  

Selling wild-caught freshwater turtles is illegal and harvesting them from the wild is specifically regulated by Florida Administrative Code 68A-25.002 (6). Some turtle species may be kept as captive wildlife with the proper permits.

The public can help by reporting suspected wildlife violations to the FWC. To make a report, call the Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text Tip@MyFWC.com.

The suspects and their charges are as follows:

Michael Boesenberg (DOB 02/05/1980 of Fort Myers, FL):

  • F.S.S. 812.019(2) – Dealing in stolen property as an organizer
  • F.A.C. 68A-25.002 (6)(a)1 – 3 counts – Taking over the bag limit of turtles
  • F.A.C. 68A-25.002 (6)(a) – Over the possession limit of box turtles
  • F.A.C. 68A-25.002 (6)(c) – Sale and offer for sale turtle taken from the wild
  • The enabling statute for these violations of F.A.C 68A-6 is F.S. 379.4015(2)(a)1.
  • FAC 68A-6.004(4)(q)1(c) – 9 counts – Standard Caging Requirements for Captive Wildlife
  • F.S.S 379.2431 – Possession of marine turtle parts
  • F.A.C 68A-4.004(5) – Possession of black bear parts
  • F.S.S. 893.13(6)(a) –Possess cannabis over 20 grams
  • F.S.S. 893.13(1)(a)(2) –Possess with intent to sell/deliver
  • F.S.S. 893.13(6)(a) –Possess controlled substance (THC oil)

Michael Clemons (DOB 09/05/1996 Fort Myers, FL):

  • F.S.S. 812.019(1) –Dealing in stolen property
  • F.A.C. 68A-25.002 (6)(a)1 –2 counts –Taking over the bag limit of turtles
  • F.A.C. 68A-25.002 (6)(a) – Over the possession limit of box turtles
  • F.A.C. 68A-25.002 (6)(c) – Sale and offer for sale turtle taken from the wild
  • F.A.C. 68A-25.002(6)(b) – Transporting wild caught turtles without a permit

 

Georgia Hunters: Firearms Deer Hunting Season Opens Oct. 19

  • The season bag limit is 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer
  • If you are looking to stock up that freezer with one of the healthiest meats available—your time is here!
  • The Georgia deer firearms season opens Sat., Oct. 19 and continues through Jan. 12, 2020 statewide.
Georgia DNR Photo

“We are shaping up for yet another excellent deer season,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist for the Wildlife Resources Division. “Through reductions in doe harvest, deer population goals have been met for most of Georgia and the population is stable. Let’s all do our part to maintain this wonderful tradition, and introduce a new hunter, youth or adult, to share our passion!”

During the firearms deer season last year, more than 185,000 hunters harvested almost 170,000 deer in the state. The use of regulated deer hunting ensures that Georgia’s deer population continues to be healthy and strong.

Over one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas. Many areas offer special hunts throughout the season, including primitive weapons and modern firearms hunts. Dates and locations for hunts are available in the 2019–2020 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide (http://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations).

“Oh, and with all the media coverage on deer diseases lately, let’s cut through the confusion and talk facts,” says Killmaster. “To date, neither chronic wasting disease (CWD) or tuberculosis (TB) have been detected in Georgia deer. However, there are circumstances where wildlife biologists rely on the public to notify them of sick animals in order to monitor disease issues. Visit our website at https://georgiawildlife.com/deer-info to view the top five reasons to call.”

Quick Basics

The season bag limit is 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer (one of the antlered deer must have at least four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers). Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas.

To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, a big game license and a current deer harvest record. Licenses can be purchased online at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).

Once you harvest a deer, you must report it through Georgia Game Check. Deer can be checked on the Outdoors GA app (useable with or without cell service), at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, or by calling 1-800-366-2661. A reminder that if you have the Outdoors GA app, always be sure to update the app so you have the most current version.

For more information, visit http://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations.

Posted  courtesy of the Georgia DNR