One Shot 1941

One Shot 1941
It runs in our blood. This is our great-grandma, her first time out with a shotgun. She took this buck and this doe with one slug. She never went hunting again, didn't want to push her luck we suppose!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gobble Till You Wobble!

It's Turkey Time! Spring turkey season has officially begun! And how can we tell?


Isn't it strange how you can go from seeing field after field filled with huge flocks of hens or toms one week, to the next week, those same fields being completely blank? It's like animals have a sense when their season is about to start. They see orange in their dreams and hear shots before one is even taken!

BUT, turkey season is one of our favorites for this reason. It means we have to be extremely sneaky and put a great stalk out on a big bird. Stalking is why we love turkey hunting so much! It's such a different routine from our sitting in a tree stand in the fall. It's a way for us to spot some great birds and really become a part of nature.

Patterning a flocks activity a few weeks before can also help you with your stalk, getting use to their alarm and tracking which fields they decorate most often. Put in the work and your outcome will be a long beard and a nice Easter dinner!

Happy Hunting!
The Valentines

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Minor Adjustments...Major Benefits!

Making slight modifications to your equipment can really enhance your hunting or fishing adventure. There are several things that we do to modify our equipment to save us time, energy and in some cases, money. When is comes to wind direction, instead of buying an expensive electronic device to give you a simple wind direction reading, or purchasing a small bottle filled with powder that you have to fumble with in your pocket risking being detected by the animal, we opt to tape a small length of sewing thread to the lower limb of our bows. It requires less time and movement to simply glance over at our bow while hanging on its hanger than it does to fumble in our pocket like you would with a more expensive alternative.

Recently, horizontal ice fishing jigs have gained enormous popularity. One of the major downfalls to horizontal jigs is that you have to constantly make sure your jig is hanging horizontally. After catching several fish or jigging aggressively your jig tends to hang diagonally or even nearly vertical to your line, thus, rendering its horizontal benefits useless. One minor adjustment that we make to our horizontal jigs that make a major difference in our fishing success is to add a small length of clear rubber tubing, roughly 1/16 of an inch long, to our line prior to tying on our jig. Once we have our jig tied onto our line, we simply slide the clear rubber tubing over the eyelet and the knot. This helps to keep our jigs horizontal for much longer which saves us a lot of time, especially when our holes are filled with fish and it's imperative that we get our jigs back down the hole as soon as possible.

Now that we've given you a couple modifications that we like to use to better our hunting and fishing experience, lets hear what adjustments you like to make to your equipment to enhance your hunting and fishing adventures.

The Valentines

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tis The Season

It's time for a season of awards. For people to get dressed up in their best and celebrate their achievements. No, I'm not talking about award season, I am talking about ice fishing tournament season! Around Michigan, this is the time for fisherman to bundle up in their best gear and head out to the rivers and lakes to try and catch that prized crappie, perch, wall-eye, whatever it may be and enter it in their local fishing tournament. Around here, it's the Tip-Up Festival and headed a little more north, it's Shiver On The River. Whatever the name may be, it's time to put your best pole forward. These festivals offer a whole range of activities, prizes and yummy dinners. It's a great time to bond with other fishermen and women and share your most outrageous fish-stories. It's always great to head to the location, usually the local conservation club, and see everyone standing around admiring the trophies. So, this post is to wish us all luck and a shot at that big boy this tournament season!

The Valentines

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Catching Dinner Through The ICE

One thing we love about the winter time, ICE FISHING! Nothing seems to get us more excited than calling our local Marina to ask them for an update on the inches. Our rule, for safety of course, is 4 solid inches of ice. Well, we got our wish, although we were unable to act on it due to busy schedules. That is until this past Sunday. After church, we hurried home, suited up and headed out to what we refer to as The Gravel Pit Cove. This is a huge area to find spearing shanty's, so us, looking for smaller panfish hoped we would get lucky! The people looking for pike had to be sending some gills and perch our way right? NOPE. Although it was a rough day, we still found it rewarding. At this spot, you are able to see the bottom of the lake, it's only about 6 feet of water. This is our favorite type of spot. We love to watch the fish come right on up to our bait and sometimes right on into our holes! I'm not saying we didn't see any fish that day, we had a lot of little ones fighting for our bait right under our feet, which is excitement in itself, or at the very least, keeps you occupied. Needless to say, we didn't catch but one or two keepers, but the day was amazing. Anytime you can share the out-of-doors with someone you love, it's a great day. And don't worry, we still need to stock that freezer, so we'll be back out before you know it!

Happy Fishing!
The Valentines

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

End of Season Scouting

Scouting at the end of the season is some of my favorite times to be out in the woods preparing for next deer season. The hunting season has come and gone. The freezer is full and you don't have to worry about spooking any deer into the next county. During the winter months when there is snow on the ground, it's easy to pick up on heavily used trails that otherwise would have gone unnoticed during the fall. I like to start my scouting at the preferred feeding source in the area, most likely the nearest cornfield. From there it's pretty easy to see the main trails being used to enter and exit the field. Simply follow the tracks and note any sign you see on the way, such as rubs, scrapes, antler sheds, droppings and converging trails. All these clues can help you add up the equation as to where the deer are coming from and headed to. Make sure to keep a log of your findings or even mark the trails you discover on a topographical map to see how the deer are traveling according to the terrain of your property. During this part of the year, most of the deer have begun to calm down from the massacring days of the gun season and have returned to their normal feeding and traveling patterns, thus, allowing for you to pattern the deer for the upcoming deer season. By following the trails the deer are using heavily, you'll likely end up right in their bedroom. Not to worry, the deer will completely forget about your intrusion by the beginning of the next hunting season, but you certainly won't forget about your time spent in the woods during the winter months scouting. These tips, and a little time spent in the woods while your neighbors are curled up in front of the fireplace, will help you be one step ahead of your competitors come next season because you did your scouting in January, and not september.