Waterfowl Weekend

Headed out to a cold and frozen marsh Sunday, packed in all our gear over 1/4 mi on ice, pounded out a hole for the dekes and sat in ice water all morning.  My entire outer shell was frozen solid (really hard to walk in frozen waders) and the wind was howling.  I could not have been happier!  I think it strange that we hunters love to subject ourselves to that but I guess I see it as just enjoying all aspects of the outdoors!  We did play with a flock of snows but they picked us apart throughout several passes (as usual).   I did have the opportunity to hunt with some good friends, one being a 17 year old here in Lincoln who happens to be one of the best waterfowl callers I have ever met and one of the most die hard hunters to boot!   Beautiful cold blustery morning…hunters – 0, geese – 1.

I did lose my good flashlight in the turbid water under the ice but after the hunt, I went back to the hole for some deep sea fishing and would you believe, half frozen solid and half soaking wet, I was able to find that light at the bottom of the lake in the mud!  Now that is luck!   The best part…the light was still on 🙂

Get em…out there!

I’m Going Deer Hunting

…hello – hello **tap-tap**…is this thing on?…can you read me?…it appears this Blog has gone public…but I am spending some time in the wooded areas of Nebraska looking for venison backstraps and talking to my muzzleloading rifle…I’ll keep you updated on my observations from the field but I am looking forward to this season as the corn that frustrated November rifle hunters has come, or is coming, out of the field…I have kept track of a few such areas that contained alot of the standing stuff as I know it will provide some good hunting for me in December…type soon…

hershy

Smoke Poles and Deer

Perhaps few seasons make us feel as close to the natural world as our Muzzleloader Deer Season.  The fact that we have an entire month to pursue deer with the smoke pole is a tribute to the excellence in wildlife management our Agency has provided.

Currently the weather is cold and looks to get colder throughout next week.  This is an excellent time to take advantage of two strong elements in deer:

1. Any lingering signs of rutting activity – Bucks have spent the last several weeks learning what life is about.  The most mature deer will aggressively seek any lingering estrous does for one last hurrah before winter.  This being said, any does that were not mated in November as well as young does coming into estrous for the first time, will cause a second, more subdued rut to begin in December…roughly one month after the peak of the November rut which puts us into Dec 8 – 19 as key dates.  Don’t be afraid to rattle in December and estrous lures can work well too.

2. The need to feed – once the primary rut is over, deer that have invested all energy and time into breeding are now realizing they have few coals left to stoke the furnace and are eating considerably.  Hunters can take advantage of this by setting up in known feeding areas such as standing corn, harvested fields wtih waste grain, and hunting cover near those areas.  Deer are most likely to bed down closer to these hot food sources and that can really help the hunter.  Focus on these areas and keep in mind that when the temps drop midday, deer are very likely to move earely in the afternoon.   I have seen mature whitetails feeding in corn fields where I hunt at 230pm!

This is an excellent time to harvest a few extra does as well.  They will likely be moving early in the evening and soon we will be talking  about my favorite custom jerky recipes!  Did I mention I like jerky!!!!

Welcome Hunters/Anglers/Shooting Sports Enthusiasts!

I want to welcome you to a new blog that will be open to hunters, anglers and shooting sports enthusiasts (the greatest folks on earth).  For years, I have lead hunting and shooting workshops for the Commission and am anxious to begin dialogue with each of you across the state.   On this blog you will receive straight forward and timely information on hunting, fishing, shooting skills, techniques, tips, worldly insights, and my two cents!  I welcome all good interaction, comments and questions.  I also encourage you to participate in our weekly radio show…Nebraska Outdoors, every Saturday morning from 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. on Lincoln’s ESPN 1480 AM where we talk about all outdoor activities near and dear to my heart.  If you love to hunt, shoot and/or fish, I think you will enjoy these offerings!