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INDIANA'S CHOICE FOR OUTDOOR NEWS AND INFORMATION • SINCE 1994

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Vol. 2011 • Number 8 Like ION in print? Like us on

W W W. I N D I A N A O U T D O O R N E W S . N E T

August, 2011

2011-2012 HUNTING SEASON BEGINS THIS MONTH

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

BASS FISHING PAGES 3 & 12

SHOOTING PAGES 6 & 14

ION STAFF REPORT -Indiana’s 2011-2012 hunting season kicks off the 15th of this month when squirrels come into season. Squirrel hunting is the first hunting opportunity of the year, and is a deep-seated tradition for many Hoosiers. “I started hunting squirrels with my dad when I was ten”, says Don Clinton of Columbus. “Now, my kids look forward to going out with me”, he continues. “We never miss an opener”! The early weeks of Indiana’s squirrel season find most of our state’s fox and grey squirrels in a carefree foraging and loafing mode. Prime foods in August include hickory, black walnut and other early-maturing seeds and nuts. Most feeding takes place during morning and late afternoon hours. Spot and stalk hunting techniques work well at this time of year for the patient and observant hunter. The urgency of the coming winter affects squirrel behavior

by mid-September, as they begin to assemble their winter larders by collecting and burying nuts on the forest floor. The hickory nuts and walnuts of August give way to acorns, beechnuts and other available mast. Indiana’s daily squirrel hunting bag limit is five per day. For more information on hunting season dates, bag limits and other regulations, go to h t t p s : / / w w w. i n . g o v / d n r / f i s hwild/2711.htm

Mike Faupel, VP of Alumilite, Inc., (makers of the MakeLure products seen on The Hunt for Big Fish with Larry Dahlberg on Versus) holds a nice St. Joe River smallie. Read more on river smallmouth fishing on page 3. Learn more about MakeLure at www.makelure.com. Josh Lantz photo.

GROWING WILD HOG NUMBERS POSE ENVIRONMENTAL THREATS DNR REPORT -Regulations were passed by the Indiana Natural Resource Commission in late 2010 to help control and reduce Indiana’s environmentally destructive wild hog populations. The regulations include the following:

FISHING REPORT PAGE 7

DEER HUNTING PAGE 9

GONE AFIELD PAGE 13

• It is illegal for a person to import or possess a live wild hog in Indiana, except under stringent exemptions. • Resident landowners or other individuals with written permission can take (capture or shoot) wild hogs on the landowner’s property at any time without a permit. • The regulation removes the ability for giving economic or any other type of compensation for providing recreational opportunities to hunt wild hogs and requires captured wild hogs to be killed immediately or transported, in a container of sufficient strength preventing escape, to where they will be killed immediately. “Wild hogs” are called many different names such as wild pigs, wild boar or feral pigs. The names all refer to non-native swine and various hybrids that have either been illegally released or were formerly domestic pigs that were allowed to become feral. They pose problems in many states, including Indiana. The Indiana Department of

Natural Resources, in cooperation with the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services and the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH), is working with landowners impacted by wild hogs by providing technical information to control wild hog populations. The DNR, BOAH, and USDAAPHIS Wildlife Services; however, as policy, do not provide information on where to hunt wild hogs in Indiana. This practice is part of the DNR’s cooperative work with landowners. To help control this environmental threat, if you see feral or wild hogs, report the approximate location and number of hogs observed by contacting one of the following: • USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, (765) 404-0382; joe.n.caudell@aphis.usda.gov • DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife, dfw@dnr.IN.gov • BOAH at (877) 747-3038; animalhealth@boah.IN.gov • Individuals observing the illegal possession, importation, or release of wild hogs should contact DNR Law Enforcement at 1800-TIP-IDNR. Wild hogs cause extensive damage to agricultural crops, are a source of disease for domestic livestock, and will prey on young livestock and small animals. Wild hogs may carry a number of diseases that can also infect peo-

USFWS Photo ple, and contaminate human food sources and water supplies. Wild hogs have also been known to destroyed residential lawns, landscaping, golf courses, and rural cemeteries. Wild hogs also threaten native wildlife and their habitats. • They eat the eggs and young of ground nesting animals, including many songbirds, quail, wild

COMPLIMENTS OF:

turkey, and rabbits. • They destroy wetlands and water resources, including amphibian and reptile habitat. • Their habit of rooting causes serious damage to habitat management practices to develop nesting cover and annual food plots. • Their rooting and wallowing destroys native plants, flowers, and mushrooms.


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August, 2011 Edition


August, 2011 Edition

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Dog Day River Smallies

flow can also turn the fish off -even though the water may still be fairly clear. Stable conditions are key to the best river smallmouth fishing action.

JOSHLANTZ River smallies don’t care if it’s hot. Find them, show them the right bait and they’ll give you as much August fishing action as you want. Indiana is blessed with a relative abundance of these hardfighting gamefish, and it is difficult to beat the state’s rivers for catching smallies during the dog days of summer. Even as river temperatures creep up towards 80degrees, smallies stay on the hunt for crayfish and minnows in areas with sufficient current and dissovled oxygen. How hard do they fight? Hook one and see for yourself. Their power and will are remarkable. When to fish ‘em Fish for river smallies anytime the water is clear enough for them to see your bait. Forget about fishing after heavy rains and runoff periods that muddy the water. Dramatic fluctuations in

Where to fish ‘em Almost any river or creek in our state can contain smallmouth bass. Some of Indiana’s best include places like Sugar Creek, Wildcat Creek, the Saint Joseph River, Tippecanoe River, and the White River. Smallies can be found at various locations throughout the river, but typically favor four kinds of areas in late summer: river channel edges, riffle tailouts, shaded banks and defined current seams. The best spots combine two or more of these key features. Fish may be well-dispersed in deeper rivers, but are often highly concentrated in shallower streams with relatively low flows. How to fish ‘em Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners, soft plastics and topwater baits will all take summertime river smallies, as will a variety of flies. Of course, the best baits offer an approximation of what the fish are eating -- and one thing they are almost sure to be eating is crayfish.

Crayfish can be imitated with a variety of crankbaits. Be sure to fish them so they plow into the bottom and bounce off the rocks and gravel. A lot of anglers fish river smallmouths with 3-4” tube jigs another great presentation which mimics crayfish, their favorite food item. Any soft plastic in the 2-4” range hopped or dragged along the bottom is likely to be thumped by a hungry bronzeback. My personal favorite is the 3.25” YUM Wooly Bug. This versatile, little bait can be rigged a number of ways, but I prefer to rig it weedless on a size 1 offset bass hook - about the smallest you can buy. I rig it Texas style with a 1/4-oz. bullet weight and a small glass or plastic bead. When fished on 8lb. spinning gear, this rig can be accurately pitched to deep pockets under the trees along shaded banks, or hopped along the bottom along the channel edge. The bait’s profile mimics a crayfish, and the weight and bead click together and give bass another stimulus to zero in on. Another nice thing about this rig is that the bass really hold onto the Wooly Bug for a long time, giving the angler plenty of time to set the hook. Indiana’s river smallies vary in size from 6-inches and a few

ounces to rare individuals over 20-inches and several pounds. The state’s current river fishing regulations allow anglers to keep up to 5 smallmouth bass at least 12-inches long, so most fish caught are slightly under 12-inches. Thankfully, these regulations are changing. Beginning next year, river anglers will still be able to keep five bass, but larger fish between 12 and 15-inches will be protected from harvest. This change should result in bigger smallies for everyone to enjoy catching. Next time you think it’s too hot to fish, plan a float down a nearby river with a fishing buddy. Hop in the canoe and enjoy a day or afternoon catching one of Indiana’s greatest and most wide-

ly-available gamefish. For more information on river smallmouth fishing and regulations, go to h t t p : / / w w w. i n . g o v / d n r / f i s hwild/5871.htm#bass

Mike Perkins of Chesterton with a nice Saint Joseph River smallmouth bass taken on a YUM 3.25” Wooly Bug. Josh Lantz photo.

® Volume 2011 • Number 8 Publisher: Brian E. Smith Assistant Publisher: Mark C. Smith Editor-in-Chief: Joshua D. Lantz Sportsmen’s Rights Editor: Rick Story Field Editor: John Martino, Central Indiana Field Photographer: Bill Konway Graphic Design: graphics@ION4U.net Layout & Editing: Sand Creek Media Office Manager: Shannon E. Smith Advertising Sales: (877) 251-2112 E-Mail: contact@ION4U.net Web Site: www.IndianaOutdoorNews.net Business & Publication Office: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 69, Granger, Indiana 46530 Phone: (877) 251-2112 • Fax: (800) 496-8075 INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS® is the official publication of Raghorn Incorporated, and is published monthly at the address listed above. For home delivery and subscription rates, look for the subscription card in this publication. Editorial contributions may be submitted to the above address. No material can be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. Photographs are accepted and greatly appreciated. All materials submitted become the property of Raghorn Incorporated and are subject to editing to meet the objectives of this publication. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual authors, not the editors, staff or any other representative of RAGHORN’S INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS or Raghorn, Inc. “Raghorn’s Indiana Outdoor News” is a registered Trademark of Raghorn Incorporated. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be used or copied without prior written consent of Raghorn Inc. Violation of copyright laws will be prosecuted. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to RAGHORN’S INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS, P.O. Box 69, Granger, Indiana 46530.

Copyright© 2011

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August, 2011 Edition

Coho Plan Could Help River Fishing

LOUIESTOUT The news that Indiana will stock 60,000 coho salmon in the St. Joseph River this fall is welcomed news for South Bend area anglers. The young coho to be stocked at Mishawaka in late October will migrate to Lake Michigan and return as adults in 2013. Like steelhead, salmon “imprint” to stocked waters and use instincts to return to spawn as adults in the fall. Lake Michigan biologist Brian Breidert said his agency hopes the coho will bolster the fall steelhead fishery that has become a disappointment for St. Joe anglers the past few years. He expects to continue the coho stocking for three to five years. No one appreciates the news more than Dick Parker of Central Park Bait and Tackle in Mishawaka, who has devoted a big portion of his business since 1992 to the St. Joe trout and salmon. “It's really good news,” he said. “Let's hope it makes up for the dismal steelhead returns we've seen the past five years.” He and the Michiana Steelheaders have championed

coho stockings for the Hoosier section of the river to offset the disappointing steelhead runs. Parker noted that out-of-town anglers who came each fall from as far as Chicago and Indianapolis have been staying home the past few years. That impacts motels, bait shops, gas stations, restaurants and convenience stores, he said. There used to be at least five charter captains running businesses on the river,” he lamented. “Now there's one.” State officials have no definitive answers why the steelhead run has diminished. Breidert had speculated low returns were due to heavy harvest by Lake Michigan boat anglers, but now suspects it may have something to do with smaller fish being stocked a few years ago and the fish maturing later. Hot river temperatures in recent years could be a factor, too. The Skamania steelhead should begin trickling into the river during summer months and pick up steam in the fall. The past few years, the run has come later, with the bulk not returning until spring. “The problem with the spring fishery is we get rains, the water gets high and muddy and difficult to fish,” said Parker. “We need these fish in the fall when it's easier for anglers to get to them.” The additional coho being

stocked aren't new fish the DNR has created, rather fish siphoned off from other stockings it makes in Trail Creek and the Little Calumet in northwest Indiana. Those streams will continue to get coho, but 15,000 are being taken from Trail Creek and 45,000 from Little Cal stockings. “We boosted coho stockings in those streams in 2002 but haven't seen a marked improvement in the fall returns on those streams,” Breidert explained. “We think we can move some of those fish to the St. Joe and improve that fishery without hurting the others.” How will coho do in the St. Joe? In 1996, Indiana stocked 75,000 coho into Indiana and got 6,400 back. “We're hoping for a 5 to 8 percent return to the St. Joe in two years,” Breidert said. “That would be a blessing,” said Parker. “It might be enough to get the out-of-towners to come back.” Last fall, Indiana planted 8,900 surplus coho in the St. Joe, but anglers probably won't see the benefit until next year. To make it to South Bend, the coho must survive intense spring fisheries in southern Lake Michigan as well as river angling at Berrien Springs, Buchanan and Niles dams in Michigan as they make their way back to Indiana. Coho run when the river

cools in September and into October. They move into the streams to spawn, and ultimately, die. Steelhead don't spawn until spring, after which they return to Lake Michigan. “The coho are a lot easier to catch than the king salmon that used to be stocked here,” said

Parker. “Frankly, I think the salmon help improve the steelhead fishing, because the steelhead follow them in to gobble up their eggs. Some guys don't believe that, but if you look at when we had good steelhead runs, it was when we had salmon in the river, too.”

The DNR will stock 60,000 coho salmon in the Saint Joe River this fall and hopes some will return in the future as adults like this one. Josh Lantz photo.

Better steelhead run? Breidert anticipates a better steelhead run this fall based upon early returns to Michigan fish ladders in late June. Bodine Hatchery crews collected more than 200 steelhead, including a few at the South Bend dam, and at the Berrien Springs fish ladder. The fish were taken to Bodine and will be used as brood stock for future stockings. “This is far earlier than we have been getting summer fish, so we see it as a positive sign,” Breidert said. The DNR scheduled monthly brood stock collections with hopes of reaching its 700-fish goal by the end of September.


August, 2011 Edition

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August, 2011 Edition

Have a Gun Party

The Straight Shooter BRENTWHEAT We are squarely in the height of summer: the days are long, the outdoors is alive and the screen door is being slammed every 17 seconds by bored children in search of something to do besides throwing dirt clods at their siblings. Even though it is hotter than the hinges of hell right now and we can’t wait for school to reopen, it’s hard to believe that Indiana’s first hunting season (squirrels, not children) also begins this month. That means right now is time to be thinking about our firearms. If you’re like me, you always end up putting off the preparing of your hunting gear until it is suddenly 48-hours before opening day and beads of cold sweat appear as you realize that you’ve frittered away the entire off-season. Immediately after work the next day you swing by the local Mega-Mart to buy ammunition but get stuck in line behind an elderly woman who purchases

$300 dollars in lottery tickets using rolled nickels. You then violate several dozen traffic laws in your haste to reach the firing range before dark but are exasperated to find 50 other shooters vying for the 10 firing lanes. After waiting your turn, you realize you’ve forgotten your range bag. This leads to more lost time as you try to paste up the target with several pieces of chewing gum and your wife’s lost earring that was rolling around the bottom of glove compartment. As the last bit of sun departs for the other side of the world, you finally fire and a large puff of dirt erupts five feet left of the target. Strangely, the gun sights have somehow been bumped during the preceding 11 months of storage in a rolled-up sweatshirt under the seat of your pickup truck. You continue frantically firing in the growing blue dusk, eventually reduced to using old compact disks from the car for targets. Only a faint grim smile crosses your lips as a Vanilla Ice CD shatters into a thousand pieces. Finally, using the car headlights to illuminate the target, you fire your last shell. The gun is now ready to make a clean oneshot kill, provided you remember to hold a point of aim exactly six feet high and four feet northwest at a 72-degree elevation. There is a better way. Instead of waiting until the

last moment before the season starts, make plans today to have a Gun Party: an afternoon of just you and a couple of your favorite firearms hanging out on the range to blow out the literal and figurative dust, check mechanical function and to renew the bonds between hunter and weapon with no pressure, stress or time constraints. First, plan a time when you are not in a hurry. Consider precision rifle shooters as they arrive at the range; regardless of firing pace, their approach to set-up and preparation is both methodical and deliberate. You don’t see those guys and gals scurrying around on the night before a match, desperate trying to decide how many cartridges versus minutes of daylight are left. Your Gun Party should be an enjoyable day away from worries, not a frantic or frustrating task that leaves you more stressed. Remind yourself that, after all, this is truly the first day of the new hunting season. Don’t take a buddy to your gun party. He or she will either grow bored before you do, they will want to stay longer than you planned or things will turn into an impromptu competition. Friends on the gun range are great fun but once in a while you need time alone to focus on the task at hand. Make sure you have plenty of supplies for the party. You will need ample ammunition and all

the other usual shooting accessories: ear and eye protection, staplers, targets, sun screen, plenty of water in a cooler, a snack and perhaps a bandanna to wipe away the occasional errant drop of sweat. We also pack a fine cigar in the gear bag for that contemplative half-time break. Once you are satisfied that you and your weapon are shooting to the best of your collective abilities, take a breather before firing a few more rounds. These are the “confidence” rounds that you will remember when pulling the gun out of the case in a few weeks. Never end your practice on a bad hit or string of fire. Before leaving the range, sit in the shade someplace and clean your weapons. Obviously a clean weapon is more reliable but the goal today is not just cleanliness. Instead, you are trying to truly learn (or re-learn) the operations, idiosyncrasies and physical characteristics of your gun. If you know every screw and machining mark on your weapon, you are much more likely to notice when something is out of place. A friend of mine lost what he believes is a possible recordbook deer when he repeatedly dropped the hammer on his muzzleloader without the safety being released. It was a brand-new gun with a different style of safety and in the stress of the moment, he couldn’t remember how it worked. That deer has likely died of

old age but my friend still spends time every summer making sure he instinctively knows every little nuance of his guns. He also still shakes his head in disgust. It’s your choice: a gun party or a pity-party.

Party Places. . . There are many places to spend a pleasant day on the firing range before hunting season starts. • Most Indiana Department of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Areas offer some type of firing range. Inquire at the main office or visit the DNR website at www.in.gov/dnr • The Atterbury Shooting Complex at Atterbury FWA i s perhaps one of the finest public facilities in the state. Visit the website at www.atterburyshootingcomplex.com • J.E. Roush Lake near Huntington offers a modern facility constructed in 2005. Visit the DNR website or phone (260) 468-2165 • The National Rifle Association has a great search engine function for shooting ranges (and other programs). It is somewhat difficult to locate on their website: www.nra.org/nralocal.aspx


August, 2011 Edition

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

Here’s some information to help you catch your limit -- regardless of your wardrobe.

JIMBIDDLE Last month was pretty exciting here at my place. I had a birthday and we remodeled our bathroom. My grandchildren also took several awards at the Porter county 4-H fair. August is going to be another big month for the wife and I, as we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. I hope the weather cooperates, as we are planning a big outdoor party with friends and family. I didn’t get in much fishing time last month due to all the house work and such. I’m really not sure about this month either. Most of you know I prefer to fish in warm weather -- times when a short sleeve shirt is just the thing to be comfortable. If you wanted to be comfortable last month, however, wearing a bathing suit would have been sufficient. Call me old school, but somehow fishing in a bathing suit doesn’t fit my image of a fisherman. I guess in reality it doesn’t make any difference what you wear as long as you’re enjoying yourself and are catching fish. So put on whatever makes you feel good and head on out.

Lake Michigan Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch Tackle in Hammond says the perch and steelhead action is good at Burns Ditch (Portage pierhead) and Michigan City. They’re also catching a few kings. The steelhead go for trolling spoons in the bumble bee color and the best action is at the 40 to 50 depths. If we have an east or southeast wind for a couple days, pier anglers can get into the action too by casting orange wobble spoons. Smallmouth action remains good around Gary light and power. If you go for smallmouth use Poor Boys fished on a darter head or live crayfish. Fish the deep holes at Wolf Lake if you want to take a good walleye. The walleyes seem to go for leeches or Rapalas. Saint Joseph River Dick Parker at Parker’s Central Bait & Tackle in Mishawaka tells me the river is quite low and the fishing hasn’t been much to talk about. So with the hot weather and low water it’s going to be rough to catch many fish. Josh Lantz of World Class Fly Fishing may be fishing a different part of the river, because he reports good action on smallmouth bass with both fly tackle

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and soft plastics. Josh says to cast poppers, Clousers and weighted crayfish imitations on your fly rod when fish are on under the trees on the banks, and to hop tubes or other soft plastics along the channel edge when the fish move off the banks. Northwest Indiana Penny Boisvert from Greenwood Bait Shop in English Lake reports some nice walleye action in the Kankakee. Horseshoe Bend just south of LaCrosse is the place for some nice crappie action with minnows or jumbo redworms. The Point in English lake is also providing some nice catfish using night crawlers or goldfish. The Point is also a good spot for suckers. North Central Indiana Larry Stover at Ye Old Tackle Box at North Webster says in this kind of weather fish from 9 in the evening until 6 in the morning!! Pike and Winona Lakes in Warsaw are the spots for bass using a Berkley Power Worm. Walleye are hitting on jerk baits or a Rattle Rogue. Action is also good on Wawasee. Central Indiana Ed McCalla Jr. at the Bait Barn in Indianapolis says the mosquitoes are still pretty bad. I guess in that case your mosquito repellent is as important as your bait. If you want some good

bass fishing head to upper Fall Creek near the dam or Fort Harrison Park armed with a Berkley Power Bait or some butter worms. The crappie fishing in the area has slowed down some but Ed expects it to pick back up soon. Head out late at night or in the early morning hours with some shad guts if you want to land a catfish. East Central Indiana Ed Gipson from Peacepipe Bait & Tackle at Andrews reports good crappie fishing near the dam and Mt. Aetna in the late evening. Ed says white bass action is pretty good using night crawlers, rooster tails or cicada blade baits. Fishing near the dam is also the hotspot for some great catfish action. As always the catfish like shad guts, chicken livers or night crawlers. West Central Indiana Terry Raines at Twin Lakes Fish & Game says silver bass action is great with Cleos, Cast Masters or Rattle Traps. Terry says fishing the rocky shorelines of the river will get you some nice smallmouth bass. Fishing in the Tippecanoe above Buffalo will also get you some nice smallmouth and a walleye or two. Terry expects the bluegill action to pick up again soon. Southwest Indiana Dedra Hawkins at The Fishin Shedd in Bloomington tells me

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the fishing is great in her area. Trolling with shiners or night crawlers near the dam will land you some nice walleyes. If you want crappie or bluegill fish at a depth of 10 to 15 feet using minnows or a chartreuse colored jig. For the bluegill, red worms or crickets is the way to go. Late night or early morning is the time to catch the big catfish. Fish near the rock walls or downed trees. The bait of choice for catfish would be night crawlers, shrimp or chicken livers. Southeast Indiana Tag Nobbe at Brookville Lake Guide Services in Brookville tells me that the walleye are hitting on a jig and night crawler if you fish the flats on the main lake. Tag says the crappie action is still going strong around submerged brush. Large and smallmouth bass have slowed down but you can still take them around rock piles. Catfish are on the beds so don’t expect much action with them. Well, my part is finished, so now it’s up to you. I’m not going to go out and catch them for you. So dress comfortably and have at it. And if I see you out there fishing in your bathing suit, I promise not to laugh. Remember what Ol” JB always says, “ Fisherman are so smart because fish is a brain food!” Good luck and I’ll talk to you again next month.


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INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

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August, 2011 Edition

A Marketplace for the Outdoor Enthusiast!

World Class Fly Fishing with Josh Lantz

Crossword Answers on page 13!

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August, 2011 Edition

DEER HUNTING There's a whitetail hunting paradise within a few hours of your home. You may or may not know about it, but, either way, you ought to get there this fall as fast as the speed limit will allow. We're all aware of the large number of huge bucks that southern and southeastern Iowa has been giving up over the past several years. Iowans have significantly bolstered the Pope and Young, Boone and Crockett and other record book entries for a decade or more. But, perhaps the best kept secret in the deer hunting world is that northeast Missouri features hunting every bit as good as Iowa's - you don't have to get into a lottery or apply for your deer tag months before the sea-

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

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Northeast Missouri’s Secret Trophy Whitetails son. And , if you're a non-resident , the Missouri deer tag is well less than half the cost of the Iowa license. “I'm not sure why our northeast Missouri deer don't show up in the record books the way the Iowa deer dominate the listings,” said Kevin Small, owner of KT's Trophy Hunts in the heart of Missouri's big deer country. “But, frankly, I'm very glad they don't! The competition for trophy bucks is not nearly as intense and, as a result, we can manage our deer in a sensible way and take monsters year after year.” And Small does take massive deer on his 6,500-acre operation near Memphis, Missouri. A lot of them. Real bruisers. Every year. KT's Trophy Hunt clients regularly take deer topping 150 inches and every year it seems one or more 170-class deer fall victim to the company's hunters. The top three deer taken by KT's Trophy Hunt clients in 2010 measured 176, 172 and 169 inches. One hunter had a crack at a deer that ended up in a neighbor's larder, stretching the tape to 206. The largest-ever whitetail taken on Small's land went 213!

KT’s Hunts boasts an 80% success rate for rifle hunters and a 50% success rate for archery hunters on bucks over 130-inches.

“We let our deer grow up,” said Small. “We have a 130-inch minimum and will not put a hunter in a stand where they won't get an opportunity to take a deer of that size or larger.” The stringent harvest program, coupled with the area's fabulous genetic dynamics and some of the nation's most incredible whitetail feed make an operation like KT's Trophy Hunts a hunter's dream come true. But, the telling factor in the success of KT's Trophy Hunt clients is Small himself. Kevin Small is a hunter's hunter and intimately knows his land and the habits of the deer that reside there. When he puts a hunter in a stand, he has every confidence that the hunter will score because he and his employees have put in the time and shoe leather to make certain that the stand is properly placed for best results. Rifle and many muzzleloader hunters hunt from weather proof “condo” stands and archery hunters typically hunt from LocOn or ladder stands, outfitted with climbing sticks to ensure safety. The proof of KT's Trophy Hunt's success is in the successes of the hundreds of clients that have hunted with Small over the years. The firm boasts an 80 per cent overall success rate for rifle hunters and a 50 per cent success rate for bow hunters. “I'm very confident in saying that over 90 per cent of our rifle hunters and better than 75 per cent of our archery hunters have had opportunities to take their trophies,” said Small. The 2011 Missouri rifle deer

season starts November 12 and runs for two weeks. In 2011, deer archery season begins September 15 and muzzle loading rifle season is in mid-December. If I were you, I would get in touch with Kevin Small as fast as possible and make a date to hunt true trophy whitetails in one of America's most big-buck-rich environments. There are no guarantees in hunting, but I can promise that you'll learn a great deal

www.zolmantire.com

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By Rick Story about hunting, have an opportunity at the trophy of a lifetime and have a ball in the process. His prices are extremely reasonable, his food is wonderful and the sleeping arrangements at his lodge are perfectly comfortable. Contact Kevin Small at KT's Trophy Hunts, RR1, Box 170, Rutledge, MO, 63563. Phone (660) 651-0655. And check out his website at www. k t s hunts.com.


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August, 2011 Edition

W A N T E D : 1 Million U

Key U. S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Victories • 30 states have passed families afield legislation since 2004. Over 418,000 new sportsmen have entered the field as a result. • USSA Trailblazer Program has introduced over One Million Youth to the Outdoors since 2001. • USSA Leads Sportsmen to Defeat Federal AntiTrapping Bill. • Sportsmen Defeat Antis' Efforts to Ban Bear Hunting with Bait.

When you buy a hunting license, you help fund programs that provide hunting opportunities. The same applies to fishing and trapping, and those license purchases. Sometimes, however, you need to invest more, to have more—or to protect what you have. One of the best—and most important—investments you can make for your outdoor sports future could be the time it takes to encourage a friend to become a member of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) grassroots Sentry program. The time required is short, joining is FREE, and now when you encourage a friend to become a Sentry, YOU and your recruit will receive a coupon for 55% off the price of Alpen Optics products. This is the first of several offerings that you and your friends can enjoy under the expanding Sentry program. The U.S. Sportsmen’s

Alliance is a watchdog organization that protects and advances America’s hunting, fishing, and trapping heritage. The USSA monitors legislation from all 50 states, Congress, and state and federal game departments and agencies, plus courts, to monitor laws and proposals related to hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife management. When a bill or proposal is discovered that negatively impacts those outdoor opportunities, the USSA staff goes into action. Efforts are made to alert sportsmen and sportswomen, educate USSA and Sentry members and others, and win public support. This tireless effort has taken place in all 50 states, against many court cases, and on federal and state land issues. The topics have ranged from hunting on National Wildlife Refuges, bear hunting issues, and bowhunting for deer restrictions. During recent times, the USSA has countered attempts by anti-hunting and animal rights groups to curtail the use of dogs during hunting by creating prohibitive breeder regulations. Another great example is a recent court victory by USSA over the animal rights lobby in an 8year lawsuit that attempted to halt hunting on more than 60 National Wildlife Refuges. These and countless other issues are reviewed by USSA staff and a game plan for each issue is developed.

By performing this valuable service, Sentries are the eyes and ears of hunting and outdoors communities across America. “Becoming a Sentry is possibly the single most important thing you can do to protect your hunting, fishing, trapping and outdoor sports rights,” said Dick Cabela, co-founder of Cabela’s and chairman of the USSA Board of Directors. “This program permits you to discover the details and stay abreast of any introduced anti laws or animal rights agen-

das. If you think such bills don’t--or won’t-- happen in your state, you are wrong. The thousands of anti-hunting bills introduced across the nation each year should be reason enough to cause you concern. Becoming a Sentry is a step in the right direction to ensure the future of our hunting heritage.” Sentries are needed in all 50 states to work to protect dove and deer hunting, fishing, bowhunting seasons, trapping opportunities and other interests.

Become a Sentry, Become a Watchdog • In less than one year, more than 110,000 hunters and anglers have become US Sportsmen's Alliance Sentries. Sentries are needed in all 50 states. • Signup is free at www.ussportsmen.org/beasentry • Sentries receive e-mails when negative legislative bills or action are underway in your state or region. • Sentries can obtain maps, and other useful hunting gear and information as part of the member package. • Sentries receive a free weekly e-newsletter that covers the issues. • Sentries are provided with details on how and when to take action. • You can take part in battling -- and beating -- anti-hunting and anti-trapping forces, such as HSUS, PETAand other groups. • The Sentry program has a proven track record of winning legislative and court battles. • Work together with other hunters and anglers to defend your rights and interests. • The Sentry program is championed by celebrities like: Adam Vinatieri, Jeff Foxworthy, Jim Zumbo, and Dick and Mary Cabela.


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USSA Sentries For this important work to continue, we urge YOU to ask your FRIENDS to JOIN NOW! Courts and legislators are becoming increasingly focused on lastminute actions that can rob your hunting, fishing, and trapping opportunities. The rapid response Sentry program reverses this trend. If you are already one of the 110,000-plus USSA Sentries, encourage a friend or family member to sign up. (Note: The requester's name must be entered

to participate in the Alpen Optics program.) The discount coupon on highly rated Alpen Optics is our way of saying thanks for your time and support. Together, we counter the efforts of powerful anti-hunting and animal rights groups wanting to take away our privileges. For more details, visit www.ussportsmen.org/beasentry . Additional details are also available by calling the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance at 614-8884868. For more on Alpen Optics, visit www.alpenoptics.com.

USSA Trailblazer Program: Over 1 Million Youth Introduced to the Outdoors Since 2001

The Trailblazer Adventure Program was designed by USSA to expose families to outdoor activities during the Trailblazer Adventure Day and offer them the chance to engage in other outdoor related activities with integration partners. This program serves as an all-around introduction to the thrill of outdoor sports and the importance of conservation. It is typically hosted

by youth serving organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the United States and YMCA. Other hosts and partners are the U.S. Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club, local school systems and state wildlife agencies. The Trailblazer Adventure Day features a variety of activities, demonstrations and orientation sessions designed to show children and their parents what the outdoor lifestyle is all about. Activities include firearm safety, archery, trapping, fishing and much more. All activities are conducted under the supervision of experienced Trail Guides with an

emphasis on safety. Local Field Directors, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation representatives, attend each event to ensure coordination between all participating organizations. The Trailblazer Adventure Program has integrated with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the Bass Federation Nation (BASS) to assist in educating the youth of today. It continues to work with other national, regional and local organizations and associations on integrating with the Trailblazer Adventure Program to develop additional outdoor education and shooting opportunities. For more information, go to www.trailblazeradventure.org.


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August, 2011 Edition

Weedline Bass From the Inside Out

B

efore I dive into this subject, I should probably define what a “weedline” is first. A weedline is the edge of a weed bed where the vegetation stops BABEWINKELMAN and open water begins. It’s no secret that largemouth bass relate to these weedlines. The reason is simple. Weedlines provide bass with protective cover and they serve as excellent ambush points when bass are feeding. Most bass anglers spend the majority of their weedline time with the boat in deeper water while pitching to the outside weedline. That’s perfectly fine. The bass are routinely there. But what many anglers fail toappreciate is that a weed bed typically has two weedlines. One on the deep side and one on the shallow side. Sure, some weed beds go all the way up to shore – in which case there is no inside line. But more often, there’s a stretch of sandy, gravely or rocky bottom between shore and where the vegetation starts growing. This “inside weedline” can be pure dynamite, so don’t overlook it. When I hit the water for weedline bassing, I like to start by focusing on these inside lines. It’s often where the most aggressive fish are, and the bigger fish too. Because water depths here are shallow, I use lures that run up high and cover water fast. Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, weedless spoons lipless or shallow-diving cranks and “dog-walking” topwater plugs are great search baits for the task. Long casts, particularly in clear water lakes, are essential since boat presence in that shallow water can sometimes turn a fish off. If you tag a fish on one of these long casts, make a mental note of where the strike happened in the retrieve. It’s likely that the bass had some pals with him, so there’s a good chance of pulling two or three from that general area. To help boost your chances of this happening, set the

search bait rod down and pick up your soft plastic rod. Use a Texas-rig worm, creature bait, Senko or whatever your favorite presentation is. Get a good cast’s length from where that first fish bit and cast to that spot. Allow the bait settlestraight to the bottom and let it sit for 10-20 seconds. If a bass spotted the bait dropping from a distance, letting it sit gives him time to move in on it. And bass don’t mind hitting a soft plastic that’s just lying there. If no strike happens during this time, give the bait a subtle twitch or even a slow drag. Then let it sit, and repeat the presentation. No fish after a few casts? Keep moving and go back to that search bait rod. As you move, pay close attention to the curvature of the weedline and focus most of your attention on areas where the weedline makesinside turns or juts out in little points. Bass like these irregularities. Also key in on spots where the weeds are the thickest. Generally speaking, the thicker the cover the better. If the inside weedline is a bust, then it’s time to give the outside weedline a try. Approach the deeper vegetation the same way you did in the shallows, ripping search baits to locate active fish. To do this, you’ll position your boat so you can cast nearly parallel to the weedline. Again, if you pop a fish, hope there’s a school there and switch to your slow-presentation soft plastic rig. Move the boat out into deeper water and pitch into the weed edge perpendicularly. I think a lot of these weedline bass like to feed on small bluegills, so I like bait colors that seem to emulate sunfish. Green and pumpkin brown plastics are proven performers. And for whatever reason, blue and purple colors work great too. Sometimes the vegetation species vary between what’s growing on the shallow side and what’s out deeper. Certain plant species seem to be better bass magnets than others. Cabbage is my personal favorite. But reeds, coontail, milfoil and wild rice all attract largemouth too. Regardless of what types of plants are growing in your lake, keep an eye out for the plant color. Healthy, bright green plants will almost always outproduce drab, wilty, browning vegetation. Weedline bass fishing has always been one of my

favorite things to do. If you haven’t done it yet, give it a try and I promise you’ll love it too. I hope some of the tips I’ve laid out here help you catch more fish. And if you have any tips you’d like to share with the rest of us, feel free to post them on the Babe Winkelman Facebook page. Babe Winkelman is a nationally-known outdoorsman who has taught people to fish and hunt for more than 25 years. Watch the award-winning “Good Fishing” and “Outdoor Secrets” television shows on Versus, Fox Sports Net, WILD TV, WFN and many local networks. Vi s i t www.winkelman.com for air times where you live.

Jim Schmidt shows the results of pitching a YUM Mighty Bug to an inside weed edge during late summer. Josh Lantz photo.


August, 2011 Edition

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THIS MONTH’S WINNER!

Bill Payne of Highland with his first Indiana muskie caught on Kosciusko County’s Lake Webster.

Gavin Jackson and his first musky. The fish was 40" long and was caught on Bruce Lake using a Bulldawg. The picture was sent in by his friend Wes Biddle.

Wes Biddle and his spring 2011 turkey shot at 35 yards with a Benelli Nova. The bird was 23-lbs. with 21mm spurs and a 10-1/2" beard.

Steve Tadd and buddy Pete lost two steelhead before finally getting this one into the net while trolling on Southern Lake Michigan last month. Briahna Cates of Georgetown and her first bluegill. She caught it by herself with her new Ultra Lite pole. The picture was sent in by Ron Cates, a very proud father. Jim Perkins of Chesterton with a nice Saint Joseph River smallmouth bass.

This months answers From Puzzle on Page 8

Gone Afield monthly photo contest. . . It’s EASY! It’s FUN! Fill out this form and send it in with your favorite outdoor photograph. A winner will be randomly selected each month to win a great outdoor prize!

Entry Information: Person submitting the photo: Name(s) of person(s) pictured: Other information describing the photo: If I’m selected as this month’s random winner, please send my prize to:

Send your photos to: Gone Afield P.O. Box 69 Granger, IN 46530 E-mail submissions welcome at: www.contact@ION4U.net. If mailing photos, please include a SASE if you’d like us to return them to you CONTEST RULES: Raghorn, Inc. shall retain the right to publish or not publish any images submitted in any of it’s media outlets. Winners chosen at random. Prizes are subject to change and contest may cease without notice.


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August, 2011 Edition

Ten Reasons Why You Should Be Shooting an MSR

The rise in popularity of the Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) (aka the AR-10, AR15, and similar) has ranked it as one of the hottest selling rifles in years. A recent ALANGARBERS trip to a popular gun store in Indianapolis proved the point by having more than fifty percent of their shelves stocked with MSRs. Shooting, building, and personalizing MSRs can be so addicting that often MSR gun owners can't stop at just one. In fact, a recent survey shows MSR owners average 2.6 rifles. That says a lot, but it also makes one wonder why they are so popular. In my quest to find out why I went to Matt Secrest of Indy Tactical Supply in Mooresville. He helped me compile a list of reasons you and I should be shooting an MSR. 1 . Accuracy - Even the most inexpensive stripped down MSR is more accurate than most of us that are shooting them. By changing to match-grade barrels and quality optics, the MSR can achieve sub MOA accuracy and reach out past 500 yards. 2 . Anyone Can Handle it - The original AR with the standard chambering of .223/5.56 NATO was designed to get rid of shoulder-pounding recoil commonly found in the military weapons that preceded it. The M1 Garand and M1A in 30-06 and .308/7.62 NATO can leave bruises after an afternoon of plinking. The light recoil of the AR makes it enjoyable for shooters of all sizes. With the new adjustable stocks the length of pull can match anyone's body. Plus, with its alloy frame it is lighter than many “youth” models of firearms. 3 . The Fun Factor - Face it, video games have replaced many outdoor activities, including the shooting sports. Sure, shooting a single shot .22 LR can be fun but even shooting video games like Halo® can't beat the thrill of plinking with a real MSR. Some versions of MSRs -- like

the Smith and Wesson M&P 15 -- come in .22 LR which is cheaper and quieter to shoot than center-fire versions. With proper guidance our children can discover the fun of shooting just as we did not so long ago. Plus, once their friends see the fire in their eyes as they tell of winning a shooting competition, more potential NRA members are born. 4 . Great Varmint Guns - Loaded with hollow-point rounds the MSR makes an incredible low-recoil, easy to carry, and accurate varmint rifle. Add a bipod and it is everything a varmint hunter could want in a rifle. A 5 5 grain bullet at around 3000 ft/sec is a great round for coyotes or prairie dogs, plus the larger capacity magazine makes follow up shots faster. 5 . Adaptability - With the MSR modular design there ae quite literally thousands of ways to customize a rifle to your taste and needs. The rail mount systems allow you to add options like bipods, flashlights, scopes, red dots, lasers, and countless other necessary (and not so necessary) add-ons. Grips and stocks come in a wide variety of shapes and colors from camo to hot pink. No other firearm can be so easily customized by its owner. 6 . Big Game Hunting - One of the marvels of the AR platform is the fact you can change uppers almost as fast as a NASCAR pit stop. Some of the larger calibers available such as 6.8 SPC, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, or .338 Federal are superb for long-range antelope, mule deer, or even elk. Indiana shooters can also pick from deer legal cartridges such as 450 Bushmaster, 458 Socom, and the 50 Beowolf. 7 . Reliability - With its military roots the MSR was built to perform under the most adverse shooting conditions. Properly maintained it should function flawlessly in most any situation that a hunter or plinker could come across. Cleaning them couldn't be easier. Like its military cousin the MSR comes apart easily for maintenance. 8 . Ergonomics - With its pistol grip, adjustable stock, and optional front handle, the MSR is easy to hold and shoot accurately. Its light weight is a blessing on long hunts. The magazine release, bolt release, and safety are all easy to see and use. Since the platform is so easily customizable there is no reason to shoot a rifle that is too big or too small for your frame.

9 . Modular design - The AR-10 and AR-15 platforms are broken down into uppers and lowers. The upper is the barrel and the receiver. The lower is the trigger and stock. Basically, any upper can fit on any lower and can be changed in seconds. So, once you have the perfect fit on your lower, you can switch uppers from .223 to .338 faster than it takes to read this article. You can find uppers in 9mm, 6.8 SPC, .45 ACP, .204 Ruger, and countless other popular and pet loads. 1 0 . They're Like Legos® -- With all the options, colors, calibers, and add-ons, some folks just love to buy parts and build an MSR from scratch. Some groups even hold

MSRs can be configured just about any way a shooter wants.


August, 2011 Edition “build parties” where novices can build their own rifles with guidance from more experienced builders. It can be addicting. When they see something they like better, off come the old parts and on go the new. 11 . They're an investment - Name something else you can buy and be able to sell it later for the same or more than you bought it for. Firearms are a working man's gold. Some of the original Colts are now collector's items. 1 2 . Protection - While a short-barreled shotgun would be better, few criminals want to argue when looking down the barrel of an MSR. Its light weight, compact size, and ease of use make it an almost ideal personal defense weapon for any homeowner. With uppers being built in 9mm or .45 ACP an MSR can be a superb home defense weapon. 1 3 . Competitive shooting - With the rise in popularity of MSRs, many owners are getting into competitive shooting. It's a great deal of fun, plus it's a great way to get those kids away from the video games. Plus, all that shooting makes better marksmen come hunting season. 1 4 . Because You Can - The AR-15 has been sensational-

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ized by the media and vilified by gun control groups from the 1980s because of its modern military roots. But we need to remember, every firearm in existence can trace its ancestry back to a military use, from Brown Bess muskets to lever action rifles. Also remember that MSRs function no differently than other semi-automatic sporting rifles that have been around for almost a hundred years. Okay, so we came up with more than ten reasons to own an MSR. In reality, it would have been easier to list the reasons you shouldn't be shooting an MSR, because we can't think of one. In the process of writing this article I became the proud owner of two MSRs and now I wonder why I waited so long. If you want more information I recommend watching Modern Rifle Adventures on the Sportsman Channel and logging on to the Indiana Gun Owners website at http://ingunowners.com. Better yet, stop by Indy Tactical Supply in Mooresville (www.indytacticalsupp l y.com) and talk to Matt Secrest. Matt is a genuine Colt Certified Law Enforcement Armorer and can answer any question you may have on MSRs plus give you great price on your next rifle.

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Rob Mudd takes aim with a camo stocked MSR


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INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ÂŽ

OPTICS Hawke Sport Optics is most likely not an optics company you recognize. If you do, chances are the first thing you think of is crossbow scopes. While it is true that Hawke is the largest manufacturer of crossbow scopes in the world, that is hardly all we do. Hawke Sport Optics is a full line optics manufacturer with worldwide reach and more than 30 years of experience in providing rifle, airgun, shotgun, and black powder scopes, spotting scopes, accessories, as well as binoculars. With a wide range of product offerings to satisfy everyone from entry level to the most advanced user, Hawke Sport Optics is sure to have a binocular style to fit your particular needs. The Nature-Trek family of binoculars offers the user a high level of functionality with a budget minded price tag. Using a shock resistant poly-carbonate body the Nature-Trek family is designed to be durable and long lasting in even the toughest of hunting conditions. The roof prism design keeps the chassis compact for easy use while in the tree stand or ground blind. Available in 8x32, 8x42, 10x32, 10x42, 10x50, or 12x50 there is certain to be a product available to suit your hunting needs. The Nature-Trek family is simply a practical, functional, all-around hunting binocular. A step above the Nature-Trek you will find the Frontier OH (open hinge) family. With the optical system providing a staggering field of view and impressive depth of field, the Frontier OH family offers performance and functionality expected in binoculars costing much more. The open hinge design of these binoculars provides increased strength and stability, while also helping to reduce weight. The captive lens covers ensure that you are always able to keep your investment protected from the elements. The 42mm objective is designed for maximum light transmission during the

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August, 2011 Edition

Hawke Sport Optics Brings New Focus to Hunting Binoculars low-light conditions of dawn and dusk when game animals are most active. Available in black or green, 8x42 or 10x42, the Frontier OH is the product for those users looking for next-level of performance. The top of the line binocular offered by Hawke is the Frontier ED (extra low dispersion glass) family. Without a doubt, the highlight of this family is the ED glass. When light passes through a lens, it is separated and brought back together to your eye, what ED glass does is reduce the amount that the light is separated so that when it is delivered to your eye you are receiving a purer image than through nonED glass. This provides the user with crisper definition of colors, as well as superb edge-to-edge clarity. This high level of image re-creation could easily mean telling the difference between a nice doe or a button buck at last light. The magnesium alloy open hinge body design is strong and stable, but still lightweight enough for all day use. Available in black or green the Frontier ED family is offered in a 8x43 or 10x43 chassis. The Frontier ED family is an exceptional value when

Nature-Trek

you consider that features such as these are typically only seen in alpha-glass products costing much more. Of course there are some features that all Hawke Sport Optics binoculars share. Every Hawke binocular uses a twist-up eye cup design to set eye relief. With multiple positions, adjusted with a simple turn up or down, finding a setting that works for you is easy and repeatable. Adjustable diopters on every model ensure that you are able to bring every image into crisp focus. All Hawke optical systems are fully multi coated to produce the clearest, brightest image possible. All binoculars come with a carry case and neck strap for secure storage, or ease of use while in the field. Nitrogen purged and sealed to be fully water and fog proof, and covered by the Hawke Worldwide Warranty, you can be sure that your Hawke binoculars are built to withstand years of use while in the field. Finding out more about Hawke Sport Optics products has never been easier. In addition to our website, www.hawkeoptics.com, recently launched social media sites keep you up-to-date with all the happenings at Hawke. From vital product

Frontier OH

information and tutorials to access to exclusive content, success stories and photos from Hawke users around the world, and giveaways, the information has never been easier to access. We at Hawke want to see the successes our users enjoy, and there is no better way to do that than to meet those users on the platforms they are already using on a daily basis. The hub for this social media activity is our Facebook page which can be found at www.facebook.com/hawkesportoptics. Under our YouTube tab you can view a video of the binocular products we have to offer, as well as other product tutorials. You can also keep up with Hawke on twitter by following @hawkeoptics, or view our YouTube videos directly at www.youtube.com/hawkeoptics. We are confident that Hawke has the product that will fit your optics needs, so please do not hesitate to contact us via any of the social media sites listed above, by email at sales@hawkeoptics.com or by calling our toll-free number, 877-429-5347. We would be more than happy to discuss any of our products with you and answer any questions you may have.

Frontier ED


August, 2011 Edition

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

Rigging with the Legend

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By Ted Takasaki & Scott Richardson

An exclusive interview with Lindy Rig inventor and angling legend Ron Lindner

Many anglers have tried to improve the Lindy Rig over the years. But, no one does it better than the inventor. Fishing legend Ron Lindner came up with the idea for the Lindy Rig more than 35 years ago, as he envisioned the most natural way to present live bait. Since then, it's an even bet that Lindy Rigs have caught more walleyes than any other walleye technique. The basic Lindy Rig was a flat-bottomed sinker, swivel, leader and hook in the mid1960s. It was originally designed to fish on clean, sandy, clay, or gravel bottoms near Brainerd, Minnesota, where he and his equally famous brother, Al, were guides. The first Lindy Rigs used 24inch leaders of pink 6-pound line and pink #6 hooks. Why the pink line? "We had a lot of it," laughed Ron Lindner. Why the pink hooks? "It worked," he said. "It still does." The Lindy Rig offers several ways to modify the presentation. First is the sinker. Tradition calls for the lightest weight needed to reach the targeted depth while keeping a 45-degree angle with the water's surface. Not

Lindner. "When I invented it, I used to get clients to fish as straight upand-down as possible,” he said. “I tended to use heavier sinkers. Where someone else might use a half-ounce, I'd used a three-quarter. I prefer to have more control of my bait.” Lighter sinkers and a greater line angle to the surface works best in shallow water, where there is a fear of spooking fish, Ron said. The first commercially produced Lindy Rigs had 2-foot leaders. Later, that stretched to 3 feet. Some anglers extend leader length to 8 feet, 9 feet and even more. They claim it's necessary to entice finicky fish. Lindner has an answer for that. "If they’re that finicky, I do something else.” In the beginning, Lindner used Lindy Rigs with a leader length of 6 inches to 1 foot. Still does. “I like the bait near the sinker,” he said. “I believe fish are attracted to the thumping (as you pump it). In effect, you're fishing it like a jig.” But, even with a short leader, the Lindy Rig offers two advantages over a jig. The first is that a rig allows the bait to move more naturally in the water, he said.

The second is that long waits to set the hook are unnecessary. "Shorter leaders require quick hook sets," Lindner said. With every rule comes exceptions. Lindner lengthens leaders when his sonar reveals fish suspended off the bottom. “Walleyes will not go down for bait,” he said. His answer for finicky fish is hook size, not longer leaders. "The smaller the hook, the better," he said. On average, a #4 short-shanked hook works best with minnows and nightcrawlers. A #6 is good for leeches hooked directly through their sucker to allow them to swim. But, Lindner says, don't hesitate to change up in order to see if a smaller hook produces more strikes. For the die-hard, do-it-yourselfer, another modification to consider is leader diameter. Fourpound monofilament and a #10 hook may yield more strikes, he said. The problem then becomes actually landing the fish. Evolution: Invention of the No-Snagg Sinker It should come as no surprise to anybody that Ron Lindner is also the man behind the design for the NO-SNAGG sinker,

There would be no way to count the total number of walleyes caught on the famous Lindy Rig, but after reading the thoughts of inventor Ron Lindner, the authors hope you add to the total. intended to replace the original walking sinker when fishing through rocks and wood. With the NO-SNAGG sinker, he advises, keep leader length on the short side. Sound can be added

to the rig with the Rattlin' NOSNAGG sinker. Try adding colored hooks, which includes Lindner's favorites, pink or black nickel. Or, use tiny colored beads in front of the hook. Some people tie on a short piece of yarn. Colored snell floats are great to float your bait off the bottom. “It's been 36 years since the Lindy Rig went into commercial production,” Ron remembers. “Since then, it's gone through a lot. But the Lindy Rig today is still one of the deadliest ways to fish live bait.” After millions of fish caught by millions of fishermen, how can you go wrong?


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INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

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August, 2011 Edition

Boil Up a Tradition

The Last Thought MIKESCHOONVELD A recent “road-trip” found me in Door County, Wisconsin and my dinner at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek revealed a solution for those of you looking for something other than the traditional grilled brats and burgers this summer. It might be extra tempting for those who have had a good spring fishing season (or someone with some of last year’s fish still in the freezer.) Make a meal that is tasty, fun and as traditional to the upper Midwest as crab cakes are to New England. The fish boil! When logging was the major industry in the upper Great Lakes, timber companies housed their loggers in camps, providing communal bunkhouses and dining rooms. Working men are hungry men and good, wholesome food was as vital as sharp axes. The camp cooks were tasked with producing large quantities of food, every day without the luxury of food outlets nearby–or farms or anywhere else to get fresh meat and other ingredients.

Fresh fish was just about the only fresh meat. Whether it was the cook’s favorite way to prepare the fish (because it’s an easy recipe) or was the lumberjack’s favorite way to have them prepared (because it’s tasty) is unknown. Regardless, this is the roots of the traditional “fish boil.” My meal at the White Gull inn proved once again well-contrived fish boil is as much pageantry as it is a good meal. The “Boil Master” interacted with the crowd and explained his recipe and the tradition of the fish boil as he tended the flames and the cauldron of ingredients. I’ve been to several other Door County fish-boils in the past and one similarity is there’s never a female Boil Master. It requires someone who relishes playing with fire as much as cooking. The ingredients always include salted water, red potatoes, fish (these days, usually fresh lake whitefish) and usuall y, whole onions. Use roughly equal parts by volume, potatoes, onions and fish. Figure 1/4 pound of salt per gallon of water. The meal takes ? hour to cook, once the salt water is boiling well in a large cauldron over a flaming wood fire. Some friends and I returned from a Lake Michigan outing recently with plenty of fish and decided to do a fish boil. The realdeal fish boil was our goal. No

stove-top boils, no whimpy flames for us. It was to be outdoors, in a big pot over a big fire. A slide by the grocery store for some red potatoes and some potato-sized onions and we were set–almost. I built a good sized fire out of dried oak and mulberry wood. Once it was blazing, I set a raised grill over the flames and positioned a backyard fish-cooker frypot on the grill, filled about 3/4s with water. When the water started to boil, we were ? hour from dinner. A pound of salt (just a guess) went into the pot with a dozen (3 each) red potatoes and the timer set for 10 minutes. When the timer rang, the onions were added (2 each) and the timer reset to 10 minutes. When the timer beeped, chunks of fresh lake trout were added for the final 10 minutes. Traditionally, liquified bacon grease is added to the fire to make it flare at the end of the cooking time. By the end of the cooking time there’s likely to be a few ashes in the pot and the lake trout (these days, whitefish) are oily and the oil cooked out of the fish also floats to the top. Boiling over the pot, eliminates the ash

Fish boils are a manly way to cook a traditional upper Midwestern meal.

and oil. I had no bacon grease or kerosene, so I improvised. Threequarters cup of vegetable oil went into a container along with a quarter cup of lawnmower gas. This isn’t something I advise anyone to duplicate–but it worked! From a distance I doused the fire with my concoction, the fire flared up, the water went from a medium boil to a raging boil in a

few seconds, cascading over the rim of the pot spilling ash and lake trout oils into the fire. Served with melted butter over everything, it was terrific! Much better than the whitefish boils I’d eaten previously and much more fun than a traditional backyard fish fry! No whitefish or trout? Salmon, catfish, bass or bluegill should substitute nicely. And for the non-fish lovers, toss in chunks of chicken breast.


August, 2011 Edition

INDIANA OUTDOOR NEWS ®

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August 2011