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Spor ts Outdoors February 2013


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February 2013

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February 2013




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February 2013


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February 2013

ON THE COVER: Eagle Nest Resort, Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee. 1-877-EAGLE-01 Photos by Dan Burch Photography, Dyerburg, TN. 731-676-9496


Canterbury Tales

FEB. 2013 • ISSUE #195 ©Copyright 1994

Published monthly by: Red Nose, Inc. Harry & Cathy Canterbury, Owners

TREMONT OFFICE 1408 Downing Ct. • Tremont, IL 61568 (309) 925-HUNT (4868) Home Office: (309) 925-7313 Harry’s Cell: (309) 360-0487 Cathy’s Cell: (309) 370-6922 E-mail: Web: ADVERTISING & SALES: Call Toll Free: (877) 778-HUNT(4868) Terri Sweckard • Accounts & Office Manager Cell: 309-241-6591 • Carroll Gentry • So. IL Rep. • 618-988-8230

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Published by Red Nose, Inc. Red Nose, Inc. is not responsible for any injury received as a result of information or advice given. Contents may not reflect opinions of Red Nose, Inc.

Mark Wertz Attorney at Law

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Harry Canterbury The gun grabbing lobby is up to full speed. Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein of California has introduced a bill that would make


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157 types of guns illegal in this country. She along with many others thinks that by banning these types of guns we could save lives. If this was true we would all be in favor of a ban. This ban also includes quite a few shotguns that are considered assault looking. Where do they stop? I have no idea. But they plan on taking all they can as long as they can. The chance they get this wild bill through the Senate is not looking too good but there is a chance some parts of the bill will pass. They shoot for the stars and hope to catch the moon on the way down. By the way the shooter in Newtown did not use an AR-15, he used two semi-automatic pistols. It was just a convenient time to jump on the AR-15. I own an AR-15 and have for 20 years since the last gun ban scare during the Clinton years. The ban lasted about 10 years and did absolutely nothing to curb violence in the country. When I was a kid murder was something that happened in a bar rarely, in a robbery rarely and when it did happen it was a big deal and you talked about it for months if not years. Now in the town I grew up in Peoria they have an average of 20 murders a year. That’s the ones who die and not the ones who are shot. We have all become very complacent and have the attitude well I’m glad it was them and not me. What has happened to society not just in Peoria but all over the US? Chicago had over 500 murders last year and as of Jan. 27, 2013

has already reached thirty. Five young men were killed this past weekend and no one cares. They are on a record pace to have over 500 murders in 2013. The question we and the so called ruling class should ask is why? Is it the war on poverty where people can stay home and get free food, free rent, free phones, free cash, and free utilities, free anything and not look for a job or try to be selfreliant? Is it all the violence on TV where if they don’t kill at least 50 people the movie doesn’t make any money? Is it the violent video games that all the kids have available to them? Is it the single parent homes where they don’t get any attention nor do they get discipline? Is it the schools that won’t discipline kids because they may get sued? Is it because God has been taken out of schools and every other public institution? Is it because we are broke giving money to the undeserving and had to close thousands of mental facilities and basically put those folks on the streets? Is it because we don’t have capital punishment anymore? Is it because life in prison is better than being on the streets? Is it because we just don’t care as long as it is not us? It is all these reasons and a dozen more is why kids are killing kids and until you stop and revaluate it will go on and on forever. A gun never killed anyone unless there was someone pulling the trigger. To take the life of another man Cont’d. on pgs. 8-9

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February 2013

61 ......Cabela’s National Walleye Tour Kicks off April, 2013 62 ......Ed DeVries, BAI News 64 ......Jason Mitchell, Punching Bluegills 66 ......Steve Welch, Illinois Fish Talk 68 ......Emily Hauter, New Year’s Resolutions and Goals 69 ......Gerald Sampen-Outdoor Connection, Alberta Rockies/Swamps of Florida 70 ......Mark Kayser, Carry enough gun to do the job when predator hunting 71 ......Fight the Winter Blues with Heat Holders 72 ......Dave Genz, Developing a Touch for Bite Detection 74 ......Retriever Puppy Training Tips 75 ......Dessel LaRue, Survival on Lake Superior 76 ......Deer Creek Am Legion, Valentine’s Day Dinner/Dance 77 ......Lester Rench, Central IL K-9: Planning Pays 78 ......Donna Tontelli, Father & Son Day at Mallard Farms 80 ......In the Field 81 ......Hunting at Irish Acres with Mike O’Bryan 82 ......Hunting Cold-Weather Whitetail Bucks 83 ......Chase Moore, Perfecting Your Pattern 84 ......Premium Steel Shotgun Ammo for Duck Hunters 85 ......Bob Platt, When is ice safe? 86 ......State Funds Dwindling, IDNR Forced to Raise Fees 87 ......Father & Son Hunting Trip to Wisconsin 88 ......Howard Heatherwick, Elk Hunt Memories 90 ......Ice Fishing Wisconsin 92 ......First Annual Veterans Trap Shoot in Montrose Iowa 92 ......Hide-a-way Bus trip to ISRA’s IGOLD Wed, Mar. 6th 93 ......First Annual Veterans Trap Shoot in Montrose Iowa 94 ......The 2013 Boat Show in Springfield Feb 22-24 95 ......Keli Van Cleave, Product Flare for a New Season 96 ......Nici Haerter, Shell Fish with Attitude 97 ......Marlene Odahlen-Hinz, Bringing Home the Bacon 98 ......Anita Williams, Spearing Northern Pike 99 ......Bill White, Baked Northern Pike 100 ....Last Pheasant Hunt at Hilst Chandlerville Farm 101 ....Tom Nauman, Morel Mania 102 ....A.K. Thompson Dirt Church, About a Bulldog 103 ....Kris Winkelman’s Kitchen 104 ....Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Show Cancelled by Reed Exhibitions 104 ....News from GrandviewOutdoors 105 ....Mary Ann Vance, Real Estate Chatter 106 ....Dan Gapen, HARGATE 108 ....Patti Smith Presents Homes for Heros 109 ....Raber Packing Co Crossbow Winner 110 ....Dave Evans, MN Memoirs: Red Nose Respite 113 ....Dozens of Bobcats Harvested in South Dakota's East River Season 114 ....Jack Hart, The Good Ole Days Part 1 115 ....Guana Cay Angler Scores Tuna Dolphin Wahoo Slam 115 ....Smith & Wesson® Donates $50,000 to American Veterans Afield (HAVA) 117 ....Dan Galusha DAN’S FISH ‘N’ TALES®, Year Around Survival Kit 119 ....Keith Norrington, The Excursion Steamer Capitol

7 ........Mom's Recipe: Snow Goose Done Right 8-9 ....Canterbury Tales continues. Wiegand Annual Coyote Hunt 10 ......Norman V Kelly, A Game Of Terror, Conclusion 13 ......ISRA: Rich Pearson, 14 ......ASO Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 15 ......John Ackerman, Chaplains Last Heroic Act of Bravery 18 ......Mike Roux, Deep-Freeze Pork 20 ......Bob Murray, Meandering Murrays: Has Anything Changed 21 ......IDNR Newsbits 22 ......FEB Outdoor IL Calendar of Events 22 ......NWTF Withdraws from Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show 23 ......Illinois 2012-13 Deer Harvest Totals 180,669 25 ......Dave Shadow, Fishing-Hunting Classes and Shows 26 ......Wild Game Cooking Lineup at National Pheasant Fest Feb 15-16-17 27 ......Colby Simms, 2013 Midwest Fishing Forecast 30 ....Why Buy Bogs Boots 31 ......Winter Weather Means Walleye on the Current River 32 ......Joe Jerek MDC confirms photo of Mtn Lion in Warren & Van Buren 33 ......Mo Managed turkey hunt application deadline Feb. 28 33 ......Young Mo hunters check 2,197 deer during second youth weekend 33 ......Mo Deer harvest 14,921 for alternative methods portion of season 34 ......Eagles Days set for Mingo NWR and MDC Duck Creek CA 34 ......MDC stocks rainbow trout in two KC area lakes for winter fishing 35 ......Deer Hunting Lease Now Available at Emiquon 36 ......Flex Hone Great for Shotgun and Rifle Maintenance 38 ......Wayne Baughman, Go to a Winter Sport Show 39 ......Jason Houser, Getting Ready for Turkey Season 41 ....Woo's Corner, Getting Organized To Go Fishing 42 ......Babe Winkelman, Ice Fishing Line 43 ......Daniel Vinovich, Chasin’ Fatties! 46 ......Dave Herschelman, Elusive Luck! 48 ......Bill Cooper, Beaglein' Bunnies 50 ......Don Dziedzina, Southern Illinois 51 ......CPO Reports November 2012 – Part 1 55 ......Roland Cheek’S Campfire Culture, Sea Mystery 56 ......Kirby Schupp, Gunsmithing: Maintenance 58 ......Ray Simms, Bass in the Mud 60 ......Tim Huffman, Flipping in Cold Water

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February 2013


Mom’s Recipe Snow Goose Done Right

CHILI Goose breast meat can be tough and dry, especially on older birds. This recipe is a creative and easy way of making a pile of goose breasts taste great quickly. In a large pot place 20 goose breasts, cover with water Stir in: 2 packages of dry onion soup mix Bring the water to a rolling boil, then turn down, cover and cook for about two hours. When the meat pulls apart easily, drain the liquid and let the meat cool while you chop up and sauté: 2 bell peppers 2 large onions 10 cloves of garlic m/l Crumble the meat and combine with the veggies. Pour in: 2 jars spaghetti sauce, 1 can kidney beans, 1 can brown beans in sauce Add: chili powder, hot sauce, seasoning salt & pepper to taste When you’re satisfied with the sea-

Mary Ann Harrell

soning, cover and let it cook till supper. Longer the better and like all stews, soups and gumbos, it’s better the next day. As it cooks, you may need to add liquid to keep the moisture level right. I prefer tomato juice and beer. TASTES-LIKE-RIBS LEGS & THIGHS The legs and thighs are the best part of any waterfowl. The meat is juicy and tender is worth the time to


remove. Remember, when your friends are taking the legs/thighs off the birds, you’ve got to pull the skin far enough back to get the whole “flap” of meat on either side of the thigh. This is so easy and good. It makes sense to do this recipe in concert with the goose chili because you also need to start the goose leg recipe by boiling the meat for a couple hours. In a large pot of water put 20 goose legs and thighs, attached Stir in: 2 packages of dry onion soup mix Watch the meat closely as it boils because you don’t want the meat actually falling off the bones or they’ll fall apart on the barbeque. Once the meat is done simply pop them on the grill and slather lots of good barbeque sauce or a dry rub mix. I promise that you cannot make


Sat. Feb. 23 & Sat. Mar. 30 at 5 p.m. on PBS TV, WTVP Ch. 47 enough of these. Leftovers, though uncommon, are great for in-the-field snacks the next day. Pop them in a Ziploc and put them in your blind bag for next morning’s hunt. You’ll be a hero. BT-99

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February 2013

Weigand Annual Coyote Hunt, about 65 guys hunted on Sat. Jan 26. They took 2 coyotes! Thanks to Pat Sullivan & Harry for taking photos. Congrats Good to Mr. friend Art Wetstein Hunizker on had a fun killing day on his the hunt. coyote.

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February 2013


TALES… Cont’d. from

pg. 5

should only happen when that person is trying to either hurt or kill you or a member of your family. Not over a pair of sneakers or they just didn’t like the way they parted their hair. Just a small note on buying guns or ammo there is hardly any out there. I bought two bricks of 22’s in Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago and they were his last two. The guy said he doesn’t think he will have any for a year. Manufacturers are making -223 -308 -45 -357 -40 cal. and every other popular round 24/7 and are backed up four years on some orders. My advice is buy it if you can but don’t buy it if it is too high. There will be more down the line in time and this is a scare more than anything else and will only last a while. I just went to 3 stores Big R, Walmart and Dunham’s looking for 00 buck to hunt coyotes. I found 2 boxes and was lucky to find them. This ammo scare is real so just be prepared. Being or getting old is a big thing on my mind lately. I bought a soda the other day and paid $1.89. then got a donut to go with it, total was over $3.00. I remember when gas was 25 cents, soda was a 10 cents,

and you could get 6 chili dogs at Velvet Freeze for $1.25. Of course wages then were $4.00 an hour and to rent a house or buy one was only $120 a month. A new car was $3000 and a hamburger was 15 cents at Sandy’s. The dollar is certainly not worth what it used to be. An 870 shot gun was $110. and a motel room was 10 bucks. I am either getting real old or our money is getting worthless. ASO has clients with some great prices for a decent and inexpensive vacation. At least at Reelfoot Lake you can have a great time fishing for a fair price. See ads pages 4, 25 & 69. Crappie season starts in March, but Jan Hayes says they’re catching them now. I will be at the IGOLD event scheduled in Springfield on March 6th.. IGOLD stands for Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day. It is put on by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) and has been for years. It is one day you need to put on your calendar. It is in the middle of the week on a Wed. If you can attend please go. The freshman legislatures will be there and it is a good time to let them know who they work for. About a third of the assembly will be new and it is an opportunity to say hello and let them know how you all feel

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about Illinois gun laws. There will be a bus leaving from Mackinaw at the Hide-a-Way Tavern on Route 9 on the morning of the 6th. Myself and a number of folks from around here will be on board. It is a great way to travel for $25 you can relax all the way down and back. Call Don Meyer at 309359-6118. Please make your reservations by Feb. 15th. Went with my friend Pat Sullivan on a Coyote hunt near Congerville the end of January. Artie Weigand and his bunch have been doing this forever. Artie himself shoots at least 200 coyotes a year and should be well over 1000 in his life time. It is a lot of fun and we had a great time. There are some pictures on page 8 showing the guys and the day’s kill. Reed Expositions a British owned company has canceled the Harrisburg Pennsylvania show a couple weeks prior to the show. Why? Because Reed said no firearms will be allowed on display at the show. I don’t think they realized the reaction from vendors would be so strong. The boat industry decided to side with the firearms industry along with everyone else and canceled out of the show. Reed changed their policy on


firearms at the last minute thinking everyone would go along with their new gun policy. Find complete story on page 104. As Benjamin Franklin said during the Revolutionary War “We either hang together, or we’ll hang separately.” Locally, February will be the last month to go to most sport shows & expos. Take your family to some of the shows in our area starting with the Tinley Park Fishing Show, Feb 9 & 10. The Henry Decoy Show Sun. Feb 10 only one day. Central Illinois Outdoor Expo in Arthur is Feb 22 & 23 and the Boat Show in Springfield at Illinois State Fairground is that same weekend. Cathy & Terri put together a Valentine’s Day gift guide on page 14. Check out some great gift ideas for your sweetheart. Our friend Patti Smith started Homes for Heroes see more on pg 108. Norm Kelly is participating in the 1930’s Border Radio Show, presented by the Prairie Storytellers Guild, see page 82. Godspeed to our military & support our Veterans. Keep your worm wet & your powder dry. Until next month,


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010_001.qxd 1/24/13 1:58 PM Page 1

WAS IT A TERRORIST ATTACK? In very short order the type of airplane was identified. The pilot was beyond identification but as the gas from the airplane tanks exploded the debris from the airplane went into hundreds of pieces. For the experts it was relatively easy to find all the identifying numbers they needed. Yet, it was at least 3 weeks before all that information was public knowledge. A small man with a rumpled suit and a mousy voice met with the FBI lady in charge. He glanced at the notes in his hand, slipped it back in his jacket and clearing his throat he walked up to the microphone.

“The airplane was a Cessna 421 B. We know where it took off from and we know who the owner was. We know where he kept the aircraft and we are preparing our final statement concerning the aircraft. We do know that the tanks in that craft carried 206 gallons, and we have the receipt indicating that they were filled to capacity the night of the crash. No additional information will be forth coming until after our report has been filed with the proper authorities. Members of my office will not comment further on the contents of our investigation.” Peorians mourned its dead, attended many, many funerals and tried to accept the horrible fate of their loved ones. It was a sad, mournful time. The folks that lined the basketball court as well as the players had virtually no chance to escape the fire wall from the gasoline that formed above their heads. Many fans had their camera phones on and as time went on the local and national TV stations showed many of them. The most hor-

rifying ones were on You Tube and other computer links. Six weeks after the plane hit the Civic Center there were still reporters and media people here in town, some returned several times to follow up on stories they were seeking. The president of the United States addressed ‘The folks in Peoria,’ and the area around the tragedy looked like a flower shop, even in the dead of winter. I have been a season ticket holder since 1955, graduated from Bradley, and knew so many, many people that it was gut wrenching as we learned the names, read the obituaries and attended the visitations and funerals. It was our own September 11th and the pain was as real as an open knife wound. I did a little study of all the agencies that took part in the investigation here in Peoria, Illinois. The Peoria Sheriff’s Department, the Peoria

February 2013

Police Department, the fire department, and the coroner’s office and at least four Bomb Squads, including a Federal Bomb Squad. There were representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board…and swarms of people from the Federal Aviation Administration. There were more than a dozen FBI agents with all kinds of specialties trying to look busy. The CIA people were not very conspicuous but I was told three of them were leading the investigation, but hell, they all thought they were doing that. The Illinois State Police were here along with special agents from the Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of State. The Homeland Security people took over and they dominated the behind the scenes investigation into the ‘Terrorist Attack’ as local people called it from day one. However not one of the so-called officials uttered

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February 2013


those words. Here in Peoria we knew the officials were well aware of who owned the plane but so far they were all hush hush about it. Throw in maybe a hundred media people and of course our own local reporters who wanted more than anyone to get that story about the plane owner to us here in Peoria before some jerk from CNN broke the story. I got a tip from the guy that took my job over at OSF, and he told me that he had been contacted several times but refused to talk to anyone. What he told me would have made headlines but it would have to wait awhile before it was public knowledge. He told me that four guys with short hair and dark suits came into his office and asked to see every record the hospital had on Dr. Nathan Relinger…remember him? Of course the news of that leaked out. Saint Francis is one big family in a small town. It amazes me that the local Journal-Star did not get hold of that news. It is my guess that they did but were told NOT to print anything about it. Anyway, it was maybe two weeks more before we began to get the story. The official guys can intimidate…I can tell you that. I did not

warrant a personal interview but some FBI Agent called me and asked me about Dr. Relinger. I told him that all my reports were there in my old office but he wanted to know when I saw the doctor last and anything about him that might not be in the record. He seemed very excited to hear that I saw the doctor and his friend named Mike at the Bradley games. I told the FBI guy that that was all I knew about Mike, and didn’t even know his last name. I did suggest that he go to the Bradley Ticket Manager and see what they had on Dr. Relinger sine he was a season ticket holder. Hell, I had no idea what he would find, but he genuinely thanked me. I was an old, retired PI and I thought that the doctor and his pal Mike came to the games to check out the Civic Center and the precise location of the basketball arena…but I kept my thoughts to myself. Maybe he was just a BU fan like the rest of us…you think? DOCTOR WHO? There was a nice picture of Nelda Relinger, the doctor’s wife in the local newspaper and her pretty six-

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year old daughter. That was the first time that the folks in Peoria were allowed to connect Dr. Relinger with the airplane crash into the Peoria Civic Center. However…it indicated that Dr. Relinger did indeed own the plane, but that was as far as the article went. I checked all the obituaries and sure enough…there he was listed among the deaths. There was not one word about him piloting the airplane…however. I mulled that over for a long time. I was anxious to hear something about Mike…but so far not a word. I was certain that the FBI, Home Land Security, INTERPOL and many foreign agents had investigated Dr. Relinger from when he was born in Germany, to his life in London, New York, and certainly Peoria, Illinois. Of course they would prefer never to enlighten anyone, let alone the folks in Peoria, Illinois. But before it was all over we learned more than enough. The follow up article was a lot more forthcoming than I would have expected, what with all those damn secret agencies involved. I knew this a bit ahead of the game because my friends at OSF were called upon to get the DNA from what was left of Dr. Relinger’s remains. They took a


DNA sample from his child and were now certain that the man flying the airplane was alone and that that pilot was the man I recruited…one Dr. Nathan Relinger. That set the dogs of the media on the trail, starting first at Saint Francis and talking to every physician, including my old boss. It was a buzz fest here in Peoria. I was relieved to see that the agent had followed up on Mike and from Nelda Relinger they learned he came to Peoria about eighteen months before the plane crash. She said Mike was an old friend of her husband and that the two spent a lot of time together. They flew to sports events together and sat next to each other at the BU games. The authorities made it crystal clear that Mrs. Relinger was above suspicion and she cooperated in everyway possible. He rented a house right out here where I live in Rolling Acres. He listed his name as Mike Miller on the lease and that he said he was from Chicago. Of course all that information was false. They traced his car and driver’s license which consistently listed the name Mike Miller. INTERPOL and our local police managed to get all kinds of prints from the house and the abandoned car. His real name was not Mike Cont’d. on next pg.


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TERROR… Cont’d. from previous pg. Miller I can tell you that for certain. So the relationship between Mike Miller and Dr. Relinger seemed planned and calculated. The neighbors knew very little about the man. “He was friendly and single.” He stayed pretty much at home and told his neighbor that he worked as a mechanic….but never mentioned the garage. Of course Mike Miller was long gone and the authorities knew his real name but certainly did not share that with the public. Their vast network across the world would probably run him down one day. The investigation showed Mike Miller received seven packages from the United States Post Office, UPS and FedEx. Every one of those packages contained electronic devices and things that the FBI said would be connected in some way with an ignition device used in bombs. One of our local bomb guys felt that it was used to trigger the ignition that would ignite the gas tanks in the airplane. He went on to tell us that had the plane been rigged with a powerful bomb there would be very little of the Civic Center left. Now that scared the hell out of us and we caught ourselves thanking our lucky stars that it was just the plane and the tanks exploding. Seems silly…I guess…but that’s how we felt.

THE FINAL BRIEFING It was not until April back down at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre that the authorities agreed to meet one more time to tell us all they knew about the death and injuries of our citizens. Hell, we knew they would not tell us everything. A long table sat on the stage and each person had a microphone in front of them. The moderator was an FBI agent from Chicago and he introduced each person so we could hear their prepared statements. After the ‘show’ he would meet with the media and he alone would answer questions. In summary Dr. Nathan Relinger was identified as a ‘Lone wolf terror cell.’ Most of his early life he was connected first with a Communist Group in East German and a terror organization in London. They did not identify what terror group that was. He was apparently aided by this group while going to college and medical school. They tried everyway they knew to see some connection…some form of communication with a group…but they admitted that they could not. In other words they had no idea who financed him or why he chose to attack the civic center. There was nothing in his house, computer, office, airplane or car to indicate why he was determined to do what he did. His reputation once in the United

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States was all red blooded American. Not one living soul said a derogatory thing about him and people…like me…that knew him were shocked when he was identified as a terrorist…mass murderer or whatever else you wanted to call him. The CIA and Homeland Security expected a group somewhere to step forward and take ‘credit’ for the slaughter…but that never happened. Mike Miller…alias not known to us…came here and telephone records show he was in immediate communication with Dr. Relinger. Out at Mount Hawley the manger showed all the maintenance records on the Cessna, and in several instances Mike Miller had signed off as a certified mechanic. So the FBI indicated that it was Mike who rigged the airplane and the ignition apparatus to the 206 gallons of gasoline in the tanks on board the plane. How did Mike just disappear? “He probably had more than one passport or perhaps he never went anywhere and is still in the United States. We will never stop looking for Mike Miller.”

go on with our lives. They are rebuilding the arena as we speak. There were so many of us touched in so many ways by this horrible attack on our city and our people. Bradley cancelled the rest of the season as did ISU and the next season is in doubt. All those young men gone, all those people…our loved ones….our friends. Dr. Relinger fooled all of us who knew him, worked with him, and considered him a friend. He brought to Peoria, Illinois a form of hell that we could not have imagined. May he burn in Hell!

THE AFTERMATH And so Peorians buried their dead, the wounded healed and the fear has waned a bit. We are building a memorial to Bradley’s team and all the fans that died that horrible night. ISU lost their entire team and coaches and are building a memorial as well. That keeps us busy as we try to


Norm is a local historian and author. He welcomes your comments at: norman.kelly@ Listen to Norm on Sunday mornings 7-10 a.m. with the Rednose Gang on WOAM 1350AM radio. Listen Live at:

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February 2013


From the Desk of: Rich Pearson, ISRA Executive Director

GOOD PEOPLE JUST WANT T HE CHANCE TO DEFEND T HEMSELVES Every day, thousands of Illinois citizens wake to the difficult choice of either being branded a felon, or becoming a victim of violent crime. Good people are saddled with that choice because the Illinois General Assembly has stubbornly refused to permit trained, well qualified citizens to carry defensive firearms. Meanwhile, there’s a guy across town waking to decisions of his own. Should he find a liquor store to boost or just mug the first tourist he sees? Maybe today’s the day he carjacks an SUV or maybe today’s the day he assaults that young housewife who lives down the block. In any case, violent criminals all across the state know that the General Assembly’s inaction on concealed carry means that the public has to learn to live with them, and not vice versa. Through principle or necessity, there are many Illinoisans for

whom victimization is not an option. Thus, they choose to carry defensive firearms despite the fact that doing so exposes them to penalties greater than those faced by the criminals that they are defending themselves against. To discourage self defense is to encourage criminal aggression – the inequities of which run afoul of this nation’s founding principles. For many years, the Illinois State Rifle Association has attempted to right this wrong through the legislative process. Year in and year out, legislation that would allow qualified citizens to carry defensive firearms has been introduced into the General Assembly – only to wind up on the legislative scrap heap. Thanks to the efforts of a small bloc of Chicago-based legislators, concealed carry legislation has only made it out of committee once in the past two decades. On that occasion, the legislation garnered a majority vote in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, the bill fell a few votes short of the supermajority requirement declared by House Speaker Michael Madigan. Meanwhile, 49 other states passed legislation that allows their citizens to carry defensive firearms for the protection of themselves and their families. The stalemate between the Chicago bloc and the good citizens of Illinois was jarred loose by the shocking events of September 28, 2009. While 70 year-old Mary Shepard and an 83 year-old friend were working in their church, a 6’3”, 250lb parolee with a history of violence broke into the church and beat the two women nearly to death. Ironically, Mary Shepard held concealed carry licenses in two states. However, due to Illinois’ prohibition on the carrying of defensive firearms, Mary Shepard complied with the law and was thus unarmed the night of her attack. With no apparent legislative solution to this glaring inequity in sight, Mary Shepard turned to the courts for relief. In her 2011 lawsuit against the State of Illinois, Shepard contended that Illinois’ ban on concealed carry infringed upon her 2nd and 14th Amendment rights and thus caused her to become the victim of this horrible crime. Of course, the state disagreed with Shepard’s assertion. Ultimately, the case came before a 3-member panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Upon hearing the case, the appeals court sided with Shepard and gave the


State of Illinois six months to institute procedures to allow qualified citizens to carry defensive firearms. As expected, the court’s decision prompted uproar from those uninformed souls who believe that institution of concealed carry will thrust the nation back to the days of the Wild West. On the other hand, those who have studied the issue know that the experience of the 49 states that do provide for concealed carry have seen nothing of the sort. In fact, numerous studies have strongly suggested that concealed carry not only provides citizens with a means of self defense, but also serves as a deterrent to crime. In short, there appears to be no valid reason, from a public safety standpoint, to prohibit qualified citizens from carrying defensive firearms. Nonetheless, the state’s response to the court decision was a request that the full court of appeals review the decision with hopes that it would be overturned. This move troubles those who believe that the right of self defense is innate. By hoping to overturn the ruling, the state is essentially saying that it was for the better that Mary Shepard was unable to defend herself that horrible night of September 28, 2009. By hoping to overturn the ruling, the state is asserting that the state, and the state alone, will decide who is worth defending and who is not; who shall live and who shall die. Regardless of what the state believes, most citizens believe that such power is reserved for one with much higher authority than the State of Illinois.

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February 2013

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February 2013

ADVENTURE SPORTS OUTDOORS “THE VOICE OF THE AMERICAN SPORTSMAN” Four Chaplains Last Heroic Act of Bravery “It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of Heaven.” John Ladd, Survivor of the Sinking of the USAT Dorchester February 3rd, 1943 would be a dark day in America military history. But would also serve as an inspirational event that would inspire the whole nation in a way very few other events have. On this dark night in the frigid North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Greenland, four holy fathers of man, four sheppards of very different faiths and background, went forward to meet their holy father united by the belief of their individual faiths and united by their common goal to save the lives of those men around them. The United States Army Transport (USAT) Dorchester was launched from the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company on March 20, 1926 as a 5,649 ton civilian cruise ship. She was designed to carry up to 314 passengers and a crew of 90 along the East coast between Miami and Boston. It was the outbreak of World War II that found the Dorchester transformed into an Army Transport vessel in New York by the Atlantic, Gulf, and West Indies SS Com-

pany. The conversion included additional lifeboats, armament including a 3 inch 50 caliber gun forward, and a 4 inch 50 caliber gun aft, and an additional four 20mm guns, and changes to the large windows in the pilot house so that they would be reduced to slits to afford more protection. When they finished, the Dorchester was now listed to be able to carry slightly more than 900 passengers and crew. January 23rd 1943, found the Dorchester taking on troops in New York bond for the European Theater. Among the crowded 902 passengers and crew embarking aboard the Dorchester that day were four newly graduated Lieutenants in the United States Army; the Reverend George L. Fox of the Methodist Church, Jewish Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Reverend Clark V. Poling of the Reformed Church in America, and Father John P. Washington of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Reverend George L. Fox was born March 15, 1900 in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. Overwhelmed with a desire to serve his country he left high school and lied about his age (he was 17 at the time) in order to join the Army to serve in World War I. Serving as a medical corps assistant, he was highly decorated for bravery and was awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart and the French Croix de Guerre. Upon his discharge, he entered Moody Institute in Illinois where he met and married his wife, Isadore G. Hurlbut. They would have one son, Wyatt, and a daughter, Mary. Over the coming years he would serve the congregation in Downs, Illinois, while attending Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. Upon graduation he moved to serve the congregation in Rye, New Hampshire, while attending the Boston University School of Theology. He was ordained a Methodist minister on June 10, 1934, and


would head off to serve congregations in Waits River, Union Village, and Gilman, all in Vermont. Reverend George joined the Walter G. Moore American Legion Post and later was appointed state chaplain and historian for the Legion. In mid-1942, that overwhelming urge to serve his country found him once more and he decided to join the Army Chaplain Service. He went on active duty August 8, 1942, the same day his son Wyatt enlisted in the Marine Corps. Rabbi Alexander D. Goode was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 10, 1911. Desiring to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Rabbi, he entered the University of Cincinnati, then on to Hebrew Union College and later received his Ph.D. from John Hopkins University. Rabbi Alex married his childhood sweetheart, Theresa Flax, and they would have a daughter, RosCont’d. on next pg.

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FOUR… Cont’d. from previous pg. Rosalie. He received assignments to serve a Synagogue in Marion, Indiana, and Beth Israel Synagogue in York, Pennsylvania. Rabbi Goode applied to become a chaplain with the U.S. Navy in January 1941, but he was not accepted at that time. Right after Pearl Harbor, he tried again, this time with the Army, and went on active duty on August 9, 1942. Reverend Clark V. Poling was born August 7, 1910 in Columbus, Ohio. His mother died when he was 8 and his father re-married a year later. He would attend Hope College in Holland, Michigan and then Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Reverend Clark later entered Yale University's Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut and was ordained in the Reformed Church in America. He would be assigned to the First Church of Christ, in New London, Connecticut, and later the First Reformed Church in Schenectady, New York. Reverend Clark would marry Betty Jung and they would have a son, Clark, Jr. (Corky). Two months after his death, his wife would give birth to their daughter, Susan. As the country went to war, he decided to become an Army chaplain. He went on active duty on June 25, 1942. Father John P. Washington was born in Newark, New Jersey on July 18, 1908. He began his studies at Seton Hall in South Orange, New Jersey, and later attended Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington, New Jersey. Ordained a priest on June 15, 1935, his first parish was at St. Genevieve's in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and later at St. Venantius in Orange, New Jersey, and St. Stephen's in Arlington, New Jersey. Shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack he applied for a chaplain in the United States Army and went on active duty May 9, 1942. Their backgrounds, personalities, and faiths were different. Rabbi Goode, Reverend Poling and Father Washington had all served as leaders in the Boy Scouts of America, but no evidence of any relationship amongst them is known. The four of them would first become associated together when assigned to Army Chaplains School at Harvard University and they quickly became friends. Now they were meeting once more to board the Dorchester to head off to the war. The Four Chaplains and all aboard the Dorchester knew the dangers that lie below the ocean’s surface. Recently German submarines had been sinking Allied ships at the rate of 100 every month. The Dorchester would be sailing through an area that had become infamous as "Torpedo Junc-

February 2013

Stained glass window of the Four Chaplains and the Sinking of the Dorchester is at the Pentagon tion". The four chaplains kept themselves busy holding religious services and seeing to the morale of the men. Fellow passengers recall them as being inseparable and always in good humor. The night of Feb. 3, 1943, found the Dorchester nearing the southern tip of Greenland, about 150 miles from its destination. At 12:35 AM an officer aboard the German U-233 spotted the Dorchester through a periscope. The submarine instantly fired three torpedoes at the Dorchester, with two striking the starboard side of the ship far below the waterline. The power aboard the ship was knocked out, hundreds of men were killed immediately by the explosions, and the ship was plunged into darkness and chaos. The four chaplains instantly sprang into action. Coolly they brought order out of chaos leading the men to where the life jackets were stored and began handing them out. While they were doing this they encouraged the men with prayers and admonitions to keep their courage up, and tended the wounded as best they could. It quickly became apparent that there were not enough life jackets to go around. Dorchester Captain Danielsen had ordered the men to sleep in their clothing and keep their life jackets on, but many of

the soldiers sleeping deep in the ship's hold disregarded the order because of the engine's heat and because the life jackets were uncomfortable. This and the fact that many others had been lost or left behind in the chaos that followed the explosions left too many men for too few life jackets. Further reducing the effort to save lives of the soldiers was the fact that the ship quickly began to list severely, preventing the launch of some port side lifeboats, and some lifeboats capsized through overcrowding. Realizing the gravity of the situation they now found themselves in and without a word, each of the chaplains took off their life jackets and gave them to the four frightened young men closest to them. The altruistic action of the four chaplains constitutes one of the purest spiritual and ethical acts a person can make. When giving their life jackets, Rabbi Goode did not call out for a Jew; Father Washington did not call out for a Catholic; nor did the Reverends Fox and Poling call out for a Protestant. They simply gave their life jack-

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February 2013

ets to the next man in line. The Dorchester sank 27 minutes after the torpedo hit, taking 627 men down with it. Far more would have died but for the orderly distribution of the life jackets by the chaplains. The 230 who had been fortunate enough to reach lifeboats struggled to distance themselves from the sinking ship or they be pulled beneath the ocean swells by the chasm created as the transport slipped into a watery grave. Then, amid the screams of pain and horror that permeated the cold dark night, they heard the strong voices of the Chaplains. "Shma Yisroel Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echod." "Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done." Looking back they saw the slanting deck of the Dorchester, its demise almost complete. Braced against the railings were the Four Chaplains. There praying and singing giving strength to others by their final valiant declaration of faith. Their arms were linked together as they braced against the railing and leaned into each other


for support. One of the witnesses to this act, John later Ladd, said, “It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of Heaven.” As the survivors told the story of the Four Chaplains, their heroism entranced the nation. In their death they illustrated a cause of unity without uniformity, encouraging goodwill and cooperation among all people. On December 19th, 1944, all four chaplains were posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross. Congress attempted to confer the Medal of Honor on each of the four chaplains, but the stringent requirements for that medal required heroism performed “under fire,” and the bravery and ultimate sacrifice of these men did not




technically qualify, since their actions took place after the torpedo attack. Therefore, members of Congress decided to authorize a special medal intended to have the same weight and importance as the Medal of Honor. This award, the Four Chaplains' Medal, was approved by a unanimous act of Congress on July 14, 1960. In 1988, February 3rd was established by a unanimous act of Congress as an annual "Four Chaplains Day.” In an address recognizing the anniversary of the sinking of the Dorchester on February 3rd, 1951, President Harry Truman said their memories “will stand through long generations to teach Americans that as men can die heroically as brothers so should they live together in mutual faith and goodwill.” This February 3rd, on the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the USAT Dorch-


ester and also interestingly on a Sunday, please take a moment to remember the story and heroism of the Four Chaplains. Please remember their example that religiously we have more in common than we have in difference. Please remember the unified strength shown through individual prayer while at deaths doorstep. Please remember that more unites us than divides us. Please remember Reverend George L. Fox, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Reverend Clark V. Poling, and Father John P. Washington and their last heroic act of bravery.

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For those of us that spend winter days outside, there are several descriptions we use for bitterly cold conditions. Some say, "frigid". Others may say "arctic", and still others may use the term, "unbearable". But when we stepped out of the lodge in south-central Missouri on that late January morning, the only thing that came to my mind was that it was "stone cold". The 7-

degrees was being pushed around by 20 mile-an-hour winds. That is stone cold. Why would three relatively intelligent men choose to leave a warm fireplace and a cozy lodge to walk out into those conditions? We were on a mission. My new cameraman, Jason Waters, and I had traveled to southern Missouri to hunt with Justin Hoffman. Hoffman owns and operates STONE CREEK HUNTING RANCH ( Our mission was two-fold; we were going to try to call in a wild boar with a new CASS CREEK BOAR CALL and also film the hunt for Justin. We had a great plan, but had not counted on the harsh conditions. Justin had our hunt planned. STONE CREEK RANCH is well over 500-acres, but has more that its share of wild hogs. We were going to move from ridge to ridge, spotting with binoculars. Justin usually uses the tried-and-true hunting method of spot-and-stalk on this property. Today would be a bit different because of the calling aspect of this hunt. We glassed for about 2-hours before we spotted the boar I wanted. "He's a brute," Justin said as we watched the boar from a great distance. "I hope you can get him in," he continued. "We've never killed one that big here," he ended. Now the work started. If you are not familiar with the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri and plan to hunt there, bring your best boots and get in shape. It is a good thing this place has hogs because it is way too rough to grow any crops. We finally got close to the location where we first saw the big boar. Justin was working the call so that Jason could film

February 2013

and I could shoot. The CASS CREEK WILD BOAR CALL makes five different sounds including a feeding frenzy, contented feeding, social grunts, fighting boars and feeding piglets. Since this hog was so big we decided to try the fighting boar call. Within seconds of Justin turning on the electronic (battery operated) call, hogs were coming from all directions. We must have seen 8 to 10 hogs responding to the sounds of the call. But the one I wanted was not among them. Mike Roux’s STONER CREEK monster put "We need to get higher lots of pork in his freezer for the rest of the up this mountain," Justin long, cold winter. (Photo by Justin Hoffman) said. We moved uphill rock, as Jason was being backed into a several hundred yards. "Let's try here," I brush-pile. suggested. "Before we get all the way to the It took us a few minutes to recover from top." Justin hit the call again and the exthat encounter. "Our work is cut out for us citement began. now," Justin said. "We just educated that We had walked right by the huge boar big boy. He won't come back to the call and when we saw and heard him he was alnow and he knows we're here. Get ready ready at a charge from behind and below for a lot of hiking," he ended. us. He was foaming from is chompers and This charge took place at about coming at a dead run. The situation was 10:30AM. We did not even see the boar way too fast and way too close to shoot. again until after noon. Then we had two Justin managed to run the hog off by hitspot-and-stalk rounds that put the huge ting him in the snout with a softball-sized


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February 2013


hog within 50-yards of us, but we could not get the camera and my crosshairs on him at the same time. At about 3:00PM we spotted him on a ridge top, feeding. At Justin's direction, we made a move to get in front of and below him. Justin's knowledge of the land and his experience with these animals proved invaluable. After making our move, Jason doublechecked the camera and I did the same with my rifle. I was shooting one of the new THOMPSON/CENTER ARMS .50caliber Encores called the Pro Hunter. I had taken three deer with this Pro Hunter in the fall and was very comfortable with it. I scoped my muzzleloader with an ALPEN OPTICS APEX Model 4030, 3x9 variable, and was shooting 250-grain HORNADY Lock-N-Load SST-ML sabot bullets. This is the deadliest muzzleloading combination I have ever shot. We heard the boar just seconds before he appeared on the opposite hillside above us. I heard Jason start the camera and heard Justin whisper to verify that he was the one we had been hunting. At about 50-yards the boar stopped and started rooting in the leaves. I had the crosshairs of the APEX just behind his front shoulder, but there was no word from Jason.

For those of you that have never been involved in filming a hunt, the cameraman calls the shot. Not until he is satisfied with what he sees through the viewfinder can the hunter take the shot. If the cameraman calls the shot and the hunter cannot shoot, the whole process starts over. A kill on film is not made until and unless both the cameraman and the gun have perfect shots. You cannot imagine how difficult this can sometimes be. The boar continued to feed down the hill. My crosshairs never left his chest. At about 30-yards I heard Jason whisper, "Shoot!" Smoke filled the air as my Pro Hunter belched out the HORNADY bullet. The slug hit its mark and the giant boar went only 40-yards. The hog weighed well over 400-pounds and had cutters that were bigger than any I have ever seen. It was hard work and we were as cold as three guys could be and still be having fun. There is, however, one very humorous situation that I must pass on to you. Our hands were so cold and the boar was so heavy we could not get him lifted up onto the small bed of Justin's ATV. We wrestled the hog for over an hour before we decided to go back to the lodge and get a pallet to use as a stretcher. Even with this, it


was all the three of us could do to get him lifted and loaded. STONE CREEK HUNTING RANCH offers the very best hog hunting anywhere in the country. They also offer great hunts for exotic species, as well. Their lodge is warm, comfortable and beautiful and the food is good and plentiful. Justin Hoffman is a great host and a better guide. This will be an annual destination for me from now on. Contact Justin at the Ranch at 573435-0188, or at home at 314-952-4346, or at website their out check

Congratulations to Grant Haider for taking this beautiful 10 pointer. Thanks to Laurel Haider & Greg Dickson of Triangle Sports in Antioch for sharing Grant’s trophy with ASO! See Greg to get lined up for ice fishing! 23480 W. Grass Lake Rd. in Antioch, IL (847) 395-0813


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The Meandering Murray’s By Bob Murray Has Anything Changed? I have been reading outdoor magazines all my life. I started off with Boy’s Life and graduated to Field and Stream and Outdoor Life and of course I have a special niche for Adventure Sports Outdoors. Over the years the subject matter has remained the same. Oh, there are now publications that specialize in every aspect of every sport, but at the end of the hunt the basics are the same. Sure, the amount of game has changed in some arenas, and the evolved changes in technology and equipment has made our approach to any sport different from our fathers and grandfathers trips into the wild. Or has it? Let’s talk about fishing. Have the delivery systems really changed? No. You have a weighted bait that pulls the

line off of the reel (bait casters, spinning rigs, and spin casters), or fly outfits that reaches the quarry by delivering a very light bait with a heavier line (floating or sinking line with a leader). I am sure Orvis and Shimano would argue that we are light years out from a hundred years ago. Equipment we are…in the basics of the sport it is all the same. In fact I feel that if you are learning, to let’s say, use a bait caster, you should learn with a reel that doesn’t have all the drag and braking systems or outfitted with a “dial a cast” or whatever the new fad of the day may be. If you’re old enough, you can remember a bait caster that was outfitted with a control unit called…your THUMB! It’s like learning to drive. Learn on a stick shift first

. Archery Pro Shop

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Rt. 29 • Rome, Illinois • (309) 274-WOLF (9653) •

February 2013

and no vehicle can ever throw you a curve. It’s the same with a bare bones reel. Go to fly fishing. A split bamboo rod has been around since La Choy invented bamboo shoots. Is there anything better? Some argue; no there is not. Has any company invented a piece of equipment that will avoid “whip cracking” your line? No they have not. We still wear waders, goofy looking hats and vests that had to be the inspiration for Velcro. Hunting changes? The bullet still fires from the end of the barrel and the arrow must be pulled back and released in order to bag any game. I suppose that a compound bow could be argued to be a major change with the “let off” and cam ratio making it more accurate. Hey, you still have to pull it back and let it go…the basics are still the same. Camo has changed the way we dress to hide from our prey. I still contend that whether it be camo or a red and black plaid shirt; if you move you’re busted. My hat is off to the makers of Gortex for staying dry but it does not change the basics of any sport other than comfort. Transportation has made huge inroads. I know guys with bass boats that cost three times what a car costs. All-Terrain Vehicles have shrunk the realistic size of the areas in which we recreate. Along with a GPS any moron

with an itch to explore or do whatever, can hop on that Honda 450 and target any area there is. Of course a failure of that GPS could strand said moron way out in the boonies. How you get anywhere, to say hunt ducks is irrelevant cause it; what? It doesn’t change the basics. You still blow your duck call from your diaphragm, and that call is still pretty much the same as Grampies duck call. Oh, they have made recordings and speakers to replace that huffing you do into your call but you can’t use them in most places or for most species. Our sporting heritage has a rich history that in the last few generations has changed dramatically. From us old guys drooling over the Savage .22/.410 over and under to the 12 year old of today gleaning crappie fishing tips from one of the many experts featured in Adventure Sports Outdoors, we share the same things that have been shared for many years. The basics are still the same they just have a different bit of spin on them. To those that have trashed the outdoors in the past; it is time for a new start. Keep it clean out there.

Contact Bob & Cheryl at:

Beer • Liquor • Wine • Soda • Ice • Snacks Live Bait • Tackle • Roll Your Own Tobacco Hunting & Fishing Licenses & Stamps

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February 2013


IDNR Newsbits

2013 Illinois Licenses Now Available: Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses for 2013 are now available from DNR Direct license & permit vendors, online through the IDNR website or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (6737648). The system is available 24 hours a day. The 2013 licenses purchased now will be valid through Mar. 31, 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Spring Youth Turkey: Spring Youth Turkey Special Hunt Area online permit applications will be accepted online from Jan. 15-Feb. 18. For more information on 2013 spring turkey hunting, check the IDNR website at this link: www.dnr. Spring Youth Turkey Season County Permits will be available over-the-counter from IDNR license/permit vendors beginning on March 5.

Late-Winter/CWD Deer Seasons: Deer hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 7,749 deer during the first segment of the 2012-13 Late-Winter/CWD Deer Seasons on Dec. 27-30, 2012. The harvest total represented an 18.3 percent increase over the same portion of the season in 2011-12, despite nine fewer counties being open to those seasons this year. During the 201112 Late-Winter/CWD seasons, hunters harvested 6,550 deer from open counties. The final segment of the Late-Winter/CWD seasons will be conducted on Jan. 18-20, 2013. Unfilled firearm, muzzleloader, and youth deer permits issued for an open county are valid during that period, provided they were issued for an open county. For those without those valid unfilled deer permits, permits for the Late-Winter Deer Season and the Special CWD Deer Season are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license vendors (see below). The top five counties’ harvest for the first segment of the Late-Winter/CWD seasons: Pike (411), Fulton (389), Jo Daviess (351), Adams and Jefferson (tie - 256). For a list of all participating county harvest totals, go to the IDNR website at www.dnr.

Apply Now for Outdoors Access for Youth Turkey Hunting: The Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) is now taking applications from young hunters for 2013 spring turkey hunting.  Youth hunters will be assigned a hunt site in one of the 23 counties in which private property has been leased by IDNR. Most assigned hunting areas are at least 40 acres in size and all have been evaluated for turkey activity and the high possibility of a good hunting experience for the youth. Eligible youth hunters must be under the age of 16 at the time of the hunt and must have completed a hunter safety education course.  Applicants can apply for two of the three turkey seasons for which IRAP has leased sites for the spring of 2013 – Youth Season, 3rd Season and 4th Season.   For more information, go to Youth are encouraged not to miss out and apply early. Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Programs: Enjoy watching bald eagles on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers near Pere Marquette State Park this winter by participating in one of the park’s popular


Delicious Homemade Pizza…Enjoy sizes up to 16 inches! Fri. Night Special: Catfish Dinner with all the Trimmings 32 oz. Schooner of Cold Beer Only $3.50! Family Owned for Over 70 Years! Open Tues. – Sun at 3:30 p.m.

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Bald Eagle Days tours. The site interpreter at Pere Marquette presents informative programs about bald eagles with all programs beginning at the Pere Marquette Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 618/786-3323. Programs are on select dates through early March. To check the schedule of program dates, go to the Pere Marquette State Park web page and click on “Bald Eagle Days” at this link: parks/ R4/PEREMARQ.HTM Kaskaskia Eagle Trek: Families are invited to attend the HeartLands Conservancy Eagle Trek on Sat., Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Kaskaskia Lock & Dam, 4800 Lock & Dam Road, Modoc, IL. The free event features eagle watching, World Bird Sanctuary programs, lock & dam tours, plus children’s activities. Sponsors include the IDNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, HeartLand’s Conservancy, Southwestern Illinois College, Kaskaskia Regional Port District, Lower Kaskaskia Stakeholders, Inc., Chester Tourism Committee, and CLIFFTOP. Camping Reservations: Make your reservation now for campsites and shelters for many IDNR sites for 2013. Reservations can be made online through the ReserveAmerica website at using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at

21 Follow the IDNR: Keep up to date with events and information on outdoor recreation and natural resources in Illinois through IDNR postings on Facebook and Twitter. Find us at: www.dnr. Earth Day in the Parks: Teachers can apply now for the 2013 Earth Day in the Parks program, which promotes stewardship of our natural resources by Illinois school children. During April and May, students and their teachers from throughout Illinois will come to participating Illinois state parks to take part in natural resources stewardship activities such as planting native trees and wildflowers; building and installing nesting/roosting boxes; removing invasive exotic species; and building brush piles for wildlife. Students will be helping the environment and wildlife, participating in outdoor activities to increase their fitness, and learning that their actions can make a difference in the world. Students are encouraged to return to the state park to see and study the results of their work. Some classes may want to perform additional volunteer work at the park. Applications to participate in Earth Day in the Parks are accepted through Feb. 28. For details, go online to

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February 1-3 • Illinois Deer and Turkey Expo, Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield

NWTF Withdraws from Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show The National Wild Turkey Federation has withdrawn from the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania due to the decision to ban the display of modern sporting rifles. RMEF believes the actions taken by Reed, a British company, are detrimental to the Second Amendment and our right as Americans to bear arms. RMEF reached this decision after careful deliberations and taking into account the stance of our members, volunteers, industry partners


February 9 • Illinois State Museum ‘Super Saturdays’ children’s program "Mosaics, Murals, and More: African American Artists," 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Springfield. February 10 • Raccoon and opossum hunting season closes, North Zone and fellow hunters. We urge Reed Exhibitions to reconsider its policies to avoid a divisive and political atmosphere so RMEF can take part in an event that generates needed revenue for important on-the-ground conservation and hunting heritage projects in the region. As a leading advocate for the preservation of our hunting heritage, the NWTF believes it is an important time to take a clear stance on its support of sportsmen and the Second Amendment and the clear link between the two. The NWTF has canceled its booth space and will be rescheduling the NWTF sanctioned calling contest that was slated to take place at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show once a suitable venue is determined. “We feel strongly about the importance of the Second Amendment in pursuit of our mission of preserving our hunting heritage,” said Skip Motts, President of the NWTF Pennsylvania State Chapter. “We reached out to our chapters from across the state and received overwhelming support for taking this stand.” The NWTF works to pass on the right to hunt to future generations, including reducing legal

The Depot Bait & Tackle Shop OPEN 7 DAYS…ALWAYS 1-HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE! MON.-SAT. TIL SUNSET & SUN. TIL 6PM Owners: Becky & Duane Thorne 305 S. Union St. • Victoria, IL




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February 11 • Deadline to apply for third lottery drawing for Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Hunting permits ages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx February 13 • Ill. St. Museum Science Series Lecture: "The Ancient City Under Present-Day East St. Louis: The Results of the New Mississippi River Bridge Project," 7 p.m., 1011 E. Ash, Springfield.

February 2013

• Raccoon and opossum hunting season closes, South Zone February 18 • Deadline to apply for Spring Youth Turkey Special Hunt Area permits (online) ages/SpringTurkeyHunting.aspx February 23 • Ill. St. Museum “Celebrate Cultural Diversity” event, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Springfield

February 15 • Squirrel hunting season closes, statewide • Extended season for mink and muskrat trapping closes, statewide

February 28 • Crow hunting season ends, statewide

barriers to creating new hunters and introducing almost 100,000 people to outdoor sports annually. The right to bear arms is another pillar of the hunting tradition that the NWTF fully supports. The efforts to preserve our hunting heritage can be undone if new barriers to hunting are created by limiting the tools that the vast majority of sportsmen depend on to hunt. The NWTF will host its National Convention and Sport Show in Nashville, Tenn., from Feb. 15 to 17. The NWTF welcomes any attendees or exhibitors to consider coming to the NWTF Convention and Sport Show. The NWTF is working to add booths to the already sold out

show in an attempt to accommodate companies that have decided to change plans about exhibiting at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show. Contact April Flowers at for information on reserving a booth. A national nonprofit organization, the NWTF is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial agencies, the NWTF has helped restore turkey populations throughout North America, investing $412 million to conserve 17.3 million acres of habitat. The NWTF and its dedicated volunteers also introduce about 100,000 people to the outdoors every year through NWTF outreach programs.

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February 2013


Illinois 2012-13 Deer Harvest Totals 180,669 SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 180,669 deer during all 2012-13 seasons. Illinois deer seasons closed last weekend as hunters concluded the Archery Deer Season and the last segments of the Late-Winter and Special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) deer hunting seasons on Jan. 20. The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons of 180,669 compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 181,451 in 2011-12. During this year’s deer seasons, hunters took 49 percent does and 51 percent males. Illinois’ record deer harvest occurred in the 2005-06 season, when 201,209 deer were taken. “We hope Illinois deer hunters had an enjoyable time afield this year, and took advantage of the many hunting opportunities afforded them,” said Paul Shelton, IDNR’s Forest Wildlife Program Manager. “In the coming months, deer biologists will be reviewing all available data and making any needed program changes in order to ensure the continued well-being of Illinois’ deer herd for this and future generations.” The 2012-13 Illinois Archery Deer Season concluded on Jan. 20, and hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 59,728 deer during the archery season (Oct. 1, 2012-Jan. 20, 2013), compared with the archery deer harvest of 61,974 in the 2011-12 season. The 2012-13 Late-Winter Antlerless Only and Special CWD deer seasons also concluded on Jan. 20, with a combined preliminary harvest total for both seasons of 14,726 deer, compared with a harvest of 14,906 deer taken during those seasons last year. The seven-day split seasons for the Late-Winter and CWD hunts were Dec. 27-30, 2012 and Jan. 18-20, 2013. Hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Kendall, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties and Kane County west of Ill. Rt. 47 participated in the CWD season, while another 56 counties were open for the Late-Winter season. The Special CWD season is used to assist in controlling the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd, while the Late-Winter season provides additional harvest opportunities as a deer population management tool. Hunters took a preliminary total of 99,461 deer during the 2012 Illinois Firearm Deer Season (Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2012), 3,630 deer during the 2012 Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season (Dec. 7-9, 2012), and 3,124 deer during the 2012 Illinois Youth Deer Season (Oct. 6-7, 2012). Preliminary county harvest totals for all the 2012-13 Illinois deer seasons are detailed below, followed by a table of comparable figures for the 2011-12 seasons.

2012 All Seasons County Archery Adams 1347 Alexander 214 Bond 362 Boone 115 Brown 917 Bureau 758 Calhoun 774 Carroll 641 Cass 644 Champaign 384 Christian 454 Clark 843 Clay 538 Clinton 341 Coles 602 Cook 158 Crawford 777 Cumberland 418 DeKalb 182 DeWitt 514 Douglas 171 Dupage 35 Edgar 460 Edwards 202 Effingham 409 687 Fayette Ford 64 Franklin 870 Fulton 2009 Gallatin 298 Greene 809 Grundy 399 Hamilton 539 Hancock 728 Hardin 457 Henderson 257 Henry 527 Iroquois 465 Jackson 853 Jasper 534 Jefferson 1379 Jersey 546 JoDaviess 1053 Johnson 638 Kane 349 Kankakee 317 Kendall 242 Knox 975 Lake 423 LaSalle 916 Lawrence 413 Lee 434 Livingston 305 Logan 260 Macon 458 Macoupin 853 Madison 1113 Marion 1089

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Youth 105 15 26 2 53 37 46 20 35 17 40 29 35 30 19 CLOSED 20 25 6 13 8 CLOSED 21 14 31 64 6 42 106 20 52 12 29 42 32 13 16 31 62 62 95 29 55 44 3 8 9 49 CLOSED 28 14 16 15 26 19 66 42 66

Firearm 2539 453 754 142 1409 1401 990 1152 813 341 663 1322 1219 755 669 CLOSED 1168 934 195 468 193 CLOSED 844 431 935 1723 136 1309 2816 512 1352 470 1189 2076 1027 634 846 828 2215 1161 2184 932 2541 1716 53 249 114 1606 9 1202 590 784 613 491 327 1815 924 1774

Muzzleloader 89 26 16 2 78 65 71 38 42 26 20 55 31 13 22 CLOSED 29 14 7 33 8 CLOSED 30 13 15 50 5 34 112 25 35 22 36 90 43 13 36 44 47 29 84 30 98 50 1 22 10 58 CLOSED 36 26 18 33 29 23 53 24 64

LW/CWD 526 CLOSED 129 25 430 237 310 196 CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED 342 194 65 92 CLOSED 226 130 39 CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED 119 79 132 281 CLOSED CLOSED 674 CLOSED 260 105 165 408 CLOSED 115 CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED 524 183 636 CLOSED 13 CLOSED 28 312 CLOSED 266 CLOSED 98 CLOSED 86 CLOSED 294 167 299

23 Total 4606 708 1287 286 2887 2498 2191 2047 1534 768 1177 2591 2017 1204 1404 158 2220 1521 429 1028 380 35 1474 739 1522 2805 211 2255 5717 855 2508 1008 1958 3344 1559 1032 1425 1368 3177 1786 4266 1720 4383 2448 419 596 403 3000 432 2448 1043 1350 966 892 827 3081 2270 3292

Cont. on next pg.

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Marshall 334 20 Mason 377 15 Massac 377 24 McDonough 485 24 McHenry 561 10 McLean 608 29 Menard 330 16 Mercer 384 29 Monroe 327 20 44 Montgomery 674 Morgan 543 30 Moultrie 266 17 Ogle 686 22 Peoria 1142 60 Perry 670 23 Piatt 192 9 Pike 2838 168 Pope 851 25 252 25 Pulaski Putnam 289 6 Randolph 856 83 Richland 416 16 Rock Island 587 15 Saline 467 40 Sangamon 746 32 Schuyler 902 53 Scott 252 15 Shelby 691 34 St. Clair 618 30 Stark 152 8 Stephenson 447 13 Tazewell 729 35 Union 750 40 Vermilion 929 35 Wabash 191 9 Warren 268 9 17 Washington 375 Wayne 892 53 White 568 33 Whiteside 491 23 Will 837 14 Williamson 862 33 Winnebago 389 7 Woodford 608 41 Total 59728 3124

777 620 701 1074 415 784 468 1019 1011 1047 974 301 1097 1494 1294 194 3071 1582 659 520 2222 751 969 1028 874 1706 490 1272 891 342 1048 834 1803 949 310 758 1098 1721 872 869 387 1676 504 977 99461

25 30 34 40 10 35 32 28 27 27 38 24 31 41 41 6 246 58 36 21 66 20 43 27 37 76 31 34 21 10 31 21 54 33 8 25 34 43 24 21 15 47 13 43 3630

76 CLOSED CLOSED 205 66 173 94 125 96 170 CLOSED CLOSED 210 296 349 CLOSED 916 CLOSED CLOSED 75 450 124 171 177 152 478 133 158 138 55 221 CLOSED CLOSED 232 CLOSED 80 CLOSED 430 306 131 CLOSED CLOSED 89 165 14726

1232 1042 1136 1828 1062 1629 940 1585 1481 1962 1585 608 2046 3033 2377 401 7239 2516 972 911 3677 1327 1785 1739 1841 3215 921 2189 1698 567 1760 1619 2647 2178 518 1140 1524 3139 1803 1535 1253 2618 1002 1834 180669

2011 All Seasons County Archery Youth Adams 1364 51 Alexander 197 11 Bond 396 19 Boone 127 2 Brown 929 29 Bureau 742 17 Calhoun 903 24 Carroll 561 6 Cass 564 11 Champaign 399 9 Christian 516 19 Clark 802 26 Clay 637 30 Clinton 397 15 Coles 694 12 Cook 167 CLOSED 14 Crawford 820 Cumberland 435 11 DeKalb 192 2 DeWitt 619 11 Douglas 173 5 Dupage 61 CLOSED Edgar 451 16 Edwards 225 8 Effingham 476 25 771 35 Fayette Ford 73 2 Franklin 804 20 Fulton 1822 48 Gallatin 357 13 Greene 786 17 Grundy 435 6 Hamilton 550 31 Hancock 757 27 Hardin 462 27 Henderson 246 6 Henry 435 6 Iroquois 487 15 Jackson 880 27 Jasper 609 29 Jefferson 1436 53 Jersey 567 9 JoDaviess 1013 38

Firearm 2394 536 786 129 1224 1280 1126 955 674 338 687 1330 1351 845 788 CLOSED 1136 956 182 454 242 CLOSED 785 411 1050 1952 139 1314 2581 582 1386 435 1173 1992 1093 619 762 796 2229 1259 2315 882 2229

Muzzleloader 93 51 23 7 88 70 75 38 30 40 24 82 45 18 29 CLOSED 51 29 10 24 10 CLOSED 44 23 33 65 8 48 143 50 43 35 66 123 85 25 30 48 74 68 115 36 102

LW/CWD 461 CLOSED 114 19 374 247 332 131 94 CLOSED 91 264 256 72 87 CLOSED 216 126 51 CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED 112 96 107 358 CLOSED CLOSED 576 CLOSED 275 128 190 328 CLOSED 72 105 CLOSED CLOSED CLOSED 441 189 504

Total 4363 795 1338 284 2644 2356 2460 1691 1373 786 1337 2504 2319 1347 1610 167 2237 1557 437 1108 430 61 1408 763 1691 3181 222 2186 5170 1002 2507 1039 2010 3227 1667 968 1338 1346 3210 1965 4360 1683 3886



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February 2013 Johnson 699 37 Kane 381 1 Kankakee 322 2 Kendall 231 4 Knox 1016 21 Lake 446 CLOSED LaSalle 1020 28 Lawrence 390 9 Lee 496 14 10 Livingston 290 Logan 294 8 McDonough 562 10 McHenry 575 3 McLean 603 19 Macon 605 11 Macoupin 954 34 Madison 1109 17 Marion 1063 42 360 15 Marshall Mason 383 13 Massac 404 19 Menard 311 7 Mercer 423 18 Monroe 251 12 Montgomery 675 23 Morgan 568 10 Moultrie 378 11 Ogle 707 15 Peoria 1204 32 Perry 660 14 Piatt 251 7 Pike 2953 103 Pope 862 22 Pulaski 301 23 Putnam 317 5 Randolph 888 53 412 10 Richland Rock Island 593 16 St. Clair 591 18 Saline 485 32 Sangamon 797 12 Schuyler 1028 28 Scott 248 10 Shelby 836 27 Stark 145 3 Stephenson 433 10 Tazewell 745 24 Union 715 33 Vermilion 1061 26 Wabash 177 4 Warren 282 5 Washington 395 10 Wayne 939 33 White 638 23 Whiteside 455 11 Will 837 7 Williamson 842 37 Winnebago 379 2 Woodford 652 14 Total 61974 1849

1709 44 219 102 1479 5 1147 560 703 568 424 1067 337 724 366 1736 904 1856 767 595 642 423 963 950 1177 926 358 1034 1482 1244 185 2958 1741 709 470 2185 817 912 980 996 794 1628 519 1430 297 975 684 1704 960 278 616 1108 1871 992 744 370 1741 437 811 97820

81 5 21 14 66 CLOSED 61 20 32 25 16 63 12 46 43 83 33 105 31 23 53 18 40 24 39 41 30 36 69 53 12 309 88 60 29 109 28 39 27 53 37 100 22 70 14 33 28 79 58 14 29 50 77 60 36 33 57 16 51 4902

240 23 CLOSED CLOSED 273 CLOSED 243 101 90 CLOSED 62 181 62 134 CLOSED 277 162 330 103 73 CLOSED 78 116 109 154 162 CLOSED 198 288 275 CLOSED 856 CLOSED CLOSED 87 391 145 126 121 162 130 324 86 175 37 200 107 296 214 57 101 CLOSED 481 304 112 CLOSED CLOSED 91 153 14906

2766 454 564 351 2855 451 2499 1080 1335 893 804 1883 989 1526 1025 3084 2225 3396 1276 1087 1118 837 1560 1346 2068 1707 777 1990 3075 2246 455 7179 2713 1093 908 3626 1412 1686 1737 1728 1770 3108 885 2538 496 1651 1588 2827 2319 530 1033 1563 3401 2017 1358 1247 2677 925 1681 181451

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February 2013


As February progresses, deer hunters reflect on all the times they should have gone to the woods, but some obligation or lack of “initiative” caused them to sit in front of the television and watch their favorite team play ball. The 2012/13 Illinois whitetail deer season ended on January 20th with the last three days being the last


“late winter firearm season”. But hey, it’s not the end of the world! With the loss of these activities, come new opportunities! First of all, there’s an over-abundance of squirrels and that season runs through February 15th, 2013. Also crow season runs thru February 28th and this is some fun shooting. Probably the most popular late-season activity is coyote hunting. There seems to be a real excess of these wily critters this year but they also keep getting better educated every year. A few years ago you could see a “dog” out in the field and stop to watch him as he predictably would stop and turn to watch you. Now, if you even slow down they will shift into a higher gear while headed for the closest cover. About the best chance to bag one is by calling and even that is getting harder and harder. They have become “call shy” and can differentiate the subtle differences between real noises and manufactured ones. They can also “pinpoint” the origin of the sound making it very hard to fool one into coming into gun range without some decent decoys. Switching subjects somewhat, it’s also time to be hitting some of the warm-water lakes in pursuit of some

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winter fishing fun and/or fine eating. I know some of you do this all winter long while others are dedicated to stocking the freezer with venison and squirrels before switching to these activities. Dress warmly and be sure to remember your life vests. That water is very cold -- I know! Along with the afore-mentioned activities, this is the season to increase our knowledge of the many species and the hunting or fishing “tools” that we might use to make us successful. There’s a big list of upcoming sports shows in ASO MAGAZINE and I’ll list a few of those below. If you don’t pick up your ASO magazine at your favorite sports shop, you may access it online at: Click on “features” and “magazine”. For the sports show schedule click on “current issue” and select page 101. You can subscribe to the magazine while online also & check out the new forum on I will host FISHING CLASSES AT LAKE LAND COLLEGE on Thursday nights starting Jan. 24th thru February 14th (four weeks)! I will also have “BOW HUNTING ILLINOIS & BEYOND” classes on the Mattoon Lake Land College campus. These are also Thursday evening classes (four

weeks) from Feb 21st thru Mar 14th. Ron Boeser will host HUNTING SAFETY EDUCATION classes February 21, 22 & 23. There are options shown on the website. Sign up early or get additional information see: or call Johnna @ 217-234-5470. The CENTRAL ILLINOIS OUTDOOR EXPO for 2013 will be coming up at the OTTO CENTER in Arthur Illinois Fri & Sat FEB 22 & 23. I will have a small part in those activities each day in the form of seminars etc.. For additional information contact James Aikman Taxidermy @ 217-259-9603 or The Illinois Deer and Turkey Classic will be in Springfield Feb 1-2-3 see The St Louis Boat and Sport Show is Feb 6-10, see The boat show in Springfield Illinois will be at the fairgrounds Feb 22-23-24, see There are lots of other shows but these are a few of the close ones. Have a good and productive late winter sports season and I hope to see you at one of my classes or one of the shows. It’s Faith, Family, and Fishin

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PELLEGRINI, SHAW HEADLINE WILD GAME COOKING LINEUP AT NATIONAL PHEASANT FEST FEB 15-16-17, 2013 Conservation & Cuisine Collide at Pheasants Forever’s 30th Anniversary Celebration Saint Paul, Minn. –Wild game chefs Georgia Pellegrini and Hank Shaw will be featured speakers on the Wild Game Cooking Stage at Pheasants Forever’s upcoming National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic presented by Cabela’s. The event comes to the Minneapolis Convention Center February 15, 16 & 17. The cooking portion of the show is presented by Gander Mountain. Pellegrini and Shaw burst onto the cooking scene in recent years with innovative perspectives, radically changing the way many people think about the environment and where their food comes from. Pellegrini’s adventures were chronicled in her latest book Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time, while Shaw is the author of the award-winning wild foods website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and the book Hunt, Gather, Cook:Finding the Forgotten Feast.

“Conservation and cuisine intersect each day on our dinner plates, so it’s important to build a connection between wildlife habitat conservation and what we eat,” says Bob St. Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing, “Food is also what brings us together, the center of every celebration, and we can’t think of a better occasion than National Pheasant Fest and Pheasants Forever’s 30th anniversary to celebrate the fruits of our habitat efforts.” Georgia Pellegrini – presenting Saturday at 11AM, 1PM & 4PM “My passion for good food, for simple food, began at an early age, on a boulder by the side of a creek as I caught my trout for breakfast. I grew up on the same


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land my great-grandfather owned and worked...This connection to the land and the deep satisfaction one gets from manual labor stayed with me...I decided it was time to really get at the heart of where our food comes from and head to the source—Mother Nature. I bought a shotgun and set my sites on the cutting edge of culinary creativity intent on pushing the boundaries of American gastronomy.” Hank Shaw – presenting Friday at 6PM, Saturday at 10AM & 2PM and Sunday at 11AM & 1PM “I write. I fish. I dig earth, forage, live for food and kill wild animals. I drink bourbon, Barolo or Budweiser with equal relish and wish I lived by the sea. Or on a mountain. Or in the middle of the Great Plains, with nothing but shortgrass prairie as far as the eye can see. I spend my days thinking about new ways to cook and eat anything that walks, flies, swims, crawls, skitters, jumps – or grows. I am the omnivore who has solved his dilemma,” Shaw says, “My hope is that the website and my book will help open new vistas in the world of hunting, foraging and fishing both to newcomers and to those who’ve spent decades in the fields, forests, marshes and oceans of this great country.” Lenny McNab – presenting Friday at 4PM & 7PM,

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February 2013




By: Colby Simms with Ray Simms & the CSO Team Photos by: The Colby Simms Outdoors Photography

w w w. C o l b y S i m m s O u t d o o r s . c o m

I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Through the Colby Simms Outdoors’ outfitting business, my pro fishing and media careers take me around the world, in pursuit of trophy class fish and game at the planet’s best destinations. I get to fish around 250-300 days a year or more. While the exotic fishing at our resorts and lodges in places like Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada and Alaska are on fresh on my mind, while I’m writing this article in the dead of winter, I still never get tired of fishing in the Midwest. After returning home from my last media trip at our newest resort in Central America, I was still excited to get back on the water at my favorite locations in the heartland of the United States. Even though, I’d been landing billfish from 70 to 400 pounds just days before, I was still as excited as kid on Christmas morning, catching bass, muskies, walleyes and stripers from home waters and those a short drive away. No matter how many incredible fishing experiences I have far away, I never get tired of

fishing right here in the good old Midwest, where I was born and raised. We are blessed with some magnificent angling opportunities here, and together with my staff guides, I get to experience the best fishing in the Midwest on a routine basis. 2012 produced some fantastic fishing for the Colby Simms Outdoors Team and our guests. Many of our guide service and outfitting company clients caught their personal biggest fish, or had the best day for numbers of their lives, and a few were lucky enough to nab both. 2012 brought with it the worst drought we’ve seen, across much of this land. Still, the fish didn’t seem to mind, as they fed with reckless abandon, giving anglers plenty of opportunities. 2013 looks to be even better at a number of our favorite guiding locations, as various bait fish and game fish species are in abundance in quality sizes, and ready for another year of growth. Let’s talk about some of the very best options for the coming spring, summer and fall seasons.

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*Kinkaid Lake It’s no surprise to most of my magazine readers, TV viewers and pro fishing fans that my home waters at Kinkaid Lake still rank at the top of my list of Midwestern favorites. This gorgeous wilderness lake in southern Illinois has consistently been rated in the top 10 muskie waters in the entire world, producing high numbers of fish and giant specimens as well. It’s the number one choice for muskie fishing for Ray and me, as well as most of Multiple championship title winning our staff guides across the tournament pro & guide Colby Simms shows United States and Canada off a pair of big Midwestern white bass. too. The largemouth bass fishing at Kinkaid is incredible as well, both for numbers of fish and trochannel and flathead catfish and walleyes. phies too, and many consider Kinkaid by far Kinkaid is where I began guiding and fishing the number one bass fishing water in Illinois. professionally full-time, more than a decade It’s the only major lake in the area containing ago, and what a lake to call home. I get to smallmouth bass, and this species has doing spend more than a couple hundred days fishbetter every year since the state first began ing Kinkaid each year, and I love every minute stocking efforts. Kinkaid is quite possibly the of it! best lake around for giant crappies too, including the near state record caught just a *Saint Francis River few years back. Kinkaid also produces great The Saint Francis River in southeast MisCont’d. on next pg. fishing for bluegills and sunnies, white bass,


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*Cedar Lake Another southern Illinois gem, like Kinkaid, Cedar is also located in the Shawnee National Forest. Cedar Lake is best known for its tremendous striper fishing. Pure striped bass roam these beautiful waters in larger than average sizes for the state of Illinois. In fact, there might not be a better body of water in the state for anglers looking to tie into a large Illinois striper. Crappie fishing is also very popular at this lake, as it’s loaded with this species, often producing fast action. Largemouth bass are another main draw here, as Cedar produces great numbers of quality fish, with some big ones thrown in the mix. Various sunfish and catfish species, as well as walleyes are also available in this picturesque lake.

Cont’d. from previous pg.

souri is a unique gem among fisheries. This clear, rocky wilderness river winds through some of the most beautiful country imaginable. Our guides favor two species, depending on the section of the river they’re fishing, and I certainly agree. The smallmouth bass and the white bass rule this river. Smallies are more common in the far upper reaches, while whites are everywhere in the bottom end of the upper section above Wappapello Lake. Still, both of these hard fighters can be found in abundance throughout most of the river, and in large sizes too. Largemouth bass are also common, and rock bass, also called goggle eye, are very common too. Fishing for largemouth and rocks is awesome up and down most of this stream. Big bluegills, crappies, channel and flathead catfish, walleyes and various sunfish species also provide great sport in this special place. *Kentucky & Barkley Lakes The Kentucky and Barkley Lake chain in western Kentucky offers the best trophy bass fishing in all of the Midwest. Kinkaid would be my second pick for trophy largemouth, and it can provide faster action, but Kentucky and Barkley are probably the best bet for double digit largemouth bass across much of the country, with exception of some lakes in the south. Additionally, these waters harbor lots of huge smallmouth bass and spotted bass as well. Fishing for bluegills, sunfish, crappies, catfish, white bass and stripers can be good too, but with so many huge

February 2013

Internationally renowned fishing pro & media personality Ray Simms of Colby Simms Outdoors with a big smallmouth bass and walleye.

CSO guide & tourney champ Jim Lyle with a monster Midwest largemouth bass and crappie taken on Colby Simms Tackle Hatchet Spins.

black bass, it’s tough to justify spending time on anything else.

tion of these toothy predators. Webster has a high number of fish per acre and would probably be our second choice in the region for catching numbers of muskies, second only to Kinkaid. Webster has also produced some big trophy caliber muskies for our staff guides as well and is definitely worth investing some time.

*Webster Lake Webster Lake in northern Indiana is a hot spot for muskie activity. This lake is relatively small compared to the others, but it holds a good sized popula-

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*Get Out There These Midwestern waters offer some of the hottest fishing in all of North America and look to produce hot results for anglers in the coming seasons. We still have guide trip dates and lodging available for spring, summer and fall, but after last year’s hot action, it’s expected to fill up quickly with anglers looking to get in on the hottest Midwestern fishing to be had in 2013. Life passes by all too quickly. For lovers of God’s great outdoors like us, nothing matches time spent in nature with these great creatures, so get out there… To book a guided trip or guiding & lodging package to these waters contact Colby Simms Outdoors at: 618-521-0526 / 573-358-5948 or

029_001.qxd 1/25/13 12:53 PM Page 1

February 2013



COLBY SIMMS is an internationally renowned record holding fishing pro & media personality, as a TV & radio star, tournament pro with championship titles in muskie and bass circuits, a tackle designer, writer & photographer, speaker & award winning fishing guide. He’s Founder & President of the Colby Simms Outdoors group of companies. Get unique top quality American made lures, find articles, reports, photos & more, set up media work, seminars, sponsorships & public appearances, and book guided trips & fishing vacations in the United States, Canada, Mexico & Costa Rica at Colby Simms Outdoors Guide Gary Dew and client display a trophy Midwest muskie.


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February 2013

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February 2013


points and banks in preparation for spawning. Stream fish will congregate in pools near traditional spawning shoals and other rocky structures. During the winter season, try fishing slow-moving stick baits, shiners or jig and minnow combinations.

Winter Weather Means Walleye on the Current River! While walleye may be fished year round in Missouri waters, the winter months provide cool clear water that is more likely for you to find several of these toothy fish bunched together. Not only do they put up a good fight, they are delicious too! The taste of a fried walleye and their cousin Sauger, come in a close second only to Crappie for this angler. This is all the motivation I needed as I have been making my way to a few different local waters to fish those deep holes that have been known to hold a walleye or two. A Few Tricks of the Trade You can catch walleye on a variety of live bait (minnows, shiners, nightcrawlers and


Trophy Walleye Sue Bockman hoists up two of the fish she hauled in on her family fishing trip on the Current River. leeches) or lures (crankbaits, spoons, jigs, etc). The best choices vary, depending upon the season, water and available prey items. During late winter and early spring months, walleye inhabit lakes and concentrate near or in tributaries and along rocky

That’s Why They Call it Fishing; not Catching One of the particular days I was able to break away this winter was Christmas Eve. With the forecast showing a storm front coming in I had my hopes for limiting out early. Using a buck hair jig, I worked my way up and down the river jigging the deep holes and bends as I went. Unfortunately the day didn’t prove to be my best trip to date, but being out on the water a few months earlier than expected and watching a pair of Bald Eagles was well worth it. Get out and Give it a Shot If you find yourself hankering for some time on the water this winter, get out and work some of the deep pockets on your lo-

Skyler with his dad Jeff Bockman after a day on the Current Walleye fishing. cal rivers or lakes and you may find yourself hooked up with one of these toothy, delicious Missouri fish. Walleye are a rough game fish in Missouri with a daily limit of 4 per person. The length will vary due to the water you are fishing so be sure to check your local waters regulations.

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MDC CONFIRMS PHOTO OF MOUNTAIN LION IN WARREN & VAN BUREN COUNTIES By Joe Jerek The Missouri Dept of Conservation (MDC) has confirmed photographs of a mountain lion taken by a trail camera on Dec. 9 & 23, plus Jan. 3, on private land in Warren County. Then another photo taken in Carter County on Dec. 21,

MDC confirmed photo of a mountain lion taken by a trail camera on Dec. 9 on private land in Warren County.

2012. According to MDC’s Mountain Lion Response Team, widely scattered mountain-lion sightings have been confirmed in Missouri and likely will continue. Some sightings or photographs of mountain lions may be of the same animal, but MDC cannot confirm individual animals without DNA evidence. Evidence to date indicates these mountain lions are dispersing from other states to the west of Missouri. The most extreme evidence of this dispersal occurred in early 2011

MDC confirmed photo of a mountain lion taken by a trail camera on Dec. 23 on private land in Warren County.

February 2013

when a mountain lion that was killed in Connecticut was genetically traced to South Dakota. MDC has no confirmed evidence of a breeding population in Missouri. MDC receives many reports each year from people who believe they have seen mountain lions and encourage these reports. MDC can only confirm those for which there is physical evidence. Reports of sightings can be emailed to, or by contacting local conservation agents or the

Response Team at 573-815-7901, ext.3623, or 573-522-4115, ext. 3147 or 3262. Mountain lions are naturally shy of humans and generally pose little danger to people, even in states with thriving breeding populations. Although mountain lions are protected by law, Missouri’s Wildlife Code does allow people to protect themselves and their property if they feel threatened. For more information, visit and search “mountain lion.”

MDC confirmed photo of a mountain lion taken by a trail camera on Jan. 3 on private land in Warren County.

MDC confirmed photo of a mountain lion taken by a trail camera on Dec. 21 on private land near Van Buren in Carter County.





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February 2013

Managed turkey hunt application deadline Feb. 28 By Jim Low

MDC’s spring 2013 managed turkey hunts include ones for youth and people with disabilities. JEFFERSON CITY Mo. – Turkey hunters have until Feb. 28 to apply for managed hunts during Missouri’s 2013 spring turkey season. A list of all 19 managed turkey hunts and application are available at instructions In addition to 10 hunts open to all firearms turkey hunters, this year’s offerings include a managed hunt for archers, seven hunts for youths ages 11 through 15, and one hunt for people with disabilities. Managed hunts will take place during the youth turkey season, April 6 and 7, or the regular turkey season, April 15 through May 5. Hunters may apply individually or in groups of up to three for most hunts. Youth hunts accept applications only for single hunters or pairs. An individual applying as a member of a party has the same chance of being drawn as someone who applies alone. Successful applicants will receive notice of their hunt dates and other information by mail. Drawing results will be posted March 15 through May 5 at Participation in managed turkey hunts is free. Hunters may apply for only one hunt. Participants in some hunts must complete a pre-hunt orientation. Hunters should not apply for these hunts if they cannot attend the orientation. The bag limit for managed hunts is


one male turkey or turkey with visible beard. Turkeys taken during a managed hunt count toward the season limit of two. Hunters who shoot a turkey during a managed hunt before April 23 may not take another turkey during the first week of the regular turkey season. Allterrain vehicles are prohibited on areas with managed turkey hunts.

Young hunters check 2,197 deer during second youth weekend by Joe Jerek

Jefferson City, Mo. – Hunters age 6 through 15 harvested 2,197 deer during the statewide firearms deer late youth portion, which ran Dec. 29 and 30. Top counties were Callaway with 55, Putnam with 47, and Camden with 45. Young hunters shot 2,193 deer during this portion in 2011. Young hunters also checked 19,277 during the early statewide firearms deer youth weekend, which ran Nov. 3 and 4. The late youth portion concluded this year’s firearms deer season with a total harvest of 257,307.

Deer harvest 14,921 for alternative methods portion of season

Hunters harvested 14,921 deer during the statewide alternative methods portion of the fall 2012 firearms deer season, which ran Dec. 15 through Dec. 25. Top counties were: Oregon with 320, Franklin with 300, and Howell with 298. Hunters shot 15,238 deer during this portion in 2011. The record harvest under this portion was 15,907 in 2009.


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Called “muzzleloader” portion since it was first held in 1988, MDC renamed this portion “alternative methods” in 2012 to reflect additional method options added this past season: archery methods, crossbows, atlatls, handguns and air-powered guns. Missouri’s two deer-hunting seasons, firearms and archery, provide hunters with many opportunities to take deer while helping to maintain a healthy deer population. The firearms season consists of five portions: urban, youth only, November, alternative methods and


antlerless only. The late youth-only portion for firearms deer season ran through Dec. 29-30. The archery season consists of two segments. The second segment remained open through Jan. 15, 2013. According to MDC, Missouri has more than 511,000 deer hunters, including about 70,000 under age 16, who spend about $690 million in the state each year on deer hunting and related activities. This has an overall economic impact of $1.1 billion in Missouri each year and supports almost 12,000 jobs.

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Kansas City, Mo. – Two Northland lakes were stocked with rainbow trout on Jan. 16 for a winter fishing program provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The trout were released in lakes at the Fountain Bluff Sports Complex in Liberty, and at Chaumiere Lake in Kansas City. Both lakes received about 1,000 fish. MDC stocks the lakes during winter months when the water is cold enough to support rainbow trout, which require clear and cool water. The Fountain Bluff Sports Complex is at 2200 E. Old 210 Highway in Liberty, east of Missouri


291. Chaumiere Lake is in the Kansas City park system and is near Interstate 35 and the intersection of North Cleveland Avenue and Northeast 43rd Terrace. Statewide trout fishing regulations apply. All Missouri residents over age 15 and under 65 must have a valid fishing permit, and all non-residents over age 15 must have a fishing permit. The daily limit is four trout. To keep trout, anglers must have a Missouri trout permit. MDC will also be re-stocking some lakes at the James A. Reed Wildlife Area in Lee’s Summit with rainbow trout in February. A winter trout fishing hotline for the Kansas City metro area with updates on stocking is available at 816-525-0300, ext. 4001.

EAGLES DAYS SET FOR MINGO NWR AND MDC DUCK CREEK CA by Candice Davis PUXICO, Mo. – Bald eagle viewing is at its peak in southeast Missouri. To celebrate the arrival of these majestic birds,

February 2013

Photos by Noppadol Paothong, courtesy MDC Mingo National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Duck Creek Conservation Area (CA) will host the popular “Eagle Days” event for the public on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both areas are located on highway 51, just north of Puxico. All activities will begin at Mingo's Maintenance Shop. “This Eagle Days event is a great way of celebrating the successful recovery of our National Symbol and we hope that many people can come out to enjoy the day,” said Peter Rea of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Rea said the bald eagle is one of our country’s greatest conservation success stories because as recently as the early 1960s, they were an extremely uncommon site within Missouri and the rest of the lower 48 states. “Today, visitors to Mingo National Wildlife Refuge and state conservation areas such as Duck Creek can see bald eagles on a regular occurrence,” Rea said. MDC Education Consultant Pat Holloway said area schools have signed up to bring 1,160 students to the areas on Friday to view the symbolic bird in its natural habitat.

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“We allow schools to bring classes a day early, so school children have the opportunity and also to lessen the crowd on Saturday,” Holloway said. The Eagle Days event is packed with learning opportunities such as exhibits at Mingo’s Visitor Center, live eagle presentations and chances to view bald eagles in the wild on Mingo National Wildlife Refuge and Duck Creek CA. The event is held every other year and jointly coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and MDC. Due to the cold weather and frozen conditions in more northern areas, bald eagles return to Southeast Missouri in January and February to fish and hunt. The bald eagle is considered native to Missouri and thanks to restoration efforts, is now observed nearly statewide. Missouri now has more than 120 active eagle’s nests and the birds were removed from the federal government’s endangered species list with over 7,000 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states. For more information on bald eagles in Missouri, go online to HYPERLINK "" For more information about the Eagle Days event, contact Mingo National Wildlife Refuge at (573) 222-3589.

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February 2013


Deer Hunting Lease Now Available at Emiquon The Nature Conservancy in Illinois is accepting proposals for the lease of up to 1,200 acres of its Emiquon Preserve for deer hunting during the 2013 season. The lease will be exclusively for deer hunting. The area to be leased supports a variety of habitats including bottomland and upland forest, marsh and tall grass prairie. To ensure consideration for leasing, proposals must be received at the Conservancy’s office by close of business on March 4. Interested individuals can get more information by emailing The proposed lease area is part of the Conservancy’s 6,700-acre Emiquon Preserve along the Illinois River in Fulton County, Illinois. The preserve is on state routes 78 and 97 between Lewistown and Havana and adjacent to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge.

The Conservancy purchased the major portion of this property in 2000 with the goal of restoring and maintaining natural ecological processes that support the diversity and abundance of plant and animal communities native to the Illinois River Valley. Restoration began in 2007 and results to date have been impressive. For example, more than 240 bird species have been documented on the property since restoration began, including 90 percent of the wetland-associated threatened and endangered bird species in Illinois. In addition to white-tailed deer, other mammals seen frequently on the site include muskrats, beavers, weasels, river otters and coyotes. Deer hunting has not been permitted on the site since the Conservancy purchased Emiquon, and with the property’s diversity of habitats and relatively large size, deer are thriving with numerous reports of large bucks. The Conser-


bers and donors, and income from the deer lease will help offset some of the ongoing operation expenses. Hunters were some of the early conservationists in our state, and they continue to support habitat protection through hunting license fees and taxes on guns and ammunition. Other recreation opportunities offered at Emiquon include boating, fishing, wildlife viewing and waterfowl hunting. For more information about the Conservancy and its preserves, visit The Nature Conservancy is the world’s largest conservation organization, working in all 50 states and 34 countries. The Conservancy’s mission is protecting the lands and waters on which all life depends.

vancy sites several reasons for implementing deer hunting now. Hunting is an important management tool for The Nature Conservancy. More than 350 thousand native hardwood trees and shrubs have been planted at Emiquon, and deer browsing and rubbing has damaged many of these young trees. Hunting is being employed as a tool to help control deer populations and reduce the damage they are causing, allowing plant communities to recover their full vigor and diversity. Additionally, concentrations of deer are often associated with correspondingly high rates of agricultural crop depredation and deer-vehicle collisions. Emiquon’s operations are totally supported with private funds from mem-

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DIY Shotgun and Rifle Maintenance and Restoration Gets Professional Results Using Flexible Hone Professional-level maintenance of rifle and shotguns can be performed at home with an inexpensive, e asy-to-use honing tool. Many serious hunters opt to perform rifle and shotgun maintenance and conditioning themselves. However, many find it difficult – or even impossible – to achieve the proper cleaning and surface finishing results using the options available to them. These can include steel and bronze wool, sandpaper wrapped around a dowel, brushes, and other homemade remedies It is common for many shotgun and rifle enthusiasts to send their firearms to gunsmiths and other professionals for cleaning and restoration of chambers, barrels and forcing cones. Unfortunately, many gun owners find this to be both expensive and time consuming. “I always sent my shotgun to the gunsmith for finishing and polishing,” says Jim Charles Johnson of Wilmington Delaware. “They did a wonderful job but it took a couple of weeks and it would cost me plen-

ty. Postage alone was $75.00.” Instead, serious gun buffs, including collectors of vintage models, often opt to do maintenance and restoration themselves turning to a flexible, drill-mounted hone called the Flex-Hone. Available from Brush Research Manufacturing, the product is characterized by the small, abrasive globules permanently mounted to flexible nylon filaments. Using a flexible hone is a simple process that basically requires the means to hold a part securely such as a padded vise, the use of a low speed electric hand drill, and some common sense. Available in a variety of lengths and grits designed to meet the various bore or gauge sizes of most types of guns, the Flex-Hone enables shotgun and rifle owners to achieve a rust-free, beautifully polished micro surface finish. As a result, many firearm manufacturers are today selecting the FlexHone for final finishing operations. However, the tool functions just as well in the hands of a DIYer. Rifles For rifles, an area that often requires periodic conditioning is the chamber. Even new, higher end rifles can arrive with small pits and occlusions in the chamber as the machining process utilized by manufac-

February 2013

turers is very difficult. However, a less than highly polished chamber can create several problems for the rifle owner, including ejection problems and scarring of brass casings. Naturally, with rifles the product is not to be used in the barrel as it could affect the existing rifling. Todd Waggerman was using a small piece of 800 grit sandpaper used on a 30-06 that belonged to his wife’s Flex-Hone quickly, safely and thoroughly grandfather. The gun had cleans out any gun barrel been in a closet since 1974 and had a spent casing left in the chamber. and corrosion and extraction is fine now,” “The brass corroded and left a strange says Waggerman. raised area in the bottom of the chamber,” Shotguns explains Waggerman. “The rifle worked, but the spent cases stuck in the chamber The Flex-Hone quickly, safely and thorafter the first 5-10 rounds fired. oughly cleans out any barrel damage that In an attempt to clean the chamber, has occurred from oxidation and corrosion, Waggerman folded the sandpaper in half blends out scratches and removes the nicks and fed it through a gun cleaning patch and pits that cause plastic adhesion. eye, then screwed into a section of the A flexible hone will also remove the built cleaning rod that he then turned at low up residue in a barrel, and leave a superior speed using a cordless drill. surface resulting in greater accuracy, The results, he admits, were poor, until reduced wear and longer life for a shotgun. he tried the Flex-Hone. Standard barrel hones are 34 inches long “The Flex-Hone removed the residue and available in 10-, 12-, 16- and 20-gauge

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February 2013

sizes. When used in shotgun chambers, the polished finish allows fired cases to extract more easily, which puts less strain on extractors and ejectors. It will also ensure that debris is far less likely to adhere to the chamber walls and any that does remain will be much easier to remove during the normal cleaning procedure. The forcing cone can also be polished using a flexible hone with a specially designed tapered profile Flex-Hone. Forcing cones are the first thing the shot and wadding encounter as the transition is made from chamber to barrel, the cone literally forcing the larger diameter payload down to barrel size, so it is subjected to considerable force, as its name implies. This can lead to considerable fouling build-up close to the cone, the surface finish of which can be less smooth than either the barrel or chamber, as manufactured. Not only does the fouling create added resistance but can induce corrosion to take hold under it. Even regular cleaning may not remove it all. Honing with the Flex-Hone will ensure fouling build up is minimized. Johnson, who had been utilizing professional services for polishing and finishing and paying the cost plus $75 in postage, tried the Flex-Hone. “With the Flex-Hone, I accomplished


the polishing myself in half an hour,” says Johnson. “This saved me time and money. If you can operate a drill you can polish your barrels, chambers, forcing cones and cylinders yourself. I followed the instructions and had no problems at all.” Jim O'Hanlon, a cowboy action shooter form Port St. Lucie, FL had similar results. “Using the Flex Hone simplified the cleaning process and gave more consistent results,” says O'Hanlon. “As a cowboy action shooter, we shoot double shotguns that are not allowed to have ejectors, just extractors. Shells must fall out of the chambers with ease for fast reloads.” Hanlon adds that he also competes in Black Powder categories, which can create what he calls “a really sticky chamber.” “The Flex Hone gives that final, glass like smoothness that allows my extraction of empty shells to be fast,” says Hanlon. For more information, contact Brush Research Manufacturing, Brush Research Mfg. Co., Inc., 4642 Floral Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90022; (323) 261-2193; Fax: (323) 268-6587; e-mail: or visit the website: For a simple Flex-Hone for Firearms Instructional Video go to our YouTube page. Research


Mitch Prochnow with Grandpa Bob and his first trophy buck...a 9-pointer! Mitch passed his IDNR Hunter Safety course in June 2012. His Grandpa Bob Prochnow went online and got him a shotgun deer permit for McLean County. But before the hunt Grandpa and Mitch spent several hours of target shooting and he was dialed in at 100 yards! Mitch took his buck at 123 yards, dropped him in his tracks on Nov. 18th.

Proud Grandpa told ASO, “Watching Mitch take his first trophy buck at 10 years old made it the hunt of my lifetime!” Thanks so much for sharing Mitch’s first hunt with ASO! Way to go Mitch! We hope to hear from you again soon!

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THE MORNING IS MINE By: Wayne Baughman

Go To a Winter Sport Show

I made my annual pilgrimage to the All Canada Show in St. Charles in early January. This journey has become a tradition that I anticipate to offset

the winter doldrums. This year’s show was similar to the 2012 venue with about the same number of exhibitors. Although there were some different lodges than last year and a few that exhibited in 2012 that didn’t have a booth this year. This is understandable because of the aggregate cost of travel, booth space and manpower expense. Over the past several years lodge operators have become quite selective as to the communities where they promote. The bulk of the exhibitors were from the western portion of Ontario, roughly covering the area of Lake of the Woods, Eagle, Separation, Cedar, Perrault lakes eastward to Dryden. There were a couple of lodges from Manitoba represented as well. I always do a cost comparison between lodges as well as a comparison with previous year’s costs. This year’s offers are nearly identical to 2012 and several operators are highlighting the fact that they have not increased their charges over last year. I speculate that they have been slammed with the same economic problems that have plagued the U.S. the past couple of years, resulted in fewer tourist using their facilities. I had big plans to fish Ontario in 2012 but the drought that hit our area put a stop to that. With a cow herd that needs regular attention, I had to stay home and daily provide a source of water. I could have had a neighbor look after them but he was having plenty of similar problems of his own and did not want to impose on him.

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I am again intending to go this year. The only question at this point in time is which lake. I am generally interested in the larger lakes that offer multi-species of fish and large enough to offer a change of scenery ever day. Now back to the show. In addition to the lodge booths the show had a nice display of trophy fish and a mounted Musk Ox. Also present was Cope Marine, a Lund dealer located at O’Fallon, Illinois. He had three of Lund’s most popular models on hand. I am really impressed with the workmanship that Lund puts into their products and with some of the innovations they have incorporated. For example; I really like the casting platform they have at the aft end of some models that quickly convert into additional seating just by flipping the casting platform. Cope Marine also had on display another real innovation. A 2.5 hp kicker outboard that runs on propane. The motor is equipped to operate on small propane canister that snaps on to top of the motor. These little one pound canisters are the type used for camping stoves. One canister will run the motor about 2 hours at half speed. A larger 20 pound canister with hose is available and will run the motor for some 40 hours at half speed. The motor is well built with all of the features a fisherman could want. Construction wise it is virtually identical to Yamaha of similar size. With hardly any fuel emissions problems, I see this little power house being popular with environmental conscious outdoorsmen. The list price is only

$1049. I enjoyed the show and recommend that everyone attend a show this winter. ASO has a complete list of Illinois shows on page 101. It’s a nice way to spend the day, book a fishing trip and see all the latest products. Until next month…

Charlie Belleville, from Cope Marine shows off the Lehr outboard motor that operates on propane fuel. Cope Marine has headquarters at O’Fallon, IL.


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February 2013

Getting Ready for Turkey Season by Jason Houser

Twenty-five years ago it was a rarity to see a wild turkey in Central-Illinois where I both live and do a lot of hunting. Now, a day hardly passes when I do not see a turkey, or hear their vocals in the spring. Times sure have changed from what they were once were, from never seeing one, to now being able to kill a couple of toms each spring, and a couple more hens in the fall. We have definitely come full circle. I was inspired to write this article when a couple of months before turkey season I had 14 turkeys, both jakes and toms, walking through last year’s cornfield on my family’s farm. I could hardly hold in my enthusiasm as I sat in the cab of my truck, daydreaming of


setting in my blind waiting to arrow a tom turkey. But, before I could kill a turkey, I still had plenty of pre-season preparations to accomplish. The jakes and toms I saw on that early spring day in my cornfield were searching for hens. They were doing this because the weather was getting warmer, hours in the day were longer, and the urge to breed was almost unbearable. Even though the hens were not ready to breed yet the toms were and they were gobbling to prove it. When I spotted this big flock of male birds I knew things were changing in the turkey woods. During the winter toms have their own flocks; so do the jakes, as well as the young and old hens. Knowing the jakes abandoned their own flock to join up with the older toms it would only be a matter of time before mating took place. But, for the time being the hens were not receptive to the advances of the jakes and toms. Eventually, the males will come in close contact with the hens as they all begin to search for foods like lush greens and forbes, insects, leftover crops and acorns. As the days get longer and the temperatures rise the hens also become interested in breeding. The gobbling that the toms did a few weeks earlier to es-

tablish a pecking order are now being answered by willing hens. The large flocks of toms and jakes are breaking up into smaller groups of two or three male birds. It is because of all these changes that are about to and are happening with the turkey flocks that make pre-season scouting so important. In order to have constant success from one season to the next or even from one day to the next, pre-season scouting is a must. When I scout I locate roosting sites for early-morning excursions. Once they get off the roost that they normally follow. This route will normally take them to feeding areas and to water. When I look for roosting areas I look at the ground under potential roosting areas for droppings and feathers. 0nce I find roosting areas I try to imagine where they will fly. If I will not be able to kill a longbeard after fly-down that means I will have to hunt through the morning, and maybe the afternoon in states where legal. In order to accomplish this I have to know where the birds go after the fly down. Once I know this I can then set up accordingly. When I scout for turkeys I set back at a distance and use a good pair of binoc-

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ulars to locate the birds. I look for turkeys at likely food sources, water and travel routes. Do not forget to look closely in the shadows along the field edges. This is where you will find a lot of turkeys. Not only am I scouting for birds, but also for good places to set-up. If I know in advance where to set-up, it will make getting there in the dark easier. I also want to have places to hunt at different time throughout the day. As the turkeys advance through their daily routine we hunters have to move to new locations in order to stay ahead of the turkeys, literally. If you have done your scouting right you should know where the turkeys are and where they will be going. When choosing a location to hunt from try and avoid obstacles that could cause the birds to hesitate. Do not get on the opposite side of streams, fences, deep gullies and thick brush lines if you can avoid it. Turkeys have tremendous eyesight, but when it is obstructed they become very wary. Not only will thick brush hinder turkey’s eyesight and cause them to spook, it also might restrict you from drawing your bow or swinging your shotgun. Cont’d. on next pg.


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Cont’d. from previous pg.

Once I have found a good location for my set up I have to make it huntable. I will either hunt out of a manufactured pop-up blind or I will construct a natural blind made out of what is available. If I choose to use a storebought blind I begin by clearing the area of leaves and other debris where I plan on erecting the blind. Good manufactured blinds are not cheap; therefore the vast majority of my blinds are made from limbs and bushes that I find in the area. Because I am a bowhunter I build my blinds only high enough to conceal me, but still allow me to draw my bow back and shoot. Because the upper third of my body is in plain sight I have to wait for the turkeys head to be behind a tree, rock or bush before I draw. This can be difficult if there are a lot of turkeys in front of you. When I am using a manufactured pop-up blind I normally set it up the night before, or sometimes, even the morning of the hunt. Turkeys are not scared at the sight of a new obstruction in their home range the way whitetails are. Because I am a bowhunter I take a 5-

gallon bucket, painted to match the environment I will be hunting in, to my hunt area a day or two before I will be hunting. I also carry what I will need on my hunt in the bucket and leave it there. I either cover the bucket with a lid or trash bag to keep the contents dry. The contents of the bucket are: a couple bottles of water; a couple candy bars; toilet paper, and the big 4-inch guillotine broadheads I use. These particular heads do not fit in my quiver and are easy to screw in my arrows when I get to my hunting spot. I do carry a couple of traditional-style broadhead tipped arrows in my quiver just in case I get the opportunity at a turkey when I am away from my blind. The last things I leave in my bucket are a couple of collapsible decoys. As long as turkeys are not disturbed their daily routine will remain close to the same and the areas you have picked out will remain good areas. Once you get an opportunity to shoot a bird it is up to you to close the deal. Always take into consideration the eyesight and hearing of a turkey. Turkeys do not have the greatest of hearing, but they are suspicious of noises. After a turkey sees or hears something suspicious they will immediately sound an alarm putt


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and then run or fly away. Do not under estimate the brain of a turkey based on its size alone. Turkeys have the ability to learn and remember as well as animals with larger brains. Even though it might be legal to preseason call, do not do it. In my opinion all that you are accomplishing is educating the birds. Turkeys might not become hunter wise, but after hearing your calls and then being tricked by your calls I think they do become call wise over time. Leave your calls in you vest until season is open. If you feel the need to practice do it for your wife not the turkeys. Another pre-season ritual is making sure all of my gear is in order. Do not leave your gear at home. Every year someone I know gets to their blind and realizes they left their call, facemask, license, permit a stool to sit on, or some other important piece of gear at home. If you do take what you need to your hunting spot beforehand like I do, make sure you have it opening day. To prevent leaving much needed gear at home make a checklist of the hunting items you need. As you put the gear in your vehicle check it off the list. Another good investment is a turkey vest. They normally have a lot of pockets for all of your calls and other equipment. Leave your gear in your vest during the off-season. This will save a lot of headaches when you go searching for 3335 East Enos Springfield, Illinois


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February 2013

your gear only days before season opens. Pattern your guns and loads before you hit the woods. Even though you patterned them last year and for years before do it again. It is important to know where your gun shoots, the pattern of the choke and how the load performs when shooting at a target the size of a turkey’s head. I do all of my hunting with archery gear. I do not change my draw weight from my whitetail setup. If it were not for the big guillotine broadheads I use there would be no need to make any changes to my equipment. But, because I am shooting a 4-inch broadhead I do have to re-sight my bow. The last pre-season task to complete is to learn the most you can about the quarry you are hunting. A confident hunter is likely to be a successful one. Learn as much about the behavior, characteristics and habitat of the turkey as you can. Do your pre-season scouting and be confident in what you learn. Know where your gun shoots at 35 yards, or that with an arrow you can hit a baseball-size target. Be comfortable with the calls you plan on using. This is done through a lot of practice. So, what are you waiting for? Turkey season might still be weeks away, but it is not too early to get ready. Do not be a procrastinator. Get ready now and enjoy a great sport in the beautiful springwoods. Assault Rifles • All Shotguns High Powered Rifles Black Powder Inline & Traditional Automatic Revolvers & Black Powder Handguns • Full line of Accessories Crossbows & Equipment



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February 2013



BY WOO DAVES Getting Organized To Go Fishing

Hope your new year and your fishing this coming season will be the best ever for you. February is a tough fishing month for everyone not living in the extreme south. It’s not that a few bass can’t be caught it’s just the fact that it just ain’t fun. But all is not lost as this is a perfect time to get things in order for the spring fishing season. I don���t mean household chores (we have to do those to keep peace in the family) I mean fishing chores. The first thing is to get your Nitro Z8 boat ready and the biggest thing that always hinders the first spring fishing trip is poor batteries. Always charge your batteries as soon as you get in from a trip and during the winter storage charge them at least once a month. This is a great time to clean out every compartment and reorganize. Every time I do this it always amazes me what I come up with. Not only old peanut and butter sandwiches but lures and tackle I had been trying to find for weeks. This is the time to check and pack your

wheel bearings and fix any trailer lights that are out. Tackle can be sorted and put in its rightful place so you can find it on your next trip. This is a good time to take each one of your rods and run a cotton tip around each guide and make sure you have no cracks in them and to do any other rod repair work that is needed. Reels need a good cleaning and oiling and I always get rid of the line on reels and have them ready for respooling. Don’t go fishing this spring with last years line or you’re asking for trouble. Big bass seem to know when you have old line on and that’s the rod they will bite This is also the time to work on your suspending jerk baits and get them weighted just right. Also time to check your hooks and replace any that need it.

I make sure all my crankbaits I use have a Mustad Triple grip hook on it. If you haven’t used a Plano or Bass Pro Shops Extreme binder bag tackle system your really missing out. They allow you to organize everything in a neat orderly compact system. Makes it so easy to locate what you’re looking for in a hurry. This is how I keep my Zoom worms, lizards, craws, brush hogs, flukes, and frogs in order for fast retrieval when needed. Some tournaments when I’m dialed in to use a Zoom trick worm I will put my Mustad hooks, Bass Pro Shops’ worm weights, toothpicks, trick worms in one bag then everything I need is handy and I don’t have to go digging for stuff. This is also a good time to go over each lure, spinnerbait, buzzbait, chatterbait, jig, etc. Also check skirts, hooks, blades, and reorganize sizes and colors so you are ready when the bite gets here. You can work on tackle for days and not get it all done. Start with one lure, say spinnerbaits and work on them till you finish. Then start a list and check off each lure when you are done. If you know the lakes that you’re going to be fishing order maps from Bass Pro Shops and study them. Now is a good time to get yourself a game plan, before you get there as to how you are going to fish the body of water. You can eliminate a lot of time by doing this and spend quality time fishing the area you want to fish. Winter timed is when I watch a lot of fishing videos especially the one’s that are technique oriented like Bass Pro Shops’ Woo Daves 3 DVD set. Even


though I made the tapes, I still watch them to refresh my knowledge. There is a lot to learn on different techniques, how to rig them, how to fish them, what equipment you need to fish them and videos can dial you right in to what to do and use. The year 2012 was great for bass fishing with a lot of heavy weights brought in and I believe 2013 will be even better. Don’t get in a rut fishing, get out and try some of the new techniques like shaky head fishing, drop shot, Alabama rigs, and swim baits. All these new techniques work very well all over the country in our lakes and rivers so get on the band wagon give them a try . May God Bless and remember our troops and thank them for their outstanding duty. Try the Wrangler Angler pants on your next fishing trip and as Tony Tiger says they’re


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By Babe Winkelman

ICE FISHING LINE… WHAT'S BEST? Ice fishermen are as diverse as liquidwater anglers when it comes to their choices in equipment. From rods and reels to their lure arsenals, no two anglers are alike and they'll argue for hours over who has the best approach. One thing serious fishermen discuss with gusto is fishing line, and which types and weights are best suited for a particular species and fishing application. Now I don't want to get into any arguments here. but I do want to help readers make good line-selection decisions for ice fishing - which will


absolutely help you catch more fish. Here's a quick example of what I mean: Not too long ago, I was crappie fishing on a spot that went red hot for a couple weeks. It was a small, deep hole out in the middle of a big mid-lake flat and the crappies were suspended on it (about 15 feet down in 35 feet of water). Word spread like wild fire and before you knew it, there were dozens of ice fishermen packed into a pretty tight spot "gettin' while the getting' was good." The action was consistent, and at any given time you could look around and see someone catch a fish or hear crappies flopping in buckets in every direction. Sitting on an overturned pail not far from my Eskimo shelter was a guy having no luck. I could see from 30 yards away that the line on his rod was heavy. At least 12-pound test, maybe even 14, and tightly coiled from spool memory. I felt bad for the guy and walked over with a spare rod - already rigged with a slip bobber. After chatting for a bit about what a bad streak of luck he was having, I offered to let him try the other rod and explained how the lighter line would present his minnow in a more natural way - and how the limp, straight line would help him detect those light crappie bites better.

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He accepted and immediately began catching crappies. The first lesson from this story is that when selecting line for ice fishing, go as low as you can go in terms of line weight. As a rule for fishing monofilament, choose 2-4 pound test for panfish and perch; 6-12 pound for walleyes; and 12+ for pike. Now, should you spool every rod in your pail with monofilament? My answer is "no," but it depends upon how you fish. If all you do is fish with bobbers, then monofilament or fluorocarbon lines will treat you just fine. But if you do some active jigging (with spoons, jigs or "darting" plugs), you'll want to spool up some jigging ice sticks with braided line. The main reasons for using braid "superfine" for jigging is that its incredibly thin, super sensitive and exhibits zero spool memory. This means you'll have a dead-straight connection to your bait for instant bite detection and connectedness to your lure. Braided line is also zero-stretch, for solid hooksets in even deep water. In some cases, it's advantageous to use a combination of lines for a particular application. For finicky walleyes for example, spooling up with a braid/fluorocarbon combo is dynamite. Use the fluorocarbon line (8-pound works nice) as a 2-3 foot leader attached to your braid with either a blood knot or small swivel connector. This will give you all

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February 2013

the sensitivity advantages of braid with the natural bait presentation that fluorocarbon provides. Most multi-species anglers can get by with four basic rod/reel/line combinations. Two ultralight panfish rods (one with light mono and the other with the lightest of braids) and two medium walleye sticks (one with 6-12 pound mono and one with 10-12 pound braid). If you add pike to your pursuits, throw two heavier rods into the mix (one with 1214 pound mono and the other with 1520 pound braid). For tip-up pike fishing, use tip-up line on the spool to the leader style of your choice (many anglers prefer steel to prevent cut leaders). The fishing line aisle at the sporting goods store can be a daunting place. There are so many brands, types, sizes and colors from which to choose. But if you keep it simple with clear monos and fluorocarbons, along with standard braided lines in the poundages I've mentioned, you'll be all set for fun and productive days on the ice. Babe Winkelman is a nationallyknown outdoorsman who has taught people to fish and hunt for more than 25 years. Watch his award-winning "Good Fishing" and "Outdoor Secrets" television shows on many national and local networks. Visit for air times where you live, and be sure to check us out on Facebook.


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February 2013


Chasin’ fatties!

by Daniel Vinovich The late winter sun was setting over the parking lot as I watched a flock of snow geese winging their way back to the refuge. Holes were opening up all over the north end of Spring Lake. It won’t be long now ‘til the ice leaves and the hunting begins. I spent the following day going through the list of clients, making calls to inform them that we should be on the water by the end of the week. Clients quickly gobbled up the open dates for a chance at some of the best Muskie fishing the year has to offer and a chance at a fat, pre-spawn Muskie.

I, myself, was itching to see a big girl chasing a glide bait to the boat and to net the first fish of the season. Wednesday brought a strong wind shift to the south, opening even more water, but the ice still hung on tight by the ramp, thus, locking down the middle of the lake from access. The wind just needed to switch to the north for a few hours to open up the ramp. I climbed out of my truck and walked down the ramp. I smirked a little as I saw proof that other fishermen had been watching the receding ice. The ice was littered with rocks and logs. Even a concrete block lay half melted in the pale colored ice. “Looks like it’s still about 5 inches at the ramp, but the rest of the lake looks fishable if the damn ramp would just open,” I told one buddy on the cell phone. Thursday brought in colder temps and higher winds from the north. It was just the wind I needed, but not much melting was going on because of the drop in temperature. My phone had been getting blown up with the text messages and calls from clients wondering if the lake would be fishable by the weekend. Sorry to say boys, but I will be up at Bass Pro Shops in Bolingbrook this weekend doing seminars at the Spring Classic. The first weekend of the Bass Pro

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Shops Spring Classic had been a good one. The store was packed, and the seminars did not have many empty seats. I was winging my way south on Rt. 55 after the show when my phone rang. It was a good buddy of mine that told me a diehard had been tearing the crap out of his boat trying to break open the ramp. He made some progress but ripped off his transducer in the process. This just made me giggle, because it gets expensive when you try and force mother nature to do anything. Monday morning brought a beautiful sunrise and warmer temps. I was having coffee when my phone rang. It was one of the local boys that I had taken some photos of back in December with a big fish. He promised to call me when the lake was open in exchange for a few pho-

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tos of the biggest muskie he had ever caught. His voice sounded a little stressed when he announced the ramp was open. “No way,” I said. “Yes, it is,” he said. I could hear the clanging of rods hitting the inside of the aluminum boat as he loaded them. He told me the frickin’ guy from up north who tore up his boat trying to get in must have cracked the ramp ice pretty good ‘cause there was a lane open to the open water. I thanked him for the info and grabbed my coat. The morning frost covered my truck windows as I struggled to hit the windows with the scraper. I was like a little kid on Christmas Eve, every little thing was annoying me or slowing my departure. I finally put the truck in reverse Cont’d. on next pg.

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Cont’d. from previous pg.

and was almost out of the driveway when I slammed it back into park. I ran to the garage and plugged in the boat chargers, just in case the lane was open wide enough to get my Targa on the lake. The half hour ride to the lake seemed like it took forever. I swear, every car was moving at a snail’s pace. It was almost like they were soaking up the warm sun. Two turns left and I would be at the lake. As I rounded the last bend in the road, I could see, to my delight, that there was a jon boat on the lake. Down the final winding slope I drove, eyes straining to see if the ramp could accept my big glass boat. At the bottom of the road was a stopped school bus, again, another delay. My nerves were shattered as I pulled into the parking lot, only to see a small 14 foot boat on the lake. The big open path to the water was only about 4 foot wide. There was no way I was going to get my 20 foot Targa through that hole without doing some kind of damage to the gel coat. Back to my truck I headed with my tail between my legs. The cell phone rang as I was leaving the parking lot.

Now that girl got some weight!

“Hey, did you know there was a boat on the lake,” the voice hollered at me? “Yes, but I can’t get my boat in,” I replied. The ice is still too thick, but with this warm day and a little wind, we should be able to get in maybe tomorrow. Tuesday brought about the same conditions as I drove in the dark to the ramp. I was greeted by a breathtaking sunrise as I stepped into the parking lot

February 2013

to check the ramp. Ohhhh another fatty The dull, white col- ready to release! ored ice still choked the ramp, but a north wind was slowly eating it away. Disgusted, I grabbed a chain out of my tool box…Yes, a chain, or should I say my little ice breaker. Last year, I had a little trouble with the skim ice at the ramp, so I had taken a heavy chain, cut it into 2 foot sections and tied about 6 of them to a sturdy rope. A couple of well tossed flings and I could clear the ice ramp by 11 o’clock. from the ramp so it would not rip off the By 10:45, I was back at the ramp transducers. I gave her a high floating unhooking the straps that had held her toss. The chain breaker hit its mark and through the winter. Rods, extra clothes, a 2 foot chunk broke off the side. Several and net all stowed. A smile engulfed my more tosses to the sides of the rotten ice, face as I watched the motor submerge in and I had cleared an 8 foot wide trail. the clear water. Back at the truck, I grabbed my phone Three pulls and the 9.9 Merc purred and called my two buddies. “We’re in,” I to life. Slowly, the little motor pulled at yelled. I was on my way home to grab the transom, easing the big glass boat the boat and I would be back at the

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February 2013

into the water. The water was clear as Gin and not much wind, but who cared? The warm sun was beating on my face and the light wind…well; it’s an experience you just can’t explain. Not the most ideal conditions to be Muskie fishing, but at least we were fishing. The next 4 hours brought a couple small males to the net, but not the fish we were looking for. A cold chill ran down my back as the setting sun lost most of its heating quality. I looked at the glide bait hanging from the leader. Small drops of water hit the surface as I checked my phone for tomorrow’s weather conditions. I was about to say let’s call it a day when an enormous splash erupted at the side of the boat. A quick turn and I could see my buddy’s rod had doubled over. The drag screamed as he fought to get the fish under control. “She slammed it right at the side of the boat,” he yelled. “Get the damn net,” he hollered. I could see the hooks were firmly imbedded in her jaw, so I went for the camera not the net. First FATTIE of 2012. My Nikon rattled off pic after pic of the unhappy female. A couple seconds later, I grabbed the net and slowly lowered it into the water, leading her head first into the net. He smiled when I lifted the net engulfing her in the rub-


ber mesh. A flurry of high fives spread from the bow to the stern. A big smile came over my face as he hoisted the Big Fattie out of the net for a quick photo. I kept the Nikon eating as he slowly lowered her back into the water. With a couple tail wags, she disappeared back into the lake. Again, the high fives were flying. We were on the lake early. Hell, it was not even Valentine’s day yet and Predator Guide Service had a 40-inch on the books!! A warm feeling came over my numb hands as I whipped down my boat and strapped her on the trailer for the ride home. One last look over the glass like surface of the lake as I exited the parking lot, and I just knew this was gonna’ be a great year for CHASIN’ FATTIES!! 2012 was an ice out season to remember. The big pre-spawn females were willing and eager. Mother Nature brought the worst winds I have seen in years, but with a boat weighing over a ton and lots of power from the 36 volt electrics, we never missed a beat. Smiles from clients were more often than not! The fatties were there, and we were bringing them to the net. Several happy fishermen left with pictures of Fatties over 44 inches, some with their first fish, others with their biggest. A big grin

is covering my face right now as I tap the keyboard and look at some of the photos. 2013 looks to be another good one. While talking to the biologist, he reassured me the hot summer that killed a few fish had not hurt the fishery one bit. He estimated we had lost only about 3 percent. From a fishery that holds several thousand Muskies, that’s not even a drop in the bucket! To add a little FLAVOR TO THIS SPRING I will also be taking a limited number of trips to BANNER MARSH! These Lakes can produce BIG FISH and should be a great addition to the hot bite at Spring Lake. So, if you want to be part of the hottest time of the year at a chance for a FATTIE of your own, give me a call at 309-267-8309 or by email at:! REMEMBER…THE FATTIES WAIT FOR NO MAN…You’re either THERE or you’re NOT!! I’m writing this the first week in January, and the phone calls from my regulars reserving open dates for the Spring Ice Out Bite have already started. I never know exact dates the lake will open, so call early and get on my call list ‘cause when the temperature breaks, the lake can open in a matter of days. Also, I will once again be giving seminars at the Bass Pro Shops Spring


Another Springtime fatty!

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they fly over with both being banded! My guess all of us have hunted or fished or worked with one of these individuals. We tolerated their amazing luck in the hope some would rub off on us! These individuals win the promotion, get the girl, pick the right lottery ticket and otherwise make our weak efforts at success seem fruitless. I admit it – I am jealous and upset over my attempts at success while others seem to come by it with little or no effort at all! “Details fly the space shuttle” has always been my motto. By studiously preparing for the upcoming archery season through hours of analytical study, proper stand placement and sharpening your shooting skills and spending the time to gain your best opportunity seem meaningless when the buck always seems to evade your set up. The buck will then walk nonchalantly into a shooting lane, during the middle of the morning with nothing between him and the “chosen one shooter” as if he were looking to become the star of the Saturday Morning Hunting show! Yes – Life is unfair! I still believe, foolishly or not, success comes to those that work for it … or “you make your own success” as the saying goes! Dumb luck will only carry you so far. The only solace is often the preparation and anticipation of success will be your only friend besides losing or the lack of suc-

by Dave Herschelman Have you ever hunted with someone who always had good fortune on their side? Although you are fishing the same submerged tree canopy with the same setup, at the same depth and same bait – they will catch three slab sized crappie which would fail a steroid test while you simply attempt to drown your minnow! During their first ten minutes of daylight, on opening day of the firearm deer season, they shoot a ten pointer which you can drive a motorcycle between the inside spread while you had spent over a thousand hours on the same stand with nothing to show for it! They will leave the goose pit to answer the call of nature and while hid in the tree line shoot two honkers as


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cess in fishing or hunting is not the end of the world! While viewing the names etched on the wall at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor one comes face to face with the individuals whom did not deserve their fate but are lost for eternity as a result of their circumstances! Out of a sense of honor, many of their surviving shipmates choose to have their remains entombed with their fallen brothers within the sunken hulk that remains as a memorial to the fallen! My angst over a less than successful hunting or fishing trip seems pitiful in retrospect when compared to real sorrow and loss for those individuals and their families! The term “unfair” takes on a much somber meaning! To be analytical, those that exhibit the traits





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of perpetual good luck in the field often do the work to make it happen! Sure, the big giant buck is often killed by the novice or long time hunter who has never had this type of success, adding to the mystique of “Deer Hunting”. This experience may be a “one and done” event or the beginning of a life of respect and admiration in becoming a hunter of mature animals! The record books are full of entries where the entrant hunter has not

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February 2013



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February 2013

duplicated or sustained “trophy success” over their lifetimes but it also contains those who have achieved the pinnacle of sustained success in taking trophy deer or turkey. Despite many hard luck tragedies in the woods or water, if one looks hard enough there are events that happen even to the most unlucky of us. Several years ago, while turkey hunting with Lance “Fast Eddie” Sermersheim, who had killed his monster Tom the day earlier and was simply awaiting my success on the Sunday in which we both had to leave. I tried my best to fill the tag but my excitedly hurried shot on an approaching Tom was not successful. As we drove home, our route would take us past one of our Schuyler County hunting areas – I wanted to go on home and lick my bruised ego but Lance insisted we spend the last hour of the turkey day on this property. OK as I could barely keep from falling asleep! Once at the spot, Lance parked the truck and immediately worked his surefire box call – nothing. Let’s go! No, Lance insisted I get in the blind on the north end of the property a quarter mile distant from us! We trudged up the hill, silently, to the blind when a monster gobble sounded just on the other side of the ravine from us – this was the jolt of adrenaline I needed and I hotfooted as quietly and quickly to the blind as I could sticking a lone hen decoy in the ground as I moved. Lance held back in the timber only yards distant, in fact, I did not have time to enter the blind


but hid behind a tree and stood motionless after Lance’s sweet soft yelps and clucks penetrated the air! Suddenly a big red head was visible only yards from us behind the growth of bush honeysuckle! Dave he’s coming Lance whispered! I could not respond and could only hope his voice was not heard by Mr. Tom! Suddenly, Mr. Tom was twelve feet away from me with my gun barrel looking down his neck! At this distance the pattern could not have been larger than a half dollar! It worked! My consternation and apathy now turned to joy and elation for me, not the turkey! The whole hunting trip from entering the property to taking this super Tom was all of ten minutes! Searching our past often reveals instances where we were the fortunate one’s envied by others and usually or statistically those who work for success will over time seem to experience it more often. As I write this article, my spouse, Kelleye answers the phone and is chatting with the other party but is walking toward me! It is Gene Davis, my taxidermist, on the line – he has my Deer mount completed and is coming to my area today, “do you want me to bring your deer?” Sure! After lamenting the big ones that got away last season and the good fortune of the “lucky successful” hunters on big deer, I think this makes twenty-something book deer Gene has mounted for me! Damn that elusive Luck!


Congrats to 10 year old Chase Wenger with his 11 point buck. WOW… what a beauty! Chase was hunting with his Grandma Sherry Higgs in rural Fulton Co. on the 2nd day of 1st shotgun season. He shot the buck with a 20 gauge at 75 yards and it field dressed at 215 lbs. Thanks to proud Grandpa Ralph Higgs for sharing Chase’s trophy with ASO! Ralph’s daughter Jill Wenger is Chase’s mom & they are all from Canton. Plus Ralph & brother John Higgs own Melgreen Furniture, who are long time sponsors and friends of ASO! Be sure to see Melgreen’s for furniture or home decorating ideas in downtown Farmington & on the web at: ASO hopes to see more trophies from Chase…Way to go buddy!

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February 2013


At the roar of my single barreled 12 gauge Stevens shotgun, an enormous cloud of dust enveloped the cottontail rabbit bounding full speed across my Dad’s cut soybean field. Rowdy, the family beagle, had pushed the bunny out of a maze of wild cane and blackberry tangles which served as a border between the neighbor’s farm and ours. Rowdy disappeared into the dust cloud and proudly emerged with the bunny in his mouth. The chubby little beagle mix and I celebrated our good fortune with my shouts of “good boy Rowdy,” and a healthy dose of ear rubbing for him. Rowdy jumped with excitement as I stuffed the bunny into my hunting coat. Then he scurried away to hound the next bunny. Rabbit hunting with beagle hounds in the 1950’s was as American as apple pie and baseball. It seemed everyone owned a beagle or two and looked forward to Saturdays between October and February when they could hound the bunnies. Farm families, in particular, were partial to rabbit hunting. It provided a simple but pleasurable sport which gave opportunity to escape the long hours and drudgery of

hard farm labor. Equally important, rabbit on the table, prepared using one of Mom’s secret recipes, garnered everyone’s full attention. “Rabbit hunting provided a rite of passage for young farm boys,” said Rev. Phil Cooper. “Boys simply could not wait until they could go on a rabbit hunt with the older guys, carry a gun for the first time and learn the language of a beagle yowling on a rabbit trail. And when those boys took their first rabbit, everyone celebrated the event causing the young man to feel proud and accepted.” Rabbit hunting provides an affordable hunt for many people today, just as it did decades ago. The necessary equipment is simple and inexpensive. You do not have to have a top dollar shotgun or .22 rifle to enjoy a rabbit hunt. Nor do you have to go to the expense of owning a whole pack of beagles to hunt rabbits. One or two dogs can get the job done and provide fun packed hunts. Additionally, one does not have to break the bank account by purchasing a high bred beagle. Most beagles will happily chase rabbits if introduced to good quality rabitat. Simply look for rabbit sign; droppings, thick cover and teeth marks on y o u n g saplings are the things to look for. The first wild yodel a beagle makes after jumping a rabbit on a frosty morning is indeed magic music to a rabbit hunters ears. “It makes me laugh every time I hear a beagle howl-

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February 2013

ing wildly as it chases a rabbit by sight,” said long time rabbit hunter Bill McKinney from Salem, Missouri. “I share the dog’s excitement as it does what it loves most, chasing bunnies. I can sit for hours and listen to a pair of beagles work out a rabbit trail. You can tell by their voices how hot the trail is.” Hunting rabbits with beagle hounds is simple pleasure, but does require patience on the part of the hunters involved. “Rabbit hunters often want to shoot the rabbit their dog is trailing as quickly as possible,” McKinney stated. “I have seen guys wade into the thick brush to head a rabbit off to get a shot, when they need to exercise some patience and allow the dogs to work the trail and bring the rabbit around to them. Being patient, listening to the language of the dogs and anticipating the rabbit’s next move is the enjoyable part of the hunt.” Experienced beagle hounds know what they are doing. The dogs patiently work out the trail of a fleeing rabbit. Rabbits are cunning creatures and make every effort to loose the dogs in pursuit of them. When a rabbit is jumped by dogs, it uses its speed to put some distance between itself and the dogs as quickly as possible. A rabbit’s home range is relatively small and rest assured the bunny knows every square inch of its habitat. It will quickly take advantage of terrain features to escape. Thick vegetation, such as blackberry and multi-flora rose tangles, are sure


sources of escape and evasion for bunnies. Rabbits will also utilize features such as culverts and water to attempt to throw dogs off of their trail. Experienced beagles will soon figure out the ruse and rediscovery the scent trail. However, the time it takes the dogs to work out the puzzle gives the rabbit opportunity to put more distance between them. Beagles have a voracious appetite for hounding bunnies and will not easily give up the chase. Should a race go for long periods of time, dog owners may want to intercept the dogs to give them a drink of water, especially in warmer weather. Too, a small first aid kit should be carried to take care of minor injuries to dogs. Briars rip ears and tails and discarded barbed wire, glass or metal may case serious cuts to dogs. Being prepared for such scenarios is good insurance. The magic of a good rabbit hunt is the chase and the action involved with it. The dog music, the antics of the rabbits, good friends, family members and the experience of pushing the rabbit hides all combine to provide outdoor fun as good as it gets. But, to put rabbit on the dinner table, don’t forget that rabbits will run a full circle from where they are first jumped. Establish your post there and luck will come your way if you utilize a good dose of patience and allow your beagles to have a good time hounding the bunnies.

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Southern Illinois by Don Dziedzina

We’ve may have had our fill of the outdoor shows by now and we’re anxious to be on the water. In late February and into March we’re may see some open water but chances are some lakes may still have ice on

them. With all if the hard water around us it may be time to consider heading south to scratch that itch that the outdoor shows gave us to fish open water. So if you can afford to drive from four to five hours south of the Chicagoland area, you can be fishing in open water and catching bass and crappie in Southern Illinois. Southern Illinois is the place to be during February. It’s been my home away from home for many years. I always enjoy a few days away from Chicago’s cold by taking in the warmer weather down south. I’ve gone snow goose hunting with my fishing and hunting guide buddy, Todd Gessner. I’ve learned that Franklin and Williamson Counties are in my opinion, the top two counties in the state for snow goose hunting which is always a lot of fun. But since we would spend only the mornings or late afternoons in the goose

pits, during midday, we it’s a good time to hit the water. There are many lakes to fish in Southern Illinois. There’s Rend Lake, Crab Orchard, Little Grassy, Lake of Egypt, Devil’s Kitchen and many, many more. Between Franklin and Williamson Counties, there is water everywhere within an easy drive from where ever you hang you hat for the night. Lodging is never an issue if you’re looking for a nice place to stay. The County Tourism Franklin ( and Williamson County Tourism ( can help you find a place to stay, provide you with good suggestions for dining, and help you in the fishing and hunting department or just touring.. Bring your own boat down with you or hire a guide for a day or two. The tourism people can help you there too. All things considered, the idea of hiring a guide is an affordable option with the convenience of not having to tow a boat, and the luxury of having someone take you right to the hot spots on the lakes. If you haven’t been to southern Illinois before, I suggest getting a guide to learn the lakes and how to fish them. Then tow your boat for future trips. At this time of year, I really enjoy the crappie fishing. Bass fishing is fun but it just seems more proper to look for bass when it’s a bit warmer outside. There’s a variety of ways to go for the crappies. Live bait or artificial

February 2013

bait both will work. Small twister tailed grubs tossed up to visible weeks and slowly retrieved will catch fish. Using a long 8 to 10 foot rod will allow you to dip plastics or minnows along weed edges without having your boat up close and spooking the fish. It’s always good to see what the bait shop owners have to say about the crappie fishing. When they’re a little deeper and around sunken brush piles or stake beds, keep a close eye on your depth finder and go looking for them. If you see fish along a fish crib, start dipping or casting around it. If you see a crib and no fish, just keep on moving and don’t waste your time there. Minnows you can fish by adding one to a small jig and straight lining it or you can use a slip bobber and a light wire hook. Keep this in mind though, minnows have to be lively. Hook them once from under the chin and up around the nostril. If you kill the minnow or it seems wore out and inactive, replace it with a fresh lively one. In the plastics department, small twister tailed grubs, tubes, minnow body baits all work. Have a lot of different colors because at times, one color will definitely do better than another. My top choices for crappies in southern Illinois are Rend Lake, Crab Orchard and Lake of Egypt. They’re all very good lakes that have great populations of fish that are good sized. There’s nothing better than crappie for the dinner plate especially when they come from the cold winter waters. And with these southern Illinois lakes being only about four and a half hours south on I-57 from my south suburban Chicago home that makes “Great Fishing not that far away”. Visit Don’s blog at

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e e r k

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d s e e e A


land/water by use of a trail camera. CPO is investigating a 10 pt. buck that was shot with a .243 rifle in Vermillion Co. CPO located a man nearby with a .243 rifle who admitted to shooting 3 times at a coyote. The rifle was seized, investigation & charges are pending.

NOV. 2012 CPO cited 2 waterfowl hunters for failing to maintain a separate bag limit. CPO snuck up on 2 waterfowl hunters that he had cited last year for failing to maintain a separate bag limit. The hunters had their bag limits clearly separated. A CPO in Henderson Co investigated the unlawful taking of a whitetail buck. The deer was shot from the roadway. A bow hunter in the woods was nearly struck by a rifle bullet. Suspects have been identified and multiple charges are pending. CPO stopped an ATV being operated on a township road in south Knox Co. A bloody arrow was found to be within the quiver of his bow case. An interview of the operator determined that he was an archery deer hunter who had harvested a deer the previous day. Additional follow-up found the hunter had failed to tag his deer and obtain a harvest confirmation number as required. He was issued a citation for failure to tag deer immediately upon kill. The deer was tagged while written warnings were issued for failure to obtain a confirmation number before 10pm the day of harvest and for unlawful operation of ATV on a highway/right of way. While conducting sport fishing enforcement, CPO encountered two anglers along the Rock River in Rockton, IL. One angler was carrying a large Carp and the second angler was carrying a bucket. While speaking with the anglers, CPO noticed a freshwater mussel clearly visible inside the buck-

et. Upon questioning the angler and a subsequent inspection of the buckets content, CPO discovered the angler was illegally in possession of several additional mussels. While inspecting this angler’s fishing license, CPO discovered the angler was in possession of a resident Illinois sport fishing license while being a resident of Wis. CPO photographed the mussels, then released the live mussels and seized the remaining dead mussels. Appropriate enforcement action was taken. REGION III CPO was patrolling Vermillion Co and entered a deer camp which was being hunted by hunters from Mich. CPO found an untagged 13 pt buck deer on the back of an ATV with no one around. After waiting, a Mich. man returns with his freshly purchased hunting license and deer tags. CPO cited the man for Unlawful Take of Deer, Hunting Over Bait and Failure to Tag Immediately Upon Kill. Two other Michigan hunters were cited for Hunting Over Bait. CPO arrested a Hammond man in Piatt Co wanted on one Piatt and one Douglas Co arrest warrants. The Piatt Co warrant stemmed from three wildlife citations he issued the man in Piatt Co in Dec 2011. CPO arrested a Clark Co man for Fishing without Permission & Trespass to Property on private land in Clark Co. The man was caught on the posted

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REGION V CPO cited a man in Saline Co for hunting deer over bait. CPO cited a Bonnie man for falsifying application to receive landowner permits & unlawful take of a turkey. CPO also cited a Bluford man for offroading at Ten Mile Creek SFWA. The man buried his truck in the ground. CPO made a case on a Mt. Vernon man for unlawful possession of a raccoon during the closed season & failure to tag & checkin an archery killed deer. CPOs cited an Indiana deer hunter for no permit, unlawful take of an 8 pt buck, hunting without a license & numerous warnings in Gallatin Co. CPO is investigating a deer poaching case in Union Co. REGION I Dist 7 Officers conducted a night airplane detail with assistance from the Illinois State Police (ISP)

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REGION II CPOs cited 3 subjects for hunting on State property (in Lake Co) in a restricted area & for hunting deer with use/aid of bait. The subjects were also issued written warnings for no hunting licenses/habitat stamps. CPO received an anonymous complaint of a baited deer stand in Lake Co. CPOs met the complainant and found 2 subjects hunting with use/aid of bait. Both were issued citations. While on patrol, CPO was informed of 3 subjects hunting in the wrong area of Volo Bog State Park. CPO located the hunters & discovered none of them had the proper licenses or deer tags. Appropriate enforcement action was taken. REGION III The man’s driver’s license was suspended. CPO

Cont’d. on next pg.

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POLICE… Cont’d. from previous pg.

arrested the man for driving while license suspended and passing in a no passing zone. CPOs was informed by another CPO to check a hunter in an area that was baited to attract deer in Coles Co. They located a Coles County man, issued citations for hunting over bait & hunting w/o valid permits or license in possession. REGION IV CPO located a baited area in Greene Co. He located 2 hunters on the property, but neither was hunting over the bait. During an interview, he obtained a confession as to who placed the bait in the field. The subject was issued a citation for unlawful feeding of deer. CPO located 2 hunters in Adams Co. hunting over bait. One subject was hunting over a mineral block. The other hunter was hunting over a "Trophy Rock". Both were issued citations for hunting over bait. REGION V CPOs cited 4 separate boats for entering the Rend Lake sub-impoundment waterfowl areas prior to the start of duck season. CPO inspected a person keeping quail without a game & game breeder permit. Appropriate enforcement action was taken. CPO cited a fisherman on Rend Lake for taking


8 crappie over the limit. Sgt. cited waterfowl hunters for early entry into the Rend Lake sub-impoundment areas prior to 4:30 am. CPO caught a man trespassing on coal property in Saline Co. The man was "coyote" hunting from his truck. He had a loaded .22 rifle on his lap & a cocked, crossbow in the bed of the truck. CPO issued 4 fishing citations last spring to the man fishing on the same property. This go-round, he was cited for hunting by aid of a vehicle, possessing an uncased, loaded weapon in the vehicle, hunting without permission, failure to tag a deer & failure to call in a deer. A portion of the case is still under investigation. CPO cited a man in Hardin Co for unlawful take of deer during the closed season, possession of a freshly killed deer during the closed season, hunting by the use of bait (apples), unlawful take of a deer & retaining a live deer. The deer was taken by hand, retained & later died from wounds sustained from the unlawful take. CPO cited an out of state hunter in Gallatin Co for hunting without a license, no habitat stamp, unlawful take of a deer without a valid either sex permit, unlawful take of an 8 point buck, use of another's permit & unlawful operation of an ATV on public lands. CPO arrested 2 Tennessee men in Pulaski Co for

February 2013

spotlighting & possession of an uncased firearm & bow. The men admitted to shooting deer from the vehicle. CPO is investigating a Jackson Co hunter for poaching a deer from a vehicle with a rifle. Charges are pending on this case. REGION I On 11/19/2011 at 5:33 a.m. the JoDaviess Co Sheriff’s Dept received a 911 call of a hunting accident near the intersection of U.S. Hwy 20 and Dunn Rd. The caller advised that a hunter had been shot with a firearm. Menomine/Dunleith Fire and Ambulance, JoDaviess Co Sheriff’s Dept, East Dubuque Police, ISP & ICP were dispatched to the scene. Upon arrival it was discovered that a 44 year-old Inverness, IL man had been killed & his 15 year-old son had been injured from apparent gunshot wounds. The juvenile male was transported to Finely Hospital in Dubuque, IA, where he was treated & released. A 53 year-old East Dubuque man has been issued a citation by the ICP for misdemeanor reckless conduct. The incident remains under investigation by the JoDaviess Co Sheriff’s Dept and the ICP. All 3 subjects were afield at the time for the purpose of firearm deer hunting. While conducting a hunter compliance check during firearm deer season a Dist 6, a CPO found 2 deer in the back of the hunter’s truck & only 1 of the deer was tagged. The hunter stated the deer were standing next to each other when he shot at one of them & to his surprise both deer dropped. The hunter’s problem was he only had one tag. The

hunter was issued a citation for unlawful possession of a deer without a valid permit & the untagged deer was seized. CPO responded to a “hunting within 300 yards of a residence” complaint in a subdivision near Knoxville. The deer hunter who was sitting in a hunting blind at the rear of his parent’s residence had several violations. He had no habitat stamp, no deer permit, no FOID card, & improper blaze orange clothing. He also had a failure to appear (FTA) warrant in Warren Co. His elderly father stated that he was hunting for him while he was in the house eating breakfast. The father was issued a citation for accessory to deer hunting without a valid deer permit. The wanted subject was arrested & transported to the Knox Co Jail. He was issued citations for deer hunting without a deer permit & no habitat stamp. Plus written warnings for hunting within 300 yards of an inhabited dwelling & improper blaze orange. CPO responded to a Knox Co call of a deer hunter being shot at by a neighboring landowner. Interviews were conducted with both parties and other hunters hunting on nearby properties. Conflicting information from all interviewed, lack of physical evidence, & prior history between the neighbors failed to establish probable cause for an arrest. Further interviews may be conducted by the Knox Co Sheriff’s Dept Investigation Division. A CPO in Winnebago Co was notified of an individual who harvested an antlered deer while only possessing an antlerless only firearm deer permit. The officer met with the hunter, validated the

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February 2013


complaint, seized the illegally taken antlered deer & took appropriate enforcement action against the hunter. A Dist 7 CPO responded to a hunting complaint where the hunters were hunting without permission. Upon investigation, the hunters were given bad information by the tenant farmer on where to park and hunt. After checking the hunters and speaking with all involved parties, appropriate enforcement action was taken. CPO issued a hunter a citation for having an uncased gun on an ATV. CPO got a report of a firearm deer hunter who was hunting without blaze orange. When the CPO approached the man and asked him to unload his gun, the man said, “I didn’t know I was supposed to wear orange”. The CPO had not said anything about the orange at this point, which made it obvious the hunter knew he was in violation. The CPO issued the hunter a citation for hunting without blaze orange during the firearm deer season. CPOs along with 2 federal agents conducted a waterfowl detail at Duck Clubs along the Illinois River in Putnam & Bureau Counties. 2 citations were issued. CPO checked 2 subjects that had pulled their deer back to their vehicle. 2 of the deer had not been tagged. The subject that had shot the deer was issued a citation. A CPO issued multiple citations & written warnings to a Prophetstown man for failing to tag & check in a deer during the 1st firearm deer season. A CPO responded to multiple complaints over the deer season weekend. Most of these complaints resulted in no citations or the landowner had a change of heart & only wanted a written warning issued. Overall hunting success seemed down as well. ICP received a call from Putnam Co Sheriff about 2 bald eagles that were both hit by a truck. The eagles were picked up and will be turned over to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. CPO Sgt. issued a citation to a subject for transportation of a loaded gun on an ATV at a duck

club in Putnam Co. CPO worked DeKalb & Lee Counties checking firearm deer hunters over the 1st firearm season. CPO wrote hunters in those counties nine written warnings and 2 citations for deer hunting related violations. CPO also has an ongoing investigation originating from the firearm deer season. While patrolling for squirrel hunters, CPO located baited deer stands on an area property. Returning to the property during firearm deer season, CPO located a hunter in one of the baited stands. After making contact with the illegal hunter, CPO went to a vehicle parked across the field. Approaching the vehicle, the occupant tried to shove a loaded shotgun across his lap onto the passenger side of the vehicle. Both hunters were cited for their violations. CPO received a tip people were possibly hunting deer over bait. Locating the baited area in Oct. CP returned to the area during firearm deer season & arrested one subject for hunting deer with the use or aid of bait. CPO received information a subject had mistagged a deer he had taken to the meat locker. Interviewing the subject, he admitted to using his wife’s tag & other violations. The deer was seized & he was cited for his violation. CPO was notified by a landowner of two people who crossed his property to hunt property owned by the state of Illinois. The CPO located a father with his 12 year old son hunting on the state ground. The family lives in the house adjacent to the state property & they walked from their house, crossed the fence, & set up near the creek. The father said the son loves to hunt & he just didn’t have enough time in the day to take him somewhere else. The father was issued a citation for the trespassing violation & advised not to return to the property owned by the state since he does not have permission. A CPO was informed by an ISP trooper of a truck illegally parked along the interstate with a gun case in the cab of the truck. The CPO checked the rugged timber and was unable to locate the hunter








that day. The truck was tagged by ISP as illegally parked and when the CPO returned to the vehicle at 9:30 a.m. the truck was gone. The following morning the CPO found the truck was parked again in the same location with the ISP sticker removed from the day before and hunting equipment in the cab. The CPO tagged the vehicle as illegally parked and the ISP was prepared to tow the unattended vehicle after the two hour time limit had passed. The CPO again attempted to locate the hunter and as the ISP trooper arrived to tow the truck, the hunter appeared from the timber and said he had parked there to avoid a long walk from the other end of the property. The CPO pushed through the thick timber and met with the ISP trooper and hunter at the truck. The hunter had shot a deer and was returning to the truck to get his deer permit and the sled to drag the deer back to the truck. The CPO escorted the hunter to the untagged deer. The hunter claimed he had permission to hunt on the property, however he did not give the correct name of the landowner. Further investigation revealed he was nearly 3 miles away from the property he had permission to hunt. In addition, the hunter did not have a Henry Co deer permit & the gun used to take the deer was also unplugged. The gun was seized & the Moline man


was issued numerous citations. The illegally taken deer was seized and taken to a local deer processing meat locker where it was donated to local food pantries. A CPO had been working a baited tree stand with a trail camera facing the pile of apples. On Sun of the 1st firearm deer season, the CPO observed 2 hunters walking away from the tree stand. The CPO met with the hunters & completed an inspection with the father & son from Annawan. The son was using an unplugged shotgun with no hunting license or habitat stamp. The son admitted to putting buckets of apples in front of the trail cameras which were directly under the tree stands. He also admitted to dumping 4 buckets of corn on a food plot near another trail camera and tree stand. The gun was seized and the Annawan man was issued numerous citations. CPO cited a subject for illegally killing a whitetail deer with a rifle in Henderson Co. Appropriate enforcement action was taken. An anonymous individual contacted the ISP to report a large 31 point atypical buck whitetail deer was illegally taken with a rifle. The caller also stated that the deer was tagged by a 15 year old, but he heard that the deer was killed by the individCont’d. on next pg.




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POLICE… Cont’d. from previous pg.

ual’s father. CPOs arrived at the residence of the 15 year old hunter & made contact with the boy’s father by phone. The hunter’s father informed the officers where the deer was & gave them permission to enter the building to check the deer. The deer was examined & the officers were unable to determine anything out of the ordinary. CPO saw the individuals when they checked the deer in at the Chronic Wasting Disease check station. CPO suggested that they follow him to a local veterinary clinic to have it X-rayed to dispel any rumors. The father agreed to take it to the veterinary clinic. The deer, barely able to fit through the doors, was X-rayed at the clinic. The veterinarian was able to remove the slug & multiple lead fragments from the deer. CPO interviewed the hunter & the hunter’s father & found no inconsistencies in their story. The xray also showed that the deer had an expandable broad head in his shoulder. CPOs worked a shining detail in JoDaviess Co the night before the Firearm Deer Season. They encountered 2 groups of hunters driving across fields. The 1st group consisted of 2 subjects who were raccoon hunting. The driver advised he didn’t have his hunting license or habitat stamp with him. Though the passenger claimed ownership of a firearm in the vehicle, he advised he was not hunting & did not have a hunting license


or habitat stamp. An interview confirmed he was indeed hunting. He was cited for unlawfully hunting without a valid hunting license. All other violations were addressed with written warnings. The 2nd group encountered consisted of 3 subjects. The driver advised he was raccoon hunting. The passengers said they were along for the ride. The driver was in possession of a FOID card, which came back “Denied” through the ISP. He was also in possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. He was cited for his drug violations. The FOID violation will be turned over to the State’s Attorney’s Office for review. In total 3 citations and 5 written warnings were issued during the detail. While working Mercer Co. CPO Sgt. observed a pickup truck driving slowly across a field. The truck was driving toward a patch of timber that contained grass vehicle trails throughout it. Upon reaching the location of the vehicle in the timber, a stop was initiated. The startled driver looked out his rear window, began moving his left arm in a frantic manner, & continued driving on the1 lane trail. Once the trail opened a bit, Sgt. drove next to the subject & observed he was attempting to zip his gun case up. After loud verbal commands were issued out of the squad window, the driver stopped. The driver stated he was trying to figure out where he was going to hunt. The shotgun was unloaded at the time of

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the stop. 3 loose deer slugs were located behind the driver’s seat & on the passenger seat. The driver was cited for unlawful transportation of an uncased shotgun. CPO was approached by a hunter while on patrol in northern Rock Island Co on opening day of firearm deer season. The subject was upset & stated “I just had a go around with 2 guys illegally hunting on ground I have hunted for 20 years”. The CPO followed the hunter to the area in question. The hunter stated they shot a nice 8 point buck & they may have even shot it at a place they didn’t have permission to hunt. The tree stand & gut pile were located. The complainant stated the hunters for sure were on property they didn’t have permission to be on. CPO was able to track down the hunters. The hunters were from Arlington Heights IL. The Chicago area hunters stated they thought they were on property they had permission to be on. Both landowners were called, one showed up on scene. The landowner that showed up on scene was not happy the hunters harvested a buck on his property as well as having a tree stand set up on his property. The Chicago guys were able to produce a map they were given by their land owner that had an incorrect red outline of his property lines on it. The end result was the land owner stated he just wanted the Arlington Heights men to have a clear understanding of where the property lines were. The men were allowed to keep the buck & issued a written warning for hunting without permission. CPO received a call from Sgt. on a baited deer stand complaint. The CPO was near Cordova at the time & responded to the Taylor Ridge area. The CPO was guided into the area by the landowner via cell phone. As the CPO entered the field in a marked squad he observed a 2 people wearing blaze orange in a tree stand get down & start to leave the area. By the time the CPO got to the fence line the hunters were nearing their truck trying to leave the scene. The CPO ran after the hunters using loud verbal orders to get

February 2013

the hunters to stop. The hunter (the 2nd person was an observer) was brought back to the stand. A large quantity of mineral block was within 20 feet of the deer stand in plain view and multiple branches were cut on the complainants trees. The Moline hunter was charged with hunting over a baited area & issued a written warning for criminal damage to property for cutting trees/branches. He was ordered to clean up the bait, dig the soil out under & around the baited area & replace the soil with untampered soil by noon that day. CPO was called to the Cordova Nuclear plant because 2 large whitetail bucks were locked together by their antlers from fighting each other.. The bucks were exhausted & were laying down when the CPO arrived. It was clear the bucks were not going to be able to get loose from each other due to the curve in one antler hooked around & under the snout of the other deer. An attempt was made to get close enough to the deer with a saws-all to cut the antler. The bucks became aggressive & it was not safe to be in close proximity to the deer. Due to the surroundings of the Nuclear Plant a shot to the antler was not attempted. The CPO was forced to do the humane thing and euthanize both deer. An employee at the plant was granted permission to have the deer. A salvage report was done & a tag for each deer was issued. CPO arrested a landowner for battery on a legal hunter in Vermilion County. The landowner punched the legal hunter after confronting him about hunting adjacent to his property. CPO is investigating a fatal hunting accident that occurred in DeWitt County. A hunter collapsed while returning to his vehicle from firearm deer hunting. CPO arrested a Bethany man hunting in Shelby County on a Moultrie County Warrant for failing to appear (FTA) on a DUI charge. November 2012 CPO Reports continue in March!

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February 2013


by Roland Cheek The tale I'm about to spin seems farfetched, only reluctantly pursued. It's not so much being laughed at that bothers, but I don't know if I can handle ridicule. The truth is, I first wrote of this mystery some years ago and got no takers helping me to understand. So I'll try once more: can anyone help? It was before Thanksgiving; Jane and I strolled the ocean headwall on the north shore of California's Morro Bay. We watched sea otters bobbing on their backs among massive wave-splattered boulders and great clusters of floating


kelp. The tide was high. We paused. Jane carried our binoculars, 10X Zeiss. Birds of all sort zig-zagged about the ocean surface and into the sky: gulls, pelicans, assorted ducks. Earlier, further up the coast, we'd watched pelicans and sea lions ravenously feeding on a school of fish. And we'd paused to laugh at hundreds of elephant seals lying like giant slugs on a beach north of San Simeon. Jane paused during our Morro Bay walk to focus a couple of hundred yards away on two black ducks (probably scoters) riding a yard apart on a wave crest. "They've got something between them," she said. "Maybe they're trying to take a clam from an otter." Just then an otter's head popped up amid kelp, only fifty yards away. And when he rolled on his back to crack a clam, our attention went his way. Other otters appeared and disappeared among the waves. Ten minutes went by as we were absorbed by the show at our feet. Vaguely, though, I was aware those two black ducks still rode the waves together, farther out and to our left. Finally, the near-in otters moved seaward and Jane began walking away. I focused the binocs on the two ducks. Hmm, they're pecking at something in

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the water between them; something black. I looked closer. Then the "something" heaved from the water--a great serpent-like heave! I gasped, "Jane!" She came running back. I thrust her the glasses. "Those two ducks--they're fighting with something!" Just as she raised the glasses, a wave broke over the two ducks. When it passed, there was only one. We waited for a another ten minutes, but the missing duck failed to surface. Finally the second duck flew away into the sunset. What did we see? Two certainties. One is that I saw only a section of something round that cleared the water as it writhed. The second certainty is that, upon reflection, those two black ducks had been either attacking or fighting with something since we'd stood there. My recollection also provides probabilities that are less than certain. For instance, the thought that immediately ran through my mind as the round "thing" heaved above surface was that it was four inches in diameter. But, though my binocs are powerful, it was two hundred yards away, and the thing may have been larger or smaller. Also seeming less than certain to someone untrained in marine biology: the first black duck never surfaced,


though we watched all around that spot. But ten minutes seemed an adequate length of time for us to wait, especially after the second duck flew away. If anyone can help us learn what we saw, we'd appreciate it. Email: Or write to: Roland Cheek P.O. Box 1118 Columbia Falls, MT 59912 Next month? Another walk on the wild side.

Roland Cheek wrote a syndicated outdoors column (Wild Trails and Tall Tales) for 21 years. The column was carried in 17 daily and weekly newspapers in two states. In addition, he scripted and broadcast a daily radio show (Trails to Outdoor Adventure) that aired on 75 stations from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. He's also written upwards of 200 magazine articles and 12 fiction and nonfiction books. Read his stories on his website.

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Gunsmithing with Kirby Schupp The Shotgun Shop • PO Box 212 • Arnold, MO 63010 636-282-4379 •


February 2013

A common belief exists that if some mechanism worked the last time it was used, it should work the next time, too. Such may very well be true in many cases, and has little consequence if the outcome changes... at least for inexpensive items, like toasters. If an unexpected failure occurred in a coffeemaker, that might create stress as an unpleasant start of the morning. Items that require maintenance, like automobiles, should not be overly neglected, just because they start every time the key is turned. Waiting just a day too long can sometimes have expensive or disastrous endings, if, let’s say, the oil wasn’t checked or changed for just a mite too long. When a rod knock or lifter tappet noise becomes suddenly obvious, there comes the “day late and dollar short” ending. Some engine “miracle” solution (like Valve-Medic for stuck tappets) might save the day on specific minor problems, but a bearing knock becomes just a matter of time, not a matter of new oil, now. A broken firearm can sometimes give some warning of impending failure, but there are situations where the clues may not be easily discerned by shooters. Some hints will be so subtle (or only noticed by direct exam) that slowly approaching failure doesn’t point out the defect while the remedy is possible (or cheap). See a comparable conclusion if vehicle brakes are not checked before metal grinds metal. A rifle had slowly built up a considerable amount of surface rust inside the chamber, and this situation caused excessive roughness that increased until it severely impeded fired shell extraction (much more difficult than factory original condition). Sometimes, this condition will be so severe that shells actually stick in place and need more than the conventional bolt extractor engagement to remove, and are also beyond the manual application of force to be sufficient to extract the empty case. Clues may exist on the fired cases, such as scratches and evidence of heavy pull marks from the extractor on the rim edge. See this first group of images that have extraction deformities bracketed. The first view has a raised section caused by the pulling action of the extractor claw that left a permanent lump in the casing end. The second view shows the direct claw mark of the rim edge. The third view shows what a claw does to a shell that is too stuck to pull free while the action cycles – it completely tears through the rim edge.

These views in the second picture set show the rusty chamber surfaces from a pair of problem rifles. The first two images have differing depth of focus to show more details using alternate perspectives, and the third view is of the second barrel at a particularly bad spot. See that the blooming rust particulate is widespread, and that these chambers are in need of polishing. If the shooters had sought professional help sooner, the amount of pits and surface erosion remaining after polishing would have been reduced. As it was, both shooters were letting things go until repeated malfunctioning occurred.

The barrel chamber referenced in the first pair of previous images was polished to remove the surface rust and light imperfections, but did have some deeper pitting that could not be removed without possibility of creating an oversized chamber with another unique set of problems. There is a circumferential view of the overall eroded nature of the chamber surface in the next viewset, along with two different angled views of heavily pitted zones. When chamber rust occurs to a self-loading firearm, the increase in extraction force necessary will grow to a point that impedes the ability to fully cycle the mechanism. This increase can become quite a burden to the mechanical parts, and causes some otherwise avoidable parts breakage or

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February 2013


damage to expensive and scarce major components. Some military rifles have had an adjustment mechanism of the gas system in place to increase the force available in the event of cyclic failure, but other firearms, such as typical recoil operated pistols, for example, have no ability to adjust to adverse conditions and are left with defective operation until remedied. Fortunately, many firearms can have the barrel chamber easily inspected, so it is better if the shooter is aware that this condition may make trouble for them in the field (and be able to deal with and limit the formation of chamber rust). Major parts damage is better to have been avoided, so see these problems that others had to endure and learn lessons where someone else paid the bill. Hard extraction caused by a rusted chamber can eventually damage parts that have limited material thickness or strength, or where some cutaway section is part of the mechanical design. Notice by the top edge of the first image where a section (marked by red) has cracked away a portion of the extractor support edge from the bolt face. That bolt needed replacement because of the lost edge. The image on the right has a pair of arrows to show the hook edges of replacement extractors, with the left extractor sitting next to the broken extractor still in place in the bolt face. The lower enlarged image of the bolt edge shows the extractor has had the hook edge crack loose, and that loose section pivoted during the latest extraction attempts and lifted the corner of the groove material on the bolt face, but somehow the loose extractor hook has remained trapped in the extractor groove pocket. Certainly tells the tale of the final malfunction. By now, the big question is: how does a shooter avoid this problem of chamber rust, and what can be done if some rust is evident? Answering the second question first, a simple mitigation is to scrub with a bronze bore brush that is not too tight to fit inside, and be able to either be rotated or stroked in and out of the chamber without binding the wire tips by impingement. That is the feeling like it locks up (Chinese finger trap, anyone?) instead of being able to pull it back out,


and if that occurs, rotate the brush slightly to curve the wires sideways before trying to pull the brush back out again. More aggressive methods may need to be employed if brush scrub removal is unsatisfactory, but more care is necessary to go beyond powering the brush in a variable speed drill, for instance. The brush may be lightly covered with a wrap of fine (like 0000) steel wool (with a few drops of oil or rust penetrant optional), but realize that the fine wires of steel wool may easily enter mechanical recesses that might become jammed by those filaments, so +1 on the extra care that should be taken during such procedures, and ensure that the “filled” brush does not get too tight in the chamber during insertion, and beware the steel wool sheddings. The ultimate answer to why chamber rust tends to occur, besides the obvious problem of rain or dew moisture exposure, is the remainder moisture in the bore from firing that becomes trapped in the barrel if the bolt is closed before the barrel has a chance to “breathe” long enough for the residual moisture to evaporate or dissipate sufficiently. Realize that when powder combusts, a by-product of water is contained in the powder gasses formed, the same way that the automobile tailpipe drips in the winter from combustion byproducts formed there, too. The entire barrel is blasted out by the hot gas, except the chamber, which is (comparatively) insulated by the presence of the shell casing, and with the chamber being the heaviest wall thickness section of the barrel, it will be slightly cooler than the rest of the barrel and have any trapped condensate droplets forming in that cooler zone – if you close the bolt too soon after cessation of firing. There is the answer to the problem; leave the bolt open a few minutes after any shooting so the barrel can breathe, and swab the chamber and bore with dry patches to speed the process before proceeding to either pack up or continue with a conventional bore cleaning procedure at that time.

058_001.qxd 1/26/13 12:56 AM Page 1



February 2013

found in areas devoid of cover too, especially in the shallows. We’ve found large concentrations of big bass actively hunting across featureless shallow flats that are completely devoid of cover, but this is a far more common occurrence in dirty water than in clear water. Clear water bass rely on cover even more than those in the mud. Prey is a major key to finding active muddy water bass. Find large schools of shad and other kinds of baitfish, and active bass will be there.


By: Ray Simms with Dereck Dirschuweit Photos by: The Colby Simms Outdoors Team

w w w. C o l b y S i m m s O u t d o o r s . c o m Waters can get dirty at any time of year on most lakes and reservoirs. Some waters remain stained all year, but even these can get dirtier during certain times. During periods of high rainfall, creeks and rivers carry sediment into lakes and reservoirs, making clear water stained, and turning stained water into something that looks more like chocolate milk, and it can do this in fairly short order. This presents challenges to the angler and we’ll talk about tactics to overcome this situation and put plenty of bass in the boat.

*Places to Find Bass It’s typical for bass to move into skinny water in muddy conditions. Bass feel safe in dirty water, knowing it’s easier to hide from predators in these conditions. Additionally, the muddy water can provide bass with increased feeding opportunities as well, and much of this occurs in the shallows during most of the year on most waters in these conditions. Of course, bass love cover. They’ll tuck up under and behind rocks, weeds and wood, a natural thing for these fish. But, in muddy waters, bass can also be

*Tactics and Techniques Bass in dirty water don’t rely nearly as much on sight, as they rely on other senses. The hearing of a bass, as well as its ability to detect vibrations through its lateral line, are the two most critical senses they rely on to find prey in the mud, and this tell us what kinds of lures and presentations to use. Once areas are found that hold lots of active bass, choosing lures that produce lots of vibration and sound is a major key to success. Crank baits, spinner baits and blade baits are often the best choices, as these kinds of lures all produce lots of sound and vibration that allow bass to easily locate the lure. When selecting crank baits, choose rattling models that produce more sound than non-rattling versions. The best spinner baits are usually those with two or three blades, as they produce greater vibration and sound than single blade versions. Additionally, spinner baits with Colorado blades or hatchet blades produce more vibration than willow leaf blades do, displacing more water as they turn and helping bass to find them with greater ease. Larger blade baits are typically a better choice than the small ones, since

Guide and multiple tournaments champion Ray Simms with a bass taken on a Colby Simms Tackle Thump N Shad. they pump out more vibration. Other kinds of lures do also take muddy water bass, but with modifications and additions. Soft plastics can be productive in dirty water, but the key is choosing larger plastics and ones that produce more vibration. A ten inch, thick bodied ripple tail worm is usually more productive than a five inch long, skinny strait tail worm is. Freak baits are usually a better option

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February 2013


Multiple championship title winning tournament pro & guide Colby Simms with a pair of bass from muddy water taken on Colby Simms Tackle Hatchet Spin spinnerbaits. than tubes are in the mud. Still, adding rattles to these lures often makes them easier for bass to find. Also, a more subtle vertical presentation like soft plastics jigs are usually a better option for muddy water bass. Weed less style skirted jigs are bulkier than soft plastics alone, and with big trailers and rattles, they make noise, they displace more water, and create more of a ruckus than soft plastics by themselves. Large fat bodied trailers, like freak baits and craw chunks with oversized claws are the way to go in most muddy water situations. Since these lures are typical-

The author releases a nice largemouth back into the mud from where it came.

While this area was clear the day before, with rains it became heavily stained overnight.

ly fished on the bottom, when a slower presentation is required, it’s beneficial to use scent. Scents can be used on spinner baits, and can help in muddy water when fishing the lure very slow. But, while they can be used on crank and blade baits, they’re less effective, since they don’t stick well to the hard body of the lure, like they stick well to a spinnerbait skirt or trailer. It doesn’t hurt to use them on these lures, but it’s far more important with vertical lures and a slow presentation, like with jigs and plastics.

water. Use these methods when the rains fall and waters turn to mud, to load your boat with bass this year. Good fishing.

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Flipping in Cold Water


If your water isn’t frozen it’s a good time to get out and catch crappie. The obvious place to find fish is deep. However, a few days of warm sunshine will push baitfish, and crappie, up into shallow water areas.

ble-hook rigs and racks for multiple poles. It’s just you and one pole. My equipment includes my signature series 10.5 Russ Bailey BnM pole, 6-pound Vicious line, tiny fly float, and Southern Pro Rainbow jigs. The outfit is about as simple as you’ll get for crappie.” The technique requires positioning the boat correctly based upon the wind. You can use your trolling motor. Or, Bailey uses a Minn Kota Talon to anchor while working each area of the dock. He states that nothing is more efficient and easy to use for anchoring in shallow water because with the flip of a switch the pole pushes into the bottom to keep the boat in place. The 10.5-foot fishing pole is used to flip the bait in and around the dock pilings. Float watching is critical so you can set the hook at the first sign of a bite. A sweeping hookset is best because of the obstructions. It gives better control so the fish is less likely to tangle on the wood pilings and braces.

Dock Pattern “This is a simple technique,” says Ohio guide Russ Bailey (419-733-4527). “Picking docks may be a trial and error test to see which ones hold crappie. After a few successful trips you’ll soon know which ones are high-percentage docks. The two keys are usually water depth and temperature.” Bailey says this time of year waters in some lakes are drawn down so it makes the stationary docks with pilings a good choice. The stationary docks are higher due to the lake drawdown so they are easy to flip your bait under. The fish relate to the pilings. “Pitching requires very little equipment,” says Bailey. “You don’t have to worry about a lot of poles, dou-

Non-Dock Pattern Crappie Masters current National Champions are the father-son duo of Charles and Travis Bunting from Missouri. “Crappie might move up any time water is warmer on the bank but the most predictable time for this movement is right before the spawn,” says the younger Travis. “However, it’s worth checking any time you’re on the lake in cold weather.” The Buntings prefer two different jigs when pitching shallow. One is the same as Bailey’s; the Southern Pro Rainbow. “The jig is opaque so it does a better job of blocking out sunlight. It’s great in stained water to give a better profile while a translucent jig is better in clear water.”

By Tim Huffman

“We always start with a 1/16-th ounce jig,” says Travis, “because it has a good fall rate and gives enough weight to make it easy to pitch. One trick we like is to use a weedguard when fishing around cover. It just keeps us fishing more instead of staying hung up. More time fishing means more fish at the end of the day.” The team pitches with and without a float depending upon the situation. Pitching without a float lets them penetrate cover and have constant control of the bait. A float allows a set depth and a slower action like the pop-pop-pause they often use. They use a 9-foot BnM Float & Fly rod. “The pole length gives excellent control of the baits and gives good leverage for a quick hookset when you see a bite. A shorter pole has a slower reaction time especially when you have slack line due to wind.” Their second jig is a 2.5-inch Southern Pro tube on a light 1/32-ounce head. It gives a super-slow fall rate and can be skipped back into brush, around docks and other places where it’s important to stay in the strike zone for a period of time once you get the bait back to the cover. The big profile is an in-your-face presentation that creates many reaction bites. “Sometimes crappie are located suspended up off bottom so the big, lightweight jig works well because the body has water resistance giving the slow fall. It’s important to set the hook immediately.” The Buntings note that boat control is a key element when moving along the bank or around cover. Choose areas with the least amount of wind. Then, place your boat into the wind so it doesn’t blow you down or into the bank where you’re fishing. The better

February 2013

Travis Bunting displays a fish caught this winter on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The Rainbow jig is an easy-to-see offering while the weedless head allows penetration into cover without too many hang-ups. you control the boat the more fish you’ll catch. Try shallow water. You may not find crappie until spring but it’s also possible you might get a very pleasant surprise right now. Only by trying will you know for sure. Editor’s note: You can find more crappie information and writer Tim Huffman’s books at his website,



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February 2013



MTN HOME, Ark. The all-new Cabela’s National Walleye Tour welcomes another premier industry sponsor with the addition of Motorguide®, a leading manufacturer of trolling motors and marine accessories. The multi-year partnership comes as the NWT heads towards its inaugural season. Motorguide builds an excellent product and is a tremendous addition to our group of sponsors, said Anthony Wright, NWT Tournament Director. They are well known for quality and innovation and we’re thrilled to have their support.” Originally pinned Guide-Rite, MotorGuide was formed in the late 1960s with an emphasis on developing a trolling

motor that was more powerful and more efficient. In the early 70s, MotorGuide became the first company to allow flat storage along the bow of the boat. MotorGuide became a part of Mercury Marine, a fellow Brunswick counterpart, in 2000 and introduced the Wireless Series Trolling Motors in 2005. In 2009, MotorGuide partnered with Attwood Marine, also a Brunswick and Mercury Marine subsidiary, moving manufacturing operations from Tulsa, Okla., to their current home office plant in Lowell, Mich. Each Cabela’s National Walleye Tour event features over 100% payback. A fully rigged Ranger Boat, plus cash, is guaranteed for first place at each event – a total value of $57,000. Anglers that fish all three regular season events, in addition to the top points leaders, will gain entry to the 3-day, entry fee Championship. In addition to the strong payout, the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour offers several contingency opportunities for anglers. The circuit is pre-approved with multiple bonus programs available to Ranger, Stratos and Triton boat owners as well as Evinrude outboard owners. Cabela’s will also offer their lucrative Angler Cash incentives at each event. Overall payout, once the contingency programs are included, increase the potential first place prize value to near-

ly $75,000 at each qualifying event. The all-new National Walleye Tour begins April 26, 2013 and will include a total of three qualifying events, plus a year-end Championship. The NWT website is accepting registrations for all events online. The website offers numerous details on the circuit, including official rules, tournament structure, payout and incentives. The new circuit also includes unprecedented television and media coverage, allowing a national audience to watch the action unfold from each event throughout the season. Airing on multiple networks, the National Walleye Tour will be seen on The Texas Channel, World Fishing Network, Pursuit Channel, as well as the new NBC Sports Network. For more details, anglers are encouraged to call 612-424-0708 and check out the new website at www.nationalwalleyetour.


com. From website visitors can register for events, view the TV schedule and learn more about what’s in-store for 2013.

2013 SCHEDULED EVENTS April 26-27 - Red Wing, MN Mississippi River June 13-15 - Port Clinton, OH - Lake Erie July 26-27 - Sturgeon Bay, WI Green Bay Championship: September 12-14, Devils Lake, ND on Devils Lake

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BAI News By Ed DeVries

NEW SPONSOR FOR 2013 BIG FISH SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP! We are very happy to announce that AMS Bowfishing is sponsoring the 2013 AMS Bowfishing Big Fish Season Championship! The AMS BFC is a member favorite wherecontestants fish are entered on our forum throughout the year. A photo must be taken with the fish next to a measuring tape.  Points are awarded for species, size of fish and number of  species. A complete list of rules and standings can  be found at . Its free to participate in and AMS has generously donated a  Fire Eagle bow to the winner! We will also have  many other prizes to award. The winner of the 2012  contest was Frank Pauliks! Brent Thompson took  second

February 2013

Bowfisher of the year Rick Urban Teaching Bowfishing at H&F Days

Tom, Matt & Tim Beyer at the Tinley Show

Some January Crossbow Carp from the DesPlaines River

and Scott Pavey took third. Congrats to everyone who entered a fish in this free fun contest! Stop by our forum and sign up with the BAI and take part in the fun!

but after talking with us our good friends in the DNR have agreed to lengthen the season. While there are no official tournaments of any  kind on the lake, fun shoots or opens are allowed and we will hold a yearly shoot there. Shabbona  is a medium sized lake with a 10HP motor limit. It is perfect for those who bowfish out of small boats or canoes and it holds some good sized common carp. There are also areas offering good shore bowfishing. A lake such as this has been sorely needed in northern Illinois. 

that are good for bowfishing. The DNR will also update the bowfishing opportunities as they keep count of those fish we harvest thru shocking studies. 

MORE BOWFISHING OPPORTUNITIES AND PROGRAMS FOR 2013 We are currently working with the IDNR on some new programs that will  greatly enhance our sport. More on those in a few weeks, but we can talk about what we have   accomplished already while working with the IDNR for 2013.  YEAR ROUND BOWFISHING AT SHABBONA LAKE  Starting in the 2013 season bowfishing will be allowed the entire year at Shabbona Lake. Until now there has been a very short two month season on the lake

MORE DETAILED BOWFISHING REGULATIONS  There has always been confusion about what fish we can harvest and what waters are open to  bowfishing. New for 2013, the IDNR Fishing Digest booklet will include detailed information on  what fish may be harvested, what fish are protected and what waters are open to bowfishing. In  addition the fisheries division will be including bowfishing and the fish we harvest in their fishing  prospects section. This will be a great help for those new to bowfishing and those looking for  waters

MORE IDNR AWARDS FOR BOWFISHING  In 2009 the BAI began asking the INDR if they would consider keeping official bowfishing records in the same manner they keep sportfishing records. And after working with them for a few months  the official IDNR Bowfishing Records program was started in 2010. The IDNR also started the  Bowfishing Big Fish Award and the Junior Angler Bowfishing Award. Now for 2013 bowfishers can try for the IDNR Grand Slam Award and the Master Bowfisher Award. In order to win the Grand Slam award the bowfisher must harvest and document the harvesting of 1000 invasive  species. And to win the Master Bowfisher Award the bowfisher must harvest 5 different species  that meet a minimum weight requirement. All official rules and entry forms can be found on our  site, or the IDNR

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February 2013


I Fish Illinois site at . Our  thanks to all in the IDNR who have worked with us to improve bowfishing in our state, and a  special thanks to IDNR Fisheries Biologist Jim Mick for helping us so much over the past year.  BAI BOWFISHER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS The BAI recognizes those members who go above and beyond each year for the club and sport of  bowfishing. We look at the amount of outdoor shows they have helped with and the amount of shoots they participated in and helped with. We also look at the time they have spent introducing  others to the sport. This year we have an individual and team award. Rick Urban has been awarded the Bowfisher of the year. Rick spent countless hours and traveled across the state  promoting bowfishing and helping out at club events and shoots. Our 2013 Bowfishing Team Of  The Year is Tim, Tom and Matt Beyer. The Beyers made every outdoor show we were at and traveled to Springfield to help out at the state fair. Congratulations and THANK YOU guys!! And huge thanks to EVERYONE who has helped the BAI at events and shoots. We are a great  organization because of you! 

COMING UP! We dont have any official shoots set up for February but if the weather warms enough we plan on holding a season kick off shoot. Keep an eye on our forum at for up to the minute news and updates. And if there is a lake or river where you would like to see a shoot let us know! We will be at the Tinley Park Outdoor Show, the BEST outdoor show in the midwest, Feb. 9 & 10. This show has free parking and only costs $5 to get in! And you will find the best deals in the land there on all sorts of outdoor gear. So stop by and talk bowfishing at the Tinley Park Outdoor Show!


Brian Spillman, of East Peoria, IL caught this 12 lb. walleye at Oak Run while fishing for catfish late fall. WOW… Nice catch Brian! Thanks for sharing your trophy with ASO!

In closing, as the 2013 bowfishing season draws near we would once again like to invite everyone to join the BAI. The club is 100% free and the involvement you have with it is entirely up to you. If you just want to be a member and come out to a shoot or two, great! If you want to help promote our sport outdoor shows and ranges, GREAT! Whatever you do you will have a great time being a member of the BAI. Join up at or call 630-886-1672. Hope to see everyone on the water real soon!



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If there is a general rule of thumb, water with decent to excellent visibility often has good weed growth that can remain through the course of a winter. Granted, snow cover can eliminate light penetration which in turn can knock down vegetation but if there are weeds, typically there are bluegills. Most lakes have a variety of weed types and we have found bluegills around just about anything that resembles cover especially at first and late ice. Some weeds like the cabbage variety typically die and break down fast during the winter but at times will still hold fish. Other plants like Chara or even bulrushes can hold fish. My favorite winter weed however is coontail. Coontail grows to deeper depths and will often remain green much longer through the ice. Any type of weed is better than no weed providing that the fish are holding in the depth of the weed but green weeds are almost always best if they are available. An underwater camera like the Vexilar Scout can be invaluable for weed recon work. The crisp picture and lack of refraction can give you great information on what


condition, what species and what color the weeds are. Light penetration and predators probably influence how bluegills position and move around weeds more than anything else. Typically on a lot of water, lower light penetration creates windows where fish cruise and drift from the cover. What this means is that you can sit over a good trough, break or gap in the weeds and the spot will recharge with fish. This often occurs at sunrise and sunset. High sun or predators like northern pike can push bluegills into the weeds. When fish hunker into weeds, the angler often has to fish more through more holes to contact fish. When fish stop moving, you have to move to be successful. The other key to being successful when targeting panfish buried in weeds is to use tackle and equipment that will punch through the weeds to reach the fish. Think like a bass angler using a heavy jig to punch through pads or slop to get down to fish. While a camera can give you a tremendous education, hole-hopping through salad is where the Vexilar FL-22 shines. We live in a world where almost everything has moved to the digital age but when it comes to ice fishing, the information you get from the raw analog signal on a Vexilar is a game changer. Why does the analog signal give you an edge? When fishing weeds, you have

to turn down your power so that you can barely see any signal indicating the vegetation. The analog signal picks up movement better than anything so it becomes easier to see the jig working within the weeds and also easier to see fish moving through the weeds as they approach. The next step is to adjust the cone angle by either using the TriBeam or Pro View transducer so you can tune out even more weed clutter to clean up the screen. For shallow weeds less than fifteen feet, the ten foot scale on the FL-22 really blows the picture up, making everything easier to see. When trying to reach bluegills that are buried in the weeds, use presentations or jigs that drop hard enough to fall through the leaves and stalks. This usually isn’t a finesse game because to light or too slow of falling jigs get hung up near the top of the canopy. The weight of tungsten is ideal. Jigs like the Northland Tackle Mooska punch through the weeds and reach the fish. Another really good option that is often overlooked is to take a small Buckshot Rattle Spoon or Forage Minnow and attach a short chain dropper. We recently filmed and aired a television program where we discussed this presentation. The advantage of this combination is that the weight of the spoon cuts through the weeds but the chain on the bottom is very flexible giving the hook a very delicate action and the chain is easy for fish

February 2013

Punch heavy tungsten jigs or modified spoons through heavy vegetation to catch hunkered bluegills. to suck in. On fisheries with good weed growth, extracting bluegills from the jungle is part of the game at some point each winter. By approaching the weeds with the right mentality and the right tools, this extraction process is made much more effective. Jason Mitchell hosts the outdoor program, Jason Mitchell Outdoors which airs on Fox Sports North and Fox Sports Midwest. Show times and listings can be found at

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February 2013

Congrats to Chris “Casey” Wiseman, 13, the grandson of Woo & Patty Daves, (Professional bass fisherman & writer, see pg 41), for taking this nice buck. Casey lives in Hopewell, VA. His 14-pointer was shot in Nov. during black powder season in Disputanta County, VA. This fabulous trophy will forever be part of you! Way to go!


Nick Simpson, 13, shot his first buck opening day of the 2012 youth season while hunting on a family friend’s farm in Tazewell County. Congrats to Nick on his second successful youth season compared to his dad's 15 years of unsuccessful seasons! Thanks to Kristin Vick for sharing Nick’s buck with ASO! Be sure to stop by ASO sponsor & friend, 121 Club on Old Rt. 121 to see Kristin, Barb and the whole gang!

704 Main St. • Macon, MO 660-385-2516


Gabe Robison, 11, shot this buck in Mason Co. on the first day of firearms season with his trusty Mossberg 20 ga. This is Gabe's second nice buck taken in 2 years of deer hunting. Proud parents Shawn & Natalie of Washington, IL shout out a BIG “Congrats Gabe! We are proud of you!” ASO looks forward to seeiing more!



MARCH 14-15-16, 2013




LOLLI BROTHERS GIFT SHOP Items for sale at Auction are only a very small sampling of the 100's of unique gifts available everyday in our Gift Shop for IMMEDIATE SALE!! Find a wide variety of taxidermy mounts, tanned hides, Ivory, Authentic Indian Artifacts, Jewelry, moose and other antlers, "lodge or log home" decorating pieces, framed pictures, antler chandeliers, furniture & many related novelty pieces. Let us know what you are looking for and we'll try to locate it for you.


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Illinois Fish Talk By Steve Welch

About a year ago I decided enough was enough of me posting on other fishing forums and readers tear my posts apart and make all sorts of accusations about me and most if not all of them didn’t even know me. So I decided to start my own and from the get go we do not tolerate activities of personal attacks on one another and do not give three or four warnings to those individuals who do these things. I set it up that every post goes right through my e-mail account and I keep a very close eye on this and like I said it is my forum and I deem that post unfit then you are kicked off. We are all adults here and you know what is acceptable. With that being said it has been a year now and we currently have almost 600 members and very helpful knowledge can be gathered on this site. My partner on this site and in my guide service is the best electronics person I have ever met. Boat dealers and electronic dealers frequently use him to troubleshoot the high end products that are on today’s market. On both of our boats we have four Lowrance HDS each one networked with side imaging on both the rear of the boat and on the front. We have a very good knowledge of mapping cards and how to use them along with your hi-def electronics. I have not seen another site that has more info on Lowrance HDS and other depthfinders. We even give tutorials on the lake that are easily the most in-depth ones out there. The forum has a screenshot section that is loaded with side and downscan shots taken from our units on Lake Shelbyville and other local lakes. These are not taken from Internet promos but actual on-water experiences. We encourage anyone to post their pics from Lowrance or Humminbird so we can all see just how good today’s electronics really are. We have a big fish photo section and all sorts of species are represented. We encourage any picture with a kid in it to be front and center because those are our most precious pictures out there. We have a wild game and fish recipe section and I have tried several and all of them have been delicious. Check out the For Sale section and several items have been bought and sold through it. It is by far the most up to date fishing reports for Lake Shelbyville since I guide almost 250 days a year and share lots of patterns with members. We have many other lakes that are also represented on the site and now that it is a year old I have seen it garnish about 30,000 posts and all of them helpful in one way or another.

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February 2013


Recently Remodeled New Carpeting Color Cable TV of Sullivan, IL Refrigerator 217-728-4314 Microwave 1320 S. Hamilton St. Free Internet/WiFi Adjacent Restaurant Rt. 32, Sullivan, IL


In order to join just go to my website at www.LakeShelbyvilleGuide.Com and click on the icon on the top of the page and it will lead you to the forum for a short sign up section then you are good to go. Remember this is a kid friendly site so no profanity based handles please. February means to me better get ready for guide season it is a mere three weeks away. I make sure all my batteries are in good shape, my reels have good line and there are no motor issues and then get out there a few days before my first trip and do some scouting. February also means I have three more fishing shows to get through. The first one is Tinley Park February 9-10 then off to Arthur February 22-23 and finally to Elmwood on March 2-3 then I am done and off to Paris Landing for a tourney on March 16th. I’ll be guiding full time every day on Shelbyville from March 18th to mid August before I get my first day off that is five months straight fishing every day without a break. Then a half dozen days off in August and four more months without a day off. Got To Love It....

BOOK YOUR FISHING TRIP WITH STEVE TODAY! 217-762-7257 Cell: 217-840-1221

Robert Taylor and his friend Joe with a 3-man 45 fish stringer of crappie caught on 04/07/12.

Bruce Stammer and Bob with a 3-man stringer of crappie that were caught on Shelbyville on 04/09/12.

After a full day of fishing, come to the Spillway Motel and relax in one of our clean, comfortable rooms. All rooms include a microwave, refrigerator, cable TV, A/C & heat, Wi-Fi, coffee pot, direct dial phones, clock radio & bath with hair dryer. All rooms have 2 beds....Ask for 3! Pets allowed for nominal charge, however has to be in a smoking room. Park near your room…Our large parking area has free electrical hook-ups! Ice and soda available. Nearby restaurants. Shelbyville, IL BAIT SHOP ON SITE & MOTEL OPEN YEAR ROUND! For Reservations: 1/2 mile to beach and 9th Street boat launch. (800) 845-0414 Within walking distance to river and spillway!

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February 2013



Fred Phelps and his friends Rex, Bill and Bill along with me and my 2nd guide-Alan Corzine (we are not pictured) with a 6-man 90 fish stringer of crappie caught on Shelbyville on 04/03/12.

This is a picture of a 15 1/2 inch 2.4 lb crappie caught by Adlai Miller and shown held by his driver (name unknown) on 03/29/12.

Jessie Johnson with a mixed bag of crappie and walleye caught on 05/15/12

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West IL Rt. 16 Shelbyville, IL



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Feb. 9-10 • Tinley Park Fishing & Outdoor Show • Tinley Park, IL

Feb. 22-24 • The Boat Show Springfield, IL • IL State Fairgrounds

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Mercury Optimax 225, new compressor & fuel rails. New lower unit, mid section & 3-bank on-board charger in 2011. 2-Lowrance HDS 10, Lowrance HDS 7 & Lowrance HDS 5. All units are networked & structure scan on both rear of the boat and trolling motor. $8000.00 invested in state of the art Electronics. Bob’s Hydraulic Jack plate (New in 2011) with 6” vertical lift. Hydraulic steering was rebuilt in 2011. New power head in 2010. Every conceivable part has been replaced. Very clean boat, motor runs flawlessly & all units all networked. This boat has so many extras! The trailer has 2 new axles, new hubs, new spindles, new brakes & new tires. Updated to oil-bath bearings used on all Rangers post-2010.

Call Steve: 217-762-7257 • 217-840-1221

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New Year’s Resolutions & Goals By Emily Hauter It’s that time of year again; the New Year’s resolution group is packing the gym. Are you one from this group? Everyone knows that come the end of February the amount of people at the gym will be back to normal and the resolution people will be back to their old ways. How are you going to keep it going for the whole year and make a lifestyle change? How do you set an achievable goal? Goals

are not the easiest thing to for people to set. The best way to set goals is to set a group of short term goals that will help you to achieve your long term goal. These goals should be specific and include numbers and/or deadlines in which you want to reach these goals. An example would be: to eat x amount of calories each day for the week of February 3rd through 9th, to exercise 3 times for at least 30 minutes each during the week of February 3rd through 9th, etc. These would be paired with other short term goals, in order to reach an ending goal that could be to lose 20 pounds by August 30th, 2013. What is exercise? You are having an effective exercise activity when you are getting your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes. According to experts you should do this type of exercise about 4 or 5 times a week. You do not have to go to the gym to work out. Although it is cold outside for the most part right now you can bundle up and walk or run outside, or most kinds of exercise can be streamed from the internet for free. CrossFit is very popular right now and you can usually find these workouts on the internet without having to pay the monthly fee. How do I keep on track? I would suggest that you recruit friends that are going to the gym or exercising with you. If this person

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will keep you accountable for doing your exercise each week you are more likely to keep going. Also it may be a good idea to keep a diary or if you have a smart phone use an app. I use My Fitness Pal, with this app you can add your friends and see what they are eating and the exercise that they do each day. For me it is a little bit more motivation to exercise when I see that my friends are doing it as well. If you are having a little bit of trouble with motivation, maybe it would be a good idea to get a trainer for one or two days a week for a month. Your goal could be for them to show you things that you could do on your own at home if you are looking for a cheaper way to work out. Good luck with keeping your New Year’s resolutions for 2013. Remember to set your goals and keep track of what you are doing. If you write it down in a diary or somewhere that you will be able to go back and look at what you did to get the results then you are more likely to keep your results and maybe even change your habits, but remember that

February 2013

every bad habit takes 21 days of consecutive good habits to reverse the bad habits. Emily Hauter is in her last semester at Southern Illinois University and will graduate with a degree in Community Health Education. She was a swimmer for the Salukis and specialized in the butterfly. She is an accomplished dog trainer and guide for Sunny Slope Hunt Club. Her goal is to combine her athletic background with health education to coach people to improve their health and stay active and healthy. Emily Hauter can be reached by email at


2218 Court St. • Pekin, IL 61554 • 309-347-8610

BOOKING GOOSE HUNTS! Pits on Water, Corn or Bean Fields Lodging available! Located 13 miles east of Galesburg, IL Near Snake Den Refuge, Victoria, IL

Contact Rick: (309) 781-8312

Industrial Park

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February 2013

OUTDOOR CONNECTION By Gerald A. Sampen From the Alberta Rockies to the Swamps of Florida Alberta Moose “Plus Two” as told to Outdoor Connection by (Bob C. - FL) (ABH8) Mike and I had a great time. Todd and his son guided us each to a moose, a black bear, and a mule deer. Our primary goal was to bag a moose and we were certainly not disappointed. The rut was on and the bulls were more active than normal. On the evening of our first full day of hunting, Mike shot a nice bull. These moose are huge and I was shocked at how much he weighed. We were fortunate he dropped not far from a road so that we could haul him back to camp after getting help so that seven of us could get him into the truck. We continued to hunt for my moose and took the bear and mule deer


while searching for a monster bull. We passed on several smaller bulls while awaiting for a chance at a 50 inch bull. We got responses from several rutting bulls but the days passed without a really large bull showing. We finally saw a real shooter but I was not able to get a clear shot. (Mike could have dropped him easily since he did have a clear look at less than 60 yards!) I was down to the last two days of the hunt when Mike suddenly shouted “Huge Bull”! I got a little excited and missed my first shot. Dropped him on my second shot. My 50 inch bull is at the taxidermy shop and I expect to get the shoulder mount next year. By the way, on the last day of our hunt, Mike and Todd saw an even larger bull that stood for pictures at 70 yards and kept milling around for 30 minutes. Of course, no one had an unfilled tag so he’s still there for next year. Thanks for a great hunt. Night Time Adrenaline Rush on “The Bayou” as told to Outdoor Connection (Diane H. - PA) (FLH5) We arrived in Florida to temperatures in the low 40's, not a great time to start a hunt for alligators in Florida. The first night was too cold to even consider going out, but Capt. Billy was able to help fill our time with bow fishing for mullet. The next evening was my chance to hunt. After a short boat ride and instruction on the crossbow and what was to come, Capt. Billy started calling and spot lighting, and immediately we were rewarded with big splashing not far from our location. This alligator was rushing to the boat very aggressively. When the gator was only a few feet from the boat Capt. Billy told me to shoot. I pulled the trigger and thought I had missed! There was no splashing, just quiet. Then Kenny started yelling "she spined

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it!" There laid my alligator right where I had shot it. I finished it off with a bang stick and helped tape the mouth and rear legs. This portion of my hunt from the start of calling to pulling it into the boat was about 3 minutes, a very intense adrenaline packed 3 minutes! Dale's hunt happened the next evening, and was as different from mine as you could get. Capt. Billy called and called, moving frequently, but the water and air temperatures were very cool. Finally the calling brought movement in the weeds. Very slowly, cautiously this alligator crept into our sight, stopping often, always quietly. Finally when the gator was about 8 foot from the boat Dale shot and the splashing and thrashing was on! After the gator calmed down somewhat it was pulled up to the boat and shot with the bang stick. Dale taped the mouth and legs and we were off once again to butcher shop. As well as our hunts went with the weather being against us, I cannot wait to go again when the air and water are more comfortable.

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CARRY ENOUGH GUN TO DO THE JOB WHEN PREDATOR HUNTING Here are a few calibers and scenarios that predator and varmint hunters should have second thoughts about when trying to go light instead of carrying enough gun.

by Mark Kayser All too often hunters looking for peppy predator loads forget that as they speed up smaller bullets the energy ending up at the target is often reduced to the point of questionable outcomes. This is particularly true when you shoot these fast, light bullets at long range or when you tackle bigger-boned critters. Here are a few calibers and scenarios that predator and varmint hunters should have second thoughts about when trying to go light instead of carrying enough gun. Who doesn’t love the zippy .17 Hornet or .17 HMR? It’s a great alternative to the .22 LR and can take care of vermin from coast to coast. Nevertheless, many predator hunters are pushing the envelope by using it for fur chores. That may be all fine and good when tackling a lightweight fox or even a south Texas bob-

cat, but should you be putting it to use on coyotes? This is one caliber I think should stay in the truck when coyotes are the main target. Yes, I know truckloads of coyotes have fallen to this loveable caliber, but at longer distances it might leave you following a blood trail instead of carrying a pile of fur back to the truck. I’ve shot a pile of coyotes using the .204 Ruger, but is it the best for coyotes and larger predators? I’d say no. There are so many larger calibers that can handle coyote chores with ease and by combining solid bullet

choices like Hornady’s V-Max ( you can still avoid fur damage. I haven’t lost a coyote yet shooting them with a .204 Ruger, but I’ve had to track a few and that makes me question why I would put aside my .22-250 Remington that almost always takes the wheels off a coyote right on the spot. I’m not saying the .204 Ruger won’t do the job, I’m just saying there are a few other calibers that do it better. Are you thinking of wolves this fall and winter? If so, I’d suggest you carry enough gun. A mature wolf, especially the Alberta breed running the Rockies, could tip the scales at 100 pounds and more. You’re .22-250 Remington will work, but a better choice might be the .243 Winchester, .25-06 Remington or the 6.5 Creedmoor teamed up with quality ammunition. Any caliber of this power and up is perfect medicine for atough wolf. You can even consider your .270 Winchester or .308 Winchester. Customize the caliber with a bullet that minimizes pelt damage and you should be ready for a new rug. And since wolves are truly pack animals, you should consider a rifle (or shotgun) with a magazine. Your odds of meeting up with or calling in more than one wolf are good. In the same note you should also consider a caliber of this size for mountain lions. They also can weigh over 100 pounds, with a big tom hitting

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February 2013

the scales at 150 pounds or even more. They are tough and if a questionable shot occurs you want to knock as much wind out of their escape as possible. Finally, if you go up against bears the advice of calibers for wolves and lions, should be taken to heart. Use at least a deer caliber and don’t think of yourself as being “over gunned.” I wouldn’t be afraid a bit to put my .300 Winchester magnum to work on a big Alberta bruin that could easily push the needle past 400 pounds. Bears may not be hard to kill, but if you do have a less-than-perfect shot, a larger caliber can produce more damage when teamed with a tested, expandable bullet. Remember, bears have shaggy hides that sop and soak blood. They don’t leave good blood trails, so dropping one in its tracks is advisable. I know everyone has an opinion. These are mine. Take them or leave them, but please use enough gun. Nobody wants to lose a pelt or a rug because a wounded animal has enough life to escape.

Max Thompson, Agent 108 N. Orange • Havana, IL 62644 Bus.: 309-543-6248 Fax: 309-543-4899

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February 2013

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Developing a Touch for Bite Detection by Dave Genz After all the map study, after all the hole drilling, once you drop the line down the hole and start presenting a bait, that’s when the most elusive skill of all comes into play. Even with the finest graphite rods and fresh line, it can look like a magic act when good anglers just ‘know’ a fish has taken the bait and it’s time to set the hook. Solid, thunking bites are easy. Everybody can feel those, even with gloves on. But knowing a light bite when you feel it – or sense it – separates the best anglers from the rest. For so many, this becomes a lifetime quest full of frustration. How do you know a soft bite when you feel it? What does it feel like? Is there a way to develop a better touch for detecting bites? The

answer is a resounding yes, but you have to pay attention to detail and tidy up several tricky variables. At the conclusion of days spent retracing every step of the modern ice fishing revolution, Dave Genz was asked about where the sport can still go, in terms of significant developments. This was done to gather up his personal memories while writing the book, “Ice Revolution,” and though he was visibly spent from the process, he knew right away what he wanted to say. “There’s probably always room for more things in bite indication,” he said. “Something that helps you know when the fish bites.” He went on to theorize that we can probably build electronic gadgets that detect irregularities in the jigging motion, telling us something changed and a fish might have sucked the bait into its mouth. This kind of technology could come, but each of us has the ability to detect light bites right now, using the right combination of current equipment and technique. There are ways to become instantly better at this frustrating piece of


February 2013

the puzzle, then work on refining your abilities to the point that people will come up to you and ask for your secrets. Bite Detection System This is not going to be a commercial for specific models of rods and reels, but rather a description of what Genz uses and what he believes to be the keys to better bite detection. He’s said this before, but you must begin with the You can become good at detecting light right gear. “Your equipment has to bites, but it requires the right kind of rod, be balanced,” Dave fresh line that hangs straight, and tuning begins. “If it isn’t, you’re yourself in to the feel of your bait as it not going to feel the bite. bounces up and down. When the weight of The line has to hang the bait changes, or goes away completely, straight (meaning fresh something good probably happened! Here, and free of coils). Your the master ices another bluegill – not a jig has to be heavy monster, but they all bring a feeling of enough to take all the satisfaction. (Photo: kinks out of the line. Even with new line, if the line is to understand that stiffness equals too thick for the weight of the jig, sensitivity, but that doesn’t mean there will be all these coils in it, I’m using a pool cue. People say and you can’t feel bites then. they want a ‘more sensitive’ tip, “And you have to have a fairly but after I talk to them, I find out stiff rod. It’s so hard to get people they want to watch the rod tip and


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February 2013


see the rod bend to see the bite. That’s how they want to detect the bite, by seeing it rather than feeling it, because they don’t think they can learn to feel it. But if you have such a soft tip on your rod that it bends when you get a light bite, it’s going to be harder to feel any bite.” Genz urges us to get away from trying to see bites by watching the rod bend. “It’s the little bites, being able to feel them that you should be trying for,” he says, then goes on to describe how to pull it off. “You have to be able to feel that lure down there as you’re jigging it,” he says. “Even with tiny baits, if your rod and line are in balance, you can feel the cycles of the jiggling motion as you go up and down. It’s crisp and noticeable once you get used to it, and you just know it. We talk about pounding the lure, and now we talk more about the cadence, which is how fast you are pounding it. “With a good rod, you can feel the bottom of every cycle, right in the rod blank. That’s why it has to be stiff enough to let you feel that. If the rod is too soft, everything mushes around and you can’t feel

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anything. (But with a good rod) you’re jiggling away and feeling the bottom of every jiggle, and then all of a sudden something changes.” In other words, the distinct ‘thunk’ (or whatever you want to call it) at the bottom of every jiggle suddenly goes away. It might just deaden, or there might be a sensation that everything got lighter, or heavier. The changes can be, and are, subtle a lot of times. It isn’t like a big jolt most of the time – just enough of a difference to tell you something interrupted things. Close Your Eyes Genz hasn’t talked much about this next idea, but credits it for helping him refine the ability to detect light bites without the aid of spring bobbers or other visual cues. “What I do, which helped tremendously,” he says, “is when a fish is coming in and I know it’s going to bite, I close my eyes and fish like I’m blind. Blind people have tremendous senses, and doing this will really help you sense when the lure gets a little heavier. You can really tell when the bounce


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goes away at the bottom of your jigging cycles. When you can’t feel it bounce anymore, you know the fish has it. “Sometimes there’s this big jerk on the end of the line, but sometimes the fish comes in and grabs the lure and swims across the hole with it and everything just gets a little bit heavier.” He does this close-the-eyes trick occasionally, to this day, to keep his senses honed and refine his instincts. “You start to feel, or almost sense, that the fish is on there,” Genz says. “I do this when the fishing is pretty good, not on the first fish of the day. It probably works best when you’re sight fishing or using a camera – you’ve already caught some fish and can picture what they’re doing as they bite it. Then, close your eyes on some fish and go for that feeling.” There is more to this story, as there always is, including what to do when the fish are just coming up and kissing the bait with their mouths closed. That will interrupt the jigging cycle and you can feel it, but setting the hook right away on those bites results in wondering what the heck happened. In those instances, Genz has taught us to drop the rod tip rather than setting the hook, giving the fish a chance to have a second go at it and hopefully suck it in. “When I drop the rod tip,” he says, “my eyes are wide open and I’m watching the line. If the line sits in the hole with coils, that means the fish has it and I can set the hook and get him.” Sometimes by sight,


always by feel, using good quality rods and reels, almost anybody can learn to sink the hook into far more biters.

Dave Genz, known as Mr. Ice Fishing, was the primary driver of the modern ice fishing revolution. He has been enshrined in the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport. For more fishing tips and information on the new book, Ice Revolution, go to

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Retriever Puppy Training Tips Retriever puppies are genetically fit for hunting and retrieving skills, but you have to consistently train a puppy throughout its life in order to teach it how to best utilize its instincts for future hunts. Training a retriever puppy the right way from the get-go is crucial to avoiding training difficulties later on. With the first half year of your retriever puppy’s life being the most critical stage of habit development, it is important to start implementing training techniques as soon as possible. Typically the best age to start training is around 7-8 weeks of age, but this may vary depending on breed. Some of the skills and habits that your puppy must learn include: the ability to be quiet on command, swimming, proper retrieving techniques, and the ability to not be gun-shy. Following some of these tips will help your puppy learn the habits that will hopefully develop it into a highly trained and intelligent retriever. Give Your Puppy Plenty of Positive Human Contact Your puppy should have plenty of positive human contact from a young age. This allows your retriever puppy to develop a bond and trust with people that will serve you well later on. This positive human contact will also make a retriever puppy more receptive to training. It is equally


important to never be angry or short-tempered with your puppy, as this will create a lot of fear and negative association with people. Reward your puppy’s good behavior with treats and praise, and focus more on positive reinforcement instead of negative reinforcement. Balance Training With Fun When it comes to puppy training, you do not want to be too harsh or allow your puppy to roam wildly as it wills. A good balance of training and fun is best for a retriever puppy. You can start training your puppy at a young age to retrieve. Playing retrieving games 2 to 3 times per day is recommended with a toy or a rolled up clean towel. As your retriever puppy gets old you can vary the difficulty of the retrieving games by adding more distance or throwing the object into some type of cover. Start slowly with all types of retriever training and gradually increase the repetition and difficulty of training. Training Your Puppy to Not Be Gun-shy Gunfire training is extremely important to avoid gun-shyness in your retriever puppy. Gunfire training should not be taken lightly, as it is very difficult to undo gun-shyness in a dog. For proper gunfire training it is recommended to consult with a trainer or use an instructional guide. A common technique is to expose your puppy to increasingly loud noises over time. The noises should not be actual gunfire, but they might be a gunfire training recording or clanging pots and pans. This

February 2013

should not be done very often initially, every perhaps month, which is often enough for your puppy to get acclimated to these noises. Water Training a Retriever Puppy Retriever puppies innately love water, but you still have to gradually introduce them to it. Many puppies will not have any trouble with learning how to swim, however there are some that might struggle initially. If it has initial difficulties with swimming this is nothing to be worried about, as the vast majority of puppies will eventually learn how to swim. Start with very shallow water and get your puppy acclimated to first being wet. Try holding your puppy in slightly deeper water to see how it responds. If your puppy shows that it can handle swimming while in your hands, try calling your puppy to come to you from land while you wait in deeper water. If it is comfortable with swimming, it will have no problem swimming towards you.

but without proper and consistent training from a young age they will have difficulties learning advanced hunting skills later on. With some of these basic training tips, your puppy will be better suited to learn how to perform more advanced field and retrieving training. Training your retriever puppy takes patience, time, and consistent effort, but the reward is having a reliable and skilled retriever to accompany you on your hunts. Thanks to for this article. has many more great dog training tips, stories, sponsors & products.

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February 2013



How a couple of hunters & their faithful Labs survived a duck hunter’s worst nightmare

by Dessel LaRue

As told by my son, Layne LaRue, who experienced The Edmund Fitzgerald went down on Lake Superior when “the winds of November came early.” At 4 a.m., Rusty Lilyquist, Troy Beltrand and I, Tessa, my chocolate Lab, and Rensy, Rusty’s yellow Lab, were going on an exhilarating duck-hunting excursion. It was cold (25 degrees), windy, wet, and blacker than the bowels of hell. Shivering and cussing, exchanging loud banter, and in good spirits, we proceeded, boat pitching and rolling, in search of adventure. It was to come more than we knew. About four miles out, Rusty’s panicky voice sounded. “#*&!, there’s water coming in over the top of my boots!” We were swamped; the back of the boat level with the water surface. The bilge pump hadn’t been turned on. The next wave turned the boat upside down, and the three of us, our dogs, and all our expensive equipment were dumped into

the icy, pounding water. Rusty managed to wedge himself in between the motor and boat, only his head above water. I was near the front and got two fingers in the winch loop. Troy was clawing his way to the top of the boat. There was nothing for him to grab. I yelled for Tessa. She came swimming, and I flung her on top of the boat where she scratched frantically to stand up. Rensy was in the water part of the time, and part of the time she stood on Troy. I thought about how hard this must be on Rusty. He had been in an accident and had broken his back, neck and arm. I realized I couldn’t cling to the boat with just

those two fingers, and then it dawned on me to use Tessa’s collar, which I cinched tightly on my wrist. Troy, on top of the boat, was not in good shape. He lay flat on his back like a cadaver, eyes open, cold waves washing over him. We spent an eternity out there in that dark howling water, praying silently, because the cacophony of the wind and waves made it hard to communicate. Then suddenly, thanks to God, a 16foot DNR boat materialized out of the mist and swirling waters. Tessa tried to get in the boat, but she was pushed aside. Tessa struck for shore. She was tired of this stupid adventure. No amount of calling could turn her back. I prayed she’d make it. It was Rusty’s turn next, and his weight nearly swamped the boat, so they hung him over the side and dragged him to shore until his feet touched bottom. That left me out there by myself. At the crest of a tall wave, I could see a tiny brown blob running back and forth on shore. Tessa had made it! With Rusty off the back of the boat, the front end started to go down with me attached to it. I thrashed and flailed, gulping in water. My waders were filling with water. I was under water, lungs burning, thinking I was about to lose after all. Then my legs suddenly touched rocks. I had been blown into shallow water. I stood up straight and walked the boat into shore. We had come ashore right at a little resort owned by Rusty’s relatives. They stripped us down and wrapped us in blankets. Rusty was taken to the


hospital by ambulance and Troy to a different hospital. I was in okay shape and was taken to my truck. I just wanted to go home. First, I had to see if Rusty was all right. Tessa and I struck across country. While driving, I called my wife to tell her about our experience, sobbing as I told her the details. I walked into Rusty’s hospital room and we both started sobbing, hugging tightly, as much as our element-ravaged muscles would allow. The next time we met, we would be our old macho selves, but this day we just damn happy to be alive. Thankfully Troy’s okay too, owing his life to Rusty, who managed to hold him on top of that boat. We all have a new respect for Leech Lake, and on this day when the winds of November came early, she was cheated of her prize. Post note: When I went back the next day a fellow said, “Boy, that yellow Lab was sure something. I wondered why the yellow dog (Rensy) was singled out and why wasn’t my Tessa mentioned? To our amazement we heard that Rensy made it back to shore long before we realized and set up a frenzied barking at a cabin. He created such a ruckus that the owner looked out and saw, far out on the water, a brown dog appeared to be standing on a wave. Tessa was the only one visible standing on top of the boat. The man knew there was an overturned boat. A wonderful yellow dog running frantically up and down the water’s edge had alerted him. The man called 911 just as the DNR appeared, and help was on the way, thanks to Rensy.

Mike O’Bryan’s trusty boy C.J., out of retirement, for a good retrieve! Mike will line you up with your very own recreational property that your whole family can enjoy! 309-687-5069

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February 2013

An American Legion for ALL Americans…

Deer-Creek American Legion Post 1276

News & Events

Valentine’s Day Steak Fry Dinner Dance Sat. Feb. 16th

The Legion has teamed up with the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard to present a Valentine’s Day Dinner for 2.

Bring your Valentine out for a night of great food & entertainment. Two grilled Steak dinners, (cooked to order), complete with baked potato, green beans, salad & roll. Plus 2 glasses of Wine $40.00 per couple. Choose from 3 kinds of wine offered. Enjoy Great Music after dinner with Dave Chastain Band playing 8pm-12.

St. Jude Canoe Float, June 15, 2013 Challenge to Build Your Own Canoe

Make your own Homemade Canoe! Get the kids involved & have fun creating a design. Anything goes in making your canoe, as long as it floats. Think

PUBLIC Come On Out & Support Your ALWAYS Local American Legion! WELCOME! 31473 American Legion Dr. GRILL Deer Creek, IL OPEN NIGHTLY! (309) 447-6776


Sat. Feb. 2 Aux Meeting Sun. Feb. 3 Legion Breakfast SUPER BOWL PARTY Sat. & Sun Feb. 9 & 10 Turkey Shoot Sat. Feb. 16th Valentines Dinner & Steak Fry w/ Dave Chastain Band 8pm-12am Wed. Feb. 20 Family Legion Meeting 6:30 SAL Meeting 7pm Sat. Feb. 23 Hog Roast SAL Fundraiser Wed. 27 Legion Meeting 7pm Sat. March 16th Concealed & Carry Class Florida 8:30 am-4 pm $75.00 Sign -ups available for a Conceal & Carry class. Details at the Legion.



Green; try to use materials that are recyclable, like soda or beer cans, water bottles, empty canned food items, Think plastic, aluminum, coated cardboard, wood, everyday ordinary items we all throw away! But you don’t have to use recyclable materials to make your own canoe. Be creative & participate with us on the Canoe Float!

Public Always Welcome! 31473 American Legion Dr. Deer Creek, IL 61733 309-447-6776

DC Legion’s 50th Anniversary is April 28th…Celebration Party to be held May 4th! Details to follow in coming months.

Phillip E. Cameron 63, of Deer Creek died at 3:46 pm Thursday Jan 10, 2013 at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Phil was a United States Army Veteran, serving from 1966 to 1969 during the Vietnam War. He was employed as a Program Management Developer 11/Release Manager at Caterpillar. A lifetime member of the DC American Legion Veterans of Foreign Wars and 40 & 8 and Am Vets of Peoria. Phillip served with the Deer Creek Legion Honor Guard and the Tazewell Military Rites Team. He also served as Post Commander for 1 year and Treasurer many years. He was very involved with the Breakfast Club, Turkey shoots and New Years Day festivities. Phillip was truly a dedicated Family member of the Deer Creek Post 1276 Legion. His Memory lives on and he will be missed by all who knew him.

Every Tuesday is Mexican night! Delicious Homemade Chicken Enchiladas & Rice…$5.00 a plate! Sat. Feb. 16th Valentines Dinner & Steak Fry Dinner with Mackinaw Valley Wines and the Dave Chastain Band 8 p.m.-12 a.m. April Marks 50th Anniversary of DC Legion…Look for details on the May celebration. Kitchen is Open at 5pm Mon.-Sat. Closed Sun. (except for special events)

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February 2013


Planning Pays By Lester Rench

Certified Master Trainer/ Central Illinois K-9 Training Services In November, a family contacted me on a referral from a family whose dog I trained 2 years ago. They planned on adding a Mini Golden Doodle, named Ike, to their family. They had chosen the dog from a very reputable breeder, and were going to be bringing him home at 8 weeks old. What struck me about this family was how seriously they took the responsibility of a dog. They realized how important it was, especially as first time dog owners, to call a professional before the puppy arrived in order to prepare their home and get informed on what to do when Ike arrived. I met with the family and got to know


them and what they expected from their d o g . There are four boys in family between the ages of 7 and 14, and all of them had prepared a list of questions. I always recommend clients write on paper every question and expectation they have regarding their dog before our first meeting, They all wanted to share in taking care of Ike, and they wanted Ike to obey all of them equally, parents and kids alike. Dogs respond to training best after 16 weeks of age, so I instructed them to use the 8 weeks until he started his training for a in-home puppy pre-school. His family used that time to house break, crate train, and socialize him with other dogs and people. When Ike arrived at my facility at 16



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weeks, he was displaying the normal behavioral problems of many d o g s , especially young ones: he exhibited play bithe ing, barked at the door when the doorbell rang or a visitor arrive, and he jumped. These are all typical examples of a dog assuming a dominant or protective role in the absence of human leadership. I addressed these issues and applied basic obedience in the 3 weeks he was at my facility. An important thing to point out is both parents and all four children


worked with Ike when he returned home. Everyone expects the same behavior from Ike, and everyone works leash commands- even the youngest son- so the dog obeys all of them and knows his place in the hierarchy of the family. At each follow-up visit, I watched Ike do exactly what he was taught because of this family's dedication to him. Young kids have taken on this responsibly with a patient demeanor and it shows in the dog. Ike and his family are still doing terrific! I'm sure they will continue to enjoy a peaceful home and have many great years with Ike.

Contact Les at: 309-840-4777

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February 2013

WATERFOWL 2013 Father & Son Day at Mallard Farms by Donna Tonelli

The last day of duck season at Randy Root's Mallard Farms is often the highlight of the season, since most of the surrounding duck clubs are frozen over. Root has developed a ditch and pumping system that gives him the ability to keep the water in several of duck holes open on his 80 acre club grounds. Joe and I went down for the last day's duck hunt. Even though it was Christmas day, our friend Tony Walk was able to talk his wife into letting him and their young son Marshall skip Christmas dinner and join us at Mallard Farms. Joe had told Tony to come down around lunch time. More and more duck hunters have began to notice

that the ducks seem to be turning into nocturnal feeders. Even at Mallards Farms where Root is usually holding thousands of ducks on his grounds this time of year, the ducks leave on their own at sunrise and fly off to sit on the Illinois River loafing during the day, only returning to the flooded corn to feed in the afternoon. Tony hunts the Illinois River from his blind or from a boat blind near Hennepin. Marshall has been hunting with his dad for several years now, but this would the first time he hunted at Mallard Farms. He dad had told he was going to see lots if mallards that day and you could see the excitement in Marshall's eyes; Tony’s too since this was his first time hunting at Root's. After meeting Randy and Joe in the clubhouse, Joe took them out to the garage to get ready to go out to their blind. It was fun to watch Marshall wrestling with his waders, tossing his bag of candy to the side as he folded down the legs and stepped into the boots. Club member, Judge Dan Schmidt joked with Marshall as his son, Matt stood on the other side of the garage smiling as he rolled his eyes and looked up in the air with that look that every parent of a teenager knows. A college student, Matt has been hunting with dad at

Marshall & his dad on the way to the duck blind.

Mallard Farms for years and was probably remembering his first hunt at Root's. Tony stood back proudly watching Marshall. "Don't forget your candy' he called out as he pick up the platform he made for Marshall to use in the blind. Father and son climb up into the back of the pickup and headed off to the Center blind to join Dale Nagel and his son Donny.

Dale and his adult son have hunted the last day at Mallard Farms for years and had never met Tony and Marshall. Even though Joe had assured Dale, Marshall was a safe hunter they weren't sure what to expect from a hunter as young as Marshall. They were pleased as they watched Marshall take out his shotgun checking the safety before he loaded it and care-

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February 2013


Donny Nagel with his dad Dale fully placing it in the gun rest. Tony had taught him well and he obviously knew what he was doing. Before the day was done Marshall had bagged three mallards himself. Back at the clubhouse Marshall was enjoying every minute with 'the guys'. A banded mallard and a beautiful black duck taken in their blind were being admired by all. Dale was telling how well Marshall did in the blind. It was a great day. As I was taking pictures of Marshall and Tony with the ducks shot from their blind, Dan asked if I could get a shot of him and Matt "Christmas at Root's you know!" he said proudly putting his arm around his son. Dale and Donny soon replaced

Tony with son Marshall Walk

Judge Dan Schmidt & son Matt


Marshall holding his 3 ducks Tony and Marshall posing behind the pile of mallards. How special to capture a moment with three fathers with their sons sharing a day of duck hunting at three different stages of their relationships. Thanks so much to Donna Tonelli for sharing with ASO her Christmas Day fun hunting at Mallard Farms. Donna & Joe Tonelli will be at the Henry Decoy Show Sun. Feb 10, 8am – 2pm. Be sure to stop by to see some of their decoy collection and buy one of Donna’s books. Her books are a wonderful and a great gift that anyone will appreciate.

Mallards Christmas Day 2012

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February 2013

It was a great January 13th Goose Hunt! Pearce Tabor had a super day taking his limit. Thanks to ASO contributor Adam Sandor of the Illinois Walleye Trail for sharing his great day of goose hunting with ASO!

Congratulations to Kolby Shaw, 11 years old in 6th grade from Bath, IL. He went duck hunting for the first time with his Uncle Kenny Montgomery at the Sprig Duck Club in Bath on Nov. 16, 2012. Kolby shot the first two ducks to fly in that morning. Way to go Kolby, good shooting. One proud Uncle and one very excited hunter! Thanks to Trisha Bailey for sharing Kolby’s first hunting day with ASO!

Bill Morgan ASO’s good friend from Tupelo Mississippi finally got to get away to go duck hunting & congrats on a successful day!

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February 2013



(left) Dec. 24th, Rocky with a Christmas goose! (right) Jan. 11th Rocky with another great retrieve! Let Mike hook you up with some great hunting property of your own! 309-635-8901

Jan 13th…Jim Lucas and Rocky with some giant geese!


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Jan. 11th hunt…Mike O’Bryan on the goose pit after a great day!

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February 2013

HUNTING COLD-WEATHER WHITETAIL BUCKS Clues that might help you bag your buck when temperatures drop to well below freezing, or when big weather changes are affecting deer movements.

by John J. Woods Monitor the weather and all the elements that will impact the next hunting day. Critical elements are temperature and humidity (dew point), wind, rapidly changing barometric pressures and precipitation. • Learn how deer in your area react to different types of winter weather, and where they go to feed or bed down, then plan accordingly. • When scouting or hunting, investigate deer-harboring areas back in deep cover. Be sure to double-check for fresh travel routes to current food supplies and the trails back to bedding areas, or funnel crossroads between varying habitats. • With the reduction in daylight hours

during winter, deer will move more during the late afternoon hours up until dark. They will move very early at dawn as well. If the day warms up or turns sunny during the period from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., hunt then in open feeding areas, along water courses, or any other place where does might gather in groups. • Deer will move in light-drizzle rains, but rarely in downpours or when there are high winds. • When heavy snow or ice covers ground food sources, deer must forage even more. Search out and hunt areas where there is plenty of exposed woody browse. • Always glass corn or soybean fields thoroughly to see if deer are gleaning crop leftovers. Wildlife food plots shine this time of the season, even if frost-burned. Southern hunters should hit these hard.



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Todd Staley from Morton shot this turkey on Dec. 21st at his farm in Lewistown. “Took it at 5 yards from my ground blind. I was watching deer eating my turnips when I had 15 toms surprise me from my left. It was a great day!” Thanks to ASO friend Mike O’Bryan! Mike can get you lined up with your own property! 309-635-8901 •

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February 2013

PERFECTING YOUR PATTERN Things to consider when patterning your shotgun

By Chase Moore For any waterfowl hunter, whether it be the once-a-year guy, the weekend warrior or the seasoned guide, nothing could be more disappointing than having a bird work into your spread and when the time comes to shoot, you miss all three shots. While this has happened to every waterfowl hunter, whether they admit it or not, often it is not the result of bad shooting. What you thought was a lack of focus or an incorrect mount could be something as simple as a patterning issue caused by your choke tube and your load selections. These shooting mishaps occur more than you think, and by learning more about how they affect your pattern, you can turn those misses into kill shots. When referring to shotgun performance and patterning, I've heard the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." While this might hold true for some, many hunters may not realize that what isn't broke in their opinions can still be holding them back from being the best waterfowl hunters they can be. To better understand the issues of patterning and how one should go about selecting choke tubes and loads, I took my questions to Rob Roberts of Rob Roberts Gunworks. Roberts has dedicated himself to the basic concepts of accuracy, consistency and feel. He has it down to a science when helping hunters customize their shotguns to produce the best patterns in any hunting situation. "As with all hunting gear on the market today, especially waterfowl hunting gear, companies are always coming out with better and more efficient products to help a hunter


get the most out of his or her hunt," says Roberts. "The choke tube, which always seems to get a lot of conversation among waterfowl hunters, has grown over the years into a big market for these hunters trying to improve their gunning abilities and put more birds on the strap." With such a selection of choke tubes these days, how does one go about finding the right one? Here are some things to consider this season when looking to improve your patterning with a new choke tube. CHOKE SELECTION First try to understand it on a basic physical level. Every time you shoot, the last link of direction that your wad of shot receives is from that thin cylinder of steel at the end of your gun. "Today, most choke tubes on the market will be made with 17-4 stainless steel," says Roberts. "It is a must to try and find a tube that is also heat treated for maximum strength and reliability." Roberts asserts that this specification will make for harder and more consistent steel, ultimately translating into better patterns. Another major attribute to consider for choke tubes are the lengths of their parallel section. This is the part of the tube that extends out past the gun barrel. Roberts is a firm believer that the ideal length of a parallel section should be 1" to 1-1/8". "I have researched and tested every possible parallel section length from a ½" to 2½" and have found that the best patterns are always present with the 1" to 1-1/8" lengths." An additional feature of choke tubes that has both an aesthetic and functional impact is whether they're ported or non-ported. "The whole idea behind a ported choke is the purpose of a wad stripper," says Roberts. "This means that the wad is separated more dramatically from the pellets at the exit point


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than a non-ported choke. Other than that basic feature, there are no other proven differences like a reduction in recoil or back pressure." Roberts, who stands behind the performance of his non-ported choke tubes, says that the biggest factor is knowing what you want to get out of your gun's pattern, taking into consideration choke constriction and your gunning abilities. Whether you are a waterfowler who desires to get a softball-sized pattern at 40 yards or one who needs a more open pattern for the inyour-face decoying shots, any pattern can be accomplished with the right combination of choke tube and load. Without having a basic understanding of how a choke tube functions or what to look for, it can become a guessing game with the potential for inconsistency and frustration. LOAD SELECTION The load also has an effect on the pattern of your gun. Within any cloud of shot, individual pellet placement is entirely random, and


photo by Chris Jennings

no given pellet or group of pellets can be precisely directed. However, if this scatter of pellets is dense enough, the sheer number defeats random positioning and can produce multiple pellet strikes to down the bird. Choke tubes are essential in this regard, but without a satisfactory load to allow the choke to do its job, you won't see improvement. So how do you find a load to match your choke? According to Roberts, it's a trial-and-error process. "If you don't feel like getting it professionally done, which I would recommend, the easiest thing to do is to go out and buy a couple

Cont’d. on next pg.


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PATTERN… Cont’d. from previous pg. of different boxes of shells that you would want to use during the season and go to work," says Roberts. "Find out which type of shell patterns best." THE PROFESSIONAL PATTERN Even though it is feasible for a hunter to generate a good pattern with basic knowledge

Premium Steel Shotgun Ammo for Duck Hunters Looking for maximum ammo performance within your budget? Today’s hard-hitting premium steel is the answer.

By Jarrod Spilger Although premium non-toxics have commanded the bulk of waterfowl ammo attention in recent years, regular old steel has quietly continued bagging ducks and geese. While premium non-toxics are highly effective, steel remains the shot type of choice for most waterfowlers. The reason is simple economics. Most premium non-toxics are tungsten based, and tungsten costs considerably more than iron. Although tungsten might be more effective than steel, in today’s economy, many hunters just can’t afford ammo costing $2 or $3

February 2013

of how it works, it's also important to understand that it's not as simple as buying an aftermarket choke tube. Do your research to see which choke best matches your gun. In many cases, it would be a good idea to have a professional modify and outfit your gun with a choke tube. Roberts suggests a precision custom choke installation and individually fit choke tubes, which will have none of the limitations present in mass-produced or aftermar-

ket choke tubes. A custom choke will be more likely to be in line with the point of aim when the tube is in alignment with the shotgun bore. The patterns are likely to be more uniform when the shot is constricted evenly through the entire choking action. An off-center choke, which can be found in some factory or aftermarket choke tubes, will have the shot strike first on one side of the choke and have an uneven action.

"Nothing could be more detrimental to one's hunting experience than blatantly overlooking the importance of your shotgun's performance, especially that of the gun's patterning ability with respect to choke tubes and load selection," Roberts concludes. However, none of this is to say that some quality time with your favorite shotgun can't produce nearly professional results.

per round. So they opt for the more affordable mainstay — steel. Ammo manufacturers have noted steel’s continued popularity, as reflected by recent waterfowl load introductions, all of which are steel-based. However, steel tends to either zip through birds (over-penetration) or get caught up in feathers (under-penetration), because it’s light and fast and it loses energy quickly. That’s why larger shot sizes and higher velocities often are used to maintain lethality, both of which come at the price of decreased pattern density. Manufacturers have taken a couple very different approaches in their attempts to make steel shot more effective. One solution is to use odd-shaped shot that causes larger wound channels and massive blunt-force trauma, such as Federal Black Cloud’s sharply banded FLITESTOPPER steel pellets. Although Black Cloud was the first commercially successful odd-shaped load, the concept isn’t entirely new. A few years ago, Polywad’s Jay Menefee developed an odd-shaped steel shot he called Squounds, be-

cause its shape was neither square nor round. Later, it was dubbed Aerosteel by Pinnacle Ammunition, which was set to load the shot commercially before suddenly going out of business. I’ve tested both Squounds and Aerosteel and was impressed by both. Ducks dropped stone-cold dead. The second approach is to take regular round steel and make it better, whether through zinc plating or increased velocity. Remington did this with HyperSonic steel, which took high velocity to a new level. At 1,700 feet per second, it’s the fastest commercially loaded shotshell ever.

were No. 2s and BBs, joined by 1s and 3s in 3 ½-inch this year, and 1s, 3s and 5s in 3-inch. No. 2s and 5s are available in 2 ¾-inch 12-gauge and 3-inch 20gauge. Velocities are a reasonable 1,400 fps in 12gauge and 1,300 fps for 20-gauge.

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WINCHESTER BLIND SIDE Winchester went the odd-shaped shot route with last year’s introduction of Blind Side steel. Loaded 100 percent with six-sided Hex pellets that look like tiny dice with rounded corners, this cube shot is designed to cause maximum impact trauma for cleaner kills. Blind Side folded ducks with authority last fall. The square shape also allows the shot to be stacked inside the hull. Winchester calls this “packing density.” Indeed, if you cut open a shell, the Hex shot is neatly stacked inside the Diamond Cut wad designed to efficiently deliver the shot downrange. The result is more pellets per shell, resulting in denser patterns. Three-inch, 12-gauge magnums have 1 3/8 ounce charges, while 3 ½-inch super magnums are stuffed with massive 1 5/8 ounce payloads. For 2012, 2 ¾inch 12-gauge (1 ¼ ounce) and 3-inch 20-gauge (1 1/16 ounce) loads have been added. Initial shot sizes

KENT SILVER STEEL Kent Cartridge opted for the second approach, taking something that was already working and making it even better. Kent’s no stranger to high velocity steel, igniting the hyper-velocity craze several years ago with its Fasteel line. Last year, Kent took regular round Fasteel shot, plated it for better corrosion-resistance and penetration, threw in some improved, customblended powders, and the result was Silver Steel. This premium steel load smacked ducks hard last season. Initially available in 3-inch and 3 ½-inch 12gauge, with respective 1 ¼-ounce and 1 ½-ounce payloads of 2s or BBs, this year No. 1s were added to the 3-inch variant. Like Blind Side, velocities are adequate but not punishing — 1,450 fps in 3 ½-inch and 1,480 fps in 3-inch. HEVI-METAL Hevi-Shot took a middle-of-the-road approach to the steel-shot conundrum. While Hevi-Shot is extremely effective, its tungsten composition also makes it extremely expensive. Hevi-Shot’s response was Hevi-Metal, a hybrid load featuring a 50/50 mixture of regular round steel shot and tungsten HeviShot pellets. Hevi-Metal combines Hevi-Shot lethality

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February 2013


with inexpensive steel-shot filler to maintain dense patterns. The process through which Hevi-Shot is created often results in shot that is misshapen, not round. HeviMetal again combines the best of both worlds — premium round steel shot for pattern density, and oddshaped Hevi-Shot for maximum wound channel trauma — a true hybrid load. Hevi-Metal is available in 10-, 12- and 20-gauge in a variety of shot sizes. Listed shot size is based on the measurement of the steel-shot content. Hevi-Shot pellets tend to run three sizes smaller than their steel counterparts, but have correspondingly similar downrange energies and penetration. For example, HeviMetal 2s combine steel 2s with Hevi-Shot 5s. HeviMetal has proven lethal on everything from tiny teal to large Canadas and is my go-to load for high-flying snows. It’s a great choice for waterfowlers on a budget desiring Hevi-Shot performance at steel-shot prices. THE PRICE OF PERFORMANCE All three of these premium steel offerings — cubeshaped Blind Side, round Silver Steel and hybrid HeviMetal — fall within the same price range, averaging around $22 to $25 per box of 25 rounds, give or take a couple dollars depending on retailer and shell length. That might be more than traditional steel offerings, but premium steel costs much less than other premium non-toxics (most sold only in 10-round packs). Premium steel nicely splits the difference between bargain steel and expensive, high-end non-toxics. Are they worth the money? Pick up a box or two this sea-

2 0 1 3

son and see for yourself. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. CHOKING PREMIUM STEEL After purchasing a box or two of premium steel, the next question you’ll face is which choke works best with these new loads. The same waterfowl choke used for shooting other non-toxics will work just fine, but here are some aftermarket options I’ve found work


particularly well with premium steel. Although I used full chokes in most instances, other constrictions are available. When shooting Blind Side at ducks last fall, I used a Carlson’s long-range Black Cloud choke. This year, Carlson’s offers Blind Side-specific tubes designed for shooting Hex shot. (, 785-6263700) While it’s intended for Black Cloud, Kick’s Vortex


choke performs equally well with Kent Silver Steel, in my experience. I used a full tube, and ducks fell. (, 800-587-2779) Hevi-Metal BBBs and a Hevi-Shot choke: that’s my recipe for disaster when gunning snows and Canadas. Most memorable was a big blue that came whistling down from the heavens in a free-fall, hitting the ground nearby with a resounding thud. (, 541-367-3522)

by Bob Platt

There is no sure answer. Ice is tricky and just because a lake or stream is frozen doesn’t mean the ice is safe. To understand the factors involved in the strength of ice, it is necessary to understand how ice forms on lakes and streams and a few of its physical properties. The following are points to consider based on research by the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab. You can’t tell the strength of ice just by its appearance, the daily temp, thickness, or whether the ice is or is not covered with snow. Strength of ice is based upon all four factors; plus the depth of water under the ice, the size of the water body, water chemistry distribution of the ice and local climate factors. New ice is much stronger than old ice. Direct freezing of a lake or stream will be stronger than ice formed by melting snow. Refrozen ice or ice made by water bubbling up through cracks and refreezing on the surface. Several inches of new ice may be strong enough to support you. While a foot or more of old rotten ice may not. Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate; it can be afoot thick in one spot; while 10 feet away only an inch thick. A layer of snow insulates ice slowing down the ice forming process. In addition the weight of snow can decrease the weight capacity of the ice. Ice near shore is weaker. The buckling action of the lake or stream over the winter breaks and refreezes ice continually along the shore. If you hear ice cracking or groaning on cold days or evenings, it doesn’t necessarily mean the ice is dangerous. It is merely changing its shape as the temperature changes. Ice formed over flowing water near shore, around bridges, or where streams narrow or contain springs can be unsafe. River ice is almost 15% weaker than lake ice. Straight smooth flowing stretches of rivers are safer than river bends. Rivers are dangerous because the current undermines the ice and creates unsafe packets. A potential danger spot on lakes is an open portion completely surrounded by ice. Winds will force exposed water beneath the ice and rots it from below. Other factors that weaken ice are water level fluctuations and the action of winds and fish. An example is: a school of carp creates thin ice spots and even opens water by congregating in one location while circulating the water with their fins. Safety Tips: For those of us who venture onto the ice whether on foot or in a vehicle, here are some tips to lessen your chances of a break through. Ice fishing requires at least four inches of clear solid ice. Snowmobiles require five inches. Automobiles and light trucks require a foot of ice. (Remember these are merely a guideline, factors mentioned above must be considered) Refrain from driving on ice when ever possible. If you must drive, be prepared to leave it in a hurry. Carry a couple of large nails with sharp ends, with a length of nylon rope in your pocket. The nails can help you pull yourself out of the water and onto the ice. Contact Bob at: 309-469-2363 to get some great custom made tackle. He also guides on many lakes & the Illinois River in central Illinois. So if want to get on some walleye, Bob is your man


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State Funds Dwindling, IDNR Forced to Raise Fees BLOOMINGTON — If you are thinking of floating down the Mackinaw or some other river on an inner tube this year, it’s going to cost you $6. And the registration exemption that sailboarders have enjoyed has been removed. Canoe and kayak paddlers will see state fees triple and off-highway vehicles, such as dirt bikes and allterrain vehicles, will need a use sticker for the first time. It’s all part of a “sustainability” measure that took effect Jan. 1, 2013 to help the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The agency has seen the number of personnel cut in half in the past 12 years, its general revenue funding go from $107 million in 2002 to $45 million today and a maintenance backlog grow to $750 million, according to DNR Director Marc Miller. The changes are less widely known elements of a bill that also added a $2 surcharge to license plates to be directed to the DNR. It is a move toward a user-fee model that de-emphasizes relying on a dwindling share of state general revenue, Miller said. The measure also prohibits the fund sweeps that have been used in the past, particularly under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, to divert money set aside for specific uses into the state’s general fund. The bill also authorizes, but does not yet impose, fees for beaches, bike trails, equestrian trails and vehicles driven into parks by out-of-state visitors. A pro-

posal on a bike trail fee could emerge as soon as this spring, Miller said. The changes were not forged behind closed doors but, rather were part of a process that included user groups and regulated industries, Miller said. ABATE — A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education — was part of those discussions, Miller said. The advocacy group for motorcyclists wants changes made in the portion related to off-highway vehicles and will meet with Miller this month, according to ABATE’s website. The website described the bill as “a very unpopular and unfair bill for all off-road enthusiasts.” ABATE representatives did not respond to messages seeking comment. Tom Lindblade, president of the Illinois Paddling Council, also was at the table. He said paddlers aren’t happy seeing the threeyear, $6 registration fee switch to a $6 annual “water usage fee” — also called a paddling pass — however “most realize that $6 a year isn’t a lot.” And the fee drops to $3 for every boat after the first three. “The major improvement for paddlers is you won’t have to title your boat,” Lindblade. That process created headaches for both paddlers and the DNR. Tim White of Forsyth, president of the Mackinaw Canoe Club, hopes with higher fees the DNR will be able to focus on specific projects that preserve access while addressing safety, such as negotiating pathways around low-head dams or other dangerous river obstructions. Paddlers will be able to purchase stickers from bait shops, sporting goods stores and retailers that already

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do point-of-sale state permits for such things as fishing and hunting, Miller said. More than 1,300 vendors have the equipment to do that, he said. Implementation of the paddling and ATV fees awaits approval of administrative rules. Miller said, “It will take nine to 12 months to get these things in place.” During that time, his agency hopes to get the word out, with the help of user groups and retailers, he said. The $2 license plate surcharge will generate about $20 million to $22 million in revenue. By law, half will go to operations and half to maintenance. “We’re going to be doing a lot of catchup,” Miller said, focusing on the most urgent maintenance needs — those affecting human or environmental health. Recreational activities aren’t the only ones seeing fee increases. The measure also includes new or higher regulatory fees for water permits, consulting work and licensing coal mining officials. The oil and gas industry agreed to fund more well inspectors and permit reviewers, Miller said. IDNR fees - Among changes under the new IDNR sustainability legislation: - Off-highway vehicles, such as dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles, will need a $15 sticker. Formerly, there was no fee. - “Non-powered watercraft” such as canoes, kayaks and float tubes will need a $6 annual “water usage stamp” rather than the current three-year, $6 registration fee. However, cumbersome title requirements have been eliminated and the annual fee

February 2013

drops to $3 for the fourth and subsequent boats. - Fees also will go up for other boats, based on length: Less than 16 feet long, increases from $15 to $18. At least 16 but less than 26 feet, from $45 to $50. At least 26 but less than 40 feet, from $75 to $150. 40 feet or longer, from $100 to $200.

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February 2013


The fall flight of woodcocks offered hunters a bonus bird to hunt while pursing ruffed grouse. The erratic flights of these birds allow most of these odd fellows to escape.

Small game hunting earlier this fall in northern Wisconsin, Dustin Hinds managed to bag his first ever ruffed grouse.

Father & Son Hunting Trip to Wisconsin


After many long hours in the field a well deserved break is taken by my Dan & Dustin German shorthair pointer Jake. Hinds taking a mid day lunch break in the splendor of the north woods in fall color. No restaurant has atmosphere to top this.

Dog owners venturing into the north woods should keep their leatherman tool handy. This was the first of three porcupines that my German shorthair Jake "found" for us. And just like skunks they never seem to learn.

WATCH ASO-TV Sat. Feb. 23 & Sat. Mar. 30 at 5 p.m. on PBS TV, WTVP Ch. 47

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Elk Hunt Memories By Howard Heatherwick My first elk hunt in the Bridger Wilderness of Wyoming took place back in the 1960’s and although the hunt did not go as planned (another story), it did implant a deep seated desire to do this again. Lots of years ticked by with typical work and family priorities at the top of most every list I made. My partners and I always take too much “stuff” with on hunting trips. I never want to be someplace far away and say “I have one of those at home” so lists help make sure we have what we do need. In recent years, as age becomes a bigger issue, I developed the proverbial hunter’s “bucket list” of things I would like to get done and more elk hunts are on this list. Elk meat is the best in this hunter’s opinion and a great bonus lasting at least a year or two if double wrapped for the freezer, but the memories created on these hunts last well after the meat is consumed. After my Bridger Wilderness low budget elk hunt, I have become a believer in the value of hunting with a reputable outfitter. We have been fortunate to have found guides who love to hunt and also know that not all hunters

are wealthy enough to pay the high price of many hunts today. My long time hunting partner John Irwin and I were at the Bloomington Deer and Turkey Classic four years ago where we met guide, Dave Allen, the owner and operator of Peak View Outfitters based in Savery Wyoming. John got a nice 5x5 bull in October of 2009 on day two of our first hunt with Dave in Colorado. We saw elk nearly every day and had an outstanding hunt staying in Dave’s bunk house and using his home as the gathering place for great meals and conservation.

John Irwin and 2009 Elk Rack at Peak View Outfitter Camp Dave offers a discount for father and

son hunts so I quickly planned another hunt when my son Bill could be with me. Bill loves to hunt but now lives in Eastern Michigan where his job requires lots of travel. We don’t get to hunt together as much as either of us would like. When Bill was growing up in rural Bloomington we trapped and hunted a bunch. He caught on to what I could teach him about the outdoors quickly, and now shares what he has learned when we do get together. In October of 2010 Bill drove over and we piled our gear inside John’s 2008 Tahoe with two 100 quart coolers on the roof rack and two more inside. Elk are big and if all three of us were lucky enough to connect we would need all the coolers we could muster. October 15, 2010 was day one of our elk hunt with the two of us going up the side of Battle Mountain with Dave at the wheel of his Arctic Cat UTV. Bill was in the back while I rode shotgun. The Cat saved time and energy for this old hunter traversing the private ranch land Dave leased. John stayed at the base of the mountain near a creek where elk grazed before opening day. Before anyone thinks we drove to the elk I need to make clear we drove to the place where we could then hike to the opening day elk ambush spot


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February 2013

Dave had in mind. Driving up the steep, winding and rock strewn trail in the darkness of predawn was a “hold on for dear life” experience. Dave cautioned us to protect our eyes from the wicked serviceberry brush that slapped the sides of the Arctic Cat then snapping back into the cab where we sat. I had undergone cataract surgery in both eyes just two months prior to this trip, yet another reason to be very careful with my eyes. This was my first hunt since grade school days where I no longer needed the thick distance vision glasses that always seemed to fog up at the wrong time. Dave parked the UTV at trail end and we hiked up the side of the mountain another mile or so following cattle and elk trails. The aspen groves above and below us still had some leaves on and the scrub oak, sage and service berry brush was thick making seeing anything (even a huge elk) a challenge for this flatlander. Another reason a good guide is important as Dave’s trained hunters eyes saw what we did not. Dave told us to get ready as the sun came up over the ridge overlooking a wide expanse of a brush filled valley. As the sun came up we enjoyed the beauty of the mountains as sunlight began to reveal what had been hidden from

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February 2013

view. The crisp morning air filled our lungs with thinner but a very welcome recharge from the workout the two of us got just getting to the spot. Dave was sitting to the left with Bill in the middle and me on the right flank. We had shooting sticks in position and began glassing the mountain for signs of elk. At first light we saw two cow elk moving quickly through the valley below. We heard a few shots in the distance on public land where other hunters had to hike a much greater distance. I believe Dave’s thinking was we would get in opening day position early and let the other hunters push elk to us. The tactic worked great as we then spotted an elk moving quickly through the brush below us. Dave identified it as at least a 4x4 bull before either Bill or I could make the same assessment. This was Bill’s first elk hunt and we agreed he would shoot first which he did at a distance we later measured at 325 yards. The bull was still going and Dave said shoot again. While following the elk through the scope of my Browning BAR 300 win mag, I waited for Bill to pull the trigger a second time. I glanced over and saw his bolt action had not completely extracted the initial spent shell. My role as back up went into action with a shot at the fast moving bull. Dave said my shot was high so I adjusted and fired again, this time hearing the welcome “thump” of a high caliber bullet hitting flesh. I fired once more before the bull disappeared into brush below. The mountainside above and valley below became still again. Bill and Dave were recovering from the sound of the muzzle brake on my rifle. The brake helped me but made hearing protection advisable for hunting partners. After glassing for a time, Dave and I went to check for signs of a hit while Bill waited. I had mixed emotions, first of all regretting Bill’s rifle had jammed then second guessing myself on whether or not I had really hit the bull. Dave signaled he found the bull about 20 yards from where we last saw it upright. I breathed a hunter’s sigh of relief. Walking down the side of the mountain into the brush following Dave made me aware why the bull was tough to spot. The thick brush was well over my head in many patches. After taking several photos the tough work of packing out the elk came next. Dave quickly removed back strap and loins putting them in a plastic bag then into Bill’s backpack. I hauled out the head and horns while my Bill and Dave did the really heavy work hauling out hind and front quarters. After several stops relaying the quarters we got back to the UTV for some cold water and a few more photos. Day two of our hunt found us again


Howard and Bill Heatherwick with 2010 Elk with Dave repeating day ones steps. This time we set up on another part of the mountain side glassing for elk with John

Bill Heatherwick with Guide Dave Allen glassing for elk on day 2. again staying low where the day before he saw both bulls and cows. Our Wyoming hunting licenses allowed either bull or cow


and on day two John connected with a huge cow elk. Once hit, the cow slid down the hillside stopping in a shallow ditch in easy distance for Dave’s pickup to make shorter work of the retrieval. Bill hunted hard the following three days of our five day hunt seeing elk most every day including a bull similar to mine but high up the mountainside that he elected to pass on, late in the final afternoon’s hunt. Like most of our hunting friends, Bill, John and I realize that hunting is more than always connecting with the quarry. Some of the very best memories are prompted by photos taken that capture great times with friends, family and an excellent guide, in a big and beautiful country.

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February 2013

wiggle that entice hesitant fish into biting. Line and hook tips Keep it light. Bluegills are dainty sight feeders. Keep your line light ( 2- to 4-pound test monofilament) and the terminal tackle small : rat finkys, marmooskas, tear drops and ice jigs need to be kept to scale with a bluegills mouth , such as # 12. The same goes for floats or spring bobbers…keeping them sensitive and offering minimal resistance means more bites. But if the bite isn’t happening, don’t be afraid to switch it up and offer up a big meal….sometimes big aggressive fish will take a large flashy lure.

Fishing Bluegills and Panfish through the Ice by Kurt Welke, Longtime fisheries biologist for Dane County, (including the Madison Lakes) “Hard water” fishing for panfish is fun and easy and may result in a fine dinner when the winds blow cold. Here are some basic tips and considerations to improve chances of success. Where to fish Know the locations where bluegills will be. Often time, winter fishing is a return to the familiar haunts of summer. Bluegills associate with weeds, finding green, standing vegetation is often key to finding fish. Don’t overlook woody debris either: tree crowns and fish cribs attract panfish. Also, small nuances in depth such as dropoffs, breaks, and bars are fish holders. Use all the tools Some anglers use fish locators to hone in on fish or

to put their bait in the fish holding areas. Others consult local online forums for location, time and bait details from other successful anglers. On the ice, cell phones between fishing pals has helped to turn a so-so day into a memorable trip. Bait use Make it tasty. Baits vary as much as fishermen but mousies, wax worms, and spikes ( all larva of insects ) typically grace the business end of ice fishing jigs. Don’t be shy about using a small plastic “wedge” or teaser to attract attention or trigger a strike. Have a selection of colors available to work with changing water clarities. And check your knot! There are methods of tying on jigs and baits that create “bounce’ or


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More tips Be quiet. More often than not, it’s the quiet focused anglers that fill their pails. Fish spook and avoid vibration and noise. A stealthy approach pays its own dividends. To keep disturbance to a minimum drill extra holes when you first arrive so when the bite gets hot you can maximize the potential of the area you are fishing.

Move! If fish aren’t biting, take a walk and see if others are enjoying any success. Hole –hopping, even small distances, can produce fish. A hole that isn’t fishy isn’t going to put dinner on the table. Also, fish the entire VERTICAL water column. Often ‘gils and crappie may “hold” in a narrow band within the depth range. Cover the depth by slowly and completely jigging from top to bottom through the entire profile. And last but not least, GO ! Stop wishin’ and go fishin’!

Fishing Northern Pike through the Ice by Terry Margenau, A fisheries supervisor stationed in Spooner. You can often find Terry on the ice fishing for northern pike “Northern pike are the ultimate winter sport fish, the “people’s fish.” Any angler worth his or her salt will admit a northern pike has saved many fishing trips from being a skunk.” Where to fish Do a little homework. If you don’t have a favorite lake already, check our internet page ( for lakes in your area, or better yet, contact your local fisheries biologist. They can provide information from recent surveys and send you in the right direction. Keep it simple. Don’t try to out think a northern pike. Northern pike will suspend in the water column, they will be found along deep rocky bars, but for the most part they are going to be associated with vegetation. Vegetation is where the food generally is located and also provides concealment for a stalking predator like the northern pike. In most inland lakes vegetation extends to depths of 10-15 feet of water. Find the vegetation and you will find northern pike. Best depths and bait placement Split the difference. Many anglers when setting tip-ups place their bait a certain distance off the bottom. For example, say water depth is twelve feet. Find bottom and set your bait one or two feet off bottom. If you are fishing in vegetation my general rule is to think in halves. Twelve feet of water –put your bait at six feet. This serves two purposes. First, vegetation is still occupying a fair portion of the water column at early ice. If you place you bait based on x feet from the bottom there is a good chance it’s in the vegetation. No sight – no bite. Second, predators like northern pike cruise the water column. Even if they are near the bottom they can find prey above them. The opposite is less likely to be true. Don’t forget the shallows. Especially during early ice northern pike will frequent water less than 5 feet deep. When setting up your tip-ups put one in shallow. You won’t be disappointed. The mystique of the northern pike • Northern pike are common in Wisconsin. At last count they were found in over 2,000 inland lakes, rivers, and flowages in Wisconsin. Not to mention the bays of Lakes Michigan and Superior, and the Mississippi River. • Northern pike are multi-dimensional. They are mostly known as a food fish but also provide trophy opportunities. Northern pike fillets in a skillet are second to none. Check our website for proper filleting techniques to remove those troublesome “Y” bones. • Northern pike are active and bite all day. Show up at noon and you are good to go. No more of that putzing around in the dark. You should be on your way home by then. • Northern pike are low maintenance; the perfect winter fish for kids. Drill a few holes in the ice, put in some tip-ups, sit back and have a cup of coffee, let the kids play, and when a flag goes up, everybody runs. That’s good living in a Wisconsin winter.

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February 2013



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February 2013

First Annual Veterans Trap Shoot in Montrose Iowa


News from the Field…

“I harvested this deer 30 minutes after I shot coyote on Saturday of 2nd deer season. The deer came up the ridge to me. The shot was 15 yards with my savage bolt action 20 guage. The buck was a 10 point and weighed 200 lbs. field dressed.”

by Deborah Whitaker

Founder Hamilton Area Troop Support Hamilton Area Troop Support (H.A.T.S.) along with Golden Eagle Distributing hosted the first annual Veterans Trap Shoot on Sunday, November 18th. 2012 at the Tri-State Gun Club in Montrose, Iowa. Fifty people came out to show their support at the event. This event was designed to let our local veterans and their supporters get together and blow off some steam. The winner in the Ladies division was Missy Winheim from Fort Madison. The winner in the Veterans division was Clay Seabold. The winner of the Youth Division and top shooter over all was William Faeth, winning a $100 gift certificate to Scheels Sporting goods. William was also awarded a plaque dedicated in honor of Dustin Whitaker, the soldier son of Ron and Deborah Whitaker, who lost his life in April. Presenting the plaque were Dustin’s two bothers Beau and Lance Whitaker. Dustin was on the Army National Guards, Presidents cup last year and won the metal for Expert Marksman. A special thank you goes out to the Tri-State Gun Club for hosting the event and Shawn Schrepfer for all the time he spent making this possible. We would also like to thank Whittney Vigen, Bob Gundy, Blake Schrepfer, and everyone who participated for all their help. Thank you to every one that donated items for the auction and to Kyle Dart, our local Vietnam veteran, for being our delightfully eccentric auctioneer. Money raised will go to!our local soldiers and The Wounded Warrior Retreat, in Washington Iowa. This truly was one for the memory books and we hope to see even more people participate next year!

William Faeth accepting his awards.

Congrats to Gary Amos! Thanks for sharing these trophies taken on a great hunting day with ASO. Beautiful Buck!


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JLS Marine, Inc. would like to invite everyone to attend The 20th Annual Boat Show in Springfield, located in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Friday February 22 - 2pm-9pm, Saturday February 23 - 10am-7pm, and Sunday February 24 - 10am - 5pm. We have extended our hours on Friday to open at 2pm. JLS Marine, Inc. has assembled


an outstanding line up for the 2013 show. There will be boat dealers representing over 30 manufacturers of the latest watercraft on the market. The Orr Building will be jam packed with an outstanding variety of boats. Illinois Boat Dealers scheduled to display at the show will include: The Boat Dock- Springfield, East Side Marine- Springfield, Lake

Springfield Marina- Springfield, Clinton Marine- Weldon, Hanks Sales and Service- Raymond, Yachts to Sea, Nashville, Taylor Marine - Belleville, Victory LaneLitchfield, & The Liquid Edge Farmer City. Find a great selection of fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats, runabouts, Inboard ski boats, pontoons, personal watercraft and more. There will also be a number of boating related booth vendors offering products and services. Representatives will be at the show with Alpha Omega Marine audio and upholstery, Noble Sport fishing charters, Mark Twain Lake, EZ Dock Personal Watercraft Lifts, Hewitt boat docks and Lifts, Residential and Commercial floating docks and air lifts, boating safety,

February 2013

top of the line wakeboards, water skiing and wakeboarding accessories, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Gillie Jigs custom Bass Jigs and more. Doug Meeker with The Liquid Edge will be at the show to discuss Illinois's Very First Cable System. (System 2.0) System 2.0 has been revolutionizing the sport of Wakeboarding over the past 5 years! This unique system allows riders to be pulled over the water from a Cable rather than a boat. This system also allows us to incorporate aspects of skateboarding and snowboarding with wakeboarding by using rails and kickers as opposed to a wake. In addition to the cable park located in Farmer City, IL, The Liquid Edge also offers wakeboard and waterski lessons, stop by the show to get on their schedule. With 10 boat dealers all under one roof The 2013 Boat Show in Springfield provides an outstanding opportunity to compare all the latest models of boats and boat related services offered in Central Illinois and surrounding areas. This is a great place to purchase your new boat! Regular adult admission is $5, children 12 and under are free. FREE PARKING! For additional information click the boat show link on or visit If you have any questions about the boat show you can contact Jeff Smith at 217-341-1730 or email We look forward to seeing you and thank you for supporting The Boat Show in Springfield.

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February 2013


The 2013 Trade Shows welcomed archery and hunting professionals from around the world. The sheer volume of new products at this seasons shows are impressive. This year’s theme appears to be about lighter, faster and stronger. There was also a renewed buzz surrounding traditional and competitive archery, likely due to archery’s “pop culture moment” thanks to the 2012 Summer Olympics and blockbuster movies like!Hunger Games!and!Brave.

My favorite broadhead company Rage is changing the game again. Brand new for 2013, is the much anticipated Hypodermic. This aerodynamic, compact design is extremely tough and offers more penetration than any Rage broadhead to date! The solid steel ferrule sports a brand new hybrid tip design, allowing the Hypodermic to have the aerodynamics and accuracy of a leading edge

by Keli Van Cleave

blade, coupled with bone the crushing performance of our chisel tip. Don’t forget to pick up their T u r k e y Broadhead before season starts. Designed exclusively for turkey hunting, the 2-blade Turkey Broadhead has a 2.25-inch cutting diameter, and the 3-blade Turkey Broadhead has a 1.75-inch cutting diameter. Both broadheads feature 1.25-inch blade edges. Staying with archery products for 2013, the TightSpot quiver is clearly of high quality. The mounting hardware is machined aluminum or something similar. The arrow grips are adjustable, and accommodate any pink fletched arrows. The instructions are clear and mounting is easy. This TightSpot quiver lays flat against your bow, and adjusts forward/back. Rage two blade broad-

heads fit perfect inside this quiver. Best of “gadgets” goes to Crooked Horn Outfitters Trail Light. For the female that doesn’t want to wear a light on your head while walking in the dark and also doesn’t want smash your hair down while hunting or fishing, then you will enjoy “The light.” This light comes with two sets of batteries and has two clipping mechanisms. It can clamp to a vertical or horizontal strap and opens wide enough to even be clipped to the brim of a hat if you choose to wear one. The main light portion opens to show four LED bulbs. Two bulbs are white and the others green with one of each on separate heads that can swivel independently. Having the two independent heads makes it easy to light the ground directly in front of you as well as further ahead on the trail. Brilliant technology and it simply works. It can fit any application and the movement of the lights makes it super easy to light whatever area you need no matter how it is fixed to you or your gear. Lastly, for the turkey hunters who want to keep your feet off the cold ground. The innovators at Millennium have done it again. Designed for multi-season use, the


M300 Tree Seat will provide you with a more comfortable sit than you ever thought possible when waiting! for that beautiful longbeard to appear. Featuring aluminum construction and! weighing in at 4 pounds,! the M300 comes with a convenient carrying strap. Simply attach the M300 to the tree at the desired height keeping cover and!terrain in mind. Once set in place, this seat is secure, silent and extremely comfortable. You’ll keep yourself dry and avoid pesky insects in the M300.! Should you need to move quickly, simply unstrap the seat, throw it over your shoulder and you’re off to the next setup.! Before you start turkey hunting this spring, do yourself a favor and purchase a dry seat. While outdoor companies are unified as an industry and collaborate in a mission to grow archery, hunting, and fishing, each company is unique and, collectively, they provide a local twist in selling a myriad of products mixed in with a creative, spontaneous flare that is punctuated by new ideas.

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Shellfish with Attitude by Nici Haerter

My husband and I have literally snorkeled and fished our way across 3 continents. In the midst of all our trav-

els, we have somehow neglected to take advantage of the abundant scalloping season right here in our own backyard, the waters of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Last month when my path crossed with a fellow angler and charter guide on the Homosassa River, I decided to take him up on his offer to try some scalloping. Often referred to as both a delicious and fun sport, successful scalloping may be achieved by anyone able to swim. Our small group ranged in age from 21 to 70 years old. We were a diverse assortment of anglers from central and south Florida, all on our first scalloping adventure and full of questions. Our charter captain passed a shell around for inspection and gave us the basic “how-to’s” of scalloping. The only equipment necessary is a swim mask, snorkel and mesh bag. This year’s season has produced an abundant supply of scallops in the gulf waters and he promised us our bag limit in only 3 or 4 hours of snorkeling. With a four mile boat ride ahead of us, we soon found ourselves relaxed, enjoying the sights of indigenous birds feeding along the river ’s edge and soaking up the hot Florida sunshine. Our captain pointed out sev-

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eral favorite fishing spots along the way as we passed an isolated island that was once a sacred, Indian burial ground. The boat glided easily over flats and through narrow channels as our captain led us to a secluded scalloping site. When we dropped anchor in 6-8 feet of water over marine grass beds and sandy bottoms, everyone eagerly strapped on snorkels and jumped overboard into the crystal clear, 83 degree water. Beneath the surface, there was a burst of activity as fish darted in and out of grass beds and a lone stingray fed on the sandy bottom. Within minutes my husband, Skip, had bagged half a dozen of these highly prized marvels. I spotted a scallop hiding deep in the sea grass and ventured down to investigate. It was standing upright, shell slightly ajar, looking back at me. This was a monster, approximately 3 inches in diameter and I was determined to grab him. Unlike most shellfish, these crafty critters have the ability to propel themselves through the water at times of crisis. Just as I reached for him, he snapped his shell shut and launched himself like a jet engine across the sea bed. I surfaced, took a deep breath and

February 2013

went back down, intent on capturing this renegade. It took me 2 more dives but he ended up in my mesh bag. I proudly surfaced, waiving my prized catch in the air as the other snorkelers cheered me on. I was hooked! By the end of the day, I had netted 87 scallops. Skip boasted that he was able to scoop up three in a single dive! After a prosperous day on the water, our return boat trip was filled with excited chatter, all sharing our unique scalloping experiences and discussing recipe ideas for dinner. One snorkeler had spotted a sea turtle lazily swimming amongst us while we foraged in the grass beds. Throughout all of the enthusiastic banter, one common theme continued to surface, we all agreed that scalloping was now on our list of “must-do’s” every year!

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February 2013


Bringing Home the Bacon (or Backstraps) Now that hunting season is over you can concentrate on planning your hunt for this coming fall. Promoters realize that this is the best time of the year to organize hunting and sports shows and expos because it will be a couple months before the last trace of winter has melted and we head for the outdoors whether it is for fun in the sun or doing yard work. These shows and expos give me a great opportunity to actually talk to outfitters face to face. I like to feel the firmness in their handshake and even the twinkle in their eye as I sit down with them and find out exactly what I’m paying for. I can glean some information from a website. With the ever increasing tv hunting shows included in my satellite plan I can actually see the territory being hunted, quality of game and how comfortable the accommodations are. But I’m more into the actual meet and greet experience before I ever book a hunt.

by Marlene Odahlen-Hinz

Most of the time when I book an out-of-state hunt I drive to my destination. The reason is so that I can be prepared for any situation that might come up. I pack extra clothes in case a cool front moves through the area or an unpredicted storm. If I’m warm and dry I can hunt longer. I also throw in a treestand incase I find a spot the outfitters stand doesn’t cover. Being prepared for the unexpected usually fills the back of my truck and there have been times when I was glad I didn’t travel “light.” Being prepared for the actual hunt is important but so is knowing what you will do after you’ve taken an animal. Ninety-five percent of the meat I serve is wild game so I try to bring home as much of the animal as I can for use in casseroles, chili and soups throughout the year.

Nearly every outfitter has a place to process the animal once taken but I want to know if they have a freezer to put the meat in once it has been skinned and quartered. When I head back


home I don’t want the meat to spoil First step is to skin your bear. if I should have trouble on the road. Meat that has been thoroughly frozen and placed in a cooler won’t thaw for days. Take a lesson from how many days it takes even a small turkey to thaw in your refrigerator at Thanksgiving. Like many hunters, my husband and I do all the butchering of game taken so we have separate saws, cleavers and assorted knives to do the job properly. Working with a sharp knife makes the job go quickly but the edge needs to be sharpened periodiIn the past few years I’ve also included a vaccally so I also include an electric knife sharpenuum packer on my equipment list. The more I er because I’ve never mastered using a steel to can get done at the outfitter’s the less I have to bring back the edge. deal with once I get home. This has proven to be It’s my responsibility to supply the coolers a super idea especially when my husband and I but several standard sized ones should hold hunt bear at The Bear Camp near Armstrong, most any animal taken. Most of the time the Ontario. Since we tend to just hunt in the afteroutfitter will help me bone it out for an extra noons when one of has a bear down that person fee. By boning it out I have only the actual meat can remain in camp cutting up the bear while to deal with once I get home and not have to the other still hunts. Being able to process our worry about disposing of the ribs, should blade bears at the camp really reduces the amount of etc. before they start to “stink.” space we need to reserve for the trip home. If I plan to have the hide tanned then I make With a little preparation you can bring those sure to include a larger cooler knowing I’ll probbackstraps home ready to be grilled with mushably need a little extra muscle to lift it in and rooms and onions. out of the back of my truck. The coolers also serve as storage bins on the trip to our destinaSo until next month, remember to take your tion. daughter, granddaughter or niece bowhunting.

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February 2013

Joan & Anita arriving on the snowmobile.

Anita Williams & Bill White


A blanket of snow lies upon rocks piled on the shoreline of Pokegama Lake. Like marshmallow cream five inches thick as far as I can see. I ride the snowmobile across the frozen bay with Joan. Bits of ice swirl in the air and sting my face as we round the bend toward the shelter. Her husband, Randy, is already in the darkhouse and will guide me fishing. Ice and cold water make Northern Pike aggressive. This is no ordinary ice fishing. A spear replaces a fishing rod as my weapon. Spearfishing for Northern’s is the most exhilarating fishing I have ever done. Today feels like a great day for these aggressive pred-

ators. We arrive at The Shack to find Randy holding a large Northern Pike. “I was barely in the shack and had just skimmed the ice out of the hole.” Randy speaks with confidence as he tells about his catch. “I watch a big fish swim by. I grab the weapon and spear him.” I can hardly wait to get into the shack to spear a pike just like this. Minnesota ranks first nationally in sales of fishing licenses per capita (at over a million sold per year). Spearfishing accounts for fifty thousand of those. Spearfishing is an exhilarating sport. I love everything about it: the warmth inside The Shack, the view into the cold water watching fish swim below me, the conversations as we sit on the bench, the thrill with the thrust as I release the spear, and the taste of a freshly speared Northern.


26471 E. State Hwy 9, Canton, Illinois 61520 Gobblers Knob Hunting Preserve is located 4.5 miles east of Canton, Illinois on Route 9

They all combine to make an enjoyable winter afternoon. I enter The Shack and hang my coat on a hook. Orange glow from the heater produces warmth as I sit on the grey wooden bench. The rectangular hole has been cut through the floor of The Shack and the ice beneath it cut out, making a window into another world. The wooden decoy is eight inches long and is painted greenish-yellow except for its metal fins. It hangs into the water three feet beneath the surface and is held in place with a string. The string is tied to the wall of The Shack. Weeds grow on the bottom of the lake and my guide tells me we are above water 15 feet deep. I pick up the string, forcing the decoy to swirl, imitating a swimming fish. A school of perch fingerlings swim by. I hope a Northern will be hungry enough to pursue. Pike are ferocious predators and their appetites intensify during winter months. They prefer cylindrical fish like perch. I watch the cold, clear water intently. Soon a dark green fish swims into my view. I hold the spear, stand, and begin to lower the spear into the water. Immediately the Northern notices my movement, curls her body, and disappears in a flash. Will she return? I sit and watch the water for movement. Almost immediately a Pike swims toward the decoy. I am doing all I can to remain calm. The dark green elongated body mim-

Congratulations to Anita for spearing a northern pike! Way to go! ics a charging alligator, coming in fast and furious. I must react quickly. I stand, lower my spear in the water, and thrust it into the fish. In the split-second flurry, she thrashes her tail and curves her back. Water bubbles envelope and rise with her as I pull her up. She is large. The spear is parallel to her body, instead of the ideal shot, behind the head and cross-wise to her body. I must be careful as I lift her out of the water. I do not want to let her shake off the spear. I must get her out of The Shack and away from the water hole. She has sharp needle-like teeth that point backwards. I am cautious and stay away from her dangerous mouth. Randy throws open the door, grabs the spear, and shakes the pike onto the snow. I did it! Joan and Randy congratulate me. We get back into The

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February 2013


Pokegama Lake frozen solid!

Baked Northern Pike By Bill White

3-4 lbs Northern Pike fillets, skinless, boneless 5 tablespoons clarified butter 2 cloves garlic, chopped 4 basil leaves chopped sprig of parsley chopped sprig of oregano chopped sea salt and pepper to taste I medium white onion diced 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice 6 strips of Prosciutto (can substitute bacon if need be) Take a 9 x 13 baking pan and lightly coat with clarified butter. Season the pan with sea salt and pepper. Lay the Pike fillets on the pan, brush with remaining butter and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped garlic, chopped basil, parsley and oregano. Spread diced onion evenly across the fillets. Pour lemon juice over fillets evenly. Last lay the 6 strips of prosciutto across the fillets to impart flavor. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Check periodically, and feel free to remove from oven if you feel the fillets have cooked long enough.

Shack to try for another fish. All of a sudden I see a smaller fish and can’t react quickly enough to spear her. The sun is lower in the sky and darkness will come quickly. We head back to the house, clean the fish, and enjoy dinner. The good news is that Minnesota may be known as the walleye state, but the truth is, the northern pike is the most widespread game fish here. That is great news for Joan, Randy, and Me because

we enjoy spearfishing. Anita lives in Grand Rapids, MN and is the mother of two adult children. She has been a hairstylist for thirty years.


Her empty nest allows time to pursue interests of photography, bowhunting, fishing, travel and food. Follow her on facebook.

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February 2013

Cody, Eric & Isabella Hilst all had a great day hunting! (top left) David Denny and his son Silas pheasant hunting on Dec. 20th.

(top middle) After a long day of walking Silas would not give up the bird!

(bottom left) Congratulations to 10-year-old Dana Barker of Chatsworth, for taking his very first buck. A nice 8-pointer killed with a shotgun in Livingston County. Thanks to proud Grandparents Rusty & Becky Barker for sharing Dana’s trophy!

(bottom right) Last pheasant hunt on Dec. 27th at the Chandlerville Hilst farm. Colby Simms

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February 2013

Morel Mania

By Tom Nauman The 2012 morel season started about three weeks early. In fact, it was a full six days (March 22) before the previous early start (March 28) for the Peoria, IL area. That’s when things really got busy. They always do during the season regardless of when it starts. An early season is still okay if it progresses but that didn’t happen for us here in Central Illinois and many other places. In fact the drought that started about the same time resulted in the worst morel season I’ve ever witnessed. And, I’ve seen quite a few of them. There were a few areas that received ample rain at the proper time and the morels responded accordingly. But, those areas were few and far between. We can tolerate a poor season once in awhile. But, 2010 and 2011 morel seasons were also mediocre, at best. By the time the festivals came around, the morels were all but gone. The winner of the Midwest Morel Fest found a total of seven. The winner of the National Championship in Boyne City, Michigan found fifteen. The people that benefitted most from the weak season were those that brought mushrooms to sell at the Illinois festivals. Many of the morels sold came from the area where Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin meet, which had received rainfall at the proper time. Find Morels at the Indiana Deer, Turkey & Waterfowl Expo! “Find Morels” is the title of Tom Nauman’s presentation at the Indiana Deer, Turkey, & Waterfowl Expo on February 15, 16, & 17, 2013


(the first weekend of the Ford Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show – the largest outdoor consumer show of its kind.) For times and more information visit the website: See Tom at these events in 2013: ILLINOIS Deer & Turkey Expo, February 1-3 Springfield / Prairie Capital Convention Center OHIO Deer & Turkey Expo, March 15-17 Columbus / Ohio Expo Center (State Fairgrounds) WISCONSIN Deer & Turkey Expo, April 5-7 Madison / Alliant Energy Center of Dane County Websites for the IL, OH, & WI expos may be found at: Mushroom Poisonings This is turning out to be a really negative issue. First the report on the terrible season and now I’m sad to report numerous people have been treated for mushroom poisoning in the past few months. At least four of them have died. The main culprit seems to be the “Death Cap” mushroom (Amanita phalloides). In one Ohio case, someone created a chicken cacciatore made with the Death Cap that a friend had given him. Four people were hospitalized. Additionally, several immigrants from Southeast Asia have become ill from eating this mushroom because it resembles an edible found in their homeland. Another poisonous mushroom that has been mistaken as edible is the “Destroying Angel” (Amanita virosa). You may find descriptions and photos of deathcap at David Fischer’s website: In the California case, a caretaker at an assisted living center for senior citizens made a soup from mushrooms he harvested from the backyard of the facility. The result was that four of the residents died. According to the article, California recorded 1,700 cases of mushroom-related illnesses from 2009 to 2010, including two deaths. As a result of the Ohio incident and others,

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Ohio doctors are recommending that people don’t eat any wild mushroom. I have mixed emotions about their advice. I can’t imagine not being able to forage for mushrooms. But then I’ve educated myself. If I’m not 100% sure of a mushrooms edibility, I leave it alone. Not doing so is stupidity in its purest form. My dad had a euphemism for stupidity. He called it “Lack of Knowledge”. I’m reminded of an Arabian proverb that begins with, “He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool; avoid him.” If you’re not 100% sure of the identy of a mushroom you’re thinking of consuming, avoid it. It truly is a matter of life and death. If you “know not”, get your mushrooms from the grocery store. And, after your trip to the grocery store, stop at a bookstore and gain some knowledge by picking up a mushroom field guide. Easier yet, there are thousands of web pages with pictures and descriptions on a web search. Just be sure the website is credible. These events are also creating legal problems for people who sell harvested wild mushrooms. In Iowa and Indiana, it is illegal to sell any wild harvested mushrooms, including morels, unless someone trained in mushroom identification has inspected them and declared them safe. The states differ in requirements necessary to be a “mushroom inspector”. The state of Maine passed one of the most comprehensive laws


The first half-pound bag of morels to sell at the Wyoming, IL morel festival brought the seller $160! regarding the sale of wild mushrooms. It has yet to be implemented because the certification fee and the advisory board as required by the law have yet to be established. The Maine law is a result of two chefs purchasing mushrooms the seller identified as porcinis (Boletus edulis) which are edible and choice. The mushrooms were really (Boletus separans) also shown in some field guides as (Xanthoconium separans). The common name is lilac brown bolete. The mushrooms were never served to the public. But the chefs consumed them and required hospitalization. Find more info on morel mushrooms at Tom’s website:

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By A.K. Thompson

About a Bulldog

As most of you know I lost my English Bulldog, Guinness, in July of 2012. In my September article, “Dust to Dust” I devoted this space to her and shared some fond memories of a wonderful dog. This month I would like to introduce you to my new bulldog, Lola. Let me get right out and tell you that getting this new dog has brought nothing but pure joy to my heart. She is quirky in that signature Eng-

lish Bulldog fashion, and she is a sweetheart. I believe she is an angel – except that instead of wings she has a slobbery mouth and big jowls perfectly engineered to administer sloppy kisses. Now I must be totally honest and say that I never intended to get another English Bulldog. I told my family and friends years ago that I would never again get another one of these goofy flat-faced dogs – that I was done with the breed. Why? Well, I guess I said it because I knew how hard it was to coach Guinness on how to be a dog, and quite frankly I failed miserably at it, that is until I rescued Joe Buck, and like natural magic – whod’a thunk? – all it took was another dog to show her how to be a dog. Still, it was years, I’d say between two and three years, before Guinness was behaving like a regular happy dog and not the shell of a dog I rescued from a puppy mill in 2003. You see, the dog goes through what you go through and the same happens in reverse – I went through those very hard first years with Guinness – and the very hard last year when her health was failing – and I just plain didn’t want to do it again. Except I didn’t count for one thing: The power of love. How silly of me to over-look the most important part of dog ownership – and how embarrassing of me to think I wouldn’t get bitten by the bulldog bug again. So it went that after a few months of grieving I did eventually begin to search again for another bulldog. But I felt stupid. How can I even fathom

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replacing Guinness? I knew that she was one of a kind – my own little soul mate dog, and I felt bad deep down for even typing the words “English Bulldog” into a search engine. But some outside force was pulling me to search. Not just for a new dog, but a new rescue dog – that much I knew was an absolute. After being turned down by various English Bulldog-exclusive rescues (they charge a minimum of $400 for a dog that has been liberated from a puppy mill at auction, and have a laundry list of requirements for approval – apparently a spotless record of over a decade of breed knowledge, love and commitment wasn’t one of them), I felt as though the wind was knocked out of my sails. Why won’t the world let me rescue another bulldog? I felt a wave of sick emotions. But then I remembered one thing – I had searched for Guinness a good 6 months before I found her. I had to let the critter come to me once more. And she did. I ran across “Malibu” online ( – a wonderful site!) in early December. She was being held at a humane society and I called the instant I saw her fuzzy photo. The woman I spoke with is an amazing individual. I shared my story with her and she told me to email them an application right away. A week later I was approved to adopt “Malibu.” I traveled to Robinson,

February 2013

Illinois to meet the dog and to make sure she would get along with Joe. After everything went swimmingly, we scheduled her spay operation, and a week after that I picked her up on January 3rd. A new year and a new bulldog! I could not be happier. I re-named her Lola, which she has taken to instantly. She has so many traits that actually remind me Guinness, and it has turned out to be endearing – not the disloyal “replacement” of a dog I feared, but a celebration of the dog I loved so much and all the love I have to give to this new dog. Please, please, if you’re thinking of adding a pet to the family, think adoption first! And don’t stop at dogs and cats, gives you access to shelters across the United States – your local shelter probably has rats, rabbits, ferrets, and countless other species in need of a good home. There are also horse rescue agencies – pigs, goats, donkeys – you name it, but whatever the critter you’d like to add to the family, please consider sharing your love with a homeless animal first – they really do appreciate it and give so much love in return!

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February 2013

Kris’s Kitchen

By Kris Winkelman Crappie Pizza What a treat as the main event on pizza night or as a great appetizer to another meal. As delicious as a cold leftover as it is piping hot right out of the oven. 1 tube of refrigerated crescents rolls 1 pkg. 8 oz cream cheese (softened) 1 1/2 c fresh spinach (chopped & divided) 2 green onions (thinly sliced) 1 1/2 t fresh dill (chopped) 1 1/2 t grated lemon peel (divided) 1/2 t lemon juice 1 1/2 c crappie cooked and flaked 1/4 c black olives sliced 1/2 c red peppers diced Salt and pepper to taste Unroll crescent roll dough and place on a 12" pizza pan and flatten. Bake at 350 degrees for 8- 10 minutes until golden brown. Mix cream cheese until smooth, stir in 1 c spinach, onion, dill, 1/2 t grated lemon peel, lemon juice and pepper. Spread over browned pizza crust. Top with cooked and flaked fish, olives, remaining spinach, red pepper and grated lemon peel. Cut up in to bite size squares and serve.


Hot and Sour Pheasant Soup Nothing warms a body and heart like a hot cup of delicious soup! And the best part is that even a unique tasting recipe like this one is incredibly easy to make. 2 cups water 2 cups chicken broth 1 pkg chicken flavored Rice A Roni 1 jalapeno pepper (minced and seeded) 1 cup cooked pheasant or grouse shredded 2 green onions (chopped) 1 Tbsp soy sauce 1 Tbsp lime juice 1 Tbsp Cilantro (minced) 1/4 cup red pepper (chopped) Combine water, broth, pheasant, rice mix, peppers, onions and soy sauce, bring to boil over high heat, reduce and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice and garnish with cilantro. Cherry Caribou Tenderloin Lean, protein-rich caribou meat is amazing, and this recipe really makes it special. If you don't have caribou, you can use venison, elk or even lean beef tenderloin. 1 caribou tenderloin 3 Tbsp butter (unsalted) 1/4 cup shallots (sliced) 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup cherry preserves Season tenderloin with salt and pepper, melt butter in a skillet and sear meat on both sides until med


rare, let rest. In small skillet add 1tbsp. butter and shallots sauté 3 minutes, add 1 tsp pepper, salt, vinegar and cherry preserves sauté until sauce slightly thickens. Add 2 Tbsp of butter to sauce stir. Slice your tenderloin thin, place on serving dish pour sauce over it. Sometimes you want to make a little bit of halibut go a long way. This pasta salad is a great way to extend your protein while giving your family a taste sensation they'll never forget. Halibut Fennel Pasta Salad 8 oz Penne Pasta 1/2 to 1 lb Halibut Filet 2 t lemon rind (grated) 3 T lemon juice 1 Fuji apple thinly sliced about 1 1/2 cup 1 small fennel bulb with stalks Fill kettle with lightly salted water boil: add pasta cook accord-

ing to package. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 c cooking liquid. Rinse in cold water. Cook Halibut in microwave safe dish until fish flakes reserving 3 T of liquid: grate 2t of lemon and squeeze 3 T of lemon juice combine all liquids in large bowl, add pasta to mixture toss until fully covered in liquid, fold in halibut and apple. Remove feathery fronds and chop: slice bulb thin and add to pasta and halibut mixture carefully.

Thanks to Kris Winkelman for these great recipes. Buy Kris’s "Ultimate Wild Game and Fish Cookbook" for only $8.00 plus shipping & handling. What a great gift idea! Order yours today at or call 1-800-333-0471.

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HARRISBURG PA SHOW CANCELED! Local businesses become collateral damage in 2013 Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show controversial decision Event slated for February 2-10 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was officially postponed today by event producer Reed Exhibitions, costing local economy $80 million in lost revenue. HARRISBURG, Pa. PRNewswire-USNewswire - The producers of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, a longstanding tradition at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania dating back to 1951, announced today that the event was being postponed due to the controversy surrounding its decision to limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles at the event, according to a statement posted on the show's website on January 24, 2013. Tourism Officials at the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau estimate the postponement of the state's largest outdoor sports show means $44 million in direct spending from vendors and attendees and $80 million in lost revenue for the local economy. The 22 hotels offering special room rate agreements for show vendors and attendees say the event accounted for approximately 12,000 room-nights over

a 10-day period in a traditionally slow tourism season for a region that welcomes 10 million visitors annually. Tourism officials claim the estimated loss is conservative, factoring in only the direct and indirect spending for the 1,000 vendors and anticipated 250,000 attendees. "Reported numbers do not account for lost revenue at the event complex from parking, food and beverage, and service and rental fees," said Mary Smith, president of HHRVB. The bureau did not have details on the lost revenue at the complex but Smith said it would be in the millions considering the scale of this event compared to other shows they have secured for the complex. The estimates also do not account for lost revenue from the 5 percent hotel tax collected by Dauphin County. Officials are not commenting on the producer's postponement decision, nor are they aware at this time what Reed Exhibitions plans are for rescheduling. "Our relationship with Reed Exhibitions has continued to strengthen and grow over the years and we are hopeful that the show will return," said Sharon Altland, director of sales for HHRVB. "This is the largest privately produced show at the complex considering the PA Farm Show is a state organized event. Those two traditional events have become pillars of our January and February tourism business with many local businesses relying on them to make their first quarter numbers."

Outdoor News from BLACK SEA BASS SEASON NOW ON IN DELEWARE RUNS TILL FEB. 28 Daily bag limit of 15 fish, must be at least 12.5 inches long. DOVER, Del. - Recreational fishermen will be permitted to harvest black sea bass in Delaware's coastal waters until Feb. 28, 2013. State officials say the new black sea bass season follows a vote earlier this month by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Anglers can also hook black sea bass in federal waters in Jan & Feb. Federal waters begin 3 miles from the Delaware shore.

UNDER STATE LAW, NOTHING IN THE LAW PREVENTS A FELON FROM OBTAINING A COLORADO HUNTING LICENSE AND NO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK IS REQUIRED. Colorado says Felon Hunters difficult to find DENVER Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say they're having a tough time enforcing laws that bar felons from hunting in the state. Under state law, nothing in the law prevents a felon from obtaining a Colorado hunting license and no criminal back-

February 2013

ground check is required. According to the Denver Post, it is illegal for felons to possess the firearms or archery weapons needed to bring down an animal, but plenty of felons are doing it. Officials say more than 300,000 hunting licenses are issued for big game in Colorado every year and the state cannot trace the number going to felons. The Denver Post,

MORE THAN 1,000 PEOPLE SIGNED UP TO HUNT PYTHONS IN THE EVERGLADES THROUGH FEB. 10 IN THE HOPES OF WINNING CASH PRIZES. 27 pythons killed so far in Florida's python hunt MIAMI- University of Florida researchers are examining more than two dozen Burmese pythons harvested as part of the state's “Python Challenge.'' The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Tuesday that 27 of the invasive snakes have been killed so far in the competition that began Jan. 12. More than 1,000 people signed up to hunt pythons in the Everglades through Feb. 10 in the hopes of winning cash prizes. Competitors are allowed to keep the python skins, once researchers finish examining the snakes. Researchers say the large number of hunters will help them gather more information about the snakes' habits. It's unknown how many pythons live in the Everglades. The snakes are considered a menace to native Florida wildlife, and they face both state and federal bans. Python Challenge:


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February 2013

Real Estate Chatter By: Mary Ann Vance

Winter is in full swing but does it feel that way?? As of this writing the forecast is to be in the 50’s over the next few days (are we really in Illinois?). We are to have heavy rains also this week and boy do we need the moisture in the ground so let’s hope we get some. Our winters have really changed over the past few years and we are avoiding those heavy snowfalls which doesn’t help the economy especially those businesses that rely on the snow. Enjoy the rest of your winter. The article I have chosen for this month may be of interest to you if you are purchasing a new home or upgrading yours. QUARTZ VS GRANITE COUNTERTOPS Granite may be the best selling natural stone on the market but quartz is gaining ground quickly and for good reason. Which Countertop Is More Durable? When you compare quartz countertops vs granite the first thing that you have to consider is the durability of the surface. Will it stand up to the daily use and occasional abuse that we put these surfaces through? Are quartz countertops better than granite? Granite is a very strong material and resists cracking and chipping very well. Quartz does however rate higher on the hardness scale (known as the Mohs Hardness Scale) and it resists cracking and chipping better. One word of caution: Don’t get square corners in any natural stone. Opt for a bullnose or another edge detail that is rounded. Square and ornately decorated corners have a tendency to chip. You can eliminate the possibility of an unrepairable chip by getting a more functional edge detail for your countertop. Which Counter Resists Stains Better? Quartz is highly stain-resistant as it is a nonporous material, which makes it very easy to clean. It can repel the most common stains such as wine, oil, coffee, vinegar or even makeup. On the other hand, gran-



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ite has a crystalline structure and contains natural small spaces or fissures that require regular sealing. This maintenance needs to be done about once a year. It’s easy to do but if you forget to do it you run the risk of allowing stains and bacteria to find safe harbor deep inside of your countertop. Is One Surface Safer Than The Other? The nonporous aspect of quartz also allows superior protection against pathogens, because it is harder for them to develop and makes it easier for you to keep a clean kitchen. As for granite, it is said to emit a small level of radon, which is a gas found naturally occurring in the Earth. Considering that granite countertops are made directly from the extracted rock, there is a higher risk of radon exposure. The risk is very small however and I would not worry about it. Which Surface Is More Attractive? This is the most important consideration when making a choice between granite vs quartz. It’s a personal choice that is completely a matter of opinion. Both materials are available in a wide variety of patterns and colors. However, you should know that, with granite, seams are nearly impossible to hide. In the case of quartz, you can conceal them better with darker colors or with the help of professional installers. Countertop Installation You’re going to need a specialist to install your countertops, as both quartz and granite are rather heavy and can be hard to handle. You should also go for professional installation if you want to reduce the risk of breaking, fissuring or chipping, especially with granite.

Comparing the Cost As for the price, granite tends to be more expensive, but it depends on the colors, patterns, and manufacturers that you choose from. Granite can be more affordable and it has lowered in price in recent years while the cost of quartz countertops can vary widely. However, considering the easy maintenance of quartz, you will find it more practical than the costly repairs of the granite and the regular maintenance. It may seem like a hard choice to make when it comes to comparing quartz and granite, as granite is high on

the list for many families, but quartz has started to gain popularity recently by offering a safer solution and easy availability at local home improvement stores.

SUMMARY Quartz Pros: Quartz countertops that are available today consist of 93 percent quartz while the remaining seven percent is made up of other minerals. This particular composition makes quartz countertops naturally hard and extremely durable, ranking just below gemstones when comparing its hardness and scratch resistant quality. Quartz countertops are less porous which keeps food particles and other liquids from sticking to the countertop’s surface. HYPERLINK ""Quartz countertops are also mold and mildew resistant and are considered an excellent foodsafe surface. Cleaning and removing stains from quartz versus granite countertops is far easier, requiring only soap and water for most cleaning tasks. Quartz has a natural stone appearance and is available in a myriad of colors to suit your interior perfectly. Quartz Cons: The greatest disadvantage of quartz countertops verses granite is that they are quite expensive as compared to other surfaces. Granite Pros: Granite countertops don’t depreciate in value. It’s a one-of-a-kind, natural surface that has an almost luminous look. It comes in a wide range of colors. It is durable, heat resistant and stain resistant when sealed. Granite Cons: Each slab of granite varies within the piece, so it may not be a good choice if you prefer a completely

uniform look. Granite can be permanently discolored if it has a preexisting stain when sealed. It can crack when hit by a hard, sharp object. Granite is heavy and often will require additional structural support, especially in spans and cantilevers. In summary, in the granite versus quartz countertops debate, quartz seems to have the edge in durability, cleaning, stain resistance, uniformity of color and maintenance, while granite is more cost friendly, has a wide variety of colors and is heat resistant. The eye-catching and durable nature of either countertop is wide spread. The choice of which suits you best in the end is mostly determined by personal preference. When you look at your budget, your decorating style, and the desired functionality of your countertop, what is your preference: quartz or granite? DID YOU KNOW??? The longest distance a deepwater lobster has been recorded to travel is 225 miles Percentage of American men who say they would marry the same woman if they had it to do all over again: 80% 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily. A company in Taiwan makes dinnerware out of wheat, so you can eat your plate. I maintain a staffed office in Tremont, Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 4:00. Evenings and weekends are available by appointment.

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• Lots with acreage in Tremont school district. Springfield Rd to corner of Broadway Rd • Groveland water taps will be run under Broadway Road. Each lot will be responsible for water to lot. • The plat is online or call the office. The physical address of this may change pending 911 review of address after recent split.

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By: Dan Gapen, Sr. Many years have passed since I first fished the waters of Ogoki River. Visits which produced long-lasting memories of walleye and pike fishing not to be bettered anywhere else in Ontario. Of trophy brook trout and sturgeon fishing unequaled in my lifetime. Of canoeing the Ogoki’s wild rapids with a delightful companion. Of tenting under a star and moon-filled night sky while the Hargate band of wolves serenaded us. Of watching a pair of bull moose fight for possession of a sleepy-eyed cow. I remember best a flight into Ogoki Post with my friend Malcolm Leuenberger piloting a De Havilland Beaver aircraft mounted with skis during a January snowstorm to deliver the weekly mail. At times we flew in complete

white-out conditions relying on the plane’s panel instruments to guide us. Yes, the memories are many, all created by this wilderness world of the Ogoki. But it is Hargate I treasure most. Hargate, as I’ve often described, is a world set apart from man. It’s a world of squawking ravens, rattling cranes, howling wolves, tail-slapping beaver, yipping fox, grunting moose, the haunting call of loons and the rustling whisper of yellowed aspen leaves as they sing to a soft north wind. Hargate is also the place, though small as lakes in Ontario go, which produces the glassy-eyed walleye, the toothy pike, the colorful brook trout and the prehistoric-looking sturgeon in goodly numbers. So, it was this past year, my 80th, my treasured companion, ‘Bobber’ Anne, and I returned to Hargate one more time before my time on Mother Earth might

end. We went to reap the benefits this wild place might bring. Stepping on the metal ladder of Leuenberger’s turbo Otter floatplane the question often asked of me came to mind. “Dan, you’ve fished all over North America. Where would you choose to go if you had one last trip available to you?” It would be ‘Hargate’ on the Ogoki River system in northern Ontario. Why? Not because of the monstrous fish this place holds, nor the exotic hunting species available. In each case these are average in nature. But, it’s the wilderness setting into which you are transformed that makes this place so special. And now, along with my favorite buddy and my yellow Labrador ‘Thumper’, we were on our way into this magical land of wild. This trip to Hargate began with my partner ‘Bobber’ Anne and Thumper sitting in the doorway of Leuenberger’s turbo Otter. As always we departed from Leuenberger’s home base just outside Nakina, Ontario. Flight time would last 45 minutes. This summer, water was low on the

February 2013

Thumper gets ready to fly Ogoki River system-a good scene if you were hunting waterfowl. Low water exposes the miles of marsh flats which geese and ducks feed on. Low water would also concentrate the walleye, pike, sturgeon whitefish and brook trout the river carries. Leuenberger’s new outpost camp hadn’t changed since we were there two years ago. The only difference was that no one had fished it all summer. It seems the Ogoki Lake control dam 90 miles upstream had been releasing high water up until August 10th and conditions didn’t allow anglers the opportunity to fish. The last people to set foot on the Hargate outpost had been moose hunters and their stay had been cut to two days

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February 2013


Thumper gets her wish to retrieve ducks.

Gapen’s Spin-Bee™ deadly on walleye

because of the number of wolves in the area. Wolves discourage moose and make them skittish. Fishing and gunning should be fantastic. With gear unloaded, camera equipment and fishing rods and reels readied, ‘Bobber’ Anne, Thumper and I took off up to where the rapids entered the lake. Here we’d catch supper. It took two minutes of trolling a SpinBee™ 40 feet behind the boat to produce the first walleye, a 4-pounder. Too big! Another minute saw an excellent dinner walleye boated, this one a two pounder. Fifty yards later a three pounder came to net. Supper was secured! From that point on 21 more walleye from 2-1/2 to 5 pounds were caught and released. As generally is the case the 7-pounder got off before the

hold. Downstream a small flock of Canadian geese honked their way into a landing on Hargate’s eastern mud flats. Hargate is part of the eastern flyway with 90% of its waterfowl migration headed for Chesapeake Bay on the east coast near Maryland. So it wasn’t unusual that the first duck shot on our trip was an eastern scoter. We’d passed up a couple pair of black ducks, or black mallards as the locals called them, as our first full day began. If there is a fish that’s easy at Hargate it’s the walleye and they average much larger than those found elsewhere in Ontario. I’d say 3 1/2 pounds on average with a 6 to 7 pounds not unusual. AND, there are plenty of them. Where the Ogoki River comes into Hargate these nice walleye stack up like cord wood. Using Gapen’s new lure, the Spin-Bee™

Thumper looks on at “Bobber” Anne holding a walleye caught on new Gapen Spin-Bee™ landing net came to bear. All were taken on Gapen’s new experimental lure, the Spin-Bee™. So far success was ours. Similar results had been previously obtained on the Spin-Bee™ on smallmouth bass on the Mississippi River. I was beginning to believe we had a winner but more tests on other species were needed. Exhausted from our long trip to Nakina the two of us hit the sleeping bags early. As the moon came out loons and wolves serenaded us as sleep took


The Ol’ man takes a very nice walleye on Gapen’s new Spin-Bee™ (bottom) ‘Fish-battered’ Spin-Bee™ experimental models, ‘Bobber’ Anne and I caught and released better than seven dozen the next day. We wore out four lures and received aching arms because the fight was continuous. We had a hard time finding a couple two-pounders for supper. Our largest hit the scales over 6 pounds. If it’s in your heart and spirit to experience the true wilderness, Hargate is the place to go. And, it’s my advice to go there in the next two or three years.

Cont’d. on next pg.

L a n d I n v e s t m e n t O p p o r t u n i t y. . .


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GAPEN… Cont’d. from previous pg. This adventure Anne and I took likely will be my last to Hargate. At 80 years of age my body just doesn’t seem to endure such outings anymore. The spirit is there, the willingness is there, but the physical being just doesn’t seem to have it. BUT, I have my memories of this wild place. No one can take that away! Two ducks on day three were shot by my partner for our supper. And, oh what a supper it was--mashed potatoes, fried duck, brussel spouts and pan-fried walleye. A meal fit for a king! The flat marsh downstream from Hargate held sand hill cranes, eastern Scoters, teal, black ducks and plenty of noisy Canadian honkers. As we rounded the river into Patience Lake Delta all my waterfowl


friends were there to greet me, just like they have for decades. What memories the sight of winging waterfowl rising off the grassy meadows brought back. Because of my physical condition I wasn’t able to chase them as before but that didn’t matter. THEY WERE THERE, as wary as ever. Our two final days at Hargate were filled with walleye boated, the largest 7 pounds, several pike caught and released, the howling of wolves (but never a sighting) a big bull moose who swam the lake, (probably a 48-incher) and wonderful meals of fresh fried walleye cooked by Anne as only she can do it. Yes, my final trip to Hargate was one which brings gladness to my heart. Like all the others in the past three decades Hargate played its magic for the Ol’ Man. I’ll probably never return but the memories of

Homes For Heroes by Norman V. Kelly

Most Peorians remember Patti Smith and her wonderful work with Operation Santa, which benefited so many of our service men and women. Well, Patti and her friends are back helping out the heroes in our community with something called Homes for Heroes. She would be the first to tell you that she is not alone in this new venture which has been set up to help heroes such as current service men and women, and the folks who daily, right here in our own community, protect and care for us on a full-time basis. Homes For Heroes is meant to save the qualified home buyer money…it is that simple: 25% off the Gross commission whether the hero buys or sells a house. Title closing discounts through the attorney offices of Heyl Roster. Home inspection discounts through Hultgren Home Services. All of these savings will be reflected on the HUD settlement.

that place of ‘Wild’ will last me until I pass beyond these bonds of earth and make passing much easier, for Hargate has blessed me with the real memory of life, a truth that death cannot take away. In case you, my readers, have the spirit to travel to such a place I recommend you call or write: Leuenberger Air Service Limited, PO Box 60 - 7 Beach Rd, Nakina, Ontario  P0T 2H0, 888-2466533, For you too may enjoy a place of ‘Wild’ which gives a lift to one’s heart and allows the spirit to soar. And the walleye fishing is like no other place. Why? Because the fish are muscular, better than average in size and host a true walleye color and fight like hell! Post Note: Rumor has it that a Canadian Mining

February 2013

Company has found Chromite, the mineral which makes stainless steel from north of the Ogoki. Right now the only place in the world they mine this metal is in South Africa. If this be true and the 170 mile long road is built it will pass within 20 miles of Hargate to the east on its way north. This, of course, will be the end of my ‘Wild’ place. It is my fear that a wild place such as Hargate may not be there for long. Man has ways of fouling up the world. So, if I were you, my reader, book a fly-in trip with my friend Malcolm Leuenberger and enjoy the serenity, joy and peace such a place can bring to your life. And, if you are lucky there will be an opening when the waterfowl season begins or a chance at that once in a lifetime moose hunt.

Homes For Heroes wants to help and recognize firefighters, active duty personnel, police officers, healthcare workers, teachers, veterans and others that offer valued services to our community. This program is catching on all over America and is currently in forty-four states. The nearest cities to Peoria that at this point are involved are Chicago and Saint Louis. “We are trying to give back to the people that serve us every day of their lives.” To find out if you qualify for this generous break in buying or selling your next home please contact these members of the local team and they will answer all of your questions. The Realtors: Patti Smith, 309-231-5090; Cindi Janke, 309-264-9725; Judy Behan, 309-453-0889 You can also visit them on line: Other members of the team like Jim Manning and Jackie Harms can be reached at Heyl, Royster Title Company. The home inspector is Bob at Hultgren Home Services. These folks are willing to give their time and money to give a little back to the people that spend their lives looking out for us. Got any ideas how you can do the same?

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February 2013


Congratulations to Stan Brown the winner of a Ten Point Crossbow valued at over $650, given away by Raber Packing

Company. Raber supports the Sportsmen Again Hunger Program. They do an excellent job of processing venison, you can choose from more than 25 different sausage products for your deer meat. Some favorites are bar-

beque sticks, salami & cheese sticks, jalapeno & cheese salami, jalapeno & cheese polish sausage, just to name a few products they offer. Raber also smokes turkey & geese. Visit Raber’s to find a wide variety of excellent fresh meat for sale. At Raber’s you’ll experience old fashioned individual


STARTING @ 9:00A.M. • TREMONT, ILLINOIS Sale Located at Rt 9 & Old Rt. 121 TAKING CONSIGNMENTS FEB. 18–MAR. 1 Mon. – Sat. 8 a.m. -- 5 p.m. Closed On Sun.

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service when you come in the store. The butchers cut your meat just like you want it, delicious steaks, beef and pork. Ask about the meat bundles they offer at very low prices. Raber’s is located at 1413 N Raber Road, off Farmington Road, across from the Peoria Speedway. Call: 309-673-0721.

Check Out: • Here is Dylan Lee with his first deer taken on his first hunting trip with his dad Clyde. Congratulations Dylan! WOW! Thanks to Dean Lee for sharing Dylan’s photo with ASO!



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MINNESOTA MEMOIRS by Dave Evans “Red Nose Respite” I read Nathan Jorgenson’s Waiting For White Horses in Jan 2008, and as I finished, I announced to Katie, “I’m ready to write.” Thus began my now fiveyear association with ASO with my “Minnesota Memoirs.” Harry had been prodding me to write, as had Katie, Bob and Muff Johnson, and others who were familiar with my long association with Nokay Lake, Crow Wing County, Minn. Perhaps a few regular ASO readers may recall my early discussion of Jorgenson’s book and how it inspired me to write – finally. Now in Jan of 2013, with the Christmas season behind us (and all the decorations are finally stored again), thoughts begin to focus, however dimly, on the spring ahead. How long until the first weekend in May? With half of cold January, gloomy February, and unpredictable March and April standing between now and glorious Opening Weekend, I began to consider winter topics for this month’s Memoir. I didn’t have one. After some time of considering this and rejecting that, I did a “bing” search of Waiting For White Horses. I clicked on an entry that mentioned reviews, read some, and then responded to Amazon’s invitation to write my own. It was accepted, posted on my

Facebook page, and graces the pages of Amazon’s reviews with my 5-star recommendation. I still didn’t have a topic, but I had spent some enjoyable time thinking and writing about one of my favorite books and what was the inspiration for this column. Since Jorgenson’s book reminded me as much about duck hunting as fishing, I considered shifting to waterfowl for this article, but ducks in Minnesota were associated with Ducks Unlimited events and feeding the broods of our summertime visitors. Katie asked me if I had ever hunted ducks up there, and, AHA!, I had once! The waterfowl opener coincided with cabin closing one year, and I joined Bob and others on Heron Lake for several hours. I have the connection between Horses, Minnesota, and duck hunting which allows me to write about the Red Nose Gun Club! Hunting ducks in Illinois can (sort of) be a legitimate topic for Minnesota Memoirs! Yes? I will need to pass over the many memorable trips to Nebraska with Darhl Brown and Corey, Mark Wertz and others, unless I want to shift to Nebraska Notes for some time. But before turning to the Red Nose, I must express my deepest appreciation to Darhl for making


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me a duck hunter and teaching me most of what I know about pursuing the elusive waterfowl. He is as good as there is, and I owe him for most of my early appreciation of what a special, wonderful time can be enjoyed “in the marsh.” The Red Nose Gun Club! Somehow, back in the early 90’s, Mark Wertz opened a door to my meeting Harry and the Red Nose, then located at Quiver Beach just south of the Chautauqua Refuge. And more often than not, I’ve been part of the Red Nose ever since, Dave including some memorable years at Evans the “ancestral” grounds on Duck Island. So, Harry and I have been chasing ducks for twenty years, and now we’re doing it at the most recent and most ambitious incarnation of a club which traces its beginnings to 1923. With headquarters at the Red Nose Lodge on Patterson Bay Road about two miles south of Bath, or eleven miles south of Havana, we drive some six miles to the landing at Snicarte Slough and cross over to more than 700 acres of hunting property. By “we” I mean Harry, Dave Herschelman, Dr. James Smalley, Brad and Rick Severs, Al Ferguson, and I – the active owners of the domain. Shooting members this year included Greg “Spoonbill” Nelson, Tom “Roadhouse” Dalton, Dr. Dick Fredrick, Josh Wagoner, and former owner Steve Bennett. We have a “silent” partner in Paul Breznay. We have acquired an acre of ground

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(across the road) from Mark Clark, whose “headquarters” is adjacent to our acre. The ground provides extra space for parking and storage of boat trailers. The Lodge is, well, a Lodge! Huge kitchen with dining area, central island, all stainless steel appliances, every utensil and gadget imaginable, and DIRECTV. Four bedrooms with identical beds to sleep nine. Great Room with another dining area, stone gas fireplace, plush furniture, and DIRECTV. Two full baths with washer/dryer. Grand screened-in porch/deck along the entire back of the building. Large yard, some fenced for the dogs, sloping toward the slough at the rear. Full double garage with attic storage. Way too nice for a bunch of duck hunters! The hunting grounds are divided into two distinct areas. The largest is our part of Stewart Lake (400 acres). The smaller and more accessible is what we call Goose Puddle – drained, planted, flooded, and hunted more easily with four main blinds, a floater, and the shoreline of Burr Oak Island, which separates Stewart from the Puddle. Last year Stewart was a huge mud flat void of vegetation and basically useless. This year it was home almost daily to 25,000 ducks, but very difficult to hunt. Watching the tornadoes of ducks each day was almost worth the price of admission. Getting to them was the problem. Bottom was

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February 2013



Pat Murphy & pleasantly with a began to appear from – everytreacherous under water, too shalthe area. At oth- Harry & Teddy Bear warm 52 dewhere! Of course, we couldn’t see low for a mud-buddy and mostly too Dave Herschelman er times only grees. The forethem coming; we picked them up deep for ATVs. Hard walking! sporadic shots. I cast for the day when about 40 yards high. But Last year the Puddle (and its would always was ominous, they were coming and landing millet) was a duck magnet, and the wonder how however, and we everywhere, mostly 60 or 70 yards daily harvest sheets showed it. This many hunters were prepared for away. Wind driven snow obscured year, ducks by-passed it until the were within a the worst. Dick everything beyond 100 yards, and late season, and we had some exfive-mile radius became so warm now we had the ducks! It wasn’t cellent shoots then. Fair weather around us and and “sweaty” long before we had our eight malhampered our hunting at times. why some were during our prepalards and decided that bonus The ducks just didn’t want to move! attracting ducks ration that once ducks were not necessary. We One day the refuge area of Crane and others settled into picked up and made our way to the Lake, one of our neighbors, held weren’t. Last “Earl’s Blind,” ATV now encrusted with ice and 100,000 ducks! Amazing! year we had (our most protecsnow. The ignition key was accesThat the ducks move, and leave flocks of teal – Tom tive), he stripped sible, and we were out of there! the comfort of their nesting area is 25 – 50 – 100 off his warm “Roadhouse” Dalton The drive back to the lodge important to nearly half-a-dozen – appear sudclothes and soaked T-shirt. So, he sat there in was in a white-out and I thought of the infamous gun clubs in the immediate area. Within a few miles denly and strafe the Goose Puddle. And it happened all “balmy” temps bare-chested, drying his shirt. By Armistice Day blizzard of Nov. 11, 1940, so long ago. radius the Red Nose, Crane Lake, Central, IRC, and the time! Lots of shooting! With three or four guys in 9am we hadn’t fired a shot but were listening to ConThat day had begun with balmy weather and ended (Dave Conway’s) Sprig clubs vie for the attention of a blind, nine to twelve shots were not uncommon. Of way’s guys blasting broadsides. The weather was with so many Minnesota hunters freezing to death, the ducks. Early in the season this year we watched course that didn’t mean nine to twelve kills, teal being changing, just as forecasted. By 10:30 Dick would pull and more, all the way to Illinois. Over 150 people died thousands of ducks exit Crane Lake at dusk, flying out teal. They loved our millet and “look.” decoys from the buckwheat blind, and I would ride my that day. I could see Doc half-dressed in the morning, to feed. Thousands! We would see more birds in a few Anyway, this season did not enjoy the same sucATV to Stewart Lake to see what might be there. We and it was 29 degrees when we reached the lodge. minutes than some guys see in a season! But they didcess as our first, but we’re learning more about the were bored. No ducks yet. My duck season was over with a very memorable, n’t always come back to hunting areas. I don’t know area and its potential. More strategically placed By then the wind was up, and a biting mist hit me very successful shoot. Ducks landing for us in a blizhow many hunters would be in blinds on a given day, blinds, good food, weed control, water level control, in the face as I rode the levee. An hour later the temzard! Who but duck hunters could find such enjoybut the number of boats, and ATVs of all descriptions and a plan for attacking Stewart Lake will all be part of perature was really dropping, the wind was increasing, ment in such an environment? If it doesn’t sound like assembled in a central staging area made our island considerable work for next season. It was not the best and rain was beginning. Back in the blind, we were fun, then, well, I could never explain it. I will be ready look like a military exercise. year for many clubs, so we were not alone. glad for the protection from what was becoming nasty for more when Oct comes again, and the ducks return When we would hear shooting at a given time, we My last hunt of the season was memorable and weather. When the snow began at noon, the wind proto the Illinois River Valley and the Red Nose Gun Club. could guess that Central, or Conway, or IRC was having worth sharing. Dr. Dick Fredrick, his golden retriever duced horizontal blasts, and before long, visibility was Thanks, Harry, for keeping the tradition alive! some success at drawing birds. Sometimes what Gideon, and I were the only members of the Red Nose reduced. When the weather really closed in, the ducks Copyright: 2013 • sounded like a naval “broadside” would echo through present to hunt on Thurs. Dec. 20. The day dawned

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LIKE FATHER LIKE SON! Brian Grider says his greatest teacher was his father, Tom Grider, and from the looks of it, WE AGREE! Here are a few of their big bass caught at various favorite honey holes! Thanks for sharing the awesome photos with ASO…Keep ‘em coming!

February 2013

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February 2013

DOZENS OF BOBCATS HARVESTED IN SOUTH DAKOTA'S EAST RIVER SEASON When it comes to the bobcat season, the data collection will prove as valuable as the sport itself. When it came to trapping animals, Christmas arrived early for Mitch Johnson. The Yankton man sought the prized bobcat in South Dakota's 1st season for the furbearer east of the Missouri River. The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GF&P) commission approved the Dec. 8-30 season for licensed hunters and trappers in Buffalo, Brule, Charles Mix, Bon Homme and Yankton counties. “I got (my bobcat) Christmas Eve in northern Yankton Co along the James River, in a thick cedar tree-covered area. I caught him in a trap,'' Johnson said. “It felt more like Christmas morning. Every time I checked the traps, it's very hard to explain the anticipation. It was a unique experience.'' “I was excited to get (my bobcat) before the snowstorm. Once you get the freeze in the ground, trapping is more difficult.'' A SUCCESSFUL SEASON Johnson's experience mirrored the feelings of other hunters and trappers, according to an area conservation officer. Game warden Sam Schelhaas of Yankton Co said he was pleased with the initial East River bobcat season. “There was apprehension as we went forward with this first season, and nobody really knew what the number was going to be,'' he said. “In my opinion, the bobcat season was a success. In the five counties that


we had the opening, we had 33 bobcats that were harvested.'' Charles Mix led the way with 14 bobcats, followed by Yankton with seven and Bon Homme and Brule with six each. Buffalo didn't record any harvested bobcats. Sports enthusiasts welcomed the ability to seek bobcats east of the Missouri River, Schelhaas said. “I think there were a lot of really good comments from a lot of trappers,'' he said. “They have been trapping for a number of years, and they knew there were bobcats around. Now, they had the opportunity to get a chance to trap them. Not everyone was successful, but that was part of the fun of it. The people I talked to were excited and happy.'' The 7 Yankton Co cats consisted of 4-females and 3-males, Schelhaas said. Six were trapped and one was shot. The majority of cats in Yankton and Bon Homme counties were trapped among the river hills and along the Missouri River, primarily along Lewis and Clark Lake. The cats were large sized, with one cat weighing nearly 30 pounds and another one 20 pounds. “Everybody I talked to considered it a trophy. Of the 7 that were tagged in Yankton Co. only one decided to sell the fur,'' the game warden said. “Out by the lake, we had one trapper who got 2 cats in legholds in 2 different traps. He was able to take one and release the other one.'' This initial year, the East River bobcat season was limited to one cat per hunter or trapper. Schelhaas wasn't aware of any violations. A REAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE Johnson, like many hunters and trappers, was aware of bobcats from trail cameras, tracks and the available food supply. He actually trapped two cats, harvesting one and releasing the other. Surprisingly,

he trapped his cats in areas where he expected to find fox and coyotes. “I had seen some bobcats in several areas where I deer hunted in the past. There isn't a high (bobcat) population, but I do think we have a pretty viable population,'' he said. “I talked to several friends, and they were real excited, especially at the beginning of the season. I didn't hear much negative from anyone.'' Johnson characterized his harvested bobcat as a large male. He didn't have it weighed, and the carcass was sent to officials in Sioux Falls for testing in accordance with regulations. “What they learn will bring in lots of information about the cats,'' he said. “I think they will pull quite a bit of valuable data.'' When it comes to the bobcat season, the data collection will prove as valuable as the sport itself, Schelhaas said. Biologists will compile data such as the bobcats' age, gender, litter rates and food sources. The 5 East River counties contain prime habitat, Schelhaas said. Those factors include large tracts of river hills, the Missouri River banks, the James River with trees and rolling hills, uninhabited areas and adequate food sources. GF&P officials believe some of the South Dakota bobcats migrated from Nebraska, Schelhaas said. “The bobcats are looking to expand their territories,'' he said. “During the freeze, they go over the river (from Nebraska) and set up their home range in South Dakota. And right now, the river is way down (because of drought). We believe the bobcats are good swimmers. We imagine they are crossing the river at a smaller stretch like the Springfield area.'' With outdoors enthusiasts trapping among the hills this fall, the cats were aware of the human pres-


ence even before the East River season, Schelhaas said. PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE The East River bobcat season was conducted as an experiment, Schelhaas said. The Division of Wildlife will now analyze the data and make its recommendations to th GF&P commissioners. Those recommendations could include changes in length of season, number of cats per license holder or some other variations. “You don't want to lose too many bobcats, so they kept it conservative this season,'' the game warden said. “I think it will help determine whether we will have a more restrictive season, a more conservative season, a more liberal season or no season at all.'' Schelhaas remains optimistic that the East River season will continue into future years. “I think we have more bobcats than people suspected,'' he said. “We hope to continue managing the animals properly, and it looks like we can support another season.'' Johnson strongly supports continuing the East River bobcat season and the GF&P management practices so far. With the success of the recent season, Johnson sees the possibility of increasing the limit to two cats per person or some other formula. He strongly recommends holding another round of public meetings to gather input from landowners, outdoors enthusiasts and conservation officials. “This season, these cats were considered oncein-a-lifetime opportunity for some people,'' Johnson said. “At the same time, if there is a viable population, there is no reason why we can't have more opportunities in the future.'' Info from: Yankton Press & Dakotan,

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The Good Ole Days


PT. 1

By Jack L. Hart ph. 309-888-4071 When an individual reaches that age when he or she is considered to be a senior citizen all prior events in their life are history. In other words, when the senior citizen can no longer be physically active due to health problems or age the only thing they can do is reminisce. That certainly applies to me considering the severe health problems that I have & that I have been on this planet 7 decades. Having given my situation considerable thought, I have elected to sit down & put in print my memories of the good ole days relative to my memories about hunting, fishing & trapping in those good ole days. For

those of you reading this who are senior citizens you may very well be able to relate to what I have to say & you, of course, will also have your own memories of the good ole days. Hopefully the members of the younger generation may benefit from what I will be writing about. I was born in 1940 and was raised on a farm in southern Illinois. I loved the outdoors & found out that I was fascinated by Mother Nature. I remember that when I was a teenager I would get up at about 5:30 a.m., eat breakfast & sneak off to the timber that was just across the road from where my folks lived. I would have my 22 rifle & would sit down in the timber & quietly wait as the sun rose. I knew as soon as the sun made its appearance those grey squirrels would be out looking for breakfast. I had the patience of Job & I would hunt for only an hour or so because I had to catch the school bus which would take me to high school at McLeansboro, IL located in Southern Illinois. This would have been in the 1950’s. Yes, I hunted because I loved to match wits with those pesky squirrels but also to put some food on the table. I would clean them & Mom

would cook ‘em up. She never refused any game that I brought to the table. My folks were poor as church mice but we always had a roof over our head, clothes on our back & a full stomach. This was the time when gas was less than 30 cents per gallon, you didn’t lock your doors, no gangs, no drugs, no TV, no inside plumbing, and life was simple. I walked one & 1/2 miles to grade school & thought nothing of it. Even though I was a teenager, I had no vehicle. No money, no job. My hunting was, of course, confined to walking distance from my folk’s place & restricted then to squirrels & rabbits. There were no whitetail deer back in those days. In 1957 my folks moved to Eureka, IL because they knew there would be no jobs in Southern Illinois for me or my 3 brothers & 3 sisters. That move opened up a new world for me regarding opportunities to hunt & fish. My Dad ran the Texaco service station in Eureka & I worked there part time while putting myself thru Eureka College. One day one of our VIP customers said & I quote, “Young man you are now in God’s country”. I was, at first, offended but said nothing because I loved &

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missed Southern Illinois. Within a few years I had to admit that yes, “I was in God’s country.” Why?? Because jobs were very plentiful & there was, I found out, a good population of pheasants & quail in Woodford County & surrounding counties as well as numerous places to fish. Yes, this was the beginning of a new life for me & each year I gained new experiences relative to my love of the outdoors & the opportunities & experiences that I found hunting, fishing & trapping & the many new friends I made who also loved the outdoors & had the same interests as I did. In the following articles in future issues of this publication, I will share some of those memories about the good ole days.

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February 2013

Guana Cay Angler Scores Tuna, Dolphin, Wahoo Slam Guana Cay, Abacos – A rough day at sea yielded bountiful results for angler Ricky Sands in late December, as the Guana Cay based fisherman reeled in a tuna, wahoo, and two dolphin to round out his slam. Sands’ catch comes after a 3-month hiatus, and despite less than perfect conditions he managed to bring in four beautiful fish, including a yellowfin tuna. Sands was fishing solo on his 27 foot Sea Pro, and after leaving the dock at 7:30am he encountered 6-8 foot seas in the channel. The waves remained consistently rough the entire morning, but despite the chop, less than 20 minutes after dropping the lines a fish hit the long rigger. The catch ran about 300 yards of line before Sands stopped it. After clearing the lines, putting the fighting belts on, and adjusting the throttles, Sands fought the fish for about 20 minutes. Sands’ work paid off when he leadered up and gaffed a 35-pound yellowfin. His luck held out into


the morning as after a fifteen-minute fight he brought in a 50-pound wahoo, which hit a skirted bait on the flat line, followed by two bull dolphin. “The conditions weren’t perfect, but I couldn’t ask for a better catch on my first trip out in three months,” said Sands, who operates Ricky Sands Charters out of Guana Cay in the Abacos. “The seas were rough but the water was clear, a front was approaching and the tides were favorable. In the end I had a great day of fishing with big, beautiful fish that gave a nice fight and seemed to like my bait.” Sands of fers half and full day charters, as well as private guides and island hopping tours out of Guana Cay. For more information on Sands, visit his website at or by phone: 242 577 5143 or email:

Guana Cay angler Ricky Sands scored a wahoo tuna dolphin slam, pulling in this wahoo second in 6-8 foot seas. (Photo courtesy of Katie Hoog)


Smith & Wesson® Continues Support of Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) Donating $50,000 to Veterans Organization at 2013 SHOT Show The donation will support programs designed to assist disabled veterans and wounded active duty military personnel. With continued support from its co-sponsors, HAVA has been able to heighten awareness of issues facing disabled veterans upon returning home. Donations from these companies are crucial for HAVA, which hosts numerous outdoor activities, including hunts and shooting events, each year. In 2012, HAVA served over 500 disabled veterans, wounded active duty military personnel, and family members. During 2013, HAVA will celebrate its five-year anniversary and has begun plans for events that should exceed 1,000 participants. Those who would like to learn more about the HAVA organization can do so at

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February 2013

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February 2013


DAN’S FISH ‘N’ TALES® By Dan Galusha

Year Around Survival Kit People generally think of putting together survival kits for the winter season. If a person stops and thinks, they will see that if the proper tools are put together, it can be a year around survival kit. A tool, which would be confined to the wintertime use, would be a “picks of life”. This is a pair of retractable ice picks, which are worn with a cord around the neck, to be used if a person falls through the ice, and needs to pull him or herself out. Since they float, the picks can be tossed to another angler who has fallen through. An extremely important item to have hooked to your side is a multi-purpose tool. Most uses are selfexplanatory. However, if an angler doesn’t have the previously mentioned picks, the multi-purpose tool can be unfolded and the needlenose pliers stuck into the ice to help pull a person to safety. Of course, this is only in an emergency, and not meant to be a substitute for some sort of floating ice picks device. In the open water months the uses are endless, especially in the boat. There are many of these tools on the market, but my suggestion would be to check out the products produced by Coast, Leatherman and Gerber. I wear one on my belt at all times. If for some reason wood is needed for a fire, or a limb or small tree obstruction needs to be removed, then a hatchet and folding saw are a great benefit. A machete can also be used, but these are a little longer, and take up more room. While on the subject of fire, a cigarette lighter and waterproof matches are “must have” items. Combine these with a four-pack of Nature’s Fire firestarters. I’ve used these firestarters several times, and can highly recommend their effectiveness. They can also be laid on the ground, and used similar to a flare. The folding “military style” shovel can be used as a regular shovel, or positioned like a pick ax. A flashlight is needed for many things, and is required by the Coast Guard to pass boat inspection. This is a primary signaling device for any season. One of the best that I have found is a Coast HP7, which is small, but very bright with flood and spotlight adjustment. The HP21 is even brighter, but much larger. With the HP7 comes a belt sheath, making it easy to carry, or store in a backpack, boat or truck glove drawer, or wherever. Everyone knows that ropes are needed, and are another item required by the Coast Guard in a boat. I prefer the nylon rope for all seasons, especially winter. The poly ropes are too stiff for many uses, and in the winter can become so stiff that they are difficult to manage or toss to a person who has fallen through the ice. On this same line of thought, keep the nylon rope dry in the winter, as it will freeze solid. A simple coffee can is used for boiling water, or bailing water from a boat. It can also cook food, such as beans, or pre-packaged meals in a bag. These come in heavy foil bags, which are dropped into boiling water. Boiling bags of rice are another idea.

Granola bars are a very good food item. These will not spoil, don’t need cooking, and provide energy. First aid kits should be complete with antiseptic creams, gauze pads, tape, iodine, bee sting ointment, band-aids, scissors, etc. It is also a good idea to have snakebite and hook removal kits. The only hook removal kit I have encountered is from South Bend. While a multi-purpose tool, such as mentioned earlier, will contain one or two knife blades, I also like to carry a folding knife. These will have a heavier blade, with a different handle. My favorite is spring-assist opening Recon made by Coast, which is clipped inside my pocket. The spring-assist makes it ideal for when only one hand is free to open a knife.

At first thought this kit may seem to be a lot to carry on the ice, and in a boat or vehicle. Actually it isn’t all that bad, and if Gerber’s Sport Utility Pack is used, it is even better. The Sport Utility Pack comes with a folding saw and shovel, hatchet, MagLite flashlight, multi-purpose tool, and small first aide kit. This all folds into a case made of 600 denier polyester, which measures 12” x 11” x 3”. You may want to beef up the first aid kit with a few more items, but the room is present to accomplish this task, and store the hook removal kit. It was already mentioned about wearing the other items on the belt with sheaths, and around the neck (picks of life). If a 2 pound coffee can is used, it will easily carry the lighter, matches, fire starter and a couple of food bags and granola bars.

The Sport Utility Pack, filled coffee can, and 25 feet long coil of rope, will fit into an ice angler’s bucket or portable shelter, or a boat’s storage compartment. It is advisable to carry this same kit in the truck or car. While we all hope that problems will never arise, it is good to know that a well-equipped survival kit is close at hand. Two other electronic items that would be of help


are cell phone, which most of us have, and a portable weather radio. If you have questions regarding this or another fishing subject, drop me a line through the Dan’s Fish ‘N’ Tales® website at www.dansfishntales. com, which also provides a link to the ASO’s website. Until next time, get out on the water and enjoy a great day of fishing.

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February 2013

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February 2013




After a long and busy season of tramping the rivers, it was at this autumnal time of year that the excursion steamboats began to head for safe quarters during the winter hiatus. Many boats went into layup to undergo repairs in preparation for the next season, while others, such as the Capitol, moved to warmer climates in the South to continue operating. The Capitol began its lengthy life as the packet Pittsburgh, built at the Cincinnati Marine Ways in 1879 for the Cincinnati & Pittsburgh Packet Company. The wooden hull, which measured 250 by 39.2 by 5.8, drew 24 inches light and the boat had a reputation for making speedy trips between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Four boilers with six flues provided the steam for the engines, which had 22-inch cylinders and a seven-foot stroke. In the early 1880s, the big sternwheeler was purchased by the famous Diamond Jo Line and taken to

River historian Judy Patsch poses with the pilotwheel of the Capitol at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation in July 1995. Photo by Keith Norrington St. Louis for service on the Mississippi. The disastrous tornado that struck the St. Louis riverfront in 1896 removed nearly the entire superstructure of the boat, but it was rebuilt with new upper works into a finer packet named Dubuque. In July 1901, the boat sank after ripping a 142-foot-long hole in the hull at Keithsburg, IL, but was quickly raised and repaired.

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The Streckfus excursion steamer Capitol at the Alton, Illinois landing with a large crowd aboard. Photo by Robert K. Graul, Keith Norrington collection! The Streckfus Line purchased the boat in 1910 and continued packet service until 1917, making a charter trip to the Shiloh Battlefield in 1912 for the St. Louis & Tennessee River Packet Company. During the winter of 1919–20, staterooms were removed to make room for excursionists, and the vessel was renamed Capitol. The alterations increased the measurements to 256.6 by 50.7 by 6.2. The sternwheel, turned by pitmans 24 feet long, was 25 feet in di-

ameter with 30-foot bucket planks having a 24-inch dip. There were four main rudders and two monkey rudders. From 1920 until 1941, the Capitol traversed the Mississippi from St. Louis to St. Paul, usually wintering at New Orleans and offering harbor cruises at that city before returning upriver in the spring. When the New Orleans Industrial Canal was formally opened on May 5, 1923, the CapiCont’d. on next pg.

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Cont’d. from previous pg.

Faded glory. The Capitol being dismantled at the St. Louis levee. Photo by Ruth Ferris, Keith Norrington collection

February 2013

tol carried many notables to the ceremony. Capt. Roy M. Streckfus was master of the boat for many years with his son, Capt. J. Curran Streckfus, assuming command for the final seasons. The Capitol, largest excursion sternwheeler on the Mississippi, laden with wooden gingerbread trim and thousands of decorative white lights, was a favorite of many residents along the Upper Mississippi who greatly looked forward to riding the big boat each summer and dancing to the lively tunes of the bands and orchestras that brought the latest popular music to the river. One of those avid young excursionists was the late Walter Patsch, of Rock Island, Illinois, father of well-known river historian Judy Patsch, who faithfully followed in her father’s footsteps aboard the steamer Avalon as a youngster and for many years served as a crew member aboard the New Orleans excursion steamboat Natchez during summer vacations from teaching. As with all things that have their time under the heavens, so it goes with old steamboats, and the 63-year-old hull of the Capitol became waterlogged and weary, making it a great safety concern. At the time, Streckfus Steamers was in the process of bringing out its modern all-steel riverboats President and Admiral, and the older vessels of the company were all retired, beginning with the Washington in 1937, the J.S. (De Luxe) in 1938 and the Senator (formerly the Saint Paul) in 1941, along with the Capitol. The latter two were tied up above the Eads Bridge to await dismantling. My mother recalls seeing, as a young teenager, the derelict riverboats during a family trip to St. Louis. During the summer of 1945, the Capitol was stripped of salvageable parts and the remains eventually moved to the lower end of the St. Louis levee and scrapped. The pilotwheel from the boat today is exhibited at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation. The 32-whistle Nichol calliope was installed on the roof of the Admiral in 1951 and removed in the 1970s. Stay tuned for more on the fascinating saga of the Streckfus sternwheelers and sidewheelers in future Old Boat Columns!

A postcard view of the spacious dance floor aboard the Capitol. Keith Norrington!collection

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February 2013

2013 March 6th 2013

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February 2013

ASO Magazine Feb. 2013