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July / August 2017

CONTENT thunder shower trout fishing whitetail food plot 101 get hooked on night shift bass fishing dogtown hoedown tailwater catfish canine care

publisher Brock RAY

The Electro Mundo Gruppe 202 1st Avenue East Oneonta, AL 35121 205-625-5473 reproduction, in whole or part, retransmission, redirection or linked display is prohibited without written permission from the publisher

The Electro Mundo Gruppe

Thunder Showe

July gully washers are a godsend on smaller trout streams. By Ed Rivers In most areas where small mountain trout streams are the preferred waters during spring and early summer, action slows as lower rainfall reduces stream flow volumes. The trout are still there, but as creeks become slower and more shallow and clear,

these fish become pretty tough to catch. Couple this with the now past peak of the emergence of May and caddis flies and increased nocturnal behavior by trout in warming waters. The biggest problem though is that we, as trout fishermen, still want to splash about the rills and rivulets in pursuit of these game fish.

er Trout Fishing


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Interstate sportsman

July is one of the driest months, but it does receive rainfall and often in the form of thunder showers that come up unexpectedly and leave almost as fast. This is particularly true of most eastern mountains such as the Catskills, Blue Ridge and Smokies. When raindrops the sizes of radishes come down in sheets and lightening is pummeling the ground, it is not the time to be rump deep in a pool. In fact, if you are apt to do this, it’s a good idea to have your personal affairs in order and kiss your family good bye as this is where you just might meet the All Mighty. Thunder shower fishing is more accurately termed post-thunder shower fishing. Brief,

heavy rainfall scourers a water shed briefly turning gullies in rills and washing everything from loose soil with hapless terrestrial insects into creeks. Stream flow volumes increase, sometimes a lot and in the most advantageous circumstances only modestly. Water clarity usually goes from clear to tinted or even downright muddy. Muddy water is not especially good, but tinted water with an inch or two high water is ambrosia. Trout react to rain by becoming active. Rain splattering on the surface creates overhead cover, which is why at streams more big trout are caught when fishing in drizzles than at any other time. Besides water

Interstate sportsman

changes that provide comfortable feedings forays in otherwise exposed areas of a stream, the water entering creeks during and right after a thunder storm are laden with a variety of tasty morsels ranging from jassids and ants, to grasshoppers and caterpillars. Even when rain showers do not wash these terrestrial insects into the water from July through October, at most streams land bugs make up 75 percent of the daily intact of creek trout. Common sense should tell you when it is safe to wade streams that have recently risen or have become to turbid that it is impossible to look and determine is the next step two feet deep or is it six feet deep. Ideally what you want is a short blast of water that changes a stream for the good, not one that makes it a dangerous place to venture near. Also, even during the most perfect post-shower stream conditions, you must always be mindful of sudden rises of water that could very quickly escalate into a deadly flash flood. Spin and fly fishing work equally good on stream trout after a beneficial thunder shower. I like ultra light tackle spooled with four pound test line. Suggested lures include any of the smallest spinners made by Roostertail, Mepps, Panther Martin, or

Blue Fox. Fish all of the likely eddies, runs, and heads and tails of pools you normally would. However, if the current is stiff and slow pools are few, make sure you thoroughly fish the backwater lairs where trout may be temporarily holding up. Fly fishing is great fun when the postshower flow of water is cooperative. I have enjoyed incredible dry fly fishing using grasshopper and ant patterns at the time. However, large subsurface presented wooly worms, and oddly enough, bright green ones work like magic on big trout. Streamers are suggested in a heavy flow area although they may need to be weighted. One of the biggest small creek browns I ever caught came from an eastern Tennessee creek named Paint Creek. It had rained all night, making the stream as thick as chocolate milk. Being too dumb then to know that it was useless to fish, I knotted on a #12 Tellico Nymph onto about 15-feet of leader. Walking along in thigh deep water like a blind man without a cane, I held my 8.5-feet rod before me dabbing it up and down. The strike of the 21-inch brown only 8-feet in front of me was quite a start. July stream fishing for trout is great when Mother Nature stirs up a little shower or two.

Planting for great hunting is time well-spent. By Brock Ray



Plot 101 Whitetails need protein and nutrients throughout the summer for growing big antlers. Hardened antlers are 40 to 50% protein, with the remainder made up of primarily phosphorus and calcium. The best way possible for maximum antler growth, he needs a diet rich in protein, phosphorus and calcium. Getting fawns into the best condition possible ensures that they too will have the best chance of reaching their genetic potential later in life. The solid matter making up a doe’s milk is composed of an amazing

32% protein. The health of fawns relates directly to growing big antlers. A high protein diet is even more critical for lactating does than for antler growth, so an entire herd is greatly benefited by a great food supply. Many self-styled whitetail property deer managers fail to appreciate the significance of the mid-summer stress period. It is nearly as stressful as mid-winter. The reason again relates to food quality, which is often in short supply during the summer. This is also the time that these animals have additional needs for growing antlers and nursing does. At this time of the year there are no acorns and the existing naturally occurring browse is comprised mostly of stems.


Interstate sportsman

Serious whitetail management is a yearround chore. During the summer stress period there is a nutrition gap that negatively impacts antler growth. For bucks, antler growth is secondary to survival. Horn growth results from surplus nutrients and minerals as well as minimal stress. During the summer deer browse on hundreds of different forbs, (or plants.) Whitetails eat a wide variety of plants from alfalfa and soybeans, to maple and honeysuckle leaves. The list of plants deer won’t eat is shorter than the list of those they will. Unfortunately, during late summer much preferred browse matures and dries out. This is when these animals key in to agricultural crops and food plots when they are available. During July these animals transition to food plots when they are available to them. If you managed property for whitetail, unless you provide a food plot where high quality, protein-rich food sources are readily available, your bucks will not grow their biggest antlers and fawn health suffers. These animals require foods high in protein and minerals during the summer with a greater shift toward carbohydrates in fall and winter. You need to plant food plots that produce lots of protein and extract key minerals from the soil.

Fertilize with calcium, phosphorus and protein mixes as well liming your food plot. What to plant depends on where you hunt, but for most hunters it is clover. The best clovers are those that will grow on your property. If all varieties grow well on your land, then opt for clover with the highest crude protein levels. The protein level of white clover compares favorably with that of alfalfa. Chicory is a close second to clover as a source of high protein, high mineral food source. Again, it is important to have plantings that extract minerals from the soil efficiently. Alfalfa is great for larger food plots for summer nutrition, and it is the most economical option. The overall size of a food plot is an important consideration. An acre of clover covers the food needs of up to six deer. If your property holds 50 to 70 animals, at least 8 to 12 acres of summer food plots should be planted. Many property managers prefer to keep their food plots small and spread out around their property. If you determine that you need 5 acres, it is far better to plant five one-acre food plots than a pair of twoand-half acre plots. This also enables you to spread out hunting pressure more evenly. Great summer food plots produce high quality bucks and top notch hunting fun.

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Get Hooked On

Night Shift Bass Fishing Moonlighting for black bass is dog day fishing at its finest. By Don Kirk

Interstate sportsman

Everywhere largemouth and smallmouth and friendly during the day becomes forbass are angled for, the heat is on in July. I eign in darkness. live smack dab in the middle of Alabama Your boat must be ready for night running. (it’s a state…), where July days can reach Bow and stern lights are required and they 100 degrees and the humidity rarely drops must be lit when visibilunder 90 percent. I have ity is reduced. Striking So don’t stay home often fished much more unseen objects at night northerly waters in the all summer, the night is the most common dead of summer. Hot is nighttime accident. awaits and the just found in the bowels Boats failing to use their of Dixie. Baking in the fishing is great. running lights are often sun anywhere is baking hit by other boaters. in the sun. Navigation tools, which are helpful in the Bass can be caught during the hottest days, daylight, such as a GPS are highly recombut in most instances it is slow, sometimes mended, and a compass is essential.     tortuous fishing that makes me wonder Largemouth and smallmouth will hit with about the sanity of bass tournament fishsuch gusto at night that it’s nothing for ing pro anglers. If you are not afraid of them to nearly snatch your rod from your things that go splash in the night, then hands when you are using spinner baits or twilight bass fishing is the logical way of crank baits. At night most bass caught will beating the heat and upping your odds for immediately leap from the water and keep catching more and bigger bass. jumping until they are boated. Fishing at night is different. Sounds are magnified, and occasionally you hear July nighttime bass fishing locations and something in the night that will make the times of the month are keys to understandhair on the nape of your neck rise a little. ing when and where the best fishing is Shadows cast on the rocks take on new available. Bass fishing under the stars is shapes; at times your imagination sees generally best before, on, or after the full things that aren’t there. It is not for the faint moon. Fishing on the dark of the moon can of heart, as that body of water so familiar

be productive also, but the full moon lets you see where you are casting better and reduces the number of hang ups experienced in near total darkness.

same is true of using plastic worms, but in my opinion top water action, my personal favorite way of catching bass at dawn, is not as consistently productive.

Generally, the best places include shallow chunk rock points, sloping main channel points and primary feeder creek embankments. These are particularly good if water is being drawn from the downstream dam as it serves to concentrate bait fish in these current washed locations. The most product banks are those with the deep water that is just a short distance out. The resulting drop-off is almost always where lots of bass will locate.

When fishing shallow areas, toss lures right up to the very edge of the bank. As soon as you engage your reel, snap your rod tip up. Generally at night a lot of your bites will be reaction strikes. The rapid starts of the bait will either get it wacked instantly or the strike may come when you pause to get out the slack and start to again move your bait. Most experienced nighttime bass anglers recommend slow rolling spinner baits so they touch bottom. Pig and jig combos slowly crawled are deadly.   

Well lighted private boat docks are nighttime bass magnets. Minnows drawn to the light can be seen working in schools under the lights and bass are there to take advantage of this. Spinner baits skipped under docks work well in these situations, while in other locations crawdad-style crank baits or a jig with an Uncle Josh #11 black pork on it fished along the bottom are great. The

If you haven’t fished at night for bass, the first time you hook up with a big smallmouth or largemouth bass, you are really the one who is hooked. It’s you and a lake you will feel you have all to yourself. Night fishing should be tried at least once by everyone. So don’t stay home all summer, the night awaits and the fishing is great.

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Dog Town


If shooting varmints until you shoulder is battered is your idea of fun, then prairie dog hunting is for you. By Brock Ray

I’m a huge rifle enthusiast who loves to go prairie dog hunting this time of year. When you find the idea location where you can easily unload 500 rounds plus a day shooting prairie dog, well it is just more fun than most people should legally experience. Prairie dogs are members of the squirrel family that earned their name from pioneers arriving west who thought the alert chirps of these rodents sounded like dogs barking. My first prairie dog hunt occurred in Arizona a few years ago when Don Kirk and I visited the Ruger factory in Prescott. They took us out on some ranch lands that were silly with these big-eyed varmints. We shot until our trigger fingers were tired. We had great fun, the ranchers were pleased as punch, and I found a new thing I needed to do as often as opportunities presented themselves. Where I live in northern Alabama there is not one single prairie dog, so I have to confess a jealousy for those hunters living in close proximity of where these troublesome varmints can be wacked and stacked from sun rise until sun set. There are five different species of prairie dogs: the white-tailed, the Utah, the Gunnison, the Mexican and the black-tailed. All five of these species are now at a small fraction of their historical numbers. Prairie dogs live in the dry grassy areas of the western

plains. Some species of prairie dogs live at higher altitude on high, dry plains. The black-tailed prairie dog, the most common member of the species, reside low, dry grasslands from Canada through the western plains states. Prairie dogs live in complex networks of underground tunnels with multiple surface openings. Raised-burrow entrances indicate dog towns. The tunnels themselves contain separate “rooms” for sleeping, rearing young, storing food, and eliminating waste. Very social critters, they live in families. Known as “coteries,” these family units make up neighborhood clusters that often

Interstate sportsman

grow into towns. Burrow openings are a bane to livestock and pockmark ranches that have long traditionally been eager to reduce the number of these animals on their property. Thus was born the sport of dog zapping. Prairie dog hunting is more like going to a dove shoot than anything else I can compare it to. Shots range from 100 to 400 yards, meaning that most experienced dog shooters prefer fast, flat shooting, small caliber center fire rifles mounted with high resolution, high power scopes. Popular calibers include the 22.250 Savage, .222 Rem, 6mm Rem. and .257 Roberts. Recommended bullets are usually the lightest offered for these calibers, as speed is a highly desired performance characteristic. Rifles should be sighted in to shoot 1-inch 3-5 shot groups at 100 yards. Prairie dogs’ vital

areas are approximately this size. Locate a prairie dog town by contracting local hunting outfitters. The best shooting is on private land, and most of it is tied up these by outfitters due to the growing popularity of the sport. I like to arrive early in the morning so I can set up my shooting bench or ground cloth within 100 to 200 yards of the edge of the prairie dog town. Then the fun begins. When the sun rises, the dogs will begin to poke up out of their burrows and you can begin picking your targets. Aim through the scope and place the crosshairs squarely on the prairie dogs’ chests. This way if your shot is a bit low or high, you will still make a clean kill. When you are steady and have your target picked, squeeze the trigger slowly and watch for your hit.

Canine Care Summer flea problem know-how.

Provided by: Drs. Smith & Foster

Attempting to control fleas on dogs is a multi-step process. Adult fleas spend most of their time on a dog, but the flea eggs, larvae, and pupae are found in abundance in bedding, and grass. For every flea that you see on your dog, there are likely to be hundreds of eggs and larvae where your animal lives and in your home and yard. Therefore, a truly effective flea control program always includes treating your dog’s environment as well as your dog. Flea control in the outdoor environment and kennel generally involves eliminating the habitat in the yard and kennel areas where fleas are most likely to occur. Fleas tend to like it where it is moist, warm, shady, and where there is organic debris. They will also tend to be where dog spends more time. Be sure to concentrate on areas such as patios, under porches and dog houses. Rake away any organic debris such as leaves, straw, grass clippings, etc., to disturb flea habitat. It is perfectly normal to see live fleas on a dog immediately after spraying or dipping. It takes time for the flea control products to work. Until all of the fleas where your dog lives have died, you will still see some

fleas. This is especially true if you had a big flea problem to start with. Persistence is the key here. It is essential to keep following an effective flea control program for a long enough time to get rid of all of the fleas, in all life stages. This may take several weeks to 6 months or more, depending on your particular situation. There are a number of flea control products, including once-a-month topical products, sprays, dips, shampoos, collars, powders, oral, and injection medications. Once-a-month topical insecticides that are applied to a small area on your dog’s back are easy use and are long lasting. Some kill fleas and ticks, and others just kill fleas, so check the label carefully. Ingredients generally include permethrin, fipronil, imidacloprid, spinosad, metaflumizone, and selamectin. Examples include Bio Spot-Spot On for Dogs, Advantage, K9 Advantix, Frontline Top Spot, Comfortis, Promeris, Vectra 3D, and Revolution Flea control sprays can come as aerosols or pump bottles. It is unnecessary to soak the pet with the spray, but be sure to spray all parts of the animal. Spray a small amount

Interstate sportsman

on a cotton ball to apply the product around the eyes and ears. Do not get any of these products in the eyes. Flea shampoos primarily rid dogs of fleas, although some have residual activity. Flea shampoos must cover the entire body and be there at least 10 minutes before rinsing. Protect the eyes and ears of your dog as shampoos often contain pyrethrins. Flea collars can be effective, but must be applied properly. To get the right degree of snugness, you should just be able to get two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. Be sure to cut off any excess portion of the collar after you have properly applied it. Otherwise, your dog may try to chew on the end. Check the package for information on duration of effectiveness since some collars lose effectiveness when they get wet, e.g., if your dog swims a lot. Watch carefully for any irritation under the collar. If this occurs, you may need to use a different product. Oral and injectable programs contain an insect development inhibitor. It is available as a tablet for dogs. Tablets are given once a month. Injections are given every 6 months. These do not kill adult fleas. Something else must be to kill the adults.

Capstar, another oral product, will kill adult fleas, but only for a period of 24 hours or less. It is useful in situations such as surgery. Because Capstar is out of a dog’s system in 24 hours, it should be followed with a longer-lasting product that will work on both adult and immature fleas. Flea combs are often overlooked as a valuable tool in removing fleas. Dogs love the extra, hands-on attention of combing their coats. Choose a comb that has 32 teeth per inch. The disadvantage to flea combing is that it takes a considerable amount of time and will not be effective in pets that have flea bite hypersensitivity. The best flea control is always flea prevention. Adulticides (products that kill adult fleas) are a cornerstone of prevention. Pyrethrins and permethrins have flea repellent activity. Using products containing these insecticides will help keep fleas away and prevent a flea problem from developing. Regular use of insect growth regulators/development inhibitors may reduce the risk of fleas becoming established where you dog lives. For more info visit

Interstate sportsman



The Secrets To

Great Guided Big Game Hunting by Bob Foulkrod Sooner or later, every hunter takes a serious look at going on a professionally guided big game hunt. Even the most stubbornly independent archers must enlist the services of a professional

Interstate sportsman



outfitter/guide if they want to hunt anything in Canada, Mexico, or Africa. If you want to hunt for dangerous game such as grizzly bear in Alaska, or bighorn sheep or Rocky Mountain goat, you must first make arrangements to do this at least once accompanied by a professional outfitter/guide. Before delving into the how’s and why’s of arranging a great guided big game hunt, let’s get all of the terminology in order. Many times outfitter and guide are used interchangeably, but they are two very different, but closely related items. Typically, an outfitter is the business end of a guided hunting operation. He’s the fellow who books hunters, makes deals for leases and hunting concessions on public land, secures the necessary permits, and owns the equipment and horses. An outfitter may or may not be in your hunting camp, and he may or may not guide hunters. In Africa, outfitters are called professional hunters, or PH’s. In the southern states, outfitters are often known as lodge owners. The guide is usually an employee or partner of the outfitter. He’s your “guide” on the hunts, the fellow who helps get the horses ready, perhaps cooks, makes

camp, helps you find your animals, and usually helps take care of your trophy. Contrary to what many hunters think, a guide is not a bond servant placed in a hunting camp solely to cater to their needs. The best way to get the most out of a hunting guide is to share camp work with him just like you would with any hunting partner you might be on a hunting trip with. Some outfitters are small, one- to fiveman operations, who specialize in hunting for one to three species of big game. On the other end of the spectrum are a handful of rather large outfitting businesses, such as those specializing in caribou hunting in northern Quebec. They may have several camps, and during hunting season employ 50 or more people to ensure that their operations run smoothly.

Interstate sportsman



Many times outfitters do their own booking and marketing, but many of the better-known big game outfitters rely on booking agents to take care of this. Typically, a large booking agent, such as Bass Pro Shops, handles big game hunt bookings for scores of individual outfitting businesses. The plus side of using a booking agent is the various outfitters’ operations have usually been thoroughly checked out, and meet a standard the booking agent takes pride in telling prospective hunters about. Getting burned is the worse thing hunters fear when dealing with booking agents and outfitters. Like any business, the big game hunt business has its share of exceptionally good outfitters, mediocre outfitters, and not-so-great outfitters. Luckily, the good outfitters vastly outnumber the others. The reasons are simple. Outfitting and guiding hunters is not a business that

will make anyone rich. It is a labor of love for most of the people in the outfitting business. Sure there’s a sprinkling of crooks and lazy outfitters, but these are the exception. This is not to say you should not do your homework and check out any prospective outfitter you might be interested in booking a hunt with. Initial contact usually results in you receiving a brochure outlining who the outfitter is, where he hunts, some of his past successes, as well as the dates and costs of the hunts he offers. Avoid any outfitter who does not willingly furnish you a reference list consisting of some of his past clients, plus his state guide/outfitting license number (and if applicable state or province outfitter association number). Naturally, you will check at least a few of the names appearing on the list of past successes as references. However, bear in mind that even the most reputable

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Interstate sportsman



outfitter will list his most successful, and therefore happiest, customers. One thing I always do when checking out an outfitter is ask if the fellow on the reference list has names and telephone numbers of the other hunters who were in camp when he was there. Sometimes the not-so-lucky hunters can provide you with a more balanced appraisal of the service provided by the outfitter, the quality of the big game found in his hunting territory, food, condition of the equipment, and other questions you need to know. Also, make a call to the state or provincial wildlife agency and corresponding outfitters association. The last thing you need is to find yourself in a hunting camp which is under surveillance. Sure, it’s a long shot, but when you are spending $2,000 or more, plus investing a week or two of your time, it’s worth the time and effort to get a clean bill of health for your outfitter. Outfitters have a set rate for various types of hunts ranging from “fly-bythe-seat-of-your-pants” spike camps, where you are dropped off and are responsible for everything from your own food to game care, to plush

on-one guided hunts where fine wine is served with every evening meal. It is considered bad form to dicker on the price, although you are entitled to know as much as possible about what services are and are not covered in the price you pay. Key questions to ask include; who is responsible for all on-the-ground transportation and lodging incidental to the hunt, care of trophies and meat, and other possibly hidden charges. Experienced outfitters usually have all this information in their brochures, but never be embarrassed to ask questions about anything not clear to you. Under the best circumstance a hunt with an outfitter is a pleasurable experience where you have a great time, everything runs smoothly, and you bag the trophy you’ve dreamed about for years. However, guided hunts are never sure things, even when you are the best and have the best outfitter and guide. Reputable outfitters never guarantee a kill, but only guarantee to provide you with the best possible service and opportunities within their power. Keep this in mind, and remember, hunting is just that, hunting, and you will have a great time on your guided hunts.

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Interstate Sportsman | July/August 2017  

Interstate Sportsman | July/August 2017