After enduring months of hunting pressure on sprawling lakes, bays and sounds, there’s nothing a late-season duck wants more than a quiet, secluded spot to hide out. Small, neglected potholes and ponds are magnets for January ducks and hotspots for the hunter who takes the time to locate these gems. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates there’s a pond within ten miles of 80 percent of the U.S. population. You can locate these mini-duck habitats in several ways. Simply driving backcountry roads and stopping to talk with farmers or mail carriers can yield great results. Topographic maps and Google…
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Have early season walleye in your cross-hairs? Legendary guide and Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame inductee, Tom Neustrom, offers these tips on how to put more walleye on the ice:   This trophy walleye couldn’t resist the allure of a Rapala Jigging Rap.   Do Your Homework Neustrom advocates getting info on the lake you’re going to fish and having a game plan before your boots ever touch the ice. •    Scout deep healthy weeds in fall and save these spots to a winter sonar/GPS combo, such as the Humminbird 688•    Talk to local tackle shop owners, camp operators, and…
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Coyotes can be hunted year round in most states, and if you have problem coyotes keeping your local deer herds (or the family pets) on high alert, then maybe it’s time to turn the tables. There are many good reasons to hunt coyote during early fall as the first frosts begin to sweep the land. The following tips will help make your trips afield more effective. To fool sharp-eyed coyotes, make sure you’re in head-to-toe camouflage, including your hands and face. 1) Bigger coyote packs are easier to spot: During fall months, coyote groups are still close knit and the…
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Of all the different freshwater game fish available to anglers, one of the favorite target species for fly anglers would have to be the steelhead trout. The steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is a very important member of the migratory species found from the East to West Coast and the Great Lakes. Steelhead are a special class of fish that are not only found in freshwater, but also have ocean relatives that are known to run thousands of miles before coming back to there respective spawning grounds. Steelheads found in the rivers and lakes greatly resemble rainbow trout. Steelhead trout resemble…
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Though some northern lakes are still frozen from the frigid winter, anglers can still make the most of the situation. Across the country, it was a long, colder-than-average winter. With the polar vortex, many parts of the country saw low temperatures they had never seen before—bodies of water that people didn’t know could freeze did. USA Today reported that the ice on Lake Superior may last all the way until July. Here are a few things to expect from the still-frozen lakes. Winterkill – When Fish Suffocate When the water doesn’t thaw like usual, the ice can actually block oxygen…
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When you’re hiking through the cold and snow of winter, it’s easy to remain in your summer-hiking mindset. Sure, you’ll stop for a drink of water and maybe consume a PowerBar every now and again along the way.  But remaining in the good-weather mindset is one of the most dangerous things you can do on a winter hike. Due to the cold temperatures and extra energy it often takes to trudge through inches—or feet, in some cases—of snow, you burn calories much faster, and in much greater quantities.  How much more? Depending on the amount of snow and the temperature,…
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Hypothermia – which often sets in when the body must endure wet, windy conditions in cold weather –  occurs when one’s core body temperature is at 96 degrees F or below. The effects of hypothermia range from moderate to serious, including slowed bodily functions and death. For people regularly engaged in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing or hiking during cold weather, awareness of hypothermia prevention, symptoms and treatment is of the highest importance. For an overview of these points, read on: Prevention Keep your body properly fueled. Drink ample water and consume nutrient- and energy-dense foods such as beef…
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Jerkbait Time for Ozark Smallmouth

Thursday, February 27 2014 3:00 pm - for Bass
The rigors of winter took their toll in the Missouri Ozarks. Frozen lakes and streams kept fishermen at bay for weeks. There are not a lot of ice fishermen in the Ozarks. Change is in the wind, however. Warming winds have stirred the waters. The tides are turning in the fisherman's favor. Anglers can now hit the Ozarks streams with confidence that smallmouth bass will bite. Corey Cottrell, of Huzzah Valley Resort, near Steelville, Missouri, is a highly respected smallmouth fisherman. Cottrell grew up along the banks of the Huzzah Creek and the Meramec River valley. He spends many days…
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Want to beat the winter doldrums? Head out to your deer hunting property and take a look around. Winter is the best time to learn what your deer were feeding on and doing during the late season when you were hunting them. It is also a great time to assess the quality of natural habitat and natural food sources. The best time to identify "browse" of a whitetail is to get out on a winter's day and look for evidence, such as a remaining plants or shrubs. It's been said that deer are slaves to their stomachs. That's why you…
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Hiking in the winter can be an experience without compare. The air is crisp, the atmosphere is serene and the vistas are stunning. There’s little else in the world more peaceful or beautiful than a winter hiking experience. But just as there are risks that come along with hiking in the summer (dehydration, injuries, etc.), there are also risks that must be taken into account and prepared for when hiking in the winter. While one can get lost hiking any time of the year, such an occurrence in the winter can be especially dangerous due to such risks as hypothermia…
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