In 1979 I rattled in my first Columbia black-tailed deer, and have been hooked ever since. As with calling all big game, there is never a guarantee a blacktail deer will come to the calls or rattles. My success has come down to persistence and timing; being in the right place at the right time. Due to constantly changing hormone levels in blacktails in October and November, catching a buck in the right mood to want to respond to your calls, is as important as the calling, itself. From mid-October until about the 22nd or so, I like using a subtle rattling sequence, with very little or no grunting. This is because most bucks are in pre-rut mode at this time, meaning they are traveling, checking out does and sizing-up bucks the'll soon be fighting for breeding rights. Starting around May 22, I like getting more aggressive with the rattling sequences. By October 31, I'm getting very aggressive, as I feel this is the best time to bring in a mature blacktail buck. I'll use this aggressive approach until about Nov. 20. After that, I go back to less aggressive rattling, but include more grunts and doe bleats, since this is [...]
My family began hunting Summer Lake in the 1940s. Both of my grandfathers hunted it, and in 1952 my dad hunted it for the first time, at the age of 12. I first hunted Summer Lake in 1976, at the age of 12, and my oldest son first hunted it in 2012, at age 12. As with many families who hunt, Summer Lake is a tradition that gets in your blood. This past weekend we broadcasted a couple live Facebook sessions with the Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, on their Facebook page. The day before the season opener, we were joined by longtime biologist, Marty St. Louis, and he shared the trends of what’s happening at Summer Lake, with both ducks and geese. I learned a lot from Marty, including why snow geese continue bypassing Summer Lake and other traditional stops, despite their numbers being very high. We also broadcasted a live hunt. It was the first time Dad and I had ever hunted opening morning and not gotten our limits, but we didn’t care, as we had a great time. For us, it was about the experience. Maybe that’s because we’ve hunted so much over the years, maybe it’s [...]
Admittedly, I don’t read many books these days; I simply don’t have the time as I’m too busy writing, myself. So, when I sat down to thumb through Gary Kramer’s latest book, Game Birds: A Celebration of North American Upland Birds, I was shocked when I looked up at the clock, 2 1/2 hours later, and it read 1:30 a.m. Having served on the editorial staff of various magazines over the past 20 years, I’ve been fortunate to work with some of North America’s top writers and photographers. Kramer has always been atop my list of the best of the best photographers/writers. He’s always wonderful to work with, and his photos and written work, as good as it gets. Kramer’s Game Birds book is the ultimate in eye-candy for avid birders and hunters, alike. The range of species captured is most impressive, from kalij pheasant to Himalayan snowcock, from all the native species to those that have been introduced, from birds found in Alaska’s Arctic to Mexico, and across the pond to Hawaii. Not only are the photos jaw-dropping, but the information on each species is concise, detailed and highly educational. I always learn something when reading Kramer’s work, and this [...]
I just came off a great Aleutian goose hunt near Eureka, California. You goose hunters who are looking for an awesome, end of season hunt, this is it. The season runs through March 10 I believe. It’s a special, late season, damage control hunt that takes place on100% private property (by law). Tens of thousands of Aleutian geese stage on private grounds and graze on valued pasture land, prior to their upcoming journey to Alaska. The geese pull the grass up by the roots, causing large-scale damage. Landowners and cattle ranchers want them gone, and with a 10 goose per day limit, a day or two of great hunting can be experienced. Aleutian Canadian geese are one of waterfowling’s greatest conservation success stories. Once on the brink of extinction, they can now be hunted during multiple seasons in this part of California, which is the most efficient way to keep their numbers in-check and move them off large tracts of land. I hunted with guides Brad Smith and John Corbett of Pacific Outfitters, longtime goose hunting gurus in the region. They have several dozen decoys and access to some the best farms. They monitor bird movement, daily, and work hard. Hunting [...]
Cal Expo State Fairgrounds Sacramento, CA January 19-22 Scott's Seminars: "Becoming A Better Big Game Hunter" •Thurs., Jan. 19, 5:30-6:30 •Sun., Jan. 22, 1:30-2:30 Each day of the show, meet Scott in the Outdoor Product Showcase booth, where he'll be talking gear and hunting all day long! Washington State Fair Events Center Puyallup, WA January 25-29 Wednesday, Jan. 25 1:30-Scott: Gearing Up For Trout 5:00-Scott: Becoming A Better Big Game Hunter Thursday, Jan. 26 2:00-Scott: Butchering Big Game 4:00-Scott: Using Decoys For Big Game Friday, Jan. 27 12:30-Scott: Gearing Up For Trout 5:00-Scott:Becoming A Better Big Game Hunter Saturday, Jan. 28 12:00-Scott: Butchering Big Game 2:00-Scott: Using Decoys For Big Game 6:30-Scott: Gearing Up For Trout Sunday, Jan. 29 10:30-Scott: Gearing Up For Trout 2:30-Scott: Becoming A Better Big Game Hunter Portland Expo Center Portland, OR February 8-12 Wednesday, Feb. 8 2:00-Scott: Using Decoys For Big Game Thursday, Feb. 9 3:00-Scott: Butchering Big Game 6:00-Scott: Becoming A Better Big Game Hunter Friday, Feb. 10 1:00-Scott: Hunting Trophy Blacktails Saturday, Feb. 11 1:00-Scott: Using Decoys For Big Game 4:00-Scott & Tiffany: Butchering Big Game Sunday, Feb. 12 Noon-Scott: Becoming A Better Big Game Hunter Linn County [...]
Here's where Tiffany and I will be in 2017. Hope to see you there!