Archive for the ‘hunting’ Category

Statewide the harvest is only down 8% or so,but that is misleading,as some counties with low deer populations are showing almost a 50% increase-while some counties with high deer populations are showing a 20% or greater decrease.

The total harvest isn’t that far off,but some of the counties that have been consistently in the top 10 for total deer harvest are the ones showing the biggest drops in harvest numbers.

Such as-

Wood county shows a 47.7% increase in deer harvest-the total number of deer harvested in 2013-14 was 717.

Total for 2014-14 is 1,059 That 47.7% increase is a difference of 342 deer.

Guernsey county shows a 21.94% decrease. 2013-14 total was 5,259.

Total for 2014-15 is 4,105 that 21.94% decrease is a difference of  1,154 deer.

See the problem?  The DNR is counting 342 deer as a 47.7% increase while counting a decrease of 1,154 deer as only a 21.94% decrease.

Looking at the comparison data-almost all the counties that show increases are the counties with very low harvests,which represent very few deer,while to counties showing decreases are almost all counties that traditionally have had high harvests.

Presenting the data this way is the ODNR manipulating the numbers to hide the overall decline in the deer herd’s numbers.

Click to access 012815deerharvest.pdf

Michigan Coyotes Take Down Horse

Posted: January 29, 2015 by gamegetterII in hunting
Tags: , , ,

And people think I’m making the shit up about coyotes killing adult deer,and being the reason for decline in deer herd numbers in multiple states…

The Lapeer County, Michigan Sheriff’s Mounted Unit announced on Sunday that one of their horses died as a result of a predatory coyote attack over the weekend. The horse’s owner, Lapeer County Sheriff Deputy Kallie Meyers, had been keeping the animal in a paddock near a barn on her property. On Sunday afternoon, a pack of five to six coyotes charged onto Meyers’ property and managed to bring the mare down before the owners were able to intervene by releasing their dogs on the predators.

Meyers’ dogs were eventually able to chase the pack off the property, but the horse’s injuries from the attack were too severe and it had to be put down.

“They came in the yard to get our horse,” Bruce Meyers wrote on Facebook. “Within 70 feet of the house. Our dogs went to help, managed to chase them off but one dog is chewed up, others have only a few scratches and minor punctures.”

It was not the first time that the predators have encroached upon the Meyers’ farm in Oxford Township. Kallie Meyers explained that coyotes have killed several farm animals on her property in the past.

Reports of coyotes attacking large animals in broad daylight are troubling to biologists. Coyotes are known for being shy around humans, and usually limit their hunts to smaller animals at night. In Michigan, it is legal to shoot or trap coyotes year-round on private property and there is no bag limit during regular seasons. Wildlife experts noted that humans and larger animals usually have very little to fear from coyotes.

Read the rest @

“Reports of coyotes attacking large animals in broad daylight are troubling to biologists.”

Really? The same biologists who have done studies that confirm eastern coyotes have a considerable amount of wolf DNA are now finding it “troubling” that packs of ‘yotes are killing large animals? I wonder how “troubling” they are going to find it when the population of our deer herds crash? Or when the first young child is attacked by a pack of ‘yotes?
I’ve made multiple posts asking deer hunters
to start shooting yotes,and letting them know that they will see fewer and fewer deer until the ‘yote population is seriously reduced. The only good thing I’ve noticed since the ‘yote population exploded in NE Ohio is that the feral cat population had been reducedwhich is a plus-as NE Ohio deer have been found to be carrying the organism that causes toxoplasmosis-which can ONLY be spread by cat feces,less cat shit in the woods is always a plus,along with less of a chance of getting toxoplasmosis.
Since the wildlife biologists and the DNR/state fish and game agencies
in Michigan,Ohio,Illinois,Indiana,Pa,and W.Va. don’t seem to believe that the ‘yotes are the reason for the decline in deer numbers,and do not seem to believe that ‘yotes are killing up to 7 out of every 10 fawns in many areas-it’s up to deer hunters to get the ‘yote population under control.

Most states have either no limit or very liberal limits on the number of ‘yotes you can shoot.

Fur prices are up this year,so you can more than cover your expenses-including ammo,food and gas.

The fewer ‘yotes there are in May-the more fawns that survive-now’s the time to start reducing the ‘yote population-the state fish and game agencies ain’t gonna help do it-so anyone who wants to see the deer numbers stop the decline-get out there and start takin out ‘yotes-as many as possible.

The Reason Eastern U.S. Coyotes Kill So Many Deer

Posted: January 27, 2015 by gamegetterII in hunting
Tags: ,

Coyote-wolf hybrids, or coywolves, are moving a little closer to Chicago each year and may be present in the Chicago area in as little as three years.

Coywolves are offspring of coyotes interbreeding with eastern wolves. The coywolf is an increasingly dominant species with already a significant presence in the northeastern United Sates and Canada – including urban areas like Toronto, Boston and New York.

Coyote, File Photo By Shawn McCready, Via Creative Commons. Coyote, File Photo By Shawn McCready, Via Creative Commons.

The coywolf population has been expanding a little westward each year in both Canada and the United States and already have a documented presence in western Ohio with sightings having also been reported in Indiana.

Coywolves quickly become alpha predators in the geography they occupy, combining the resilience and adaptability of coyotes and the social hierarchy, cooperation, larger size and pack hunting traits of eastern wolves.  Like coyotes, coywolves prosper in suburban and urban settings because of abundant food sources which include rats, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, geese and garbage. Unlike coyotes, which typically only feed on deer carrion, coywolves are able to hunt and bring down deer because of their pack hunting capabilities.  The significant deer population throughout the United States is thought to be part of what is fueling the coywolves expansion westward. Coywolf expansion.

Coywolves were first documented in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario in 1919. As wolves were exterminated throughout the United States and large parts of Canada, Algonquin Park was one of the last refuges of eastern wolves. Eastern wolves began to adapt to low populations by interbreeding with coyotes. Over subsequent decades, coywolve distribution gradually expanded in Canada and into the northeastern United States.

Continuing Expansion Of Coywolf Habitat, Source  -

Like coyotes, coywolves tend to be quite wary of humans and generally are not expected to pose any additional threat to people in the Chicago area. Coywolves may already be present in Illinois, and if not already present in the Chicago area, are expected to establish a population in the area in the next several years. Once a coywolf breeding population is established, natural resources would expect coywolves to become more and more dominant over time.

Start hunting and/or trapping these ‘yotes now,or there will be no deer left in a few short years.

The ‘yotes around here already hunt in packs-the number of deer they kill is only going to go up unless a serious effort is made to control the population.

I’m sure the Center for Biological Diversity is already trying to get them on the endangered species list to protect them as a subspecies of the gray wolf.

If you like deer hunting,and venison,get out there and put a huge dent in the numbers of ‘yotes-or there ain’t gonna be any deer left to hunt in a few years.

4 charged after Minnesota DNR poaching probe yields dozens of guns, 28 deer antler sets.

After years of investigation by conservation officials, four men have been charged for their roles in widespread illegal killing of trophy deer and other big game in western Minnesota.

The five-year probe by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) led to the seizure of dozens of guns, some of them high-powered rifles, and more than two dozen sets of deer and elk antlers, the agency announced Tuesday.

The DNR’s Capt. Cory Palmer said he’s never seen such an extreme case of poaching in his 17 years with the agency.

“This is taking away from hunters and people who just want to watch deer,” said Palmer, himself a deer hunter.”

Charged last week with the bulk of the counts in Lac qui Parle County District Court was Joshua Liebl, 37, of Dawson, Minn. Under a multistate enforcement compact, Liebl lost his hunting privileges in Minnesota in 2013 because of a shining conviction in South Dakota.

Liebl faces gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor charges that include transporting illegally taken big game, using artificial light while hunting, hunting at a prohibited time, trespassing and failure to register deer.

Palmer said there are no felony charges for what Liebl is accused of doing. If convicted, Palmer added, Liebl faces several years of losing his license along with fines and restitution.

On Oct. 21, officials seized at Liebl’s home 37 guns, 28 sets of deer antlers (most of trophy quality), four sets of elk antlers, a set of mule deer antlers and a fully intact piebald deer in the freezer. Piebald deer are known for their large white and darker-colored patches.

DNR Lt. Gary Nordseth said that Liebl has registered no more than four deer since 2004.

Authorities said they also pulled over Liebl near his home in a pickup truck as the confiscations were underway. In back of the truck was a freshly killed eight-point whitetail buck, which investigators determined was killed with a high-powered rifle.

Also seized from the truck were a scoped rifle, a shotgun, rounds of ammunition and a spotlight. The truck is now destined for the auction block, with proceeds going to the DNR’s Game and Fish Fund.

Dustin Shourds, the regional director for the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association in Montevideo, said “everybody heard rumors about” Liebl “at the barbershop and that kind of thing. When it all came down, it was quite a shock.”

Also charged with gross misdemeanors or misdemeanors in connection with the case were:

Kevin J. Martinson, 58, of Plymouth, accused of illegally lending or borrowing a deer license.

Nathan J. Viessman, 32, of Watson, Minn., accused of illegal party hunting, lending or borrowing a deer license, exceeding the limit of deer taken and failure to register deer.

Daniel J. Lien, 33, of Dawson, a passenger in Liebl’s truck when it was stopped, accused of aiding and abetting unlawful transportation of big game.

Assholes and douchenozzles like this guy are the reason we should all support this…

Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact

The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact is an agreement that recognizes suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses in member states. This means that illegal activities in one state can affect a person’s hunting or fishing privileges in all participating states. Any person whose license privileges or rights are suspended in a member state may also be suspended in Ohio. If a person’s hunting, fishing, or trapping rights are suspended in Ohio, they may be suspended in member states as well. This cooperative interstate effort will enhance the Division of Wildlife’s ability to protect and manage our wildlife resources.

The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact also establishes a process whereby wildlife law violations by a non-resident from a member state are handled as if the person were a resident, meaning they can be served a ticket rather than being arrested, booked, and bonded. This process is a convenience for hunters, fishermen, and trappers of member states, and increases efficiency of Wildlife Officers by allowing more time for enforcement duties rather than violator processing procedures.

If a person plans to hunt, fish, or trap in another state, and they have a license suspension in Ohio, it is their responsibility to contact the other state to see if they can legally hunt, fish, or trap there.

map of iwvc participating states

Another Good Reason to Hunt Coyotes

Posted: January 26, 2015 by gamegetterII in hunting, trapping
Tags: , , , ,

2015 Fur Price Outlook Not Bad After First Big Auction Results of the Year

2015 Fur Price Outlook Not Bad After First Big Auction Results of the Year

It was doom and gloom for trappers this time last year after the bottom fell out of the market.  Prices were rumored to be going back to basement levels of 20 years ago following the resurgence of the past couple of years.  Well, after the January 7th FHA auction, the prices were not that bad.

A lot of raccoon still went unsold, but the Eastern average was still over 10 dollars.  Muskrat averages stayed with coon prices with around a 10 dollar average as well. Red Fox did very well, with prices looking more like last years highs.

2015 Fur Price Outlook Not Bad After First Big Auction Results of the Year

The big story now is the resurgence of the coyote.  Even Eastern coyotes that were not much better than possum prices the past few years, are looking good.  Western coyotes are always in demand, but keep a close eye on their “uglier” Eastern cousins over the next few FHA ( Fur Harvesters of American ) and NAFA ( North American Fur Auctions ) auctions.

2015 Fur Price Outlook Not Bad After First Big Auction Results of the Year

So, the doom and gloom of the Chinese pullout of the fur market was much to do about nothing.  This was an off year for prices, but if things keep the way they are going and we get these unsold raccoons taken care of, then the market outlook for next year may not be half bad.

Here are the FHA Auction Results from January 7th

FHA 2015 Fur Auction Results NAFA

Preliminary harvest figures for the 2014-15 deer-hunting seasons in Illinois are down,  even from the collapse in harvest numbers in the 2013-14 seasons.

Here is the word from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Illinois Deer Hunters Harvest Preliminary Total of 145,804 Deer during 2014-2015 Seasons

Deer Hunting Seasons Closed January 18

SPRINGFIELD, IL. – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 145,804 deer during all 2014-15 seasons, which concluded Jan. 18. The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons of 145,804 compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 148,614 in 2013-14. During this year’s deer seasons, hunters took 47 percent does and 53 percent males.

Get out there and start shootin ‘yotes,or there’s gonna be even less deer next year !



Snow Dogs: Hunting The Coyote Rut

Posted: January 21, 2015 by gamegetterII in hunting
Tags: , , , ,

Yes, it’s cold, bitterly so. But once a rutting coyote—or three—answers your call and runs into your spread, you won’t need those extra hand warmers in your pocket.

There’s been a killing. Like detectives investigating a crime scene, my hunting buddy Dominic Valpiani and I pan our flashlights as we try to piece the clues together: a flurry of wayward tracks in the immediate area; tangled in some nearby sagebrush, a small tuft of fur; a patch of snow splattered with blood. Something, likely a jackrabbit, was blindsided midmeal.

Valpiani laughs a little. “Suppose that rabbit should’ve done more zigging instead of zagging,” he says. Then he marks the spot on his GPS. This could be a good spot to set up on tomorrow’s hunt.

This is the third significant coyote sign we’ve encountered tonight in as many miles, and given the differences between tracks, multiple dogs are working this basin. We get back in the truck and continue scouting, hoping we’ll find even more.
Once we have a hunting strategy in place, Valpiani and I return to base camp—which we’d set up a few hours earlier in one of Idaho’s many sagebrush deserts—around midnight. We’d had grand plans for a winter campfire, but it’s easier to ignite the camper’s propane furnace and listen to the drone of the weather radio. Surprise: More cold is on the way.

The Coyote Rut

Dog Walk: A hunter heads back with a nice Montana coyote in tow. Photo by Brian Grossenbacher

Valpiani and I don’t have access to private land, and by this time of year public-land coyotes have caught on to hunters’ tactics. But February is their mating season—a time when even the smartest coyotes lose their senses.

Before our hunt, we used GPS and detailed maps to peruse public areas neighboring private land where coyotes often find shelter, security, and easy access to food. We avoid low basins where snowdrifts amass, and instead look for south-facing slopes with partially melted snow patches and coyote tracks either coming or going. We’re respectful of boundaries, but we also know that dogs harbored on the other side of a fence will surely hear our calls.

We set up as if we’re calling elk, with a caller 40 to 50 yards uphill and behind a shooter. The key is to keep the initial howls and barks short and abrupt so as not to sound like a dominant dog, which can scare some predators away.
Valpiani and I often follow up with the squealing sounds of a distressed critter. Male coyotes are almost as interested in food as they are in mating. If the sound of an inviting mate doesn’t bring them running, the sound of a companion with a bite to eat will. Coyotes are scavengers and territorial by nature, and by combining our calling, we’re doubling down on two instinctual coyote drivers at this time of year.

The predawn air is stinging cold when we reach our first spot. The vapor of each breath mists over my mustache and beard and freezes, anchoring every whisker like cement. I can barely talk. Even smiling hurts. Just as the first hints of daylight wash over the desert, I see a private fenceline 100 yards to our left and know we’re right where we want to be. The hunt begins when Valpiani breaks the silence with a series of short, subtle howls and barks.

Read the rest @

Get out there and start shootin ‘yotes-unless you want to see fewer and fewer deer where you deer hunt.

In some areas,fawn predation is as high as 70%-that’s 7 out of every ten fawns born-70 out of every hundred-700 out of every thousand.

Get the picture? More ‘yotes = fewer deer, fewer ‘yotes = more deer.

Hunting ‘yotes ain’t easy,you have to make some effort-a lot of effort,it not only improves your shooting skills,it improves your blind set ups,your scent control,your camo,your calling,your blind placement and set up, your ability to hold perfectly still,and your ability to remain silent.

All of those things will make you a better deer hunter. besides that-it’s almost the end of Jan,what else are you gonna do between now and late winter/early spring steelhead and late spring crappie fishing and turkey season?

Beats sitting in the house getting fat from sodas,snack food and beers-plus it’s good exercise for you.

Aside from the shower curtain snow camo mentioned at the end of the article,you can use white sheets with a little black and grey spray paint and some driveway markers like the kind used by snowplow contractors to make a blind-so there ain’t no big investment in gear.

So,now that you have no excuses-start whackin ‘yotes-the furs will cover your ammo and gear costs,along with your gas money.

Processing Your Own Deer

Posted: December 26, 2014 by gamegetterII in hunting
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The first thing you absolutely must do to insure great tasting venison is to quickly field dress your deer,being careful not to puncture the stomach or intestines,and prop the chest cavity open to help speed cooling. Do this even in cold weather,as the faster you cool the meat,the better the end product will be. Also be sure to remove the deers anal canal-they make a tool called Butt-Out that greatly simplifies the task-or just cut it out with your knife.

Carry a few gallon sized ziploc bags with you if you like the liver or heart,and place those in the bags,along with the two tenderloins that run along the deers backbone on the inside of the body cavity you made when you gutted the critter.

The second thing is you must either allow the deer to hang in a cold place-below 38 degrees,or skin and quarter the deer,and age it in a couple of coolers by placing the deer quarter in a plastic trash bag,filling the cooler part way with ice,then placing the bag of meat on the ice. You can also use game bags to age your venison, but most of us hunt deer close enough to home and/or a hunting camp that there is no need for game bags unless you live in the south,where flies and other insects are an issue. The only time I use game bags is when hunting the mountain west,where it can be several days before I get back to “civilization” and the meat must be hung in a tree to keep it away from bears,coyotes etc.

Having hunted and processed my own game for over 40 years,I have found that as long as the weather cooperates,I let my deer hang for 7 days,then skin and process it.

When I have to use the coolers and ice method-I give it 10 days before processing.

The third thing,and I’m only putting it as third,because it’s the third step-is at least as important as allowing the meat to cool quickly.

The third thing is you must remove every bit of fat from the venison,venison fat is one of,if not the nastiest tasting things I have ever tasted-and I have tasted some things that are pretty gross to most people-Haggis comes to mind,tripe,”mountain oysters”,raw clam cocktail that I demanded to order in a restaurant as a kid-and was told in no uncertain terms by my dad that if he was paying for it I was damn sure gonna eat it-almost puked on the table it was so nasty!

I’m not going to get into the hang your deer head up or head down argument-I hang mine head up,because I find it easier to butcher the deer that way, as I start with the neck and shoulders,which take more time to bone out than the hind quarters.

Skin the deer carefully,being careful not to cut through it except to split it at the neck and legs,and remove the meat from the tail. If you plan on tanning the hide-be extra careful to not leave any meat attached to it,as you will just have to remove it later.

If you shot a trophy that you plan on having mounted-leave about 6″ more hide on the head/neck, or neck shoulders if getting a shoulder mount than you think the taxidermist will need.

I start at the neck,removing the larger muscles ,saving them to grind. Next,I remove the “backstraps” which are really the loins that run along  and on either side of the spine-this is prime meat,use it for steaks. Start at the top of the backstrap just above the shoulder,run your knife along the backbone,going around each vertebrae,when you reach the end of the backstrap,take your knife,and run it along the bone from the other side of the loin-or you can cut so far on one side,then cut the same length on the other,and the loin will just peel away from the bone as you go, with minimal knife work. Either way works,just a matter of preference.

Next,I bone the shoulders out,separating the muscle groups,after that,the hind quarters,same thing,just remove the meat by muscle groups,there’s really nothing to it,it’s very easy to do.

Once I am at this point,I rinse all the meat to remove any stray hairs from it,then sit at a table to start cutting it into roasts,and chunks for stew and grinding.

You will notice as you begin to separate the muscles into roasts that there is a clear membrane-get all that off and toss it in the trash bucket you have next to the cutting table.

You will also notice a silvery colored “skin” covering parts of the muscles-this is called siverskin and is what makes the clumps of “gristle” you sometimes get in ground beef.Remove this with a boning knife or filet knife-carefully cut under it,then take your knife blade pointing away from the meat,and run it along the silverskin-repeat this until you have removed all of it.

As you trim your roasts,toss the larger chunks into a pile for stew meat,the smaller into another pile for ground meat. I sometimes grind one shoulder into ground meat,and will also grind the smaller roasts from the hindquarters as well-depends on how much ground meat you want to end up with.

One piece of advice-buy a good grinder-I have both a hand-crank that’s so old my great grandmother used it,and a 1 1/2 hp electric grinder I bought from Cabelas years ago.

The grinders will come with at least 2 plates that have holes in them-these determrine the size of the grind you get when you grind the meat.

Whichever type of grinder you use,always grind the meat,grind the fat,then mix the two together,then grind a second time. Ground venison is best when ground to a medium or coarse grind-we prefer coarse grind,so I use the same plate for all 3 steps. If you prefer a smaller grind,grind meaqt and fat with the larger plate,mix the two,then grind using a plate with smaller holes.

The roasts from the hindquarters are more tender,and look just like the same roasts cut from a beef cow. I’ll use the shoulder roasts for crockpot roasts,and the roasts from the hindquarters get treated the same as a high quality beef roast.

My wife likes to use the bags with the seasonings already in them,she puts potatoes,carrots a little celery and onion in the bag with the roast-cooks according to directions on package-and venison roasts made like that rock! Just had one for Christmas dinner.

I make jerky from a couple of the roasts,and all the trimmings from the hindquarters are used for stew meat if big enough pieces,or get tossed into the grind pile if small pieces.

To make the best tasting ground venison,you have to add some fat,what kind is up to you,some use pork fat,some use beef fat,some grind bacon into their ground venison.

I use beef fat,it’s readily available,even from today’s grocery stores that don’t really butcher meat,they just cut up boxed large cuts,and it’s inexpensive-I just paid $4.99 for 5# a couple weeks ago.

Beef fat makes ground venison taste more like ground beef-and it makes ass-kickin good burgers-just be careful not to overcook it!

Venison is best cooked to medium rare-if making your burgers inside-I use a cast iron skillet,get it nice and hot,then cook the ground venison burgers,lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper for about 3 minutes per side,flipping only once. Let the cooked burgers rest for a few minutes as you get your fixin’s ready,put it on the bun and enjoy-best burgers you’ll ever eat.

Those of you who like liver-yuck-venison liver cooks way faster than beef or calf liver-so you have to cook your onions halfway first. I’ll start the onions in one skillet,then dredge the liver pieces in flour that’s been seasoned with salt and pepper,and cook in a cast iron skillet that’s good and hot and has a 50/50 mix of butter and cooking oil in it-lightly brown the liver,when you turn the pieces over,add the onions from the other pan,the onions will finish cooking as the liver cooks-remove the liver pieces when browned,place on paper towels to drain any oil,then put on plates,and top with the now fully cooked onions-enjoy-the wife and kids won’t eat beef liver any more-they can’t wait for fall and that first venison liver now.

Hope that helps…

One other thing-expect to get about half of what your deer weighs after field dressed in meat when you process it-make sure you have freezer space already cleared when you start processing.

Any questions-just ask in the comments-or e-mail me




Do More PT !

It’s the holidays and you’re eating and drinking way more than you should-do some extra PT !

Rebekah Rorick yearbook photo

An upstate New York teenager has reportedly won her fight to get an image of herself with a hunting rifle into her high school’s yearbook.

The Broadalbin-Perth High School yearbook committee objected to the photo, showing senior Rebekah Rorick holding a gun, wearing a camouflage vest, and kneeling beside her pet dog.

“My family has always hunted,” Rorick told local station WTEN. “It’s something I do with my family, and my dog is my best friend. So I decided to put her in the photo. I fell in love with [the picture]. It’s my favorite photo of all time right now.”

The teenage girl and her father, Michael Rorick, took the case before the school board on Monday evening arguing that there is no difference between the senior portrait showcasing her interest in hunting and other portraits showing other hobbies.

It takes less than a second to fall 15 feet and ruin your life forever, when in 10 minutes you can rig a static line and Prusik safety loop for safe climbing into a stand. It’s easy. It’s inexpensive. It should be on the top of your to-do list. It’s also critical during the late season when your stand could be icy and you’re wearing heavy clothes, which make it tougher to climb.