Category Archives: Outdoors

Articles on fishing, hunting, backpacking, game management as well as how to tie a fly.

Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt

 

Choosing Binoculars for the Ultimate 2017 Hunt

Any hunter will tell you the most important choices to make when going for that ultimate successful hunt comes from the little things. Yes, the guns, the location for the hunt, the clothing that’s best for the winter and/or summer hunt – all of these things are on the hunter’s ‘must-buy’ list. But there is one other thing that is just as important: the binoculars.

quality optics, Bushnell Fusion, Bushnell Fusion, Vortex Diamondback, understanding magnification, pricing, field of view

As you slowly develop into an advanced hunter who is all about success, quality optics will become highly important to you. And the cheaper the binoculars are, the chances become greater that they will not survive to even ‘see’ the next season arrive.

Purchasing high quality optics is a long term investment for the avid hunter or outdoorsmen who knows they will be out in that field or in those woods tracking the perfect stag for many years to come. They need high-performance binoculars that are engineered from the best materials so they will last a good, long time.

There are three tips when it comes to making that purchase. Research is the first. Like any piece of equipment, there are a broad range of binoculars out there with all different types of features. They each are focused on one type of activity or another. Such as, some of the greatest binoculars for hunting deer will be different from ones created specifically for birding. Therefore, to get the best value for your money, the research must be done to find exactly what it is you need the most.

There are many things you will research and read up on: from prism design to lens coatings to total weight and more. But the first tip to zone in on is understanding magnification. 8×42 and 10×42 are the most popular sizes of binoculars for hunting. Power and light gathering capability is what you need to understand – what combination is best when thinking about hunting in low light conditions. Take the 8×42: the first number in magnification means ‘8 times’ closer than with an unaided eye. If you hunt mostly in woodsy areas where visibility is limited, the 8×42’s are the binoculars that are best; whereas, if hunting in open fields, the 10×42 become better.

The second tip comes in the pricing of binoculars. It is very true in life that you get what you pay for. In other words, buying binoculars under $100 will not get you the best on the market. You also do not need to ‘sell the farm’ to buy a pair either. Middle range ($300-$600) is a good range to look into.

The third tip is in regards to checking out the widest field of view, and judging whether or not you will need extras, such as, waterproof/fog proof lenses, and how lightweight you wish the binoculars to be.

To help you begin, here are some top-notch choices, made by hunters, when it comes to the best and highest quality optics on the market today:

The 8×42 Vortex Diamondback binoculars are perfect when it comes to deer hunting. Whether you are a hunter who likes the woods or setting up in the open fields, these binoculars are a great choice to help spot that whitetail. High magnification with a solid field of view, even bow hunters should think about investing in these. Now…don’t roll the eyes. Even though you bow hunters can only shoot an animal 25 yards away, binoculars can help you track the animal’s movements.

For those hunters who are interested in purchasing “compact hunting binoculars,” look no further than the Bushnell H20. Compacts are popular with hunters, but to achieve the compact design the lenses are smaller in diameter. What this means is, if needing the same magnification as the larger models, you may need to move down in magnification to 6x when it comes to the compacts. With the Bushnell H20 you are looking at roof prisms made from Bak-4 glass, with fully-coated lenses, and can be used in all kinds of weather because of the waterproof and rubberized housings.

Lastly, if money is one of those thing that is no object for you, Bushnell Fusion are the binoculars of choice for the avid hunter who loves having a rangefinder. Worth every penny, this sophisticated technology measures the exact distance to the target. The reflection return of the rangefinder’s laser back to the binoculars displays a perfect target range reading. What does that mean? A chance for even more success.

Just remember, when you’re torn about the gun, the clothing, the outdoor gear and more – make sure you also spend time purchasing the right binoculars as well. Let’s face it, no matter what other products you have in the back of that truck, none will matter if you can’t actually ‘see’ what you’re shooting at in the first place.

Happy Hunting!

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

 

 

Sea Chaser 24 HFC sets Standard for Serious Fish, Play Boat

 

 
Sea Chaser 24 HFC sets Standard for Serious Fish, Play Boat

By Craig Lamb

Are you a hardcore saltwater tournament angler? Will your family spend just as much time aboard the boat as you do fishing?

Finding a center console saltwater boat rigged and ready for fish and play isn’t that hard to find. What is though is finding a boat designed for comfort, safety and all the features you need for winning a tournament and keeping smiles on faces of family.

 

The boat that fills all those needs, and in luxury, comfort, and style, is the Sea Chaser 24 HFC by Carolina Skiff. Hybrid Fish & Cruise (HFC) truly means what it stands for in a boat. The revolutionary design of the HFC 24 is built from the bottom up with devoted fishermen and active families in mind.

Whatever the activity the 24 HFC is already rigged out with the features everyone needs to enjoy a long day on the water. Head out early for a long offshore run to catch pelagic species and then cruise a secluded island for an afternoon of beachcombing. You can do it all on the same trip with this features-loaded rig.

The 24 HFC delivers safety, comfort, style, and performance like no other boat in the class. The 24 HFC has a wide 101-inch beam, length overall of 23 feet, 9 inches, and a respectable gunwale height. You get that for safety, along with a fuel tank holding up to 100 gallons for long offshore runs and overnight trips to faraway destinations. The 24 HFC is rated for a maximum of 300 horsepower, providing plenty of transom space for dual outboards.

Comfort. That word sums up the interior family-friendly features of the 24 HFC. Up front is plush U-shaped bow lounge seating with forward facing backrest. Another bench seat can be folded down flush to the console for more cockpit roaming space.

Need storage space? There is more than you can ever need for watersports and other gear. Below the bow seating is a 208-quart/52-gallon compartment. Never loose sight of your cold beverage on this boat. There are eight stainless steel LED-illuminated cup holders throughout the boat. Additional bench seating is available, and a bi-fold console door leads to a marine head with standard Porta-Potti.

Tournament pros or weekend warriors will appreciate the blue-water setup for offshore fishing. Rocket launcher-style rod holders aft of the optional T-top and gunwale storage for six rods provide plenty of space to keep outfits at the ready. Eight top-gunwale mounted holders are positioned for trolling and drifting. Twin aerated live wells, a 25-gallon live well and 25-gallon baitwell built into the leaner seat, provide plenty of capacity for a long day of fishing.

Flip the cushioned helm seat and find the built-in live well, a prep sink with fold-down faucet and cutting board lid. Up front is a triangular-shaped deck hatch that can be used as a 32-gallong fish box. There’s even a molded recess to secure a bait bucket. Land your catch and store it in the in-floor fish box with bucket storage. Capacity is 128 quarts/32 gallons.

 

The 24 HFC has a large, open cockpit for setting tolling lines, a drift, or plenty of room when you double up with a partner on a trophy catch. There is a 15-gallon storage box extending across the transom bulkhead. Stern bench seating runs from beam to beam. Remove the plush cushions, and you have a built-in casting deck. Below the bench seating is a starboard hatch that opens to the insulated box for storing drinks or fish. The center hatch provides access to batteries and other operating systems of the boat.

For easy access, there’s a built-in side entry door and telescoping swim ladder. How’s that for upping your game for scuba diving, landing fish, or just boarding the boat with safety and ease.

The 24 HFC is built on Carolina Skiff’s legendary and trustworthy 30 years of boat design. Built with 100 percent composite construction, the 24 HFC is build solid and dependable for years of rugged use in saltwater environments. A quick-lift, high-performance step-hull provides quick hole shots to get the boat on plane for a smooth, dry ride.

You have a lot of options about finding out more about the HFC 24, Sea Chaser and Carolina Skiff models. There are 60 in all from which to choose and you can get started at carolinaskiff.com. You can find a dealer, learn more about the brand legacy, and build a boat on the website.  Join the community of Carolina Skiff followers at the Carolina Skiff Facebook Page.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Conservation Tournament Win-Win for Anglers, Yamaha Outboards

 

 

Conservation Tournament Win-Win for Anglers, Yamaha Outboards

By Craig Lamb

The CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha is a win-win for saltwater anglers. For 101 days this summer they have the chance to win $500,000 in prizes, including three Carolina Skiff® boats powered by Yamaha Outboards. On the flip side, marine scientists will use catch data to preserve fishing for the future.

The prizes will be awarded for catching tagged redfish. There are other prizes and categories too, making this a great excuse for going fishing in the coastal and offshore waters of Florida.

How you win the prizes is by entering STAR, which stands for State-wide Tournament Anglers Rodeo. It is a catch and photograph format tournament that began on Memorial Day and ends on Sept. 4. The tournament is open to members in good standing of the Coastal Conservation Association, or non-members can enter for $65. Entry fee for CCA members is $35. Click here to join CCA™.

STAR was a huge success last year. The 157 tagged redfish released throughout Florida coastal waters, and the 13 additional divisions, caught the attention of 5,000 registered anglers. The motivation was catching one of the first seven tagged redfish for the chance to win a new GMC Sierra®, a boat, motor, and trailer package valued at over $40,000.

Beyond that, the family-friendly tournament awarded a college scholarship and the chance to win other prizes. Those prizes can be won by entering catches in the additional divisions. Those are Open, Ladies, Fly, Kayak, Lionfish, and Professional Guides division. Eligible species are Spotted Seatrout, Snook, Sheepshead, Non-tagged Redfish, Cobia, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) & Kingfish.

The Tagged Redfish Division is by far one of the most popular for a huge reason. Click this link to find out the reasons why.

Another fun division for STAR anglers, unique to Florida, is the Conservation Division. This division is designed to reward anglers that provide the most catch data on all fish caught and released while fishing the tournament, no matter what species or size.

STAR entries provide a significant amount of catch data. The conservation community uses the information to make science-based decisions that benefit habitat management, stock assessment and more, to make fishing better all around for Florida anglers.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com

 

This document contains many of Yamaha’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

 

 

Big Bass Bucket List Trip

 

Big Bass Bucket List Trip

By Craig Lamb

Is a double-digit weight largemouth bass on your bucket list? Check it off with a trip to Lake Fork, the East Texas bass fishery with more 13-pound-plus ShareLunkers caught than anywhere else in the Lone Star State.

Increase your odds of catching the trophy of a lifetime by booking a guide trip with Mark Pack Professional Lake Fork Guide Service. The longtime guide and pro angler will you more than your money’s worth on a trip. Think education, know how, and learning to be a better bass fisherman.

Pack is dually qualified for all of the above. He’s won over $500,000 on the FLW Tour. Pack also has a hand in designing lures. He’s been doing just that for over 25 years. M-Pack Lures, his company, turns out some of the most innovative baits available, including the line of Structure Guard lures.

What about those ShareLunkers? The official name of the one-of-a-kind trophy largemouth program is Toyota ShareLunker, which is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Anglers catching a largemouth weighing 13 pounds or more can donate the healthy catch for research purposes and breeding. ShareLunker began in 1986 on Lake Fork. Since then, the lake has produced more entries, 276 and counting, than any other lake in Texas.

Lake Fork is where it all began for Pack. His guide business and lure company are located there.

“I offer full-time guide services on Lake Fork,” he said. “I have several well-qualified guides who help me out.

We fish from Skeeter Boats with all the top of the line equipment,” he continued.

Pack wouldn’t run anything but a Skeeter for a reason. Coincidentally, Skeeter Boats are made not far from Lake Fork, in nearby Kilgore, Texas. Not far from Kilgore, back in 1948, Texan Holmes Thurmond built the first Skeeter in 1948. Since then, Skeeter has been setting the standard, raising the bar, and leaving the rest of the boating industry in the wake of its innovative design, quality construction, and satisfied customers.

The reason is performance. Take a demo ride and experience the 90-degree maneuverability test. Quick hole shots, superb turning, extreme stability, and a smooth dry ride are what set Skeeter apart from the competition. Learn more about the performance features by clicking here.

 

So does Skeeter’s revolutionary transom and stringer. The Torque Transfer System and the REACT KEEL. Both are more design and performance innovations. Watch this video to learn more about the features, advantages, and benefits of the REACT KEEL. See the Torque Transfer System video here.

Combine all of the features and legendary design and construction of Skeeter, and you have the industry’s top line bass boat, the FX Series. Click here to find out more about the FX20, FX21, FX20LE and FX21LE.

Guide rates are $500 per day. Half-day rates are $350. A full day is 8 hours. Add $125 for a third person in the guided party.

The pack provides lures at no additional cost. What else you get, at no additional cost, is a wealth of knowledge from one of bass fishing’s top lure designers, pros and guides on the top trophy lake in Texas.

Ready to book a trip? Click here for more information.  Visit Skeeter Boats.com Today!

 

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Go shallower, further with Carolina Skiff DLX Tunnel Series

 
Go shallower, further with Carolina Skiff DLX Tunnel Series

By Craig Lamb

A pillar of the Carolina Skiff brand is the DLX Series, tracing its roots back to the first model built in 1983. Since then the DLX has built a loyal following as one of the most durable, versatile and stable boats on the water. Plain and simple, you just can’t beat it as a runabout, commercial workboat or for just about any activity on the water.

Could the DLX get even more versatile? Yep, and the proof is in the DLX Tunnel Series. The DLX is known for shallow draft, and that gets even more of a lift with the Tunnel Series.

What gives tunnel hulls an advantage is the higher outboard motor mount. Water is dispersed from the hull into the tunnel. Undisturbed water is then funneled to the prop for better bite and less cavitation. Throttle the outboard and the boat quickly gets on plan and stays there without porpoising. What else happens with a tunnel is better performance and even fuel economy. Less hull in the water means less drag, which also means less fuel consumed.

What else is different about the Tunnel Series than the standard DLX is fuel storage. The boat has a 30-gallon belly tank instead of a traditional fuel cell mounted in the stern or beneath the console. That gives the boat a lower center of gravity and more storage throughout.

The DLX Tunnel Series has a length overall of 19’ and a beam of just 93.” Weight is just 1,590 pounds and the draft is only 4.” Maximum power is 115 horsepower.

All of the above adds up to an impressive boat for ultra-shallow water fishing. Speckled trout, spotted seatrout. No matter what you call them, there is one technique that is synonymous with the catching species. A popping cork rig and live shrimp. There are times when that staple of trout fishing is unproductive. 

A sporting, fun alternative is catching this eagerly biting saltwater fishing mainstay with a fly rod. Trout are plentiful and eager to strike flies, making the fish and tactic a great entry point for fly fishing in saltwater.

A 5- to 7-weight rod, the size you might use for freshwater trout, will work for the saltwater species. If you are casting heavier flies, an 8-weight can handle the job. Carry separate fly outfits rigged with floating and intermediate sinking lines to cover enough of the water column.

Small trout prefer shrimp but will feed on minnows as they grow. Rig up with flies mimicking both foods with hook sizes ranging from No. 6 or No. 4, or 2/0 and 3/0 for mullet imitators. A Clouser Minnow is the all-inclusive standby. A 10-pound fluorocarbon tipped at the end of a 7-foot leader will get you read for action.

Fish over grass flats and pay special attention to light, sandy bottoms or darker areas that indicate deep drops.

Armed with a basic assortment of flies and a lightweight outfit you can pursue a plentiful, easily caught saltwater gamefish on a fly outfit. Of course, you’ll need the right boat to get into the shallow water. There is no better choice than the Carolina Skiff DLX Tunnel Series.

 

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Yamaha powers up at ICAST

 

Yamaha powers up at ICAST

By Craig Lamb

You normally don’t associate an outboard motor manufacturer with the world’s largest trade show devoted to fishing tackle. The show is the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST. This year’s show is coming up soon, July 11-14.

ICAST is held in Orlando at the massive Orange County Convention Center. Inside, the aisles are lined with the latest in tackle, from rods and reels to line and lures.

ICAST is also an ideal setting for companies supporting recreational fishing to cross-promote their brands. Yamaha Outboards is a key player in such an effort. Promoting brand awareness is the reason why the company will be well represented at the show.

Outside the convention center, the 15,000 attendees will see boats on display powered by Yamaha. Elsewhere, you will find evidence of the strong ties that Yamaha Outboards has a saltwater conservation program.

That is the CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha, a summer-long tournament giving anglers the chance to win $500,000 in prizes, including three Yamaha-powered boats by Carolina Skiff. Marine biologists use catch information submitted by anglers to improve habitat, fish populations and make fishing better.

Yamaha’s presence inside the show is driven by the presence of Yamaha pros like Randal Tharp, the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup champion.

Tharp and his peers wear the blue and white Yamaha brand logo on tournament jerseys during competition and at promotional events like ICAST. They make non-stop appearances in booths, attend sales and marketing meetings, new product debuts at press events, and otherwise promote their sponsors.

“The fishing industry trade comes together once each year, and that happens at ICAST,” said Tharp,” said Tharp, whose FLW career winnings exceed $1 million.

“Brands like Yamaha and my other sponsors, such as Rapala, create great marketing and branding programs when they work together in a sales-driven environment like ICAST.”

Yamaha partners with Yeti and Costa in co-branding campaigns. Those leverage brand presence with key markets and demographics segments important to sales and marketing.

Another natural fit is the ICAST Cup, a bass tournament held during the show on nearby Lake Kissimmee. The event pairs professional anglers, including Yamaha pros, with media representatives and other industry professionals. The tournament supports the Keep America Fishing campaign.

ICAST, along with the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show and the new Marine Accessories Pavilion, encompasses 650,000 gross square feet in the West Building of the convention center.  Each year, 14,000 industry representatives attend the show.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com to Learn More!

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

 

The family friendly, fishing serious Carolina Skiff 24 Ultra

 

The family friendly, fishing serious Carolina Skiff 24 Ultra

by Craig Lamb

All it takes is stepping aboard the Carolina Skiff 24 Ultra to erase any doubts the center console boat is anything but a family friendly. It’s set up nicely for saltwater angling too, making this Carolina Skiff the perfect coastal fishing boat for family adventures.

 

All of the evidence is at the bow. Plush cushions create a full U-shaped sun lounge; complete with forward-facing back rests at port and starboard. Remove the cushions and anglers have a large casting deck.

You need not go far to find more family friendly/fishing comforts. Long days on the water are given for both adventures. Forward of the console is a padded bench seat that lifts to reveal a head with a portable potty and privacy shade and clothes changing station.

Much of what you find at the bow is located aft. Three cushioned jump seats, each with flip-up backrests, provide safe, comfortable seating. Like the bow, the seating can be closed to create an aft casting deck.

Stow the bow cushions, close the aft seats and get serious about fishing. The standard twin-seat leaning post has four-rod holders. A removable cooler makes loading safe and convenient. Also, aft is a LED illuminated, aerated, insulated 20-gallon baitwell for keeping bait fresh and lively all day long.

The 24 Ultra has a length overall of 23’ 9” with a beam of 96.” Draft is 9” with a transom measuring 25.” Fuel capacity is 78 gallons with a maximum rating of 250 horsepower.

The 24 Ultra is the apex of quality, versatility, and performance in an all-in-one package. Like all Carolina Skiff boats, it features 100 percent composite construction and is built on a 30-years and growing legacy of the finest boats in class.

 

Find out more about the 24 Ultra and all Carolina Skiff models at carolinaskiff.com. You can find a dealer, learn more about the brand legacy, and build a boat on the website.  Join the community of Carolina Skiff followers at the Carolina Skiff Facebook Page.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Illinois Trophy Bowhunters: “Where Whitetail Dreams Come True”

 

Illinois Trophy Bowhunters: “Where Whitetail Dreams Come True”

 

When it comes to Illinois Trophy Bowhunters, Inc. (ITB), making the perfect whitetail hunt possible for any and all bow hunters is literally their mission, not just a slogan. ITB is one of those companies that has fine-tuned every aspect of the deer hunt in order to maximize the chances of bow hunting success for all their visitors.

www.illinoistrophybowhuntersinc.com

Since ITB is 100% fair chase, a buck cannot be guaranteed, but when looking for elite service and guides who have a long experience in the bow hunting realm, the opportunities to land a trophy whitetail deer are extremely high with ITB. Managed for trophy quality deer (125” P&Y or better), ITB’s archery hunts are a full 6 days of hunting; unlike 4 or 5, which are offered by most other Illinois deer hunting outfitters. This extra day in the field can mean a great deal for the hunter if the weather has not cooperated during the week in the great state of Illinois. Coming together to increase your personal opportunity for success, ITB is a proven combination of trophy managed land, longer hunts, hunting the rut, experienced bow hunting guides, and fewer hunters to deal with.

 

For almost 25 years, Illinois Trophy Bowhunters, Inc. has provided unmatched bow hunting experiences. Founder Steve Phelps, back in 1991, wanted to share his passion for whitetail deer hunting with others, thus sparking the creation of ITB. The original concept was to control approximately 5000 acres in Pike County, Illinois, to judge just how good bow hunting could get if managed the correct way. Guided deer hunts would only be allowed during the rut – just three weeks out of the entire year. This made the land ITB managed more of a refuge for the remaining part of the year, which means more bucks were available when those three weeks of hunting came into play.

 

Detailed plans were made: ITB determined the exact spots where stands should be placed, and the approach to the stands based on various wind conditions. Shooting lanes were then also developed that would not exceed 25 yards in order to minimize wound rates and increase kill percentage. With all the professional work, research, and thought put into the plans, Illinois Trophy Bowhunters, Inc. reaped the rewards from early on and grew to become a highly respected Illinois deer outfitter, with guided deer hunts that are more popular than ever in 2017.

 

Each year, the best buck ITB takes, scores in the 190 – 200 inch range. The ITB hunting camp success rates can be as high as 90% for shot opportunity and 70% for kill rates! The stage is most definitely always set for the opportunity to achieve these numbers on any day during the three weeks bow hunting is practiced.

 

One of the most important achievements – not to mention a true compliment for ITB – is the fact that bow hunters return for 5 to 10 years in a row after their first booking. Rebooking rates have averaged around 70% for the last 10 years because hunters know that the next day they spend in the woods with ITB guides could have them scoring the best buck of their life. Thousands of satisfied deer hunters praise Illinois Trophy Bowhunters, Inc. for the work they do that goes above and beyond the call of most outfitters, which is why they book their guided tours with them – whether it be for family and friends or business events.

 

A guided deer hunt is a dream hunt for many and can be an awesome trip. For many, the hunt in Illinois becomes an annual journey they look forward to and a tradition that might last for several years in a row. However, if the wrong Illinois outfitter is chosen, dream hunts can end up being nightmares. The right choice is made by choosing a company with almost 25 years in the industry that is filled with experienced guides and plans to get the job done right by supplying all avid bow hunters with the unforgettable experience of coming face-to-face with those Midwest monster bucks.

 

In other words…when that excitement builds for the bow hunt, and the dreams grow bigger to bag that unforgettable whitetail, look no further than Illinois Trophy Bowhunters!

 

www.illinoistrophybowhuntersinc.com

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Yamaha Pro Hamilton Comfortable Competing in Aluminum Boat

 

Yamaha Pro Hamilton Comfortable Competing in Aluminum Boat 

Young Rookie Angler Using Xpress® X-21 In Bassmaster® Elite Series

 

Skylar Hamilton has been bass fishing since he was six years old, primarily on rivers and lakes in southwestern Virginia and East Tennessee, and nearly always in an aluminum boat. He’s only 22 now, but last year when the young Yamaha Pro won the Bassmaster® Central Division Open on the Arkansas River while using an aluminum boat and went on to qualify for this season’s Elite Series, he saw no reason to change.

“I’m fishing in a 21-foot Xpress® X-21 powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO outboard, and couldn’t be happier,” exclaims Hamilton, whose Open win last year also qualified him for the 2017 Bassmaster Classic® where he finished 41st. “Today’s aluminum boats are far different that they were just a few years ago.

“The message I’m working hard to send to today’s high school and college anglers who want to start a career in professional fishing is that they can catch just as many bass, and sometimes more, fishing from an aluminum boat than from a fiberglass boat, and they can do it far more economically. There are places you can go in an aluminum boat that you can’t in a heavier fiberglass boat, which is why even some experienced pros have chosen aluminum boats for certain tournaments in recent years.”

Hamilton’s parents kept a camper parked on nearby Douglas Lake in Dandridge, TN while he was growing up, and that’s where his father and grandfather taught him the basics of bass fishing, and it’s where he lives today. In 2011, at age 16, he fished the Bassmaster® Central Division Open held there on Douglas and finished in a remarkable 22nd place.

“I wasn’t that nervous,” remembers the Yamaha Pro, “mainly because I didn’t know the caliber of anglers I was fishing against. That was probably the best thing that could have happened to me, because I just went fishing, working a plastic frog over a grass bed all three days.”

With that success, Hamilton firmly decided to become a professional angler. He had already watched several Bassmaster Classics® on television, and he began preparing himself to one day compete in the Classic himself. That happened this past March at Lake Conroe.

“What I will always remember is catching a 9-pound, one-ounce largemouth the second day, just half an hour before I had to check in at the ramp, and showing off that fish to the crowd during the weigh-in,” says Hamilton. “I could have had a 30-pound catch that day, and I wouldn’t have been more excited that I was with that big fish.

“It’s what every fisherman dreams about, and it happened to me in my first Classic. I still can’t believe it.”

The young pro readily admits the 2017 Elite Series season has been a huge learning experience for him, but he’s also gratified at the serious attention he’s attracted by fishing in the aluminum Xpress.® Virtually every venue has been new water to him, so he’s not only having to learn each lake or river but also how to manage the schools of fish he does find for a full three or four days. He finished 22nd in the season opener at Lake Cherokee and followed with a 48th at Lake Okeechobee, but he’s also struggled at other lakes.

“My message to every young angler I meet is the very same lesson I’m experiencing myself,” concludes the Yamaha Pro, “which is that you have to be willing to learn from every day on the water. I tell the high school and college kids to fish with as many different people as possible because that’s how you’ll learn and grow in this sport.

“I tell them even today’s most experienced tournament pros were beginners themselves once, and virtually everyone I have met has been more than willing to help me, and that’s what they’ll discover if they stay in the sport.” Y

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com to Learn More.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

 

Preparation is Key for that Perfect Venison Stew

 

 

Preparation is Key for that Perfect Venison Stew

 

Although you can find a gazillion recipes all across the Internet on how to prepare the best of the best venison stew (i.e., there are 25+ best ideas located on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/explore/venison-stew/), what most people don’t realize is that when it comes to venison, the only way to create a delicious stew that takes out the ‘gamey’ taste of the venison and makes the meat tender and delicious begins with the preparation of the meat. And that preparation actually begins in the field, itself. If things aren’t done correctly at the very beginning of it all, no stew is going to taste good.

Although you can find a gazillion recipes all across the Internet on how to prepare the best of the best venison stew (i.e., there are 25+ best ideas located on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/explore/venison-stew/), what most people don’t realize is that when it comes to venison, the only way to create a delicious stew that takes out the ‘gamey’ taste of the venison and makes the meat tender and delicious begins with the preparation of the meat. And that preparation actually begins in the field, itself. If things aren’t done correctly at the very beginning of it all, no stew is going to taste good.

From the second that kill is made, a plan should already be in place as to getting the deer dressed. By doing this you will remove any possibility of tainting the meat, so when you arrive at your processor’s door there will be a walk-in cooler set at the perfect temp (34 to 37 degrees/with 88 percent humidity) to age your deer meat correctly. (*If not using a processor and are going to be more than a few hours before processing the meat, quarter the deer and get the deer on ice ASAP.)

 

Aging the deer is, above all, the most important step to achieving tender meat. In addition, there are two methods to aging meat: dry aging and wet aging, so make sure to research and then pick the one that best suits your individual needs. If you have not aged your venison, you can also place the unpackaged venison on a cooling rack on your own kitchen counter and point a fan directly at it for about a half hour. By doing this, your meat will brown easier and the venison will be far more tender.

 

It is important to note that aged venison is not gamey. It, like any other meat, simply has its own flavor. Deer forage for food, taking in everything from grass to herbs to berries to nuts, which means that it only requires a simple amount of seasoning in order to enhance that flavor. From the tenderloin to the backstrap of the deer – salt, pepper and olive oil are an easy trio that will bring about an excellent taste.

 

The right way of cooking venison is to make sure that it is not overcooked. If overcooking occurs, the meat will chew like rubber, so it’s important to know that venison cooks faster than beef. Therefore, when cooking rare, it only needs to reach a temp of 130 degrees. If any higher, the venison will begin to grow tough.

 

A cooking technique that many absolutely love is braising, in which the main ingredient is seared and then seared in liquid on low heat in a pot. Slow-cookers and Dutch ovens are the main choices when it comes to making perfect venison stew – by cooking low and slow. But always make sure to match the cut of meat to the cooking method. What that means is you will want to use the correct method in order to produce the tenderest meat possible. While some cuts will naturally be tender (loins and tenderloin, for instance), other cuts will be extremely tough and stringy. When it comes to that low-and-slow method for stews and soups, the shoulders, shanks and neck should be braised.

 

Using that perfect dry rub or marinade will also tenderize your meat, allowing you to cook the tough cuts to infuse flavor and create a tender, juicy result. When thinking about a dry rub to use, think about the endless combinations of dry herbs and spices that can be put together. Then massage the meat with the rub, place into a glass container, and refrigerate overnight for 24 hours to let that rub truly sink in to the meat.

 

One of the easiest recipes to use when creating that unforgettable venison stew is to heat oil in a Dutch oven. Brown the meat (that was perfectly prepared at the very beginning), and then add onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, oregano, salt, pepper and water. Add in your potatoes and carrots and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender (approximately 30-45 minutes). Mix flour and cold water, place into the stew, and then cook and stir until thick and bubbly.

 

Then all you have left to do is enjoy!

 

For more information, you can head to a list of websites that offer all different varieties of truly unforgettable venison stews. In fact, check out ‘Taste of Home’ at www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/venison-stew) and begin drooling now!

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle