A Florida Trifecta

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source: https://www.deeranddeerhunting.com/articles/tv-shows/ddhtv/a-florida-trifecta,


The #FishBras Phenomenon Takes Instagram By Storm

anglers – proud of their catch – display a fish in front of their bare breasts.

Tagged using the term #FishBras, a quick search of Instagram will find just under 3,000 entries so far – and that number is growing on a daily basis.

What seems to be a trend mainly for saltwater anglers (it helps that they are mostly clad in bikinis), northern gals are also getting into the spirit by proudly displaying bass, perch, muskie, and pike.

At the least, #FishBras is certainly a creative way for showing off a great catch. And hey, fishing is supposed to be fun, so who are we to complain. One piece of advice – keep an adequate distance from those toothy catches!


source: https://www.wideopenspaces.com/fishbras-taking-instagram-storm/,


Gear Review: Bubba Blade 7.5″ Fishing Pliers

Bubba Blade Fishing Pliersfishing gear you can own is a good pair of fishing pliers. We never leave home without them.

Bubba Blade Knives, a company well known for their fillet knife and other fish cleaning products, sent me their 7.5″ fishing pliers for a test run.

I took them to a Michigan lake to see what they could do, and now this fishing tool will have a permanent spot in my tackle box.

The mid-size plier

Bubba Blade Fishing PliersTravis Smola

Bubba Blade makes several different versions of their fishing pliers. There are two 8.5-inch models with a long nose, one with traditional handles and one with a pistol grip. There’s a 6.5-inch version as well. But right in the middle lies the 7.5-inch version they sent me, and it seems to fit comfortably between all the others.

They range in price from $41.99 to $57.99.

I mostly fish for bass, pike and catfish, so for a Michigan angler like me, I’d say this size is perfect. It won’t really work for removing deep hooks from smaller panfish, but there aren’t a whole lot of pliers that are good for that.

The company has gained a lot of notoriety in recent years for their no-slip-grip handles on their knives. I can see why this grip is popular. It just feels right in the hand and the red handles were easy to grip when my hands were wet and covered with fish slime. The spring-loaded jaws worked like they were supposed to.

Bubba Blade Fishing PliersTravis Smola

There are mixed online reviews for these pliers, with some criticizing the material in the stainless steel jaws. I have no idea what grade of steel they are. I couldn’t find that information anywhere. For the rest of the construction, Bubba Blade states they are made with “aerospace aluminum.”

That being said, I had no issues while testing. They seem plenty heavy-duty to me. I can’t say how they would handle saltwater exposure, because there isn’t much in Michigan. I didn’t catch any fish of a real notable size while testing, but I did plenty of twisting and turning of the tool while removing stubborn hooks from the jaws of largemouth bass.

The pliers also feature three crimper tools which I used to crimp some split shot on a worm fishing rig for panfish. Never did I have any issues with the metal bending or warping.

I also dropped them on the deck of my parent’s boat several times with no issue.

Other features

Bubba Blade Fishing PliersTravis Smola

These pliers feature a cobalt cutter tool for snipping fishing line. I only tested it on monofilament, so I can’t say how it would handle fluorocarbon or braid, but the jaws seemed plenty sharp enough.

The lakes I was fishing during this test were relatively new to me, so I was changing lures constantly. They did the job every time.

I do wish that the line cutters were located within the back of the jaws behind the convenient split shot crimper like some other pliers I’ve used. It’s just more convenient that way. But I quickly got used to it. It’s a minor complaint at most.

The pliers also come with a nylon sheath so you can keep them on your belt clip for ease of use. They also come with a coiled lanyard in case you’re worried about losing them in the depths of the lake or ocean. Both seem well constructed and worked as advertised. I made sure to test both, but mostly I just kept the pliers in my tackle box until I needed them. That’s just my personal preference.

A versatile fishing tool

Bubba Blade Fishing PliersTravis Smola

Overall, I really like Bubba Blade’s fishing pliers. They’re one of the nicest fishing accessories I’ve used in quite a while and they handled all the fishing tasks I’ve asked of them so far. Things like like crimping and snipping line are really easy. They also made hook removal a breeze.

Like I said, these pliers are going to have a permanent place in my tackle box all through the summer, and likely into the winter when ice fishing season gets here!

Everyone needs fishing pliers, and you might as well go with a good, sturdy pair.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis Youtube channels



oembed rumble video here

source: https://www.wideopenspaces.com/gear-review-bubba-blade-7-5-fishing-pliers/,


Shooting Sporting Clays, and Why It’s Making You Better

Shooting Sporting Clayssporting clays as “golf with a shotgun.” It’s a fair description. You’re moving from one shooting station to another, taking on many different shooting angles and scenarios much like a golfer takes different shots at the course.

But shooting sporting clays can do more than just improve your wingshooting.

Want to get informed about all the ways taking up clay shooting can make you better? Some aren’t obvious, but they’re all beneficial.

What is sporting clays?

Shooting sporting clays is different than other forms of clay target shooting; unlike with skeet shooting, you’ll never shoot the same station twice in an outing. The number of stations varies from setup to setup, but you’re generally looking at 10-18, and you’ll be shooting at five to 10 targets at each of these spots.

The throwers for each station are setup differently to throw at different altitudes and angles. Some may shoot out high, others may hang low. You never know what you’re going to get. At some spots you might be dealing with multiple clay targets. It really depends on how each place sets up their course.

The idea is to keep score to compete with your buddies. If you weren’t seeing the comparisons to golf before, they should be a little more obvious now. Many sporting clays courses even utilize golf carts to get from station to station!

How it makes you better at hunting

One of the main reasons sporting clays was developed in the first place was as a kind of real-world practice for bird hunting scenarios. Without knowing where the clay pigeons are going to be coming from, the shooter is faced to make split second decisions on the multiple target presentations they’ll face. Game birds are unpredictable and don’t always fly away at a perfect angle for the hunter.

Remember those low clay throws we mentioned earlier? Some people use those as practice for rabbit hunting.

This also presents the opportunity to practice shots at varying distances and from differing elevations. Many sporting clays courses will have you shooting from an elevated position, but the clays may be flying high above or down below you.

People tend to make bird hunting look easy in videos, but a day of sporting clays can quickly show if you need more practice or not!

Other than maybe helice shooting, there is no other form of shotgun sport that more closely resembles hunting conditions than this.

Every hunter should run through a few sporting clays courses before they head afield for the first time. If you can get good at bringing down clay birds on a sporting course, you’ve got a good chance of bringing home dinner when you head out.

How sporting clays makes you safer

Whenever you’re dealing with firearms, safety is your number one and biggest priority. Sporting clays is a great way to teach new shooters many of the basics they need to know before they go hunting.

Other clay shooting sports like trap shooting can’t replicate conditions like the bird flying behind a tree or close to the ground. Sporting clays helps sharpen your senses for target awareness.

This is also a good place to practice barrel discipline. You probably know the rule: never point your firearm at anything you don’t want to destroy.

With sporting clays, you can introduce some variables for a newer hunter to practice. You can designate a specific rock or tree as a person or home. The new shooter can then practice the discipline of not swinging their barrel over said spot. This is especially important if you’re hunting in a group in thick brush where it’s easy to lose the line of sight on everyone in your party.

In between shooting stations, you can practice things like walking with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and keeping the breech open to show others your firearm is unloaded.

How it makes you a better shooter in general

If you can master the art of going through a sporting clays course, you can pretty much master any type of shooting. Sure, different types of firearms shoot in vastly different ways and you’re likely not going to be leading your target with a rifle or pistol.

But making a long shot on a 150-pound whitetail deer is going to seem easy by comparison when trying to take out two clays screaming away from you at 50 yards through the treetops.

Another way sporting clays makes you a better shooter is by allowing you a way to practice shooting with both eyes open. Most experts agree this is a more effective way to shoot, but for some people it can be hard. Sporting clays gives you a safe avenue to work on these techniques.

In fact, it may be a better place to hone these skills because of how quickly you must acquire and focus on your target. Some scenarios might not give you time to think about it.

Sporting clays is also a great place to work on your form without the worry of winging or injuring an animal that can’t be recovered. The more confident you are on the clays course, the more birds you’ll bring home out hunting.

And if you can get confident swinging a shotgun at a moving target, it should be no problem to sight down a big buck moving slowly through the brush.

How it makes for a better social life

This may seem like a strange thing to mention, but hear me out. Shooting clays doesn’t have to be just about competing or practicing for the hunt. It can also simply be a place to spend time with friends and loved ones in the outdoors. Is there really a better way to unwind from a rough work week than joking around with your buddies over some friendly competition and a few boxes of shotgun shells?

It can also make for a safe, comfortable environment for older hunters who maybe can’t get around as well as they used to or can’t handle the cold and harsh conditions of hunting anymore. You can take your grandfather or grandmother out on a warm comfortable day and enjoy some great bonding time with the family.

Overall, shooting sporting clays is a great way to get in some practice with your favorite shotgun and have a lot of fun while doing it. What are you waiting for? Find a course, grab some shells and get shooting today!

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis Youtube channels



oembed rumble video here

source: https://www.wideopenspaces.com/shooting-sporting-clays-and-why-its-making-you-better/,


The Trick to Aging Bucks In Summer

By GrowingDeer,

  Filed under: Hunting Blog, White-tailed Deer

Many deer hunters, including myself, enjoy using trail cameras during July to see how buck’s antlers are developing and the age structure of bucks where they will be hunting.

Estimating a buck’s age during the growing season can be difficult.  Bucks aren’t producing as much testosterone during this time of year and therefore they don’t appear as muscular or bulked up.

These conditions often result in estimates of bucks’ ages being younger than they are.

As an example, we recently posted a current Reconnyx image of a buck we call Ringer 8 on social media and asked for estimates of his age.  This buck has displayed similar antler characteristics year to year, which has made it possible to identify him..  We have images of Ringer 8 for 4 years and feel confident he’s 8 years old.

Mature buck in velvet antlers: late June

Most folks underestimated his age.  They judged him to be 2 or 3 years old!

You may believe most estimates were too young because Ringer 8’s antlers are small for his age.  However, we find the same trend when posting images of bucks with relatively large antlers for their age.

Most images in magazines, taxidermy, etc., show bucks during the peak of the rut when bucks’ testosterone levels are high and bucks are at there physical peak.  It seems we get conditioned to expect bucks to appear in this shape year-round.

There are some physical traits that don’t change with the influx of testosterone during the early fall.  Bucks with a pot belly and/or swayed back show these characteristics during the summer and fall.  Another characteristic of mature bucks is that their brisket hangs below their chest during both the summer and fall.

Rather than estimating a buck’s age based on antler size, this year try studying the body characteristics.  I believe your estimates will be more accurate.

Enjoy creation and I hope our paths cross soon!


source: https://www.growingdeer.tv/2019/07/05/deer-hunting-skills-the-trick-to-aging-bucks-in-summer/,