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About deerdragger

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    HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

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  • Location:
    Grand Rapids, MN USA
  1. About a week before firearms opener last year I was on the bow stand and heard a tremendous racket in the brush about 75 yards away. Brush snapping, leaves rustling - and the distinct sound of antlers crashing. Once there was a break in the action, I offered three loud grunts with the True Talker. Here they come. A little basket-racked 8 pointer followed by a decent 7 pointer. The little guy stood at the base of my tree while I launched an arrow into his sparing partner. The lesson I learned from it was how very much noise a couple of bucks can make in the woods - and how little that noise is made up of the actual rattling and grunting.
  2. I'm a big fan of the True Talker. With it, I can make the grunts of a smaller buck, the bleats of a doe, and the grunts again all with the same call in my hand. This combo - 2 or 3 grunts followed by 2 bleats, then 2 or 3 more grunts - has placed a couple of bucks right in my lap over the past few years. I do a fair amount of still hunting, and I've come to learn that a guy has to sit it out at least 30 minutes after trying the calling. While they often come busting in on you, it can take awhile for the deer to finally close the distance.
  3. I have to echo everyone's endorsement of the True-Talker. I've lost count of the deer that it has put right in my lap. I grunted in two bucks last fall that were sparring about 75 yards away. I couldn't see them due to the dense cover - but when there was a break in the action, I offered a few grunts and they both came on a trot. The basket-rack 8 pointer stood at the base of my tree as I ran an arrow through the decent 7 pointer 18 yards away. If I didn't have my True-Talker, I would have never even seen those deer.
  4. My buddy hunts a zone that has been Intensive Harvest for the past several years. This year - Lottery Zone. They (the DNR) were either WAY WRONG in the years past, or they are WAY WRONG this year, as the population just hasn't changed that dramatically in the course of one season.
  5. If it makes you feel any better - the situation you described is almost exactly what has happened to me on several occassions. I don't know if they lose interest in the bait that is offered, find better (or just different) bait elsewhere, get into natural foods - or a combination of all of the above. It seems almost common to have them hit hard once they find it, then drop it after a few weeks. My advise - just keep on baiting. Natural foods will only get more scarce and the bears will only get more hungary. I know of some guys that don't even START baiting until after the season has opened because of this very thing. I'm bummed that I didn't get drawn this year...I'm in the Grand Rapids area myself. Need any help running some bait - or a guy who can help get that brute out of the woods? Shoot me an email - [email protected]
  6. I'm catching them on Pokegama, Windigo Arm (down by Trooptown), in about 30 feet of water. They come through about 15-20 feet below the ice. A guy needs to be willing to move around as the schools really travel. I'm getting most fish on a traditional tullibee rig (daredevil spoon tied on upside-down - treble removed - with about 14 inches of mono tied to the end, a small ice jig tipped w/ a waxie on the end). Jig the heck out of it. I'm usually a little more guarded in sharing a good fishing spot, but it seems that so few people target these fish. Good luck!
  7. Thanks for all the tips. I ended up soaking the fish in a brine solution of water, tender-quick, brown sugar, woersh. sauce and soy. Smoked 8 fish on Saturday and could not have been happier with the results, though I'm anxious to try some different brines. I'd like a sweeter taste. The tullibee bite continues, I managed to nab 8 more nice fish as the sun rose on Saturday morning.
  8. Nobody with any tips for a novice smoker? Heck, I don't even know which end of the fish to light. Hmph.
  9. I stumbled into a decent Tulibee bite last night, managed to put 8 fish on the ice (16-17 inchers). I've had them smoked in the past by a butcher shop near Detroit Lakes - I'm looking to smoke these myself. I have a smoker that I converted from charcoal to gas (one of those round/tall ones), but I've never used it. Any tips as to the brine/marinade prior to smoking? Any suggestions as to the smoking time, or indicators as to when the fish is done? Thanks in advance for any replies.
  10. First off, I'm a firm believer in not sounding like the biggest, baddest buck in the woods. Find yourself a grunt call that has an adjustable pitch. I like the TrueTalker. Depress the reed right at the base so it still makes a grunt (not a bleat). I offer three soft grunts - pause for a few seconds, offer two or three more and then waite a few minutes. Do that again, then put it away for a half hour or so. As with any new technique, it takes awhile to build confidence - but, I'm telling you - the grunt call WORKS. I have grunted in several in the past few years. (The last of which was a 6 and 7 pointer that I could barely hear sparing on Saturday night from my bow stand. I waited until there was a break in the action, gave 3 grunts and in they came. I arrowed the 7 pointer at 18 yards. My first bow-killed buck.) I would not go in the woods without my grunt call.
  11. Saturday evening, just before dusk I heard two bucks sparring about 75 yards from my stand. I waited for a break in the action and offered them a few grunts. In they came. The first was a basket-rack 6 pointer and the second was a decent 7 pointer. The little guy came to the base of my tree - winded me and bounded once to his rear. The 7 pointer was stalled out about 18 yards away - he offered me a decent shot and my arrow was on the way. My first buck w/ a bow, and I couldn't be happier. I've called in a number of bucks w/ the grunt call at first light on firearms opener - I'm a big fan of the TrueTalker. Its adjustable pitch is a nice feature - I depress the reed right at the base so it makes a nice grunt sound, but not that of a mega-grand-daddy buck.
  12. I "condition" my plastic totes by filling them w/ composting leaves and wet dirt. I do this a couple of weeks before I use them.
  13. Great thread - and I agree w/ the previous replies...Gotta pay keen attention to scent control. One mistake I see a lot of guys do is wearing their hunting clothes (outer layers especially) when they aren't actually in the woods hunting. Driving in the truck. Sitting in the house/cabin. I keep all my outer wear in a plastic tote and never have it one unless I'm on my way into the woods. As for scents, I'm a convinced that the best scent is no scent, but I have had some success with Trails End #307.
  14. C'mon, guys - Duck season is almost upon us...This is an amazing hunting rig and has been my fishing rig for the past 10 years. Many, many a walleye hauled aboard pulling night-time cranks.
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