Short Shots & Small Catches

Photo tips
When taking a photo of an individual holding a fish or game, make sure there is a good contrast between the subject and the background—and a light background is best. Sunglasses might look cool, but they hide much of the face; the same goes for a cap or hat. Often, headgear creates shadows, making it difficult to see one’s face.

Trolling motor tip
If you are running a trolling motor from the boat’s transom, its setting should have the propeller just under the boat’s hull. If the prop is too high you’ll go nowhere fast. If the prop is too far below the hull, you’ll move, but not at optimum speed.

Camping tip
There’s more than one use for those little, bottled hand sanitizers from drug or grocery stores. Besides keeping germs off your hands, if you need to start a campfire, squeeze a few drops of the stuff on the wood. Then, strike a match, and poof—let the fire begin.

Fishing tip
Eventually, a weekly pill container with little compartments marked “S, M, T, W, T, F, S” needs replacing. An old or even a new one makes an ideal storage container for small hooks, split shots, jigs, flies, etc. Just make sure you don’t swallow split shot instead of your medication.

Hunting tip
A .410 single shot is an ideal rabbit shotgun; I have three, one old, two new. All things being equal, whether you are buying an old or new one, and if it’s not hammerless, make sure the hammer is easy to pull back. You don’t want to be trumping through the woods with the hammer pulled all the way back. However, when Bugs makes a run for it you’ll need to quickly and easily pull that hammer back and pull the trigger.

Feral hogs
These invasive species seem to be on the rise, especially in the South. There is no question that these animals do a lot of destruction on good farmland, they spread disease and also pollute streams and ponds. While hunting seemed to be the only answer, many wildlife services are now thinking trapping is the better way to eliminate or control the feral hog population. (Did you know that the average American eats the equivalent of 28 pigs in their lifetime?)

These animals have a big vocabulary with short sounds of growls, yips and barks. They howl during the mating season and at night. Coyotes communicate with each other through various sounds when there’s a fresh kill, another coyote on their turf or when they are just sharing some type of information. It could also be a male coyote “talking” to a potential female mate: Recently, one male coyote was overheard asking his prospective mate, “Would you like to stop at my place for a pheasant dinner?”

Prairie dogs
Speaking of barks and yelps, this animal also has a complex system of communication. Some of its noises warns others of various types of specific predators before they arrive, including the red fox, which can run up to 31 mph after these dogs.