September in South Georgia brings high school football under the lights, marching band melodies floating on a fall breeze and most importantly – the opening of archery season for white-tailed deer.
He explained that practicing at greater distances made the shots of 15 to 30 yards he hopes to take in the stand seem that much easier. Because a white-tailed deer’s number one defense is its nose and the ability to smell danger at long distances, Jeff is also very meticulous about the clothing he wears and how it is stored.
Jeff doesn’t rely on covering his scent alone to stay invisible to deer, he also will only hunt an area if the wind is right.
He said he always wears a safety harness while hunting from an elevated stand, and it is extremely important when getting in the stand two hours before daylight.
Horne was also quick to say that preparation was one of the most important parts of hunting, especially with a bow on public land that anyone has access to hunt. Jeff said the first thing and probably the most important thing he does is a year-round process that he can complete without ever leaving the house. Jeff’s time in the field is maximized by focusing on key features which have been productive in the past for many different reasons.
After finding these areas that “should” be productive for bow hunting, Jeff keys in and starts to look for actual signs that deer are in the area.
Jeff Horne also agreed with Jeff Manley on only hunting a certain area when the wind and conditions are absolutely correct so you don’t mess up your chances at a buck of a lifetime. He also said he would not hunt a stand if he was unable to reach it without spooking deer or if the wind wasn’t right to hunt that particular stand. When it comes to finding where the deer are going to be, Kevin said it’s all about food within the vicinity of a bedding area.
He said the difference between mature bucks and younger bucks and does, is that the younger deer will linger further from a bedding area.
With the help of these three bow hunting greats, you should have a lot better understanding of the dedication it takes to kill a deer with a bow. I’d been the proud owner of a Fieldline Waist pack with a shoulder harness for the past three years, but it just wouldn’t hold all of my hunting gear!
The Crossbuck offers 2080 cubic inches of space, which compares to a The North Face Jester pack if you are unfamiliar with bag sizes. The only thing I thought this pack left to be desired was gel padding in the shoulder straps. Alps Outdoorz Crossbuck pack shown hanging next to the author’s climbing deer stand on a pine tree. Alps Outdoorz Crossbuck pack worn over a Hunter’s Safety Harness with a Snug-Pak Response Pack attached to it.
Alps Outdoorz Crossbuck pack attached to Ole Man Multi-Vision Climbing Stand with sternum strap. After a long, hard summer of couch napping and snacking, the easy life for my Labrador retriever, Hank, is almost over. Sporting dog breeds will instinctively retrieve anything you throw for them from the day they are born. So, before I got serious with pre-season warm-ups with Hank, I decided to inquire with a more experienced source. Bob said they get numerous calls in early fall each year from hunters wanting “tune-ups” on their dogs. Some dogs need more work than others, but Bob said the number one thing they work on with each dog is obedience, and everything else comes in repetition.
It might sound strange to give the dog an opportunity to make an incorrect choice, but in a hunting situation there is never a perfect retrieve. Bob said he didn’t like to get hung up on certain drills during training because they all have their place, but he wants the dog to be perfect at short distances before he attempts long distances.
Bob said a few minutes in the morning combined with a few minutes in the evening is a whole lot better than entire day on Saturday. Since most dogs don’t have an attention span of longer than 15 minutes when learning new skills, Bob said it was useless to become frustrated and try to drag out training sessions. Another great method to teach steadiness is to take your dog to the park or area where there are ducks or geese.
Though training is always what the owners want worked on at tune-ups at Blowing Springs Kennel, Bob said overweight dogs were also a major issue.
Bob explained a healthy dog is an animal that when you run your hands down its side, you can count every rib. Whether you decide to train your own retriever, or have a professional do it for you, don’t wait until it’s too late.
The temperature is rising and the summer-time bite on Lake Talquin in Florida is just as hot.
Clint likes to start his mornings searching for largemouths keying on shad on flat shallow points of the lake near deeper water. Angler Clint Brown holds another hefty largemouth caught on a main lake point in the early part of the day. For those unfamiliar with Lake Talquin, Clint suggested first taking a good look at a topographic map of the lake to locate the best locations to start fishing. Clint likes to search for feeding bass by throwing a Strike King Fat-Free Shad crankbait which should run about 6 to 8 feet deep. During extended periods without rain, the water clarity will sometimes clear more than its usual summer stain. You probably aren’t going to find a school of fish on every point you try in the morning, but Clint explained that when you do, it’ll be a memorable experience. After using the crankbait to find the schools of fish, Clint will slow down and try to work the school over with a slower bait to catch any fish he might have missed with the crankbait. When Carolina-rigging Clint uses a 20-lb.  fluorocarbon main line for sensitivity of it with a 15-lb.
After trying the main points for a couple hours each morning, Clint usually moves on to the main river channel to fish the ledges.
Even after being pulled from the depths of the river channel, the big bass still put up a goodfight right up to the boat.
If the bass are feeding they will be sitting on top of the hump, which is right next to the main river channel.
When trying to catch the fish in this deep water, Clint says you’ll need a deep diving crankbait that dives 20-plus feet. An above view of the river channel shows how bass will position themselves on different parts of the channel depending on whether they are actively feeding, or just suspending in the afternoon. To make long casts like this, you’re going to need a pretty stout rod with a good backbone.
After finding the fish with the crankbaits and working the area, Clint said he will immediately turn around and work the area again with a Carolina rig worm just like he would do in the shallow water.
There’s one more place on the ledges the fish might be, and it’s one of the most difficult bass on the lake to catch. Sometimes the bass won’t be feeding right on top of the hump or suspended just off it in the channel either.
A side view shows how Tournament Angler Clint Brown positions his boat so he make long casts past the channel to keep his bait in the strike zone longer.
However you decide to attack the largemouths, you probably aren’t going to go to Talquin and wear them out on our first outing.
My Costa Del Mar Blackfin sunglasses suddenly decided to have a cracked lens after three years of dedicated service.
The first thing I did was go to Wal-Mart (I do hate going there also) and grab a pair of the $5 Berkley polarized sunglasses from the fishing aisle.
And almost as if it was meant to be, I received an e-mail about Salt Life sunglasses being released just as I was about to write a polarized sunglasses buyer’s guide.
Every year more people join the elite group of hunters in Georgia that hunt white-tailed deer during archery season. With today’s high-powered rifles, it’s not a challenging feat to drop a deer with one shot at distances of more than 200 yards. That goes for practicing every day, preparing your clothing well before the season and scouting for the best positions to hang stands.


With bow hunting is so important to make the perfect shot, and you’ve got to be able to do that even after holding your bow back for several minutes at a time. He explained he almost never takes shots of more than 30 yards unless it’s a perfect angle in an open environment where there isn’t much chance of the arrow hitting a limb and going off course. Then I take several Scent-Lok bags, jumbo Zip-Loc bags work just as well, and I fill them full of leaves, tree bark and plants from the environment I will be hunting. Bow hunters should always hunt with the wind in their face and the deer approaching from upwind so the hunter’s scent is traveling away from the deer.
I have stands that I could easily pull a four-wheeler to the bottom and climb right up, but instead I walk almost a mile and a half from the other direction to keep from spooking deer I know are bedded close by. There’s still the possibility, but you’ve just got to be safe as you can and wear your harness at all times,” said Jeff. Early in the season I look for small ditches that run through big stands of planted pines.  The ditches show up on the map and are a great spot to look for crab apples, which can also be found on old fence rows and firebreaks.
Just because the area has food and is secluded from human interaction, doesn’t necessarily mean the deer are using it.
I wash them in baking soda or other odorless detergent and I only wear rubber boots as well,” said Kevin. I was tired of having to rotate things in and out for bowhunting versus gun-hunting trips because I always managed to leave something important behind. It has one large main compartment and one front accessory pocket in the front which offers dividers for keeping up with smaller items. Don’t get me wrong, the padding on the shoulder straps was sufficient for the amount of weight it carried, and I would normally be strapping it to my climber so the straps would be irrelevant anyway. The sternum strap is what ensured it wasn’t going to slip off my climber during the hike in, and the back pad kept it from making a lot of noise. The temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter, and I’m already thinking about whistling wings in the beaver swamps at dawn.
By tune-ups, these hunters want their dogs to act the same way at the beginning of the season this year as they did on the last day of the season before – and sometimes better. You’ll never get uninvited from a duck hunt because your dog won’t pick up a 300-yard retrieve. We will simulate a duck hunt as best as possible from blowing a call, to throwing a frozen duck and shooting the gun.
A dog will always have the opportunity to move around in the blind, break early on a circling duck or even get tangled in decoys. Retriever training is a lot of work, and it’s the repetition of the events that the dogs gain the most from. But, he also said that you can usually get 15 minutes of new skill learning about three times a day if you space it out enough. You wouldn’t want to be able to see every rib in passing, but if you can’t count touch each one with just a light rub, chances are your dog is overweight. Each dog is going to be different, and you’ll just have to figure out how much is right for your dog. It takes a lot of time and effort for a good duck hunt, just like it does a good retriever.
While, the shallow water bass bite can become almost non-existent during the summer months, there’s another technique that will fill livewells with fat largemouths faster than any other time of the year.
Tournament anglers often refer to these areas as “main lake points.” The bass will follow the shad from the deeper water to the shallow points and feed until the sun begins to warm the water.
After a short-lived early morning feeding, the bigger bass follow the bait fish to the deeper portions of the lake near the river channel. After looking at the map, Clint also uses his Lowrance HDS-10 side-imaging sonar and GPS to find the key areas in the larger general areas he’s found on a topographic map. This fast-moving bait is a great search bait because it covers a lot of water in a short amount of time.
That’s why it’s really important to throw a bright color on cloudy days and first thing in the morning when it isn’t really bright. Unlike Texas-rigged worms when the weight and the worm are touching, Carolina-rigged worms present the hook and worm away from the weight which is just above a swivel and then a leader of about four to five feet before the hook is tied. Most of the lake will be between eight and 11 feet deep, but the main river channel that runs through the lake will be around 30 to 35 feet deep.
It twists and turns all back and forth on through the lake, the best fishing places are on the bends or where there is a point.
This hump will come up to about 8 to 9 feet deep and you should be casting in about 11 feet of water to find them feeding. He says he tries to position his boat in 25 to 30 feet of water and make long casts past the channel so when the bait gets to the channel it will already be down into the strike zone. You want to get your bait on the bottom and keep it there for as long as possible, If your bait hits the bottom for 30 yards, you are more productive than having your bait in the strike zone for only ten yards if you make shorter casts,” he said. While, some anglers would just pack up and go home after casting to a bass with everything in the tacklebox with not even a nibble, but Clint’s figured out there’s another method sure to make the big fish bite. Occasionally , when there is no current at all on the lake, the bass will suspend a about 6 or 7 feet off the hump and it’s hard to keep the bait in their vicinity very long. You have to get lucky to find them in the winter, but they keep them stocked in the spring and summer.
I got in touch with Salt Life, and they set me up with Bimini Bay Outfitters, who has the exclusive license to manufacture the sunglasses under the Salt Life brand.
These hunters must fend off mosquitoes, poisonous snakes and 90-degree temperatures, all for a chance at unwary deer that have yet to be educated by other hunters. Because of the high amounts of energy behind a bullet traveling at such extreme rates of speed, a perfect shot isn’t required for a fast kill.
I’ve interviewed a few successful bow hunters from different regions of the Peach State to see what they consider the most important tips they could give other bow hunters. Since converting to bow-only hunting, he has taken an average of three or four does a year and usually takes a mature buck once every three years. I’ve got one set of clothes I wear for swamps, one set for hardwoods and another set for pines. Jeff said this stand position is a perfect scenario and might not always happen, but hunter’s should strive to position their stands in areas based on the normal wind conditions and only hunt them when the time is right. If I know there’s a  big buck in the area and there’s so many deer bedded around that I just can’t get in without spooking them, I’ll get there two hours before daylight and climb in my stand and wait,” said Jeff. He not only hunts public land, but he also kills a lot of deer with a bow on public land, which is a difficult task within itself. Many times in the mornings they are back to bed before light and your chances of spooking them are much greater. So, get off of the couch and put some miles on your boots so you can get that buck of a lifetime without ever picking up a gun. You’d be surprised at how hard it is to shoot a bow without a release and a gun without bullets! It provides the size, mobility and organization I need to carry all of my hunting gear with me everytime I go and easily access it from 25 feet up a tree when I need it.
Though duck season is still more than three months away, this is the time to get your dog off the couch and back to grind before it sneaks up on you.
But, you will if he breaks every time someone blows a duck call or clicks a safety off,” said Bob.
We want to get them every opportunity to do something wrong, then we correct them when they make the wrong choice,” said Bob. Without proper preparedness of every scenario, a hunting retriever is destined for failure.
When they’ve mastered this you’ll move on to live fire with dummies, then live fire with real ducks, depending on the retriever. So many people get angry when their dogs are doing great at 50, then just skip right to 100 yards and the dog can’t perform as well. A few tosses in the living room on a lunch break for a young retriever can help implant steadiness in his mind just as well as short throws in the yard can. We have two nine year old chocolate labs with identical activity levels, but one eats more than the other.


Anglers used to think that bass just didn’t feed as much during the summer months, but recently tournament anglers have found out otherwise. He is able to see the fish in these areas and as soon as he gets a fish on, he immediately marks it on his GPS so he doesn’t lose track of his position while trying to unhook the fish. The Fat-Free Shad is shaped like the shad that the bass are feeding on and has a wide wobble when pulled through the water which creates the look of a fish swimming. The idea is the heavy weight bounces along the bottom making a bunch of noise and getting the fish’s attention, and then a lazy worm comes floating by at a slow pace which causes a reaction strike. If they aren’t actively feeding the bass will suspend just off the hump in about 15 to 17 feet of water and will most likely be relating to some type of structure or contour change. If you don’t have a full day to spend on the lake, Clint said the bite on the ledges really picks up in the evening and you can catch them cast after cast when they start feeding heavy as the water temperature cools. I wore them anyway for a couple days until it really started to bother my eyes and I called it quits.
I was helping a friend move and another guy helping was wearing a nice pair of shades which I actually thought were Maui Jims.
But, I could see no giant difference in polarization qualities except for color variances between lens. But, with bow hunting, an almost perfect shot at an exact angle is required for a fast, clean kill. He was quick to say that he’s passed many 130- and 140-inch (antler size) 8- and 10-points for a shot at something bigger than the Pope-and-Young class buck he already has on his wall. I even practice holding my bow back for several minutes at a time before I shoot so I can get my muscles toned for having to do that in the stand,” said Jeff. I want my scent to be covered as much as possible in case a deer does get a whiff of me, it might not spook as bad,” said Jeff. Like both Jeffs, Kevin likes to control his scent as a main means of camouflage from the deer. When I hunt mornings in the early season, I try and hunt trails from the food to the bed if there is enough distance between the two. My challenge was that I also needed a bag that would easily pack onto my climbing stands for transporting it all in the woods as quickly and quietly as possible.
It also has mesh pockets on each size that are the perfect size for Nalgene bottles or quick-access gear like a saw or knife. When I got to my perfect tree, I would wear the pack as a climbed and then attach my safety harness to the tree. Most dogs will remember 90 percent of what they learned from the year before, but it’s the manners part they need help with. He started out with his own retriever with a goal of a well-behaved dog, and now he’s trained hundreds of other dogs from hunters throughout the United States. They need to know that ‘sit means sit, for the rest of your life or until I tell you to move,” said Bob. When it comes to feeding, it is our recommendation when you are feeding dog food, it needs to be meat based. Largemouth bass actually continue to feed aggressively, but they just follow the bait fish out of the warmer, shallow water into deep, cooler water in the summertime. Since the water on Lake Talquin is usually stained, Clint likes to throw a bright color like Fire Tiger to help the bass see the bait.
I’ll let the bait drop to the bottom then rip it off the bottom about 6 or 7 feet and let it fall on slack line.
Yes, I know I can send them back for a replacement lens, this is the third time I’ve gotten them back for frame repairs, pretty sure I just got new frames every time.
Add that with the fact that most archery hunters won’t take a shot of more than 30 yards and you’ve got an unbelievable disadvantage when it comes to trying to kill a deer with a bow versus a rifle.
That is usually agricultural crops like soybeans, corn and peanuts in some parts of the state but mainly soft mass where I hunt in Central Georgia. I was very pleased with the six compression straps that allowed me to not only snug down my pack so it didn’t make any noise on the hike, but also allows me to attach other packs and pouches. You’ve got to give the dog every opportunity to make a mistake so you’ll know he’ll be steady in the duck blind. I was completely satisfied with my service, but it was less than $20 with shipping to get them fixed without lens damage, we are talking about almost half the cost of the sunglasses themself to get it fixed now. Keep in mind I was testing these polarized lens in south Georgia pond water, not the deep blue sea. He informed me they were from a company called Fielding Outdoors which was actually located in Thomasville, Ga., the same town as me. The frame material is a lot denser than the Costas and the hinges and all the components seem to be higher quality as well. The Zeiss lens coatings (similar to the Costa blue that is so popular) are vacuum sealed to prevent delamination. If you need a quick pair of polarized sunglasses, or wish to buy a new pair every few months, pick up a pair of Berkleys at Wally World for $5 in the fishing department (sometimes on an end cap). Then I would remove my bow hanger from the pack and screw it in the tree higher than the pack.
Live birds are one of those things that are just hard to stimulate, and though you aren’t shooting at these ducks, your dog is learning obedience, and everything builds from that.
I do realize there is a little bit of difference, but yes for $5 you can get a pair of perfectly fine polarized sunglasses. I did some homework and actually got in touch with Fielding and they gladly sent me two pairs to try out.
This is probably because Costas are made in Taiwan and the Salt Life lens are made by Zeiss in Italy. After that I was ready to pull up my bow and sit and wait for the swamp donkey – prepared and in comfort. This is when I found out Fielding’s big thing is camo sunglasses and they are some jam up shades.
They also have an AR-5 back-coating which prevents glare from the back of the lens if any light were to sneak in around your frames.
The zippers all offered oversized pulls that were easy to operate even at freezing temperatures wearing gloves. But, you can see through the glare on the top of the water with them, and they won’t cost you a lot to replace.
But If you do nothing else, go to the store and try on a pair of these alternate brands before you purchase the same ole thing as everyone else.
I keep a back-up pair of these in my tackle box usually, when my friends or brother don’t take them. The lens have a multi later coating with scratch resistance and 100% protection from harmful rays with a UV 400 rating. These lens didn’t allow me to see any deeper in the water than the other polarized lens, but overall there was a quality you could feel when you put them on.
Over the years, I have taken more than 10 mature bucks from stands over looking this candy. They do offer rubber coating on the legs and an embossed logo, and the Berkleys are just straight slick plastic with a sticker. The key is finding a persimmon tree or trees that are loaded with fruit and are in or near the thickest place you can find,” said Kevin. The polarization on these lens worked great also, and with a little extra wrap around on the frames, it kept the back light out more and were more comfortable to drive in.
The best method of contact to purchase a pair of Fielding Sunglasses is through their Facebook page linked here.



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