Southern Traditions Outdoors | March-April 2014

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Information about Southern Traditions Outdoors | March-April 2014

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: KalliLipke



Southern Traditions Outdoors is a free publication providing articles, photography, and places of interest for the outdoor sportsmen in the mid-south. Publications are printed every two months: Jan/Feb, March/April, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct and Nov/Dec, and include articles on hunting, fishing and the outdoors. You can always find sections dedicated to children, veterans, women, and the physically challenged in our publication encouraging outdoor participation. You can find our publication throughout Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky at any of our advertisers as well as many marinas, vehicle and ATV dealers, TWRA license agents, resorts and outdoor related retailers.

Complimentary Copy March - April 2014 ITION BONUS ED GES PA 8 EXTRA COLOSSAL CATS OF WHEELER LAKE DUCK SEASON RESULTS STUMPED ON CRAPPIE TURKEY HUNTING – A FAMILY TRADITION SO… GOD MADE A FARMER Please tell our advertisers you saw their ad in southern traditions outdoors magazine!


TABLE OF CONTENTS From the Desk of the Editor PG................... ARTICLE........................................................... AUTHOR 6...........................Colossal Cats of Wheeler Lake.......................................... Jason Aycock 12..........................Down South Coonin’........................................................... Shawn Todd 16..........................Hot Products....................................................................... STO 18..........................So... God Made a Farmer................................................... Rob Somerville 26..........................Business Spotlight.............................................................. STO 28..........................Duck Season Recap........................................................... Steve McCadams 32..........................TWRA News....................................................................... STO 36..........................Year Three Retriever Training............................................ H. Joe King Jr. 40..........................Stumped on Crappie.......................................................... Steve McAdams 48..........................Turkey Hunting Family Style............................................... Garry Mason 51..........................Kid’s Korner........................................................................ STO 52..........................Trophy Room...................................................................... STO Spring is just around the corner and I would be willing to bet that most of our readers are getting their boats and tackle ready for fishing, and their turkey hunting gear together to go after some longbeards. I am, by no means, what I would consider an expert turkey hunter. I have killed a couple dozen gobblers in my day, but I always eagerly listen when the experts in this field are talking “turkey”. Today, I would like to give you five of my most memorable, and many times overlooked by many, turkey tips for success as learned from the pros. Good luck getting that gobbler! See ya, -Rob Somerville TURKEY TIPS TO TAKE TOMS 1. Safety: You cannot experience a successful turkey hunt if you don’t come home safely. Snake boots can protect your lower extremities from venomous snake bites. A good mosquito and tick repellant can keep you safe from pain and aggravation, as well as from Lyme disease. Let someone know where you will be hunting and keep a compass and cell phone with you at all times, in case of emergency. Bring a hunter’s orange vest to wear, when entering or exiting the woods, so an overly avid hunter doesn’t take an errant shot at you. 2. Scout Before You Hunt: Find an “out of the way” location, to set up with binoculars, where you can view a large area of field on your turkey hunting ground. Take note where the birds enter and exit the field, as well as the path they generally take. Look for a likely spot along the way {such as a point of woods in a field} and set up there to ambush your bird. 3. Do What Your Mom Always Told You to Do When You Were Little: Be quiet! Most turkey hunting pros will tell you that 90% of novice hunters call too loud and too frequently. Once you elicit a gobble to your calling, don’t call again, unless you hear another gobble from the same direction and it has moved away. Then, you can call more aggressively. 4. Use a Different Strategy: Most turkey hunters like to hit the woods before daylight and locate a bird on roost by making a tom gobble with a locator call, such as an owl hoot. I have had even more success hunting between the hours of 10:00 am to just before dark. This is true for two reasons. First of all, there are less hunters – thus less pressure on the birds – at this time than in the morning. Secondly, all turkeys gobble on the roost, but when they get “henned up” shortly afterwards, they shut up. When you get a tom to gobble after noon, this “lunchbox” gobbler is usually alone and will be more apt to come to strut right into your lap. 5. Do Something Different: Mix up your routine. Try a hen and a jake decoy, with the jake positioned behind the hen in the mounting position. If decoys spook a gobbler away, try calling without any decoys. On public ground, go earlier and deeper into the woods than other hunters. They may just push them to you. Try different types of calls in different cadences. Use a store bought blind, or one made out of natural brush, to help conceal you. ITION BONUS ED GES PA 8 EXTRA On the Cover Pictured here is Jason Aycock and his son - Carson Aycock with a 90 lb. blue catfish, caught on Wheeler Lake in Alabama on December 26th, 2013. Photo courtesy of Jason Aycock Southern Traditions Outdoors Magazine, LLC Owners - Eddie Anderson Rob Somerville Kevin Griffith Stacey Lemons Publisher - Eddie Anderson Editor - Rob Somerville Magazine Design - Kalli Lipke Advertising Sales Rob Somerville - Managing Partner Distribution Johnathan Anderson Mike Robinson Field Staff Editors Garry Mason Walter Wilkerson Terry Wilkerson Steve McCadams Kelley Powers Shawn Todd 4 Eddie Brunswick Larry Self John Sloan Richard Simms John Meacham Buck Gardner Scott Marcin Ed Lankford Drew Brooks John Latham John Roberts Advertising Information: Southern Traditions Outdoors | Rob Somerville (731) 446-8052 DISCLAIMER - Neither the authors nor Southern Traditions Outdoors Magazine LLC assume any responsibility or liability for any actions by readers who utilize any information contained within. Readers are advised that the use of any and all information contained within Southern Traditions Outdoors is at their own risk. Southern Traditions Outdoors Magazine Mission Statement: Southern Traditions Outdoors Magazine vows to put forth a publication to promote the outdoors lifestyle in a positive manner. We will strive to encourage veteran and novice outdoorsmen, women, kids, and the physically challenged to participate in the outdoors in a safe and ethical manner. Our publication will bring positive attention to the wondrous beauty of the world of Nature in the mid-south. SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 5

COLOSSAL CATS of Wheeler Lake FISHING PACKAGES All package prices are per person plus tax - MINIMUM of 2 PEOPLE Non-prime season-packages: - 2 Days / 2 Nights -- $139.00 - 3 Days / 3 Nights -- $179.00 Prime Season (March 14 - May 24): 3 day / 3 night Fishing package price (check-in on Thursday): $239.00 4 day / 4 night Fishing package price (check-in on Sunday): $239.00 7 day / 7 night Fishing package price: $478.00 Guides are available (minimum 2 people per guide) Packages include lodging, continental breakfast, boat, motor, bait, gas, and ice. $75.00 deposit per person required (DEPOSIT IS NON-REFUNDABLE) FIVE STAR RATING FROM STO MAGAZINE! Hwy. 22 & 1685 Lake Drive Just Outside Samburg, TN city limits. By Jason Aycock (731) 538-9800 Fyrne Lake - 2500 Acre Private Natural Park Pictured here is Jason Aycock with a 48 lb. blue cat and his son - Carson Aycock with a 52 lb. blue cat, both caught on Wheeler Lake using B’n’M Silver Cat Magnum Rods on December 26th, 2013. - Photo courtesy of Jason Aycock H ave you ever dreamed of that fishing trip of a lifetime? That dream became a reality for me the day after Christmas. The best part is that I got to share the experience with my 13 year-old son, Carson and my late friend, Chris Stephens. I have always wanted to take a trip to Wheeler Lake in Deca- 6 tur, Alabama, which I have always heard to be the home of huge, monster catfish. This lake is well managed by regulations that the State of Alabama has put into place. So I contacted Chris Stephens and we planned a three day trip, beginning the day after Christmas. SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 Day One The three of us got up early on Thursday morning, hoping to get in a good evening fishing trip. We arrived in Decatur around noon and didn’t waste any time. We headed straight to the boat ramp, put the boat in and motored 10 miles down the Tennessee River. Fishing Memberships Weddings - Special Events Corporate Meetings - Retreats Lake Pavilion   Lake Aerial   continued on page 10 MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 7

monster catfish. Getting instruction from Chris and me, he boated the 90 pound behemoth. The smile on Carson’s face said it all. My dream trip had come true and it had only just begun. We ended the first day of our trip with Carson also reeling in catfish weighing 52, 48, and 47 pounds. Day Two On the second day of our trip, we decided to go a little closer to Wheeler Dam, so we anchored up on a ledge, in about 32 feet of water. The current was not as strong here as it was the day before, so we didn’t know what kind of action was going to take place. Once again it didn’t take long for the B’n’M to bow in an arc. Carson raced to the rod and reeled in the first fish of our second day, which happened to be a 45 pound blue cat. This was the start of another magnificent day on Wheeler Lake. It seemed that we were catching this same fish over and over. We ended up catching 12 fish and they were all 35 pounds and up, with the 45 pounder being the biggest of the day. Chris Stevens and Carson Aycock are shown here holding a 45 lb. blue cat, caught on Wheeler Lake in Alabama, on December 27th, 2013. - Photo courtesy of Jason Aycock With Chris’s 898 Hummingbird, we had located an underground pipeline, in about 25-30 feet of water. Behind this pipeline sat a big logjam, which showed some shadows of what we thought were huge catfish, so we decided to anchor. We got our B’n’M Silver Cat Magnum rods, armed with Penn 320 and Quantum Control8 ler reels and spooled with Team Catfish Tug-A-War braided line. We lowered our freshly cut skipjack on an Eagle Claw 10/0 Circle Hooks and it only took minutes before one of the rods slammed down. Carson grabbed the rod and powered through a 10 minute battle with what we knew was a SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 The Final Day On day number three we had a little cloud cover, so we had decided to stick close to the ramp where we had located some huge fish on Chris’s Hummingbird. We anchored up in 18 feet of water, where fish were feeding on shad at the mouth of a cove. We sat there for 30 minutes before our rod slammed down. Once again, the Catfish Kid hurried to the rod and reeled in a 65 pound blue. What a way to end the trip of a lifetime! We were very satisfied and couldn’t wait to get back home to tell all the “fish” stories of this magnificent trip. The Loss of a Legendary Fisherman Earlier in this article I mentioned that my good buddy, Chris Stephens, had gone with us on our trip. Two days after returning from this amazing adventure, Chris passed away unexpectedly, due to a massive heart attack. Undoubtedly, God allowed us this trip for a reason. My son and I were extremely fortunate to be able to share this experience with Chris. He was a great fisherman, who was on the Grizzly Jig Company’s Prostaff team and fished in many tournaments. If Chris wasn’t at work, he could always be found in his big F & F boat going down the Mississippi River. I say in confidence that the catfishing community lost one of the best anchor fishermen in the sport. This story is dedicated to Chris Stephens, a friend and fisherman, who will be greatly missed. Here is the author’s proud son - Carson Aycock with a huge 65 lb. blue cat, caught on Wheeler Lake, using cut skipjack on the final day of their trip on December 28th, 2013 Photo courtesy of Jason Aycock A/C QUALITY COMFORT HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING • • • • • • NEW INSTALLATION SERVICE ON ALL BRANDS RESIDENTIAL FREE COMMERCIAL ESTIMATES! DUCT WORK BONDED & INSURED TRENT HORTON 731-676-6595 AT BEAUTIFUL REELFOOT LAKE! Camping, Boat Dock, Rental Unit, Licenses, Bait, Tackle, Camping Supplies, Cold Drinks, Ice and much more! We Carry everything you need to make your stay here a wonderful and unforgettable visit! 2275 St. Route 21 E. - Tiptonville, TN 38079 (731)253-7809 MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 9

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We approached our dog and I located the coon in a fork at the top of the tree. - Photo by Rob Somerville Down South Coonin’ H By Shawn Todd ello, to all you fine readers of STO Magazine. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. As all you loyal readers know, I try to get kids in the woods as much as possible, but on this issue’s trip I took five Chicago newbies. All five of these fine young men were in there twenties. They were by no means new to the hunting world, just new to coon hunting. Last year, four of the five fine young men came for a duck hunting trip and then, bless their hearts, they met me at a local watering hole. Needless to say, we 12 became fast friends and the rest is history. As I stated, these five men are from the city of Chicago and needless to say, they come to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the “Windy City”. Last year the four that were here were Kevin Randolph, Mike Randolph, Bill (Cheezers) Callaghan and Dan (Dr. Slaughter) Harris. As we were talking, I asked if they had ever been coonin and they said they had not, so I talked them into going and they loved it. Fast forward a year later and I get a call from Cheezer and Kevin they say they are coming. SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 They wanted to duck hunt and do some coonin as well, and they were bringing another friend Eric (Rookie) Jillison. Unknown to me at the time, Rookie had never been hunting or even shot a gun. Hence the name … Rookie. I made some telephone calls and got them a duck hunt for the weekend after Christmas. They arrived that Thursday and the adventure began. I also made a telephone call to my hunting buddies Terry Elkins and Jacob Headley, who went with this group last year and they said they were all in. Terry made a few calls and found us some ground for coonin’ that had not been hunted this year. He got the okay from the landowner and we were set. After some good southern hospitality and dinner at my café, we met Terry and Jacob and headed out. It was around 7:00 p.m. and it was cold with a calm wind; a great night to go coonin. We got out of the vehicles and the five rookies {who were as giddy as a girl on prom night} and the three veterans were ready for the hunt. A quarter of mile walk later we released the hounds and after about ten minutes, Heidi strikes and trees. Everyone went to the tree, but alas, no coon. We released the hounds again and she strikes once more. Heidi works an old cold track down the stream and back and after about twenty minutes she gives us a big dying locate bawl and immediately starts chopping. The rookies got excited and were ready to run to the tree, but the veterans said, “Let’s just walk instead of run.” After a few minutes we arrived at the tree and this is really where the hijinks begin. We approached our dog and I located the coon in a fork at the top of the tree. Terry, Jacob and Dr. Slaughter went to the base of the tree to handle the dogs, while Rookie, Kevin and Mike took the gun and went to the most strategic spot to shoot the coon out. Cheezer and I sat out in the field waiting for the action to begin, when all of a sudden Kevin hollers, “How do you load this thing?” I looked at Cheezer and said, “Have you got the magazine for the gun?” He did not and so we start asking who had the ammo? To make a long story short we left the ammo magazine in the truck. As all you hunters know, you can load an automatic .22 caliber rifle, one shell at a time, but it’s just a little difficult {especially in the continued on next page Heidi works an old cold track down the stream and back and after about twenty minutes she gives us a big, dying locate bawl and immediately starts chopping. - Photo by Rob Somerville MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 13

  • Pictured are {Front row: Jacob Headley, Kevin Randolph, Bill Callaghan and Dan Harris. Back row: Eric Jillison, Shawn Todd, Mike Randolph …. and the author’s dog, Heidi}. Photo by Shawn Todd dark!}. The Rookie, Kevin and Mike attempted to start loading the gun, one shot at a time. Needless to say, it took them 10 minutes to load. Rookie takes the first shot. “Thump” he hits the coon! Remember, this is the first time he ever shot at a coon. They were all excited and they start to load the gun again. After much fumbling and about another ten minutes later, Kevin takes the gun and “pow” he misses. After the second shot the coon is walking up and down the tree. Cheezer and I are yelling, “Shoot him, shoot him” and they yell back, “We are trying.” I looked at Cheezer and said, “We have two financial consultants (Rookie and Mike) and an Army Ranger in Kevin and they cannot even shoot a coon, but could probably bankrupt and invade a small country.” Cheezer started laugh- COLEMAN’S DISCOUNT HOME FURNISHINGS AREA’S ONLY DISTRIBUTOR OF DUCK COMMANDER FURNITURE! 3594 HWY 51 S. DYERSBURG, TN 731-285-6682 14 • • • • • • • ing. Then it got worse. The coon goes in a hole at the base of the tree (about ten foot up) and we can’t see it any more. This gets the rookies fired up even more. They shoot into the hole and Kevin commences to climb on Dr. Slaughters back. He reaches in and grabs the coon and throws it on the ground. After the kill the celebration began. These newbies were like kids in a candy factory, excited and thrilled to death for the success of the hunt. You had to be there to really enjoy the fiasco and the utmost silliness of it all. This article shows that when you hunt, you never know what is going to happen. It also shows that if people would sometimes get off their high horse and not forget where they came from, and try not to act better than or look down on others; they may just have a better life and meet some fine people like I have and do every day in life. Remember you cannot judge a book by its cover. I did not and now I have some great friends for life. Until next time see you at the tree. LAMBERT SECURITY BURGLAR ALARMS FIRE ALARMS COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS FREE ESTIMATES FREE ALARM SYSTEM MENTION THIS AD FOR FREE MONITORING OFFER! 1900 UPPER FINLEY RD - DYERSBURG, TN - 38024 1-888-496-SAFE OR 731-285-SAFE JEFF LAMBERT: CELL: 931-2810 SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 D.R.’s Auto Repair & SERVICE CENTER When I am in need of vehicle repairs, or servicing, I always go see my good friend Daniel, who owns D.R. Auto Repair & Service Center in Kenton, Tennessee. - Rob Somerville WE NOW CARRY A FULL LINE OF AC/DELCO MARINE BATTERIES! BRAKES - TUNE-UPS ELECTRICAL REPAIRS AND INSPECTION ALL MAJOR AND MINOR MECHANICAL REPAIRS - TIRE ROTATIONSHEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS. 530 N. Poplar - Kenton, TN. 731-749-5333 Licensed General Contractors LICENSED CONTRACTOR Value Engineering / Constructability Analysis Lynn brooks drew brooks • Over 30 years experience - since 1981 731-445-1208 • 731-445-3722 Scope Includes • New Construction (Home or • • Additions/Garages/Attic and Basement Build new home construction • Outs/Sunrooms additions/remodeling/repair • • Renovations (partial or full-house makeovers) • • Kitchens insurance specialists • Bathrooms least cost roofing • • Construction Management • Maintenance Contracts plumbing • • Repairs/Improvements • • Disaster Recovery floor support • Insurance Claim Specialists • Repair – Rebuild - Total Restoration If you • HVAC want to work with a financially stable • Electrical company that will deliver • Interior Trim (crownprojects on-time and construction molding, tile, cabinets, etc…) • within budget, and Exterior) Painting (Interior then I highly recommend • Energy Improvements renovation plus construction - rob somerville delivers projects on-time and within budget, then work with Renovation Plus Construction. - Rob Somerville 6401 Hwy 51 Bypass E. - Dyersburg, TN - 38024 731.445.3722 MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 15

    KUBOTA KOMMANDER - ZERO TURN MOWER The Kubota Kommander ZG100-Series is Kubota’s debut into the residential zero-turn market, and we pulled out all the stops. A lot of the Kommander’s features, like the low profile tires and LED headlights, are similar to what you see on new luxury automobiles. These high-end features plus professional-grade mower decks make the Kommander the must-have mower for small or large property homeowners. The Kubota Kommander ZG124E and ZG127E models are equipped with 24 horsepower Briggs & Stratton Pro and 27 horsepower cyclonic commercial turf vertical shaft engines. The ZG123S and ZG127S models include LED headlights and a full suspension seat. The S models are powered by 23 or 27 horsepower Kohler Courage Pro vertical shaft engines. Each model in the series is equipped with a commercial-grade hydro-gear ZT-3100 transmission that delivers maximum power to the wheels and a large 4.3 gallon fuel tank capacity. The Kubota Kommander’s mower deck is constructed of 10-gauge welded steel. The deck’s 5-inch deep design and high blade tip speed allows more airflow through the blades, enabling a higher quality of cut at a faster rate and an even discharge of clippings. Kubota’s exclusive K-Lift mechanical one-push deck lift pedal and dial cam allow the operator to adjust to a wide range of cutting heights in quarter inch increments from 1.5 to 4.5 inches, for a superior, even cut on a variety of turf types. The Kubota Kommander offers homeowners professional results and luxurious comfort. It features a wide operator station for first class legroom, and keyed ignition and manual choke-control on the control panel for convenient one-handed starting. Four storage compartments and two cup holders help keep the operator prepared for longer mowing projects. The Kubota Kommander features a deluxe, cushioned 18-inch high back seat for optimal comfort. Large 22-inch, low-profile wide rear tires not only add style, but also reduce ground contact pressure, providing a smooth ride on uneven terrain. To see this mower, or any other of their fine line of Kubota products, visits our friends at First Choice Farm & Lawn. They have two convenient locations. In Union City, Tennessee they are located at 1412 Stad Ave {731-885-1315} and in Dyersburg, Tennessee at 305 Hwy 51 South {882-1855}. Or, you can visit them on the web at - Rob Somerville OUR EXPERIENCED STAFF IS HERE TO FILL YOUR EVERY NEED & WE HAVE THE ROOM TO DO JUST THAT! LOUISIANA GRILLS - WOOD PELLET GRILLS Louisiana Grills has the solution to all your grilling needs. This Country Smoker pellet grill not only grills, but also slow roasts, smokes and bakes. It features 14 gauge powder coated steel construction and an arched flavor guard to reduce flare-ups and allow more juices to evaporate back into the meat as flavor. The reinforced lid with the chimney-less design means more smoke comes in contact with your food, providing a better flavor. The 614 square inches of porcelain coated grilling surface provide enough room to cook for a group of family and friends. The large, stainless steel burn grate, along with the flame broiler in the open position allows you to reach temperatures up to 1000 degrees for grilling. The airflow created within the Country Smoker line of grills allows for convection cooking, meaning the temperature at the top of the grill is close to the same temperature as the grilling surface. The auto-start electric igniter and feed system lets you set your temperature, push start, sit back and relax. The natural wood pellets feed into the burn pot where they are automatically ignited and the fan-cooled hopper and feed system keeps your grill at the temperature of your choosing. The Digi-Que control board lets you set your desired temperature and automatically maintains it during the grilling process. With the optional food probe, you can set you desired food temperature and the grill will automatically go into smoke mode when that temperature is reached, preventing over cooking. The lid thermometer enables you to monitor the temperature inside the grill and the grease bucket catches run off grease from the flavor guard. The 12 pound capacity hopper holds enough pellets for up to 8 hours of cooking. The auger and burn pot system on this grill uses 1 1/2 pounds of pellets per hour on low (180 degrees) and up to 7 pounds per hour on the highest setting (600 degrees). The CS-570 cart has a solid bottom shelf for storage and also features two leveling legs for stability and two wheels for easy movement. To view a large selection of Louisiana Wood Pellet Grills and all the accessories available, visit our good friends at Consolidated Agri Products, located at 35 Harrington Rd in Ridgely, Tennessee or call them at 731-264-5440. - Rob Somerville 16 SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 DYERSBURG ELEVATOR COMPANY 300 PRESSLER RD - DYERSBURG, TN - 38024 731-287-7272 MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 17

    T So... God Made a Farmer By Rob Somerville he name of our publication is Southern Traditions Outdoors and what better occupation is less appreciated and yet most typifies this title … then the American farmer? As outdoorsmen, I ask each of you to think about the importance that farmers have on the outdoor lifestyle that we hold so dear. Chances are that any of you who hunt for small or big game have done so, at one time or another, on a farmer’s land. Whether it was for quail and rabbit in their fencerows, deer, squirrel and raccoon in their woods, or turkey and dove in their fields, we all have taken advantage of a famer’s kindness and property in our outdoor excursions. The TWRA has made tremendous strides in the repopulation of wildlife and in the acquisition of land in our home state, for both reserves, and public access hunting and fishing. But, if all the people who hunt and fish were concentrated on these lands … safety and space, as well as quality fish and game would become issues. That is why farmers are so integral to the wildlife and habitat we so enjoy. The land that our farmers work supplies necessary food, shelter and water for our wildlife to survive and thrive. Their farming techniques conserve soil and replenish the necessary minerals that are so integral to nature’s animals in their survival. Their fencerows and woods provide oak trees with acorns, persimmon and beech nuts, as well as honeysuckle. Their fields offer up a wildlife buffet of corn, milo, soybeans and clover, as well as the muchneeded browsing areas for deer and turkey to socialize on. Their fencerows and woods provide hiding and bedding areas, for wildlife moms to raise their young, hidden safely from natural predators. Hunting on a private farm makes me feel a lot safer than hunting on public land, because I usually know any hunter that may be on the property, as well as where they are, at any given time. I have caught my biggest bass and catfish on private farm ponds and these angling honeyholes seem to have had little to no fishing pressure. Many farmers lease their land out to duck hunters, creating flooded fields after crop harvest, which offer up private and no-pressure continued on next page BRADLEY SEED COMP ANY THE MID-SOUTH’S DISTRIBUTOR FOR BECK’S HYBRID SEEDS Beck’s Hybrids is the largest family-owned, retail seed company in the United States, serving farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, southern Michigan, western Kentucky and Tennessee. Beck’s understands what farmers need, because we’re farmers, too. As the largest family-owned seed company, Beck’s has access to the best genetics Experience the Difference. and trait technologies from suppliers worldwide. In fact, Beck’s strives to provide all customers with the tools they need to succeed on their farm. Plant Beck's.™ Our Mission To provide our customers with the best in seed quality, field performance, and service. Our Commitment To honor God, by maintaining our relationships with integrity and honesty in all we do. 1415 LEXIE COBB RD - DYERSBURG, TN - 38059 JEFF BRADLEY: 731-259-2715 OR RYAN BRADLEY: 731-377-4885 18 SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 19

    Whitetail deer are only one species of game that survive and thrive in our region due to the food, water and shelter provided by farmers. - STO file photo duck hunting. Others lease their So God Made a Farmer property for deer and turkey hunt- And on the 8th day, God looked ing, or their lakes and ponds for down on his planned paradise and fishing. Many lucky sportsmen, said, “I need a caretaker.” such as myself, have been given So God made a farmer. free permission to hunt and fish on private farm land. This is inGod said, “I need somebody deed a privilege that should be apwilling to get up before dawn, preciated and respected. milk cows, work all day in the I want to dedicate this article fields, milk cows again, eat supto the American farmer and what per and then go to town and stay better way to do just this then to past midnight at a meeting of the print the following words. school board.” So God made a Here’s the text of Paul Harvey’s farmer. 1978 ‘So God Made a Farmer’ Speech, which inspired the Ram “I need somebody with arms Trucks Super Bowl ad that has strong enough to rustle a calf resonated with so many Ameri- and yet gentle enough to deliver cans: his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous 20 SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it.” So God made a farmer. God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, Flooded fields on farms provide waterfowl hunters with abundant and private waterfowl hunting. - STO file photo pain’n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours.” So God made a farmer. God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God made a farmer. God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church. with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.’” So God made a farmer. On behalf of outdoorsmen everywhere, who have reaped the harvest of the hard working farmers across this great country, “Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 21

    Fast Facts About Agriculture • YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP FOR THE FARM, HOME & THE GREAT OUTDOORS! • • RIO Shotgun Shells Val6 Heaters G&H Decoys Dakota Decoys Louisana Grills We also offer Soil Sampling (Grid/Spot) and of course ... all your seed, fertilizer and Ag chemicals needs! • • CONSOLIDATED AGRI PRODUCTS 35 Harrington Rd - Ridgely, TN 38080 (731) 264-5440 • • • Complete Line of New & Used Farm Equipment! • • • Byron Medlin Office: 573-333-0663 Email: 1197 State Hwy D Caruthersville, MO - 63830 22 2.2 million farms dot America’s rural landscape. About 97 percent of U.S. farms are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships or family corporations. Farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population. More than 21 million American workers (15 percent of the total U.S. workforce) produce, process and sell the nation’s food and fiber. Today’s farmers produce 262 percent more food with 2 percent fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.), compared with 1950. In 2010, $115 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world. The United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance. One in three U.S. farm acres is planted for export. 31 percent of U.S. gross farm income comes directly from exports. About 23 percent of raw U.S. farm products are exported each year. Farmers and ranchers receive only 16 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home. The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In 1980, farmers and ranchers received 31 cents. U.S. farm programs typically cost each American just pennies per meal and account for less than one-half of 1 percent of the total U.S. budget. Americans enjoy a food supply that abundant, affordable overall and among the world’s safest, thanks in large part to the efficiency and productivity of America’s farm and ranch families. SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 • • • • • • • • • GIBSON FARMERS CO-OP Agriculture & the Environment Careful stewardship by farmers has spurred a nearly 50 percent decline in erosion of cropland by wind and water since 1982. Conservation tillage, a way of farming that reduces erosion (soil loss) on cropland while using less energy, has grown from 17 percent of acreage in 1982 to 63 percent today. At the same time, total land used for crops declined by 15 percent (70 million acres). Farmers have enrolled a total of 31 million acres in the Conservation Reserve Program to protect the environment and provide habitat for wildlife. Since its inception in 1985, the program has helped reduce soil erosion by 622 million tons and restored more than 2 million acres of wetlands. Farmers, ranchers and other landowners have installed more than 2 million miles of conservation buffers under farm bill initiatives. Buffers improve soil, air and water quality; enhance wildlife habitat; and create scenic landscapes. Each year, hundreds of thousands of trees are planted on farmland. More than half of America’s farmers intentionally provide habitat for wildlife. Deer, moose, fowl and other species have shown significant population increases for decades. Through the farm bill, funding is provided to farmers and ranchers for conservation, for programs that prevent soil erosion, preserve and restore wetlands, clean the air and water, and enhance wildlife. Crop rotation, the practice of growing different crops in succession on the same land, is another way farmers take care of the land. For contour farming, farmers plant crops across the slope of the land to conserve water and protect soil. CHECK OUT OUR CO-OP OUTDOORS SPORTSMAN’S CATALOGUE ON-LINE AT CHECK OUT THE HUGE & VISIT US FOR ALL YOUR UNIQUE GIFT SHOP IN OUR FOOD PLOT SEEDS & NEEDS! TRENTON LOCATION! DYERSBURG 731-285-7161 BIG BOY JUNCTION 731-285-0202 NEWBERN 731-627-2525 TRENTON 731-855-1891 DYER 731-665-6161 MILAN 731-787-6618 0 Down, 0 %Financing up to 60Months $ A.P.R. * morrow t something big to Save today. Starbota Disc Mower! with your New Ku First Choice Farm & Lawn 1412 Stad Ave. Union City,TN 38261 (731) 885-1315 First Choice Farm & Lawn 305 Hwy 51 S Dyersburg,TN 38024 731-882-1855 *$0 down, 0% A.P.R. financing for up to 60 months on purchases of new Kubota BX, B, L, M, TLB and ZP, DM, RA and TE Hay Tools equipment is available to qualified purchasers from participating dealers’ in-stock inventory through 3/31/2014. Example: A 60-month monthly installment repayment term at 0% A.P.R. requires 60 payments of $16.67 per $1,000 financed. 0% A.P.R. interest is available to customers if no dealer documentation preparation fee is charged. Dealer charge for document preparation fee shall be in accordance with state laws. Inclusion of ineligible equipment may result in a higher blended A.P.R. Not available for Rental, National Accounts or Governmental customers. 0% A.P.R. and low-rate financing may not be available with customer instant rebate offers. Financing is available through Kubota Credit Corporation, U.S.A., 3401 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503; subject to credit approval. Some exceptions apply. Offer expires 3/31/2014. See us for details on these and other low-rate options or go to for more information. © Kubota Tractor Corporation, 2014 MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 23

    NORTHWEST TENNESSEE TOURISM • • • • • • • • • HUNT l We can fulfil FISH your entire BOAT family’s vacation dreams! GOLF SWIM HIKE CAMP LODGING FINE FOOD HYDRAULICS, BEARINGS SUPPLIES, TOOLS & PARTS FOR HOME, FARM & FLEET WE NOW CARRY HUNTING EQUIPMENT! Dyersburg 121 South King Ave. - Dyersburg, TN - 38024 731-285-1543 Northwest Tennessee... A Great Place to Be! NORTHWEST TENNESSEE TOURISM 731-593-0171 Jackson 982 Lower Brownsville Rd. Jackson, TN. 38301 731-427-7725 Jackson Handy Home Center 330 South Royal Street Jackson, TN 38301 731-423-0115 Humboldt Hwy. 70A-79 By-Pass Humboldt, TN 38343 731-784-1761 Union City 1501 South First St. Union City, TN 38261 731-885-5063 3 Professional Real Estate Group Specializing in all types of property, including hunting ground, wildlife management areas, game hunting leases, farm property, and more. Please contact me for all your real estate needs. Visit our Jackson, TN office, located at 2690 Bells Highway - Jackson, TN - (731) 660-4072 Since 2003, Best-One of Jackson has provided outstanding tire sales and service along with exceptional mechanical work to customers in Jackson, Brownsville and Milan, Tennessee. We provide passenger, commercial and agricultural tires to the West Tennessee area through honest and courteous service. We also have trained professionals who can perform a variety of auto repairs to keep your vehicle running smoothly. 24 SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 Hunter Newbill’s first name describes him just right. He is a dedicated outdoorsman, who is very involved with introducing today’s youth, safely and ethically, into the outdoor lifestyle. He is a perfect choice for sportsmen or farmers that are shopping for a home, hunting land, farm acreage, or recreational property. Eddie Anderson - Co-owner STO Magazine Hunter Newbill Broker - GRI - CRS - ABR 2455 Lake Rd. - Suite 8 - Dyersburg, TN. {Off.} 731-285-5505 {Cell} 731-445-9998 MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 25

    BIKINI BOTTOMS OFF ROAD & RECREATIONAL PARK HOME OF THE HIGHEST & LONGEST ZIPLINE IN THE MID-SOUTH! If you are from the South, it is almost sacreligous if you don’t like camping, ATV’S, four wheel drive trucks ... and putting a little mud on your tires. Throw in some big name musical guests putting on several great concerts each year and the highest and longest zipline in the MidSouth and what better place could you find for fun, family and friends than Bikini Bottoms Off-Road Park, just outside of Dyersburg, Tennessee. Bob and Pam Williams have worked hard to make their park the ultimate in outdoors adventure. They will be open on weekends beginning March 1st and Bob told me that they will have bigger and better concerts, races, mud pits, trails and obstacles to climb than ever. I have gone to several of their events and concerts and can assure you that it is very common to see a big smile on everyones {sometimes mud-splattered} face, both young and old. So come on out for an old fashioned redneck party. Bikini Bottoms is located at 300 Burnt Mill Drive {halfway between Dyersburg, Tennessee and Reelfootr Lake}. You can call them at 731-676-0402 or catch them on the web at I hope to see you there! - Rob Somerville. CLAYTON HOMES OF DYERSBURG Whether you are thinking about purchasing a new or used permanent residence, a lake house or a hunting cabin, we highly recomend Clayton Homes of Dyersburg, Tennessee. What do you get when you walk in to Clayton Homes of Dyersburg? You get a team of home consultants who have over sixty years of combined experience. That means they can help you find whatever you are looking for, from new homes to repos, and everything in between. If they don’t have a home that fits your needs on the lot, they have over 400 available floor plans from more than seven world class home manufacturers. They can find you any style or size of home from a simple single wide to a spectacular multi-section home. Most lot models are decorated for your viewing pleasure, too, so you won’t even need to use your imagination to see how your family can fit into a new home. So, what are you waiting for? They have your home – come and get it! Clayton homes are well designed and constructed and are endorsed by Kay and Phil Robertson and the Duck Commander team. There is even a Duck Dynasty model for outdoor oriented families! You can come by their spacious lot and see dozens of models, complete with finished interiors today and be ... Happy, Happy Happy! So go visit Justin Ford and his crew at Clayton Homes. They are located at 3895 Hwy 51 South in Dyersburg, Tennessee. You can reach them by phone at 731-285-0310 or check out their complete line of homes and interior floor plans at - Rob Somerville 26 SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 TISHOMINGO COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL CAPITOL OF THE SOUTH! There is no better location for outdoor loving families and sportsmen’s outings than Tishomingo County, Mississippi. It is home for over 50,000 acres of lakes and has plenty of marinas and beaches. There is also a wide selection of fine restaurants, lodging and shopping. Tourist attractions include natural waterfalls, covered bridges, Tishomingo State Park, J.P Coleman State Park and The Old Courthouse Museum. Tishomingo County has several professional and amateur bass tournaments held throughout the year, which always draw huge crowds. For the family visitors there are Relay for Life runs, a Spring Disc Golf Tournament, their 36th Annual Ole Tyme Music Festival, a Native American Indians Customs & Traditions show, Dennis Day Festival, National Trails Day Less Litter - More Beauty Hike, Dulcimer Festival, Iuka Heritage Festival & Car and Tractor Show, Battle of Iuka and Farmington Civil War Reenactments, Bear Creek Festival and Car Show, Needle Chasers Quilt Show, Waterway Festival & Car Show, Trash & Treasures Along the Tenn-Tom, St. Jude Bike Show & Ride, Tishomingo County Fair, 28th Annual Fall Fling for the Young at Heart, Iuka Fly-In Vintage Aircrafts Demo and the Mid-America Old Time Auto Association National Car Show. Needless to say, the fishing for over a dozen species is phenomenal, but the landscape will take your breath away as well. There is plenty to do ... for the entire family in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. I guarantee that you will have a great time, because the folks there are the definition of Southern Hospitality. - Rob Somerville. TENNESSEE ARMS LLC. WE BELIEVE IN THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS! TN ARMS 15 - .223/5.56 RIFLE West Tennessee’s newest firearms manufacturer is proud to announce the launch of their new .223/ 5.56 rifle the TNARMS 15. This 16 inch barreled, free-float complete rifle is the absolute best value on the market today. It features a mil-spec cut bolt, coated in Robar’s NP3 finish, Diamondhead Back-Up Iron Sites and Free float tube with available rails. This rifle is available in multiple colors and available matching Magpul Stock and pistol grip. Tennessee Arms LLC also manufactures innovative bolt systems and receivers for AR-15 rifles that are coated, require no oiling, and are corrosion, gumming and powder build-up free! Tennessee Arms LLC is located at 916 S. Main Ave. - in Dyersburg, Tennessee. You can reach them by phone at 731-334-5106 or visit their website at - Rob Somerville MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 27

    DUCK SEASON RECAP hunters had a rollercoaster ride By Steve McAdams Duck numbers were pretty good across West Tennessee this season, but were influenced by wet conditions that scattered the birds over 4 or 5 states at times. - Photo COURTESY OF TNWR T he Volunteer State’s duck season is now in the books and for most it was quite a roller coaster ride of weather patterns. Tennessee’s 60-day straight season kicked off Thanksgiving morning when temps bottomed out at 15 degrees, an unusual start, as some ice entered the picture for a lot of blinds on opening morning. Fast forward two months and it was a frigid finish for most quacker smackers, who were also battling ice the last few days of season, when glacier like conditions descended. The last week of January started out at 63 degrees and by midweek the mercury dipped down to a mere 5 degrees, after an Alberta clipper blew in. Then, on January 26th - the last day of the season, conditions rebounded into the low 50’s! The overall season was pretty good for some blinds across West Tennessee, but there were times when frozen backwaters had the decoy spreads chilled in stiff positions. The last week of bitter cold ended the season prematurely for a few hunters, who surrendered to the ice, while others were using ice eaters and attempting to keep potholes open. In between several frigid fronts were some rashes of warm, wet weather that altered the waterfowl scene across a five-state region. Portions of west Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, west Kentucky, the Bootheel of Missouri and southern Illinois all had abundant water at times and that really scattered ducks during December and early January. Duck season got off to a pretty good start for some hunters in extreme western Tennessee and around the Kentucky Lake area as a lot of gadwalls, greenwing teal, mallards, shovelers, pintails and widgeon were early arrivals to the area. By mid-December areas around Tigrett and White’s Lake in west Tennessee, along with select areas on Reelfoot Lake were still doing pretty good; while other areas saw hunting success diminish due to a combination of warm weather and backwater flooding. Warm, wet weather is good for the ducks… but tough on the hunters. Several success stories came in on a consistent basis for hunters scattered across the Hatchie, Forked Deer, and Obion River bottoms where flooded soybean and corn fields appealed to ducks at times, but too much water often plagued popular wildlife management areas and private hunt clubs. Preceding this year’s duck season was a very wet spring that interfered with planting on most of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s wildlife management areas. Popular public hunting areas such as Kentucky Lake’s Camden bottoms, Big Sandy, Gin Creek and West Sandy did not get planted and wintering ducks had little to eat. It was a similar scenario at Gooch and Tigrett WMAs, as a lack of winter waterfowl food had ducks flocking elsewhere at times. Some private hunting clubs and leased farms did well, but most of the heavy harvest areas were altercontinued on next page 28 SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 PHONE (731)286-0853 • 1529 MORGAN RD., DYERSBURG WILKERSON’S TAXIDERMY EVERY MOUNT IS A TROPHY Don’t trust just anyone. Trust a State, National & World Award Winning Taxidermists! WALTER & TERRY WILKERSON “Quality Work at a Reasonable Price” Member T.T.A. & N.T.A. Drake pintails are always a prized possession among the ranks of waterfowlers. Here, the author displays a nice bull sprig taken on a clear cold morning when things were going good. - Photo by Steve McCadams MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 29

    ing their hunt hours and changed to abbreviated schedules and alternate days that allowed ducks to feed and rest. It seems there are always a few hunters doing well at various periods of the long season. However, weather and water conditions can change things overnight and that happened this year as dramatic temperatures changes escorted by gale north winds really put ducks in the air at times. One day ducks were on the move and hunting would be great, only to have stagnant winds and a warm-up in the aftermath that sent lazy ducks to resting areas, where they quickly grew complacent and basked in the sun. It seems the wind giveth and the wind taketh away, when it comes to duck movement and behavior. When was the best time to go during the 60-day season? That’s a popular question asked by legions of waterfowlers, both before and during the season, but it has no correct answer as most veteran hunters know there are too many variables. About the only thing duck hunters can really control is when they go hunting. No one can predict the weather or when winds stimulate activity for restless waterfowl. Hunters can control their boats, motors, camouflage, decoy spreads, shotguns and shells, calling techniques and locations, but for the average hunter it’s a roll of the dice as to picking the best days to go. Did the season reach a peak, as to waterfowl numbers and hunting success? Watching waterfowl survey totals can give you an in- NEW & USED HOMES! HUNDREDS OF FLOOR PLANS! JUST LIKE PHIL & KAY’S! teresting bit of information, but it doesn’t always indicate when the best hunting occurs. It’s true that more ducks in the area improve the odds for the everyday hunter, but ole’ man weather deals the cards. This year Tennessee season began in late November and ended on the last Sunday in January. Waterfowl numbers in the area were about average in the early season and the series of cold fronts continued to influence an increase of ducks and geese at area state and federal refuges. For example, the mid-winter count taken by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service by aerial survey in mid-December, at both Tennessee and Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuges, showed a total of 116,000-plus ducks at DUCK DYNASTY UNITS! 3895 HWY 51 S. - DYERSBURG, TN 731-285-0310 CLAYTONHOMESOFDYERSBURG.COM MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 30 TNWR and about 26,000-plus at CCNWR. By the third week in January and the last week of hunting season, duck numbers swelled to a total of 231,000-plus at TNWR on Kentucky Lake and up to 50,000-plus at CCNWR on Barkley Lake. Further west to the White’s Lake area near Dyersburg, duck numbers had been pretty high back in mid-December and increased in January, but fluctuated as cold weather and icing followed flooding in the region. That trend saw ducks on the move and trading places between the Mississippi River drainage areas of backwater bottoms and flooded fields, to more open water areas and big reservoirs at times. While there are always a few hot spots that due to their geographic location simply do better than the average, it’s fair to say some locations experienced highs and lows throughout the season despite their reputations. A few locations that got off to a slow start this season finished on a good note, as they were the beneficiary of bitter weather that took some blinds elsewhere out of the picture when icing occurred. Some duck hunters that were down and out at midseason, finished the season stepping high and feeling good. Duck numbers increased late and hunting improved quickly for some and those unfortunate mornings of empty skies were quickly replaced with memories of ducks downwind, rapidly descending over the decoys. While the overall season was a mix for most duck hunters, it’s funny how a few good days now and then can erase the bad times. The last week of season did just that for a few, who hated to see the season end. Duck hunters are among the most optimistic people in the world. Once fall returns and a chill enters the air, even those knee-booters who had a tough season will be front and center, ready to go. Even if there’s only one duck left in the fall flight forecast, there are those who will rise early and march through the mud. You never know when he might just fly by your decoy spread! 470 US Highway 51 Bypass N. - Dyersburg, TN 38024 (731) 285-2060 Open Tuesday - Friday: 9am to 5pm & Saturday: 9am to 3pm WWW.OUTERLIMITPOWERSPORTS.COM Lankford Taxidermy 3070 Thompson School Rd. Huntingdon, Tennessee - 38344 Phone {731} 986-3351 Specializing in Fish Mountings and Birds - 50 Years Experience - 20% off and bass over 6 lbs. caught from Gibson County Lake or Carroll Lakes! MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS 31

    TWRA NEWS From the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency TENNESSEE’S DEER HARVEST TOTALS MORE THAN 168,000 FOR THE 2013-14 SEASON More than 168,000 deer were harvested in Tennessee, during the recently completed 2013-14 season. - STO File Photo More than 168,000 deer were harvested in Tennessee, during the recently completed 2013-14 season, as data continues to be gathered by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The statewide gun season concluded Jan. 5th and the youth hunt followed on Jan. 11th-12th. The harvest numbers range from the start of archery season on Sept. 28th, 2013 through the final youth hunt. This year’s total again reflects the stability of the state’s deer population. Last year’s total was more than 176,600, while the 2011-12 total was slightly less than 168,000. Giles County again leads the way as the top county with 5,396 deer harvested. Fayette County is up one spot, to second place from third, with a harvest of 4,727. Rounding out the top 13 counties, which all had harvest of at 32 least 3,000, are Lincoln - 4,694, Henry - 4,557, Hardeman - 4,299, Maury 4,047, Franklin - 4,040, Montgomery 3,897, Carroll - 3,291, Madison - 3,231, Weakley - 3,122, Hickman - 3,020, and Hardin - 3,012. More than 1,000 deer were harvested in 73 of the state’s 95 counties. Polk County, in the southeastern corner of the state, had the lowest county harvest total with 148. The harvest totals can be viewed on the TWRA website (www.tnwildlife. org) and is located in the “For Hunters” section. 2013 STATE’S BLACK BEAR HARVEST PASSES 500 The Tennessee Wildlife Resources AgTennessee’s black bear harvest passed the 500-mark for the recentlycompleted 2013 season, again an indication that the state’s bear population is stable. The harvest, which currently stands at 507, is the third highest on record. The state record is 581, which came in 2011, and is up from the 397 harvested in 2012. The harvest marks the ninth consecutive year that hunters have harvested more than 300 bears in the state. Of this year’s harvest, 318 were males. Black bears were harvested in 11 East Tennessee counties during the recently completed season. Monroe County unseated Cocke County for the top county, as 117 bears were harvested. Cocke County was second, with SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 a harvest of 76. Blount County was third with 52, followed by Polk - 50, Sevier - 45, Carter - 44, Unicoi - 38, Johnson - 33, Greene 26, Sullivan - 16, and Washington - 10. Tennessee black bear harvest reports started in 1951. There were a total of 29 bears harvested that year. Tennessee’s black bear population has been steadily increasing over the past 40 years, due to several management practices put in place by TWRA. These practices include establishment of a series of bear reserves throughout the bear habitat, protection of females and cubs, and setting the majority of the bear hunting season later in the year when most females have gone to the den. Fishing reports Let your smart phone be your key to the great outdoors! Locate a WMA Sunrise, sunset tables Buy your license Stocking schedules Check in big game Watchable wildlife Renew boat registration Tennessee’s black bear harvest passed the 500-mark for the recently-completed 2013 season, again an indication that the state’s bear population is stable. - STO File Photo Available now at the App Store and Google Play MARCH-APRIL 2014 | SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS Find a boat ramp 33

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    Well gun dog trainers, I hope your duck season was Retriever Training 3 If you had a dog that had problems maintaining the “steady” command this past season, when ducks were present and guns were firing, now is the time to work on that aspect of refined training. - STO File Photo By H. Joe King Jr. 36 SOUTHERN TRADITIONS OUTDOORS | MARCH-APRIL 2014 Year a good one. Reports for the duck harvests this previous season in West Tennessee were slow. The hotter areas and blinds were able to scratch out a few more birds than others, as is usual. I hope your young gun dog was able to retrieve some birds this past season. With your dog’s second year maturity and the training you did, I hope your hunting companion was able to do the job asked to do. Along with your dog’s maturity, I hope his marking and handling skills for blind retrieves was to your satisfaction. Now that the season is over you need to list problems you noticed with your second year dog. Just like last year, it is time to further solve problems noted during the previous duck season, so make a list of any negative issues your dog displayed and start on it NOW!! Just as with many of the old dog trainers and pros, your third year of retriever training is like putting icing on the cake. For example, if your dog showed unsteady behavior in the blind and/or boat, work on this. Practice further mark training, starting back with singles and plenty of them, progressing to the multiple mark retrieves. Remember that the keys in training your dog are repetition and patience! Work on your dog’s blind retrieves, encompassing all of your regular hunting scenarios from 25 to 300 yards in distance. If you are just training for duck season, put in plenty of work using similar scenarios of how you actually hunt. This is important to improve your dog’s steadiness in the blind or boat for next season and makes him familiar with your hunting scenarios. Use live gunfire, when making retrieves throughout your dog’s set up in retriever training. This helps simulate an actual hunt and will condition your dog to improve his performance in the field. Think of every situation and train for this. Your goal to strive for is at least 15 to 20 successful retrieves in each particular situation (marks, blind retrieves, picking up cripple duck situations, etc.). You, as a 3rd year dog trainer, will see the confidence increase with your dog. Don’t advance to more challenging situations until you see his solid confidence in work. Keep it fun and watch how much pressure you put on the dog. The final thing to remember is that “patience” word. You must maintain patience in training your dog. Let’s get going on your retriever training now, while last season’s hunts are still fresh in your dog’s mind. Remember to be patient, maintain consis- tency in your training and you can then look forward to you and your dog’s third duck season. Good Training and Good Luck! H. Joe King, Jr. - Thunder Ridge Retrievers - 731676-7776 - West Tennesse’s Most Modern and Enviromentally Friendly Body Shops! CARSTAR five-year nationwide and limited lifetime warranty, 24/7 Accident Assistance, Free Estmates, Bonded & Insured, Licensed by most major insurance c

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