Monday, January 28, 2013

Steve Barker, 2012 Season Hunting Video

Greetings from cold and snowy Boise!  I hope everyone is well and getting excited about spring turkey hunts, as well as shed antler hunting.  Additionally, I hope all of you hunting Utah this year (or hoping to) are getting excited about the application period which opens this Friday, February 1st!  Visit www.wildlife.utah.gov and click on the big game tag to access the hunting guidebook, as well as to buy licenses and to apply online.

Speaking of getting excited about hunting, my good friend Steve Barker sent me a short video that he put together highlighting the 2012 hunting season for Steve and his hunting buddies.  If you missed it last winter, Steve contributed a post where he explained the fun and how-to of creating your own hunting video, http://www.suhuntandfish.com/2012/01/hunting-video.html.  Going back to hunting applications, Steve also submitted this great post about planning out your hunting activities, and how a little research an planning can have a lot to do with you being successful in hunting more often.  Check out the post: http://www.suhuntandfish.com/2012/01/youll-run-out-of-time-before-you-run.html

I was excited when Steve called to say he had another video for us, and I will have to say that this one one-ups the video from last year in my mind!  Excellent graphics and effects, and just great times makes this one awesome video.  We hope you enjoy it, and thanks again Steve for sharing it with all of us at SUH&F!

Follow this link to view the video in excellent HD format:  http://vimeo.com/58261967



Friday, January 25, 2013

2013 Shed Antler Season

Well the reports are starting to trickle in of folks finding a little "brown on the ground", as well as seeing a few bucks here and there sporting one less antler!  The lull between the fall hunts and the spring drop can be a long bit of nothing for many hunters, the anticipation if getting back into the hills to track down the antlers from the boys that got away will about kill a feller!  This year's conditions are a lot better as far as accessing some prime winter grounds, and unless something drastic changes in the weather patterns here in the west, this looks like a great year for laying down boot tracks in search of those sheds!

As you hit the hills, please keep in mind that with the bitter cold, frigid temperatures we have experienced over the past 1-2 months, the deer and elk are pretty stressed this year, and this time of year is one of the most critical for deer and elk anyway as they start to run low on that winter range feed and are doing all they can to survive.  In fact, there have been several reports of people finding deer frozen to death in their beds here lately.  As you hit the hills to search for sheds, please remember that just as there are hunting ethics, there are a few ethical codes we should be following during this season as well.

Pressure:  Winter range in itself is a problem in many areas of the west as habitat is unhealthy and actually disappearing in a lot of areas.  When you get into a good herd of deer or elk, it may be a good thing to just back off for a few days.  Shortly, the weather will change and they will begin to move back up the mountain anyway.  If you do proceed into where they are, do your best to avoid pushing and running them, causing the animals to waste vital energy and food stores in order to flee.  More often than not you aren't going to find your sheds right where the deer are anyway.  Usually you are going to kick them off of beds when you are out in the day, and most of your sheds are actually going to be found in trails to and from water or feed, or in those feeding areas.  Try to focus on those areas to avoid kicking the herds around all day.  Sadly, every year I have also ran into people that intentionally run a herd in hopes of assisting the bucks and bulls to drop their antlers.  I think most of us would agree that this is just lazy and highly unethical, as well as illegal.

Access:  There are 2 points I would like to make here.  First, road systems are very muddy this time of year.  Try to avoid tearing the road surfaces up with your truck or ATVs.  This is a tremendous cost to tax payers to have the roads maintained from spring damage, as well as an unnecessary safety hazard to you and others that may have to come find you if you become stuck and stranded.  If you are getting into bad road conditions, this is probably where you ought to be parking and getting out to hike to find the sheds anyway.

The second part of the topic of access is ATV use.   Again, sadly every year I run across people venturing cross country on their ATVs searching for sheds as they go.  Again, highly illegal and highly unethical.  We all hate to see the federal government lock down our travel systems on public lands more and more, let's not give them the reasoning to keep at it.  Please stay on existing roads and trails.  Getting out on your feet is the best way to find them anyway, and it's better for you physically, and I think adds more of a reward and enjoyment to the experience.

Also, on the topic of ethics, be sure to visit the Utah DWR website if you are in Utah and take your online shed antler ethics course that goes over a lot of these topics, and keeps you legal!   wildlife.utah.gov/shedantler

Optics:  It takes some training for the eye, but one of the best things you can do is find a vantage point and glass, glass, glass!  The people I know that are scooping up lots and lots of sheds do it by tons of glassing and tons of walking.  Click on our Vortex logo on the right sidebar and hook yourself up with some great optics to aid you in finding them!

Predators:  When the deer and elk drop down the mountain, so do their predators, specifically cougars.  I hear of more run ins with mountain lions this time of year than any other.  Be sure to proceed into an area with caution, and look for sign of them as well.  I never go shed hunting without the protection of a firearm.  It is more to scare them off than to actually engage them, but I feel better knowing I am protected.  These animals are also stressed this time of year and can do some crazy things.  A couple of years ago, just outside of town, a cousin of mine was shocked to see a mountain lion jump from a tree and start chasing him on his ATV!  As the scouts always say, "Be Prepared".

Safety:  You are you going to run into a bit of everything during shed season; heat, cold, mud, snow, sudden storms, you name it.  BE prepared for the worst, you never know what may happen to yourself if you slip and break a leg, get back to the truck and find your truck dead, or maybe you had an encounter with one of those cats!  First of all, let someone know where you are going, and have a plan in case you are not back on time.  Take your pack, filled with your basic survival gear; fire starters, emergency food, knife, warm clothes, water purification means, etc.  Be sure to pack plenty of water, wear appropriate boots to handle the terrain and elements, a radio, and GPS.  Again, be prepared!

What to do with those sheds?  
Most of you already have an idea of what to do with those sheds or you wouldn't be doing this already, but I wanted to point you in the direction of some of my best resources.  Most of what people pick up they sell, the small stuff, or maybe even good sets that will fetch top dollar.  Where can you sell them?  Well, if you find yourself in Southern Utah be sure to stop by Shed Inc in Panguitch, Utah where Mat and Randy Houston are going to give you great prices on your antlers.  Stop and see their collection, and they usually run a "shed of the month" contest as well.  The contest is worth getting in on!  You can also follow the action on their Facebok page, www.facebook.com/shedinc.

If you are outside of the area, get in touch with the Snake River Antler BuyerKC will give you great prices as well, and he also travels around the west purchasing antler.  You can also find him on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SnakeRiverAntlerBuyer.

Mountain Mike's Reproductions:  Do you have that trophy set that you just don't want to part with?  I had this dilemma last year. I found a set of 190" sheds that I just didn't want to part with.  I found Mountain Mikes, and thought I would give it a try.  Mountain Mikes makes replicated skulls that you can attach your sheds to, giving the set a European mounted look to them.  Mountain Mikes makes skulls for a variety of game, from whitetail, to mule deer, elk, and more.  I bought a deer kit for my set.  The kit came with 2 mounting plates, small and large which suited both whitetail and mule deer sheds.  The process was simple; first I have to use a saw to cut the bases of the antlers off flush with the burrs, then use a Dremel tool to grind and even those bases out a bit, drill a hole in the base of each antler, then run a screw through the top mounting plate and into the antler to secure it.  Next, just a couple of screws to secure the base of the skull to the top plate, then a little gap filler to go between the two.  I run our of gap filler, but a little Elmer's glue did the trick to complete it (I think that's all their gap filler was anyway.  They send you a mounting plate in the kit, and now I have this great set of sheds displayed on a skull in my trophy room.  If I can do it, anyone can, if that tells you how easy it was!  Find Mountain Mikes at http://masterofskulls.com/ and on their homepage you will find links to vendors that sell the product.




Zach Owens of Panguitch, Utah with a Mountain Mikes Reproduction.


Our Next Contest!
Alright, with shed season on the way, it's only fitting that we have a bit of a contest to make it a bit more interesting!  We are going to do this as a photo contest again.  The contest starts today, and because of the duration of shed season we are going to run this one through March 31st at midnight, MST.  We want to see your photos not only of your sheds, but also of your trips!  Half of the fun is the country covered, the muddy boots, the adventure of it, so also feel free to send photos of not just your sheds but your outing as well.  We are again going to work on getting multiple prizes, in order to crown more than just a first place.  So, stay tuned to see if we add more prizes to the pot as we go along.  For now, check out this prize we have to offer!



We have a Garmin Rino 120 GPS/radio unit.  These little GPS units are great to track your location, as well as to talk to your buddies, all in one!  To qualify you will need to either submit a photo by email to suhuntandfish@gmail.com or post them directly to our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/suhuntandfish.  We are going to use the honor system and trust that your photos are from 2013.  Be sure to give our Facebook page a like if you haven't done so, and share the contest with your friends.  We will keep updating here and on Facebook as we get new prizes added to the pot. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vortex Viper HS Scope Winner

We have a winner!



It has taken several hours to weed through all of the comments and shares, verifying the entries were valid (that they had liked the pages), and canceling out dual entries from multiple comments, which left us with 427 qualified entries.  We randomized the list, and plugged it into a random number generator.  The results, #61:

Vortex optics are the best Josh Wright Logan Utah on Contests
Anonymous
on 12/27/12

Congratulations Josh Wright of Logan, Utah!  You are one very lucky individual indeed, now I can only hope you don't have the other contestants beating down your door trying to take it from you!  This contest received amazing attention right off the bat, in fact, the day we released the information we shot up to nearly 1,200 page views for that day, a number we have never came close to in the past.  Through it all you all helped us gain nearly 1,000 new followers between Facebook and Twitter!  The new viewership and interaction with our fans will now enable us to be able to do more for you, as we look to hold more giveaways and contests through this upcoming year.  You all are the best!

As for me, the pure joy of this contest was in going through the comments received and seeing how tight knit the outdoor community really is.  Through the tweets and Facebook updates we had some very fun interaction during the contest.  I also enjoyed very much seeing new viewers and followers join us not only from every corner of our great nation, but from around the world!  We picked up new viewers from the UK, Sweden, and even Australia!  Welcome to all of you, we hope that you continue to be a part of our community here!

I want to say thanks to you all that have entered, shared, and anxiously awaited the announcement on a winner.  I wish we could give every one of you a prize, but there can only be 1 winner this time.  Do us a favor and continue to support our sponsors, and feel free to drop them a line letting them know how much you enjoy their sponsorship of SUH&F!

Josh, please contact us by email at suhuntandfish@gmail.com, or leave a message on Facebook with your shipping address and we will get that information passed on to Vortex so they can get your scope out to you.

A huge thanks to Vortex Optics for not only providing the scope for our giveaway, but for your sponsorship of Southern Utah Hunt and Fish.  We are excited to see the new products that lie in store for us in 2013!  It is quite something to have the best optics maker in the business as a part of what we do.  We look forward to another great year with Vortex!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ice Fishing 101

The bitter cold temperatures across the US has put ice fishing season in full swing over much of our country, and SUH&F has been fortunate to get out already several times this winter to enjoy the early season fishing!  Through the videos, pictures, and Facebook we have received a lot of questions about what gear to use, techniques, and keys to success when it comes to ice fishing.  In response, we are going to break down ice fishing, from the needs of the beginning ice fisherman, those on a budget, or those looking to get more serious when it comes to ice fishing.  It's only mid season, but as retailers prepare for the spring season you will already find a lot of ice fishing gear about to go on clearance, if it has not already.  Now is the time for great deals!  But before we get to far, let's start off with the basics.  Keep in mind we are going to be talking about regular prices, not the great deals you might find on clearance items.  Would you believe you can get started for under $100?

Basic Gear

Auger:   Well, to start off you need a way to get through the ice!  For those starting out, you can find hand augers for as low as $40, running up to about $100.  I really like Eskimo brand hand augers.  For most lakes, a 6" auger will do, and you will find Eskimo hand augers in the $40-$60 range, depending on size and model.  I will say that I could drill a hole with a 6" hand auger almost 3 times as fast as I could with an 8".  Find a blade sharpener to save you some life on buying replacement blades.  This is going to be your most expensive item to get started.

Fishing Pole:  If you are really strapped for cash, just take your spin rod to the lake.  The downside is you have to sit back further from the hole, and if it's not a really light action rod you may miss feeling or seeing some bites.  Under the ice, fish will often bite very lightly.  You can fix this by buying a few (very cheap) Styrofoam bobbers to see that bite.   If you can do it, buy you an ice rod!  You would be very surprised that you can find a very good rod/reel combo for $10-$15!  My first ice rod was a $15 setup, and I have added a few to the collection.  My favorite is one I spent a little more money on, a Shakespear "Ugly Stick" ice rod with a nicer reel, running me about $40 total.  Was it necessary or more beneficial?  Not really, I just really liked the look and feel.  I prefer ice rods with a little more length (around 30") and a little more rigid construction.  This is to handle larger fish in some of the lakes I fish.  In most waters, catching anything under 6 pounds will be doable on a lighter action ice rod.  There's a whole line of makes, models, and types out there for your consideration.



Ladle (Skimmer):  This one might seem silly, but I can't believe I ever tried to ice fish without one.  When we first started out, I remember sneaking a large, slotted cooking spoon out of grandma's kitchen to use as a scoop for the ice.  Fail!  I spent more time scooping with my hands than the spoon!  Save yourself the trouble and but a ladle!  You can find plastic ladles for under $5, and the more durable metal skimmers for just under $10.  During the day, blowing snow or a refreezing hole will create ice buildup in the ice hole that your line will snag on.  Keeping it clear is a must.  You will also have a lot of slush to scoop out after drilling the hole.

Tackle:  You really don't need a lot for ice fishing as far as tackle goes.  I can fit all of my tackle, bait, snacks, and all in a 5 gallon bucket, that can also double as your seat for those starting out.  Tackle does vary depending on what you are fishing for.  For typical trout, crappie jigs 1/4 oz or less will work fine.  For larger trout, you will want to look for larger tube jigs, spoons, or larger jigs in general.  I have caught many on my trout under the ice on spinners and spoons (Kastmasters, Little Jakes,Rooster Tails, etc.) just like I use in the summer.  However, my success is greatly improved with small tube jigs (1/2" or less, up to 2.5"), marabou jigs, deer hair jigs, or other jigs that look like small fish.  A lot of time color will be your most important item for successful fishing, so but a variety.  At most outdoor stores you can buy a variety pack of crappie jigs for under $10.  It will give you a lot of options.  Some people talk about powerbait success while ice fishing.  I will tell you, I have never had a productive day ice fishing with powerbait.  Price will vary on what you buy, but most 5-10 packs of jigs will be under $5.  I tie them directly onto my line, but some people do prefer using a leader.  See the "line" topic below for my opinion on lines.  Other than that, a pair of pliers and a knife are about all I need for the day.

Safety:  Generally, 4" of ice is considered safe, but even after ice fishing for about 15 years, I don't feel very comfortable until I see 6" of ice.  A lot of people really fear the popping and cracking the ice makes.  It can get pretty noisy once the sun hits it in the morning!  I have always been told this is a good sign, it shows that it's cold enough that the ice is strengthening.  I have never heard of anyone falling in due to the ice cracking under them.  It's usually caused by someone walking onto thin ice and simply falling through.  Test the ice as you go out to make sure it's uniform.  Early ice can be sketchy, as lakes will tend to freeze in segments, from the shore towards the center.  As the season goes on, the center becomes the strongest part of the lake.  Always proceed with caution, and early on avoid those large cracks we call "pressure ridges".  That's where accidents usually happen.  As the ice thickens these become no problem, they just look a bit scary.  You will always see hundreds of cracks in the ice below you, just keep in mind those are caused by the pressure of the ice expanding against itself.  Those cracks are safe, and you will no doubt see now form as you walk along.  It will spook you, no doubt, but again, I have never heard of anyone falling in due to that popping and cracking of the ice.

To be safe, be sure to take good footwear, or even buy you some "cleats" or in other words spikes that slip right over your boot to give you traction.  These can be found for under $20.  Also, buy yourself a pair of spikes.  Wear these around your neck and if by the unfortunate chance that you do fall in, use the spikes to stab the ice to pull yourself up.  Taking a small buoy or life jacket attached to a rope to throw to your buddy for a floatation device is also a good idea.

20" Splake
Clothing:  Our family dresses pretty simple for an outing; thermal underwear, snow pants over our clothes (or overalls) a warm coat, gloves, and a beanie, and we double up our socks in our snow boots.  We take a bunch of hand warmers for the kids' hands, and even some toe warmers for their boots.  These are getting pretty cheap, we buy large packs of them for around $5 each.  Early morning fishing can be bitter, but once the sun comes up we are usually shedding layers.  Most ice fishing days aren't as cold as you would think.   Try to keep your feet and hand dry, and the kids from laying in the snow and it is usually a good day!

Bait:  For trout, meal worms and wax worms are typically best.  I also like to use shrimp.  Yes, that's right, shrimp.  Buy a few cocktail shrimp, tear small chunks off and tip the jig with shrimp.  Tipping with cut bait is also very good.  Perch, chub, and sucker meat can produce great fishing.  Be sure to check the regulations of your lake to see what you can use.  For example, it is illegal to take chub meat to a lake that has never had chubs, even if all you are doing is using cut bait.  Check your regulations before tipping those jigs with cut bait.  Nightcrawlers can also be productive.  

Looking to become a more "serious" fisherman?

Gear:  Here's the big things that bothered me as ice fishing became more of a serious thing; I hated packing all of that stuff out there, and I hated drilling holes by hand, especially when the ice was almost 2 feet thick!  Here are some things to help out!

Sled:  What an investment!  I can fit all of my gear in this little plastic gem, and it saves me a ton of energy of packing everything onto the ice.  You will find them in various sizes, ranging from about $30 to $100.  My Cabela's sled ran me about $40, and can fit my power auger, 2 buckets full of tackle snacks, and poles, a cooler, fish finder, 2 chairs and if I stack it right, even my ice shelter.  It's a bit more money that others it's size, but it is also a more durable construction.  It's on sale now for $39.99.

Power Auger:  Again, here you will find that Eskimo is my favorite brand.  Eskimo has quite a selection of augers, I went with the Stingray series, running me about $300.  The 22cc Viper engine has been plenty for ice up to 24" thick, and has run great for me.  They also have augers up to 10" diameter, the Shark 71cc, which is hailed as "the most powerful ice auger in the world".  It will run you about $540.  My power auger has saved me a lot of time and energy.  In fact, I went in on this investment with my grandpa and a friend, one of the best deals I have made with buddies on something like this.

Ice Shelter:  We bought our first ice shelter last year, mainly as a way for the kids to escape the wind.  I love it!  While most days I don't use it (it will get so hot it will run me out!) but it has on several occasions been a life saver on breezy days.  Again, I go with Eskimo, an I love their new Fat Fish series.  The wider bottom promotes more fishable space.  I picked up this 4 person shelter for about $250, however, depending on number of people and features, you will find them from about $80 to $500.  Here's follow this link for my complete review of the Fat Fish 949 shelter: http://www.suhuntandfish.com/2012/01/product-review-new-eskimo-fatfish-ice.html

Fish Finder:  A fish finder was one of the best ice investments I made!  In larger lakes, it can be so hard to find the fish, what depth, where they are suspended, and what size.  I went with a Humminbird "Little Buddy" fish finder, running me about $130.  I also bought it to use with my float tube in the summer.  If you have the money, I would get the Humminbird portable fish finder.  The Ice 345 will run you about $350, but the features are worth it.  With an actual ice fishing finder you can see your jig in relation to the fish.  I cannot with the Little Buddy. 

Line:  I have upgraded my fishing line from what came on my rod/reel combos.  For lighter tackle with most trout species, I use 8 pound "Micro Ice".  It provides a very easy feel for those light bites, and doesn't seem to ice up as much.  For the larger fish, specifically lake trout, I go with a fluorocarbon line.  This line is very low visibility in water, lake trout can be very picky when they can see the line.  It is also a very low memory line, meaning it doesn't retain the loops from the reel as much as regular line.  It also has less stretch to it than normal line, providing a better hook set at greater depths.

Technique:  This is for both those advanced, and for the beginner.  For most lakes, when it comes to trout fishing you will find the fish in shallow water in the winter.  I have caught trout in as little as 4 feet of water up to 20 feet of water, most in the 4-12 foot range.  This is my trick that typically works; let it sink to the bottom and come up 2 reels, then start jigging lightly.  If that's not working, I stop the jigging and just let it sit.  If nothing, I reel up in 1 reel increments, jigging and stopping until I find that magic depth.  Most often they are near the bottom.  For the large, deep lakes where the fish are will depend on species.  One of my favorite lakes for example has several species.  Rainbows are found from anywhere in the lake, at any depth inside of 30' of water, and suspended in deeper water.  Splake hang near the bottom from about 20-40 feet of water, and will also suspend in deeper water.  Lake trout are usually found near the bottom in 90-105 feet of water, but can surprise you being suspended now and then.  This is where the fish finder comes in!  It can be hard to find the right depth to fish on a large lake, let alone actually finding the fish!

On a recent trip to Fish Lake, Utah things were not so easy.  Our magic depth has always been 30' of water, near the weed line before the lake dives off to depths over 100 feet.  We started the day by catching perch in 15 feet of water to use as bait.  Moving out to deeper water, I drilled a line of holes from 25' deep to 45', as usual.  We found the fish at 30', and began fishing.  We were getting a few lite bites, but could not pick up anything on the usual 2.5" tube jigs we usually use.


So, I switched over to a paddle bug jig, and moved about 15' closer to shore, still in 30' of water.  Bam!  Fish on in an instant!  Then fish, after fish, after fish!  My grandpa moved in to join and dropped the 2.5" tube jig that has been so successful in the past down the hole.  Nothing!  We switched him over to a paddle bug and he was into the fish.

The actual jigging technique had a lot to do with our success as well.  In the past at this lake, for us, active jigging is what has paid off.  The splake have always seemed to nail the jig when we were constantly jigging.  Last year was a little more frustrating; it seemed better to just let the jig sit and not to move it very often.  This time it took a combination.  We would jig it slowly a few times, then the light bites would start to come when we would let it sit still for a minute.  When they would start biting lightly, slowly giving the line a little tension to just barely move the jig would result in a stronger bite that you could time to hook.  As often is the case, for my success I have to try a variety of jigging patterns to find what works for that day; from letting it sit, long slow jigging strokes, short fast movement, or a combination. 

So the short story, when it comes to ice fishing, if you haven't found a fellow ice fisherman that has divulged the best jig to you, it may take some trial and error.  Try different shaped jigs, different colors, and move around a bit to find what works.  I have had very few poor ice fishing days, and usually the ones that start off poor, like this Fish Lake trip can be salvaged by finding what and where works.

Now get out there and enjoy, and send us a few pics of your success!

All of the gear mentioned today can be found at almost all of your local sporting goods stores in areas where there is ice to fish on.  On the web, check out the deals at Cabela's and Sportsman's Warehouse.  Additionally, local to Southern Utah check out Hurst Ace Hardware in Cedar City, and Jorgensen's in Richfield.  You local Wal-Mart will also carry a lot of your tackle items.  Be sure to take advantage of the great clearance sales this time of year!

If you are in the Fish Lake area and plan to stay, be sure to check out the Snuggle Inn in nearby loa for good rooms and cheap rates!  Also be sure to top off your night with some awesome Tosconos Pizza, the pizzeria is located inside of the Snuggle Inn.  Give them a cal for details, 435-836-2898.  Tosconos and the Snuggle Inn are located at 55 South Main Street in Loa.

Fish Lake is a great  place to recreate year-round!  Check out this past post on what the Fish Lake area has to offer.  This is a great weekend destination, or vacation getaway!  http://www.suhuntandfish.com/2012/02/outdoor-places-fish-lake-utah.html

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Southern Utah Bucks and Bulls

This winter is one to remember for sure!  Here in Southern Utah we find ourselves in the grasp of some of the most bitter cold conditions that we can recall in many years!  It's not so much just the cold temperatures, but the duration this year.  We have seen lows below zero now for over a month with little relief in site.  This is not all bad, however.  Snow totals are a bit on the light side this year, so there is great access to many deer and elk winter grounds that have been difficult to access over the last few record-snow setting winters.  However the lack of snow also leaves the herds a bit more scattered.  For those willing to brave the cold and put the miles on the truck this is an excellent time to observe wildlife.

We have a few photos submitted by Spenser Owens of Panguitch, Utah to share today, along with a bit of video that I have captured over the last week of some local bucks.  One thing I have noticed as I have been out is the way the deer are acting.  Keep in mind as you head out that this is one of the most critical times of year for deer and elk as they struggle to feed to keep the energy to survive through the extreme elements during the coldest part of winter.  Please be ethical and try to keep your distance to limit the stress as these guys try to survive.  With shed antler gathering season just around the corner this becomes even more crucial.  Quite often folks try to get their ATV's and horses wherever they can in and around the herds to try to score quality antlers, sometimes even running bucks in hopes that they will drop.  Please gather your antlers ethically, and as well remember the rules of the land agency for where you are gathering.  Spring is the time of year where traffic can most likely damage roads and terrain (for those that seek to travel off of roads).  Our travel continues to get more and more restricted all the time on federal ground, let's seek to obey the laws in place in hopes that maybe the agencies will stop placing more restrictions on us due to resource damage.

With that being said, Southern Utah Hunt and Fish is looking forward to getting some great video for you on ice fishing tips, techniques, and gear this week as we look to hit a favorite deep water lake twice over the next week and a half!  We are hoping to score a couple of trout species, perch, and hopefully even tie into some nice lake trout!  The cold temperatures have capped lakes and provided over a foot of solid ice on most lakes throughout Utah over the last 2 weeks, and reports at most lakes are of great fishing.  Be sure to click the "fishing reports" tab for updated conditions on a few lakes in our area, and be sure to submit any reports you may have to us at suhuntandfish@gmail.com.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Upcoming Events

Be sure to mark February 2nd on your calendars!

 
 
2013 Panguitch Lake Ice Fishing Derby
Wildland Firefighter Foundation Benefit
Saturday February 2nd,   0830-1400
Panguitch Lake, Utah
$20 entry fee– 100% of all entry fees will go to the
Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
 
Check-In will start at 0730 at the North Boat Ramp at Panguitch Lake and the Derby will start at 0830.  First and second place finishers will be determined by length of longest legal trout landed between the times of 0830 and 1400.  All entrants need to be registered before 0830, February 2nd.   All entrants must adhere to all Utah Division of Wildlife Resources rules and regulations.  We are limited to 50 contestants so be sure to preregister to ensure a spot.  Come support an outstanding cause and enjoy a great day of ice fishing with friends and co-workers on the Dixie National Forest.  Please let us know if you plan on competing.  If you can’t make it to the derby, donations are sure welcome and encouraged to help support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
For info call Brian Burbridge 435-691-7702 or Steve Barker 435-590-1061.

Registration Contacts/Info
Registration deadline for the derby is at 0830 Feb. 2nd 2013.  You are encouraged to pre-register to avoid delays the morning of the event.  You can pre-register with any of the following contacts:
 
Cedar City, Utah
Brian Burbridge -435-691-7702
Steve Barker- 435-590-1061
Bill Roach-  435-865-1429
Escalante, Utah
Jason Porter- 435-691-4741
Panguitch, Utah
Chet Hatch-435-691-9371


Prizes
YETI Cooler
Propane Stove/Oven
Fish Finder
Every entrant will also receive a raffle ticket for an opportunity to win several raffle prizes.
Thanks to Bill Roach who again is donating all prizes, one hundred percent of all entry fees will go directly to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.  Food will also be provided, thanks again to Bill Roach.
 
 
February 2nd holds to great events for anglers.  If you are a seasoned angler looking for a challenge, or you have been wanting to get into ice fishing and you just don't know what to do, either way there is something for everyone at these two events.  Come on out either way and enjoy good food, and good times with great people.

Arizona:  If you are looking to apply for pronghorn or elk in Arizona now is the time!  You have until February 12th to get your application in!  Follow this link for details on applying: http://www.azgfd.gov/eservices/draw.shtml
In Arizona, you must purchase a hunting license to apply.  The hunting license (non-resident) is $151.25.  You have to have this to obtain a bonus point as well.

Utah:  A little confusion exists on applying in Utah this year.  Many people are talking about the need to get applications in by the end of this month, however Utah went back to February again this year for the application period.  Starting on February 1st you may begin to apply for big game permits (except antlerless which will follow in June).  The Application period will run through March 4th.  Follow this link to access the guidebook online: http://wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/hunting/guidebooks/1031-2013-utah-big-game-application-guidebook.html

Fishing Reports:  We are doing pretty good on keeping our fishing reports up to date right now for a few southern Utah waters.  Check them by clicking the "Fishing Reports" tab at the top of the page.  

If you have a fishing report to share, feel free to leave a comment on our fishing reports page, post it to our Facebook page or send us an email to suhuntandfish@gmail.com
We would also love to see your fishing pictures to add to our bragging board! 
                                                                                                                                                                

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013: The Year of the Fish!


 Hey there all of you fishermen, have we got a big announcement to share with you today!  We would like to welcome our newest sponsor to Southern Utah Hunt and Fish, ReelSonar!  Never hear of ReelSonar?  Of course you haven't, this is a brand new company, with a brand new product.  Today ReelSonar is officially kicking off their product, and SUH&F is very fortunate to be one of the first websites in on the fun to share this new exciting product that is sure to take the fishing community by storm!




2013 is the year of the fish!  Well, at least for ReelSonar, a fun and exciting new company. 


ReelSonar is a portable sonar fishfinder for your smartphone or tablet that consists of a smart bobber and complimentary app. The system maps the waterbed, reports water conditions, connects you to the fishing community and tags fishing hotspots. 
For $100 you can have some fun, catch your limit and literally outsmart the fish. 

Check out this short video about the ReelSonar: 


 
For $100 you can have some fun, catch your limit and literally outsmart the fish.
Be a part of the pre-buy early product release of ReelSonar on IndieGoGo starting on 1/8/2013! One will receive the ReelSonar smart bobber and app for a pledge of $79.99 (including domestic shipping). Accessories coming soon!


Again, this is a presale of the product, you are getting to see this product before most people will ever hear of it.  Please find ReelSonar on Facebook and Twitter and give them a like/follow.  Please share this post with your friends as well and get them in on the fun.  Be sure to keep checking back here as well, as we will be doing a giveaway in the near future of a ReelSonar!  This is amazing technology, loaded with features that you don't see made mention in the video.  How about a bite alarm, water temperature, the bobber lighting up when a fish swims under it, and so much more?  

We are excited to have ReelSonar aboard as a sponsor, and we look forward to revealing more about this product to you in the future as well!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Southern Utah Hunt and Fish 2012 Video

I have to say, 2012 has been quite a ride!  I have meant to get our video for the year posted earlier, but the work lost out to time well spent with family and friends over the New Year's weekend.  It's been a great few days for me as I have been getting this video put together, even emotional at times.  It has been so much fun reliving the memories not only from my own experiences, but also as I have went through the photos submitted by our viewers and recalling their stories, but more importantly feeling overwhelming gratitude for the amazing support of you all, and the joy of accomplishment of seeing how our site has grown.  This video truly captures the wide variety of outdoor adventure and scenic treasures that make Southern Utah one of the most remarkable places in the world.  Thank you all for an amazing year, and please keep the stories and photos coming, I'm certain that 2013 will be a year to remember!

Again, thanks to our fans and our sponsors for making this video possible.  Speaking of our sponsors, be sure to enter our giveaway for a Vortex Viper HS riflescope if you have not done so yet.  Click on the "contests" tab at the top of the page for details, and check into our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/suhuntandfish) to see how close we are to that magic number of 1,500 followers so that we can give the scope to a lucky fan!  We only need just under 400 more likes, so share with your friends to earn yourself an extra entry. 

Also, keep January 8th on your radar!  We will be excited to announce our newest sponsor to you, and along with that news we have been privileged to team up with this sponsor just as they are releasing a brand new product that is going to change the way we fish!  You won't want to miss out on this one! 

Please enjoy the video!  This is our first attempt at a video over, well, 5 minutes to be honest!  We have a long way to go with video as we look to purchasing new software and filming equipment in the future, but we hope you enjoy this 15 minute video packed with our best footage, and your best pictures from 2012.  Happy New Year to you all, we hope 2013 is packed full of adventure and success for everyone.