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Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category


fml801

“Trophy of-a-lifetime!”

On Memorial Day 2015, I hooked into a fish of a lifetime! Earlier that morning, while trolling in 9-feet of water, I caught and released a 3-pound Walleye. Perhaps this was the beginning of my good luck?

I returned to the cabin for lunch and later a pontoon ride with the family. Later that evening — I decided to go back to that same spot. Trolling in the same area I had caught a Walleye. On my second pass, I noticed a large fish jump out of the water. To my right was a deep hole about 28-feet deep. On the surface of the water I could see what looked like bait fish or a school of Crappies. I thought to myself, “I should cast into them!” On my second cast I hooked into this big fish! I had no net  — and I was fishing by myself. I fought the fish until it tired and then reached into the water and grabbed it. It was huge!

My plans where to let the fish go, but I had to get a picture! I placed the fish in the live well and raced to the cabin to show everyone. This once-in-a-lifetime trophy was eventually released to be caught another day!

Minnesota

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fm1798

“Mount your own antlers!”

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How to Make a European-Style Antler Skull Mount The stars aligned this fall! We put our trial cameras out around June 1st. We left them for two months before checking. We went out earlier in the day and switched-out the USB cards. We returned to the cabin with all eyes glued to the television, as if it where Superbowl Sunday! The sound of holing and hooting soon echoed from our screened-in excitement, as the pictures begin to show what was leaving tracks in our woods! A nice 8-pointer! Not necessarily big enough to head and shoulder mount, but a nice antler mount.

From that day forward, we worked our food plots and spread DEER CAIN, hoping that this dandy-of-a buck wood stick around for fall hunting season.

Sure enough! A half-hour after sunrise this same buck walks within 30 feet of my stand. All are hard work paid off! The hunt doesn’t start on opening day. It starts many months before you hear that first shot!

I called around to see how much it would cost to mount the skull and antlers. Many taxidermist charge around $125 to $150. After researching the web and watching several YouTube videos, I felt comfortable I could tackle this myself.

fm1799Below are my instructions to easily mount the deer head and celebrate the fall harvest with an European-Style Antlers with Skull Mount:

What you will need:

  • Large Pot
  • Powdered Borax
  • Dawn Liquid Dish Washing Soap
  • High-Pressure Washer (Borrow one if you have too!)
  • Board to mount skull (I bought mine from McKenzie Taxidermy Supply)
  • Drywall Anchor to hold the skull to the mounting plate

Instructions:

  1. Remove hide, eyes, nose from skull
  2. Fill and heat a large pot of water (This is very stinky and I recommend doing the cooking outside)
  3. Add a small amount of dish washing detergent and 1-cup of Borax
  4. Bring the water to a very slow rolling boil (Important, otherwise you may lose bone and cartilage)
  5. Do NOT let the antlers rest below the water line. They will become white like the skull if you do! The base of my antlers got a little white, which may happen to you. I used brown shoe polish to hide the discoloration
  6. Slow-boil for 1-hour and dump the water. This first batch of water will be greasy from the meat and brain cooking off the bone
  7. See what you can pull off
  8. Continue to fill the pot and bring to slow boil (adding 1-cup borax and a small amount of liquid detergent)
  9. Soon, the meat will begin to fall of the bone. Use a knife to cut and remove as much as you can
  10. I went through the ear canal with a piece of electrical wire to help breakup the brain
  11. Now comes the fun part! Use a high-pressure washer to remove most of the brain matter and meat tissue. Try not to spray in one spot or to close because nose and teeth bone are delicate
  12. Continue to spray with the pressure washer and/or cook until all meat is removed

fml800It took me a total of 4-hours to complete. You may lose part of the nose cavity. The bones of the nose are very delicate. Simply, glue them on once everything dries.

The next day, I wrapped the antlers with blue painters tape and sprayed the skull with Matte Acrylic Clear Spray to preserve and protect.

I drilled a hole underneath the skull and recessed the head of a Drywall Anchor Bolt through the back of a Walnut Mounting Board. The skull provides easy access where the spine meets the head. Use a Drywall Anchor that expands and tighten against the mounting board.

That’s it!

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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“Enjoy a Minnesota Crawfish Boil!”

Recipe:

It doesn’t get any better then this!

  • 5-7 pounds per person; live crawfish
  • 2 pounds Chorizo sausage
  • 1 pound mussels
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle Crystal Hot Sauce
  • 1 to 2 (26-ounce) boxes of table salt
  • 3 ounces Zatarain’s Shrimp & Crab Boil liquid concentrate (3/4 of a 4-ounce bottle)
  • 3 ounces cayenne pepper
  • 8 to 10 Red potatoes
  • 6 to 8 ears of corn-on-the cob
  • 4 onions, cut in half
  • 2 Lemons, cut in half

Instructions:

  1. Purge the crawfish in water to remove sand particles. Soak in fresh water for 10 minutes.
  2. While you’re waiting, fill an 80-quart pot (fitted with a strainer insert) halfway with water and bring to a boil over a large outdoor burner over high heat. Add hot sauce, salt, Zatarain’s, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Add potatoes and onions to the pot. (No need to peel.) Boil vegetables for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cover a table with newspapers, flattened cardboard boxes, or plastic trays for serving the crawfish.
  4. Add half the crawfish to the pot. After 5 minutes turn off the heat, cover, and let the crawfish steep to absorb the flavors for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and dump on the table. Repeat with the rest of the crawfish (you can boil 2 to 3 batches of crawfish in the same water-seasoning mixture).
  5. Eat plain or with dippin’ sauces like cocktail sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, or Tabasco.

Your probably wondering, “Where’s the beer?” Believe you me, while sitting with friend and neighbors enjoying one of life’s delicious delicacies — you’ll be drinking plenty of beer! If you don’t have the time to catch them yourself, here is a great site to order fresh live crawfish! [www.folseseafood.com] Order the day before…shipped to your door the next morning!

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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Give Her More Throttle!

Give Her More Throttle!

“Give “HER” Throttle!”

If the folks at Polaris are listening…Thank you for all the years of excellent engineering. As the Team at Polaris reviews my resume — I hope you find great value in my creative/management skills.

Minnesota

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“What makes me smile!”

Today‘s Featured Trip (Willow Creek Kennels): The weather planned for Saturday was 2-degrees above zero. It was cold — but soon, after huffing and puffing, my shotgun barrel was warm and the dogs went into action.

Little Falls, MN

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“Trout, Trout, Trout!”

Fly Fishing Trip: How serious are you about fishing? How about a 30-mile hike before you ever wet a line? Sometimes you have to find the end-of-the trail before you start enjoying some of the worlds best trout fishing. (Can you find the Golden trout)?

Somewhere, WY

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“To Drill or Drift?”

Unseasonably cold weather puts Minnesota’s 2013 Opening Fishing Season on ice as hardy-souls find drilling for walleyes easier than drifting.

Baudette, MN

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“Why sleep, when you can go fishing!”

The alarm went off today at 4:00 a.m. “Why so early,” you may ask? It’s Wisconsin’s Opening Trout fishing season! We arrived at the river — just as the sun came up. The outside thermometer reads -4 degrees below zero! It was cold, but well worth getting up for!

Kinnikinnick River, WI

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“What Keeps Me Coming Back for More!”

I’m at the hunting shack, sharing stories with friends and excited for tomorrow’s hunt. The crisp, cold air fills my mind as the frost on the corn and trees surrounds me. Wishing everyone the best and safe hunting!

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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“Fall Spender!”

Today‘s Featured Canoe Trip (Crow River, North Fork): Unseasonably weather brought 80-degree temperatures on this fall canoe trip. Friday we ventured to Lake Maria and boiled up Crayfish with Mussels, while roughing it with some homemade brew. Saturday was a tummy-buster with Pot Roast, carrots and potatoes. The half-mile trek to our campsite kept us in shape for dessert — Homemade Apple Crisp!

Crow River, MN

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“A Picture Perfect Day!”

Today‘s Featured Canoe Trip (Crow River, North Fork): A one-hour drive west of the Twin Cities puts you in your canoe and paddling one of Minnesota’s best rivers. This narrow river, with a procession of large oaks and maples trees along it’s banks, challenges paddlers attention. Dead-fall and low hanging branches are around every corner — making manoeuvring this river a fun attraction in low water months.

Crow River, MN

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“Be Organized and Plan for the Unexpected!”

Today‘s Featured Canoe Trip (BWCA): This was my third trip into Minnesota’s largest untouched ecosystem, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. With my guiding hat on — seven hardy paddlers from Eden Prairie, Minnesota’s Outdoor Center, set out to explore and experience this large majestic forest. Along our trek we found many kinds of mushrooms, moss and granite protrusions.
Preparing for any trip outdoors requires planning and preparation. Knowing that conditions can — and most often WILL change require you to respond and act appropriately when conditions turn unpleasant. On the fourth day, we had rain, lightning and hail. By having a shelter, such as a lean-to tarp or canopy, everyone was able to enjoy a hot meal.

Brule Lake, MN

 

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“To Know A River — Is to Gain a New Friend!”

On The Itinerary: Today, I guided three lovely ladies for a sun-soaked day canoeing on Minnesota’s Zumbro River. The river was filled with summer-seeking individuals and a doe — wading to cool off.

Zumbro River, MN

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“Ten-Point Buck Antler Shed.”

While searching for Morel mushrooms, I found this antler shed from a ten-point buck. I don’t know who was more surprised, while walking only a few more steps, I could see a large deer running with a doe. Could this be the buck that lost this antler? As I continued my search for Morels, I spotted turkeys, coyotes, owls and Wood Ducks.

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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“The Future of Hunting Depends on Us!”

Kids today, have many more opportunities and plenty activities to take up their time. If we don’t spend time teaching kids and introducing them to the outdoors — who will?

Pictured Above: Finishing their Field Day is the South West Metro Minnesota Hunter Safety Class taught at Staring Lake Outdoor Center in Eden Prairie, MN.

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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