Monthly Archives: April 2012

12 hour drive, 2 hour turkey hunt

Tim Rigg waited many months to come turkey hunting in Kansas. He invested weeks in preparation and made the 12 hour drive last Saturday, then spent a restless night waiting for daylight.

Tim Rigg spent must of Saturday night in this pop-up blind, waiting for the opening of archery turkey season.

And all for a two hour turkey hunt.

Sometimes success lets you down.

Via e-mails, Rigg said he once lived in Wichita for four years. He fell in love with the state’s hunting and shot his first turkeys while a Kansan. Though he’s moved to Wisconsin, he annually returns to hunt deer, ducks, pheasants and spring turkeys.

So Saturday he made the 12 hour drive so he could squeeze in a few hours of scouting before the season opened Sunday morning. Rigg was hunting public land he didn’t want to identify. He did say he’s had very good success on wildlife areas and Walk In Hunting Area properties, including shooting a huge tom with four beards several years ago.

Saturday evening’s scouting of a favored field didn’t show a lot, but he decided to hunt the spot anyway. Unable to sleep in his truck, in the middle of the night he headed to the field, set out his decoys and napped off and on in his pop-up blind while he awaited daylight.

He heard no gobbles early, but an hour after daylight first heard, then saw a flock heading his way. When they got close, two big toms charged his decoys.

Rigg was using one jake and two hen decoys made by Dave Smith Decoys. They’re known for incredible, life-like detail and sell for about $150 or more each. One hen was standing and the other squatted like ready for breeding. The jake fake had a non-threatening posture.

Tim Rigg with two toms he shot after driving 12 hours from Wisconsin, then hunting two hours on a public hunting area.

Rigg said the two toms began to thrash his jake decoy. His first shot was a direct hit…on the decoy. He tried again and dropped one tom on the spot. As turkeys often do, the other tom simply ignored the dying bird and kept attacking the decoy. Another arrow quickly killed that tom, too. The limit is two bearded turkeys per spring over most of Kansas so Riggs was done.

Disappointed his hunt ended so soon? Hardly. Rigg headed back to Wisconsin and is already preparing for his next trip to Kansas.

“I think Kansas (has) the best hunting in the nation,” Rigg said in his e-mail. “I’m also sure the Kansas lifetime hunting license is BY FAR the best hunting purchase I’ve ever made.

Marker makes line invisible to fish, but visbile to fishermen

Any good angler can tell you the importance of watching your fishing line. Many times a slight twitch, tug or sudden slack in a  line is the only indication of a hit.

Clyde Holscher uses a black magic marker to dull highly-visible fishing line near the lure.

But some fear that the high-visibility line that makes that easier for fishermen to see their line also makes it easier for fish to see the line, too.

Topeka guide Clyde Holscher quickly fixes that problem by dragging the few feet of line in front of a lure through a slit in a black marker. He uses a razor blade to put the vertical slit in the center of the marker…a few times up and down the line and it all but disappears in the water.


Fool-proof way to freeze morels

Man, it’s been a llllooooooonnnnnggggggg time since we’ve had this kind of spring for morel mushrooms. I’ve been getting photos of buckets and big dish pans full of the wonderful-tasting mushrooms.

Some people have picked upwards of 50 pounds in the past week or so. I have friends with several hundred big ‘shrooms stored in their fridg.

One problem, though, is what to do with the excesses – BESIDES GIVE THEM ALL TO ME – because most attempts at freezing result in soggy morels that stay mushy when cooked and fall apart too easily.

This week Colette and Lonny Travis, the couple featured on Sunday’s outdoors page, came up with method that seems to work well.

Lonny said he breads the morels like normal, the browns them for just two minutes per side. Colette freezes them in single layers on cook sheets so they don’t stick together. Once frozen, they’re put in freezer bags.

Lonny said he puts them straight into hot oil from the freezer, and lets them finish cooking. They say it’s by far the best way they’ve ever tried freezing them.

They’ve eaten enough through the years, they should certainly know.