1 SNEAK UP ON MORE FISH
Fish are extremely sensitive to vibrations and instantly become wary when they sense an intruder. After wading into a new area, stand perfectly still for two minutes. It will feel like an hour, but you’ll get more strikes. In a boat, wait two minutes after shutting off your motor before casting. Boat fishermen will also spook fewer fish by keeping the motor at a steady, low rpm as they approach visible schools.
2 TRAIN YOUR DOG TO SHAKE ON COMMAND
There’s an easy way to keep a dog from showering you with cold water in the tight confines of a duck blind–or anywhere. When the dog is wet, raise his ear flap, command “shake,” then blow into his ear. This will make him shake his head, and the rest of his body will follow suit. With practice, the dog will discover he can avoid the annoyance by shaking as soon as he hears the command.
3 RIG A QUICK TARP IN THE RAIN
A tarp makes an ideal shelter against unexpected rain. Stake one corner of the tarp facing the wind. Prop a pole under the opposite corner, then fasten a line from the top of the pole to a ground stake or tree. Now pull the remaining two corners tight and stake them to the ground. The resulting half-pyramid shape provides excellent drainage and stands up well to high winds.
4 MAKE A DUCK-BLIND HEATER
Here’s a simple project to keep you warm on your duck hunts this fall. Get a No. 10 can with one end removed (available free from restaurants and institutional kitchens). Use shears to cut a 2×2-inch draft opening on an edge of the open end, and punch six small hot-air escape holes in the closed end. Place it open end down over a can of Sterno. The stove will radiate a relatively smokeless heat.
FRY FISH AT THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
When you heat oil over a campfire to fry fish, place an unlit wooden match in the pan to determine when it’s ready. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees–the optimum temperature–the match head will ignite and then fizzle. Scoop out the match and throw in the fish. –ELI RICKE, Bagley, Minn.
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