SWEET AND SPICY VENISON CHILI

Give this recipe a shot next time you decide to use up that ground venison!

Sweet and Spicy Venison Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 1 onion
  • Garlic (as much as you like)
  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • 1 big can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of hot chili beans
  • 1 chili seasoning packet (or season your own)
  • crushed red pepper
  • olive oil
  • brown sugar

Cooking instructions:

Brown venison with olive oil, onion and garlic. Add tomato soup, tomatoes, tomato paste hot chili beans (don’t drain the beans) and chili seasoning packet. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to medium, add crushed red pepper to taste, cover let simmer 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add brown sugar to taste, simmer for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Bonus: If you have squirrel or rabbit, crock pot the meat, de-bone and add to your chili and now it becomes “sweet and spicy wild game chili”!

The Hunt2Fish Podcast

Ok, so we are actually in the final stages of getting this podcast up and going. It has been a long process but we are right there! It is a dream come true for me to be hosting a podcast about  hunting and fishing. Ever since I heard my first outdoor radio show back in 2001, Bob Bauer’s Outdoor World, I knew it was something I would love to do. When podcasts hit the scene and I discovered them and realized people were doing them from their spare bedroom or basement, my wheels started turning. I was able to be a guest on the Dock Talk podcast run by a bass fishing friend of mine. Being in that studio and seeing a podcast run in such a professional manner really got me excited.

We are a Michigan based show and we will be talking about things we do here but everything we talk about will be helpful to everybody that hunts and fishes across the country. We are NOT experts at anything we want this podcast to be about learning and education. We are average guys who just fish and hunt a lot. We want to learn everything we can. What better way than to have our own podcast and have the actual experts come on and teach us all something?  When coming up with the name I struggled. I wanted to call it “Michigan” or “Great Lakes” something but I did not want to confine myself, I want someone to listen to the show in Colorado to Texas or New Jersey and get something out of it. We are proud Michiganiacs and that presence will be felt on the show, but this is for everybody.

Now that you have the back story, I want to discuss what the Hunt2Fish Outdoors content is all about. I have a passion for the outdoors in general but the two things that consume most of my thoughts are hunting and fishing. Specifically deer hunting and tournament bass fishing. Since that is what I’m most passionate about, I think its what I could do the most high quality programming on and make it great. Now I love all other types of hunting and fishing and do them quite often but this show will focus on deer hunting and bass fishing. I can tell you though when its turkey season, we are gonna have a turkey episode, when its walleye time we are gonna have a walleye episode. I have been toying with the idea of having a “spring in the outdoors” series of episodes. A couple of episodes where we dedicate time to all the great activities of spring like pan fish and bass on the beds, walleye jigging, turkey hunting, Morel mushroom hunting, food plot prep, all that stuff. What a great time of year that is!

We will most likely open the show with a  “chew the fat” segment where we might dive into some other topics we have been up to outside of bass fishing and deer hunting or how our bass/hunting season is going at the time.  We are hoping to have the top names in the world of deer hunting and land management. Did I mention I am a huge land management geek? Yeah we are gonna dive into that big time. When it comes to bass fishing I am currently trying to get some FLW pro’s on the show, who knows maybe we will get really lucky and score an Elite series angler. On top of that I would love to talk to guys that fish the BASS opens and BFL’s. The guys that are grinding and trying to go pro. We will also have guide services, charter boat captains, fish biologists etc…  We are gonna talk a lot about technique, gear and strategies. The world of bass fishing is Pandora’s box, the topics are endless. The best part about bass fishing is that it can make you an all around better angler a lot of the techniques and strategies carry right over to other types of fishing, especially pan fishing and pike fishing and we are gonna dive into that. The best pike fisherman around are bass guys, just ask em! On the hunting side of things we wanna get guys on the show that do land management and education for a living or a big part of their living. We are gonna talk about going after mature bucks, how to just shoot a deer no matter the size, the basics of hunting, how to hunt the huge tracts of public ground, how to use scrapes and rubs to your advantage, playing the wind,  hunting gear and equipment, land management, deer biologists,  deer camps and last but not least recipes, we are gonna try and have a recipe segment during each show. Hopefully we can get a wild game chef to call in and give us one from time to time. Of course we would have to go sample the food first. Food will be a big part of the show because after all that is the end game. There is a lot that I did not mention that we will talk about but I’m sure you get the gist of what we are trying to accomplish. We want to dive deep into all these outdoor topics and get geeky and learn. We want the podcast to be a place for all of us to come and learn something.

Thanks for reading this and look for the show soon. until next time, tight lines and shoot straight!

 

Year Round Whitetail Hunting

Hey everybody, I just wanted to write a quick, short article to keep you motivated about deer hunting. This time of year it is easy to think about everything else. There is ice fishing, small game hunting, turkey season is right around the corner and of course we are all gearing up for open water.

There is plenty to do this time of year in regards to deer hunting though –  the hunt should never stop. Now is a great time of year to scout new areas especially if there is no snow. Last years’ rubs, scrapes, deer runs, and possible bedding areas are still visible. If you are looking to scout new areas, this is the prime time because most hunters on public land leave lots of evidence they were there and you can eliminate ground quickly.  Studying maps is one of my favorite things to do this time of year as well. Satellite maps and contour maps can really be a help if you know what to look for.

If you have private ground, now is the time to start making that to do list and thinking about improvements to be made over the summer. I like to go through and fix my shooting lanes in late winter, it will be similar to what the woods are going to look like come fall. Personally, I plan on making a new bow spot with a ground blind in the thickest cover on the property and expand my food plot, possibly doubling its current size.

So, get out there and keep things moving. I try to get out once a month and do something, even if it is just going for a walk with a shotgun. Until next time, shoot straight and tight lines!

Scouting and Deer Hunting on Heavily Pressured Public Land: What I’ve Learned

 

 

 

I want to start off by saying that I have brought this challenge of public land hunting on myself. I currently have a very good private land spot that I usually take a couple deer off of every year. There is no guarantee that permission land will be there year to year, so it is always a good idea to have a back up plan. I have decided to challenge myself to the max by picking what is arguably the heaviest hunted public ground in the state of Michigan. I love this challenge. I think it will be fun and I think it will sharpen my skills as a deer hunter by leaps and bounds as the years go on. The good news is that this public ground has a healthy deer population with big bucks on it. Battling other hunters and their movements is a major factor and once I can master that, I think the pieces will fall in place for me. I look at this in a very methodical way. I have spent two years scouting, now I am ready to make my first real move. It might take me 4-5 years to get it figured out, maybe more but it will very rewarding when I do.

I have actually only hunted this public ground for a couple weeks two years ago because I made the mistake of hunting around a crop field and had other hunters show up for gun season preparation, the game was over and I just went back to private ground. While I have been scouting public ground off and on  for the past two years, there are some valuable lessons and conclusions I have came to recently. One conclusion is, a person needs to be in decent shape physically to remain mobile during the season. I say this because to be successful you need to have a minimum of five or more trees to sit in for several reasons. The main one being, having other hunters move in and spoil your spot. Others include bad wind direction or plain and simple a spot that just didn’t pan out like you hoped. I personally do not have an interest in owning more than 3-5 tree stand set ups. I would much rather be in decent shape to the have the stamina and strength to take down a stand and just move. Its a lot of work but you need to be mobile on public ground. My goal by next year is to have at least 10 trees that I can just go to and hunt. The idea being, to have two or three stands in the most prime spots to kill a doe for the freezer or a prime rut spot that I wanna leave untouched until Halloween. Then, have that extra one to move around with. I really feel being mobile is a major factor on public ground  if you want to hunt a lot and not just during the rut. So hit the treadmill, elliptical or trails and get that cardio in check!

Secondly, is going the extra distance to get at those hard too reach spots. I say that keeping in mind that if its too thick and nasty for a long way, you are going to ruin your hunt, I don’t care how early you get there. Remember its public ground and you cannot cut down or trim anything that is living. Some of the terrain here in Michigan is so thick and nasty its impossible to maintain any level of stealth but still hard to reach areas are the key. Boats, canoes and kayaks really come into play  if water ways are around and accessible. A person can access hard to reach places with ease. I have a few of these spots that I’m excited to check out. Also, I know that don’t matter how far back I go, there is still a good chance that another tree stand or blind is close by even though I never seen it, or one will be popping up a week before the gun opener. Also, if a funnel or pinch point looks like the money spot on Google Earth, even if it is way way back there, there is a very good chance someone has claimed it. This has happened to me several times already. Learning how to react to this is something I’m still working on. My mind tells me to just leave the area totally and another part of me says if there is a good amount of sign around, roll the dice and set up an appropriate distance away and hunt it until the guy or gal starts showing up (why I want to have at least 10 trees to choose from). But I can for sure say that hunting the edges or the inside wood line of public land crop fields or wherever there is a public parking area or pull off spot is a complete waste of time. You might get lucky the first week but after that its all been ruined by careless hunters.

I also want to mention the overlooked land. The land that is right next to the road but has no public parking areas or pull off areas. A lot of these types of areas have very thick cover and are not easy to get at. With some natural browse around and in this area of Michigan a crop field or a white oak is never too far away, its a winning combo for deer. Right now, I have a huge chunk of public ground that runs parallel with a dirt road and  sits between the road and some big power lines. It has crop fields within  reach for the deer, that land right now has no other stands on it. Its loaded with deer sign. I could be missing one or two stands, but bottom line, compared to most other areas, its about as good as it gets for lack of human activity.  I would just say that if you find an area that has a lot of sign and no other stands around, set up and hunt it! Don’t matter how close to the road it is. Then adjust to deer movement accordingly.

Right after gun season ends, the months of December and January are the best times to get out and scout for the next season. Rubs, scrapes and deer runs that were actually used in the fall will be very visible and easy to spot. Also, human activity will be easy to spot and can really give you big clue of what is gonna happen next season with other hunters. Plus, you never know, a great spot to set up real quick for muzzle loader or late bow season could be discovered. Until next time, shoot straight and tight lines!!

My Tournament Bass Fishing Season in Reveiw

To say I learned a lot about bass fishing this summer would be an understatement. Last year my partner and I managed to pull off a miracle and win Angler of the year (AOY) for Cash For Bass’s Thursday night division. This year made me realize how special that was and should never be down played or taken for granted when that recognition is earned. My hats off to this years winners.

This year I tweaked my style a little bit. I felt I fished “scared” last year trying to win AOY and it cost me money. This year we incorporated some big fish techniques such as punching, pitching big jigs, pitching big tungsten with big flippin hooks and  craw imitation plastics in deeper weeds. Early on it worked. We won our first ever tournament on Whitmore Lake and followed that up with a second place finish and some cash on the Portage Chain of Lakes. That one was an  NTBA tournament against the very best around. After that, we had some close finishes just out of the money with some “the one that got away” excuses that we kept to ourselves. That brings me to my next point, FISHING CLEAN. This is a deal breaker! If we could have fished clean I know without a shadow of a doubt we could have racked up another win and cashed two more times BUT we didn’t and that is the bottom line. Later in the season we cashed on a 3 hour event on Woodland lake with 2 fish! After that, we rounded out the season with an awesome second place finish on a Saturday event on Whitmore Lake. That was a big deal for us and it was a good pay day.

After starting out the season firing on all cylinders I found myself slipping back into my same old patterns, fishing offshore while the shallow guys were winning and placing in the money. We got wrapped up in the dream of getting AOY. That messes with my head. I should of put that out of my mind. I spent all winter and spring telling anyone who would listen to me that I was gonna move shallow later in the summer. Never did. Offshore can produce and we hung in there most weeks dragging a Kustom Kicker Dock Monkey 1/2 oz. jig and drop shotting out in the deeps. We had 5 just out of the money finishes. Needless to say I need to become a shallow water guy, specifically a dock guy and use that weapon appropriately at the appropriate time. Instead of grinding out in the deeps every week. I will not make this mistake again.

I have to mention our DQ on Whitmore. We came back one minute late. We pushed it to the limit like everybody else does, hooked a giant smallie in  the last minute and it fought us a little too long. End of story. We also had a zero result on Big 7. That lake can ruin your AOY hopes in 3 hours, no problem. We ended the season with a big motor malfunction on Kent lake and zeroed again. That killed our hopes for the tournament of champions, a tournament for the top 3 anglers from each division at the end of the season.

I will call it a successful season though. I learned a ton and we actually made money. We won one event, placed in the money on two all day Saturday events and cashed one more time on a Thursday night. We also made some new friends and become closer with a few guys from Thursday nights. What a great crew we had this past summer, lots of fun. I have a lot of things to think about going into next season. I am thinking about abandoning fishing on a regular night and just cherry picking the lakes I actually enjoy fishing. After all, this is supposed to be fun. I know I’m not going pro and I am ok with that. Until next time, tight lines and shoot straight!

Welcome to Hunt2Fish Outdoors!

Hey everybody, Thanks for stopping by. We are a group of guys that absolutely love hunting, fishing and anything to to with the outdoor lifestyle. Our main goal here is to help you and ourselves learn and grow as outdoors people. We have a podcast coming soon, we also will be doing video updates and of course articles right here on the page. We want this to be a place to celebrate our outdoor lifestyle and to just get down right pumped up about it. So much on the way. Stay tuned and thanks for reading this.