Late Summer Fishing and Countdown to Hunting

Postoak with a Bass and some sweat!

As August is fast approaching I am reminded that I have not fished nearly as much this summer as I wanted to and my granddaughter is not happy about it!

However, if you have been fishing and catching some crappie in any of the lakes in our area such as Lake Martin, Lake Jordan, Lay Lake,Logan Martin, Neely Henry, Walter Bolden, Thurlow, Lake Harris, or Weiss Lake even Smith Lake in northwest Alabama, there is smoethings you may not know about these great fishing and recreation lakes.

Alabama Power built and manages these lakes. Yes , the same company all of us like to cuss and fuss about when we get our power bills, they manage these huge bodies of water in conjunction with the Corp. of Engineers to produce hydro-electric power, cheap and clean renewable power. As well as providing some world class fishing and recreation locations that are the envy of other states across the south. Another thing  the Power Company does in these lakes is they provide structure for crappie and other fish to congrecate around in the form of CHRISTMAS trees!

The power company has a department of environmental folks who, in addition to monitoring the lakes for proper levels and flood control, these folks sink thousands of used Christmas trees at pooints around in their lakes to attract and hold fish. This structure gives the fish a “home” and a place to hide from the predator fish. Crappie Bream and small Bass all use the trees to congregate so it improves the fishing tremendously in these lakes. The power company even has these “honey-holes” marked on a website for anglers to use.

They also have a program for planting vegetation along some shorlines to improve fish habitat. At Smith Lake in north Alabama, they have a stocking program for Rainbow trout and release fingerlings as well as adult trout into the tailrace for angler to catch. I lived in Jasper for awhile and enjoyed catching those rainbows. Eating them was even better! Check out the Alabama Power Website for more information! https://apcshorelines.com/

Another month and we will be almost into hunting season, at least for doves! But, before you can blink it will be Bow Season! You need to get your bow out now and check it closely! if you have any doubt about the string, change it! if you don’t feel comfortable working on it, GET IT TO THE BOW SHOP NOW! Don’t wait until September when the guys are already backed up with repairs and service to all the other folks bows, take yours in now and get it tuned! Check out some of the new arrows and tips that are pretty amazing for bringing that bowbuck down low in a hurry! Check your gear, this is the time of year to be getting ready to HUNT!! I know I am!

~postoak~

I’ve Got my Leases “Done” How about you?

They are growing ! Come On Deer Season! ~Postoak~

July is the time each year that I like to have my leases and/or hunting club memberships “done” so I can start scouting with trail cam placements, visits and even a few hours just “hanging out” to find the best locations for the upcoming seasons, both deer and turkey. I have a new lease in west Tennessee that I hope to spend some time on soon and I am very excited about the lease. I had a lease in East Tennessee this past year and it was a nice place, I just got a better deal on this new place and opted for it. Hope I did good but, you really never know until you get to spend some time hunting the lease. Well, one thing I know, I like to hunt new places so I am sure that is a good thing!

This new lease is near the Kentucky line so it will again be a trip of more than 300 miles one way to hunt. That is time and gas consuming but, you only get so many opportunities in a life time and the clock is running. I am over 60 now and blessed to be able to still get out in thw woods, just a bit slower than I used to do. That is another reason I like the west Tennessee lease better, the ground is flatter! In fact it has a swamp on the place that might be an issue but, I do like to hunt the flat land and around swamps. They seem to hold game like a magnet and I have seen some nice photos of animals on this lease. The lease is a mix of agricultural fields and corn is being grown on it this year so that should enhance the animals and the hunting from the left over agri-products and fertilized fields. I am pumped about it!

My other lease is the same one I had here in Macon County last year. I took several nice gobblers and saw a great many jakes so they should be some hard charging two year old toms come the spring turkey season! The deer lease holder has also given me bow hunting rights for deer so I plan to enjoy some good early fall bow hunts with my cross bow and try to “knoc out” a trophy buck or get one in front of my granddaughter to show her what the thrill of a bow taken buck is all about!

I have a third lease in Greene County Alabama that I plan to rifle hunt when the rut is on swing so I have got my leases lined up and I am ready for hunting season! Heck I am even ready to watch a little football as well…

Last item, The Alabama Wildlife Federation is hosting it’s state finals for the wildgame cookoffs soon at Lanark in Millbrook. This is a great event for summertime fun and you don’t want to miss it! Contact the AWF and get your tickets soon, before they are sold out!  Tickets are available for $35 per person or $50 per couple.  Proceeds benefit Alabama Wildlife Federation’s programs and projects. The ticket price includes one Alabama Wildlife Federation membership, a subscription to the Alabama Wildlife magazine, and all of the food you can eat!  For ticket information contact the Alabama Wildlife Federation at 1-800-822-WILD.  Driving directions can be downloaded at www.alabamawildlife.org<http://www.alabamawildlife.org>.

 

COME ON AUGUST!

POSTOAK OUT-DOORS

 

July Events to Enjoy Relating to the Outdoors, Even if it is HOT!

Almost too Hot to fish but, still FUN! ~postoak~

The weather has made the outdoors around central Alabama not nearly as enjoyable as it is most days. However, I have a few great ideas on spending some time doing outdoor related activities that might help you make it through the hot “dog days” until fall.

The first event sounds like fun and is a low cost outing sponsored by the Alabama Wildlife Federation at their headquarters in Millbrook. It happens next weekend so make your reservations NOW!

Are you ready for a Big Backyard Campout? Get Outdoors and spend the night under the stars on July 18th at the Alabama Nature Center in Millbrook. Enjoy a summer night with your family, and awesome activities including a campfire 101 session, glow stick night hikes, watching the movie Sandlot, making smores, and so much more!

Campsite set up begins at 2:00 pm Saturday, July 18th, and activities start at 3:00 pm. The cost is $5 per adult and $3 per child, and is good for Saturday, July 18th and Sunday, 19th. Even though you don’t pay until you arrive, please register for this event by calling 334-285-4550! A couple of Campout Rules:  Campsites must be cleaned up and vacated by 11:00 am Sunday, July 19th, but you are welcome to stay and enjoy the ANC trails until we close at 5:00 pm Sunday, July 19th. Campfires will only be allowed in designated areas. Bring your own tent and camping gear, and no pop-up campers, please. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No pets allowed.

The Alabama Nature Center, a hands-on outdoor education facility located at Lanark in Millbrook, Alabama, is a joint project of the Alabama Wildlife Federation and benefactors Isabel and Wiley Hill. The Lanark property, State Headquarters for the Alabama Wildlife Federation, contains 350 acres of striking forests, fields, streams, wetlands and ponds that are traversed by five miles of trails and boardwalks including a tree top viewing platform. The Alabama Nature Center hosts a variety of outdoor education programs including Lanark Field Days events for youth and school groups, Expedition Lanark Summer Day Camp for children aged  5 – 15, and monthly weekend events for the general public.

For more information about the Alabama Nature Center and the Alabama Wildlife Federation, call 334-285-4550 or visit http://www.alabamawildlife.org/

Over in Tuscaloosa this weekend, Woods and Water is putting on the 2015 Alabama State & Legends Memorial  Open Turkey Calling contest and I am sure if you hunt turkeys you will want to see and HEAR the folks doing the calling for this event. I have attended it several times and it is great for more info click the link to the contest at Woods & Water http://953thebear.com/2015-open-turkey-calling-championships-july-11th-at-woods-water/

 

THIS WEEKEND!!!  In the Magic City, at the BJCC you can find the Summer show for the Alabama Gun Collectors association. This is the BIG SHOW for us gun collectors and there will be lots of guns and shooting supplies to be found at the show. check it out http://amgoa.org/Alabama-Gun-Collectors-Association/Gun-Show-Promoter/398

Around Central Alabama, I have gotten several reports of real good crappie catches on lake Jordan early, late and at night. If you have some time and some good “skeeter spray” go catch some!

Until next week, Postoak out.. doors..

 

FInding Hunting Leases and Memberships, Part II

Me and this old buck met up a few seasons back. A quality hunt I will remember for life! ~postoak~

 

Last week I listed several good websites where leases and hunting club memberships can be found around the state. Today, I will share some more sites where you just might find that hunting property or hunting club membership that you are looking for. I am at the point in life where I am looking for a quality hunting experience and hopefully a great tract of land to enjoy the whole realm of the hunting experience.

That includes taking at least one trophy buck, a couple of “meat deer” consisting of does or cull bucks  since I refuse to shoot young bucks (what a waste). The biggest factor for me is of course, the turkey hunting! I will admit that a limit of turkeys is a nice goal for any season but, I am more interested in taking a nice BIG gobbler or two with some long spurs and a nice fat rope beard in the 11 + range! That is a trophy that I value equal or better than a 140 class buck. But, whatever YOUR criteria is for having a great place to hunt and make some lifetime memories in God’s greatest creation, the outdoors! I hope you are able to find what type of hunting property or membership you are looking for this season! And I hope my web links will help!

A good Turkey Lease is a "must" for my hunting season I am always looking for another Turkey Lease! ~postoak~

First one this week is RMS, Resource Management Services, a land management company with listing for proeprties and RMS lease holders who are looking for hunting club members.  http://www.resourcemgt.com/hunting-and-recreation/AL/350/AP-185

Next is Alabama Hunt Clubs. com This site lists active clubs in various counties around the state that are seeking members for the upcoming season.  http://alabamahuntclubs.com/index.php

This next site is CURRENTLY showing 23 properties around Alabama currently available for lease and may be just what you are looking for if you have the money to get your own private piece of the great Alabama Outdoors! Rayonier is a land management company and that have some nice tracts that might just suit you! http://property.rayonierhunting.com/AvailableAreas/FindProperties.aspx

Hopefully one of the links I have posted will help you find that place where you bag that trophy! Best Of luck!

~POSTOAK~

 

Time To Lease for This Upcoming Season !

 

Big Coosa Catfish! They are bitin at night! ~postoak~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Year, many hunters are looking for a new lease or a new club for a variety of reasons. Poor hunting on last year’s lease, good hunting caused the lease holder to go up so high you gave up last year’s lease. Property had all timber cut and is now just a big dirt pile, Disagreement of some type, financial change of fortune, change of health, change of job, change of location! You get the theme here, Change! and it is only good when it is your choice but, often it is not.. Maybe you just want to find a new hunting club, I have been in some good ones and many more not so good ones. Usually a bossy club president or a small “click” of club members run everything and are often just looking for PAYING members, not hunting members. I have found many of those through the years as well. I guess that is the main reason I prefer to lease a piece of property instead of joining a club. I never “say never” to a good club, they are just hard to find.

However, my searches have led me to find some good resources and I don’t mind sharing. So below is some good links to find you a property or a club for the upcoming hunting season. I will list several this week and some more next week. Hope you find some land or a club to enjoy!

Aldeer .com is a good place to visit for all things hunting including lease info and clubs looking for members.http://www.aldeer.com/forum/

AFOA, Alabama Forestry Owner’s Association has a list of available hunting leases as well as list of clubs seeking members http://www.afoa.org/hunt.htm

Plum Creek is a land managment company that  has just released a list of properties open for hunting lease this coming season. These normally get leased pretty quickly so act now!  http://www.plumcreek.com/recreation/lease-land

Westervelt Land Management is a company that manages all the land that was once a part of the Gulf States Paper company in west Alabama Some great hunting in the black belt is offered as well as a list of clubs seeking members for this coming season. I have hunted many of their tracts through the last 55 years and they have some great places! http://www.westerveltwildlife.com/hunting-leases/lease-services.cfm

Check these sites and I bet you can find some interesting hunting leases and hunting clubs! The time to find a good hunting place is now!

I will list some more next week! If you have land to lease or hunting memberships available, you can email them to me @ my email address below and I will post them in an upcoming blog!

postoakman@gmail.com

Good luck!

~postoak~

 

Time to enjoy the Water!

Bill Obert of Montgomery Recently Caught this Big Redfish! Way to go Bill!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time of year is not my favorite. I make no secret about summer being my least favorite time of year and this one is no exception. But, it does have some redeeming qualities and they all seem to relate to getting outdoors on a body of water.

I do enjoy fishing and June offers some great fishing weather! Bream and Bass fishing are two of my favorite fish to catch and to eat! There is no fish better in taste to me than a big Bluegill Or Shellcracker!

A big ShellCracker is a Summer Favorite to catch and to Fry! ~Postoak~

Fried whole in 350 degree peanut oil after a short soak in yellow mustard sauce and then shaken in a bag of plain yellow corn meal that has been seasoned with some Chef Paul’s (Prudomme)Seafood Magic, Blackened Seafood Magic or some type of cajun seasoning that you like! Served with Home-made French Fries, and Hushpuppies with bell and Jalepeno peppers.

The meal is only complete as a summer feast when you have home-made Cole Slaw made with Mayonnaise and washed down with Sweet Tea that has a wedge of Lemon! Dessert should be Water Melon, Lemon Icebox Pie or Home-made Vanilla Ice-cream..

Man! that is a summer feast that reminds me of the many “Fish Fry” dinners under the big oaks at my Grand mother’s old country home or down on the river bank at our annual summer camp along the Tombigbee River! Heck, back then, I still loved summer and that reminds me why! Also being out of school did not hurt either!

Now days, summer is my busiest time of year at work and the stress makes me wish for the welcomed days of autumn. But, when I get in on a good day of fishing and am able to add a nice catch of bream, either cleaned whole style or as “fingers” in filleted strips.It makes some of my stress disolve right on in to the lake waters!

My granddaughter and me are going fishing next weekend and whether it is bream or bass fillets that we bring home, the fun time we have will make for another great adventure in the outdoors. The heat and the “skeeters” are just bumps in the road and we will still enjoy the ride!

Get outdoors and take a kid fishing! Go early or go late, but watch out for that mid day heat! Plenty of bottled water and sun screen, a good cool hat and a cover-cool shirt will keep you save while you enjoy some of the best days of your life… for the summer anyway!

Good Fishing to you!

~POSTOAK~

This Saturday! Elmore County NWTF Jakes Day!

During the summer when hunting seasons are all gone until the fall there are still outdoor events to help us hunting and outdoor addicts get through until those fall breezes blow again!

One such event is the Annual Elmore County National Wild Turkey Federation’s J.A.K.E.S. event. The “Jakes” acronym stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Skills. And our NWTF Chapter in Elmore county has one of the largest Jakes Day events in Alabama at Fort Toulouse in Wetumpka this Saturday morning! We are expecting approximately 250 young folks who want to enjoy a great day outdoors and take part in participating in outdoors skills such as bow hunting, BB gun target shooting, Muzzle Loader Demonstrations, Tomahawk throwing,Shotgun shooting, Indian crafts, outdoor skills, turkey calling and learning about turkey hunting, deer hunting and more!

They will see presentations from the Wetumpka Fire Department, see the Haynes Helicopter, primitive bowl making, outdoor cooking with Dutch ovens on charcoal. There will be over 25 different booths and exhibits to help our children and youths in the area learn to value the outdoors, hunting fishing and the outdoor recreation so they will appreciate and help to preserve the outdoor habitats in Alabama’s future. Kids will receive free T-shirts and a lunch of grilled burgers and other treats.

Registration begins at 7:30 at the Fort and the event will conclude around noon. I will be there calling turkeys! I handle the turkey calling and turkey hunting basics for kids and have a large collection of wild turkey feathers to hand out to the Jakes.

For more info see our Facebook page!

Take some coyotes down before they take your deer down! ~postoak~

I recently read about how Coyotes are really taking a bite out of the deer population around the state so I urge any of you hunters to get out and try your skill at calling up coyotes during this critical part of the early summer when so many small fawns are being gobbled up by the coyotes. Calling coyotes is really fairly easy and it sure is fun! I killed several already this year that came to my turkey calls looking for a hen dinner. They found out too late this hen had a bite all her own! Just about daylight in the morning until mid -morning is productive and late afternoon until last light is very good for fooling a coyote and taking him out of the food chain before he takes some of your future trophy bucks out of your food chain! Hunting them with a shotgun is really fun! I like to get them close as possible and then spring those # 4 shots on them. I follow that with a slug if necessary since it will reach out there up to a hundred yards if they running away. Still a lot of fun is long range shooting coyotes with rifles. An AK-47 is a great gun for making mulitple longe range shots on yotes and it is a bit wicked when you can get several in a large field and cut loose on them with the firepower of an “AK.”

Who knows? you will probably be saving the lives of many fawns, turkey poults, rabbits and other small critters by reducing the number of predators in your hunting area. I often smack down a few Bob-Cats each summer when I am predator hunting and that helps as well to save your fawns. Try it, I bet you will like it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunting is an American Tradition

Lots of "babes" in the woods this time of year! Watch out for them! ~postoak~

Hunting is one of the reasons America exists today. That is such an obvious statement it seems almost dumb. But, with so many attempts to rewrite history, to rewrite the constitution, the Bible and other well proven precepts of American culture, some folks would have you believe that hunting was only done by a few pioneers and the native people in the last couple of centuries and just a few dumb rednecks today.

Fact is America was founded on hunting, farming and the outdoor life. Only after the establishment of settlements in the wilderness by hunters, trappers, and fur traders, did the villages rise and the small towns flourish. Without Hunters and the pioneers who hunted, America might still be a colony with some towns along the East Coast. Hunters led settlement parties into the heartland of North America, providing protection and supplying much of the food by harvesting wild game for everyone else who was not able to hunt and to kill enough game animals to sustain themselves abd their families.

There were so many hunters in the early days and basically no laws to regulate the harvest numbers, that many game animals were hunted to the brink of extinction. Market hunting was the life of many men in the late 1700 hundreds and the first half of the 1800s. Game animal populations suffered greatly during the last half of the 1800s and the early 1900 hundreds. My grandfather, who was born in 1886 said they shot anything they could that had “an ounce of meat” on it because they were so hungry!

He said people who were starving had no “high ideals” about animal protection. He said they could not afford to have anything more than a “live for today” attitude because that is all they could do to survive. Thanks to some other folks who did have “High Minded” ideals in our political arena back then. The “Pittman Robinson Act” that is the most important law relating to hunting, fishing and the protection of our natural lands. Also known as the “Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937″ it brought funding earmarked for the use in creating parks, hunting preserves, wildlife sanctuaries, and millions of acreas of public lands all across America.

The funding came from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, guns, ammunition, and other equipment used in hunting and fishing. Sportsmen across  the country saw the value this law created and it is one of the real success stories in making the whole United States of America a better country to live in and a stronger country that used the skills of it’s hunters and others to serve America in wars and to see it survive to this day. Now some people want to say we should not hunt, we should not own guns, that hunting animals is wrong and that we are just old hillbillies, red necks and “dinosaurs”. Well just call me T-Rex!

I had a fellow on the internet recently just blasting me about a hunting photo I had posted for a friend. This hack was telling me about the people of the south and the way he and “everyone else” in America saw it that hunting was barbaric, out of date and no longer necessary to feed people. He ranted about how we are just redneck backward folks who would never know any better. He said he did not believe in hunting fishing or God and the Bible was just a myth. I replied well “Bless yore heart” and that I would just agree to disagree with his logic.

It is unsettling that his view is shared by more folks “up nawth” who consider us “stoopid”

I wonder who the dumb folks are but, I am pretty sure they are not down here!

~Postoak~

Start Now! If You Are Looking For A New Place

Already looking for Gobblers for 2016! ~postoak~

Many of us hunters find ourselves looking for hunting land or a membership in a new hunting club during the summer months. I have found that the quicker you start the better your chances of finding a good place to lease for the next season or finding a good hunting club.

I am constantly looking for new leases for turkey hunting and they are very scarce. If you find one, it is likely to be priced way too high for anyone except a retired and rich guy! I just don’t have enough time to hunt but, I still pay high prices for leases! I leased three tracts this past year, two in Alabama and one in Tennessee and right now, I hold first option on each of those for 2016. However, I have already advised one lease holder to count me out. I made a mistake when I leased that tract and even though I hunted it 20 years ago and killed a sackful of turkeys from it, when I looked at it last year I suspected the urban sprawl that had splattered all around it had reduced the hunting to minimal. I WAS RIGHT. I saw three gobblers on it late one afternoon during the season so I went back the next morning and did not hear any turkeys but, I did hear all kinds of automotive noise and shouts from the neighborhoods near the tract. I did not waste anymore time on it. I just counted that as money lost!

The place I leased in Macon county was pretty good and I took some nice gobblers off it. The woods are nice and the property is laid out so that it hunts “big”. That is it seems to be larger than the 700 acres it actually is and has good woods on three sides so I was able to call to gobblers on adjoining properties and get them to come see me. However, it is 62 miles from my house and I have a couple of guys poaching it from the southeast corner where another club joins. We had a “impromptu meeting” one morning and they thought the property I leased was not being hunted so they had been inviting themselves on it. Hopefully that will stay on their side of the line next season if I lease it again.

The place I leased in Tennessee was expensive, rugged and small for the price. I did find a good population of Gobblers and brought some down to BAMA. Like the other places, people do not respect borders and I had turkeys ran off from me twice by other people coming on the property who should not have been there. Some walked right by my truck and came on in for a horse ride! Unreal how people don’t respect anyone else. That plus it is 310 miles one way and I have to stay at a hotel so the cost of hunting just keeps rising! Not to mention that I only got to make 3 trips up there the whole season due to other obligations and bad weather.

I guess I am just wishing for the old days when I had free places to hunt, close to home and they all had turkeys on them! Well, I am starting today looking for turkey leases for 2016. I got plenty of deer hunting places, just tough to find that good spring lease.

I am ready to get after some fishing, some hog hunts and shooting those dang Coyotes! I killed several in turkey season and would like to shoot a few thousand more!

If you have a place you want to lease me for turkey rights next spring, just email me! postoakman@gmail.com

Hope you enjoy the outdoors this week!

~POSTOAK~

 

Spring Turkey Season, What I Learned, Re-learned

Another Turkey Season Gone! Next Year I will start my 55th Turkey Season!

IF your turkey season was good, bad or mediocre, there is some benefit in everyone of them that I am blessed to participate in by the grace of God. I can only hope that you have endeavored to learn from every season and build on that knowledge so that when you are as old as me and can still enjoy a spring morning to the extent that you forget every care, every concern and even most of your aches and pains during those few hours when the turkey woods world is magic!

Those mornings when the gobblers and hens are caught up in the fire of procreation and propagation of their species! The gobbles and hens are vocal and visible! Running through the woods like they have lost their minds! Not like most of the rest of the year when they use their survival stealth skills to disappear into the woods, leaving only scratch marks in the leaves and a few tracks to prove they are still on the property!

Those mornings when trees and and all manner of flora send forth a plethora of plant life that boggles the mind when you consider the weight of just the mass of greenery! I particularly love taking notice of how spring literally travels north and you can chase it down by driving just a couple of hundred miles north into the Tennessee hills. When I traveled up to east central Tennessee for the few hunts I got to take up there, the drive, although long, was exhilarating! Especially when I got north of Dunlap and drove up over the crest of the Appalachians. The first trip up, the trees were still as bare as they are here in January when you got up to the highest passages winding between Dunlap and Sparta. On the next trip, after our foliage was in full deep summer green, the hilltop foliage there was just getting that chartreuse green color in the buds and on my final trip, they were a full spring green glorious that makes you think you have somehow backed time up a few weeks. And in terms of turkey hunting activity it has!

This past season, I spent more on leases, licenses, gas, and other travel expenses than I had planned. However, the real thing that I can never spend enough of is TIME! I have too much work to do, meetings to attend and problems to solve to get to hunt enough.

Lord willing and his grace keeps coming, I will be able to retire in a few more years and then IF my body can hold up, I will spend the weeks in the woods I have always wanted.

Hope your Season was good, Hope you bagged a few good Gobblers and I hope you learned some more skills or at least re-learned some that you needed…

~POSTOAK~  season over and out..