Hey everybody and thank you for swinging by Aptooutdoors.com. Today I’m going to be talking about something I have been thinking about heavily these past few weeks. I have been re-building a 13-hp motor to convert to a long tail mud motor while also looking at newer models of fishing kayaks to purchase. While thinking about which path I’d rather pursue it dawned on me that no matter which path I take it will be taking time away from my 1-year-old daughter.
While most of us fisherman and hunters are reluctant to hang up our passions for a while or making any changes to our normal routines the reality of being a good father to me has started to sink in. There’s no point in me owning a boat until my daughter is old enough to actively fish or enjoy herself on it. And I can’t justify spending that amount of money on a duck boat/blind materials for the few hunts a year I go on when most of the time I’m hunting, I’m thinking about being home with her.
This epiphany has led me to really start thinking about selling the majority of my hunting and fishing gear for the time being and planning on getting back into fishing and hunting a lot more when my daughter is a little older and capable of enjoying it with me. It’s a sad thought to me but honestly I’d rather be home with my family. I am in no way trying to tell other people how to conduct their personal lives. I am simply explaining my situation and actions I am taking to be a better husband and father so that maybe someone else will read this and it have a positive impact on their lives and family.
I will continue to run this website and post educational blogs about fishing and hunting techniques. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy time with your families. God Bless.
Hey everyone and thank you for swinging by. Today’s quick post is covering the yearly goals or the “Bucket List” for the blog and youtube channel. As soon as i can start getting out on the water and getting videos there will be episodes on YouTube. below is the month by month Bucket List.
FRESHWATER BUCKET LIST
Crappie- catch a 1lb or larger crappie on the fly rod.
Bass- Catch a 5lb bass or larger on the fly rod
Chain Pickeral- Catch a 20 inch or longer Pickeral on the fly rod
Rainbow trout- catch my first rainbow trout on the fly rod *
Hey Everybody and thank for stopping by Apto Outdoors.
I can write every week about things I love to do or things I have done, but I would like to write based on topics suggested by my readers. Leave a comment on topics you would like to see coverered over the next 2 weeks and I will do my best to cover it. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom section of this post of the topic you want to see covered. Thank you for stopping by and our first Reader-Suggested Blog will be posted Monday February 6th.
As always stay safe enjoy your outdoor adventures and come back by to request and read the next 2 weeks of user submitted blog topics!
In the United States one of the things most of us learn to do at a young age is enjoy the outdoors, whether its fishing, hunting, or any other outdoor activity nothing else comes close in my eyes. But recently in my life I have noticed more and more people forgetting the reason why we do this.
Everyone has memories they hold dear with their family and friends, the reason why I enjoy the outdoors is the make memories. If you ever find yourself going on a fishing or hunting trip by yourself, make every effort to bring someone with you. Many times I have had a awesome experience in the outdoors and since I was alone, I had nobody to share that moment and experience with. My fondest memories are going places with my dad. Even the trips to Academy sports and outdoors were fun experiences growing up.
This week’s blog was short but very meaningful to me. I hope you all have a great week and never forget, the outdoors is a huge part of our lives but never let it consume your life. Cherish the memories you can make during your life and be safe. Thank you for reading and we hope to see you back next week. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter and instagram for more photos and updates.
I hope you enjoyed your holidays as much as I did. I got to smother my one month old daughter with gifts and spoil my wife with a few surprises.
Why should you take kids hunting and fishing.
Some of my favorite childhood memories involve hunting and fishing trips with my father. Whether it was a simple trip to a pond or a hour long run to Baffin Bay, it provided everything from lessons on patience, why to not keep everything you catch, but most importantly quality time with my dad. Although 90 percent of the time I was a burden when I was younger, bird nesting reels, talking loudly in the blind or playing with the live bait, my dad put up with me and provided some amazing adventures and memories.
This week I had the opportunity to go duck hunting with a good friend and his son, they provided the boat, since mine is out of commission for the winter, and I provided the decoys and calling. We saw a good number of ducks, missed a good amount and ended up coming home with 2 ducks. But one of the last flocks we shot at worked our decoys as beautifully as I have ever seen. The group of 6 were locked in from the second they saw the decoys, cupped up for a second then started to fly like they were going behind us and at the last second fully cupped up and dove in like they were on fire. It was beautiful to watch and was the best working flock I’ve had in two seasons up here.
In conclusion it was fun hunting with a father and son because it brought back some fond memories hunting with my dad. I forget how exciting every ripple or splash on the river can be for a young hunter still learning how to pick out and identify ducks. I hope you all had a great Christmas and next time you go hunting or fishing remember to take a little one with you and make some good memories that will last a lifetime.
Sorry for the delay in new posts, I have been through a dark spell the last two weeks. On Friday the 13th I was hunting the opening day of the December duck season and my motor had multiple failures on the way to the boat ramp. This amazing event happened as i have a month old baby and approaching the holidays with a recently purchased new truck. I was faced with two options. Pay for the aging 1980’s motor to be fixed and keep driving the already ticking time bomb. or sacrifice my season and focus on gearing up for next years duck hunting.
I decided on gearing up for next year, as much as I love to hunt it is a wake up call that I can get fixated and make my life revolve around hunting and fishing but I want my life to revolve around my wife and new daughter.
In conclusion, as much as I would love to be in my boat hunting waterfowl, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than here at my house raising my daughter and being a good husband. If you are ever in doubt that you are spending to much time away from your family, take a break and make sure things at the house are right before you take time away from them. God Bless and
My must have items for Duck hunters
Of the many items a duck hunter will have in his boat/ blind I have a few that I consider must have items.
A good decoy spread is a essential part of duck hunting. Typically I prefer 2 to 3 dozen decoys. The combination of species changes every hunt depending on my location. Any motion decoy will increase the realism of your spread however a moving wing decoy can flare birds on rare occasion.
A life jacket is a must for any duck hunter. One thing working Search and Rescue has taught me is to view my life jacket as a survival vest as well. I keep a high intensity LED Flashlight , a pea-less whistle, survival knife, and flare kit in the pockets of my lifejacket. In the event I need assistance I have every tool I need on my body at all times while operating my boat or wading away from it. Also not pictured I keep a Uniden Atlantis waterproof 16 channel VHF radio clipped to my waders or life vest at all times
Walkers Game Ears are one of my favorite items. They amplify surrounding noises and have a Sound Activated Compression (SAC) circuit that protects hearing from both loud or sustained sounds. The only downside the game ears have is it amplifies my duck calls, which distorts them so I have to turn down the ears to call. The benefits of the game ears outweigh the call distortion because I can hear the whistling of ducks much better and can hear woodies from a mile a way
Last but not least is a tool/parts bag. My bag contains everything from a grease gun with grease canisters for my boat trailer, to spare batteries for electronics. If I have learned one thing from a lifetime of being on the water is that if something can break, it will break at the worst time and its good to have the parts and tools to fix it. My main spare part is an extra prop for my motor.
Thank you for reading and come back for future posts.
A quick and easy way to make decoy storage easier and not have untangle decoys after every hunt is to Texas rig them. Here are a few steps and materials for a homemade Texas rigged decoy.
Step 1- Materials.
Weed-eater cord, the thickness depends on you. The thicker the cord, the harder for a knot or tangle to form.
Cable ferrules, the diameter depends on what thickness cord you use.
Lead weights, the size and type of weight depends on how you hunt, a open water or river hunter is going to need bigger weights than someone hunting a flooded marsh or coastal flat.
Step 2- Building the rig
First, run the cord through the eye of the weight and attach the ferrules making a loop at one end. Crimp or hammer the ferrule shut.
Second. Run cord through one side of the ferrule. Then, run the cord through the attachment hole on your decoy. To finish the rig run the cord back into the ferrule completing the loop on the decoy. Crimp or hammer the ferrule shut.
Step 3- Storage
When storing your decoys pick up the loop at the end of the cord, as a result the free sliding weight should slide all the way down to the decoy keel. When you have a number of decoys configured like this slide your hand as close to the decoy’s weights as possible and loop the cord into a loose overhand knot. When you go to untie the knot the stiff cord will return to its original shape. The knot will not cinch down.
Note- a word for the wise there is no such thing as tangle free, just tangle resistant. If you do not ensure the weights are all slid down to the keels you will end up with a mess. But not as bad a decoy string with fixed weights tied to the end.
Now that you have some Texas rigged decoys its time to go kill some ducks!
A often overlooked aspect of duck hunting is the hazards involved and safety items that are must have for any serious duck hunter who operates boats in periods of darkness. During any break in the season spend some time to inventory and inspect the safety equipment on your vessel.
#1 WEARING YOUR LIFE JACKET WHEN OPERATING THE BOAT!
When operating your boat you should always where a life jacket of some type, one misplaced stump or awkward wave and you could end up in the drink wearing waders which is a situation most duck hunters don’t even want to think about.
#2 HAVE A FLOAT PLAN WITH A FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND!
Have a detailed plan of the area you will be hunting and what time to expect you back. In case you don’t return in a reasonable time that individual can contact the Coast Guard or local emergency services to initiate a search or at least tell friends where to look for you.
#3 HAVE A EMERGENCY KIT ON YOUR BOAT!
Have a kit with food rations, flares, space blankets, first aid, hand warmers …etc. It might not be you that needs them, coming across a hunter in trouble/distress isn’t a everyday event but we are all out there together and you never know when someone might need your help.
#4 KNOW YOUR BOATS LIMITS, AND DON’T PUSH THEM.
Manufacturer information located on plates on the stern of most boats aren’t there for decoration. Manufacturers thoroughly test your boats safe operating limits and just because you have done it once with nothing bad happened doesn’t mean the next time in different conditions will be as fortunate. When hunting stretches of open water on calm days keep in mind winter weather can change very quickly and turn a river or bay from glass to a nightmare very quickly. And besides, most waterfowl hunters see bad weather days as a good day to be hunting migrating birds, increasing the chance for something to go wrong.
In conclusion it is always better to be prepared and have the right safety equipment than need it and not have it ready or in good condition. Using a life jacket properly will save your life when needed. Be safe and have fun.