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Dan Small's Articles

June 2013

  • For Secluded Fishing Action, Try The Lake Michigan Tributaries

    For Secluded Fishing Action, Try The Lake Michigan Tributaries
    by DAN SMALL

    Wisconsin's Lake Michigan tributaries garner plenty of attention from anglers during the steelhead run in spring and again in fall, when more steelhead, along with salmon and browns, make their way up from the lake. In summer, these tribs see a lot less fishing pressure, as anglers turn their focus ...

April 2013

  • Spring Turkey Myths and Methods

    Spring Turkey Myths and Methods
    by DAN SMALL

    There's something about a tom turkey all puffed-up and shiny on a glorious spring morning that makes him seem bigger than life. Turkey hunters love to tell stories of the toms they have shot and the ones that got away. Some of these stories lead to myths that we've heard and shared so often, we t...

March 2013

  • Steelhead Dreams

    Steelhead Dreams
    by DAN SMALL

    It happens every year. The winter show season keeps me so busy that I barely have time to think about getting outdoors. I might sneak away for a rabbit hunt or two or perhaps an afternoon on the ice, but that's about it. Then, along comes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, the biggest g...

February 2013

  • Hunt Small Patches for More Rabbits

    Hunt Small Patches for More Rabbits
    by DAN SMALL

    Cottontail rabbits are among the most adaptable of all wild critters. In their effort to avoid predators and find enough to nibble on, they make themselves at home in some strange places. I returned from a recent airline trip to find rabbit tracks in the snow that had blown all around my vehicle ...

November 2012

  • Three Strategies for Fall Gobblers

    Three Strategies for Fall Gobblers
    by DAN SMALL

    Many turkey hunters for whom the spring hunt is a serious affair have a different attitude about fall hunting. Talk to someone who has hunted turkeys in fall, and odds are you'll hear something like: "It's not the same as a spring hunt," or "It's almost impossible to bag a tom in fall," or "I get a ...

September 2012

  • Hunt Crick Bottoms, Clearcuts and Clover Trails for More Grouse

    Hunt Crick Bottoms, Clearcuts and Clover Trails for More Grouse
    by DAN SMALL

    When killing frosts have crisped the bracken, aspen leaves have faded to burnt gold and the red lanterns in every woodland blackberry patch have been snuffed out for the year, then should a man begin seriously to hunt grouse and woodcock, not before, for they are truly October's birds. You can't...

August 2012

  • Wheat, Water and Wires: Three Keys for More Doves

    Wheat, Water and Wires: Three Keys for More Doves
    by DAN SMALL

    After nearly a decade of hunting them, Wisconsin's dove hunters are beginning to get a handle on how to hunt this tricky little game bird. According to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports, hunters have taken around 100,000 doves during each of the first nine seasons. With less than a m...

July 2012

  • Speed Jigging For Walleyes

    Speed Jigging For Walleyes
    by DAN SMALL

    Old beliefs die hard. Take walleyes, for instance. Let's look at three common beliefs regarding walleye behavior. In summer, they go deep, right? Some do, some don't, depending mainly on three key variables: water temperature, oxygen levels and food availability. In many lakes and reservoirs w...

June 2012

  • Door County's Smallmouth Heaven

    Door County's Smallmouth Heaven
    by DAN SMALL

    Door County pokes its thumb into Lake Michigan like a hitch-hiker looking for a ride. Between the thumb and the central Wisconsin palm, lie the waters of Green Bay. Along the eastern edge of the thumb, rock outcroppings and sheltered harbors define the rugged coastline of Lake Michigan. The Door ...

May 2012

  • Sex and Violence in the Spring Woods

    Sex and Violence in the Spring Woods
    by DAN SMALL

    Eddie Salter, the Hunters Specialties turkey guru from Evergreen, Ala., once described spring turkey hunting as "the All-American sport." "It's all about sex and violence," Salter said. "That old gobbler thinks he's about to make love and you're there to try to kill him." Salter's salty tongue...

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

  • Tubing for Winnebago Walleyes

    Tubing for Winnebago Walleyes
    by DAN SMALL

    Nowhere in Wisconsin do anglers look forward to ice with greater anticipation than around the shores of Lake Winnebago and its sister lakes, Poygan, Winneconne and Butte des Morts. As soon as there is a three-inch shell on one of these lakes, they start to venture out. Most anglers are anxious to...

January 2012

  • First-Ice Pike Tactics

    First-Ice Pike Tactics
    by DAN SMALL

    Northern pike typically bite all winter long, but the most consistent action for the biggest pike comes almost without fail as soon as the ice will hold an angler and his gear. Why is this so? Some say it's because cooler weather and the increased vulnerability of baitfish caused by the decline of w...

December 2011

  • Got a Turkey Tag Left? Try a Winter Hunt for Your Christmas Turkey

    Got a Turkey Tag Left? Try a Winter Hunt for Your Christmas Turkey
    by DAN SMALL

    It happened again this year. I managed to get through the "fall" part of our fall turkey season without killing a bird. Wisconsin's fall turkey season runs through the end of December in five of the state's seven turkey-hunting zones. Most hunters probably gave up the idea of turkey hunting whe...

November 2011

  • Tag-Team Deer Hunting: Two-Man Tactics That Work

    Tag-Team Deer Hunting: Two-Man Tactics That Work
    by DAN SMALL

    If you hunt deer with a group of friends, you are likely familiar with deer drives. Well-run drives can put a lot of venison on the meat pole. To make a drive work, standers must guard escape routes with clear and safe shooting lanes, while drivers move in concert through cover to push out deer. ...

October 2011

  • Strategies for Second-Season Gobblers

    Strategies for Second-Season Gobblers
    by DAN SMALL

    Many hunters apply for a fall turkey permit, then tuck it into their backtag carrier when they bowhunt for deer, just in case a flock wanders by. Others carry their turkey permit into the grouse or squirrel woods for when the action slows on one of those species, or again, just in case... A few h...

September 2011

  • Looking for Doves in all the Right Places

    Looking for Doves in all the Right Places
    by DAN SMALL

    So, you want to kick off the fall season with a dove hunt, eh? You've heard about how much fun dove hunting is and how hard the little critters are to hit, and you'd like to give it a try yourself. But if you've never hunted doves, you'll quickly find that the advice you get from books, videos and o...

July 2011

  • Wisconsin's Smallmouth Rivers Offer Fast Action and Fun

    Wisconsin's Smallmouth Rivers Offer Fast Action and Fun
    by DAN SMALL

    If it weren't for the muskie, a good case could be made for the smallmouth bass as the state fish. Smallies are native to more waters than muskies. Pound-for-pound, they fight as hard. And, unlike the toothy king of the Esox clan, smallmouths will hit just about anything just about any time, which m...

May 2011

  • Outflank a Trash-Talking Tom

    Outflank a Trash-Talking Tom
    by DAN SMALL

    Nothing gets a turkey hunter's heart a-thumpin' like a booming gobble just yards away. Let that tom gobble incessantly without coming any closer, though, and the warm rush slowly turns to frustration. Spend enough time in the turkey woods, and sooner or later you'll encounter a trash-talking tom...
  • Want Walleyes? Show Them the Blade

    Want Walleyes? Show Them the Blade
    by DAN SMALL

    Blade baits. They cast like a bullet and sink like a brick - the antithesis of what most anglers think of as an ideal bait for walleyes - yet those finicky, light-biting critters practically knock themselves out to hit these solid-metal jigging spoons. The secret to the attraction of blade baits...

April 2011

  • Prepare Now for a Successful Turkey Hunt

    Prepare Now for a Successful Turkey Hunt
    by DAN SMALL

    This spring, nearly 200,000 hunters will take to the woods in Wisconsin in search of a turkey. If this season is like others before it, less than a third of them will bring home a bird. Successful hunters usually prepare well in advance for their hunt, devise a game plan and then adjust their plan a...

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