Five Tips

FISH SUN SPOTS

In shallow bays on chilly days, expect fish to be feeding at midday close to the northern shoreline. They gather there because the sun crosses the southern sky at a low angle in late autumn, causing shadows that cool the water along southern shorelines. The sun's rays beat strongest along the northern shore, attracting baitfish to the warmer water. Hungry gamefish follow.

SPLIT WOOD

Never try to split a large-diameter log down the center with an axe. (You'll get the axe stuck or, worse, damage the handle.) Instead, whack slabs off the sides until you have reduced the remaining core to a manageable size. To split the core, strike the top of the upright log midway between the center and the edge nearest you, so that the axe handle follows the open split.

FOUL YOUR MUZZLELOADER

After every bore cleaning, muzzleloading rifles that shoot Pyrodex loads should be fired two to three times to "dress" the bore. These "fouling shots" coat the bore with a thin film of burnt powder residue. This causes succeeding bullets to seal the bore evenly, providing accuracy for several shots thereafter. Occasional swabbing with lubricant will make loading easier.

HAUL A DEER

A child's vinyl plastic sled makes an excellent deer dragger. Drill four ½-inch holes on each side of the sled so that a load-fastening rope can be laced through and over the carcass once it is placed on top. Attach a 5-foot rope from the base of the deer's antlers to the center of a 2-foot length of 1 ½-inch-thick timber. Grip this handle with both hands behind your back and start walking.

MAKE A POPPER

Styrofoam packing peanuts can be used to convert any streamer or bucktail fly into a popper. Prepare a few in advance and keep a supply on hand. Heat a wire and burn a hole lengthwise through the center of a Styrofoam pellet. Glue or paint eyes on it. When you want to convert a bucktail or streamer into a popper, thread your leader through the pellet and tie on the fly.