Jerry's Tips

SCOUT FOR BUCKS

A February day when deer no longer feel pressured from hunting and the ground is covered with snow is a good time to get out in the woods and scout for tracks. Extra-large tracks reveal where mature males have survived the hunting season. Mark those areas as prime destinations for hunting next year, when those bucks will be even bigger.

CLUCK FOR MORE TOMS

The call hen turkeys make most often is a simple cluck, not the high-frequency yelp. The sound tells other turkeys, I'm here and all is well. Gobblers spooked by hunters' loud, raucous yelping will often investigate a soft, clucking hen call. Cluck three or four times, then scratch a twig in the leaves to simulate the sound of a feeding turkey. Wait a few minutes, then repeat.

END MANTLE EMERGENCIES

Duct-taping a couple of replacement mantles to the side of your camping lantern is guaranteed to pay off, probably sooner than you think. Leave the mantles in their protective envelopes and secure them to the lantern under a couple of wraps of tape. You will always have mantles ready and will know exactly where they are the next time you need one.

FIND FISH UNDER ICE

Battery-operated flasher-type depthfinders used for boating work equally well through the ice. Use one to find dropoffs, old streambeds, and deep holes where fish congregate when wintering under the frozen surface. With a little practice you can recognize hard, soft, and rocky bottoms based on the thickness of the flasher signal.

"PACK" YOUR EGGS

To save space and keep eggs from getting crushed on camping trips, break them into clean, plastic screw-top jars before you go. A dozen eggs without shells will fit into a large plastic peanut butter jar. Packed in this manner, they'll stay fresh for a week when kept in a shaded, cool spot. Pour slowly and the eggs will plop out one at a time.