Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

16

Feb

2017

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Lost Headgear

Author: Mike Roux

You may think by the title of this article that I am going to talk about dropping your cap in the woods, but that is not the case. Instead we are going to discuss one of the fastest growing topics in the hunting world. Looking for, finding, and collecting shed antlers has become one of the most popular activities among not just hunters but the general public as well. A lot of folks are now spending their late winter days looking to bring home a pile of discarded whitetail deer antlers.

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5

Jan

2017

Outdoors with Mike Roux

New Year's Eve Geese

Author: Mike Roux

The three-day New Year’s weekend was a good one. The weather was near perfect, my whole family was home, and the hunting was outstanding. I didn’t spend the entire holiday weekend in the field, but I did manage to sneak in a goose hunt on Saturday morning with my good friend and waterfowl-hunting expert, Kevin Brunstein.

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6

Dec

2016

Outdoors with Mike Roux

DIY Deer Processing

Author: Mike Roux

Archery and gun hunters alike will have many chances at deer this season. There will be literally tons of venison ready for preparation in the Midwest over the next few months.

The processing of all of this deer meat can start to get expensive. Let’s just assume that your family gets two deer. That is pretty realistic. The processing cost will likely be in excess of $100. Now let’s say you spend that $100 almost every year. In five or six years you have spent enough on deer processing to buy a new gun or a better bow.  Let me show you how to put that money to better use.

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14

Nov

2016

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Big Bucks are in Demand

Author: Mike Roux

In recent years, more and more hunters are looking for a big buck rather than meat for the table. However, there are still many deer hunters who get as much satisfaction in harvesting a doe as they do in a nice buck. In fact, from a herd management standpoint, taking the doe is more important than taking a young buck. I can remember my Dad saying, many years ago, "If I kill a big buck it's because he's the first deer I get a shot at."

In today's hunt for big, wide, heavy-beamed antlers, deer hunting has taken on a new look. This is not a bad thing. Deer herds continue to grow from coast to coast. Herd management has taken a huge leap forward in many states. This all combines to give more hunters a crack at the buck of a lifetime each season.

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25

Oct

2016

Outdoors with Mike Roux

I Bought a Muzzleloader, Now What?

Author: Mike Roux

Because the majority of deer season for most states falls during harvest, many farmers are opting for muzzleloaders and the later seasons they provide. Every year thousands of farmer-hunters purchase their first muzzleloading guns. Some of these guys have used black-powder guns in the past by borrowing them from friends. The vast majority however have no actual experience with “front-stuffers”. If you are included in this group, or know someone who is, here are few valuable tips and advice.

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6

Sep

2016

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Autumn Musky in Illinois

Author: Mike Roux

Southern Illinois is right in the heart of Beck’s territory. Anytime I get into the area around Carbondale and Murphysboro I always check-in with the top fishing guide on Kinkaid Lake, Colby Simms. Last week was one of those occasions. Colby said to get there, that the musky bite was very good.

So as not to fish alone, I called my good friend, Mike Hamski. Mike lives in Park Hills, Missouri and is substantially closer to Kinkaid than I am. He agreed to take some time off and we planned a quick trip that would allow us to fish in the evening and stay over to hit the lake again the following morning. We thought if we gave Kinkaid five or six hours in October, we might be able to hook a musky.

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16

Aug

2016

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Bass Tactics for Hot Weather Walleyes

Author: Mike Roux

August has been hot this year. Good for the corn, ok for the soybeans, and great for fishing. I don’t know a single farmer who would turn down a walleye dinner. Think hot weather and walleyes do not mix? Think again. A walleye is cold-blooded. Like other fish, their metabolism rises along with the water temperature in summer, meaning they need to eat more, not less.

Conventional wisdom, all summer long, demands dragging leeches and minnows on Lindy rigs in deeper water for walleyes. Obviously, it works. Hundreds of thousands of walleye enthusiasts cannot be wrong, especially since it is still working after half a century.

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12

Jul

2016

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Mid-Summer Fishing Tips

Author: Mike Roux

Man....it's hot! It is the middle of summer, and it feels like it. Heat and humidity are two things I have never built up a resistance to. Summer is my least favorite season. And a summer like this one, hot and dry, is a real killer. It’s so hot, yesterday I saw a dog chasin' a cat, and they were both walkin'. It is so hot even the ice cubes are sweatin'. The good thing about this time of year is that our farming friends can occasionally take a day off to catch some fish.

So much for my hot weather complaints. Summer has its good points, too. Mid-summer fishing can often be as hot as the weather. Summer patterns and habits for most game fish fluctuate drastically from day to day. There are several contributing factors that can make or break a day of summer fishing. Today we're going to look at some questions and give some advice on how to keep fresh fillets on your grill or in your skillet this summer.

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2

May

2016

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Hope Outdoors

Author: Mike Roux

This has been a very rewarding spring turkey season for me. I only had limited time to hunt but I have turkey breast to eat and lots of new memories. Good friends like Les Semar, Bob Cowman, JD Stevenson, Collin Brunstein and Lexi Stevenson all got nice birds as well. But by far the biggest highlight of this season came back in February when longtime friend, Les Semar called me with a very special invitation. 

For the past couple of years, Les and his brother Scott have been involved with the Southeast Missouri Chapter of Hope Outdoors, an organization dedicated to facilitating events and providing hunting opportunities to kids who would otherwise likely never get the chance to experience the outdoors, much less actually get to go hunting. I did some quick research on Hope Outdoors and felt like this was a worthwhile effort in which to help out. Mostly, I just trusted Les that if he supported it I should, too.

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8

Feb

2016

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Heavy Vests

Author: Mike Roux

Well, it’s February and the major hunting seasons have drawn to a close. The deer and geese have been processed and now it is time to turn our attention to another winter activity. Hunting cottontails has been an American tradition as long as our country has been established.

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14

Sep

2015

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Warm Weather Crappie

Author: Mike Roux

Now that Beck’s has expanded into the state of Missouri I thought it would be appropriate to welcome our new Show-Me State team members and customers by making sure you know about the best warm weather crappie bite in the country.

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8

Jun

2015

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Old-Fashioned Top Water Lures

Author: Mike Roux

My cast was accurate but not perfect. My retrieve would take me over a submerged brush pile about 4 ft. beneath the surface in 11 ft. of water. I like to fish lures that stay in the strike zone for the longest possible time per cast. With a great top-water bite in progress, my choice of lures was an “old reliable” that I have thrown since my childhood. My Jitterbug bubbled enticingly over the structure.

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27

Mar

2015

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Bob Cowman - Turkey Hunter

Author: Mike Roux

I met Bob Cowman about nine years ago. I don’t remember exactly. Time was irrelevant as we became lifelong friends. Not only am I proud to say that Bob Cowman is my friend, but I am also honored to say that he is my Pastor, as well.

When Bob took over as the shepherd of the Columbus Road Baptist Church flock, I discovered that he liked to hunt and fish, but had not really had a lot of opportunity around his previous home in Ohio. I invited him on that first trip and we have been sharing days in the woods and on the water ever since.

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16

Feb

2015

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Change In Old School Thoughts

Author: Mike Roux

It was 11:10 a.m. when the gobbling woke me up. The last hour and a half I had spent sleeping and soaking up the late April sunshine. It was warmer now, and the bugs had begun to move around. My nap had freshened me and I was ready to battle with the black-feathered monarch of the Central Illinois woods.

I first spoke with this big tom at about 9:00 a.m. I had already managed to mess-up one gobbler right at daylight. An untimely movement on my part sent the first bird of the day to another county, or maybe even another state. But I learn quickly and I would not make the same mistake twice in the same morning.

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19

Jan

2015

Outdoors With Mike Roux

Pheasant Knowledge

Author: Mike Roux

I like this topic. It never fails that when I put pen to paper concerning pheasant hunting, a broad smile crosses my face. I have more fun pheasant hunting than any other type of upland game. I enjoy hunting other species more, but I do not have more fun with them. It is amazing how a target that big and that slow can be missed so often.

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15

Dec

2014

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Deep-Freeze Goose Hunting

Author: Mike Roux

Many people say that once the temperature drops to single digits, 10° up or down no longer makes any difference. I tend to disagree. The difference between 5° above and 5° below zero can be very noticeable. Especially if you add 20 mile-per-hour winds.

At any rate, the final day of the 2013-2014 Illinois goose season was brutally cold. The conditions were exactly as I just described. The temperature was 7°, falling to below zero as the day progressed, and the wind was straight out of the North. A pure Arctic deep-freeze had descended upon the Midwest. But my goose hunting partner, Kevin Brunstein, and I were not going to let the weather knock us out of the last day of the season.

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17

Nov

2014

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Building The Perfect Duck Hunt

Author: Mike Roux

Over the past few decades I have had the good fortune of hunting waterfowl in many locations across a dozen different states. I have studied the layouts, observed techniques, and learned what it takes to build a high quality duck hunting haven. The basic principles to creating such a spot are pretty obvious in retrospect; however there are very few waterfowl set-ups that incorporate all of these factors. And that is the key. Build all of the following pieces into your project and it will be successful.

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13

Oct

2014

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Ground-Level Rattling

Author: Mike Roux

I enjoy bow hunting from the ground. Still-hunting with a bow can be very exciting. Many good deer hunters have the ability and patience for still-hunting. Most of the good ones have very similar approaches to this method of hunting. They sit on a stand for a couple of hours each morning, then still-hunt through the middle of the day, and end-up back on a stand again at dusk. This process can be productive. I have modified it a bit, however, and have had great results.

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16

Sep

2014

Outdoors with Mike Roux

Early Season Bucks

Author: Mike Roux

Harvest is upon us, however could be those days when we just cannot get a combine into the field. On those days why not consider an early season bow hunt?

There are many good reasons to hunt in October, before the rut begins. One reason is because bucks are easier to pattern before the breeding instinct disrupts their routine. During the first three weeks of October, white-tailed bucks are feeding machines. They instinctively react to the coming breeding season by laying on fat in late summer.

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11

Aug

2014

Outdoors with Mike Roux

FOREIGN DOVE IN THE MIDWEST

Author: Mike Roux

With August soon to give-way to September, it is almost harvest time. God has blessed us this year with amazing yields and an abundant harvest is eminent. Before we set up camp in the combines we will have the opportunity to begin hunting season. In most states dove season starts on or around September 1st.

On Labor Day evening 2013, I accompanied Beck’s President’s Club Member Luke Terstreip, Sr. to a freshly cut silage field. Luke had done some scouting and we put out a rotating-wing dove decoy and let the birds come to us. Now it is time to explain the title of this story. For the first time in my dove hunting career I saw and killed Eurasian Collared Dove.

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