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Josh Chauvin, the Apex Predator, poses with a doe he shot on Christmas Day from 50 yards with his .44 magnum Thompson/Center Contender on Richard K. Yancey WMA.

Apex Predator: Primitive pistol hunting now legal

Challenging myself to master tougher weapons has always brought my deer hunting to new and exciting levels. Just as I switched from crossbows to longbows and recurves, last year I did the same with my firearms — and tried out handgun hunting. 

January 03 at 3:08pm
Josh Chauvin, the Apex Predator, poses with one of the Mississippi public lands does he shot, this time with his recurve bow.

Apex Predator: Stalking Mississippi does

For many years, I bowhunted public land in Mississippi without harvesting a thing because only legal-racked bucks were allowed to be taken by non-resident hunters. 

November 16, 2016 at 10:44am
Josh Chauvin, the Apex Predator, arrowed this mule deer doe with a 28-yard longbow shot during his third summer hunting on public lands in the Colorado mountains.

Apex Predator arrows Colorado mule deer

I set out on my yearly Colorado trip this year with one goal in mind: To harvest a big game animal with my 100-pound war bow. But since I was fortunate to have taken elk in the previous two years bowhunting on public land, I really had no pressure to get one with my compound. 

October 19, 2016 at 6:00am
Josh Chauvin, the Apex Predator, points out some of the advantages to using an over-under shotgun to pursue hogs on public land.

Double the barrel — Double the hog

Last year I found my wife’s forgotten Beretta 12-gauge over-and-under tucked away deep in the closet while searching through her old hunting gear from before we met. To a hunter like me, it was like finding buried treasure. 

September 28, 2016 at 4:38pm
The Apex Predator, Josh Chauvin, shares his favorite gar patty recipe, and also demonstrates how to clean a gar in about five minutes using only a machete.

Video: Apex Predator cleans gar with machete in five minutes

Homemade fish patties have long been a favorite food of mine.

August 24, 2016 at 5:26pm
Josh Chauvin shows off a frog he arrowed during a recent daytime public lands trip with his recurve bow. It's a lot more challenging than nighttime frogging, but Chauvin said it's a great way to get in some bow practice before deer season.

Apex Predator: Daytime frogging with a recurve bow

Recently I found out about an entirely new way to hunt with my bow in the offseason — and also get in some good practice in advance of deer season: Frogging with archery equipment during the day. 

July 25, 2016 at 1:55pm
Josh Chauvin's favorite topwater lure to catch speckled trout is Strike King's 4 ¾-inch Sexy Dawg, which features three treble hooks. Unfortunately for Chauvin, a shark nailed this speck before he got it to the boat.

Apex Predator tests topwater lures for speckled trout

Topwater action is really exciting, but it can become frustrating when speckled trout are only slapping at the bait or constantly coming unhooked during the fight. Since trout often feed on the surface only for short durations in the early-morning or late-afternoon, having a lure that puts fish in the boat as quickly as possible is important. 

July 05, 2016 at 9:17pm
The Apex Predator, Josh Chauvin, used his doubled-over four-turn improved clinch knot on the lure when he caught this spadefish.

Apex Predator's top fluorocarbon knots

With so many uncontrollable factors when fishing, one thing I can control is my knot choice — so I try to use the most efficient knots possible to put the odds in my favor. 

June 10, 2016 at 2:21pm
Josh Chauvin shows off a big alligator snapping turtle he caught using a noodle constructed with a non-stainless hook, untarred line and a ½-inch hex nut for the weight.

Apex Predator: How to make noodles to catch alligator snapping turtles

Catching turtles is something I’ve done since childhood. In fact, I used to catch and sell them with a reptile collector’s license as a kid. 

May 24, 2016 at 2:30pm
Josh Chauvin, the Apex Predator, shows off a 58-pound catfish he caught recently in the Intracoastal with a rod and reel using a Carolina rig and chunks of gaspergou for bait.

Apex Predator lands a 58-pound mud whale

Just like hunting, when it comes to fishing my goal is big game. So in the springtime I regularly set noodle lines for choupic and catfish, but this year I had the urge to catch a big one the old-fashioned way: with a rod and reel. 

March 16, 2016 at 2:36pm
By scouting locations each spring and using his bicycle and a kayak, Josh Chauvin accesses sloughs and small pockets where late-season ducks gather to avoid hunting pressure.

Apex Predator: Early-spring is perfect scouting time for deer and ducks

One of my favorite times of the year to scout for ducks and deer is late winter and early spring. I love fishing these months, too, but when the temperatures are cold in the mornings, I hit the woods in search of next year’s new spots.

March 08, 2016 at 9:06am
Josh Chauvin arrowed this doe with a 12-yard shot using his 100-pound Bamabows longbow on St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge near Natchez, Miss.

Apex Predator: 100-pound longbow adventure brings down doe

I could have never imagined that shooting a doe would give me more of a rush than my biggest buck — but oddly enough, that’s exactly what happened. 

February 03, 2016 at 6:34pm
Josh Chauvin, the Apex Predator, poses with a double-throat patch 9-pointer he shot last season on St. Catherine's Creek National Wildlife Refuge. The hunt featured lots of miscues, but he took the only shot he had and dropped his biggest buck to date.

Apex Predator makes only shot count, downs double-patched Mississippi River buck

Even though I practice and prepare to limit human error, one or two things are bound to eventually go wrong when I average several hunts each week all season long. 

But on one particular hunt last year, when practically 99 percent of things went bad, I learned sometimes it only takes that magical 1 percent to go right to succeed at deer hunting.

January 04, 2016 at 4:12pm
Josh Chauvin, the Apex Predator, researched arrow speed and trajectory to determine the ideal yardage to set your first pin. Click on the image for easier reading.

Apex Predator: Determining supreme arrow trajectory

Suddenly, I spotted the deer creeping silently on a foggy Mississippi River ridge. The doe was broadside, upwind and unaware of my presence, but was already passing through my 35-yard shooting gap. Only one last window remained before it disappeared into the brush for good.

December 01, 2015 at 9:00am