Monday, July 23, 2012

Realistic Preparation For Bow-Hunters





I know numerous bow-hunters who shoot bull's eye after bull's eye when they are shooting at the range under controlled conditions. Bow-hunters shooting at a range usually are standing straight up and the target is directly in front of them on level ground, which is not exactly a realistic hunting scenario. A good portion of those successful target archers go out hunting every fall and do not have a successful shot on an animal when the opportunity presents itself. Bow-hunters who only takes aim at block or paper targets on a range during the off season are not taking the best advantage of their precious preparation time. Don't get me wrong, time spent on the archery range shooting arrows is important and should be a part of the overall preparation for making a good clean shot at the moment of truth. However, range time is only one facet of what is needed to become a well rounded field shot.

Bow-hunters can greatly increase their success levels by implementing a well rounded and realistic training program that prepares them to shoot under a variety of circumstances. I believe in the old adage train the way you play. In other words attempt to shoot your bow under circumstances that mimic an actual hunting experience as close as possible. If you plan on hunting in the rain, snow, or wind you should practice with your bow in less than ideal conditions. Other factors to consider when attempting to replicate hunting situations is the clothing you are wearing and accessories on your bow. If weather permits wear the same clothes you will where when hunting at least part of the time when shooting your bow. If you leave your quiver on your bow while hunting practice shooting that way during the off season, paying attention to these little details can have a big impact on your level of preparation for the hunting season.

There are numerous things you can do to improve your shooting skills for hunting. First of all, practice shooting your bow from a variety of positions and angles. Shoot while your standing, kneeling, and while leaning around obstacles The first time you shoot your bow while kneeling down and leaning around a tree should not be at the deer of a lifetime. If your options are limited and you have to go to a range be creative. An empty 55 gallon drum or piece of plywood propped up make great obstacles to shoot around. Hunters who utilize tree stands need to practice shooting from elevated positions.

3D archery targets replicating animals are readily available and can be reasonably priced. If you don't want to purchase your own many clubs and archery stores have 3D ranges available to use for a nominal fee. Becoming proficient in hitting a 3D target in the appropriate vital area will increase a hunter's likelihood of successfully killing an animal while hunting. Another thing to experiment with 3D targets is placing the target behind obstacles replicating hunting situations where a portion of your animal is behind a tree or other obstacle. Anytime you are going to be hunting an animal you are not familiar with you practice on a 3D target of that animal ahead of time if possible.

Another training aid I really like is virtual archery simulators. These simulators project a realistic view onto a large screen, typically 20 yards away. Hunters have the ability to go through numerous scenarios in a short amount of time; a few weeks ago I shot 104 arrows at a simulator in one hour. Simulators provide hunters with another opportunity to shoot at realistic looking animals. Simulators also prepare the hunter to shoot animals at different angles and it also helps the hunter develop decision making skills on when to take a shot do to the fact in a lot of the scenarios the animal is moving for a good portion of the time leaving the hunter with a small window of opportunity.

If you are already taking advantage of all of these training aides and concepts you're probably a pretty decent field shot. If not, revaluate your training program and implement some of the ideas in this article. I guarantee it will make you more prepared for that all important shot. Who knows, you might only have one opportunity next season; make it count!

Bradley Vinje is an avid outdoorsman and life long resident of Wisconsin. Although he enjoys all outdoor activities he has a particular passion for bow-hunting and fishing for Walleyes and Muskie He is the operator and editor of The Hunt and Fish Blog (thehuntandfishblog.com), which is a free website containing hunting and fishing resources for both experienced and novice sportsmen.

To See more check out my blog at http://www.thehuntandfishblog.com/
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Beginner Fly Fishing Gear Checklist




Consider making a checklist of the fly fishing accessories that you will need for your fly fishing trips. Have you ever gone fly fishing and sometime during the day discovered that a needed item was left at home? If you are a fly-fishing beginner or a seasoned veteran who is short on time, it's a good idea to have a checklist of needed items. If you are going to an exotic fly-fishing destination you need to make a list. The following is a grouping of items you may need on your checklist to support your next fly fishing adventure.

#1. Basic Items: First is the fly rod and reel; that's easy, but you may want to take a backup rod and reel in case of damage or failure. Consider a couple extra fly reel spools with a floating; sinking or wet tip fly lines. If you are making a trip to an exotic destination, you may need extra bulk spools of backing and leader material, or extra leaders in a wide range of lengths, and tippet strengths an a leader wallet might be handy.

#2. Optional Items: Fly-fishing vest and flies especially for the waters you are fishing, dry flies, fly floatant, and dry fly leaders. Your vest should have a fly patch to dry out water-logged flies. Nymphs and wet flies may need to be fished with strike indicators and shot for weight. Consider small pliers, leader nippers, hook hone, catch-releases tool, and small scissors. A med-sized Swiss army knife, flyline conditioner, stream thermometer, landing net, Campsuds, small hand towel, extra empty fly box plus an assortment of terrestrials and streamers flies.

#3 Needed Items: Waders, wading boots, or flats boots, wading staff, wader belt, studded sandals, Aquaseal adhesive, extra boot strings, float tube fins, inflatable PFD and accessories, extra boot socks, 2 pairs of polarized sunglasses, UVA & UVB waterproof sun block lotion SPF45, SPF 30 sun gloves, brimmed fishing hat, mosquito spray, dry bag, rain gear and a good rain hat, cold-weather clothing, underwear and gloves.
Thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say. Good fishing, and please respect our environment and practice catch and release.

For more fly-fishing tips and information please visit: http://www.oregon-fly-fishing-with-stan.com

Stanley Stanton: Oregon Fly Fishing Guide and McKenzie River fishing guide, Visit: http://www.oregon-fly-fishing-with-stan.com

For trout fly fishing tips, how to fly fish information, plus guided Rainbow Trout Fly Fishing, Steelhead Fly Fishing, classes for beginners and advanced fly fishing and Oregon Salmon Fishing.
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

More Than One Way to Skin a Wild Turkey





So you've called in your bird, taken your best shot, filled your tag, your gobbler is on the ground and you're admiring its iridescent gold and brown plumage, its long beard and impressive spurs. As you carry your beautiful wild turkey over your shoulder to your vehicle, your mind probably wanders to the next step - cleaning and preparation of the bird for cooking.

There are two basic ways to clean a wild turkey, and they depend upon how the bird will be cooked, as a whole or in parts. Most modern wild turkey hunters opt for removing the breasts and legs, but you can go the entire route if you want a full-size bird to put on the table. Cleaning an entire wild bird takes a few more minutes and more work than simply removing the breast and legs. It first involves plucking the bird's feathers from its body.

The way to start is by placing the bird on its back and "fluffing" its breast feathers. Note: do this outside; you don't want to pluck a turkey in your wife's kitchen. Move your working hand (the other hand will have to hold the turkey) against the "grain" of the breast feathers and fluff them into the air, then grab a handful of feathers and jerk away from the grain. The feathers should detach from the turkey's skin fairly easily. Be sure to have a plastic bag handy so you can deposit your feathers into it to prevent them from scattering in the wind and perhaps sticking to the bird. Some people dip a bird in a vat of boiling water for a few seconds, and then pluck the feathers from the body.

After plucking feathers from just below its neck to its tail feathers, turn the bird on its stomach and repeat the process, removing feathers from its lower back to its neck and underneath its wings. Remove the flight feathers from the wings to the first wing joint (if you can't pull them free, use a knife to cut them out), then cut off the wing from the first joint. Pluck feathers from the turkey's neck then remove the head (you already should have removed its beard).

Now your bird is ready to have its entrails removed. Starting at the breastbone's center, cut just beneath the skin down each side. Keep your knife cut shallow so you don't penetrate the intestines. Fold or pull down the membrane holding the interior organs in place, then reach inside the body cavity and carefully pull those organs toward the opening your cut has created. After removing the interior organs (lungs, stomach, liver, gall bladder, kidneys, intestines), wash out the body cavity with water. Look for any organs you may have missed and remove them. Also wash the turkey's exterior, then remove its feet. Now you have a whole turkey ready to be roasted, smoked or deep-fried.

The other and probably most-preferred method of cleaning a wild turkey is by skinning. It's less labor intensive and also results in breast meat that can be grilled. As in plucking a whole bird, start by placing the bird on its back with is feet pointing away from your head (this is best done by sitting on the ground or on a porch step) and fluffing the breast feathers, plucking them until the breast is entirely exposed to underneath the wings and down to the drum sticks (legs). Now, take a sharp knife and cut the skin on either side of the centerpiece breast bone and peel the skin away from the breast meat. To remove the breast, cut down one side of the breastbone and keep cutting until you remove the breast section. Repeat the process for the other breast piece. You should have two lovely pieces of meat that can be sliced into small pieces and grilled or sprinkled with salt and pepper, battered and fried in a frying pan with vegetable oil. Turkey breast fried this way tastes exactly like pork tenderloin.

To remove the legs, simply keep peeling the skin back to the knee joint, then cut through at the joint. The second cut will be made along the side of the turkey's body where the legs are attached, then press down with some force to break the ligaments at that joint, then cut through the joint. This final cut will remove the leg from the turkey's body. Now wash the breast and legs and remove any feathers or detritus sticking to the bird. After salting thoroughly, place the breasts and legs in a large bowl, fill with water and place in a refrigerator to soak over night (this removes excess blood and will improve the taste of the meat).

If you're hunting during a hot day and kill a wild turkey, it's a good idea to field dress the bird, especially if you plan to hunt for a second bird or have a long drive home.
Place your bird on its back, and at the bottom of the breastplate use your knife to cut down to the anal opening. Remove the entrails from this opening, then reach into the upper portion of the body, cut the bird's windpipe and remove the heart and lungs. If you have extra water, splash it inside the body cavity. Even better, pack it with ice, if available.
If you want to save a gobbler's body parts for mounting by a taxidermist, you can remove the fan tail of a gobbler (and, of course, the feet and beard). If you want a full-body mount, let a taxidermist skin and gut the turkey for best results.

For information on skinning a turkey visit North Carolina Sportsman
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Monday, May 7, 2012

The Art of Bagging a Trophy Tom From a Ground Hunting Blind



Turkey hunting does not have to be a battle with cramped legs, tired arms, sore back, and painful posterior. Ground hunting blinds offer a more comfortable and a more enjoyable option for the avid turkey hunter. The many different styles and designs of these blinds allow the hunter to bag that trophy tom in a way that best fits their hunting style. The first step to becoming a successful turkey hunter is learning some general facts about wild turkeys.

One of the keenest senses that a turkey has is his vision. Unlike deer hunting where the hunter can get away with minimal movement, a wild turkey will bust you for the most minute movement. The eyesight of a wild turkey is so keen that even the slightest movement will sent them running in the opposite direction. Ground hunting blinds can help hide these slight movements.

Since the wild turkey is a prey specie, its eyes are located on the side of the head. Because of this, the turkey's frontal vision is somewhat limited. When they walk, the turkey has to move its head from side to side to judge the distance of objects. Also, unlike deer, when a wild turkey is spooked by movement, he's not coming back. A spooked deer may come back around for a second chance, but not a wild turkey. Chances are when a wild turkey is spooked, he is long gone.

Just as keen as the eyesight of a wild turkey is the turkey's hearing. Just like the eyes, the ears are also located on the side of the head. This allows the turkey to hear sounds all around it. When the turkey initially hears a sound, the bird will have to turn its head from side to side to determine from which direction the sound is coming. While investigating the sound, the bird will give an alarm signal first. After the bird gets the direction of the questionable movement or sound, it can then determine the direction of flight. When hunting wild turkeys, the hunter had better be quiet and be in a ready position even before a bird is actually sighted. This makes hunting wild turkeys from ground hunting blinds even more profitable.

The next important thing to understand about wild turkeys is their roosting habits. Turkeys prefer to roost in large trees with plenty of high horizontal branches. They will look for these trees near food sources and running water. Good food sources include agricultural crops, acorns, and open green fields which all supply the high energy foods that wild turkeys crave. In the colder climates in the spring, turkeys love low swampy areas especially along creeks. The warmth of early spring temperatures causes the grubs and other insects to come up out of their dormant winter state. Wild turkeys love to scratch around in that black muck searching for grubs and other larva to feast on.

To find the roost area, look for droppings and feathers lost while flying up to the roost. As the sun sets on a beautiful April evening, listen for the gobble of a roosting tom. A quick hoot on an owl call will frequently get a response from a roosting tom. A fresh early morning spring sunrise will send the roosting toms gobbling out their love sick cries. Once the roosting area is found, find a good feeding area near the roost. Turkeys will always roost close to food sources.

Once a good roost area has been located, now is the time to pop up a ground blind. The best location is between a good roosting area and a good food source. Wild turkeys are not bothered by the sudden appearance of a ground hunting blind. Unlike deer, the wild turkey does not seem to take notice of a newly located blind. Nevertheless, try to locate the ground hunting blind near natural brush, along the edge of fields, or along fence lines as much as possible.

Most ground hunting blinds set up in a matter of minutes. Enter the hunting blind about ½ hour before the first peak of morning light. As the morning breaks, listen for the toms gobbling from their roost. By listening, the exact location of a roosting tom can be pinpointed. Another great benefit of a ground hunting blind is the degree of mobility. If the first morning hunt proves that the blind was not in the exact correct location, switching locations for the next morning or even for that evening is quick, quiet, and easy.

The many styles of ground hunting blinds include fold out camouflage barriers, hub-style ground blinds, spring steel hunting blinds, chair blinds, and even 3-D ponchos. Any of these blinds equipped with a trigger stick and a comfortable hunting chair makes sore limbs and sore posteriors just a humorous memory. Since spring brings many rainy days and some turkey hunting seasons last only a week, ground hunting blinds can overcome any weather condition.

It is easy to see that ground hunting blinds offer the turkey hunter flexibility, mobility, comfort, and great camouflage. Turkey hunting is a challenging sport. The feeling of being within a couple of feet of that strutting tom is second to none. Spring in to this year's turkey season in a ground hunting blind. You will be hooked for life.

Marianne Porter is the author who bagged many trophy toms from ground hunting blinds.

Please visit http://www.huntingblindoutlet.com/trophypage to view some of Marianne's trophy birds. For more information and to view a selection of quality name brand ground hunting blinds, trigger sticks, and hunting chairs, please visit http://www.huntingblindoutlet.com. You too can have all the comforts and conveniences of these great products.
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Trout Fishing With Kids



Trout fishing can be great for all ages, but there are some real important things you should keep in mind when fishing with kids.

Kids who have had an opportunity to go trout fishing and learn how to fish for trout, will typically remember these pleasurable experiences for a lifetime. So reach out and bring a child trout fishing. Whether it is your family member (i.e. grandchildren, nieces and nephews, etc.) or children through a local big brother program, a scouting program and/or town recreational programs, take the time and get involved and pass along the tradition of trout fishing today. You'll feel really good about it and you may be a positive influence on someone, who can then pass it along again, long after you're gone.

However, kids are kids and they will continue to be kids. There are a number of things that are important to remember when trout fishing with children. This article has been written to provide some helpful trout fishing tips while trout fishing with children.
First of all, when dealing with children, trout fishing or not, the most important things to remember are safety and child comfort. If the child is not a family member, follow the scouting rule of thumb and always have another adult present and several kids together. Although, while in the actual act of trout fishing, it is always better to keep the kids separated from each other, otherwise they'll surely create too much noise and will likely bicker over bait, first catches, etc. Set-up time, break meetings and a lunch time provide enough time for the kids to be kids with each other. Anyway, be sure to watch the child the entire time he or she is in your care. You really should never take your eye off the child, as they are often curious and can wonder off very easily. Kids who haven't been around the water much will also want to spend their time as close to it as they can get. So watch carefully!

Always be sure to have a first aid kit with you and it can't hurt to get yourself trained in first aid. If you go trout fishing with enough times with children, you will know that one of the hardest things to prevent is a child getting "hooked", which obviously is never fun.
Trout fishing comfort with kids is important. Make sure they are prepared for the elements, depending on where and what time of year you are trout fishing. Whether it is layered clothing, gloves, feet and hand warmers in the cooler areas/months or sunscreen in the warmer months, always be prepared. Always make sure to have enough water-drinks, as well as snacks, to keep everybody hydrated and happy! With hydration and snacks, comes you know what. Always try not to pick fishing spots that are far to walk to or are too far removed from bathrooms!

Kids get easily distracted, trout fishing or not. As such, be sure to have a nearby back-up plan, if the trout fishing scene isn't catching on as quickly as you had hoped. Perhaps have a nearby area, obviously away from other fisherman, where you might be able to skim rocks on the water, do some turtle spotting or pine cone hunting.
Now that we have touched a little on child safety and comfort while trout fishing, let's talk some trout fishing (or really any fishing for that matter). Remember, you want the child to learn some things and you are the teacher. Be patient, keep it simple and most importantly, make it fun! When it's the child's first time trout fishing, it is always best to start with live bait and bobber. Teaching a kid to hook a wiggly worm or minnow will take some time and we suggest baiting the hook the first couple of times to get some quick action and engagement. Kids love watching a bobber, so long as it's moving more than once and a while. Pick a spot where you know they can do some trout fishing and catch some fish. You know where to go!

Set yourself up a rig as well, so if your bobber goes down first, you can give him or her the opportunity to reel their first catch in. Now remember, kids react in different ways to their first caught fish. Some are exited and want to hug that slimy slippery fish, while others may be frightened and actually a little freaked out. Just be prepared for whatever reaction there is. Talk with the child as often as you can, teaching, but more importantly listening. Let the conversation go where it goes. They do have wonderful fast-paced minds and the conversations are always unique and rewarding.

Teach the catch and release method while trout fishing and show the child how to respect the environment by treating and releasing the fish properly, collecting trash and litter and leaving only footprints. The secret is to help kids learn to appreciate fishing and the outdoors in general.

If the child shows an interest in fishing, set-up another fishing trip and get he or she involved in the preparation next time, perhaps making lunch or digging for worms the night before. Going night-crawling with my dad is one of the best memories I have!
In the end, the overall goal should be to develop a relationship with the child. Going trout fishing, you can invest quality time in a child's life and teach them some values that will be important to them down the road, never mind just spending time with you. That means more to them than you will ever know!

So what are you waiting for, get to know some kids and go trout fishing!

Vincent L. Jacques is a Professional Engineer in the Environmental Engineering Field, an entrepreneur, business owner, writer, photographer, angler, wine connoisseur, investor, philatelist, domainer, web-site developer, collector, diver, husband and dad. Vincent has started and sold several businesses over the years, including Kenyon Environmental Inc., New England Geotech and Alternative Technologies. Vincent has had presence on the internet as early as 1995, with Kenyon Environmental Inc, Kinetic Capital Management and AvoidLines. Other entities currently operated by Vincent include foampix and vinsdomains.

Latest business/community launches by Vincent include http://www.troutweekly.com
Trout Weekly is new community for anglers who enjoy trout. Trout Weekly has been created for those who have an interest in trout fishing. Whether you are a beginner looking to catch your 1st trout or an experienced angler looking to catch more trout, you'll want to check this site out! Trout Weekly will strive to post a fresh article every week! Our goal is to provide you with the latest news, proven fishing products and information from experienced trout anglers, so that we all can catch more fish (especially trout).
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Alaska Big Game Hunting - Guide Services, Hunting Licenses and Regulations



Alaska is a big state with a big reputation to uphold when it comes to big game hunting. With 350,000,000 acres, Alaska alone is one-fifth the size of the entire United States, making finding and taking big game a challenge. Hunting in Alaska offers many challenges that hunting in the lower 48 does not - lower game density, seasonal movement of game and the distances of movement. Careful consideration of seasons and species is the key to a successful trip. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Conservation have put together a "Plan Your Hunt Workbook" that is available on their website as a downloadable PDF. This document encourages you to think your adventure through, then gives you the tools to organize and choose the options to make the most of your trip whether this is a guided adventure or a lone venture.
Below is additional information essential to the success of your trip:

TYPES OF HUNTS
In Alaska, there are two types of hunts:
- General season hunts - the type of hunts most people are familiar with. Purchase a license, get tags or harvest tickets for big game, and follow the general season dates and bags limits.
- Permit hunts - Harvest is restricted by permit when hunter demand is higher than game population can sustain.
Three kinds of permit hunts

1. Drawing hunts
-Available to residents and nonresidents
-Require an application fee and awarded by lottery
-Two lotteries each year - winter and spring
-ADF&G publishes supplements outlining hunt opportunities and hunt boundaries

2. Registration hunts
-Most available to residents and nonresidents
-Generally do not limit the number of registrations
-Seasons are closed by emergency order is harvest quota is met

3. Tier II hunts
-Subsistence hunts available only to residents
Details for permit hunts are available on the ADF&G web site

FINDING A GUIDE SERVICE
A nonresident who hunts brown/grizzly bear, Dall sheep, or mountain goat must be accompanied by a licensed guide OR by an Alaska resident over 19 years of age who is within the "second degree of kindred" (which means a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, spouse, grandparent, grandchild, brother- or sister-in-law, son- or daughter-in-law, father- or mother-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepsister, stepbrother, stepson, or stepdaughter who ARE residents). Nonresident aliens (someone who is not a resident of Alaska NOR a US citizen) must have a guide for hunting all species of big game.

SOME PLACES TO FIND A GUIDE
-References. Ask friends, colleagues, acquaintances about their experiences.
-Trade shows in the lower 48 during the winter. Many guide services are represented at these shows. Ask them for references and follow up on the references offered.
-Advertising sections in the back of outdoor magazines.
-Web sites.
-Obtain a list of big game guide-outfitters that provide services for a particular species. This is available from ADF&G, Wildlife Conservation (907-465-2376).

ALASKA HUNTING LICENSES
Licenses, big game tags, duck stamps and hunting permits are available from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Conservation and are obtainable online. Purchase ahead of time and bring them with you. Licenses are good from the date of purchase through December 31 of the license year. Big game tags are necessary for nonresidents if you plan to hunt brown/grizzly bear, black bear, bison, caribou, deer, elk, goat, moose, bull musk ox, sheep, wolf or wolverine.

HUNTING SEASONS
Alaska's 350,000,000 acres are broken up into 26 Game Management Units (GMUs). Each unit sets its own seasons for the various species of big game. A map of these units and the regulations pertaining to them can be found on the web. Click on the GMU of interest and a document defining the seasons will open. A complete copy of the Alaska Hunting Regulations can also be downloaded at the ADF&G site.
A general calendar for hunting seasons is as follows:
April - Most spring bear seasons open
May - Many spring bear seasons close
August - Some Dall sheep, caribou, deer, and moose seasons open.
September - Most fall seasons open, include moose
November - Some last winter moose hunts open

OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
If you are a nonresident alien (meaning you are not a resident of Alaska NOR a U.S. citizen, some restrictions exist on bringing your own gun into Alaska. Regulations require a filled out form and a hunting license. Details are available from The U.S. Department of Justice/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) at 202-927-8320 or from their website.
If you're going to Alaska to hunt then make the absolute most of it. One key to a memorable trip is having the right guide. Review a directory of Alaska guide services and conduct solid homework beyond that. Get references. On Mark Allen's hunting and fishing website you'll learn not just about hunting but also about Alaska fly fishing and the different regions most popular with sportsmen.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hunting - Basic Survival Equipment


 
When hunting it is imperative that one carries the basic survival equipment. Whether the hunt takes place in the backyard property or on a hunt in familiar land basic survival equipment should be carried as if the hunter were in unfamiliar territory. The amount of equipment used for a bigger expedition of course would be greatly increased, but the main focus is on basic survival equipment. These are everyday items that should always be included.

1. Compass and Map- Many outdoorsmen become disoriented. No matter what the reason for this disorientation inability is rarely the cause. A quick glance of the terrain and a compass can quickly solve this problem. If on unfamiliar territory a compass can be used with a map to triangulate your location from land features. This is a very important tool in survival.

2. Water bottle-The old saying goes "without food you can live for three weeks, without water you can only live three days". Food grows in the woods, much of which can sustain us. Water that is usually found in the woods has the potential to hurt us more than help, and should only be drank if in dire circumstances.

3. Waterproof Matches and or a Butane Lighter (or two)- Fire has many uses as man has found through the centuries. It can keep you warm if lost, wounded or disoriented. Fire can signal to others a location with the use of the smoke. Fire can also be very comforting psychologically in adverse conditions. It is very important to be able to create a fire. Butane lighters are handy, can be dried if wet and have a flint built into them in worst-case scenarios, and they are light.

4. Flashlight with Extra Batteries- A hunter never knows when the shot is going to be made available. Sometimes this is near last light. Without the use of a good flashlight, the hunt could end in the loss of a downed animal, not only is this bad for the name of hunting it can easily be avoided with a flashlight. Some of which are specifically designed to show the blood trail. There are also the more likely uses such as getting out of the woods after last light or getting into stand before first light.

5. Ground cloth of plastic or Mylar- In the event of injury or disorientation, sometimes it becomes necessary to stay in the wild overnight. Fire can be a great advantage, add to this a place to sit that's dry or a way to cover up from elements and survival can be greatly improved.

6. Bandage, Tape and Band-Aids- A person can never know when they are going to become injured, and in the hunting fields and woods there are plenty of ways to become injured. Bow hunters carry sharp arrows and most all hunters carry knives. Having a few small items to repair or temporarily treat an injury can greatly improve comfort as well as survival.

7. Whistle- mainly used for signaling in the event of injury or disorientation. The whistle can be heard for great distances and through thicker vegetation. The human voice can be loud but is easily broken up by forest cover and is no competition for the loudness of a good whistle. Whistles are also very handy in the event of predators, and they can be scared off by the shrill of a whistle. This can be very important if injured and in an area with Bears and Mountain Lions, that prey upon injured animals regularly.

Hopefully all of your hunting days will be safe and only result in a bountiful harvest. In the unfortunate event that things don't go as we hope as hunters, be like the Boy Scouts and "Always Be Prepared". Having a Basic Survival Kit put together in your hunting pack could make the difference between Survival and Disaster.

More Articles and information as well as great deals on basic survival and hunting gear [http://www.hunterinfopro.info]
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Friday, April 6, 2012

Archery Exercises - Archery Fitness to Improve Accuracy



 Many archers wonder if archery fitness is important and if you can improve your performance by improving your physical conditioning. The sport of archery is not considered to be extremely physically demanding. But as with most physical endeavors you can perform better with proper conditioning thus some archery exercises that include a modest strength training program should be considered it you want to perform up to your full potential as an archer.

Along with a good eye and steady nerves archers will benefit from stronger shoulder, back and arm muscles. Adding a proper strength training program to your archery fitness training is a great idea. As you get stronger it will allow you to use a bow with increased draw. This will lead to a better flight trajectory for the arrow. In will also help you maintain good balance and keep you steady as you aim, leading to better archery results. If you are a bow hunter it will help in many ways, both in the archery aspect as well as hiking and carrying large game. Strength training can also help you decrease the chance of joint and tendon injury that can develop from repeated shooting.

A good program of archery exercises does not take a lot of time to provide good muscle conditioning and strength gain results. For upper body conditioning exercises that work the upper back muscle (lats), chest muscles (pectoral) and shoulder muscles (deltoid) should be included. Specifically the upper back can be strengthened with lat put-downs, seated row and chin-ups (these are considered an advanced exercise) motions, The chest can be worked with push ups, bench press and chest fly exercises. Deltoid muscles are worked with overhead press and lateral raise motions. These can all be performed with free with free weights (dumbells and barbells) or weight machines. Most gyms will offer a wide variety of options for you to work these muscle groups.

A very important pont to keep in mind while weight training is to always use proper form by utilizing a slow and controlled motion and working through a full range of motion. It is also important to work with intensity by performing repetitions on each exercise until the muscles are fully fatigued. You can get very good results with just one or two sets per exercise and a couple of workouts per week. Your legs should not be neglected so you will want to include some squats, lunges or leg press exercises. Stronger legs will definitely help with your stabilization as you draw and shoot.

Remember you do not need to spend a lot of time on your strength training program but including it in your training will provide benefit to your archery. You will find that the task of drawing the bow, holding steady as you aim and performing shots repeatedly will be much easier. This will allow you to concentrate more on your aiming and technique leading to increased accuracy.

Did you know that the art of shooting a bow and arrow is one of the oldest methods of hunting used by humans and today it is still a very popular sport that is even part of the Olympics? If you are looking for more ways to improve your archery skill then visit Bow and Arrow Lessons and find out more useful and fun information.

David Waters is an avid outdoorsman with over 30 years of experience fishing, hiking and camping. A resident of Massachusett with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from the University of Massachusetts, and he is author of The Fitness Center Handbook. He is also a founding member of The Nahanni Camping and Fishing Club.
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1 Easy Step to Improve Your Accuracy by 50%

Whether you're new to archery or a seasoned veteran of this great sport, if you are not using this simple technique you are falling short of your true accuracy potential, and selling your self short of becoming the great archer you aspire to be.
I see it all the time, whether in forums, in person, or whatever; people are asking all the time "How do I improve my shooting?", "How can I make more consistent shots?" The answer is with the use of anchor points.

What is an anchor point?
An AP is a specific place where at full draw you can go to each and every time you shoot. So for example let's say when you draw your bow, at full draw you place your index knuckle under your ear lobe every time You shoot, this is an anchor point.

Are they really needed?
Anchor points are very important because of the fact that when you draw your bow very rarely do you go into the exact same position you were in the last time you drew your bow. This means that one shot could be dead on, and the next one your hand could go a little lower than before which causes you to shoot high on your next shot.
The KEY to improving your accuracy is consistency, I'll say it again the KEY to improving your accuracy is Consistency. This is why this technique works so well, with this simple and effective technique you are going to the exact same spot each and every time you draw and shoot your bow and you are therefore going to get more accurate and consistent shots.

What are some common anchor points?
Some of the most common AP's include:
-Index knuckle under your ear lobe
-Bow string touching tip of your nose
-Index knuckle behind your jaw bone
-Kisser button touching the corner of your mouth

These are just a very few of the possible anchor points you can come up with, a lot of these anchor points depend on factors such as bow type, release type, draw length, hardware on bow etc. An anchor point can literally be anything as long as it does not put you or others in danger and it is something you can consistently find each and every time you shoot.

One thing I would definitely suggest you do if you would really like to ramp up your shot accuracy is to incorporate 2 or 3 anchor points into your shooting routine. This will ensure that you are drawing to the exact location all of the time and will greatly improve your shooting accuracy.

If you enjoy archery whether for sport or hunting and you want to improve your skills and learn all the secrets of the pros then visit us at ArcheryBuff.com. Articles, Tutorials, Resources and more.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finding Morel Mushrooms - Tips on Where to Look For This Elusive Delicacy


How can something that exists in the hundreds of billions be considered a rarity, and how can something so prolific be so difficult to discover? The North American morel is an enigma. Prized as a delicacy comparable to the French truffle, the morel commands a royal ranking as the favourite American mushroom (although it really is not even a mushroom, but a fungus), more sought after than the common white button mushroom. Yet, surprisingly few of us have ever found and picked one, even though 'shroom hunting is a popular excursion for thousands of North Americans.

Morels are, without doubt, the easiest fungus to identify in the wild, and the hardest to confuse with poisonous or toxic cousins. Their unique shape and specific growing environment makes them distinctive, and one of the few mushrooms that almost all of us can eat with gastric confidence. Their Christmas-tree shape, their distinctive ridges and valleys, their common coloring all make the morel a unique target. But, morels have adapted an appearance and typical growing environment that confounds amateur and professional hunters alike.

Found across all of North America, the family of morels possess a camouflage ideally suited to their early spring woodland habits. Each year, thousands of mushroom hunters seek out the delicacy, unsuccessfully. Long-time gatherers will claim that the best places to locate morels is in recent burn sites, or adjacent to decaying elm and ash. Others will claim that these fungi are never located near evergreens. Yet, isolated varieties of morels grow in almost any setting, given the right moisture, light and season combinations.
The claim that morels thrive in recent burn sites has staying power. With the rush of potassium nutrients from ash, and the cleansing of other groundcover from these sites, morels are able, in the first year or two, to establish a firm hold on the site, briefly.
Morels that are found near downed ash and elm also receive a nutrient boost, and tend to be long-term residents of those sites.

Morels' unusual patterns of ridge and valley make them difficult to spot, wherever they grow. Their early spring appearance means that they are able to hide under the cover of last year's leaf growth, in patterns of wrinkled, mottled leaf beds. While the ground is dry, the fluffy layer of identical leaf pattern makes the morel almost invisible in the forest floor. But, immediately after a good rain, when the leaf bed, darkened by the moisture, is packed on the woodland floor, morels stand out.

You will also find that color shading of morels tends to match the color of dead leaf carpeting in their region, as will the color of soil surfaces.

Morels, like many fungi & mushrooms, flourish in early spring filtered light, when the ground is warmed but not hot, and moist but not saturated. With this specific growing environment, seasons are short, and progress depending on the longitude of your area. A dry spring will produce little growth, as will a late winter.

Given the versatile camouflage tactics of morels, their finicky growing habits, and their ability to "hide," even in plain view, it is understandable that they are considered a rarity, in spite of their abundance across almost all of North America.

Morel mushrooms have a rich, creamy flavor that is deliciously earthy, nutty, steak-like- and it's this awesome taste that makes the morel mushroom No.1 with wild mushroom hunters worldwide. Visit http://www.morelmushroom.info for tips on hunting, finding, and enjoying morels.
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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Young Guns - The Future of Our Sport


For many of us, our annual deer hunting trip or elk camp is a time for us to get away with the guys and share stories of hunting glories, both past and present. We selfishly guard admittance to our camp, and reluctantly grant membership to anyone new. But then things change. Those toddlers we used to leave behind with the "womenfolk" have gotten bigger and asked to join the group. It is at times like these that we realize it is up to each of us to pass on the heritage of this great sport of hunting. Here are some ideas how:

1. Take your own children hunting: There is nothing more rewarding than taking your children with you on their first hunting experience. For me and my oldest son, it was a mule deer hunt in Eastern Oregon. Thirty minutes in to the hunt, a bull elk with a small harem burst in to the meadow we were set up in. Although my son didn't harvest a deer, the thrill of seeing that bull, breath steaming in the cool of the morning air, is a memory we both cherish.

2. Take a child who is not related to you: My kids are now 22, 20 and 17 and well on their way to becoming proficient deer and elk hunters in their own right. It is now time to look for other kids to introduce to the great outdoors and hunting. This can be more difficult than with your own children, but we all know kids in our community who could benefit from our experience and knowledge of hunting. There are many life lessons to be learned during a week in the company of the "elders".

3. Mentor a child: Most states have a minimum hunting age of 12 years old. However, many states have implemented a mentor program, whereby an experienced hunter can take a younger child on a hunt prior to legal shooting age. The mentor acts as a 1x1 hunting guide, teaching the youth the ways of the woods. The mentor does not hunt, but rather insures the young hunter is both safe and successful.

4. Introduce a young adult to hunting: Many times our focus is on our youth, which is appropriate. But we also need to recognize those young adults who never had the opportunity to hunt while growing up. I am a prime example, as my first hunting experience came when I was 32 years old. I plan on passing this gift along, when I take my youngest son's college roommates on their first hunt later this year. Remember, without a new crop of hunters, this sport that we cherish is destined to become a thing of the past. Attacks from anti-hunting groups, environmental groups, and anti-fur groups continue to increase. Without a new generation of dedicated outdoorsmen and women, hunting will eventually go the way of the dodo. Next time you are planning a hunting trip, take a kid. Pass on the heritage.

Remember, time in the field is a gift, savor it.
Until next time, Happy Hunting.
Bob Russell - Bob came to hunting late in life, but has become an avid outdoorsman. Father to two sons, Bob is passing on the traditions of hunting to the next generation. Find out how he can help you find your next great hunting adventure at http://www.thehuntingbroker.com
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

 Great Product!

We tried this product last evening, and we all give it 5 stars! 

Great flavor on a venison tenderloin from a large old Black Tail Buck I shot this fall.  Marinaded 24 hours before pan cooking, some of the best venison I have ever eaten! One person does not like wild game and said it was very good! My 15 year old son had thirds.


One bottle is enough for three meals making it very economical.


More reviews coming soon!


We have also tried the Santa Maria Style seasoning on steaks, chicken and burgers. Another great product from Local Legends.


 Large Game Marinade

Flavor: A unique blend of bold and sophisticated flavors to pair mellow the gamey flavors of large game. Without overpowering the natural personality of it's host, this marinade adds just the right mixture of garlic, earthy herbs, and acidity from the vinegar .

Applications: Developed specifically for Elk, Venison, Wild Boar, Bear, Moose, and Antelope.

Marinate steaks, roasts and kabobs or massage this marinade into ground meat for the best burgers you've EVER had!

If you're too hungry to wait for the meat to finish cooking, try this appetizer suggestion: combine this marinade with olive oil and a little extra balsamic vinegar and viola! A perfect dipping sauce for french or artisan bread.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

5 Tips for Hunting With Kids


Taking your children hunting can have so many wonderful benefits. They will always cherish those memories and might even grow to love the sport so much that one day they'll share the experiences with their own kids. We put together a few tips that might help make creating the outing easier and more enjoyable for both you and your little ones.

1. Shorten the duration of your usual hunt
Kids have much shorter attention spans, so take that into consideration when deciding how long your hunt should last. Time your trip during an hour that usually has a lot of action, preferably after your child has had a nap. It's important to remember that their enjoyment is your focus-if they say they're tired and ready to go home, it's better to cut the trip short rather than making them stick it out. The last thing you want to do is dampen their enthusiasm, or they may not want to join you on future hunting trips.

2. Appropriately equip and educate your child on safety
When taking small children out, make sure they stay comfortable in warm boots, coat, hat and glove. The more comfortable they are, the more they'll be able to focus on enjoying the outing rather than dwelling on the fact that they're feeling cold and miserable. Do what you can to make this a pleasant experience for them. Talk to them about the different rules they should follow to stay safe. This is a great chance to decrease risk and lay down a foundation of safety practices involved in hunting.

3. Take advantage of educational opportunities
Children are naturally curious. Take advantage of this by using your hunting trip as an opportunity to educate them about the wildlife they're about to encounter. Before you go out, talk about what you're going to do and why you're going to do it. This will help grow anticipation and respect for the animals, and helping them understand what to do to increase the chance for success. This is also a great opportunity to introduce game laws and why we observe them.

4. Be patient
Even on a solo hunting trip, practicing patience is part of the game. This is even more true when you're out with a small child. Their enjoyment should be your top priority, and you can't keep a kid from being a kid. Sure, they might scare off a buck. But the most important thing is that they're having fun and gaining new experiences. If you have a ground blind, this might help conceal the added movements and provide your child the chance to see their first deer. Try to recall your first experience and remember that feeling as you work to provide your son or daughter with the same excitement.

5. Start with small game and let them participate
For some smaller children, they may not fully appreciate the hunt if they come back empty-handed. You might consider starting with smaller game like rabbits or frogs to get started. They may have a better first few experiences when they have something tangible to take home. If you do go big game hunting together, consider letting your child play an active role so that they feel crucial to the outing. Many children can handle certain calls, or maybe being "lookout" with the binoculors will do the trick. They'll always remember the important job they were given when they went hunting.
The main thing to keep in mind is that this is treasured time together. Use these tips as a guide, and your hunting trips will surely create special memories that your kids will never forget.

Katie Frasier is a contributing writer at Hunting Boots News, a blog dedicated to providing the latest hunting boots news, reviews and commentary for the hunting enthusiast.
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Finding Deer Antler Sheds


Most species of deer in North America shed their antlers annually so they may grow larger ones the following year. Finding these sheds is more than just a fun outdoor activity, it's become a sport in itself. If you're interested in trying to find some on your own, follow the advice given here.

Probably the most important factor in determining whether you'll have success finding any antlers is the time of year you go looking for them. Deer shed their antlers between the months of December and March, so this is usually the best time. One exception to this rule is if you're hunting fat north (up into Canada), you may need to go a bit later, as deer here shed later in the year.

If this is your first time going looking for them, you'll need a hunting ground. Common sense should tell you that an ideal hunting ground is going to be where the deer are. If you're a member of a deer hunting club, or know someone who is, see if you can arrange a deal to search for antlers there. Remember, going on private property is both illegal and dangerous, so always make sure you have permission beforehand.
One of the great things about antler hunting is the fact that it requires little gear. The only things you absolutely need are something to carry your finds in (such as a backpack), food, and water. You may also want to carry a hand-held GPS with you as well. It'll allow you to mark your boundaries and other information that could prove useful during your hunt.

There's no secret formula for deciding where you should look. When I go searching for antlers, I scan from the ground to eye-level, looking for any signs of antlers or deer activity. Most people assume antlers will only be found on the ground, but the truth is they are found just about everywhere. It's not uncommon to see antlers stuck in the branches of trees where deer have ran into them and got their antlers stuck. I've also seen antlers on the sides of river banks, crevasses, and in the middle of swamp marshes.
As you look for antlers, also look for deer in the area. If you spot any male deer missing a side of their antlers, there's a chance it's around somewhere.
If you're hunting in a thick forest area with lots of leaves and other debris on the ground, find a long stick nearby that you can use to prod the ground. Antlers can become covered up very quickly when the leaves begin falling, making it impossible for you to spot them otherwise.

The sport of antler hunting is new and many laws and regulations are being changed every year regarding it. Before you partake in this emerging sport, give your states game and fish office a call to find out what's acceptable and what's not. Some states prohibit the taking of antlers that are attached to the skull, while others allow it only under the condition you have proof of killing the deer.

For more information on shed hunting and deer antlers, visit our website.
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Four Essentials of Elk Antler Shed Hunting

Every spring thousands of outdoor enthusiasts head into the mountains in search of bull elk antler sheds. Most folks pick up 2 or 3 every season after spending hours combing the forest and mountains for sheds. I have lived in the eastern White Mountains of Arizona since the early 1990's and have been hunting antler sheds every spring. I generally pick up 30-50 sheds a season and average one about every 2 1/2 hours. Here are some tips on how you can increase your odds of finding bull elk antler sheds.

OUTERWEAR
Mountain weather can be inclimate and change with very little notice. You will need to prepare yourself in advance by wearing the proper outerwear. First off, you need to be wearing a really good pair of boots. The terrain is steep and the footing is loose. Hiking shoes just won't do the job. Hiking boots are better, but your best bet is a good leather Gore-Tex hunting boot. I prefer Danner Boots, they are comfortable and sturdy. Next is a regular pair of denim blue jeans. You are constantly going through brush, butt sliding, kneeling and occasionally slipping and falling. Nylon pants get tore up pretty fast. For a top layer, a wick dry tee-shirt along with a technical nylon or fleece top will work very well. You want to stay warm, but allow the sweat to be wicked away. It's also a good idea to wear a bright color on top especially if you're shed hunting with a partner, you need to be able to see each other from a distance. Camo is generally not a good idea. A good baseball style hat is also essential to keep the sun out of your eyes. I wear a long bill hat from my wife's fly fishing guide business. This is mainly because you will not be wearing sunglasses, sunglasses tint the natural surrounding and you will not see the antlers laying on the ground unless they're old white chalks. Sunglasses also make it difficult to use binoculars effectively.

EQUIPMENT
There are three essential items that you should carry with you at all times when you're shed hunting. The first is a good pair of binoculars. I use a pair of 12x50's that can be purchased for around $100-150. You also want to purchase the over the shoulder straps for the bino's ($15). These will hold the glasses close to your chest and keep them from banging on rocks and hanging up in the brush. Next is a sidearm, if allowed in your state. You will be hiking into prime mountain lion country. I carry a.45 titanium revolver and it has saved my life twice by firing warning shots above charging lions. I have never killed one. (Perhaps a future story?) I simply will not go deep into the mountains without a sidearm and will not allow hunting companions to do so either. Finally you will need a 2000-3000 cu.in. backpack with straps that will clip and unclip the antlers onto the back of the pack. Preferably, also a bladder reservoir with a bite tube for hydration.
Remember, the points always are packed away from you and depending on the size of the antler, the button may point up or down....try not to let the points dig into your butt, or bang against your head. I can carry (3-4) antlers in this manner, then one in each hand if I find a real honey hole. Your pack should include: extra hardshell, in case of inclimate weather, radios, if traveling with more than one person (essential), headlamp, matches, map, GPS (optional) first aid kit, utility tool like a Leatherman, sunscreen, toilet paper, extra liter of water and your lunch. In some areas, such as the Blue Wilderness, I carry a lightweight climbing harness, a couple of carabiners, rappel device and a 100' length of static rappelling rope for getting myself out of tricky situations.

RESEARCH THE FOUR ESSENTIALS
Now that you've assembled all of your outerwear and gear, it's almost time to go elk antler shed hunting. However, to prevent you from wandering from mountain to canyon without purpose, you will need a good map of the area. The best are USGS topo maps available online - we like to laminate ours. I also like to utilize Google Maps and Google Earth. National Forest maps are also handy for finding roads for access into remote areas, but most the side roads are unmarked. The main thing is to have a "search plan" and stick with the plan. Your plan should reflect the four essentials mentioned below. Always let someone else know where you're going and when you'll be back. A note on the kitchen counter to my wife usually works for me. You also may want to carry a GPS and mark the location of your vehicle before you go trotting into a remote area.
As you plan your elk antler shed hunting adventure you should be thinking about four essential items: Security, Access, Conditions and Terrain. Any successful shed hunting trip will require all four of these items to be present. If only one essential element is missing, you will have very little luck finding sheds and likely be skunked. All we are doing is increasing the probability of finding an elk antler shed in a given area.
SECURITY
I believe that elk antlers are painful before they fall off. There is no scientific evidence that I am aware of to support my belief, but nonetheless I firmly believe this to be a true fact. The level of pain may be different for each bull elk, from a minor toothache to an abscessed tooth. The level of pain may also vary with age. So, take a minute and consider how you personally feel when you're sick with a toothache, say maybe a root canal. Generally, you want to relax as much as possible, stay warm and comfortable, very little social contact, have water and food close-by, maybe sleep a little more than usual. Most of all, you really don't want to be bothered. You just want to get this over with and get on with your life. My contention is that is exactly how a bull elk feels when those big antlers start to loosen up. They want to be safe and secure.

So, where would a bull elk feel safe and secure? The question is probably better asked where they wouldn't feel safe and secure. Well, to be honest, definitely not around their girl friends, the cow elk. If I see loads and loads of fresh cow elk scat, I'm probably not in a good area for finding sheds. The bulls sometimes gather into smaller groups of 4-8 when they are about to drop, but most of the time this is a solitary event when it actually happens. They also do not want to be cold, they generally like to be as warm and comfortable as possible. I generally do not find elk sheds on north facing slopes unless I'm working a large mountain with deep backbone type ridges...even then, odds are far greater on the sunny sided slopes. This next one is very important, they also tend to avoid deep thick brushy areas, which are prevalent on north facing mountains. Remember, if you buy into my belief, these antlers hurt. They do not want them to be knocking against trees and bushes...kinda like stubbing a toe that you've already stubbed. However, the areas may be short and brushy, like a live oak forest with the height of the oak around 5'. This allows them to move around and carry the antlers above the brush, but have the ability to lie down in between them to seek protection.
The astute shed hunter would probably say, "Yea okay, but I've found a few sheds in wide open meadows". My answer would be, "Sure, they are traveling to and from their water source and feeding area from a secure area". Elk do not get delivered pizza when they are sick. In addition, you will typically find only one side in a meadow...they've already dropped the other one in their secure area. Finally, there is one last important point to be made about security - mountain lions. When a bull elk beds down, it's usually not in a place where it can be easily attacked. They like to have good field of vision, which means quite often they like it higher up on the mountain. Overhanging rock ledges that they can tuck under are also places that always need to be searched. Think about when you were young and about to go to bed, but you have a tooth coming lose, you can't sleep. Your parents would come into your bedroom and pull the loose tooth out - I always howled after the doorknob and the string trick! If a bull elk is bedding down and those antlers are hurting just enough that they cannot sleep, they will knock both of them off where they are bedding down. A matched bull elk antler set is almost the best possible find...next to a winterkill.

Good examples of secure areas are drainages and just below ridgelines. Please keep in mind, these areas can be quite large, sometimes a square mile.

CONDITIONS
This is the easiest of the essential elements and the one in which I see the most mistakes. Environmental conditions have a tremendous effect on where a bull elk may drop an antler shed. The main condition is weather and the other is the time of the year. I am going to make another bold assumption that is not based on scientific fact, but I know this to be true. A bull elk will not drop antlers in snow. However, they actually like being close to snow, specifically the snow line on a mountain. If you can determine where the snow line is on a mountain at the time of year when the antler dropped, you have saved yourself a tremendous amount of hunting in the wrong places (most common error). Typically, when I find a fresh brown antler shed the first thing I look at is my wristwatch altimeter and determine the elevation in which I picked up the shed. (A good reason to carry a GPS as well) Most of the time, there is no snow where I picked up the shed. I am attempting to determine the snow line on the mountain at the time of the drop. From that point forward, the highest probability of finding another shed is either 150' above or below where you found the first shed. This means you are zig-zagging up and down the mountain. However, when you find your second shed on the same mountain, you are now adding to your database of knowledge to further refine your elevation search area. In the eastern White Mountains of Arizona and west Central New Mexico almost all of my sheds are found between 8300-9500.' You will need to determine the average in your area in accordance with the snow line.

The other half of the equation is time of year. Bull elk generally drop their antlers over a 6-8 week period. In our region this is early March to late April. However, there is always a 10 day or so period when the majority drop their antlers. Large elk drop their antlers first. I consider a large elk anything over a 50" main beam - usually a 6X. The medium-sized ones are next, around 36" main beam and then the small 3X are last. Many shed hunters make the mistake of going out too early. Our area is packed with shed hunters early in the season, few are found. My early season adventures are usually on a sunny ridge line with 12x50 binoculars and a lunch. I'm watching the migration patterns and by the way, picking out the biggest racks.

Try to limit your search to areas a couple hundred feet below the snowline, using a zig-zag pattern during the time of year when they are actually shedding their antlers.
ACCESS

I have to include access as an essential element since this is a somewhat competitive adventure. If there are a lot of folks in the area in which you intend to hunt for sheds, you will likely not be successful. This is a major violation of the essential security element. However, it is important enough to warrant its own category. You may see bull elk in areas populated by humans, but they really do not like to shed their antlers unless they are traveling to and from a secure area. Think about it this way...if an ATV can get into your area, it's not a good place to hunt for sheds. Bull elk do not like roaring ATV engines or diesel trucks for that matter. They like it secure, comfortable and quiet.
I sometimes utilize an ATV to get close to an area that I'll be hunting sheds. But that ATV is typically parked at least a mile away from my target area. You do not want to spook them away if they haven't dropped yet. You really do need to go in on foot, disturb as little of the area as possible and leave with your bounty. I have witnessed prime areas ruined by careless individuals.

This is a competitive adventure. If there are a lot of folks going into your area. It may be picked clean every year. If the access is easy, the masses will show up to hunt antlers. If the access is difficult, you probably have your own private hunting ground. Here's another general rule of thumb, if a rancher is grazing cattle in your area, it's probably not a good place to hunt sheds. Cowboys ride fence lines every spring once the snow is gone, they know their cattle allotment section like the back of their hand. Basically, you've had experts in your area for years picking up sheds.
The more remote and inaccessible by any type of vehicle including horses, the higher the probability of finding elk antler sheds.
TERRAIN

Elk can drop their antlers almost anywhere, we are only interested in the areas in which there is the highest probability of a "drop zone". Quite often, this is where a bull elk will bed down. It also may be where they travel too and from a secure area. However, it is always an area in which they are familiar. When I go into a new area to "develop" I am looking for a specific type of terrain to match my other essential elements. I'm also looking for bull elk scat and tree rubs. Hey, wait a minute!! Bull elk rub the velvet off their antlers well after they shed. I agree, but they also tend to gravitate towards areas of familiarity. So, as I look at the ground and the rubbings on the trees, I'm also scanning the horizons with my binoculars...because I'm always looking for a specific type of terrain.
The best possible terrain is directional and prioritized in this order, south, southwest, west, southeast and east facing slopes. North facing slopes as mentioned earlier are almost always a no go, unless it is a large mountain with steep ridgelines that have sun-washed side canyons. As yet another general rule of thumb, grassy slopes are better than rocky slopes. If the slope is all rock, it's probably not a good area. It has to have some grass with the rock...all grass with a few rocks is best.
Some of my friends kid me about have legs like a T-Rex. This is probably due to the fact that most of the sheds that I find are located on slopes between 30 and 50 degrees. If you're unfamiliar with degrees of slope angle, a 12/12 pitch roof is 45 degrees. A lot of churches have steep roof lines similar to the terrain in which elk antler sheds are found. Obviously it takes a lot of determination to work your way up a steep slope hunting an antler shed. However, this is generally a secure area, with lots of visibility and often near a water source below in a canyon. The good news is, you get to stop every 50' or so, take a break and scan the area with your binoculars.

A typical search pattern on a steep south-facing grassy slope would go something like this...First pass is the ridgeline itself, taking your time to look down into the slope and then back just off the ridgeline. The next pass may be 20-40' below the ridgeline and usually at least one or two more passes even lower. However, if you're just going to make one pass, you need to utilize a zig-zag pattern to cover as much area as possible. The whole time, your thinking about security issues for the elk, environmental conditions in the area during the time the snow line was present and access in regards to the remoteness of the area.

LAST WORDS
Please do not get discouraged if you read all of this information and do not immediately find an elk antler shed although all four essential elements are present. This is meant to be a fun guide to increase your chances of finding shed antlers. From the outset, you should consider your mission to develop areas where you know that they will be dropping. I have found hundreds and hundreds of elk sheds, 70% of them come from a dozen areas that took me years to explore and develop. I go into those areas three times each - early, mid and late season.

I do not sell any of my antler sheds. They are either gifts to family and friends or they end up in my workshop becoming lamps, end tables or candle holders. A hundred or so adorn the gateway to our mountain home.

AUTHOR'S NOTE
The eastern White Mountains of Arizona include the communities of Alpine, Nutrioso and Greer. The 538,000 acre Wallow Fire (Summer 2010) burned over 850 square miles of this beautiful area. We lost our home for 15 years along with two businesses due to the irresponsibility and negligence of the Apache National Forest Management Team. We presently reside 300 miles away at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Eric Krueger
http://www.AlpineNutriosoRealEstate.com
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Turkey Hunting Tips - Helpful Insights For Beginner Turkey Hunters to Get the Results

Turkey hunting has been a favorite sport of so many people since the earlier times. And during spring seasons, numerous hunters take part in this activity. They share turkey hunting tips and vie for the largest turkey. Actually, the trophy status of this fowl depends on its size and the length of its beard. And usually, only male turkeys are hunted. They are generally larger than the females, and their colors are darker. In addition, they grow beards on their chests that may reach up to nine inches in length.

There are also certain rules that hunters need to follow when hunting. The months, locations, bagging limits, and time schedules are usually the significant factors that vary for every state. Hunters need to consider these factors if they want to have a successful game. But for a beginner hunter, a few turkey hunting tips will be helpful, as well. For instance, checking out a prospective area during nighttime will enable the hunter to locate a resting turkey on a tree. This way, he can stick around in the morning and make a call before the turkey leaves the tree. Another tip for finding a target is to determine its food source. The fall season, particularly, is the time of year when turkeys ran out of insects and grasses to eat. So, they consume acorns and berries instead. And because of this, a hunter will be able to locate them faster.

Additionally, checking for droppings and looking for feathers are two other unswerving turkey hunting tips. The droppings of male turkeys look like question marks while those of the females look like small curlicues. Then, searching for signs near watering holes is a good idea too. Turkeys usually drink from these holes during daybreaks. And making use of a hen call is among the most popular turkey hunting tips. Basically, yelps, purrs, and clucks are simulated by the turkey hunter to lure his target. Nevertheless, it is advised that a hunter always bring several types of calls with him.

Then again, these turkey hunting tips are slightly modified during rainy days. Initially, rainy days are the best times to put the stalks on fowls; since they usually stay in more exposed areas during such weather. However, a hunter must retreat if he sees lightning. Then, he must head to an open field, after the rain, to shoot his target because this is usually the place where turkeys dry out.

If you would like more turkey hunting tips and want to know how to separate yourself from the usual results obtain by amateur turkey hunters, please visit http://www.howtohuntturkey.com.
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Anticipate the Spring Bear Season




The ability to hunt bear in spring season is one of the finest natural astonishment of hunters in all the dimension of continental United States and North America. There are different classifications of bear across North America.

The nearby places of North America is a wonderful region to plan hunting for spring bears. There are abundant of hibernating bears in the area of Western Oregon and especially the amazing and serene tranquil location in the Western Blue Mountains where spring bear season started April 1st.

A benevolent manner to start a spring bear hunting expedition is to search for a large open field wherever bears will be in motion through foraging, such as pastures and broad curves that had been abandoned of snowfall as you would predict are the place where bear can gather food. Gather your senses to south-easterly facing curves because this is where spring bears dig roots and feeds.

An extraordinary data that is vague to identify if a law proclamation through the State of Oregon. The OGFW is the functioning body of the Oregon bear hunting season asks that the killed bears head will be given to them after 10 days. The skulls will be subject of scientific research and hunting reports.

The skull has to be surrendered to the biologist at the OFGW or other office in the State Game Warden locality in order to know the number of bears hunted annually as well as to determine the number of available bears for natural protection and maintenance. It is hard to cut off the molar or canine from the unfrozen skull of the bear.
To be certain that you are part of the natural life in the whole activity of spring bear hunt, it is necessary to have a hunting buddy. They are found in many regions and some of the regions are legally authorized to hunt spring bear.

Outfitters are found in the US: Maine and west to Oregon. Prices would range from $1500-$2300. Meals, lodging, license and guide services are part of the package.
Ensure that this will be the most unforgettable spring bear hunt season not only through adequate information of the native hunting grounds but also inform yourself about the regions where bears are abundant. This enables your buddy to become efficient. Be optimistic to choose your hunting buddy to enjoy the next spring bear hunt.

In addition to that memorable hunt, if you desire to perfectly savor the best spring bear hunting experience, consider the newest and highly improved Nikon ProStaff Rifle scope. It is designed to meet your standards for that pleasurable hunting expedition. While you are having a hard time purchasing outfitters, this waterproof and fogproof Nikon ProStaff Rifle Scope will not make you empty pockets as it suits your budget and manages to offer highly classified optical features such as anti-reflective lens and Nitrogen filled O-ring. So what are you waiting for! Don't make your hunting experience pressured only by Outfitters. Remember that the bear's perfect view is what counts here!

To Find Out More about Nikon Prostaff Scopes visit this site: http://www.theriflescopestore.com/niprrisc1.html
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sighting In a Hunting Compound Bow - The How To




In this short article I will go through the steps of sighting in your compound bow.
First thing is first. You must make sure your sights and peep sight (if you have one) has been installed correctly. I will assume that your bow accessories have been installed by an expert.
You always want to start out at around 10 yards. Since your bow fiber optic pins are probably still set at the factory position, this will give you a better chance to at least hit the target.

From around 10 yards:
Take a couple shots at your target aiming at the same exact spot with your bow. If you are not hitting the target where you were aiming for you will want to move your bow sight the direction of where you arrow is hitting. So if your arrows are hitting to the left of where you were aiming then move your sight pin left. Do not move it much, just a little. If you have the option to move all the pins at once that would be ideal because they all will probably be off.
Once you move your sight pins over take a couple more shots with your bow. Keep adjusting until you have the correct horizontal (you will probably still be shooting high/low).
Once you have that down it is time to start working on the vertical arrow placement. If you are shooting low of the spot you are aiming them move your single sight optic down a little (not all sight pins but only the top one). Then take a couple more shots. Repeat this step until you are on target.
You can fine tune your bow sight once you get it close. Just keep tinkering with it until you are happy with the results.
I will say this again because some people will move the bow site pin the wrong way while adjusting them and that can result in trying to track down a lost $8 arrow. If your arrow hits to the right make sure to move the sight pin to the right. If you're pushing your arrows to the left then move the bow sight pin to the left. Same if you pushing your arrow up or down. You always move the sight pin to the point of impact.

From 20 yards:
Repeat the above steps with the 2nd pin from the top. But if you are hitting left/right with your arrow only move the 2nd pin left/right and not all of them. You do not want to touch that top pin once you have it set. You should not have to do this. If you are pushing your arrow left/right take multiple shots to verify.
Repeat the steps from above from 30 and 40 yards using your 3rd and fourth pins.
You can set up your bow sight pins at any yards you like. Just remember that the top pin would be the closest and your bottom pin will be the furthest shot. I just used 10/20/30/40 yards as examples. I myself have 3 pins that I set up at 20 yards, 30 yards and 40 yards. I'm not shooting anything over 40 yards because my placement will probably not be a good kill shot. When I take a shot at 10 yards I just adjust my aiming a little low.
Well that's all there is to it so go grab your compound bow and adjust them sights. Before you know it you will drop a nice deer with your arrow.

Vincent F. is a fan of the outdoors. If you also enjoy this life style please visit his hunting, fishing and camping website. Users can submit reports, tips and stories.
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