Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Turkey Hunting Expedition - 4 Reasons Why Spring Season is the Best Time of the Year

Turkey hunting can be very exciting and fruitful almost the entire year cycle, but there is something special going on for spring hunting. Why is turkey hunting more widespread all through the spring? There are many reasons why you would like to get ready in support of turkey hunting all through the spring season. Here is a short overview of why spring is the most excellent period of the year to set up your turkey hunting.

1) More Spring Activity Makes in support of Optimal Hunting Conditions

After the preliminary nesting cycle, at hand is a 28-day incubation cycle. This is in nature followed by a subsequent burst of gobbler motion. Toms will commence to strut, gobble and put on show in a strong effort to locate unmated hens, or hens who were not able to create an early nest. This cycle makes up the following major episode of courtship action all through the spring season.

2) The Post-Mating Period

Most mating occurs in late February. It is all through this time in which the majority hens will commence perform on their ground nests. They will soon commence to lay clutches of five to 15 eggs. Their achievement in nesting will vary from time to time. Current investigation has made known that almost 50 percent of all nests are lost to particular conditions, including desertion, predation and weather. From the nests that will successfully hatch, more or less half of these are lost to predation and weather. Current study furthermore shows that hens have a tendency to be productive re-nesters, which means that they will often render several attempts at restructuring their nests if they occur to be destroyed in support of various purpose.

3) Spring - The Time of Wild Turkey Courtships

The primary goal why spring is prime season in support of turkey hunting is that this is the period of year as soon as wild turkey courtship activities take place. During the majority of the winter season, the majority of the mature male turkeys, recognized as gobblers or toms, consume there period in a widespread group. Flocks of gobblers commence to disperse as the cold recedes and the snow melts. During this cycle, the flocks of gobblers furthermore begin to fight in support of dominance. It is all through this cycle in which they commence to gobble and progress to displays in an effort to magnetize mature female turkeys, or hens. In general, a male turkey will try to mate with as many hens as workable. The juvenile male turkeys will furthermore make an effort to mate with hens, but they could be much less thriving. In general, juvenile male turkeys, recognized as jakes, will strut and gobble in an effort to magnetize hens. But they will not be as victorious as adult male turkeys, except there happens to be a much poorer ratio of toms to hens. Yearling hens will typically mate and nest all through their original season. This is especially real of the Rio Grande subspecies. Many hens will mate with a gobbler more than once. However, all a hen's eggs could be converted into fertilized in merely a single copulation. This may possibly stay fresh through a re-nesting attempt. In general, a yearling hen can maintain viable sperm in support of as long as 56 days after the early breeding.

4) Taking Advantage of Spring Activity

Mid-spring represents the hectic courtship season in support of mature male turkeys and mature hens. This furthermore happens to be the preeminent time of year in support of turkey hunting. This is since toms are actively looking in support of hens and will be quick to respond to the sounds of what they interpret as unmated hens. If you are able to master a proficient call yelp, you will discover that spring turkey hunting can be very energetic and thriving. Although successful turkey hunting can furthermore be accomplished all through summer and fall, spring is widely acknowledged as prime turkey hunting season.
If you would like more tips on turkey hunting expedition and separate yourself from the usual results obtain by amateur turkey hunters, please visit http://www.howtohuntturkey.com.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wilderness Survival - What You Need to Know

Wilderness survival skills are a must if you are planning an adventure into the woods and mountains. Being prepared is the best means of survival. By practicing the necessary skills beforehand, not only will the enjoyment of the adventure be enhanced, but so will your safety.

Basically there are eight skills that must be perfected for wilderness survival.
Learning to build a shelter in the right place. You will need dry land, firewood and visibility to others in the event that you are lost. Choosing an area that has the necessary materials to build that shelter and possibly provide some nourishment is also important. Protection from the wind and the elements will aid in your comfort.

Building a fire may sound basic but it's different for wilderness survival. Find a safe place to build your fireplace and gather the supplies necessary. You'll need tinder to start and other materials to get it growing. Start gradually with smaller pieces of wood and build to larger pieces as the fire takes hold. An area that is protected from the wind and one that is free of debris that would feed the fire are also necessary.
Finding water needs to be way up on your list of priorities. Since our bodies are made primarily of water and we lose almost one gallon a day, it is necessary to keep hydrated. Frequent drinking and rest will aid in preventing dehydration. Some fruits and vegetables will also aid in this area. Be aware of the symptoms of dehydration include thirst, weakness, confusion and loss of appetite. It is best to avoid the possibility than to try to resolve it after the fact.

The ability to find survival food is vital. Most terrains abound in natural foods unless you are lost in an arid desert. Initially it is best to start out with plants which provide the necessary carbohydrates. Progress to insects, fish and animals to ensure adequate protein and fat intake. Learn about these plants before your adventure to ensure wilderness survival.

Sending an SOS hopefully will not be necessary. However should it become necessary for survival it will help to know how to send audio and visual signals seeking help. SOS is three short, three long and three short sounds or lights. Flashlights, strobe lights or mirrors also work.

Learn to use the wind, moon, sun and stars to navigate. Learning plant growth will also help with wilderness survival.

Learning basic first aid that is suited to wilderness survival is very important and may well save a life. Learning to prioritize the need of the victim is first. It is advisable to take a first aid course if at all possible.

You may not be a weather person, but learning to predict the weather will make your adventure much safer. Changes in wind pressure can be detected by changes in plant life. Learning the difference in cloud formations will teach you when it is necessary to take shelter. Some clouds are predictors of great weather and other will alert you to rain or sever storms.

An adventure in the wilderness will be just that, an adventure. Wilderness survival will depend on your own knowledge base.

Copyright Aaron Aberson. For more on wilderness survival, and to get the free version of the book "Ultralight Backpacking Secrets," visit http://www.the-ultralight-site.com
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Friday, February 10, 2012

Predator Hunting 101 - The Art of Hunting the Hunters

Over the past 6 years or so I have noticed a great deal of interest in coyote hunting/calling, especially here in Southern California where hunting is not exactly popular, so I thought I would share my knowledge and experience with hunters who may be new to this sport and are looking for tips and general strategies that you need to know when hunting the hunters.

Ever since my first calling experience when I was a boy in Salmon Idaho, I have been hooked on predator calling. I would rather call in a coyote, fox or bobcat than hunt elk, deer or birds any day of the week....not that I don't enjoy hunting these animals, but it is vastly different and much more exciting to fool a coyote into thinking you are a free lunch and see them on a dead run heading straight for you. I just don't get the same kind of visceral adrenalin rush from hunting other game animals as I experience from predator hunting.

My goal in this quick article is to give the basic ABC's of predator calling and hopefully get you enough information to start racking up successes in the field and become as hopelessly addicted as I am.

The High Flyover
The advice and strategies I will discuss here will be listed in more or less the order of importance, however, in this first chapter I won't give a lot of detail but rather I want to give you a high level run through of the important key steps to success in the field. This will also help give you context for the details I will be discussing later in the article. Following are the critical points you need to consider, and get right to ensure a successful calling effort.

1. Have the correct equipment for the animals you intend to call and the environment you will be hunting in. You need to select the appropriate firearm, camouflage, calls, etc. These are more of a personal preference but there are obvious do's and don'ts. Like, you would not want to hunt coyotes with a 600 Nitro Express, especially if you intend to sell the pelts. More on this later.

2. You will need to scout the area(s) you want to call in advance, this is where you will search for signs of the animals you want to call and create a mental, and sometimes, an actual written plan for each location you want to hunt. You can't call anything in if they are none in the area!

3. You need to park your vehicle at least 150 yards (further is better) from your stand and the vehicle needs to be hidden from view. If your vehicle is visible from the direction you expect the animals to approach, they will not come in. I try to find a low spot, or large brush stand to hide the truck.

4. You need to approach your stand from downwind and preferably with the sun at your back (Not always possible). Try not to approach from a ridge line or any high point where you will be silhouetted. You need to be as quiet as possible that means no talking, no loose change in your pockets, etc.

5. Once you reach the area where you plan to call, you need to find a spot with cover that has visibility over the area you expect the victims to come in from, preferably a point with some elevation and enough cover at your back to break up your outline. I like to find a spot midway up a small rise overlooking a draw or open area...and, of course you should be facing to call into the wind.

6. Once you get seated and all of your equipment arranged, you want to make sure you are comfortable (I carry a pillow to sit on) because once you start your calling sequence you don't want to move around much at all...they may be watching!

7. After 5 minutes or so you can start your calling sequence. I will go into the different types and techniques for calling later, but what ever you are using I always start with a low volume short set of calls and then wait another 3 to 5 minutes before starting the next set. This first call is for any critters that may be very near by that you managed not to alert. More often than not I have had coyote just pop-up out of no where after the first few minutes of calling.

8. I rarely ever call for more than 15 to 20 minutes at each stand and this usually allows for 5 to 6 mouth call sequences. After each call give yourself 2 to 3 minutes to thoroughly scan the area and watch for any movement. Pay particular attention to areas where the cover meets open areas, shadowed spots, dry creek bottoms, game trails, etc. Mr. Coyote wants to feel safe when they approach anything they are not sure about. This is one of the secrets to calling...you want to give your prey a safe covered approach. If they have to cross a big open area they will be a lot more cautious and try to circle your stand to get downwind of you before getting close enough in to see them.

9. It's hard to anticipate how a particular predator will approach but more often than not coyotes will come in at a steady pace until they get about 100 yards from where the sound is coming from. From there they will stop more often and watch...most of the time they do this from behind a bush where they will pop their heads just above or around the side with ears up and pointed forward. They are looking, listening and smelling for anything out of sort. The particular coyote's behavior will dictate what I do from this point forward. If he seems interested and not very spooked I quit calling and let them come as close as they want, watching for any signs that he is getting nervous. If he is nervous or refuses to come any closer, I will do a couple short and very soft rodent squeaks. This usually gets them to come in a little closer to at least get a good shot.

10. It's important to note that if you take a shot whether you hit your mark or not, it's not over yet, wait a few minutes then start calling again. For some reason gun shots do not seem to bother coyotes as much as you would think and I have had more coyotes come in after taking a shot....it's worth a few more minutes.

11. If you have no takers at the first stand after a reasonable amount of time then it's time to move on to your next stand. When you are ready to get up and leave, take a few seconds after standing to scan the area, you may have one that is hanging out there beyond your view when sitting. You need to travel at least a mile from the first location to make sure you have a new fresh audience. Depending on the area, your calling sounds will travel a great distance so you want to make sure you are in virgin territory.

12. Repeat the setup and approach steps above at each consecutive stand. You don't want to over call an area because all that will happen is you will educate the coyotes in that area and they will no longer respond to calls. Give each site at least a month to recover after calling, even if you were not successful because it's possible that the reason nothing responded is because they saw or heard you and now they relate the presence of humans with the calling sounds.

Ok, well that's the down and dirty basics of coyote calling. If you want more detailed articles on predator hunting, please visit our website at: www.theraspyrabbit.com and look for our article section. Thank you for reading

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Turkey Hunting Tips - 5 Guidelines To Coax In A Timid Tom

Turkey hunting is an awesome, exhilarating and often challenging experience. However, once you give it a try, I'm willing to bet that you will be hooked.
Before you can begin, you have to do some homework. you have to find a good location to hunt. This can be a bit more involved than you may think. Finding the right area is just the beginning. Once you do, you may have to get permission to hunt there.
Once that is complete, you then have to scout this area to find the roost. Mark several locations on a map, this will help you to move around quickly should you decide to change hunting locations.

Next, consider the turkey hunting supplies you will need. You will need camouflage, a shotgun and ammo, a hunting vest and calls. Once you have everything, then it's time to head out into the field. To help you increase your chances of success use these 5 turkey hunting tips.

1. Don't Get Too Close To The Roost- This is a common mistake by many turkey hunters. You are excited, your heading out before sunup and your trying to get as close as possible so you have the best position when these toms come off the roost. Getting too close is going to end your day quicker than a unexpected rain storm. The best distance from the roost is about 100-150 yards. This should get you close enough without scaring them off the roost.

2. Talk Softly- When you are catching the turkeys just coming off the roost, start your calling with some soft clucks or yelps. Think about it like this, if you are like most people, you hate loud noises when you first wake up. The same can be said for the toms coming off the roost. If you start off aggressively with your calls, you could scare them away.

3. Make Some Scratches- This is very effective if you are trying to coax in a timid tom. Scratch some leaves with your hand. This imitates the sound a hen makes when she's feeding. If that tom is just out of read, this should get him to come a bit closer to find the hen.

4. Don't Shoot A Strutting Tom- The best shot for you will be once the gobbler comes out of his strut. When he does he will extend his neck and look around. This will provide you will a large enough target area for an ethical shot.

5. Have Patience- This is another common mistake made by novice and experienced turkey hunters alike. Sometimes these gobblers can be quite frustrating. It seems like forever to get them to come close, even when you can hear them calling off in the distance. When you think you can't wait any longer and you want to pack up and head to another location, sit tight for another 15-30 minutes. It may take some time for that gobbler to come and investigate your calls. Having extra patience to let him get there, will help you fill your tag more often than you might think.
Using these turkey hunting tips will help to keep you one gobble ahead of your tom. After filling your first tag, it's almost certain that you will catch turkey hunting fever. For more information about how to hunt turkeys, visit my website.
Keith Cantelmo is a lover of the great outdoors who is dedicated to providing the best information for just about every outdoor activity.
Discover more about turkey hunting tips on my website, http://www.OutsidEnthusiast.com.
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Monday, February 6, 2012

Yet Another Hunting Activity Called Spring Bear Hunts

Ask any hunter and he will tell you that the most prized game outside of Africa is the bear. These amazing creatures are frightening and awe-inspiring all at the same time. However, most hunters never get the chance to tackle this challenge on their home turf. But you can find great bear hunting in Idaho.

For a month every spring, a few Idaho outfitters offer spring bear hunts. At some guest ranches and outfitters, the incredible experience might also include a jetboat access to remote canyon country, or even an alpine wilderness fly-in or horse-pack remote camp. At these remote locations and in rugged, steep country, hunters can often see the bears from a distance and can stalk an approach from across a canyon. Be sure you're out there with a great guide, though, and remember that taking an animal is one thing, but getting it out is another matter!

Good guides with considerable experience are essential on these hunts. This isn't an easy hunt by any means. Plus, bears are dangerous adversaries so if you make a wrong move, you could be in for some serious trouble.

A spring bear hunt in Idaho with a good guide gives you an opportunity to overcome some of these challenges. For one, the terrain is perfect for spot and stalk hunting. As the name suggests, you're going to head out to the mountains and lay low until, scoping the hillsides looking for these beautiful creatures. Then you can carefully stalk him until you are in a good position for shooting. Even using this technique can be a challenge for the uninitiated so you do want to bring along someone who knows a lot about hunting and quite a bit about the bears.

For many hunters, finding time to hunt and taking care of the family often don't go together. That's what makes a spring bear hunt in Idaho such a great option though, especially when you pick a family- friendly outfitter or guest ranch, is the opportunity to satisfy hunting and family demands at the same place. You can find a great place to hunt and bring the family too for some quality relaxation, horseback rides, or other ranch activities. The weather in the spring season is obviously a major variable, but it's worth considering- simply relaxing in the natural beauty of Idaho's wilderness areas can renew the soul any time of year.

One of the great benefits too of a great Idaho guest ranch and outfitter is the opportunity to find a place you can come back to in other seasons- spring bear hunts, summer guest ranch and river fun, fall elk hunting, even fall and early spring steelhead fishing. Idaho has it all, and the best places have all of this in one location.

Ask anyone who has ever successfully claimed a bear for a hunting trophy and you will quickly learn that it is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have as a hunter outside of African big game. While it can be dangerous, working with an experienced guide who knows the area and has experience hunting bears will offer you a tremendous advantage. The spring bear hunts are not something any serious hunter would want to miss.

Elwood Nicklow found the ultimate spring bear hunts at Shepp Ranch in Idaho, and returned for summer guest ranch activity as well as spring steelhead fishing. Learn more about Shepp Ranch here.
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Friday, February 3, 2012

Elk Hunting Tips - The Importance of Year-Round Shooting Practice

By Ryan K McSparran
When preparing for a Colorado elk hunt or any western big game hunt, one of the best things any hunter can do is practice shooting year-round. Whether you plan to hunt elk with a guide or outfitter, or on a do-it-yourself adventure, there's no excuse not to practice regularly with your weapon.

Keeping in "shooting shape" in terms of regular shooting is very beneficial during the off-season. One of the worst feelings as a hunter is blowing a shot opportunity. Hunters who consistently practice will always be more successful.

The weather could be bad, your heart will be pounding, you'll be breathing hard and you may be on a steep slope or shooting at an awkward angle. Very rarely will a bull elk offer a second shot. When you only have one opportunity, you must be ready to make it count.
Archery During the winter months or when the weather is bad, head to the indoor range. Better yet, joining an archery league can be a lot of fun. It will add some competitiveness, encouraging a shooter to get better. Plus, it offers the opportunity to learn from other archers.

3D shoots can be a lot of fun too and many hunting clubs offer them. Again, these allow shooters to practice under some competitive pressure. 3D shoots also force archers to practice judging the distance to the target.

While range finders have eliminated a lot of the guess work today, there will always be a time in the field where the time circumstances won't permit use of range finder prior to the shot. Archers who are consistently good at estimating yardage will have a serious advantage.

As the weather warms up, take your target outdoors where permitted or find rabbits, squirrels or even soft stumps to shoot at. Practice different yardages, angles and shooting positions. In the field you may find yourself kneeling or sitting and shooting uphill or downhill.

Also practice with your hunting clothing on and shooting your bow with the quiver both on and off. Try running up a steep hill and then steadying yourself for a shot. Run back down and repeat.

It is also helpful to work on increasing your effective range during the off-season. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and practice shots just outside your range. Continue to stretch and grow your shooting abilities.

Last but not least, try to imagine and simulate the real live experience of the shot each time you pick up the bow. Make sure your draw is smooth and quiet, just as if the bull of your dreams were standing within range. Test yourself to make the first shot count.
The more these things become second nature, the better the chance you have of taking that bull of a lifetime when an opportunity presents itself.

Much of the same ideas for archery practice also pertain to rifle. Unfortunately, some rifle hunters don't spend as much time shooting their rifle prior to their hunt as they should. This includes practicing at longer distances if possible. No shot with a rifle is a given, no matter how fancy the optics mounted on top.

Lack of practice and preparation can and does result in many missed opportunities. In fact, in our experience on average, rifle hunters are missing more opportunities than archery hunters these days, which is hard to believe.

It all boils down to persistent practice, knowing the distance and practicing shot positions you will encounter in the field. The off-season can be a great time to make a run to your local rifle range. Even on nice days, you will typically have the range to yourself this time of year.

As the nicer weather approaches, many clubs offer competitive shooting. This can be a great way to improve your shooting and get some great practice time. The off season is also a great time to experiment with new loads, whether you shoot hand loads or factory ammo. Find products that offer the best performance out of your rifle.

It's amazing how some guys will play down the need to shoot consistent, tight groups at the rifle range given the large kill zone of an elk. They seem to forget that when you are off just a few inches at 100 yards, you can multiply the margin of error significantly if the bull of your dreams is standing at 300 or 400 yards away. There is no doubt that shooting confidence and consistency out to 300 or 400 yards will greatly increase your chances of taking an elk.

Both bow hunting and rifle hunting for elk in Colorado's high country can be challenging, whether you plan to go with an outfitter or not. Make sure you're ready for that shot of a lifetime.

Ryan McSparran is a Colorado-based writer, covering a wide range of outdoor adventure topics, including fly fishing and Colorado elk hunting. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ryan_K_McSparran Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6222787