Hunting

Sportsmen stores are bombarded for months with the need to update deer hunting licenses and purchase any equipment not already available in the storage shed of these hardened men. Being ready to go is definitely on the minds with no way out of it for anyone.

Deer hunting is not only a sport but an art form. A misconception of some is that it is a way for groups of men to show their superiority over the animal kingdom. This may be true some of the time but there are other reasons. It gives men time to explore their intellectual properties as well. There is a lot of work that goes into hunting. Deer are elusive and there are a lot of signs to find, evaluate and follow before a good hunt comes to a favorable conclusion.

Deer rubs are one of the signs deer hunters watch for. It was originally thought that sitting in the vicinity of these markings was a good way to achieve an easy hunt. This is no longer the popular belief. It is a rare hunter who actually sees the buck make this mark so it is truly a mystery why it is there. Deer scrapes are another sign that is sought out by these sportsmen. It is believed that these marks are put into the ground while bucks battle over a doe. This is to show that they are the dominant male and the other needs to just go on. Utilizing this sign also requires knowledge of the timing change between mating season and hunting season. It is not always going to be a place the deer return during the time of year when men are out to kill them.

Deer hunting is a good way to let off steam. Gathering around a fire at night, sleeping in a comfortable tent listening to the sounds of nature are geared toward getting the mind clean for the modern world. It is a time when men can get together and be themselves. And, it also gives them the chance to compete for the mental trophy of who is the most stealthy hunter in the wood.

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Coon Hounds for Hunting

by on December 30, 2010

Hunting coon hounds comes in two forms. The first is pleasure hunting, this is when you go out with friends and hunt purely for fun. The second type is competition coon hunting. Today, I am going to talk to you about the second type.

Competition coon hunting is a structured hunt in which you compete for prizes. You go out hunting in groups, called “casts”, consisting of four dogs. Each dog will have a handler (that’s you). Also, in each cast, there will be someone who is appointed as “guide”. The guide is responsible for providing a place to coon hunt. They will also give you information about the layout of the land such as creeks, hills, etc.

There will also be a member of the cast that is appointed as “judge”. The judge is responsible for keeping track of the scores of all coon hounds on the scorecard. Judges also help settle any disputes that may arise. Sometimes the judge and the guide will be the same person. In bigger hunts, like the World Hunt, judges and guides may be “non-hunting guides” or “non-hunting judges”. This means their only point of interest is the job appointed. This helps keep the big competition coon hunts fair.

Now that you know how the competition coon hunts are organized lets talk about how the scoring system works. The dogs are scored on two categories. These categories are “strike” and “tree”. The first dog to strike a track by letting out a bawl and to be called by his handler would receive “first strike” and the most points. This is repeated through all 4 spots. Each position receiving a little less than the one before it. The next category is “tree”. This is handled in the same process but this time when the coon hound lets out a locate and switches over to the more rapid “tree bark”. For most coon hounds the tree bark is a “chop”, however there are some bawl mouth tree dogs as well.

The amount of points given for each category is different in each registry. Most coon hound registries award 100, 75, 50, and 25 points respectively for each position in both categories. However, the United Kennel Club awards 125, 75, 50, and 25 points in the “tree” category. The Professional Kennel Club has a time cut-off for tree points in which each position is closed after a disclosed amount of time. Also, the coon hound must stay treed for 5 minutes before the cast can come in and score the tree.

Okay, now that you know how the casts and scoring system works, I’m going to talk about how you score the trees. Once you enter the tree, all coon hounds are tied back. Once all coon hounds are tied back from the tree a clock is started and all cast members will start to look for a raccoon in the tree. Most registries allow between 8 and 10 minutes to search the tree for a coon. If a raccoon is found the tree is scored as “plus”. This is what you want, obviously. If it is obvious there is no raccoon the tree is scored as “minus”, as you expect, this is not good. If no coon is found, but there is a chance one could be there the tree is scored as “circle”. Circle points only count when it comes down to a tie-breaker. Examples of circle trees would be hollow trees or bushy trees. You will see lots of circle tree during the summer hunting season.

Now, you should have a good start of understanding competition coon hunts. Now, grab your favorite coon hound and head to the nearest competition hunt and try your luck.

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Gun Safes Can Offer Plenty Of Features

by on December 10, 2010

Are you planning to purchase a gun safe to keep your guns and other ammunition safe? Well, in that case, you must be aware of the fact that today there are large numbers of gun safes that look very similar in design and style as that of gun cabinets. However, both safes and the cabinets serve the same purpose, storage of guns. If you buy a safe, you can be assured that there are a wide array of features that you would get in the safe. These features would definitely serve a good purpose and can really protect your guns and ammunition well.

Most gun safes are available with plenty of features. Apart from providing protection to your gun, you would also get several additional features like protection from water and fire, good lock systems, and multiple locks at the same time, including the combination lock, digital locks etc. At the same time, there are many safes that offer the facility of identifying fingerprints. This feature is definitely helpful so that in case any one touches your ammunition, you would be able to identify the person through his finger prints.

There are many models in gun safes that even offer electronic locks in addition to that of mechanic locks. Availability of mechanical locks can definitely help you to a great extent, because they are greatly reliable and can serve as a great security. There are some mechanical combinations that have combination key locks. This is helpful in the sense that with just turning the combination lock gets locked. This offers great security and can thereby prevent any kind of access to the safe by any unauthorized person. What can be more reliable than this? Therefore, you must always try to purchase gun safes with good locks.

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Take children hunting

by on December 2, 2010

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 1×1 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.

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Surveys have indicated that more deer are harvested by hunters in tree stands than by all other methods combined. One reason is fairly obvious. If you are motionless in a stand, you are unheard and unseen by deer. Stand hunting can be done alone, without the companions that are necessary for a drive, and when ground cover makes still-hunting too noisy.

Stand hunting works in all terrain, in all habitats, and at all times during the year, but is works best during the rut when bucks are on the move throughout the day. Where you place a stand is partially dependent upon the hunting pressure in an area. Where pressure is heavy, bucks generally choose wet, brushy hiding areas. In this type of habitat, it is best to place stands either deep in the cover or on well-worn trails and funnels leading in.

In moderate hunting pressure areas, deer usually use the same feeding and bedding sites, but travel to and from them on routes that have heavy cover and they will wait until nearly dark before entering clearings. Under these conditions, the best stand sites are near the buck’s bedding area. Mature bucks are usually the first to enter and last to leave, so the closer your stand is to the bedding area, the better your chance of harvesting that big buck.

Attaining success in a stand requires skill and patience. The first skill lies in knowing where to place your stand. The most important consideration is wind direction. Ideally, you should set up downwind from the direction you expect deer to approach. Also, if possible, place the stand so that low sun will shine from behind you so that deer are less likely to spot you.

The second skill is the ability to enter and exit the stand without alerting the deer. Again, wind plays an important role. A successful hunter will always enter with the wind blowing from the deer toward the hunter. It is also critical to keep your travel routes scent free. Always wear rubber boots when entering and exiting your stand. Don’t let exposed skin touch any of the foliage since scent will remain for several days.

The final skill is the ability to know how long to hunt the site before moving to a new location. This is an area where your scouting camera can prove invaluable. The information provided by proper camera placement prior to the hunt lets you know not only if trophy sized bucks inhabit the area, but also what time of the day they are likely to pass by your stand.

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Top 10 Gun Safes

by on November 30, 2010

Here are some of the top 10 rated gunsafes on the market today.

1) Stack – On® 10 – Gun Safe with Combination Lock

Stack – On 10 – Gun Safe with Combination Lock… a top – of – the – line security chamber! Remove clutter and put away your valuable goods with this rock-solid Gun Safe from Stack-On! Built with solid steel, you can rest assured your belongings will remain safe with pry-resistant protection. A ram-tough set of 3 live-action locking bolts and 3 steel dead bolts provide 6 locking points which are retracted and suspended by a swiveling handle. The 3-number combination lock has a drill-resistant, hardened steel plate is located behind the lock for greater security. Not recommended for storing CDs or other electronic storage devices. Details: Exterior has a hunter green epoxy paint finish with gold accents; Holds 10 rifles or shotguns; Heavy-duty door frame and silk screen detail on the door give these safes a more robust look and feel; concealed hinges provide greater security; Interior of the safes are fully carpeted and includes a shelf for other belongings; patented barrel rests and standoffs for storing scoped rifles allow for better space utilization; A 2-tray organizer is included for storing ammo, cleaning supplies and more. Sturdy hooks are perfect for hanging duck calls or hats.; Dimensions: 20 7/8 x 12 5/8 x 55 1/8″; Weighs 206 lbs. Holds your guns and more with high-quality security! Order Now! Please Note: This item will be shipped by commercial carrier curbside. Ships in 1 box: 20 7/8″ x 12 5/8″ x 55 1/8″, weighs 206 lbs. High-value orders require a physical street address, otherwise insurance costs will be added to the shipping total. Stack-On 10-Gun Safe with Combination Lock - More info here

2) SentrySafe G0135 Black Safe 5 Long Gun Maximum Capacity Safe

Sentry Safe 5 – Gun Safe. Plenty of room for your hunting rifles! With years of experience on their side, Sentry Safe is interested in one thing: Keeping you and your family out of harm’s way when your guns aren’t in use! Place your guns in this secure spot… features an 8-lever security key with double-bit key to keep firearms on lockdown. The solid steel door with concealed hinges will turn away anyone from curious little ones to a sticky-fingered criminal! Fits 5 long guns. More: 2 live-locking bolts for more security; Carpeted interior keeps rifle butt unmarred; Sleek black exterior; Measures 11 1/2 x 12 x 55″ outside and 9 1/2 x 11 x 53 1/2″ inside. Weighs 70 lbs. Order yours today! Please Note: This item is shipped by commercial carrier curbside. Unloading is the customer’s responsibility, including off the back of the truck. Ships in 1 box: 55″ x 12″ x 11.5″, 76 lbs. No expedited delivery. High-value orders require a physical street address, otherwise insurance costs will be added to the shipping total. Sentry Safe 5-Gun Safe - See more here

3) Stack-On 28 Gun Total Defense Convertible Gun Safe

Stack-On® Total Defense safes provide protection against burglary, fire and/or water damage while providing ultimate storage options for your firearms and valuables. UL rated Type 1 electronic or Group 2 3-number combination locks are included on Total Defense Select safes, which provide an additional level of protection. These safes are ETL fire rated to manufacturer’s specifications for 30 minutes up to 1400°F. - see more here

4) Stack-On IWC-55 Full-Length In-Wall Cabinet

Steel Stack – On Full – length In – wall Gun Cabinet holds 2 rifles or shotguns up to 52″h. BIG BUCKS OFF! Bank-vault security for your home! Keep curious “little fingers” and thieves from messing with your valuables, ammo and firearms. Simply get this heavy-duty, In-wall Security Cabinet by famous Stack-On. Unlike other models, this in-wall unit doesn’t take up valuable floor space. Has pre-drilled holes for mounting into the wall between studs… built for standard 16″ on center stud walls. Hardware is included for easy do-it-yourself installation. Holds 2 rifles or 2 shotguns up to 52″ tall; Includes a removable steel shelf; Bottom of Cabinet and the shelf have foam padding to protect your prized items; Steel door has a 3-point locking system that secures the door at the top, bottom, as well as the opening side of the door; Full-length piano hinge for industrial durability; All-steel construction; Key-coded, double bitted keys provide top security.; External size: 15 3/8 x 3 7/8 x 54 3/4″h. Inside: 14 x 3 7/8 x 53 1/4″h. Weighs 27 lbs. California DOJ approved. Order Today! Stack-On In-wall Gun Cabinet- see more here

5) Stack-On GCD-9216-5 16-Gun Convertible Doube-Door Steel Security Cabinet

Stack – On Double Door 16 Gun Steel Security Cabinet keeps your guns and ammo under separate lock and key. 2 secure storage compartments, 2 separate locks! This Double Door Security Cabinet lets you keep your ammo and firearms in one handy location but under separate lock and key. Doors are keyed differently for greater security. More: Reinforced full sized doors with superior all steel 3 point locking system… different double bitted, key coded locks on each door; Full length welded and staked steel piano hinge; Right cabinet holds 16 rifles or shotguns up to 54″ tall… foam padded sides and bottom reduce the chance of scratching; Right cabinet also has Stack-On’s patented gun barrel rests and Standoffs… Standoffs allow scoped guns to stand upright in the safe, not at an angle, to maximize the safe’s storage capacity; Left compartment has 4 large foam padded removable steel shelves that are perfect for storing ammo and handguns as well as other valuables such as cameras, jewelry, etc… or install additional gun barrel rests (included) to add space for 15 more guns for a total capacity of 31 guns; Pre-drilled mounting holes allow easy attachment to the floor or wall… flush mount bottom for easier fastening to floor; All fastening and finishing hardware included; Pre-drilled top mounting holes align with Stack-On’s Pistol / Ammo Cabinets (sold separately); Durable baked epoxy finish in hunter green; Approx. 38 x 18 x 55″, 150 lbs. Lock up your guns and your ammo the right way! Order Today! Please Note: This item is shipped by commercial carrier curbside. Unloading is the customer’s responsibility, including off the back of the truck. Stack-On 16 Gun Double Door Security Cabinet, Hunter Green

See the other 5 here

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Top 10 Gifts Ideas hunters

by on November 30, 2010

The holidays are around the corner and holiday gift shopping is starting to pick up. In this Holiday gifts for men series we will compile a list of the top 10 gifts for men in the following categories: Hunting, Fishing, Camping, and Knives. These guides will help you in answering the question of what to get the guy who has everything. This edition of the gift idea for men is hunting based. If you are looking for gifts for the hunter in your family try some of these as a start to your holiday shopping.

Rage SlipCam Expandable Broadheads $39.99 see more here

Have a bowhunter in your family? The Rage SlipCam broadheads ( click here for the best prices) are great for any bow deer hunter. With a large penetration diameter this gift will help them get more deer and you get more venison!

Primos Truth CAM 35 Game Camera $80.99

The Primos Truth CAM 35 is great for any hunter who wants to find more deer, turkey, hog, or bear. You can get more than one so your hunter can scout many different areas at the same time.

Jon-e Fuel Handwarmers $15.99

As the weather turns from fall to winter and temperatures drop handwarmers keep you warm during those early morning hunts. The Jon-e is refillable so you can use it each time you hunt. Want to keep more then hands warm? Portable propane heaters heat larger areas quickly.

Spyderco Tenacious Folding Knife $30.99

Knives by Spyderco make a great stocking stuffer. The Tenacious is a small pocket knife that comes in handy when cutting rope or the plastic from all your new hunting gear this holiday season.

Summit Openshot Deluxe Climbing Treestand $209.99

The Summit Openshot Treestand is lightweight and can easily be carried to your favorite hunting spot. With a newly redesigned seat to give you more room the Summit Openshot is amazingly comfortable. If you hunter doesn’t hunt from a tree a ground blind provides them with the coverage they want.

Allen Electronic Hearing Muffs $28.99

From rifle hunting to loud rock concerts ear muffs are great for protecting your hunters hearing. The Allen Electronic Hearing Muffs filters out harmful noise while allowing the user to hear normally so they can still get the deer without damage to the ear.

Hunter Safety System Treestalker Safety Harness $83.99-$99.99

The best gift you can give this season is the gift of safety. Keep your hunter safe for holidays to come with a safety harnesses from Hunter Safety System. With sizes ranging from XS to 5XL you’ll be sure to find one that fits.

Bushnell Original BackTrack Personal GPS $54.99

Never get lost in the woods again with this personal GPS. The Bushnell BackTrack is small and fits in your pocket and only has two buttons for easy operation. Finding your way to your car or tree stand will never be the same.

Peet Advantage Shoe/Boot Dryer $59.99

Got wet feet? Keep your shoes and boots dry with the shoe dryer from Peet. The Peet Advantage can dry a pair of shoes in 1-2 hours so you won’t have that uncomfortable wet feet the next morning. Also works great to help prevent odors from things like mold!

Bushnell Falcon 10×50 Binoculars $49.95

Bushnell Falcon binoculars are affordably priced and provide great magnification for spotting any kind of prey. With several different magnifications offered the 10×50 is the most versatile option.

A new Gun safe would make a great gift – Check out the top 10 selling gun safes

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Scouting Cameras for hunters

by on November 29, 2010

How do scouting cameras benefit good hunters? There are at least three ways. First they reduce time spent both in scouting and in hunting unproductive areas. A scouting camera is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year regardless of weather conditions. A hunter, on the other hand, has responsibilities to work and family that prevent that type of intense scouting. Proper use of a digital scouting camera will provide data on which to make hunting strategy decisions, such as stand placement, blind sites, where to still hunt, and when to wait for that big buck that has been captured by your scouting camera. In addition, you save time by not hunting in areas that looked promising, but yielded no photos over a period of time.

The second advantage is that they reduce human impact on the area in which you plan to hunt. A successful hunt requires countless hours of scouting, revisiting deer stands and the hunting area to devise a plan for harvesting that big buck. This actually works against the hunter by disturbing the area as they trample through it and leave their scent, decreasing the odds that he will even see a trophy buck in the area, let alone harvest it.

Finally, scouting cameras provide detail that only meticulously kept journal records would show. The time/date stamp on each image can help you to pattern the deer’s behavior. By reviewing the photos on your computer, you can determine when the animals enter and leave their bedding areas, when and where they feed, and what trails, scrapes and rubs are most used and by whom. The use of flash cameras show details that help estimate the age of the deer, while infrared images give you an idea of what’s happening at night. Video cameras sometimes show interactions among animals.

The weekend prior to Thanksgiving is designated as youth season for whitetails in Ohio. Our two young hunters, ages 9 and 7, hunted private land that has been equipped with scouting cameras since early summer. After viewing images throughout the fall with their father and uncle, they entered the woods early Saturday morning feeling confident that there were deer in the area. By 7:15 a.m., the seven-year old had harvested a doe. By Sunday afternoon, the nine-year old had successfully bagged a button buck. They are eagerly awaiting our annual deer camp to show their before and after photos – those they were hoping for and the ones they actually got.

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Finding Where the Deer Are

by on November 29, 2010

Identifying tracks (two fat teardrops positioned like parentheses) and droppings (piles of brown-to-gray cocoon-shaped lumps) make a good start, but one of the best whitetail deer hunting tips is learning to spot a scrape.

The first telltale sign is a patch of ground that stands out because leaves and grasses have been pawed away and the ground churned up. Looking above the spot, you should see branch tips that would be within reach of the buck. The branches will be tattered and broken at the ends from the buck licking and tugging at them.

Scrapes are part of the rutting cycle, begun in the weeks before breeding time. The buck that starts the scrape marks the ground with his scent, a combination of urine and secretions from a gland in his leg. He also marks the branches with scent from a gland near the inner corner of his eye. Other bucks in the area soon catch the scent, visit the scrape, and mark it with their own distinctive scent. Does also visit the scrapes, though not as reliably. A buck can tell by the scent the doe leaves whether she is ready for breeding or not. Think of it as a singles bar for the whitetail set.

The more deer that visit the scrape, the larger the area of bare earth becomes. When a hunter spots a large denuded patch of ground, with telltale battered branches nearby, he can be fairly certain he’s found a target rich environment. Since scrapes aren’t visited after rutting season, it’s fairly easy to tell an active scrape from an old, unused one.

Once you find an active scrape, don’t venture too close or risk leaving your own scent. If deer sense something not quite right, they’ll stop visiting. Choose a hunting spot that’s up wind of the scrap has good cover. It’s a good idea to identify a few other scrapes as well, so you can try your luck elsewhere if a few days’ patient waiting don’t pan out. There are dozens of other whitetail deer hunting tips, but none as valuable as knowing where the deer are.

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During the hunting season, hunters sacrifice the warmth and coziness of their homes to be out in the woods in cold and wet conditions. With the thrill of the hunt, the comradeship with other hunters, and the promise of bringing home a trophy driving them, one hunting trip, successful or not, never quite seems to be enough, and many (if not most) are back out in the woods at first opportunity.

Although most hunters would claim that it isn’t really about the trophy, bringing one home is still the ultimate goal, and good whitetail hunting tips can raise your chances of bagging one. Here are a few:

1) The first step towards having successful hunts within the season is doing a bit of pre-season scouting before it even begins. You have to find out where the deer are moving, and to that end, sitting atop some elevated spots with binoculars at dawn and dusk is a good way to start. Provided that you don’t give away your silhouette by skylining yourself, doing so, will allow you to watch for them, and observe their movements without being seen yourself. Additionally, if you should decide to put a stalk on a deer, be sure to move upwind, so that the deer does not wind you.

2) Another way to up your chances of bringing home a trophy during hunting season is to avoid places that are frequented by a lot of hunters. Oftentimes, this is as simple as avoiding the places that are accessible by car, and going a bit deeper into the woods than the average hunter is willing to go. If hunting from a tree stand, you should also be sure to hang your stand on a tree that is within a suitable hotspot frequented by deer. It should offer you a sound position in relation to the shooting lanes you plan to target, and also allow you to both reach it, and leave without crossing the deer’s trails (which can ruin your chances of a successful bag). Additionally, this tree must also be on the downwind side of the deer’s area of movement.

3) Lastly, having the right supplementary equipment (such as a deer call, grunt tube, and numerous scents such as deer urine, estrus, and buck in rut) can also make all the difference in terms of getting that deer to approach, and/or stop moving for a clean shot.

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