Monthly Archives: May 2013

The nature-friendly hunter

The Nature-Friendly Hunter

The nature-friendly hunter’s motto is: Leave the woods the same as when you came. Well, minus an animal or two of course. If you are going to be camping overnight, try to disturb as little of the environment as possible. Don’t clear brush unnecessarily. Try to envision your trip as an overnight stay at someone’s home. You are a guest in the habitat of many animals and some you aren’t even aware of.

Always bury your campfire to ensure that it will not reignite and cause a full-blown blaze in the wilderness. Check your fire several times before leaving the area. Forest fires can be devastating to natural areas for years afterwards. If left to spread out of control, a forest fire not only endangers the lives of animals but the lives of citizens and firefighters as well.

Bodily functions are an unavoidable part of life. When relieving yourself, bury your fluids and excrement with dirt to prevent disturbing territorial boundaries of animals.

If you pack it in, pack it out. Do not leave trash lying on the ground. Return your campsite as close to its original condition as possible before leaving. Double check your gear before hiking out so that you don’t unintentionally leave anything behind. Pack your food in airtight containers to avoid attracting any hungry neighbors.

If you are installing a tree stand, choose a mature, healthy tree. Smaller trees may be permanently damaged by the combined weight of your gear and your body. Consider tying back stray branches instead of cutting them. Choosing a mature tree will provide you with more choices in large branches to fasten your safety cord to as well.

A few safety tips


Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for bad weather and leave tree stands at the first signs of high winds to avoid injuring yourself and the tree. Keep your eyes and ears open for flash floods. Dress appropriately for the predicted weather in your area. Dressing in layers is helpful. Don’t forget your safety orange clothing to alert other hunters in our area of your presence.

Be on the lookout for stow-aways in your bedding or gear like snakes, scorpions, or spiders. Shake out all bedding and clothing, including your boots, before putting them on or packing them away for the day. You wouldn’t want to pack an unwanted visitor and bring him home with you.

Bears, badgers, or other aggressive animals may be encountered when hunting. Keep your eyes open and attempt to avoid any confrontations with any animal that you are not stalking. Keep in mind that this is the animal’s home and you are the guest. Try to back quietly away from an animal without disturbing it. If an animal attacks you, cover your head with your arms and roll into a tight ball to protect your head and torso from injury.

Teach your children to respect nature and the environment when hunting together. The best way to teach is by modeling respectful behavior while showing your children the basics of successful hunting. This ensures that the joys of hunting can continue for generations to come.

Survival Tips for The Hunter

The essentials for your survival kit

Sometimes it’s easy to lose your way in an unfamiliar wood. Carrying a compass and maps of the general area that you will be hunting in can help in the event that you get lost. Carry a flashlight with extra batteries in case you get caught out after dark. There are also flashlights on the market now that operate by just a shake, eliminating the need for batteries. Matches in a waterproof case are essential and a sharp knife is good to have as well. A traditional Bowie or a Swiss Army knife both serves the purpose.

Some granola, candy bars, or dried fruit are a good idea to bring along if you are not skilled at finding food in the wild. Never eat any plants or berries unless you are familiar with what types are poisonous. If you are unsure of the safety of a plant or its fruit, don’t eat it. Risking an illness while stranded in the wild is not preferable to an empty stomach. A bottle or two of drinking water is necessary also. Humans can survive for weeks without food but only three days without water. You will not want to drink any water found on the land without boiling it for several minutes first to kill off any bacteria or parasites.


It is recommended that you carry a needle and thread in your survival kit. These materials can be used to repair torn clothing. You can also stitch up a wound to stop heavy bleeding in case an injury occurs and you cannot get medical attention right away.

Most hunters carry a six to eight-foot length of rope to help drag their game back to the truck or haul equipment up into a tree stand. This rope can be used in many ways if you are stranded in the woods for an extended period of time. You can use a rope for first aid purposes, to help build a shelter, or to secure equipment during your hike. You can even string up a makeshift clothesline to dry wet clothing should you fall into standing water. Be sure to keep your rope with you and not in the truck.

It is also a good idea to wear a belt when out hunting. A belt can be used as a tourniquet in an emergency, as well to help secure a splint to a limb if necessary. A belt is one first aid item that you don’t have to cart around either.

Fire safety when stranded

It’s important to follow usual camp safety guidelines when starting a fire under any conditions in the wild. Always triple check to make sure a fire is completely out before leaving the area to prevent flare ups and a potential forest fire. Choose an area away from trees and shrubs, and line your pit with small boulders or stones to help contain the embers.

Gather larger logs and sticks and stack them in a teepee fashion. Then gather small twigs and scraps of paper to use as kindling at the base of your teepee. Blowing gently on your kindling will help your flames catch hold. You can use pine boughs to shield your fire from wind if necessary. You can also use boughs to stand or sit on if snow is present. This will help insulate your feet from the cold while warming yourself near the fire.

Picking the Best Rifle

Picking the right rifle for the big hunt is vitally important because it can make or break the hunt itself. You never know what problems may arise from having the wrong rifle at the hunt, so ensure that you have taken the time to pick the best rifle for the job. There are a number of criteria points that should be explored as you determine the best rifle for hunting, too. As you grow as a hunter and learn more, you will be able to make your own decisions in terms of picking a rifle for the hunt. For now, however, it is likely best that you consider a bit of expert opinion.

There are many types of hunting rifles. Bolt-action, lever-action, semi-automatic and pump-action rifles are just a few of the different types of guns that hunters utilize in the big hunt. Within these types, there is also a selection of different caliber types. Solving the great mystery of picking the best rifle, then, means answering a few questions about the type of hunt you will be on.

You will first need to consider your location. If you will be hunting in thick brush, you will probably need a faster-loading gun that you can operate rather quickly in tight spaces. With limited visibility on your hunt, you will likely want a light gun that you can work with rather quickly. If you have a longer distance to cover, you will probably want a rifle that offers you a great deal of more control. Bolt-action rifles can give you that control, but they are hard to work with in small quarters of space because of the mechanics of operation. While some hunters may say that they have done so, it can be extremely complicated to load a gun with a bolt-action loading mechanism while crouching behind a bush. The movement alone could lose the prey.


You will also need to consider your type of prey. Most rifles are suitable for killing deer of any kind. Again, the discussion ventures back to the location distinction on this account. If you are killing smaller animals, however, you may want a rifle that you can hold at a more “still” pace. This means that you do not want to spend your time controlling the gun when you are trying to control the shot. For this reason, many recommend going with a smaller semi-automatic for hunting animals like rabbits or badgers. The skittish nature of the animal can be offset by squeezing off a quick shot from a semi-automatic.

After you have determined your prey and your location, it may be time to pick a rifle. Of course, there are many popular brand names within each subset of gun type, but the reality is that you will need to find a gun that you find to be most comfortable. You will look for strength and accuracy out of a bolt-action gun, for example, which may lead you around to several gun stores before you find the right one. You should also look for little extras on the gun, such as adjustable triggers and thumb safety switches. Features like these will make your gun a lot safer and a lot more user friendly.

After you have purchased your gun, you should get to know your gun. Take it apart and put it back together again. Learn the ins and outs of your gun so that you can be as safe as possible with it. You will need to know what ammunition it is that your gun shoots. Find out the best way to maintain and store your gun, too. Gun safety is of utter importance, so ensure that your new rifle is locked away and stored in a safe place away from children or other family members that may be curious about it. Always keep it unloaded when you are not using it and never point it at another person.

safety

Hunting has survived the modernization of civilization. In fact, it has flourished into one of the most popular pastimes and hobbies in the world. Unfortunately, one of the world’s favourite past times can also be one of its most dangerous. Every hunter should know some basic things before heading out into the fields.

The most important aspect of hunting concerns how to walk and carry a gun. It is important to make sure that the muzzle always points away from the hunter and any companions. There are many ways to do this. One option is the side carry, which is effectively carrying the gun with one hand and tucking the stock between the elbow and the body. It is not recommended to use the side carry when the hunter is walking through dense brush or with other companions walking in front, however.

Another option is the ready carry. With the ready carry, the gun is held with two hands and the muzzle is pointed upwards and towards the front of the hunter. The trigger finger should be rested on the proper guard.

The sling carry involves both hands of the hunter being free. A sling is used to carry the gun over the hunter’s shoulder, giving clear range for the hunter to move however he or she wants.

Others prefer the shoulder carry method of carrying a gun. Using this technique involves the muzzle of the gun resting skyward. It is probably not a good idea to use this technique of carrying a gun with companions behind.

Finally, the trail carry involves the gun held at a point between the action and the trigger. If someone is walking ahead of the hunter, it is not a good idea to use the trail carry because the muzzle is pointing down but forward.


Once the hunter has established a safe and comfortable way to carry his or her weapon, it is very important to plan next what to do when encountering the game. Before encountering the target, all hunters should establish a “zone of fire” where each will shoot and track when game appears. It is very important that one hunter never encroach on another’s zone.

When hunting from a boat, there are general safety precautions that should be considered. First, make sure the weapon to be used by the hunter who will be sitting in the bow of the boat is unloaded. His or her gun must be placed facing the bow. The next hunter places his or her unloaded gun in the stern with its muzzle pointing to the rear. Hunters should always remember to anchor the boat before shooting and to fire in opposite directions.

To keep their skills sharp, hunters often practise on ranges. These controlled shooting areas also have a set of commands geared for the safe enjoyment of all the participants. If a hunter says, “the range is hot”, for example, it means that the range is open for shooting and that there are no live objects, such as people, on the range. If a hunter says, “cease fire”, it means to stop all firing immediately. Another command on the firing range is “ready”. This is the last precaution taken by shooters before the “range is hot” command. Each shooter repeats the phrase “ready” from right to left to ensure the firing line is clear and safe.

stands

Most deer hunters are now hunting from tree stands. If you are new to deer hunting, or if you have been hunting for a while but have yet to use this method, you should consider using a tree stand. The benefits of using a tree stand are that you will stay out of the deer’s range of view, you will keep your scent hidden from the deer, and you will increase the range of your view. You do need to take certain precautions, however, to make sure that you protect yourself.  
 
There are many types of stands and most are safe to use. Some of these include ladder-type stands, climbing stands, and lock-on stands. You can also nail boards to a tree. No matter what type of stand you are using, know that accidents can happen. If a stand seems unsafe to you, do not use it. If you are thinking about using a new tree stand and you are far from your home or from people in general, wait. You would be unable to notify anyone in the event that you were injured. Do not take using a tree stand lightly.
 
You will benefit by becoming familiar with some of the ways by which hunters injure themselves on or around tree stands. Accidents happen when hunters fall asleep. It happens more often that you would imagine. Hunters also get injured when they slip while climbing in or out of a tree stand. You cannot avoid things like excess moisture on your boot, or an exceptionally damp step. The third way by which hunters suffer injury using tree stands is having a piece of equipment break. Nothing is 100% dependable. The best way to avoid severe injury from these unfortunate events is to wear a safety harness.


 
Many hunters know the risk of not using a safety harness, but they still use tree stands without one. Your safety harness will only help you if you wear it. It is not good enough to put on the harness after you have settled into your stand. Climbing into or out of your stand is when you are most likely to be hurt, so you need to be wearing it before you begin ascending your tree stand. It only takes a minute to secure and is well worth the hassle. The damage done by a fall with a safety harness is minimal compared to one without. The safety harness will mean the difference between a few bruises and a premature death.
 
There are a few additional steps you need to consider while preparing to use a tree stand for the first time. Tree steps and tie-on ladders are two favorite methods used by hunters. Some also use large nails as steps. If you are looking to cut costs, go with the nails. They are cheaper than the ladders. Test the nail to make sure that it is strong, steady, and secure. Use nails that will fully support your weight. When nails bend, hunters slip and injure themselves. Use a drill to make pilot holes for the nails. Some hunters prefer to use climbing stands instead of nails, but they are more expensive and limit you to certain trees.
 
Consider using a tree stand as you hunt. It is an effective way to catch your prey off-guard. Both your body and your scent are above the deer’s vicinity. It also allows for a broader view as you study the landscape. Tree stands do cause accidents, though. Take all of the necessary steps to prevent any major injuries. Use a safety harness to shorten the distance of your fall. Make sure that the nails you use to climb the tree are secure. Following these steps for using a tree stand ensures a safe and pleasurable hunting experience.  
 

gun for turkeys

Now that the spring turkey-hunting season is nearly upon us, you should find the right shotgun. As turkey hunting has become increasingly popular, more and more manufacturers have developed shotguns that have more features. There are a few things you need to keep in mind as you search for the perfect shotgun.   
 
You need to buy a shotgun that fits you. The only sure way to find a shotgun that properly fits you is to make an appointment with a firearms expert. Pull the gun to your shoulder. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. See if the gun swings into place without extra effort. Pay attention to the weight of the gun – is it comfortable? Next, adjust the placement of your forward hand. Check to see if you are able to hold the shotgun steady for a set amount of time. Also, see if you are able to comfortably carry the shotgun for long distances. If you answer “yes” to each of these questions, you may have found the right shotgun.
 
Remember that when it comes to turkey hunting, a bigger shotgun is not always better. 20-gauge shotguns are growing in popularity, mainly due to their high-powered turkey loads and available chokes. You are better off buying a shotgun that perfectly fits you than you are choosing one that has the largest gauge or load size.


 
Give yourself an opportunity to see how your shotgun performs under different circumstances. Shoot it with different loads and shot sizes whenever possible. Most shotguns offer several choke options. A shotgun that shows success in increasing pattern performance is your ideal gun. As with all of your hunting equipment, you want to use only the highest quality gear that performs well when you need it most.   
 
You must take the time necessary to discover the limitations of your firearm. You can do several things to find out how well your gun will work at the moment when you need it to perform. Pattern, experiment with different loads and chokes, and practice real hunting situations on the range. These actions will help you learn when to shoot and when to hold back. Certain shots are risky, and you are better off holding your fire.
 
If you are using a 20-gauge shotgun, you must be within 25 yards of your target for your ideal shot. Very young hunters, or those hunters who lack experience, should follow the same distance. Knowing your limitations as a hunter is as important as knowing how well your shotgun will perform. This knowledge is the difference between success and disappointment.
 
Finding the right shotgun for your spring turkey hunting will take a fair amount of experimentation and practice. Your goal will be to determine the best choke constriction, load, shot size, and distance. You want a gun that is comfortable. You want a gun that fits your body size. Do not always go for the largest gun, as a bigger shotgun does not always equal a better shotgun. The best way to discover the shotgun that best fits you is to practice with different ones. There is a perfect shotgun out there with your name on it. Simply take the time to find it. Once you have discovered your ideal shotgun, you will be able to kick off a safe and rewarding turkey season.

Basic Firearm Safety For Hunters

Every year, hundreds of hunting accidents occur across America; just ask Vice President Cheyney. Many of these accidents could have been avoided by practicing a few basic gun safety techniques.

Know your weapon

If your weapon came with an owner’s manual, read it from cover to cover. Practice taking apart your weapon and inspecting it thoroughly. If you know what your weapon looks like normally, you will be quick to recognize any abnormalities of the weapon in the field. If you drop your weapon or fall while carrying it, take it apart and inspect it for damage. Make sure that the slide operates smoothly. If you are in doubt about the integrity of your rifle, don’t fire it.

Educate yourself about the ammunition that you choose to use. A .22 caliber bullet fired from a rifle can travel over two and a half miles. This knowledge is necessary to line up a safe shot.

Transporting the weapon

Always keep your weapon unloaded until you are ready to fire. If you are going to hike to a new location, unload before starting out. Store the rifle and ammunition separately and, if possible, keep the storage container locked. Never carry a loaded rifle in your vehicle or on an ATV.

Sighting your prey


When sighting up your intended shot, there are many things to consider before pulling the trigger. Never shoot at a partially obscured target. Identify your prey fully before even raising your weapon to take a shot. If you are in doubt about what is moving, control your excitement and wait until the target can be fully visualized. Never hunt after dusk or before daybreak.

Know what is in front of and behind your target before shooting. Do not shoot animals that appear on hilltops and near the tops of ridges as you cannot identify what may be behind your target. If your game is near water, rocks, or buildings, keep in mind that bullets can ricochet off hard surfaces. Do not use the gun’s scope to sight your game. Use your binoculars first, and then if the shot is clear, switch to the scope.

Treat your weapon as if it is loaded at all times

Never look down the barrel of a weapon for any reason. Keep your muzzle pointed away from yourself and others at all times. Learn and use various safe carrying positions for transporting your rifle in the field.

Keep a clear head

Never go hunting or handle a weapon if you have had any alcohol or medication that may impair your judgment. Even a sleeping pill the night before can affect your reflexes during the day.
Get plenty of rest the night before your trip and go home early if you find yourself becoming drowsy.

Sighting a big buck or a fat bird can be exciting. It’s important to keep a level head at all times and not let your emotions cloud your judgment. Don’t allow yourself to act without thinking through the action to determine if it’s safe first.

Wear your safety gear

Bring along hearing and eye protection and wear them before shooting. Include safety orange in your choice of head gear and upper body clothing. This helps other hunters in the area distinguish you from the prey.