Sunday, December 14, 2008

Deer Vehicle Accidents

Deer and vehicle accidents are up all across the country and several lives are lost each year because of these accidents. One of the problems is that our instincts induce a swerve when something presents itself in front of our moving vehicle. These swerves can put our cars into oncoming traffic or into the ditch where many cars end up rolling over. 

To avoid, or should I say try to avoid these accidents we have to do our best to override our instincts and keep the vehicle straight. The chances of missing a deer by swerving and not having a related accident are poor at best. You are much better keeping the car straight, hit the breaks and hope for the best. One thing though, right before impacting the deer, if they have not moved, is to let off the brakes so the cars front end comes back up so the deer goes under the vehicle not over or into the vehicle. 

I know that these tips will be hard to do when that deer steps out in front of your moving car but try your best, it may save your life or the lives of your loved ones. 

Another thing we as hunters can do to reduce deer vehicle crashes is to kill some does to help control the deer population.  Many hunters have no interest in shooting a doe but I believe it is our duty as hunters to kill as many does as the Game & Fish Departments allow for each given area. So get out there and take a doe.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Inexpensive Shooting Bag

Wandering through a sporting goods store recently I walked past the shooting bags used on a bench during the sighting-in process or just plain plinking. I was shocked by the price of some of these bags. For a mere $69.00 you could have a nice sand-filled canvas bag with a nice leather accent stripe.

Here is my idea of a nice bag and one that will only cost you a few dollars. Go to your sock drawer and find an old cotton or wool sock. You need one that has a pretty fine weave. Take the sock and fill it with rice. Tie off the end of the sock and cut away the excess tail. Using a plastic zip tie in front of and behind the knot is also a good idea.

The rice settles nice in the bag when you place it on the shooting bench and provides a stable and adjustable rest. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snow Tracking a Buck

To verify that you are really tracking a buck in snow, follow its tracks until you find a urine spot. A does urine spot will be in center or slightly forward of the center line between the hind legs. A bucks urine spot will be forward of the hind legs. One exception is if the buck is rubbing urine on its hind legs as part of a scenting/marking activity.  Bucks also have a tendency to dribble as they are walking away. Also be on the lookout for tine impressions in the snow if the buck stopped to browse. If there are tine impressions in the snow you know you are on the trail of a large buck.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Knife Website

If you are in need of a new knife check out fellow reader Kris Anderson's new website. There is plenty of selection and the prices look good also. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Tuesday is coming fast and I must admit that I will be glad when all of the political rambling is done. I know this is a blog about outdoor tips but I want to give you some voting tips this time instead.

  1. Simply vote. If you don't vote you loose your right to criticize or complain.
  2. Don't base your vote on issues alone. Remember, the issues the politicians talk about are nothing more than political promises and we all know what happens after someone is elected.
  3. Vote for the person that is most aligned with your core beliefs and values, not on what is popular today.
  4. Don't vote for someone based solely on the way they look or sound. A college professor once told me that the political system would be 100 times better if nobody saw the candidate until after they were elected.
  5. Simply vote. Yes, this is a repeat tip but it is the best tip there is!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Be Prepared While Flying

If you are traveling by airplane to go hunting or fishing this fall do yourself a favor and put a large padded envelope that is self addressed and has 3-4 dollars of postage on it in your carry on bag. If security finds something that is not allowed to take on the plane, like your trusty Leatherman, you can deposit the item in the envelope and mail it home rather that forfeiting it to security.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pick a Spot

When shooting at an animal with a bow remember to pick a spot and forget about the rest of the animal. Many misses can be attributed to the archer looking at the animal as a whole. Doing so is a surefire recipe for missing, or worse, wounding. Try to find something on the animal to visually lock on to. A tuft of hair, a color change in the hair or fur etc. What also works is to imagine a glowing red dot on the side of the animal and shoot at this dot. A good mantra to remember is "Aim Small Miss Small".

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More New Games

Activision is my new best friend. Last weekend I received a package in the mail and inside I found the new Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2009 and Cabela's Legendary Adventures games for my Wii machine. Man talk about timing. It was cool and raining all weekend and these games helped pass some time. The problem is that now I'm addicted! I have played other hunting games over the years but nothing comes close to these games. I especially like the Dangerous Hunts 2009 game. It is fast paced and puts you right in the middle of some serious hunting situations. The graphics are great and the game play is exciting. If you have access to a Wii, Xbox or Playstation give these games a try, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Picking the Right Pup

Choosing the right hunting puppy can be a daunting task. They are all so cute and how are you supposed to know which one will become the hunting dog you desire? In my case, I had no choice because Charlie was the last puppy of the litter. Luckily he turned out to be the best dog of the bunch. In this case, 6 other people did not make the best choice. So how do you choose?

One method or test you can use to determine the true disposition of a pup is to pick him or her up and cradle them in your arms, on their back. If the puppy just lays in your arms and makes no attempt to get up-righted he may be too docile to make a good field dog. If the pup struggles and fights and yips until he can get away he will likely be too high strung to train properly. If the pup struggles for awhile and then settles down for a good belly scratching it is a good sign and shows that the pup has some drive yet is willing to be trained.

Remember, when choosing a puppy, there are several methods you can use but none of them are fool proof, except one, your heart. When you are looking at pups and one of them sticks out from the rest and it just feel right, take him or her home. Forget every test or sign you have heard about and enjoy the dog. Even if they never develop into a good hunting dog you will still have made the right choice.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Did You Know?

1. When creating a mock scrape, an overhanging branch is vital to the success of the scrape.
2. A resting deer will normally lie on its right side and face the wind.
3. Bucks usually quarter into the wind when approaching scrapes.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Rapala's Fishing Frenzy

It's hard to beat actually fishing but if you are one of those families with an Xbox 360, Playstation or Wii sitting below your TV then you owe it to yourself to check out the new Rapala Fishing Frenzy game. This is a new game this year and is available now. I know I can only play so much golf or tennis on my son's Wii and a I find a relaxing game of fishing a joy. If you pay attention you may even learn a thing or two which may help you when you're back on the water.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Walk Like An Animal

Trying to sneak through the woods in a silent and stealthy manner is difficult at best, especially since we only have two legs. Our cadence can be picked up as a danger signal by all animals. When you are walking your way through the woods try walking forward with an odd number of steps and then stop and then walk and stop etc. Listen to a 4 legged animal walking and this is the cadence they have. We may not be able to sneak like an animal but at least we can sound like one.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember September 11

In memory of and tribute to those who died.

With sympathy to all who lost family, friends and colleagues.

With regret for our lost innocence,

And disapointment over how the world has changed.

Remember 9/11.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mixed Camo

To really improve your camouflage efforts try mixing patterns/colors. Wear a shirt or jacket with one camo pattern and wear a different pattern/color for your pants. The mixture helps break up your outline, which is still very evident, even with the best camouflage available. Also, don't forget about your face and hands. Our bare skin sticks out like a sore thumb and covering exposed skin should be a priority. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Learning from your Kid

If you ever need to be shown how to catch fish, forget all of the tips and just take along your kid, as Scott did. Alex outfished his dad, again. Good job Alex!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cheap Bait

Fishing at a local pond that is filled with Bluegills, Largemouth Bass and Crappie was getting costly. Nightcrawlers are the bait of choice on this pond and at $2.50 per dozen it does not take long to end up losing your pocket change. The small fish love to nip the crawlers and suck them off your hook all day long.

On a recent trip to the pond I took one GULP Alive minnow and cut it up into small pieces. I fished for 4 hours and caught several bluegills and a largemouth bass and still had a few pieces of this one cut up bait left. I have tried other similar baits, including GULP, on this pond in the past with no success but GULP Alive did the job. 

The next time you are heading out for a day of fishing give this idea a try. You may never go back to the almighty crawler.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Don't Miss High

This tip was forwarded by Rex Howell. Thanks and sorry for the lack of posts. It's been a busy winter. This tip came from Buckmasters.

Don't Miss High
Ninety percent of the shots missed at deer are high. If you shoot at a deer and he just stands there looking at you, chances are good that the shot went high. When you get excited about taking the shot, you're more likely to jerk the trigger, and that makes the shot go high.
When I aim at a deer with a bow, I aim at the lower one-third of my target area, which takes care of any tendency to shoot high.
Bowhunters talk about whitetails "jumping the string," which means they're reacting to the sound of the bow. I've learned about this the hard way because I've had a lot of bow shots go just over deer. I've looked at slow motion video of those missed shots, and the deer don't really jump when they dodge an arrow. They simply react to the sound so quickly that they duck down and turn to run. As they do so, the arrow misses high.
By putting my sight on the lower one-third of the deer's lungs, it will usually be a good shot, even if the deer ducks before the arrow gets there. If the deer doesn't react to the sound, I'm still in the fatal zone by aiming low, and my exit wound is lower in the deer's body, so I'm more likely to have an immediate blood trail.
If you're hunting with a shotgun, there's even more of a tendency to shoot high because most shotguns don't have nearly as crisp a trigger as a rifle. It takes a pretty good pull to make the shotgun go off, and you wind up shooting high.
--Jackie Bushman

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fishing Under the Ice

Most fisherman drop their lines towards the bottom once the ice hole has been punched, but you may want to try fishing right below the ice near the very top.

As the season progresses and oxygen levels get lower the baitfish, plankton and other goodies that fish eat will spend more time near the surface. This also means that your target fish are also likely near the top, especially during the morning.

You will need to blind fish in this manner because your sonar won't be very effective at this close range.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Good Smelling Plastic

No one can deny the success that GULP and similar plastic baits have had. The problem I have with them is the cost. One way that I am now trying to mimic the concept was hatched in my mind while enjoying a can of sardines. Why throw away the juice of the sardines? Why not pour the left over juice into a container of plastic jigs? After a few days of soaking, in the fridge, the baits have taken on a nice aroma that should be attractive to fish, hopefully, more so than the mock smells the commercial baits are soaked in. Oil from any canned fish or even oysters should be great for making your own fish attracting plastic baits.

Friday, February 1, 2008

PETA - The New Slaughterhouse?

New Data Shows PETA Killed 97 Percent Of Dogs And Cats In 2006

WASHINGTON, DC- Yesterday the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom formally petitioned Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), requesting that the government agency officially reclassify People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as a slaughterhouse.

An official report filed by PETA itself shows that the animal rights group put to death nearly every dog, cat, and other pet it took in for adoption in 2006. During that year, the well-known animal rights group managed to find adoptive homes for just 12 animals. Not counting pets brought to PETA for spaying or neutering, the organization killed 2,981 of the 3,061 “companion animals” it took in. According to VDACS, the average euthanasia rate for humane societies in Virginia was 34.7 percent in 2006. PETA's "kill rate" was 97.4 percent.

“It is absurd to classify PETA as a ‘humane society’ when its employees are slaughtering nearly every companion animal they bring in,” said CCF Director of Research David Martosko. “PETA has killed over 17,000 pets since 1998. Given the group's astonishing habit of killing adoptable dogs and cats with such ruthless efficiency, it's only fair that the state of Virginia refer to PETA as a slaughterhouse.”

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Don't Double Freeze Your Catch

If you are an ice fisherman and plan on keeping some fish for future use by freezing them don't just throw your fish out on the ice after catching them. If your catch freezes and then you thaw them to clean and then freeze them again you will end up with mushy fish. You wouldn't buy frozen fish at the store, bring them home, thaw them out and then freeze them again so don't do it to your personal catch either.

Take along a cooler or pail to keep your fish in. Add enough water to cover them and they won't freeze. Using a stringer in an extra hole will also work. Taking a little extra care on the ice will pay big dividends at your next fish fry.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Little Motion Goes A Long Way

We have all seen the motorized bunnies that shake all over the place in an effort to attract predators. These do work but they can be a pain to lug around and set up, not to mention the cost of buying your robotic bunny.

A much simpler method and one that is just as effective is to tie a turkey tail feather to a small rod that you can stick in the ground with ease. A fiberglass driveway markers works great, but you will need to paint it before using. This turkey tail feather will provide just the right amount of movement to help attract that wily predator when you are calling.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Squirrels or Deer

When you come across acorns that have been eaten in the woods don't get too excited about what you may have found until you do a little further investigation. 

Deer love acorns but so do squirrels. I know a hunter that has hunted over acorns with high expectations, only to be let down by the lack of feeding deer and all of the annoying squirrels running around his tree.

To tell if it was deer or squirrels eating those acorns take a look at the left behind portions of the acorn. Deer will snap the cap of the acorn off with their teeth and then eat the rest of the acorn. A squirrel will either take to whole acorn or will leave behind chewed acorns. They will look like someone took a bite out of the acorn. If you are finding mostly chewed acorns and not the caps, either change locations or go get your squirrel gun.