Hunting – The Ultimate animal Guide

Bear Hunting

The first step you are going to take on your hunting adventure is the preparation portion. When you have all of the equipment that you need and have the essential items that it takes, you are much more likely to succeed and bring home your trophy. The first thing you should do in getting prepared is figure out where it is that you are going to be hunting. Once you figure out where you want to hunt, the next step in the process is to make sure you have the licenses and permits required by the state government department of wildlife.

Then comes the part where you start to get your equipment together. Please keep in mind, you probably won’t get a bear on your first trip, and your chances are even less on your first day. It is important to show patience throughout the process. That being said, you usually want your trip to last at least 7 days. That way you have plenty of time to give it a try. Then you have to think about shelter, which means camping gear unless you will be staying in a cabin or even a hotel. You can also find most of the general required hunting gear to have success through a variety of online resources or by asking someone that has already gone.

We HighlyRecommend Bringing Bear Repellent Defense Pepper Spray along with you during any bear hunt.

Getting To Know the Bears

Most people are under the assumption that a bear is going to spring into action and attack them if they have never been hunting before. While they do have instinct to survive, most of the time they are going to run away in order to preserve their survival. This is why you really have to be patient and be prepared for extremely long periods of waiting for anything to happen. Learning how to not move and sit in that perfect position is a hard task, but can be perfected over time. Although bears might not have the best sight in the world, they do have a very good sense of smell. This means you will have to be sure you don’t have anything that is unnatural on your person, like cologne or shampoo or anything like that.

The knowledge of the habits that a bear has is very helpful as well. Bears will generally feed at the same spot more than once, that is unless they feel like they are in danger at that location. Insects, fish, and vegetation are going to be the bulk of the bear’s diet, which means you can scout the locations in which a bear is likely to use for a source of food. When you know when a bear is going to eat and what it is going to eat, you already have put yourself in a much better position to see success.

The Right Bear Hunting Spot

Once you have located a few positions that you think are going to be right, you want to try and lay out a bait station in that area. This means that you won’t be shooting the first day, you will come back and see which stations have been eaten by bears and have tracks. Then you will come back the next day and lay out that same bait station again, and this time you will be there waiting. If you are not setting up bait stations you can simply try and look for areas that you have seen evidence of bear tracks, then set up a spot in which you will be up in a tree and have a good view that is not obstructed around you. You also want to be downwind from the area that you are targeting, that way the bear won’t catch your scent.

When The Bear Shows Up

The first time you see a bear approach, you want to be sure that you stay as still as possible. Most people’s first reaction is to grab their gun, which would be wrong. You want to use your binoculars to look at the bear, and make sure that it is a bear and that it’s not another hunter. Then you want to make sure that it isn’t a female bear. Then you want to estimate the size of the bear and make sure it is what you are looking for. If it is, the next step would be to grab and raise your gun or bow, but only when the bear isn’t looking at you. You have to be calm during all of this and doing it slowly as to not spook the bear.

After all of that, you are ready to take your shot at the bear. But, you have to know where to shoot it first. You want to hit it in one of the organs that are vital, which means the heart, lungs, or liver. A vital shot is really the only way to go, as it is the quickest death for the bear and is the most humane. Even when you get a vital shot, you still have to track the bear after. They will not die right away, and it could take a while.

After You Get the Kill

The most important thing after bagging and possibly skinning the bear is to make sure you follow the CDC’s Game Safety guidelines that are put in place. This will ensure that you don’t run into food borne illness or infectious blood transfer. Then you need to report your catch to the proper state channel in order for them to track the population of the bears in the area.

Red Stag Hunting

Did you know that red deer are the largest wild animals in the country? Well it’s true. The mature stag can get as tall as four feet at the shoulders and can weigh around three hundred pounds. They are famous for their antlers that grow to be magnificent on the stag, and they are a very proud creature to say the least. If the antlers are more than thirty five inches, that is considered a good head. You can catch hunters referring to them by a point system, and that simply means the number of spikes on the antler. You might hear someone call one a ten pointer or something like that.

What About A Twelve Pointer?

A twelve pointer, also known as a royal, has three on top, trez, bay, and brow. At the base of the antler you will find the brow tine branching out, the bay and the trez are a little higher than the brow, and the top will usually consist of at least three different spikes. People often ask me to tell them what is considered a point and what is not, but it really is so simple that they laugh. There is an old rule that simply states if you can hang your binoculars on it, it counts as a point. It is a funny way of putting it, but it is still efficient none-the-less.

How Many Points Can They Get To?

Fourteen points is usually the most you are going to see on feral deer, although you may be able to find more on those that are in captivity. There are a few in parks around the nation that have twenty eight points. Deer shed their antlers once every year, which usually ends up being in March or April. By the time the end of July usually roles around, they are already back to the fully matured antlers. When the antlers are growing they are covered with a velvet like substance and they are soft, but by the time they are matured that substance falls off and they are left with the hard relentless antlers.

All About the Rut

The peak of the rut is usually going to be between September and October, depending on where you are hunting. This is when the stag is going to be attempting to get as many hinds as they can. Not only are they going to be busy with that, but they also have to serve those that are in the harem. Not to mention they have to fight off other males and find food as well. This is also when the stag is going to have a vocal presence, when they are challenging other males to a dual of strength. People usually think that this is some big scene where the males fight to the death, where usually it is just two of them sizing each other up, locking horns, and then finally one of them gives up and walks away.

Other Facts about Red Stag

The fawns tend to be born in June, and there are rarely ever twins. By the time Christmas roles around, you will barely start to be able to see the growth of antlers show up. Those won’t mature into full antlers that are proper until the second year has come around. Many people aren’t aware of the coolest fact about the red deer, which is that they can pretty much adapt to any situation and surroundings. They always have a lot of success on the farms that don’t have browse, but the grass tends to be plentiful.

Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting really has become one of the most popular ways to hunt, and that is mostly due to the challenge and variety that it offers. It doesn’t matter if you are hunting turkeys or you are hunting one of the smaller game birds, you are going to find something that you like out of it. It can be hard learning what to do in certain situations and training yourself to be ready for each scenario, but with a few tips and a little practice you should be ready in no time at all.

Practice Waterfowl Hunting In the Preseason

Clay pigeons are a great way to get some practice in before you actually get in to hunting season, and is a method of training used by many hunters. It really will give you the best practice with your shotgun, and will teach you where to shoot each bird and how you can improve whether it is a falling bird or a rising bird. Not only will you be working on your shot, but you will also be working on things like reloading and speeding up your process. It is basically going to be as close as you can get to the real thing and offers the best chance at improvement.

Scouting In the Preseason

One of the first major things you should be tackling before you hunt is the information about the bird that you are going to be hunting. Find out everything you can about them. Things like what they eat, where they are hiding, and when they might be in a particular area. If you know where a bird is most likely going to be, it is going to make things a lot easier when it comes time to hunt. Then you can scout that area and look for places that you can hide yourself and be ready for when the birds do come out during hunting season.

A Good Hunting Dog

Having a well-trained dog working with you is going to make things a lot easier on you. Often times birds will just stay hidden and try and wait out the hunter, but when you have a dog that is trained to flush them out the bird no longer has that option. The dog can also be a good option for the retrieval of birds that have been downed, as they really have a keen sense of smell and will be able to track the bird quickly.

Clothing & Decoys

The clothing that you wear on the day that you go hunting is also going to play a big role in the success that you have. You need something that has you blend in with your surroundings, since the birds will be able to spot you otherwise while they are in the air. If you are one of those hunters that uses decoys, you want to make sure that your decoy is set up correctly and that it plays its part as well. They have to look natural to be successful.

The Right Shotgun for Waterfowl Hunting

Being able to know which shotgun is going to work for which birds is a good place to start. There may be situations that call for the 12 gauge, or situations that call for the 20 gauge, or one of the other less common choices. Then you want to work on shooting, which should take one motion to swing your shotgun towards the game and then mount in on your shoulder. You want the muzzle to be below the flight line that the birds are going to take, that way it won’t ruin your view of the birds.

Be aware that shotguns do have a pattern that spreads, which means you will have some room for error, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still take your time and focus. You may also have hit a bird that is still flying and that is why it is important to watch the birds as long as you can. Sometimes birds that get hit will still be able to fly off for a while and then finally come down. A lot of hunters aren’t patient and lose the bird because they simply weren’t watching.

Moose

The moose (Alces Alces) is the largest member of the deer family (Cervidae), which also includes deer, elk, and caribou. However they have several distinctly different characteristics, which are described below.
Physical Characteristics

Male moose, or bulls, are notable for their very large and impressive paddle-shaped antler configurations, unlike any other deer in North America. They are big, somewhat awkward looking animals perhaps more known for their long legs and droopy, overhanging noses.

Moose are impressive animals simply for their overall body size. Mature bulls have been known to reach shoulder heights of over 7 feet tall and weigh as much as 1800 pounds. All moose have a large flap of skin, called a dewlap or bell, dangling from underneath their chin. A very unique and interesting bodily feature, biologists are still not certain as to what purpose this dewlap serves.

The body color of a moose will typically vary slightly between a brown to a dark blackish-brown depending upon the season; with the legs being a lighter color than the rest of their body, sometimes almost completely white.

Habitat of the Moose

Moose typically dwell in brushy, forested areas that offer plenty of cover. Flourishing brushy areas near lakes, ponds, or other sources of water are ideal. They prefer to stay near these lush green areas in summer as it helps them to regulate their body temperatures. Moose can be spotted both in elevated timber forests on mountainsides and brushy, marsh lowlands in valleys and drainages.

Diet

Moose feed on many different types of plant life. At times they can be seen in or near lakes and ponds munching on aquatic plants, and other times they may nibble on green leaves, shrubs, and buds off trees in the earlier parts of the year. When moose are hunted during the fall, their diet consists more of woody brush, twigs, and bark off of willow, birch, and aspen trees. This is often referred to as Browse.

Reproduction

The moose breeding season, or rut, typically begins around mid-September and continues until mid-October. It is at this time that mature bulls will become very territorial and aggressive towards bulls as they compete for attention from the females, also called cows. Bulls can often be observed raking and destroying brushy shrubs or trees with their antlers in incredible expressions of dominance towards other moose.

During the rut, both bulls and cows are very vocal. Bulls have deep, guttural grunt they use to assert their presence and call to the cows. Cows, in their desire to mate, will let out loud, nasally moans in an attempt to get a bulls attention. Because of the flurry of activity that occurs during rut, this is one of the best and most exciting times in which to hunt moose.

Baby moose, or calves, are born the following spring. A mother moose will usually give birth to one, two, or even three calves. Three calves are rare, but two at a time are not uncommon. At birth each calf will weight about 30lbs, and will grow very rapidly gaining as much as 2 lbs a day. The calves will usually remain with their mother until they are about 1 ½ years old.

Whitetail Deer

-If the temperature lowers to under ten degrees Fahrenheit, the whitetail deer will usually move during midday.

-Those bucks that are well nourished are going to sprout new racks starting in April. There antlers can grow up to half an inch every day.

-The big ears that are found on a deer can spin up to 180 degrees in order to pick up sounds.

-Before the molting process is complete for the whitetail deer, they are going to have taken months to finish it. Their coats change from to auburn by the time late summer comes around.

-Those that hunt during the month of October will see a coat change as well, it will turn grey after being red. It usually only takes a couple of weeks at the maximum for this change to take place.

-In the winter, the whitetail’s hair appears to be a greyish-blue color. Then during autumn new hair is going to be mixed in, which basically adds insulation. The points of this hair that grows in are dark, which gives a nice hue to the whitetail.

-Even after a human has left the woods, a deer can still pick up their scent days later. If bucks do happen to pick up a human scent, they will often avoid that area for weeks even.

-Bucks are able to detect danger while they are in bed by laying on their side and having themselves face downwind. This allows them to pretty much use all of their senses to know when trouble is coming.

-Deer are some of the best swimmers you can find, sometimes swimming across water at ten miles per hour. They can often be frightened into water and swim away.

-Some times you can find deer tracks from strides as far as twenty five feet apart, because of their huge stride.

Buffalo Hunting

This is really a sport that the true sportsmen really want to try at least once in their lives, mainly because of the size of the animal and the challenge that it represents. Not to mention the fact that you are hunting one of the most iconic animals in our history as well. However it is not found just anywhere, and is really limited to certain parts of North America. There are companies out there that can help you plan your trip to one of those areas that has them, and then you can finally get the trophy of a lifetime.

Where In the United States Can I Hunt Buffalo?

You can only hunt the American Bison and Buffalo in three states in the United States, they include Alaska, Utah, and Arizona. There may be other states that allow it in certain situations, but those three states are the only ones that will allow hunting of these animals for sport. There are also a few provinces in Canada that allow for the hunting as well that might be worth a look as well. They include Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territory, Saskatchewan, and finally Yukon.

Information About Them and Their Habitat

Buffalo isn’t very specific and in fact it is a common name that is used to describe many large wild oxen. The name buffalo was first given to the black water buffalo in India. This animal was given this name because of its size and the way that it would just lay around in pools of water for several hours at a time. The water buffalo can indeed be dangerous in its wild state. In the warmer parts of Africa and Asia you can find the buffalo tame and working for the people that tamed them.

There is a buffalo that is small and black that lives in forests that are dense and that can be found in Mindoro, which is an island in the Philippines. It is unique because it only stands three and a half feet in height. It also has horns that are going to first point upward, and then they point backward. There is also the anoa, which is an even smaller forest buffalo, can be found in the East Indian island called Celebes. The color of this buffalo can range from black to brown, and the horns are straight.

You can also find wild buffaloes in Africa as well. A large black buffalo known as the Cape Buffalo can be found in in South Africa and has a temper that nearly matches that of the Indian Buffalo. It is also like the Indian Buffalo in many other ways as well, but the only major difference is that the Cape Buffalo has never been tamed. Another difference is that the Cape Buffalo has shorter horns, and the horns also come in a different shape. They look like they have more of a helmet on their head. Another buffalo of the wild variety that inhabits Central Africa and Western Africa in certain areas is the relative of the Cape Buffalo. It is also very short as well.

The American Bison (Buffalo)

Most of the people in America simply refer to the American Bison as the American Buffalo, although that is not really true at all. Zoologists do not consider it to be a buffalo, and so the correct term for it is an American Bison. Not like the other buffaloes that were described in the previous section, this bison has a large neck, along with a large head and has shoulders that are humped. The rib count also comes out to 14 pairs, rather than the 13 of the true buffalo.

The American Bison is going to be blackish-brown nearly everywhere except the hind area of the body, which is going to be more of just a brown color. They have long hair that is going to cover their hump, head, and neck. They also look like they have a beard around the chin and the throat. They have horns that look just like a domestic male would, but theirs are much larger. There are even some horns on some of them that are going to be wider than 30 inches at the peak between horns. The wider the space between the horns at the peak, the better trophy it is going to make.

The bison is an animal that will be social with a herd, and the cows and the bulls both graze together the entire year. A new calf is usually born in May or June. The lead bull of the heard is the one that usually takes on the protection duty of the mother and her new calf. Bison have the ability to mate when they are just three years old, even though they are not fully grown another five years after that. There have been some extreme situations in which a bison has lived more than thirty years. They are not trainable as well due to their short tempers.

They are going to feed mostly on a few small plants and grass, with grass making up the majority of their diet. There have been some ranchers and breeders that have tried to create a hybrid between a domestic cow and an American Bison, and the result really hasn’t lived up to the hype. So, they have all but stopped doing this and just focused on other things.

Tips for Hunting Buffalo/Bison

These are just some basic tips that will really help you when hunting anything, and it is best to ask your guide or an expert for more information on this type of hunting.

  • Please remember to be aware of what the weather conditions are going to be like for that particular area. I can’t tell you the number of people that were unprepared the last time I went, it was pretty ridiculous.
  • Never, I mean NEVER, hunt all by yourself. You need to have at least one partner that can help if something goes wrong.
  • When you are climbing up something or just aren’t using your weapon, unload it or unchamber it. There is no need to give yourself a chance to hurt yourself or those around you.
  • Some of the hunting trips can take a long time, and it is important that you stay hydrated throughout the process. Take as much water as you can with you.
  • Please don’t consume alcohol while you are hunting. It can lead to dangerous situations for yourself and those around you.

Make 100% sure that the animal you shoot is dead before you walk up to it. If the bison or buffalo is not dead, it can do a lot of damage to you with a charge. Usually your guide or whoever you are with will carry a small handgun should they need to shoot it once more to down the animal.

5 Rifle Cartridges For The Beginning Deer Hunter

After writing about how the .243 Winchester was not a good round for the beginning deer hunter, I received a number of emails asking me which rounds I would consider for new deer hunters.

Here’s My Pick of Rifle Cartridges For the Beginning Deer Hunter

Note: This list is in no order. Any of these cartridges are more than enough for any Whitetail or Mule Deer buck that walks.

  1. 260 Remington – This round is basically a 6.5mm bullet with a necked down .308 case. As you would expect with any round based on the 308, it’s accurate. The 260 Remington has low felt recoil and excellent accuracy. You can get it in a range of rifle styles, from compact to standard weight.
  2. 257 Roberts – An age old classic! The 117 – 120 grain bullet used in the standard loading is good Buck medicine. This caliber comes in just about any rifle combination you want, especially if you’re looking at a bolt action rifle. The 257 Roberts is a necked down 7mm Mauser case and the felt recoil is nil. Most modern rifles can handle the 257 Roberts +P loads. However, always check with the manufacturer first, just to be on the safe side.
  3. 7mm-08 Remington – My favorite rifle at this time and it has been for many, many years! Even though I’m what you’d call a “Big Ole Boy”, I love the low recoil and nail driving accuracy of the 7mm-08. I haven’t had any rifle that I’ve owned in this round to shoot bad. In fact, my current rifle chambered in the 7mm-08 is a Featherlight Winchester. The light whippy barrel will still hold 1.5 inch groups with most factory ammo.
  4. 250 Savage – You might have to look around for a while to find a 250 Savage, but it will be worth it! This quarter bore is deadly on any Deer, Antelope or Black Bear you want to tackle. In most bolt guns, it will give good accuracy and virtually no recoil.
  5. 30-30 Winchester– Ahhhh! I can already hear some of you scream now! But let’s face it. Many hunters, especially those back East, will never shoot a Deer at 150 yards away. Most will never kill one at 100 yards. The 170 grain soft point is more than enough medicine for any Buck that wants to walk past you, or Black Bear! Yes, I prefer the heavier 170 grain bullet. In a rifle like the Marlin 336, the 30-30 Winchester has low recoil with more than adequate energy delivered to the target!

Why didn’t I mention rounds like the 7×57 Mauser, .270 Winchester or the .280? Simply because the rifles listed above usually deliver less recoil and just as much accuracy.

One of the biggest problems I see beginners or Parents make is buying their self or their kids a Deer rifle that is larger than what they need. I guess for some it’s a Macho thing to tell other Parents that your 10 year old shoots a 30-06 or .270 Winchester.

Small framed hunters can do better. If it’s one thing that will ruin a lot of new Hunters, it’s recoil. If it’s not fun shooting, they’re not going to become good at it!

Mule Deer Hunting Tips for Early Season Success

early-season-mule-deerThe Mule deer you hunt in November is not the same Mulie you’re trying to sneak up on in August or September. It’s important you know the differences if you hope to get within bow or muzzle-loader range of a good Mule Deer buck.

Here are some quick Mule Deer hunting tips to help you succeed in the early season.

  • If you’re hunting mountainous areas, think high for Trophy Mule deer. In many cases you’ll find the big boys above the treeline where they can bed down in the open. They’ll also be looking for a breeze to keep the insects off those sensitive velvet covered antlers! This is where good binoculars and a spotting scope come in handy.
  • Now the Location of Watering Holes.Early in the season, Mule deer and other animals may travel many miles everyday to water. Use a good topo map along with aerial photo’s to find and scout out water holes in your area. Thirsty Muley’s have been know to travel miles for a drink of water. Remember, not all watering holes are created equal, scout as many as you can then pick the best 1 or two and set up a blind or tree-stand.
  • Tree-stands are not only for Whitetails! Treestand hunting can be an extremely effective tactic for Mule Deer. From my experience, they look up far less than Whitetails. As stated above, find a good watering hole to set up over. If you’re scouting from a distance, try to see which game trails they use every day and then set up over those trails.
  • Watch the Thermals.When hunting in mountainous areas, remember that as the day warms up, the thermal currents will carry your scent up the mountain. This is one reason some big Mulies will bed near the top of a peak. They can see and smell anything coming up from below. In the afternoon as the temperatures cool off, the thermals will take your scent downhill as the air cools. Something to remember when you’re planning that stalk on Mr. Mule Deer!
  • Practice shooting at steep angles.It always surprises many archers and muzzleloaders how shooting steeply uphill or downhill affects their impact point. Practice to see how your equipment will behave!

Keep these tips in mind the next time you head out in the early season after Mule deer. Early season Mule deer hunting is fun and can be extremely rewarding. It can also be challenging so be prepared!

6 ‘Old School’ Deer Rifles That Can Still Bring Home the Venison

Ruger 44 Carbine

ruger-44-carbine.thumbnailThe Ruger 44 Carbine’s are getting more and more scarce each year. If you find one of these little brush guns, grab it up!

The Ruger 44 Carbine is a great first time gun for a young hunter or for a hunter who’ll never be shooting out past 100 yards. This little carbine tames the 44 mag round and makes it manageable for those shooters who are slight of build.

The 240 grain 44 Magnum is plenty for any buck who ventures into your stand area. The rifle is compact and quick handling and comes with a rotary clip magazine. You can find clips for these old deer getters on ebay and some gun shops still carry a few.

I’ve heard of a few reports that this gun would not cycle reliably with factory bullets heavier than 240 grains, but I can not personally attest to that. I never found the need for anything heavier than the good old 240 grainer, but it’s something you should be aware of if you’ll be trying bullets of different weights.

As I said above, the Ruger 44 Carbines are getting harder and harder to find. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $300 to $500, and possibly even more, for a Carbine in Excellent shape.

Savage Model 99

savage-99.thumbnailThe Savage Model 99 is an old favorite of many deer hunters across the country. Whether your after a Whitetail Buck in the expansive forest of the Northeast or a Mule Deer buck in the Rockies, you can do far worse than carry a Model 99.

The Savage 99 is a lever action rifle that is most known for the two Savage cartridges it was chambered for early on in its production, the 250 Savage and the 300 Savage. Both are good deer rounds, although ammo may be hard to find on the shelf for both in most parts of the country. Later 99’s were chambered for the popular .243 and .308.

Early models of the Savage 99 were not tapped and drilled for scope mounts, although any good gunsmith can do this relatively cheaply. The rifles had a rotary magazine until 1984 when Savage introduced the ‘99 with a clip magazine.

The Savage 99 came in both a solid frame gun and a take-down model.

The ‘99 was made for nearly 100 years and was chambered in a range of calibers all the way from the 22 Hi-Power to a version that was chambered for the .410.

Savage introduced the  250-3000 Savage in 1915 and it was the first commercial cartridge to break the 3000 fps barrier. Later the name was shortened to .250 Savage.

These rifles have smooth actions and are plenty accurate for hunting needs. Expect to pay anywhere from $300 for a well worn ‘99 all the up to a $1000 or more for a rare caliber Model 99 in excellent condition. Most of the .300 Savages and the new production run of clip fed Savage 99’s in .243 and .308 in good shape can be had for around $400 to $600.

Remington Model 788

remington-788.thumbnailThe Remington Model 788 was introduced by Remington as an answer for the economy minded hunter and shooter. I doubt they realized how popular this gun would become.

I bought a used 788 in .308 in the early 90’s. That rifle was the 2nd most accurate rifle I ever owned (the first was a Ruger 77V in 6mm). This rifle would easily hold 1 inch groups at 100 yards with most factory ammo and sub MOA groups with my handloads with Speer 165 grain Hot-Cor’s.

The Remington 788 is a rugged “meat and potato’s” type gun. It’s far more accurate than most people can shoot. The clips can be easily found on eBay should you need more than 1.

The 788 was chambered for most standard short chamber cartridges including the 22-250, .243, 7mm-08, .308 and 30/30.

If you happen to see a Remington 788 on the gun rack at your local gun shop, be sure to grab it. You won’t be disappointed!

Remington 760

remington-760.thumbnailThe Remington 760 is as fine a deer gun as you can find. It’s a solid pump rifle that many Eastern deer hunters have relied on for years. TheBenoits of New England have probably done more for the popularity of pump rifles as anyone.

The Remington 760 and 7600 come in standard calibers such as the .243, .270, 30-06 and .308. You can also find some of these older guns in deer getting calibers such as 35 Whelen, 300 Savage and the 7mm-08.

These pump rifles are amazingly accurate as well. In fact, although one thinks of Eastern hunters when they think of the Remington pump rifle, they’re used by many a Western big game hunters as well.

Remington pump rifles come in a standard 22 inch barreled version as well as a ‘Carbine’ version with a 18 inch barrel. If memory serves me correctly, the Carbine comes in 30-06 and 308 only…just don’t quote me on that! The Carbine is a quick handling gun in thick timber. One reason it’s a favorite among Guides who go after dangerous game like Bears in thick cover.

Expect to pay in the $300 to $600 range for a good Remington 760 or 7600. Extra clips are easily found on GunBroker.com and eBay.

Winchester Model 88

winchester-88.thumbnailThe Winchester Model 88 has been around since 1955 when it was introduced for the then new .308 Winchester. The Winchester 88 is a lever action rifle that is chambered for short action rounds such as the .358, .308, .284 and .243.

The Winchester 88 uses a detachable clip magazine which allows the use of spire pointed bullets for greater velocity.

In the late 60’s Winchester introduced a Carbine version of the 88 that was chambered for the .243, .284 and .308. It had a plain stock rather than the checkered stock of the standard version.

The Winchester 88 is very accurate due to its rotating bolt lugs. Rotating bolt lugs very similar to a bolt action rifle. This is one solid gun.

I believe the Model 88 failed to ‘catch on’ because it was ahead of its time. It really didn’t look like any of the traditional deer guns of its time. The .284 and .358 weren’t the most popular calibers, although they enjoyed far more favor back then than they do today.

Expect to find a good used Winchester 88 for $400 to $700.

Ruger No. 1

ruger-number-1.thumbnailI know that it’s said the Model 70 is the ‘Riflemans Rifle’ but I don’t agree. I think the Ruger #1 is the ‘Riflemans Rifle’. Like it or not, there’s just something positive to be said for someone who has the confidence to use a single shot rifle.

Although the Ruger #3 is also a fine single shot rifle, it was only made in a few calibers including the 30-40 Krag and 45-70. Both of which are more than enough for any deer walking, but the rifles their self are scarce.

The Ruger #1 on the other hand are still being made. These are accurate single shot rifles. One reason I preferred the No. 3 to he No. 1 is because the No. 3 was a ‘Basic’ rifle with little to no frills and was accurate. The No. 1 on the other hand is a high class big game rifle and the price reflect that.

The No. 1’s come in a wide range of calibers depending on the Model. You can get them in anything from a .204 right up to the .458 Magnum.

Another advantage of the Ruger #1 is that the standard length barrel is 26″. Even so, since there is no action, the Ruger #1 is shorter than many standard bolt action rifles with 22 ” barrels.

My ’Perfect’ deer rifle would be a #1 or #3 with a 22 or 24″ barrel chambered for the 7mm-08. Since that combination is not available (or wasn’t the last time I looked), I’ve been thinking about a No. 1 in the .257 Roberts. (another favorite round of mine)

Ruger No. 1’s aren’t cheap. Expect to pay $500 to $800 for a No. 1 in Good condition.

Good Guns That Didn’t Make My List

There are many good rifles that didn’t make my list. Guns like the Browining BAR and BLR’s, any number of Sears and Western Auto contract rifles, Remington Automatics, etc. Some rifles I just don’t like. Others, I have never used or have been around.

One that didn’t make my list and that I’m very familiar with is the Winchester Model 94. I know it’s a popular deer rifle, but I just don’t like the 94. I don’t like the early versions because it takes a good gunsmith to mount a scope with them and the newer side ejection models still benefit from using see through scope rings. I hate see through rings!

No Magnums Here

I also didn’t list any Magnums. I have never felt the need to use a Magnum caliber on a deer. They’re just not needed. Few hunters can actually shoot one well and if a deer is so far off that you feel you need a Magnum, you need to learn to get closer to the deer.

Case in point. I used to work with a guy who talked his wife into buying him a .340 Weatherby Magnum one year for Christmas. At the time I lived in Arkansas and he hunted the same general area I did. The Ozark Mountains. His excuse was that he needed the rifle to “reach across the clearcuts to touch ‘dem big boys”.

He only shot this rifle a day or so prior to the Gun opener and only in camp. Which meant the target was never more than 100 yards away (I visited their camp several times). After the first few times of shooting the gun he became afraid of it and would try and have other people site it in for him. I shot the rifle on several occasions. Needless to say, of all the years I knew him, he only shot two deer with that rifle and both were under a 100 yards. Both were badly mangled due to one bullet hitting the front shoulder first and one hitting the rear leg bone on the other.

Another guy I worked with bragged to everyone in ear shot that he used a 7 Mag and a .338 Win. Magnum for deer hunting. The other guys at work who hunted out of his camp said he would find a spot where he could see the furthest, usually a clear cut, and open up on anything that walked into few. The running joke in camp was “When is Bud starting the Revolution?” Surprisingly, for all the firepower this guy had, he never killed a buck large enough to enter into the company’s big buck contest. Go figure.

If you run into any of the ’Old School’  guns listed above on a gun rack, know that they’ll do a good job for you. Don’t hesitate to put the gun back into the field. Hey, chances are they’re experienced deer killers anyway!

Deer Hunting On A Budget: Find the Best Cheap Hunting Gear

Click here to find the Best Cheap Hunting Gear available in 2017!

hunting-gearWith the rising cost of fuel these days, I can imagine there are a lot of deer hunters who will be looking for ways to cut their deer hunting cost. Maybe this isn’t the year you buy that new rifle or bow.

Perhaps that new set of Camouflage clothes will have to wait. Or maybe you’re looking to get involved in deer hunting but it looks too expensive.

I’m going to tell you that it doesn’t have to be expensive and you can get started deer hunting for less than $1000 and even less than $500 if you pick your gear correctly.

Hunting Clothes

You want to know a secret? You don’t have to have the latest designer Camo to kill a deer! Yeah, shocking hunh!

Hunters in the Northeast have been killing deer for eons wearing nothing but Grey wool pants and the traditional black and green pattern wool coats. Some even wear the black and red plaid coats.

Any dull colored clothing will work fine as long as you’re comfortable in it and it’s quiet. Olive drab military surplus clothes work great. You can generally find the Military camo patterns available also. The Desert Camo is great for late season bow hunting. I would avoid wearing any brown or white colors during the Gun season though. Expect to pay less than $100 for true Military Surplus clothing (the stuff that has actually been used!)

You can also browse your local Wal-Mart store for hunting clothes. I scored several years ago on a green fleece jacket with huge pockets. Perfect for the way I hunt plus it’s warm. I don’t have a problem saving money on hunting clothes, I don’t care who the retailer is.

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Hunting Boots

Any good leather or rubber/leather boot will work for deer hunting. I’ve seen guys out in the woods with tennis shoes on, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Personally, I would buy a pair of boots just for deer hunting so they could be put back and kept clean.

In bow season and Muzzleloader season, I’ll wear either the $15 a pair rubber boots from Wal-Mart or any other discount retailer. Good Ole Black PVC rubber boots are cheap. These rubber hunting boots will keep your feet dry if you hunt in wet areas. They’re also very good and keeping your scent off the ground, which is why I use them during bow season.

They’ll even work well in cold weather if you’ll buy a size larger and layer your socks. I’ve used one pair of Cotton socks on first followed by a thick wool sock. Works wonders for keeping your feet warm.

Don’t get the sock and boots too tight. A tight fit will cut the circulation off to your feet and they’ll get cold, not matter how many layers you have.

I will tell you that you should not scrimp on your hunting boots if you can avoid it. If you have feet that get cold easy or have sensitive feet, pay the money and get you a good hunting boot.

When I’m not wearing the old cheapo rubber boots, I have a pair of LL Bean Maine Hunting Boots. Leather tops with rubber bottoms. In my opinion, one of the finest hunting boots on the market. They keep my feet dry, they’re durable and I leave minimum scent walking in. I think my pair was around $95 and worth every penny.

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Deer Scents, Calls, Etc.

Okay, for you new people to deer hunting, here’s another secret I’m going to let out of the bag. You don’t need all the scents and deer calls on the market to kill a deer! In fact, you don’t need any! Yeah, I know what the marketing departments of the big companies all say, but don’t listen to them. They’re just trying to sell you deer scent and deer calls.

In fact, if you don’t know how to use calls or scents, they can hurt your hunting more than help. Learn how to hunt deer without the gadgets. When can kill a deer on a routine basis without using calls and scents, then you’ll be ready for them. Calls and scents are nothing more than an aid to deer hunting. Any as I just mentioned, in the wrong hands they’ll hurt you more than help. You’ll not get that many chances, so take advantage of every one you get.

Leave the calls on scents on the rack until you’re a little more experienced.

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Archery Hunting Equipment

Don’t start out thinking you need the latest whiz-bang-wammy-mammy bow in order to kill a deer. You don’t.

If you’re not experienced in archery, I would strongly suggest that you stop by your local archery shop to buy your first set up. Tell them you’re on a very limited budget and you just need a reliable bow set and arrows. Expect to pay around $200 for a bow set up for hunting and about $75 for arrows, field points and broadheads.

It’s important for first timers to get help from experienced archers. Generally you’ll find helpful staff in a bow shop, however from time to time you’ll find the self adsorbed jerks there also. If you’re jerk – snooty meter goes off when the guy or gal opens their mouth, leave and go elsewhere. You’ll eventually find a shop staff member that is helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. Life to short to deal with cocky bow shop staffers!

If the store owner tries to sell you some 3,4,5 or $600 bow, go elsewhere, they’re worried about their profit rather than seeing you’re outfitted well.

Also, don’t go buy a bow setup from a catalog or a discount store then take it to a bow shop and expect them to give you help. Some will, but most won’t. Can you blame them? They way they look at it is that their bows may be slightly higher than Wal-Mart or one of the big Outdoor retailers, but you’re getting personalized service and helpful customer service when you buy from them. Don’t be surprised if you ask for help and they tell you to go back where you bought it from for help. Something to keep in mind when buying a bow.

Don’t get caught up in the “Speed Kills” marketing hype. I believe this was a marketing buzz word put out by the Bow manufacturers many years ago to sell new bows. The funny thing is, I was just browsing Bass Pro’s Archery offerings and looking at all the bow speeds. Most of those $500 to $600 bows are shooting in the 300-325fps range.

I can remember back when I bought my Darton Viper over 15 years ago. There were many bows on the market then that would shoot carbon arrows in the 300+ fps range. The main thing that has changed over the years is that the bows have become shorter and lighter. I’m not convinced that a shorter and lighter bow is worth $500 to $800. But hey, it’s your money!

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Treestands

If you’re not experienced in using treestands, it’s best to just leave them be. There are far too many hunters getting permanently hurt every year from falling out of treestands or having accidents while putting them up. Find someone to help you and who will show you how to use one or leave them alone for now.

If on the other hand you do have experience with treestands, then I’d suggest buying a new one. I’ve bought several used ones that have had problems. Better to get a new one that the manufacturer will stand behind. You’ll also likely get a free harness as well. Use it!

You have several types of stands to choose from; Hang On, Ladder, Tripod, Tower or Climbing. I started out using Loc-On stands that had the plywood platforms and the chains. Geez, talk about dating myself! Now that I’m older, I look for comfort and the stands that do that for me are the Ladder stands and Tripods. However they are not a good choice for a person who wants to be mobile.

If you plan on hunting public land, you’d be wise to invest in a lock. Those treestands have a tendancy to walk away when you’re not around.

If you choose a hang-on type stand, you’ll be able to choose how to get your stand and yourself up the tree. Screw in steps, strap on steps or climbing sticks/ladders. Obviously the screw-in type steps and the strap on steps are the lightest and easiest to carry. Climbing sticks and ladders can add not only expense, but weight as well.

Good quality hang-on type treestands can be had for under $125 and many are beneath $100.

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Blackpowder Rifles

A good blackpowder rifle will run you less than $200. I’d suggest your first blackpowder deer hunting rifle be a .50 caliber rifle that will accept 209 shotgun primers as the ignition source. CVA and Traditions both have rifles like this for under $200.

A scope would be nice if you can swing it, if not, don’t sweat it. Save your money and buy one later.

If you know what you’re looking at, Pawn Shops can be a great source for good muzzleloaders and most can be had for a song.

I’d recommend trying several of the .50 caliber bullets on the market. Hornady, Thompson Center and others put out quality bullets for muzzleloaders. Next, I’d start with Pyrodex or Triple Seven pellets. They’re easy to use and come in 50 grain increments. In most rifles, two pellets will be all you need.

The pellets are pricey, but for the ease of use and the speed in reloading, they’re worth the price in my book. (not to mention you don’t need a powder measure!)

If you live in a State or region that only allows Shotguns or Muzzleloaders, then it might be worth your while to get a good flat shooting muzzle loader. I’d much prefer a flat shooting muzzleloader over a Shotgun. Check out my review of the MDM Buckwacka muzzleloader for a flat shooting, hard hitting muzzleloader.

Spend some time at the range with your new muzzleloader. Follow the directions for cleaning your gun. If you’re going to hunt with muzzleloaders, you’d better learn how to clean and care for them properly. Even the modern blackpowder rifles need to be kept clean in order to work properly.

Deer Hunting Rifles

This will probably be your biggest expense when you start deer hunting. (if you choose to hunt with a modern rifle)

Here again, you don’t need a $800 or $1000 deer rifle to kill deer. A $150 Marlin or Winchester you bought at a Pawn Shop will do the job just as well. There are many used deer rifles on the market that are just waiting to get taken out in the woods. Here is a list of 7 used deer rifles I’d recommend.

Pawn Shops can be a great source for good rifles at discount prices. If you’re on a tight budget, plan to spend less than $200. You can even find some great military surplus rifles that will be more than adequate for deer hunting.

Here’s an article you can read if you’re just beginning deer hunting and looking for a rifle cartridge. 5 rifle cartridges for the beginning deer hunter.

Gun shows are also another source for good bargains, especially late in the day on the last day of the show. The remaining vendors will be looking to sell some inventory before packing up. You’ll also find people walking the isles with For Sale signs on their guns. Cash talks so take it with you and leave the plastic behind. You’d be surprised at how a wad of green will get a Gun dealer to come down off the price of a gun!

If you don’t know much about guns, then it would be in your best interest to find a local gun shop and buy your first deer rifle there. Just as with bow shop owners, if you run across jerks who happens to own a gun shop, move on.

A good gun shop owner will help you pick your first rifle and accessories. They’ll also help you keep it under your budget.

Just like with the blackpowder rifles, grab you several different brands of ammo. Find what shoots best in your rifle.

Cabela’s sells bulk ammo for several popular calibers like .270, .308, 30-06 and 30-30. It’s 100 rounds and comes in a waterproof ammo box.

If you really want to go cheap, learn to reload. You can reload on the cheap by grabbing you a reloading manual and a Lee Classic Reloading Kit along with some powder, primers and bullets (follow the instructions in the Reloading Manual and Lee Reloader set to a “T”)

The Lee Classic Reloader Kit comes for many popular calibers and the kit sells for about $20. If you have several rifle or pistol calibers you’d like to load for, then look at the Lee Hand Press reloading kit at around $35. It uses standard dies so you can switch from caliber to caliber. A reloading manual will cost you about $15 to $25 depending on which one you go for.

If you’re really on a budget or live in one of the Midwest states that prohibit rifles, then break out your Shotgun. There are many choices when deer hunting with a shotgun. You may have a Shotgun like a Mossberg or Remington where you can exchange the smooth barrel for a rifled barrel. Or a barrel with rifle sights on it. So don’t feel left out if you can’t afford a rifle or live in an area where rifles are not allowed. If you can use a Shotgun, grab it and run to the range. Try out several different brands at 25 and 50 yards to see which one shoots best. You can then move back further and further until you reach 100 yards. That’s just about maximum for most Shotguns with slugs.

Summary

So there you have it. Let’s go over what we have.

  • Hunting Outfit(s) bought at Military Surplus or Discount Store – $100
  • Boots – $20 for cheapo’s or $125 for better quality
  • Deer Scents and Calls – $0
  • Bow set, Arrows and Broadheads – $275
  • BlackPowder Rifle and Accessories – $300
  • Modern Rifle or Shotgun – $200

See, getting started in Deer hunting doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg. Many times we get caught up with keeping up with the Jones’ thinking we have to have the latest and greatest gear. If you can afford it and it makes you happy, know yourself out. On the other hand, if you want to get into the sport of deer hunting and don’t have a lot of money, this is how it’s done.

Good Luck and share some of your hunts with budget gear with me. You can even send me a picture, maybe I’ll post it and share the story with other deer hunters here!

Click here to find the Best Cheap Hunting Gear available in 2017!

Best Gifts For Hunters – Christmas and Birthdays

Okay, this is the first such list I’ve ever written. I got the idea from my good readers. Several of your Better Halfs emailed me and asked what should they get their deer hunters for Christmas. Some held me to a price range, some didn’t. So I sit down and made a list of all the cool stuff a Deer Hunter could want for Christmas or as a gift. Sadly, I had to narrow it down to just 10. Somehow a post title “2001 Gift Ideas For the Deer Hunter On Your Christmas List” seemed a bit long! Now all you have to do is email this list to your Spouse or Better Half or just print it out where they can find it.

So, here are 10 gift ideas for the Deer Hunter on your Christmas list. They vary in price range so that anyone can afford at least one of them. You Guys and Gals can thank me later!

Hunters Specialties Butt Out 2 Big Game Dressing Tool

Hunters Specialties Butt Out 2 Big Game Dressing Tool
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars. Click the image for discounts and customer reviews!

Cost: $9.99Amazon-Buy-Button

Some of you may remember back last year when I did a review of the Butt Out Tool. Every time I use this, I can’t believe I didn’t invent it. It’s so darn easy to do and makes a crappy job (pun intended) easier and cleaner. Get this for your Deer Hunter, they will thank you the next time they field dress a Deer.

 

Presto 08800 EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener

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4.4 out of 5 stars from over 1900 reviews. Only $26!

Cost: $25.99 (35% off)Amazon-Buy-Button

If it’s one thing I love more than a great gun (okay, maybe I should have said ‘as much’), it’s a great knife. I don’t know why, but I just feel a special connection when I’m handling a good knife. So it only stands to reason that I have used nearly every sharpening system known to a Hunter. Diamond hones, Arkansas Hones, etc. You name it, I’ve tried it. Nothing has ever given me a great edge like the hones I bought nearly 20 years ago from Razor Edge Systems. If you have trouble maintaining a correct edge on your knife while sharpening, then get the Presto EverSharp. I’d recommend reading a book and/or watching a video if you’re not skilled in bringing a knife to a razor sharp point. Click here to buy the Presto 08800 Eversharp Electric Knife Sharpener. I’d recommend getting your Deer Hunter one of their kits.

Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License

fishing-licenseCost: Varies from State to State

I’m not sure if every State has a Lifetime Hunting & Fishing License. I do know that Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas do. These make excellent…and I mean EXCELLENT gifts for your kids. They’re also not too shabby for other Deer Hunters in the Family if they do not already have one.

My Dad bought my Oklahoma Combo Hunting and Fishing license for my 16th birthday. Back then, they were $225. I can’t tell you how many times these have paid for their self. I’ve lived in different states for about 15 years of my adult life and it was always a great feeling to know I could come back to Oklahoma and hunt or fish without having to buy those expensive Non-Resident license! Contact your States Wildlife Department to see if they issue Lifetime License and the procedure for obtaining them.

Grace USA Original Gun Care Screwdriver Set

Grace USA Original Gun Care Screwdriver Set
Rated 4.8 out of 5 from over 70 reviews!

Cost: $33.99 (23% off)Amazon-Buy-Button

I hate working on a gun or scope mounts with regular screwdrivers. In fact, I won’t unless it’s an emergency. Regular screwdrivers are not designed to work with the screws that hold your gun together. They’re tapered and do not grab the screw properly. Few things in life are as ugly as damaged gun finishes caused by someone using a regular screwdriver on a gun.

Get yourself, or the Deer Hunter in your life, a Gun Care screwdriver set from Grace. These are the nicest and most durable set of screwdrivers I’ve used. I’ve had a set for over 10 years and it has saved me from screaming curse words many times over while working on my guns. The set I’d recommend is the Grace USA Original Gun Care Screwdriver Set.

Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS

Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 250 reviews!

Cost: $181.70 (10% off)Amazon-Buy-Button

Even if your Deer Hunter goes hunting behind your house, they should always have a compass or GPS unit with them. Nowadays many hunters are carrying these little handheld GPS units with them hunting, fishing, hiking and camping. Many more are using them for navigation while driving.

I prefer the basic GPS units. I just want to know where I started from, my waypoints(stand locations or fishing spots) and where I’ve been. I don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with many of the GPS units on the market today. The Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS has all these features and a few more, but not so many useless features as to leave you needing a 300 page manual to figure it out.

KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife with Hard Sheath

KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife with Hard Sheath, Black
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 410 reviews!

Cost: $55.95 (48% off)Amazon-Buy-Button

Recently I went shopping for a hunting knife. Since I recently move and I’m in the middle of a renovation, all of mine somewhere in a storage building and I had no intentions of digging through the building and finding them. I have to say, I was more than disappointed with the current crop of mass produced “hunting knives” on the market today.

Too many come with crappy plastic handles. What’s even more disheartening is the designs? Who is designing our hunting knifes? Klingons? These things look like something out of a Science Fiction movie! They’re crap! I did finally locate one of my fixed blade Case hunting knives (by accident).

I’ve had this particular knife nearly 20 years. If you’re like me and love a good hunting knife, try buying a custom one. There are many good knife makers out there who know how to design and build a hunting knife. I personally like a blade between 6 and 7 inches long with a drop point.

KA-BAR Knives makes several excellent hunting knives. Consider them an investment you can hand down to your children. You can also shop on ebay and find hunting knives by up and coming knife makers. The only thing is about ebay is you’ll have to sort through a lot of junk but there are some jewels there! There are many fine knives for you to choose from once you get past those. We no longer have to choose from the crap that mass producers push on us.

NRA Membership

nraCost: $35 per year

I think every Hunter and Gun Owner should belong to the NRA. If not, don’t whine when you guns or ammo are taxed or legislated away. Although other organizations are out there to help Hunters and Gun Owners, only the NRA is large enough to actually help us.

I don’t agree with them 100% of the time, but at least they have the muscle to do something. By the way, if you don’t know about The American Hunters and Shooters Association, stay away from them. They’re actually an anti-hunting, anti-gun group formed by the Democrats to try and divide NRA members to lessen their impact on elections.

For a political party to go to this extreme in starting and organizing an association to try and trick Sportsmen and Gun Owners, should show you in easy to understand terms, what they have in mind. By the way, the link above is not to their site, it’s to the NRA’s Fact Sheet on The American Hunters and Shooters Association. You’ll learn a lot more at that site.

Amazon.com Gift Cards

amazon-egift-cardCost: $10 and upAmazon-Buy-Button

I use to think Gift Cards were cheesy. I still do in a lot of ways. But I understand us Deer Hunters can be a hard lot to buy presents for. So if you have a Deer Hunter on your Christmas list and you don’t know what to get him or her, go to one of the online retailers and purchase a gift card for them.

There are many to choose from. But Amazon.com is by far the best due to the huge number of hunting items and hunting books they sell. This way, they can get what they’ve been wanting and you come out smelling like a Rose!

Magazine Subscriptions

huntingmagazineCost: $15 and up depending on the Magazine

Magazine subscriptions are gifts that keep on giving. When I was a kid, one of my favorite birthday or Christmas presents were magazine subscriptions to Outdoor Magazines. Back then, my favorite were the “Big Three”. Outdoor Life, Sports Afield and Field and Stream.

This was back in a time when they still wrote excellent articles about hunting and fishing. Back before they went Yuppiefied and starting writing crap like kayaking on Alaskan Bays or Biking down a Yosemite trail. I haven’t picked one of those magazines up in ages. They have forgotten who their readers are in my opinion.

Instead, the magazines I tend to pick up now are ones like Fur-Fish-Game, Deer and Deer Hunting, North American Whitetail (not real crazy about this one either), Bowhunter, Muzzleloader Magazine and Traditional Bowhunter. Two others that I highly recommend are Backwoods Home and The Backwoodsman. Both are excellent magazines although they’re not entirely hunting related.

Books about Shooting and Deer Hunting

The Total Deer Hunter Manual (Field & Stream): 301 Hunting Skills You Need
Total Deer Hunter Manual Rated: 4.9 out of 5 stars from over 40 reviews!

Cost: $10 and upAmazon-Buy-Button

Just as with my magazine choices, the books I read on Hunting and Shooting tend to be older. It seems the older I get, the less I can stomach most of the commercialized junk that gets passed off as Deer Hunting literature. Some of my favorite authors are Charles Alsheimer, Peter Fiduccia, John Weiss, Leonard Lee Rue III, Gene and Barry Wensel and a few others.

If you’re Deer Hunter is really into Shooting and Hunting, try getting them some books that are out of print. You’ll pay dearly for them, but they’ll be a unique and original gift! Some of my favorites are any book by Jack O’Connor, One Man’s Whitetail by Gene Wensel, BowHunting Rutting Whitetails by Gene and Barry Wensel, Bowhunting Alaska’s Wild Rivers by Jay Massey. Actually, any book by the late jay Massey is an excellent gift.

I have several signed books of his and hold them dearly. I also like “How To Bag The Biggest Buck Of Your Life” by Larry Benoit. The original has long been out of print and is quite pricey. There was a new printing of the Paperback a few years ago and they’re in the normal price range of books. You can find any of the books I listed here by searching Amazon.

Click here to see more of the Best Gifts for hunters!

Okay, so there you have it. 10 gift ideas for the deer hunter on your Christmas list. Yes, I wrote “Christmas!”. I hope you have a Merry one at that! There’s no need for you to get another blaze orange tie with Deer on it or a Sweatshirt with a Big Buck on the front. Now you have an idea what your Deer hunter really wants! If you have some unique or unusual Christmas gift ideas, please leave a comment and share them with everyone else.

Hunting Gear List – What do you need for hunting?

Hunting Gear ListChoosing the right gear for hunting is an easy task. Where you hunt and the way you hunt will dictate what gear you’ll take hunting and deer hunting.

Obviously if you’re hunting 100 yards from your vehicle, you’re not going to need a backpack, tent and camping equipment or other gear that someone hunting miles from the nearest road will need!

For the sake of this article, I’m assuming that you’re hunting public land from your vehicle or from a base camp.

Here’s a list of hunting gear you should have for a day hunt:

  • Multi-Tool W/Leather Sheath is a must have no matter where you hunt. You can never tell where you’ll need a set of pliers or a Phillips screwdriver…or even a bottle opener! This tool will pay for itself many times over. I wear one on my belt every day and I’m still amazed at how many uses these tools have and how often I seem to need them! The knife blade is even adequate for field dressing a deer.
  • A Compass is also a necessity, even if I’m hunting near the vehicle. Should you have to trail an animal, you never know where or how far it may run. Finding you way out after dark can get a little tricky if you don’t know which way you’re heading.
  • A GPS unit is also handy if you want to pay the money for one. Unlike the Compass, you do have to remember to check the batteries and carry extra’s.
  • A Quality Hunting knife is a must have. Sure, the blade on a Leatherman will work, but it’s not as good as a sturdy 3 to 4 inch blade. That’s all you need to field dress any Deer. You can always spot the Newbies in the field, they’re carry Rambo type knives!
  • Folding saws are also very handy. You’ll find them a necessity for not only cutting shooting lanes in the early season, but they can be used for a variety of other uses such as cutting the pelvic bone on a Big Game animal or other bones.
  • Parachute cord and a short length of rope. When a daypack goes kaput or you have a “wardrobe malfunction” in the woods, nothing is more handy than a section of parachute cord. You can tie Deer’s feet together and a myriad of other uses. A stout length of short rope should be brought along to drag the animal out. I prefer the harness type systems now on the market but I have put a rope around a buck’s neck and the other end around a short length of sapling and pulled many bucks out of the woods.
  • A first aid kit is also a must. You can find many small pocket sized first aid kits in most of the Outdoor Catalogs such as Bass Pro. You never know when you’ll need it and it can be the difference that keeps a minor injury from becoming a life threatening one. They’re a small price to pay for the value they add.
  • Flashlights are also another must have. I generally carry two of the mini-maglites with spare batteries. They put off a great amount of light for their size. They can be your best friend when it’s dark and you’re miles away from your camp or vehicle.
  • Waterproof matches and a Bic lighter. Yeah, I carry both! I carry the waterproof matches in a waterproof match container. A Deer hunter can’t be too careful! I also carry a couple 35 mm canisters with cotton balls soaked in lighter fluid or commercial type firestarters. It can be tough to get a fire going when everything’s wet!
  • A short length of duct tape wrapped around a pencil. I’m killing two birds with one stone here! If I’m hunting in a state that requires you to sign your tag with a pen, then I wrap the duct tape around the pen. I also carry a pocket size notepad.
  • Water and a few snacks round out the gear I take on short day hunting trips.

This may sound like a lot of stuff to carry around. It really isn’t. I keep most of this gear in a zip lock bag wrapped up either in my fanny pack or one of the pockets on my pants.

Choosing the right gear for Deer hunting can make or break any Deer hunt. Be prepared for the unexpected with your own deer hunting gear kit!

Click here to find more of the Best Hunting gear to add to your Hunting Gear List!

Best Survival Kit List – Great for Hunters, Fisherman and everyone else!

Click here to find the best Survival Kit package!

survivaltipsRecently I was planning a Deer hunt for a section of National Forest and throwing together a little survival kit for day hunts. When I called my buddy and asked him if he had his survival kit together he asked “What for?”

It then struck me that many Deer hunters do not give a Survival kit serious thought.

That’s understandable seeing that a majority of us hunt land that is fairly close to a road. On the other hand, there are also many Deer hunters who head off into vast tracks of National Forest, BLM or Timber Company land every year who get lost. Some make it out alive while a few others don’t.

Wilderness Survival Is No Accident

There’s no excuse for a Wilderness Hunter coming out of the woods in a body bag. All it takes for a hunter to survive in a Wilderness setting is a plan and a few basic tools and skills.

The first thing in your Survival kit should be some type of firestarter. While I’ve carried several different versions of the firestarters, I’ve also created my own from cotton balls stuffed into 35mm canisters and soaked with lighter fluid.

I also carry a waterproof match case with matches and a BIC lighter. I also carry a magnesium fire starter. You can’t have enough fire starters in my opinion!

Other Items To Include In Your Survival Kit List

Here are other things you should include in your Wilderness Hunter’s Survival Kit.

I’ve found a kit like this is easy to stash in a fanny pack. It’s there and does not hinder my hunting. I forget all about it unless I need it! A small Survival kit like this would have saved many Outdoorsmen over the years if they would have taken time to assemble such a Survival Kit.

Click here to find the best Survival Kit package!

Shot Show: New Hunting Shotguns

The crowds have gone back to their shops and the vendors are hoping for orders. This year’s Shot Show in Orlando, FLA, has ended. The NSSF has left the building. But take stock (pun intended) on the latest and greatest shotguns for us upland hunters. When these guns will actually be on your dealer’s shelf is anyone’s guess. I’m still looking for a Ruger Gold Label. How about one of thoseRemington 105 CTi? Maybe I’m not looking hard enough. So without further adieu, here’s a look at some likely guns for grouse, quail, and pheasant.

Smith & Wesson is back in the shotgun game. You might recall they pitched a line of semis about 20 to 25 years ago. Well they are jumping back into the market with a new semi and side-by-side. Ruger and Marlin think the side-by-side is an idea that has come full circle again and they all are probably right. The S&W Elite Gold comes in 20-gauge in three popular stock configurations: straight, pistol grip, and Prince of Wales.

shot_show_smithwesson_EliteGold

Keeping with the “gold” theme started by Ruger a few years back, Savage, like S&W, seem to think that the word ‘gold’ in the model name and double barreled guns go shell in chamber. Savage’s “Gold Wing” over-under shotguns come in all the prerequisite gauges—12, 20, 28 and .410—and are built on frames that are gauge specific, so the 20-gauge model hopefully won’t feel like and over weight 12-gauge.

shot_show_Savage_GoldWing

The ersatz LC Smiths from Marlin are now being chambered in 28- and 410-gauge.
shot_show_Marlin_LCSmith_28gauge

Ok, who has some experience with Benellis? The new Benelli Cordoba comes in 20-gauge. Tell us what you think about your Benelli and let’s see which of the Big B’s (Browning, Beretta and Benelli) are really worth the price of admission. Does a cryogenically treated barrel really put more pellets on target? The ComforTech stock takes some getting used to. It’s not easy on the eyes.
shot_show_benelli_cordoba

And Beretta fans now have an enhanced AL391 Urika. The new Urika 2 has an improved gas system that allows for more shooting between cleanings.
shot_show_beretta_al391urika

New York: 10-Year Pheasant Plan

ny_logoThe State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted a new plan for wild and state-propagated ring-necked pheasants for the next decade. The plan incorporates information gathered by DEC biologists and input from sportsmen with the goal of fostering and continuing the tradition of pheasant hunting in NY for years to come.

NY’s wild pheasant population has declined by more than 90% since peaks in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Numerous factors contributed to the decline, but the main causes are loss of fallow grasslands for nesting and brood-rearing, a decline in grain farming, and expanding commercial and residential development. Most of the pheasants hunted in NY come from the state’s pheasant programs. More than 100,000 pheasants are hatched for fall stocking. The new plan includes:

  • Establishing an area in western NY to concentrate efforts for wild pheasant management. By using available resources, the state hope to determine if increasing wild pheasant populations is possible under current biological, social, and fiscal conditions.
  • Extending pheasant hunting seasons in most areas of the state to provide greater hunting opportunities.
  • Reducing the size of the cock-only hunting area in western NY to reflect changing habitat and land use.
  • Discontinuing the Young Pheasant Release Program (YPRP) after 2010, while continuing the Cooperative Day-old Pheasant Chick Program.
  • Increasing adult pheasant production from 25,000 to 30,000 birds annually beginning in 2011.
  • Discontinuing the supply of adult birds for field trials.
  • Establishing one or more pheasant hunting areas for people with disabilities.