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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
-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.
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.