Monday, September 18, 2006

Getting Ready For the Hunting Season

Many people look at the great outdoors as a valuable time to do hunting activities. Hunting is not just another way to pass your day, but is also a way for you to create a hobby that lasts a lifetime.

Certainly adult men would not be caught dead going Trick or Treating, but when the magical time of rifle season enters the picture, many of these adult men throw on their costumes and become the "Walking Tree". They transform themselves with perfection, into something much less noticeable to the eye of the White Tailed Deer. This deer happens to be highly aware of it's surroundings, and it is important that you are one step ahead of the game.

There are many things you can do to get ready for the hunting season. Of course, some people may not be the hardcore hunter, who sits in the woods from sunrise to sunset, but if you intend to score yourself that trophy buck, you certainly want to make sure a few things are in line with your hunting hobby.

The first step is what the "Walking Trees" refer to as "scouting the area". This consists of long walks in the summer time, while investigating the area for signs of deer that have been walking through. There are different signs that can be found during the summer, and some signs will signal even more strength for a blind than others.

The most telltale sign that a deer is in your area consists of deer pellets. Of course, if you see these pellets on the ground, in a little pile, then you know there has been a deer that was at least walking through this area. That's the first sign you will probably see on your adventure.

The next sign is otherwise known as a buck rub, and when you see one of these in the area, you will definitely want to consider throwing up a deer blind. How you can recognize one of these buck rubs has to do with the fact that they take their antlers, and on a section of the tree, they rub their antlers up and down to scrape off some of the bark. This is supposed to indicate that they are the dominant buck of the area, and they wish no other bucks to share the same environment.

You can tell if the buck rub is from a large deer, or a relatively small one, depending on how thick the trunk of the tree is. You can also tell how old the buck rub is, because if it is fresh and new, the mark in the tree will be more fresh. You certainly don't want to set your blind up in an area that a buck was a dominant factor the year before.

The biggest sign you will take into account when scouting has to do with a sign that shows you a Buck definitely likes the spot you are looking at. They will scrape the ground with their hooves, in a rather large rectangular fashion, and once they have a spot clear, they will put there scent on it. This is almost always accompanied with a tree rub, and you know you hae an excellent hunting source if you find this sign in the area.

Okay, so you have seen the signs, and now you are ready to take on the next part of your hunting mission. You will keep track of this area on a regular basis, but make sure when you go out there, you don't step on spots that look like the deer is walking on. They can catch your scent very easily and will leave the scene if they feel threatened.

When the Department of Natural Resources says it is legal to put up your blind for the hunting season, you can now go back to the area and set up your tree stand or ground blind. You want to wet your finger and put it up in the air, and whichever way the wind is traveling, you want to put your blind in that area. For instance, if the wind is blowing to the left, and the signs of the area are located on the right, you would put your blind in the left. This way, when the wind blows, your scent is taken away from the deer, rather than have the deer know of your presence.

You put your blind in the right spot, and make sure that you hide it with as many tree branches and limbs of the natural trees in the area. Just make sure that you have easy access towards shooting your gun, or firing your arrows. Once you feel your blind is hidden well enough, you can now make sure your have straight firing areas towards where your bait pile is going to be.

Once you decide some good paths towards where you can put your bait pile, you will look back at the blind and remove any debris that could interfere with your shot. You want a clear shooting lane, so that you don't end up missing your buck after all of this hard work, and money that is taken for baiting.

Now you will be close to the time that you will be able to bait your blinds. There are different baiting methods. Some people elect to bait their blinds early by planting patches of seeds of the vegetation they most eat in their diet. This is completely natural, will grow back the following year, and will give more access to deer coming to your spots you have selected.

The other method involves the purchasing of corn, apples, and different vegetables. The Department Of Natural Resources will only let you bait so much at each pile you have for deer to eat from, and so this will require you to make sure you go out and bait on a regular basis. After all, what better way to know that there are deer in your area, than to see the food disappearing daily?

Okay, aside from this, there are some other things you will want to make sure are taken care of for the deer hunting season. First of all, you will need an appropriate gun or bow to hunt with. If you don't have one, you will want to purchase one, or you won't get your deer at all, but even if you do have your firing power, you are going to have to make sure it is always aligned prior to the hunting season.

If you have a bow, you will want to bring it in for a tune up at your local outdoor retail store. You can find some good prices if you call around, but make sure they are good at what they do. Their mistakes could increase the chance that you go home empty handed in the end. If you have them tune everything up for you, the next step is to take it out and practice with it.

With both bow and the gun, you will need to make sure you work with a target area. You can either work at a firing range, or you can do this on your own, in some area of the wilderness that is free of people. You will want to adjust things in your own fashion at this point, to make sure you are hitting the bull’s-eye area. If you don't hit the deer in the right area, you are more likely to harm the animal, rather than kill it, and that can be just as bad for our environment than it is for us leaving empty handed.

Once everything is in tune, and you are able to hit your bull’s-eye, you have your blind, and you have your bait, you will want to concentrate on clothing. Now, of course, this will depend on your area, but for the sake of this article, we are going to pretend there are moments when you could be dealing with below zero windshield factors.

Not all people have the hart to hunt in this kind of weather, but for those that are die hard fans, they certainly won't miss the opportunity to hunt, no matter what mother nature sends their way. In these events, some very warm clothing is very necessary for your safety, as well as the hunting pleasure.

You will always need to have something orange on your body to signal to other deer hunters that you are a human being. I know we look vastly different, but it really is true, people do get hunting fever, and if they have it, they may shoot before they actually know. Well, we don't want to have to think of that unhappy picture, so at least wear an orange hat.

It would be best in this climate to have some wool hunting accessories. You will want to have the wool jacket, possibly with a hood, if possible. You will also want to have some wool hunting bibs to go with the jacket. This will keep you warm, but believe it or not, in below zero windshield factors, this may not be enough, so make sure you purchase these items a little larger than your actual body size.

You will want some orange hunting gloves, and if you want them to be the best for the situation, you get the mittens that the cover of the glove velcrows, and you can remove it to have a bare trigger finger. This helps you to become ready the minute one of these beautiful animals enters your blind area.

A few sweaters and undergarments are also good to add to the list of hunting attire, but I'm sure you won't have to buy them, as you should have these things lying around your house. If your area is really cold, you can also purchase sleeping bags you can walk in, that are camouflaged so that you are less noticeable. They have straps on the shoulders, and you can easily slide down the top, because it has a quiet zipper. This works well at keeping you warm during those snowy days you could encounter. These bags are also good in up to thirty below zero weather.

Okay, those are the main points of hunting, now lets take a look at a few other options that can help you out. You can purchase various items that can greatly enhance the chance of getting that trophy buck.

Different scents will certainly attract the deer necessary to have a good hunt. Different scents attract either bucks or does, and sometimes even both. Now attracting the doe to the area will greatly enhance the buck because of the mating season. So using something like Tinct, will come in a variety of scents to hang around the trees or drop on the ground. These scents can either be the doe scent, so the buck already thinks they are there, or can be the scent of the buck, which will attract the doe, which in turn bring in the bucks.

Another great thing to add to your list of ingredients is the incense you can purchase at any local outdoors store. These scents include the scents listed above, as well as apple scents, and various food scents that are designed to travel long distances in the wind. More than once, my husband has watched a doe come into the blind area and walk directly up to the incense, smell and turn to eat at the bait pile. So they do really work.

You can also use two deer antlers from a previous hunt, so immitate two deer battling in the wilds for dominance. You simply smash the two horns together, and deer that are in the area will become curious as to what is going on, and will often come into the bait area.

You can also use the deer call, which is a tool that imitates the natural responses of the deer. This works good, but requires you to have somewhat of a knowledge of what the sound is like, because if the sound is weird, they just may be too upset to check out what the unnatural sound is that is being made. Anything not right, and they will not come to check it out, and will instead be frightened of the results.

Always make sure you get the salt licks that are available to add to your bait area. You may not always be able to go to the pile every single night, and at least the salt licks last a long time, and is a natural part of what they look for in their diet. You can get the better salt licks that have all of their nutrients at a higher cost, but the simple sale licks will also do.

You may also want to go to the hunting areas of the outdoor stores so that you can purchase specialized laundry detergent and body soaps, as well as deodorant. You certainly don't need these as a necessity, but the less scent you have in the woods, the more likely you are to get that big buck. Remember, scent can linger for a long time, and even though we can't smell it, the natural senses of the deer can.

So now you are pretty much prepared, and the last thing you should know is that you have to go get your hunting license. This is important, or you are in big trouble. When you get the license, also get the book that explains the rules, because you will need to know certain things. For instance, you can be in the woods one half hour before the sun rises, and one half hour before the sun sets. Different rules can apply to different areas.

Now aside from everything I have told you, also please remember to be safe. If you are hunting in an area that has a tree stand, don't forget to wear your harness, and wear it correctly. Winds up in a tree can get quite strong, and not to mention, people could inadvertantly fall asleep while they are sitting in their tree stand. You want to make sure you aren't doing anything that could cause a harmful fall.

Make sure you have a hunting buddy who knows where you are at with all times. If you do get hurt, you may not be able to get to any help, and someone knowing where you are at could mean the difference between saving your life.

It's good to have some walkie talkies for this very reason. I mean, if you can't move, but you can talk, this would also prove to be a great way to get you the help that you need.

Pay attention to the weather reports so that you know what to expect while you are hunting. You don't want to get frostbite, nor do you want to cause yourself to get hypothermia. Knowing what the temperature could possibly be like will make the weather conditions less threatening to you while you continue with this hobby.

Try not to walk through other hunter's areas, because it will seem as though you are being disrespectful, and there is an etiquette that is involved in the process of hunting. You will find many warm and friendly faces while you are out in the area, and you don't want to turn those happy faces into frowns.

Deer hunters make up one of the biggest populations of hunting, and so they can share stories with you. These stories should be listened to, because although some of them may be fictional, others are real, and you can learn from their stories of ways you can make your hunting more enjoyable.

Now certainly, this may seem like a very fun hobby indeed, but you just know inside of your heart that it is not going to be easy to put such devotion into the hunting game. Which means, you may end up spending money for nothing. Well, you can put your money spending into a hunting guide who has a job designed to take care of your needs for you. These guides will select the spot, show you where it is, hunt with you to show you what to do, and will help you to clean your trophy buck, as well as collect the meat. They often have places for you to stay where people cook good down to earth meals, and it's included in the price.

These places are valuable to the hunters who want to put meaning into their skills, but don't have the time to make all the dream possible. Knowing all of this, one thing is for sure. There is nothing more beautiful and breathtaking as the scenery found with the White Tail Buck. The wilderness is alive with trees, vegetation, and various types of other animals you are sure to encounter.

Just the love of nature will bring you back time and time again. There is nothing more special than creating memories that last a lifetime. You can fill your memories up with sites of blackbears, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, mink, otters, owls, eagles, and a host of various types of wildlife.

You will learn respect for the existence of our eco system, and have a deeper understanding as to the value of balance. You will learn from first hand experience what it's like to make it in harsh conditions, and still be able to achieve your goal. This gives every man, woman and child, the chance to build up their self esteem, and keep it.

It's better for children to sit in the woods, than it is for them to sit in the city. So designing your hunting trip is extra special when you involve your family. Show them what a great new hobby this can be, and get them interested in what the earth is like when we actually sit down and become one with it.

You do have to be a certain age in each of the states, unless you are on private land, to be able to hunt. So make sure you check what the laws are for the state you intend to hunt in, and just like you, make sure they understand what true respect for mother nature and the wild is really about.

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