Hunting should be safe and enjoyable just like any other activity, right? To achieve this, you need to have a two-way radio for hunting. These radios are sophisticated gadgets that offer clarity and weather resistance features.
A variety of two-way radios are rugged in nature, and they offer vibration mode for incoming calls. Others have eavesdropping reducers and privacy codes that help filter broadcasting that may come from other radio users.
A two-way radio keeps you company whether you are hunting alone or with partners. When hunting alone, you can use a two-way radio for fun while you can use it to keep in touch with others when you are with partners.
Apart from keeping a constant connection with others, a two-way radio delivers alerts and necessary information for safety purposes. A mere shouting in case of an emergency may not bring help. However, a radio will help you give a detailed report of your plight and location, which an emergency whistle can’t.
A two-way radio is a must-have in some workplaces to make communication easier and coordinate staff when exploring the wilderness. They are popular with professionals and casual users due to their wide range of features.
The market offers too many products, and selecting a good one for your hunting can be hectic. This guide will make it easier for you.
The Midland GXT1050VP4 two-way radios are perfect for the everyday user. Theymeet the expectations of a professional and a fanatic hunter. It has many useful hunting features as it is designed for hunters.
Firstly, it covers a range of 36 miles of an open area without obstacles. Also, it can cover 4 miles of an area with thick bush and dense woods. It is the best choice if your target does not exceed a 5 miles range.
Amazingly it comes with different modes of power. Firstly, youcan recharge your batteries conveniently in the vehicle as it uses rechargeable batteries. Secondly, you can charge it using the four AA batteries, no worries about battery life when in the field.
Surprisingly, it comes with a whispering mode feature that enables you to talk in low tones to avoid scaring away from the animals without compromising the sound’s quality. Also, it contains the group and direct modes of calling, making it easy to communicate flexibly with a team or a person.
It is not fully resistant to water and can experience damage when exposed to water for a long time. Careful hunters should not hesitate to buy it as a perfect gadget unless they drop in deep waters for a long time.You can enjoy animal call and headset support features.
The GXT1000VP4 is more waterproof than the GXT1050VP4, which makes it the best choice for bad weather. You don’t have to worry when carrying it outside.
The waterproof feature means that it is resistant to water splashes, rain, and it can survive when submerged in water. This feature helps it to work best in severe weather conditions, therefore, extending its life.
The midland GXT1000VP4 containsNOAA weather alert feature. Hunters spend long hours outside, making it impossible to predict how the weather is going to be. The ability of two-way radio to receive reports on weather guarantees safety.
It comes with charging options that are user-friendly, meaning you can use the base charging station or use rechargeable batteries, thus ensuring convenience and flexibility for hunters. You can also use the AA batteries or charge in, either way, making the battery last longer.
It allows the hunter to communicate in a silent mode as it supports the headset. Hunters can focus on hunting as their hands are not occupied. It’s good for those who love camouflage.
This two-way radio is the ideal option for seasoned hunters as it can help them find their way. It comes with a flashlight, which is a practical and outstanding feature. The flashlight lightens your way and helps you to read the map when you get lost, which is convenient for new hunters or veterans when they visit strange places.
This two-way radio is waterproof, enabling the hunter to enjoy the services after unpredicted rains or when they have to go through the river. This feature prolongs the life of the radio, and therefore you can use it for a very long time.
Additionally, you can recharge this radio using a USB port. You don’t need to worry about the battery life when you are in the field, as you are easily recharged from the vehicle.
It is easy to communicate with others conveniently after reading the backlit display.
All the settings remain as programmed, and you cannot change them on the computer, although it might be necessary to make changes. It is convenient to use at night.
The Motorola MR350R can withstand bad weather conditions. This tough model is easily portable, with a lot of useful features. It’s convenient for high mountain hunting.
This model receives the FRS or GMRS frequencies, although you need to seek access to GMRS frequencies from the federal.
Another wonderful feature is that it supports AA batteries or rechargeable batteries. You can find the charging adapter in the package, making it easy to recharge by the adapter. You can also choose to purchase new AA batteries.
This lightweight model is easy to carry when hunting on dense woods or in hills. It also comes with a belt clip with big enough buttons that you can press easily without looking at them.
Another feature is the vibrate function that enables you to receive calls in asilent mode to avoid scaring animals. This feature makes hunting easier.
However, the hunter should be more careful during adverse weather conditions to avoid dropping the gadget in the waters. The belt can also slip off easily as it is not rugged.
The Midland LXT630VP3 is ideal for wild hunting as it provides high-quality sound and a high range. A big team or a demanding hunting activity requires this model.
It covers up to 30 miles in open areas with less or no obstacles. This range is very wide and is ideal for hunting in dense woods. Thick woods might also not affect this range.
This two-way radio also comes with a weather alert feature that may guide the hunter to plan properly before undertaking the task. It ensures the hunter is well protected from dangers.
It is a small, light, and compact model to carry that allows the hunter to carry it easily when hunting outdoors.
Another feature is a voice calling activity that is important when the hunter is busy calling. The hunter, therefore, concentrates on hunting as their hands are free.
The Cobra Electronics MR HH450 CAMO is ideal in situations like unpredictable weather conditions or hunting near a river.
Its water resistance ability is at the highest level. Apart from being resistant to slashing water and rain, it can float on water. It cannot be damaged even when submerged in waters. The radio also prevents the water from entering into the speaker, thus maintain quality sound.
The silent operation enables the hunter to communicate silently, which is essential when wild hunting.lack of these features in your gadgets can scare away your target prey.
Hunters rely so much on weather reports that come with this two-way radio. These alerts help hunters to prepare accordingly to avoid terrible weather conditions.
The hunter does not have to fear battery life as it supports both the AA batteries and the rechargeable lithium batteries. So the hunter can pack extra AA batteries or just recharge them.
However, the hunter has to operate these two-way radios manually as it does not have a headset. Some hunters may opt to ignore this shortcoming and focus on the extraordinary water resistance feature.
The Retevis H-777 is the most economical of all the other two way radios. Beginners can start with it considering its low cost and the practical features.
The most important feature is the emergency alarm that alerts hunters with less hunting experiences. These alerts can signify potential dangers like fires and mudslides. The hunter can, therefore, take the necessary measures to avoid these dangers.
It also comes with a backlight that lights the way ensuring that the night hunters do not experience confusion.
Also, you can enjoy a private conversation from your partners, supported by the secret codes. This function ensures that you are not bothering other people and that you protect your stealth.
This two-way radio uses a rechargeable battery and a removable one that can always charge separately. It offers a USB port that enables direct charging. You can also regulate the power according to your need using the low or the high power modes.
Based by the number of similar products in the market, choosing a suitable two-way radio can be challenging, especially to seasoned hunters. The variety offered in the market can be more confusing. Below are the key features to consider when buying a two-way radio.
The best two-way radio should have a powerful battery to avoid fast run out of power, which is disappointing. There are many options for two-way radio in the market. First, you may select the one using AA batteries and take some alternatives to use when you stay for long hours outside. Another option can be buying the one that uses rechargeable batteries that you can charge in the vehicle.
You should consider buying a two-way radio that is water-resistant and rugged to avoid frequent replacement that might be costly and inconvenient. It should withstand exposure to harsh conditions like mud, dust, rain, stumbles, or even reels.
A user-friendly two-way radio should cover the required hunting range. A wide hunting range full of obstacles requires a two-way radio wide enough for it to function well. You should consider the transmission of a two-way radio claimed to cover more than 35 miles because most of them work best in flat land. It needs to have a better antenna and an in-built repeater channel for it to work best in dense woods and thick bushes.
It is possible to experience terrible weather conditions that may get you into trouble. Therefore having a two-way radio that provides NOAA alert feature in place is important as it will alert you in advance. These will help you to do some preparations to avoid injuries.
You also need alerts and warnings to signal potential emergencies like fire, landslide, and mudslide. Based on those warnings, you can protect yourself and other partners by sending distress signals.
The calling mode design affects the efficiency of two-way radio. Hunters may have different game goals that may call for different calling demands.
In cases where you need to communicate with only one partner, the calling mode should not bother other members. A group mode calling applies in situations where more team members should cooperate to achieve a certain goal.
Noise from your radio should not scare away your prey. Hunters should pay attention to the stealth of a two-way radio they want to purchase because a hunter should concentrate on holding hunting tools.
A perfect two-way radio should support the headset where some are connected through Bluetooth, a wire, or just a compatible dual. This function is important and should not miss on your list.
There are great options in the market. When stuck, always visit this review where any pick in the list will serve you better and to your satisfaction.
It is normal to find shooters walking into an active shooting activity without ear protective gear. But, do they understand the risks involved in the long run? How many hunters above 60 years still have good hearing?
Although hearing every shot to a duck, elk or deer is important, it erodes your hearing abilities, robing hunters one of their important senses. At times this goes to an extent where a hunter cannot properly engage in a conversation. The damages caused to the ears can either be temporary or permanent.
Wearing ear protection does not only protect the hearing loss, but it also saves a hunter from using hearing aids in the future. However, good news to the hunters is that they can prevent themselves from permanent conditions like tinnitus and induced hearing loss.
Facts indicate that a single gunshot can cause a permanent hearing loss. Over 85 decibels of gunshot noise can cause has negative impact to a hunter’s hearing capabilities. Remember a normal shot ranges between 130 -180 decibels louder whether it is a give or take.
The effectiveness ofa hearing protection gear is based on the NRR (Noise Reduction Rating). Therefore,the higher the NRR, the higher the hearing protection you get from a device, resulting in the reduction of exposure to loud noise.
While Earplugs are better than hunting on naked ears, earmuffs are effective for shooting and hunting ear protection.
It is important to wear ear protection when exposed to noisy environments and when you enter any shooting range. Luckily there are better options available on the market to address the problem. This guide will make it easier for you to make the best choices that meet your needs.
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These electronic earmuffs are by far some of the most popular earmuffs you will see at the range. They work really well to block loud noises and amplify quiet sounds.
If you want to protect the eardrum from excessive pressure produced by the gunshots, I recommend Howard Leight Impact Sport. They come with a slim profile that cannot affect a hunter’s cheek weld when undertaking a long shot.
The product is fairly priced although their price is much higher than that of regular ear muffs or normal earplugs. However, they provide greater performance compared to other cheaper form of electronic hearing protection out there.
So, apart from protecting your ears, they improve your hearing abilities as well. Most hunters prefer them because they are easy and simple to use as they have an adjustable headband.
While, the inbuilt NRR 22 decibels, provides hearing protection under normal circumstances, you can enhance extra protection by combining them with earplugs.
Also, they allow the hunter to have normal conversations with their partner. Consequently, the user can hear little sounds like that made by an approaching deer. They are ideal for both waterfall and big game hunting.
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This device is a comfortable design and has a noise reduction rate of 26 decibels. It cuts down all the unwanted sounds, as well as amplifying low sounds while you can still hear background sounds.
They are simple to fold around the cups making it compact and easy to store. Also, the adjustable headband features allow users to adjust to their desired sizes and fittings.It comes with soft ear cushions and a deep earcup design that provides comfort when worn over long hours. They are ideal for airport ground personnel, forklift drivers, industrial workers, and maintenance mechanics.
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This product works really well compared to other options in the market. They have high range definition speakers that produce a superior sound.
Even though they have a higher noise reduction rating stand of 23 decibels, you can still hear sounds from outside the muffs. This sound is directed to the ear through the alumni directional microphones at a delay of .02 second.
The user can easily control the volume even when wearing gloves as it is featured with a ridged off and on control model. The razor slim Electronic Muff has the AAA batteries than prolong its battery life.
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The Honeywell Sync Wireless garget allows the hunter to talk and work wirelessly, ensuring safety to theirears. It is also possible to connect with other Bluetooth devices for calls and music.
The microphones are effective in noisy and louder environments as it picks only the voice of the user, thus ensuring clarity in the audio output. This device can also rotate to your back to avoid destruction when not in use.
The headband is made of tough steel that improves its durability hence its overall lifespan. Also, the ear cups and the headband have added padding for comfort and extra protection.
This hearing protection model limits the sound output to 82Db, thus protecting the headphones. It also comes with the airflow technology, which ensures noise is well managed across all frequencies.
The 32Db rating of SNR and a 25Db, NRR ensures proper hearing protection for you to continue enjoying your work and hobbies.
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This gadget offers the highest flexibility as you can easily connect to your audio device or phone through wired or wireless connections. While it is ideal for connecting your devices through Bluetooth for a wireless experience, you can switch to an audio cable when you need a more reliable connection.
The device comes with adjustable features to fit different head shapes and sizes. The headband has ventilations inform of cutouts to give you comfort when hunting for long hours. Also, the rubberlike shell texture around the ears provides a comfortable seal around your ears.
This gadget applies the dynamic suppression time to measure the energy of each gunshot noise to set the suppression time, which eventually reduces echoes, thus increasing overall comfort. Based on the NRR, the device protects 26Db, which is an ideal range for you to enjoy shooting or hunting at the range.
By using the device, you have the option of switching between the 2 AA batteries and the Li-on rechargeable battery. You can, therefore, choose the charging option that fits your needs. Also, you can replace your AA batteries when they run out of power or recharge your rechargeable battery to save more time ad money.
The lightweight design and the low profile of these headphones ensure no distractions when shooting. Also, thee cut out design provides a resting place for the gunstock at the lower part of the ear cup. This design allows the aiming down of the gun with the stock without a feeling of awkwardness.
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These earmuffs provide you with hearing protection in all noisy environments. You can also perform activities like landscaping work, lawn mowing, and machine operation without risking your years to induced hearing loss.
These earmuffs have an NRR rating of 29 Db, which provides very high noise protection. The NRR from this device is tied with the Mpow HP102A.
This device supports FM radio, which is a unique feature of it. There is, therefore, the best choice for people who like listening to their favorite radio when carrying their everyday chores. You don’t need to connect to a device as it has a high sensitive inbuilt antenna and a channel memory which allows you to access your programs by scanning your radios frequencies.
This earmuff allows you to have a wireless or a wired connection to your phone. You can choose to connect with either your Bluetooth or a standard jack cable for a wired connection. Additionally, Bluetooth syncing will allow you to connect two different devices at the same time.
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This earmuff comes with soft ear pads and PU leather that is friendly to the skin. It offers a comfortable snug fit since the earpads rest easily around the ears.
Also, it features an adjustable headband that accommodates users of different head sizes and shapes. This feature allows the headphone to distribute its weight which eventually reduces pressure on the head.
This headphone reduces noise to its lowest level, the reason why it has an SNR rating of 36Db, and an NNR rating of 29Db. Also, the foam pads offer a tight fit around the ear, ensuring blockage of excess noise into the year.
This device features precise controls and buttons that allow you to navigate and adjust to your desired audio connections and volume. You can also answer your calls when necessary.
As a user, you have the option of connecting your audio device or mobile phone via a 3.5mm audio input or Bluetooth. This flexibility allows you to connect your devices to your preferences.
The above recommendations can be a great place to start for beginners. Also, you should consider the following factors before buying a hearing protector.
Noise Reduction Rating
The main function of hearing devices is to reduce noise from the outside environment. Always ensure that the noise reduction rating is included in the description. The NRR measurement determines how well the hearing protection device protects against excessive sound levels. This higher rating is also ideal for people with sensitive ears, damaged areas, or those exposed to high levels of sound.
Ear Muff’s Size and Weight
The electronic muffs should be compact and less bulky. The cup needs to be to its minimal size to accommodate most users.
You can find ultra-slim cuffs on the market although they might be expensive. Another factor to put into consideration is the head size. However, these devices are unisex and can, therefore, accommodate a wide range of measurements.always go for earmuffs equipped with an adjustable band because they will help you to get the smallest or the largest size to fit your needs.
Important features contribute to comfortability include, the texture of the foam that makes the headband and also the weight of the headset. Very tight ear muffs do not offer comfortability and may result in neck ache, headache or slip offs when less expected.
Electronic earmuffs come in square, oval, and rectangular shapes. Users feel better on one form than the other.
Electronic ear devices are very much affordable. Also, make sure you get the value for money when you go for the expensive category. At this stage, you can always experiment with the cheaper ones before upgrading to the most expensive ones.
Key Additional Features
You should target those devices with additional features like convenience, comfort, and protection. Other detailed additional features include; building a microphone, antimicrobial materials to prevent allergic reactions since the device will be against the skin.
Water Resistance – Ear muffs that are water-resistant are durable as they can withstand harsh weather conditions and any other form of dampness that may be caused by sweating. Prolonged exposure of these devices to moisture may reduce their functionality.
Foldable Ear Muffs –foldable devices are easy to carry around as they also occupy less space. It also means that they are not prone to breakage when bent accidentally.
Microphone – devices that come with microphones allow you to connect to other external audio devices. You can switch to your favorite channels.
Color choices – Although black is the common color of muffs, manufacturers have now produced different colors to fit your style and preferences.
Protective Case – Every user needs a protective case to store your device or to protect it when traveling.
Warranties, guarantees, and return policy
For you to feel confident, you need to ensure that return policies and guarantees are included in the purchase. This policy should indicate the actual dates when these policies expire.
Coyotes are fast-moving scavengers. They naturally camouflage making it hard to hunt them in daylight. The use of an excellent thermal scope work best at night to overcome this nature. Also hunting can never be fun with the use of wrong devices.
A thermal scope helps the hunter to see things clearly at night and over long distances. A good optic should show a clear picturein the dark to help you hit on moving objects. Some have extra features that enhance your shooting accuracy.
People unfamiliar with technology find it hard to make the right choice of the best thermal scope. For starters, some hunters are not sure as to whether thermal scopes are legal or for military use only. Is it legal to hunt coyote with a thermal scope? Well, this guide will help you choose a thermal optic tool that will meet your shooting needs.
Animals such as hogs, deer, and coyotes emit a certain amount of heat at night, invisible to the human eye. Thermal imaging sensors can easily detect this heat. Thermal imaging sensors can detect a hidden animal by creating a heat map based on the animal’s heat signature.
The surrounding environment of an animal carries some degree of heat. The thermal imaging differentiates between the temperature in the surrounding of that of the animal. The lens, inside a thermal scope, receives the heat signature of the target image. Based on the scanned signature, a thermogram The viewer can see the thermogram through the thermal scope.A thermal scope can work through haze, smoke, and debris.
Although thermal scopes are expensive,there are varieties to choose from depending on your needs. So, what is the best thermal scope on the market? Well, I will answer that by recommending at least 7 best night vision scopes that are highly effective for coyote hunting.
Below is a list of the best thermal scope you can find in the market.
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This scope resembles a military-grade scope. People familiar with AN/ PAS-13 thermal gadgets from the US military find this scope perfect because it is relatively light. They also find it perfect because they can easily navigate settings bymany stick control thumbs.
The REAP- IR Mini enables an individual to engage targets in any kind of light as it gives a continuous day-night transition from a single quality optic. The optic uses a 640 by 480 sensor, a 12-micron cutting edge to provide clear thermal images to civilian shooters.
This thermal scope has all the features that a civilian shooter expects to find on a high-end optic. The REAP –IR Mini has a unique edge to detect mode that you cannot see anywhere else. This unique detect mode helps outline downrange targets, which reduce image brightness, preventing night blindness in the targeted environment.
REAP-IR, like Trijicon, produces rugged and dependable optics. This gadget must go through military standards for testing and design. The 6061 aircraft grade of aluminium provides upto one-meter waterproof protection to the REAP-Mini.
It is also easy to get close to nocturnal targets because of the 8x digital zoom, which comes with the REAP-IR optic. There are five different reticle designs in the market. The Picatinny rail amount feature makes it perfect for some modern sporting rifles and AR-15.
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The best long-distance thermal scope available on the market is the Pulsar Thermion XP50. The thermal imaging sensor has a high quality cutting edge and germanium optics that provide 2000 yards detection range when combined even in total darkness.
Pulsar has a reputation for producing sharper, more precise, and detailed FOV, and Thermion XP50 does not disappoint. This feature enables one to identify targets more easily. Through thermal optic, the images are sharp enough even at long ranges.
It is easier to change between colours from colour palettes for more enhanced viewing. Through Thermion XP50, it is easier to store videos and thousands of still images from a digital recording.
It is perfect for coyote hunting as it has a rugged and lightweight metal that can withstand wet and harsh weather conditions. It can also mount upto 30mm scope rings on a riffle. The Thermion XP50 can recoil up to 375 H&H for hefty calibers and 12 gauge for shotguns.
Why Pulsar ThermionXP50
FLIR, packed with high tech features and lightweight thermal riflescope. This thermal scope comes with a high definition FLCOS display and Boson Core Sensor that helps in delivering sharp and clear images in both total darkness and low contrast daylight.
ThermoSight Pro helps in capturing the best hunting moments through activated video recording. If you are looking a memorable hunting experience, use ThermoSight Pro PTS 536 to store 1000 still images or record a video of upto 2.5 hours.
It is easy to personalize ThermoSight Pro features by using different colour pallets, reticle colours, and reticle types. It also has a digital compass, an inclinometer, and a range finder technology.
Surprisingly this compact optic is ragged despite it weighing less than 1.5 pounds. The ThermoSight Pro consists of a durable aluminium body that can withstand bangs, drops, and bumps in the field without skipping a beat.
Tactical shooters and hunters are eagerly waiting for the quick release of Picatinny rail, making it easier to swipe out optics when the need arises.
The ATN ThOR 4 is packed with high tech modern features, although it has a traditional look of a rifle scope. It comes with an internal dual-core processor that increases thermal sensitivity after reducing image pixelation, enabling it to produce sharp contrast images, even in dark environments.
The ThOR 4 also comes with a ballistic calculator for reading humidity and temperature. It also shows and calculates angles to target adjustments, shifting the burden of calculations to the installed calculator. Therefore no need for having a paper, a pen, and a different calculator.
It can keep a record of multiple weapon profiles despite the weapon used and even giving specific reading every time it is needed. It also works on tough long-range shots perfectly.
The ThOR 4 also records internal videos where you can stream high-resolution videos to a mobile phone and, at the same time, store it on an SD card.
This compact can withstand tactical conditions and rough hunting due to its durability. Its battery does not last long despite having an ultra-low profile.
Why ATN Thor 4
Budget-conscious shooters and beginners have found the optic guru to be relatively cheap compared to other thermal optics. This thermal scope lacks high tech features like ballistic calculations and wifi streaming. However, it focuses on the most critical matters of detecting heat from the target object through the fog, smoke, vegetation, and total darkness.
This optic is made of hardened aluminium alloy, making it durable. It is also rugged and dependable, where it resistant to higher calibre weapons due to its recoil. The theOpticGuru Thor LT provides the best value for money.
Why TheOpticGuru Thor LT
This scope represents the latest uncooled FLIR core technology and Tau 2 VOx microbolometer from America. It can work in the snow, dust, smoke, and atmospheric humidity and detest downrange targets.
It features various colour modes, digital zoom, video recording, wireless remote control, and a warranty of 10 years. These features are consolidated in a compact, just like a shooter wants it.
The Predator 640 is easy to install and user friendly even to beginners, therefore controlling the market. It has a locking mechanism that is compatible with MIL-STD-1913, Picatinny rails, and weaver.
Why Buy FLIR Predator 640
This clip-on Thermo from Trijicon has a simple design, but that does not mean that it has fewer features. The SNIPE-IR has a top-quality best optical features and a 640-680 sensor. It produces clear, crisp, and high-resolution images, even in absolute darkness. It can also be used as a standalone thermal monocular or as an independent sight.
The Trijicon SNIPE-IR is tough and can withstand harsh weather and rough use because it made of aircraft 6061 aluminium grade. It is one meter protected from water damage. It has other great features like image capture, easy thumbstick controls, and a Visrelay Collimating optic that ensures your daytime optic is a seamless operation.
The No Shot Zero sight in SNIPE-IR attracts many users and non-users as it makes it user friendly.
Some of the most important factors to consider before buying a thermal scope include;
Weight and Size
The internal technology installed in a new scope can make it weigh more than a traditional one. You should consider the size and weight of your thermal optic, especially if you have to carry your rifle through long distances of dense woods and rough terrain.
An excellent thermal scope should be compact and also weigh less for easy portability when hiking.
The materials determine the thermoscope durability. The use of poor quality material means that the thermal scope will wear out very fast. Aluminium is the only material that can withstand adverse weather and rough activities.
Many other thermal scopes come with vibrant coloured images, although many also offer white and black options. They display heat signatures as lighter or darker on a greyscale. The monochromatic photos do not excite the eyes but are friendly to the eyes, especially in total darkness.
The setting colouring feature in some models enables you to choose your favorite color or select a brighter colour for easier identification. You can also choose black and white when working in a misty environment.
A thermal scope with miserable battery life may disappoint when you are ready to shoot a coyote. To avoid this, you should check on the battery life of a riffle before purchasing. A good battery should last the whole night.
The range at which your device can detect heat signatures from animals and objects is essential. Devices have different detection capabilities. The range of your optic should be lower than that of your riffle because thermal imaging technology has a shorter detection range.
Some of the available thermal scopes give upto 16 times magnification while others do not have this feature. Magnification is either digital or optical, while its level depends on the shooting pursuits.
A thermal scope with an optical magnification will produce an image of high quality when zoomed to the highest levels.
Digitally magnified images will produce blurred images at maximum levels because they use software to expand an in-camera image.
The technology concerning thermal imaging is expensive, such that prices add up to five figures. It is rare to find one priced under the 100,000 dollars.
This price may seem expensive to some people, but it was much higher than this a few years back. With improved technology, these prices will be much lower and affordable in the coming years. To get a quality thermal scope, you have to be willing to dig deeper into your pocket.
Reticles help at aiming accurately to the object as it is in the form of markings and patterns inside a scope. Reticle designs can either be centre dots or simple crosshairs that elaborate MIL-dot configurations.
It is easier to choose a design that you prefer or the one that suits the task at hand from the several pre-programmed reticles with a high-end thermal scope.
Some thermal scopes have one reticle, while some do not have. Before settling on anythermal range, make sure that the reticles suit your shooting needs.
Ease of Use
A thermal scope should be easy to operate and handle. The interface that it comes with it should be easy to operate. Also, the additional camera features should not make it hard to perform the imaging camera’s core functions.
It should have at least three buttons that allow different functions to avoid going through the whole process by using a single switch when you need to perform a different purpose.
Also, it should have a minimum number ofbuttons to avoid confusion when hunting, as it can be frustrating.
The digital technology in thermal scopes digitally displays viewable images. The screen resolution determines the clarity of your pictures. When your photos are clear on your thermal scope, it means your images will also be clear. Low-resolution screens will make it difficult to achieve specific targets even though you may be using an excellent scope sensor.
Some thermal scopes come with in-built software that facilitates easy pixelation for the production of more detailed images.
You should invest in a high-resolution thermal scope. Thermal imaging’s primary use is to make it easy and quick to spot an object or an animal. This technology lacks a detailed night vision standard, which can make it hard for hunters when shooting. Higher device resolutions make it easier for hunters to make effective and quick shots.
Other Important Features
It is wise to invest in thermal scopes that come with extra features like extra bells and whistles. These are fancier models that you may opt to based on the price tag.
Others include; ballistic calculators, digital compasses, wifi streaming, GPS location, laser rangefinders, and recoil activated videos.
Hunting dogs have high energy levels than the usual pets. These scent hounds, gun dogs and or bird canines need special treatment even though they are of the same breed. Specific nutrition, which contains optimum levels of fat and protein, keeps them healthy and helps them perform well.
The food you choose should contain micro-nutrients that support digestive and immune system, promoting healthy joints and bones. The best diet should digest slowly to keep your canine energized. It is essential to allocate enough time for researching the best type of food for your hound.
You should account for the time and amount you feed your hunting dogs to avoid some of the health problems. Hunting canines are different, and their diet should match the number of hours that the hound is working.
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Wolves, excellent hunters inspire the diet. Blue buffalo wilderness is perfect for growing hunting puppies that require lots of energy to run, swim and play. A puppy fed on this diet becomes a dependable hunting canine as it helps it in building endurance.
This formula consists of deboned chicken, which is delicious and also a source of protein. The protein content is 30%. The recipe also features turkey meal, chicken, and an egg, which helps in building muscles. The diet is excellent for puppies because it is grain-free. It satisfies the dogs’ love for meat.
This formula helps in maintaining lean muscle mass for your hunting dog. Other healthy carbohydrates like carrots, peas, and potatoes satisfy your dog’s inner wolf.
This diet contains phosphorus and calcium, which are essential vitamins for the development of healthy bones. Also, it includes antioxidants that help in fighting diseases. It features DHA, a vital fatty acid available in the milk of a nursing dog mother. DHA is essential for cognitive retinal function and its development.
It also contains fatty acids like omega 6 and 3, which promotes a shiny and healthy coat and maintains strong teeth and healthy bones. However, you should observe your puppies make sure they don’t get sick because some are allergic to chicken.
This diet is the best choice for all canines and breed sizes with specific diets and weight management. It is the best choice for dogs that need grain-free food rich in protein or free of wheat, corn, or soy.
Contains chicken protein
It is a grain-free formula
It contains added calcium
Try to minimize this product, if your dog is experiencing stomach problems.
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Solid Gold Dog food is a holistic dry food that’s nutritious and tasty, suitable for all breeds and sizes of hunting dogs. Therefore, it is appropriate where there are puppies, adult dogs, and overweight dogs. With a protein content of 38%, it is ideal for fuelling hunting dogs and satisfying their unique nutritional needs.
The formula also contains high-quality real meat, which provides proteins and a whole egg that provides amino acids that ensure that your hunting dogs have healthy active metabolism and lean muscle development.
It contains moderate levels of calories and carbohydrates. The 16 nutrient-packed superfoods, in it, acts as the best diet for your pets. The fiber and proteins in the diet help maintain gastrointestinal health as it is packed with fiber and proteins such as Salmons glam, quail, and venison. The rich fiber is protected by probiotics, which ensures that they stay viable and alive before consumption for your pet to achieve a healthy digestive gut. Coldwater salmon added supports healthy muscle development.
The formula contains both omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which provide a better immune system and improves the dog’s skin and coat. It comes with several recipes that are easy to choose from, and also, the dogs can adjust to it quickly.
The varieties to choose from include duck, buffalo, salmon, and krill meal. It is a grain-free diet that does not contain artificial colors, soy, preservatives, wheat, or corn.
Contains a healthy blend of calories and fats
Healthy digestion aided by probiotics
Includes cold water salmon in the 38% of protein
Contains antioxidants from 16 superfoods
The protein level in this product is high. Therefore, recommend for active puppies
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This brand is a favorite of many dog owners because of its taste and high-quality protein sources that you’ll get with this brand of food. It contains real ingredients, vegetables and fruits, real meat, and no grain fillers, wheat, and artificial ingredients.
This diet contains whole eggs, flounder, deboned chicken, deboned turkey, and mackerel. Therefore, it provides foods rich in minerals, carbohydrates, and vitamins, all of which are essential for an active dog.
The food is suitable for active hunting dogs that ran and hunt all day long due to its high protein percentage. The formula is tasty, and many dogs enjoy their tastes because of organ meat and cartilage in the food. You can as well mix with old dry kibbles when introducing to your pup for the first time to diversify the quality of protein that your dog is going to get to help them be as healthy and happy as possible.
The diet contains a good source of fruits and vegetables, like kale, apple and carrot, which are good sources of phytonutrients that are good for your dog’s health.
The formula Contains real meat, veggies, fruits, and eggs.
Does not contain grains
It has many ingredients
It’s a high-quality product, the product might cost you more
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This formula is ideal for hunting dogs that train a few times a week to achieve good results. These formulas feature fine-tuned protein to fat ratios to support different levels of activities and are ideal for all life stages.
Performance 30/20 formula
It is easier to choose from a variety of different packages available for Purina Pro Plan Sport Formula. It contains 30% protein and 20% fat hence commonly known as a 30/20 formula. These percentages help in building lean muscle mass and also help in metabolism. The amino acids help in muscle nourishment when a dog is fed after exercise.
Added glucosamine helps to strengthen joints and mobility. The varieties to choose from include chicken, salmon and rice, and turkey that contain flavors, grains, artificial colors, corn, wheat, or soy.
It contains an easily digestible formulathat helps in nutrient absorption. This formula is suitable for dogs with strong stomachs. However, those with sensitive stomachs will need additional food with less processed ingredients.
The salmon formula contains more omega-3 for your dog’s skin and coat, it leaves the dogs with shiny coats, bright eyes, good muscle tone and they like it. I recommend this for any active dog below the age of nine.
No colors or added flavors
Have different sizes
Best served after exercising
Contains a 30/20 formula
It might cost more but my puppies love it.
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The dried food formula contains 88% of protein, from pork, fish, chicken, and beef meal sources. It is a scientific and nutritional balance that supports high performing dogs with their daily needs of energy.
The 20% fat provides the dog with enough energy. Each cup of this meal contains 406kcal of calories. It is mostly fed on nursing females or pregnant females and puppies.
The formula also contains essential micronutrients that keep your dog healthy. The omega oils ensure healthy skin and immune system, while selenium yeast helps the dog fight diseases by maintaining a healthy metabolism.
The mineral content helps in maintaining the paw pads, while the probiotics and prebiotics help support a healthy digestion system.
It contains 88% of chicken, pork, or premium quality beef.
Best for sporting pups and others who are physically active
High nutrients which support all growing stages of puppies and also pregnant and nursing females
It contains essential ingredients that promote a healthy digestive and immune system.
Fortified with minerals, protein, vitamins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids
small pets may find it difficult to feed on its bigger kibble size
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This premium dry food contains 32% of protein, which is essential in building lean and healthy muscle. It also includes a higher percentage of energy, which is 370 kcal per each cup of serving. This diet fits a dog’s metabolism because it contains a grain-free recipe that is ideal for wolves.
This premium diet is recommended for your puppies until they reach adult height and weight. Roasted venison and roasted bison provides a type of protein that is easily digestive and flavored to entice the dog.
It also provides complex minerals and vitamins that support the health of a hunting dog. Vegetables and fruits in the recipe contain antioxidants, which are also found in peas, blueberries, and sweet potatoes. They also provide selenium, vitamin E, and zinc, which are essential in providing a healthy immune system.
Roasted venison and bison give the diet a good taste
The smaller kibbles are suitable for little puppies teeth development
High protein qualities for active pets
Contains amino acids and proteins for strong and lean muscles
No grain, wheat, corn, artificial flavors, or preservatives
Highly digestible vitamins and minerals
Scientifically safety protocols in production
best for highly active dogs
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This premium dried food contains sweet potato and buffalo as the main ingredients. Each cup serving contains 342 calories and 38% of protein. The glucosamine and chondroitin in it, helps in keeping the joints healthy and strong.
The whole foods in the recipe have been designed for easy digestion. The omega oils also help to keep a healthy coat. Balanced minerals and vitamins maintain the overall health of a hunting dog. It is a grain-free diet and contains probiotics that ensure fiber remains viable before the consumption of a healthy digestive system.
It is a grain-free meal with no gluten for easier digestion
The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids maintain the shiny skin coat
It has high levels of chondroitin and glucosamine for healthy joints and hips.
May not be suitable for animals with liver or kidney problems
Hunting dogs need fats in their diet as a source of energy. This energy gives them the endurance that they mostly need. The amount of fats in their diet depends on how active they are. The amount can differ if it only hunts once or twice a month.
The activity levels of your dog should determine the number of calories in their diet. Hunting dogs need more calories than traditional pets during the day. If your pet hunts more often, it should be getting more calories, which supports this high energy level.
People overlook the importance of carbohydrates in a hunting dog’s diet. A few complex carbs should be included in a well-balanced diet. However, you should pay attention to these carbs’ sources because they determine the canines’ sugar levels. Brown rice and sweet potatoes are the best sources of carbs and avoid whole grains.
Dogs tend to love this type of food because it is high in protein and less in carbs. These cans preserve the diet hence reducing the number of preservatives in the formula. It is easily digestible and does not cause bloating. However, it is crucial to check on the labels as some brands may include harmful or non-beneficial ingredients and jellies.
Dry foods have high nutritional values, suitable for dogs developing teeth, more comfortable to store, and affordable. It is the best food for the most active hunting dogs. However, the dogs get dehydrated very fast and may demand to be supplied with water more often.
You can achieve the best meal by mixing both wet and dry food. A combination of different ingredients prevents your hunting dog from getting used to one type of food.
Hunting dogs belong to the canine world of athletes. They, therefore, need special diets to perform at their best and to be healthy. This specific diet should contain high levels of calories and moderate levels of fats and proteins.
The best hunting dog food should also contain micronutrients that promote their immune system and give a healthy digestive system. The formula also should strengthen healthy joints and strong bones.
A particular time timetable of when to feed your hunting dogs is necessary and the amount to avoid some of the health problems that may come up.
Go for a whole meat diet and avoid meat by-products. Meat should be the main ingredient. It is easier to differentiate the entire meat diet from a meat by-product diet. The latter contains bones and does not include the name of any particular type of meat.
Look for a full meal that provides complete nutrition to your pets. It is easier to get this type of food from products approved by the Association of America Feed Control.
Consider the pros and cons of canned, raw, or dry food.dry food is more comfortable to store and affordable while canned, contain fewer preservatives, and hydrate. Fresh food becomes the best option for those who can get it frozen or prepare for themselves.
Aim at buying foods with no preservatives, and if they should have, it must be natural. The natural ones are vitamin c ( ascorbate) and vitamin E (tocopherols). Avoid BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin.
Consider the safety of the foods on your retriever or flushing dog. Ensure it is of the highest quality by checking on the brand and manufacturer to see if they meet your hunting dog’s needs. You should not go for the most expensive diet as it is not always proportional to quality.
According to recent surveys, roughly 1 million upland bird hunters annually travel outside of their home states to pursue game.
Now one million hunters out of 10 to 12 million may not seem like an overwhelming number, but don’t be fooled by this. In real terms, the dollars involved are tremendous.
Thus, it behooves sportsmen to do everything possible to maximize their dollars and get what they want from a hunting trip.
Over the seasons, I’ve gone on a fair number of bird hunts with commercial outfitters. Some of them have been excellent, most have been at least satisfactory, while a very few were wash-outs. The question here is: how do you avoid the wash-outs; how do you put together an outfitter/hunt that will provide the services for which you are paying?
Several times a year, people ask me about upland bird trips; where to go, who to go with and how to go about setting up a hunt. These folks aren’t necessarily searching for the hunt of a lifetime. They want what we all look for in a guided hunt; enough birds, reasonable accommodations, decent dogs, competent guides. And we have every right to expect that these features will be part of any trip we book.
As a general rule, cost will determine what you get. A small preserve that charges $50 per day can’t provide much more than the birds you’ve paid for and a place to shoot them. This doesn’t mean small preserves don’t have a spot in the scheme of things, but they can’t offer anything beyond the basics. There are services which only provide guides. Leaving the hunters to find their own lodging and meals. Other stripped-down operations are available for clients who are interested solely in hunting and are willing to stay in fundamental cabins and eat rough-cooked camp meals. On the higher end of the cost spectrum are lodges which offer a full range of service. Typically, these will run between $300 per person per day to as much as $1,000 (or more) per day for quality facilities and personal accommodations. Hunters looking in the $300 (or less) range can usually book a hunt to satisfy all but the most demanding sportsmen.
One of the most important facts about an outfitter-guided bird hunt is, though they are costly, the expense is well justified. I’ve heard literally hundreds of hunters say, “I’m not going to pay someone to take me hunting. I can figure out where to go by myself.” Truth be told, the bulk of them can’t. There is little point to driving 1,000 miles for a long-anticipated hunt only to run into a multitude of posted signs, fumble around in strange country for week, spend a lot of money on gas, motels and meals. All that just to shoot two or three birds and then drive 1,000 miles home! A much better deal is to book with a quality outfitter and shoot a limit each day and have a good time doing it. As much as not, the difference between a fine hunt and a lousy hunt is the couple of hundred extra dollars paid for an outfitters services.
|Traveling sportsmen may choose to hunt multiple species, however, it is often wise to set up a hunt for a primary bird and view others as icing on the cake.|
That said, let me lay down a ground-rule: when selecting an outfitter, do your homework. Gather all of the advice you can dig up on the type of hunting and the area before the hunt; the outfitters responsibility usually doesn’t kick in until you arrive at his place. Here are some guidelines for getting started.
That sounds foolish, but it isn’t. Too many hunters never get beyond the “I want to go on a hunting trip stage” before booking with the first operation they see listed in a sporting magazine. They might get lucky, but the odds are much higher they will not have the hunt they hoped for or, worse, get burned outright. By this, I’m not saying all outfitters are slick shysters out to take your money. However, unprepared hunters won’t know what they have bought into until its too late.
If you have booked a wild bobwhite quail hunt, don’t conjure images of 50-bird coveys. That happens only in dreams. Or perhaps it’s a hunt for wild pheasants on Midwestern prairies; don’t expect to see a thousand birds daily or to have relaxed strolls in the fields. In that same vein, be truthful about your physical condition, both to yourself and to an outfitter. Don t imagine you can hike 10 to 15 miles a day, over rough ground, for three to five days if your longest walk in a decade has been to the fridge for dessert. Don’t be disappointed if all of the guide’s gun dogs aren’t world-class. If you are reasonable, there should be opportunities to take game under the conditions he offers.
|Professional outfitters, hunting good cover, means that clients get birds, regardless of the game they are after.|
You should decide what you want to hunt before ever booking your hunt. This is another bit of advice that sounds silly. It, too, is not. If you want to shoot pheasants and nothing else, that makes it simple. Go to a prime area for those birds, with an outfitter who specializes in hunting them. But many sportsmen want to hunt multiple birds to maximize their time. That’s fine, but it can change the complexion of a hunt. It’s best to have a primary game bird in mind and pursue the others if opportunities arise. By way of example, I’ve shot at least four types of birds on what were mainly pheasant hunts: ducks in early morning, pheasants and quail during the day and prairie chickens in the evening. But the thrust of such hunts was always pheasants. If the others worked out, fine. If, for some reason, ducks, quail and chickens couldn’t beedged-in, the pheasant hunt was still in place. Remember, no outfitter can do it all well.
Other features means what, if anything, is important to you besides shooting birds—what extras would increase the quality of your overall experience? These extras can be high-quality accommodations and gourmet meals or the beauty of a surreal metropolitan area for purposes of sightseeing; while others thrive on backcountry experiences. To some sportsmen, the hunting itself is only part of the story.
In sum, all of this means think seriously, and well in advance, about what you would like from a hunt, and you will be far more likely to get it.
Herbicides are an extremely important tool for wildlife management. They are usually more effective, less costly, and produce longer lasting results than many cultural practices currently used.
This article will focus on improving wildlife habitat and enhancing hunting opportunities at the same time using two basic chemistries – imazapyr and glyphosate.
Imazapyr (ARSENAL, CHOPPER) is an example of a highly selective herbicide. Selectivity means that certain plants are tolerant and will not be harmed (they will, in fact, be released) by over-the-top broadcast applications (see Tolerant Plant List).
These plants can be lumped into three main groups – legumes (partridge pea, lespedeza, beggarweeds, etc.), rubus (blackberry, dewberry, etc.), and pines, which are all tolerant of imazapyr.
Glyphosate (ROUNDUP PROÒ, ACCORDÒ) is an example of a non-selective herbicide, i.e., it will control a very broad spectrum of plants. The plant species that will be released and will recolonize (i.e., those plants that are tolerant) and those that will be controlled is largely a function of the chemistry that is chosen.
Here we will focus on three ways to use herbicides to enhance wildlife habitat and improve the “huntability” of your land. These include enhancing native herbaceous plant communities by controlling low-quality hardwood brush, installing interspersion index enhancement features (spoke & hub), and establishing shooting lanes, stalking trails, and wildlife corridors.
Low-Quality Hardwood Brush Conversion to High-Quality Herbaceous Plants
Many forest understories in the South are choked with low-quality hardwoods like sweetgum (see Photo). They form a dense canopy and shade the ground, virtually eliminating herbaceous plants. Bushhogging and prescribed burning do not control the root systems of low-quality hardwoods and, in fact, may make the problem worse. Hardwoods produce an average of almost 10 new sprouts per rootstock after mowing, for example. The best method to control low-quality hardwood brush is to spray with a herbicide. Use imazapyr in pine dominated forests and use glyphosate in a mixed or hardwood dominated forest when applying broadcast. Apply in the fall in 25-50 GPA with ground rigs (rubber tired skidder, agriculture tractor, 6X6), or in 10 GPA in pine forests with a helicopter (imazapyr only). Conduct a cool, dormant-season prescribed burn at least six weeks after spraying. This will stimulate the native plant seed pool in the soil which will germinate the following Spring and recolonize the understory (see Photo). Subsequent prescribed burning regimes are a function of the wildlife species preferred but usually will rotate from 1- to 10-year intervals. Shorter intervals of 1-3 years are best for quail while 3 to 5 years favor turkey. Intervals of 5-10 years favor whitetail deer.
Interspersion Index Enhancement Feature – Installing a Spoke & Hub
When properly installed, these should resemble a large turkey foot from the air (see Photo), with a minimum of three and not more than five lanes. They represent one of the best hunting experiences imaginable and are extremely well suited for young pine forests. During site preparation, be sure to use imazapyr (no tank mix) to ensure that preferred wildlife food sources will be released. Installation can be conducted with a disc during stand establishment (pine planting) or with a sawhead feller buncher, a bulldozer, or by using the injection method of herbicide delivery in older-aged forests. Stump removal, if desired, can be accomplished with an excavator or they can simply be allowed to decompose. The best method to use during installation depends on a number of factors. Consult an experienced wildlife biologist who is familiar with their installation to avoid costly mistakes. I like to establish the initial width at around one chain (66’) keeping individual spoke length at 100- 400 yards, largely depending on the topography, proximity to adjacent habitats, and the shooting skills of the landowner or guests.
Manage the edges for ecotones, or transition zones, comprised of native plants (broomsedge, blackberry, sumac, forbs, etc.). Keep the ecotones variable in width, usually from 10-30’ wide on both sides. Side-trim to remove undesirable hardwoods with the appropriate herbicide spraying a swath 12-18’ wide. Model 140 BoomBuster nozzles work best. Eventually, disc (one pass) a wavy lane on the right side and bushhog (one pass) a wavy lane on the left side of each lane (see Photo). Plant the interior with agricultural plants and maintain both warmseason and cool-season varieties or mixtures. Lime and fertilize before planting to obtain optimal growth. Tie the ends of each lane into another habitat type or food plot by installing travel corridors. The interspersion index (a numerical value relating to habitat types) goes from one to over 40 with proper installation. Quail, breeding songbirds, neotropical migrants, turkey, rabbits, and whitetail deer will use these features. Install an elevated hunting stand in the back center of the hub about even with the tree line. It may be necessary to prune overhanging branches along the edges to increase the available light and enhance viewing. During thinning operations, these lanes can be used as skid trails while the hub can serve as the log deck.
Corridor Establishment – Shooting Lanes and Stalking Trails
One of the best ways to practice Quality Deer Management (QDM) as defined and promoted by the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), is to enhance the ability of hunters to observe deer for a longer period of time prior to harvesting. Better harvest decisions can then be made with respect to protecting yearling bucks, harvesting does, and harvesting management bucks with poor antler morphology. One way to accomplish this is by installing shooting lanes. Forests (pine, mixed, or hardwood) where natural travel lanes already exist are usually chosen. First, map out all deer trails in the area. Second, choose a site for a ladder stand, lock-on, or climber. Next, using a compass or GPS, lay in a flag line that intercepts two or more deer trails. Then, selectively remove appropriate trees until adequate sunlight and observation is reached. The deer trails should intersect at 90-degree angles or at least quarter into the lane. I usually use a Shindaiwa B-45/P.J. Blade combination for small diameter stems (<2” Diameter at Brest Height or DBH) and an Husqvarna 340 chainsaw for larger stems (2-4” DBH). Physically remove the trees from the site. For larger trees, use the injection method and leave standing. Apply a cut-surface herbicide to the stumps to prevent sprouting. Each shooting lane should be 100-200 yards long. Keep the lanes around 50’ wide but vary the width down to around 30’ in places. Consider slope and aspect when choosing the site and keep the prevailing wind direction in mind when selecting stand locations. Alternate stand locations can be chosen when using climbers, depending on wind direction. I usually keep the number of lanes to one or two in these situations. Disc the interior with a square-wheel-type disc, fertilize, plant, and disc again (see Photo). Stalking whitetail deer is some of the best hunting there is, and proper management can help this too.
To improve your chances stalking, install a trail system that dissects different habitats. With these, the denser the vegetation the better. Start with an aerial photo of your property and select areas that may primarily be used for feeding, bedding, and escape cover. Do not penetrate deer sanctuaries that should be near the center of your land. Flag your trail carefully prior to installation. Try to identify existing deer trails and include as many 45- to 90- degree angles as possible with both right and lefthand corners. Keep your straightaway to around 40 yards or so (see Photo). Mow the trial initially with a small tractor or ATV and a 4’ bushhog. Prune the lower limbs of the inside of each corner. Spray a 36’ swath around 30 yards in length with imazapyr to release legumes and rubus where appropriate at a 90-degree angle on each side of each straightaway, staggering them. Fertilize the entire trail system, including the sprayed lanes. Apply glyphosate in a 2’ band in the middle of the trail to expose bare dirt and remove all vegetation to maintain silence while hunting. I like to conceal the entrance and exit from view. After the initial installation phase, refrain from driving an ATV or tractor on the stalking trail again. Wear rubbersoled boots and use some of the new clothing that locks in human scent when hunting. Hopefully, the information contained in this article will help you to enhance wildlife habitat on your property and will make your hunting experiences more enjoyable. For additional information feel free to contact me at any time. Good hunting.
Note: If are you unfamiliar with the use of herbicides for wildlife habitat management, consult an expert. Herbicide rates and tank mixes are complex and site specific and should be prescribed by professionals. Always read and follow the label directions exactly.
When it comes to good hunting dogs I have to admit that I am far from being an expert on the subject. In fact when it comes to a good gun dog you will get as many suggestions and techniques as you will ever want if you ask enough people. The proof is in the pudding as they say, and the proof of a good gun dog is realized in a waterfowl blind or in a grassy upland field. It is then that the old saying” When the tail gate drops, the B.S. stops “ comes into play.
I have asked for the assistance of my good friend Jeff Foiles who is owner and operator of Foiles Migrators Strait Meat mallard, and honker waterfowl calls. Jeff also holds more calling titles than I have time to list here. With some good sound advice and taking the time to do it right you may well find yourself with a top gun dog to enjoy not only as a hunting companion but as a well behaved friend as well.
Let’s start with buying the right pup. Jeff advises that you should never buy a pup from a pet store, or even from the neighbor down the street who just happens to have some lab pups without checking out the dog’s bloodlines. Jeff is quick to add that not only should you check out one side of the family tree but more importantly both sides of the family tree. Good intelligence capabilities are very important Jeff stresses.
The next step in preparing a good gun dog is to find a good trainer. Find a trainer that will take the time that is needed in training your dog, Jeff adds. Many trainers take on more dogs than they can handle. When this happens you come out the loser. Jeff uses Scott Geisler from Galene Michigan. Scott trains a limited amount of dogs at one time, and takes great pride in training dogs that nearly anyone can hunt with.
Another important thing to remember Jeff says is that you yourself must be trained as well as your dog. You must know how to use the commands but more importantly you must know when to use the commands.
One of the most important steps in training your gun dog is to force break the dog. This phase of his training will take about thirty days. The force breaking training starts when your dog has gotten his set of adult teeth. This particular training teaches respect and discipline. Force breaking teaches the dog to hold onto a downed bird until you give him the command to release the bird to your hand. One great sign that your dog has learned this phase well is to witness the dog come out of the water with bird in mouth and resist the urge to shake and drop the bird.
Jeff stresses to work your dog in as many varied types of cover and hunting situations as possible. Work the dog out of a boat, or a pit blind, or in heavy cover Jeff advises. This teaches the dog to be at ease in any hunting situation. More than once in his guiding experience Jeff has seen a hunter bring his retriever to a pit blind for the first time only to have the dog jump into the pit knocking over thermos bottles of hot coffee and knocking down precious shotguns in the process. A dog that does not know how to act in the particular hunting environment that he finds himself in can ruin many a good hunt. By working him in as many types of hunting situations as you can, you will condition your dog to react properly and make a more enjoyable hunt for everyone Jeff adds.
Jeff is a firm believer in using an electronic collar. Jeff prefers the Tri-tronics collar in working with his dogs. Jeff advises that you resist the urge to physically discipline your hunting dog. All this does is make your dog scared of you Jeff says, and it also leaves him confused as to what you want out of him. When you push the button on the electronic collar all the dog gets is a sore neck, but he realizes the behavior that he was exhibiting is not acceptable and will learn not to repeat it in the future.
If you go off on the dog with a temper induced rage all you have done is give your dog a destructive lesson Jeff firmly states. Use the collar and spend the time to do it the right way and you won’t be sorry.
Blind retrieves are another important step in training your gun dog. This writer in fact has seen many a good upland dog do some blind retrieves that were nothing short of phenomenal. Many hunters use a whistle for this type of retrieve, and very effectively I might add. Again the electronic collar is custom made for this type of training. IF the dog does not respond to a your command the button is pushed for the collar and the dog is reinforced not to repeat the problem behavior.
Good bloodlines, patience, a competent dog trainer, and actual hunting experience make for all the right ingredients for a good gun dog. Jeff’s black lab Buck who has since passed away exhibited all of these qualities and then some. I often marveled at how well this dog worked when hunting geese with Jeff.
Many times the big black lab would come prancing back to the goose pit or blind with not one but two big fat honkers tucked into his velvet mouth that was so soft he could retrieve a piece of fine crystal and you needn’t worry.
Buck had more heart than nearly any dog I have ever hunted over. I remember well one bone chilling day in Michigan where I was goose hunting with Jeff. The big hearted dog came over and kept this old writer warm and comfortable by cuddling up to me in the twenty below zero cold. He was a one of a kind, and even today you will seldom hear Jeff talk of him because of the painful loss of his passing.
Great gun dogs are dogs that someone took the time to do everything right with. They are not born that way, nor are they some super natural creature. They are simply dogs that have been trained and were trainable both important factors in this complex equation.
If you want a great gun dog, follow the tips that Jeff has shared and I think you will find yourself a companion who will give you a lifetime of great memories as well as a warm cuddle on a cold winter’s day. Sleep also plays a very vital role in raising good dogs. Make sure to invest in the best dog beds for your retriever.
Great gun dog, they are made not born that way.
There is a wide variety of tree stands on the market and we’ve narrowed it down to the Top 5 bow hunting tree stands for you to peruse. A quality stand is one of those bow hunting accessories which can make the hunt more enjoyable, safer, and at the end of the day, more successful.
There’s a range of prices in this Top 5 bow hunting tree stands list so you can match your budget to one of the best and definitely get your money’s worth.
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There’s a lot to like about this lightweight climbing tree stand. It packs to just 2.5 inches thick and is remarkably lithe at 14.5lbs. The cast aluminum platform offers a generous 4+ square feet of standing room, enough to give you the positioning and angle you want for the perfect shot.
Other important features of the Alpha Hand Climber II Combo from Lone Wolf include the unique 3-D platform design for better secrecy, the bow holder molded into the platform, the backpack straps that make transporting it much easier, and the comfortably contoured padded seat with included fasteners. This tree stand fits trees with 6” to 19” diameter and is rated to 350lbs.
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This comfortable and sturdy stand features Alumni-Tech design that combines lightweight materials with rugged construction. The welded aluminum frame is very quiet and provides a secure 20×27 inch platform for mobility and comfort.
The padded climbing bar, armrest, and adjustable seat make this a good choice for long days waiting for that premium buck to swagger into range. Other top features include the power-grip chains for trees from 9” to 20” in diameter, the folding footrest for climbing ease and comfort, traction ridges on the platform and the triangular extrusions which act to enhance strength while reducing noise. It includes backpack straps and a bag for your bowhunting accessories.
The API Outdoors Grand Slam Extreme Climbing Treestand is rated to 300 lbs.
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Lone Wolf makes the list again, this time with a lightweight hang-on stand with 3-D camouflage platform and cast bow holder that fits most parallel limb compound bows.
At just 11lbs, getting this stand to your hunting zone is easy, especially with the included backpack straps. Once you get there, the 14”x21” padded seat offers more comfort as you await your prey.
The one-piece cast aluminum platform offers 26”x19.5” of room. A TMA-approved fall arrest system is included. The Assault II Hang On Treestand from Lone Wolf fits trees up to 22” in diameter and is rated to 350lbs.
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The seat on this Summit treestand is adjustable to fit your style whether bow hunting or gun hunting. Or remove the seat altogether if you’d prefer, with just a few quick steps.
A solid front bar is useful for climbing and works as a padded gun and armrest. The Summit Viper SS Climbing Treestand package includes a 4-point safety harness, Rapid Climb stirrups and the ropes and straps you need to secure your stand to trees up to 20” in diameter.
This stand is a bit heavier than most at 20lbs, but it offers a large 20×28.75 inch platform and comfortable padded seat that goes 18×12. The comfortable backrest is 12×20. The Summit Viper SS is rated to 300lbs and comes with a 5-year limited warranty.
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This is a deluxe tree stand, though heavy at 27lbs. Still, if your trek from the truck to the tree isn’t too long, assisted by adjustable backpack straps you’ll have a very comfortable and roomy treestand to hunt from.
The platform is 18×30 inches, the seat is 18×12 and the backrest is 12×20. This is a versatile stand with 2 accessory bags that can be detached to take with you.
The steel construction accounts for the weight, and also the strength of the unit rated to 300lbs. Pivoting arm grips work well on trees from 8” to 20” in diameter. For quiet, comfortable stability, the Greyback 47027Climber Treestand from Gorilla earns a spot on our Top 5 bow hunting tree stands list for this season.
Hunters enjoy a good debate about equipment and you can always get one started by asking “Climbing vs fixed bow hunting stands–which is better?”
Both types have their supporters and much of it comes to personal taste, agility, comfort level, and hunting conditions.
In this guide, we offer an overview of how climbing stands and fixed stands work, then address the pros and cons of each one and end by suggesting who should use each type.
In recent years, climbing stands have grown in popularity as better designs make them easier and safer to use. Climbing bow hunting stands consist of 2 platforms, each with a brace that is opened, fitted around the tree, and re-secured.
A seat or step below the bracket fits snug against the tree and when downward pressure is put on the seat of step, the tension holds it firmly in place. When the seat or step is lifted, the tension is released and the platform can be moved up or down.
The hunter pushes the seat platform up and secures it against the tree, putting his weight onto it to hold himself. Using his feet, he loosens the lower/step platform and slides it up the tree.
He stands on the step and moves the seat up again. In this way, the hunter climbs the tree in incremental, inchworm-like steps until the right height is reached for the climbing bow hunting stand.
Fixed bow hunting stands are also called hanging bow hunting stands. They feature platforms that attach securely to the tree with the use of chains or straps.
The back of the platform is usually straight or slightly curved to accommodate the curve of the tree. To hang the bow hunting tree stand, the hunter can climb the tree if the tree is suitable. Otherwise, a lightweight ladder or climbing sticks are used to hand and access the stand.
See below how to shoot a deer from a climbing standContinue reading
Bow hunting, or bowhunting as it’s commonly referred, is one of the most rewarding and personal challenges a true hunter will either love or hate!
There is no guarantee that you will find success when bow hunting, but it sure is worth the challenge. On some days it may be the weather that affects your shot, on others… it may be your hunted prey that won’t cooperate.
While the bow hunting guides on this website won’t guarantee success, the bow hunting equipment guides, accessories and bow hunting tips you find will definitely give you the edge while bow hunting.
The more prepared you are for the hunt, the better your odds of successfully finding, stalking and killing your prey!
In order to be successful at bow hunting, you should have the right equipment for what you plan to hunt, whether it be deer, elk or other prey. Even if you are armed with the correct bow, it doesn’t guarantee you will be successful the first time out. The key is to put in plenty of practice so you learn from your mistakes.
Hopefully, the next time out you will have a better chance at getting off the right shot and hitting your target!
When you are out in the woods or field with your bow you absolutely need to make every shot count.
Missing out on a large rack or a big hunk of meat because you came onto his turf unprepared is inexcusable, and that will never happen when you’re packing a lethal set of broadhead arrows.
Broadheads enhance penetration over field point arrows and greatly increase the damage done. More devastating clean-through shots are the results, with shorter trails leading to your trophy.
Broadhead arrows are the choice of bow hunters who respect their game animals enough to take them out quickly.
Today’s field of manufacturers is crowded with outstanding technology, razor-sharp blades that are either fixed or mechanical, accuracy that is second to none, and varying sizes to match the game you’re setting your sights on. Look for the best broadhead arrows in the business from top names like Allen, Grim Reaper, G5, Rap and NAP.
Today’s top compound bow manufacturers keep pushing the technological envelope which leads to better performance in every generation of models.
Cam designs include single and dual set-ups as well as hybrids that deliver all the power while being extremely quiet.
Another feature to look for in the compound bow you choose, from top makers like Mathews or McPherson, is a draw weight that fits your build.
While many hunters want to pull 70-lb bows for the fastest speeds and flattest trajectories you’ll do better to choose the compound bow you can handle the best while still delivering good speed and power.
The fast 70-lb compound bows can be tough for those with a medium or small build to handle, and a 50-60 pound model would serve you better. Even 35-50 pound bows will do the job. The key is to find one you can be deadly accurate with since accuracy outperforms power in the field.
Other quality compound bow brands you’ll want to consider include industry pioneer Hoyt along with PSE and Jennings. All of these compound bow manufacturers offer a wide range of outstanding products that will improve your performance while chasing the big game of your dreams.
Men have been taking down dinner with crossbow hunting bows for more than a thousand years.
The tradition continues with absolutely the most extraordinary equipment ever produced. Today’s crossbow hunting bows pack years of research and development into each model that actually simplifies the process for you – simply cock, aim and shoot while highly advanced engineering kicks into action and does what is was made to do.
You’ll enjoy tremendous accuracy from PSE Crossbows and Excalibur Crossroads while Barnett Crossbows and Horton Crossbows might give you the edge in speed.
But it’s really splitting hairs – which these crossbow hunting bows could probably do from 30 yards at 400 fps– because all of today’s top manufacturers produce models that would make Medieval man’s head spin.
Now that crossbow hunting bows are legal for use in most areas of the country perhaps it is time to see what all of the fun and hunting success is about!
While today’s compound bows are hot sellers many hunters have never lost their love for longbows and recurve bows. Still, others are continuing the method migration from rifles and shotguns to a more traditional, natural and sporting way to hunt.
Before compound bows took center stage many archery companies like Hoyt Archery were turning out world-class longbows and recurve bows and today others have entered the field.
When you peruse the highest quality longbows and recurve bows you’ll find manufacturers that are very familiar to bow hunters.
Martin Recurve bows, PSE Longbows and recurve bows, and Bear Archery recurves shoot amazingly well and are creating a new generation of adherents.
Newcomers to North America include New Zealand based Archery Imports longbows that are stunningly efficient and a pleasure to shoot. Accuracy, speed, power, and performance are all part of today’s best longbows and recurve bows.
Related: How to Pattern a Hunting Shotgun
If you can see it better, you’ll hit it more often, and if you know how far away it is your aim will be much truer. That’s the basic philosophy that drives the top makers of today’s Bow Hunting Sights and Rangefinders.
These technologically innovative products offer you advantages unheard of before – an enhanced vision with fiber optics and accuracy that lets you learn your ranges and increase your ability to put your arrowhead or bolt right where it needs to be.
When you walk into the brush or climb the tree stand with and Apex bow sight or an HHA Sports Trophy sight as part of your setup you know you’ll be on the money.
Copper John sights and Trophy Ridge models let you focus on good mechanics without worrying about distance and aim. Peruse today’s top models and make your next hunt a memorable one.
If you are going to become the most lethal hunter you can be spending some time shooting at targets is part of the bargain.
But when your bow is vibration and your wrists are hurting it’s easy to call it quits before your skills are optimized. That’s where the right bow stabilizers and releases are vital.
Bow stabilizers are crafted to absorb bow vibration so your hands don’t. A by-product of the vibration reduction is a corresponding reduction in sound, and if you’ve ever had a deer out-quick your dart because he heard it coming you know how important a quiet shot is.
Today’s best bow and accessory makers also design and offer quality bow stabilizers and releases.
The favorites among today’s hunters include PSE bow stabilizers, which are also known as Vibracheck stabilizers, Limbsaver bow stabilizers, Trophy Ridge bow stabilizers, and Apex bow stabilizers.
They deliver the job of quieting the action and sound of your bow so you can give your full attention to making your shot calm, accurate and deadly. Add one to your setup today and start shooting with more comfort, balance, and effectiveness tomorrow.
Your silent partner in taking more deer this season will by your hunting tree stands and blinds. Whichever way you go, they play an important role in concealing your presence and offering you the right shot for the situation.
Hunting stands from top manufacturers like Summit tree stands and Lone Wolf keep you comfortably situated, free to take your shot while remaining totally safe. Also, look at quality models from API tree stands and Gorilla tree stands.
When hunting from the ground makes more sense hunting blinds from Ameristep or Primos give you concealment in the woods or field. They offer portholes and windows covered with shooting mesh to let you get a stealth shot from virtually any direction.
Choosing the right hunting tree stands and blinds is an important choice when you want the best outdoor experience possible – one that includes bringing home a trophy animal of a freezer full of meat.
Most bow models are built to provide a three-inch range in maximum draw length depending on which draw length module is installed. You can determine which model you have by examining the brace height and the length of the cam.
With the help of a friend, place a full-length arrow on the bow and draw with a release or fingers according to your shooting style.
Now you can measure the arrow from your assistant’s fingers to the arrow nock. This is your draw length to use in selecting your draw length module.
Remember: When using an overdraw, your draw length does NOT change, only your arrow becomes shorter.
Note: You may decide to actually shoot a shorter arrow if your rest is located behind the riser. The actual length of the arrow should be the number you use on an arrow selection chart to determine the correct stiffness and arrow shaft weight.
You will need a yard (meter) stick, a tape measure or any long, straight object:
This will be your TRADITIONAL Draw length.
Most people have a draw length of between 26″ and 29″. Smaller people will have a shorter Draw length and taller people will have a longer one.
Once you have determined the correct module, you can fine tune the draw length to give your bow a precise feel. *To adjust to your exact draw length, enlist the aid of a friend to loosen the allen screw on the opposite side of the riser.
*Draw the bow to your anchor point and have your friend rotate the PDC until the nylon screw is in contact with the cam. Let down and tighten the PDC to lock in place.
Draw weight is defined as the maximum level of force needed to draw the bow back to the full or cocked position.
Modern compound bows come from the factory with adjustable draw-weight ranges of between 10 and 15 pounds. The most common two are bows with draw weights between 55 and 70, and 65 and 80, pounds.
That means that these bows can be adjusted within that draw-weight range to whatever setting the archer chooses. To measure the correct draw weight for you, take these simple tests.
Standing flat-footed, hold the bow at arm’s length and pull it back. If you have to “cheat”-lift the bow up above your head to achieve a full draw, it’s too heavy.
Next, do the same thing from a seated position, as if you were sitting in a treestand or ground blind. Finally, do it from a kneeling position.
Being able to draw your bow with the minimum of movement, even from weird angles, is important when bowhunting. Any extra body movement can spook an animal, so the less the better.
It is permissible to adjust the weight bolts up to 2 turns each – always equally, without releasing timing hub. However, if the tension on opposite ends of timing cables varies from one end to the other, the hub should be loosened and the bow should be tillered.
The timing cable is the small black cable running through the riser. The weight bolt is equipped with two fiber washers which, when properly greased, act as bearing surfaces allowing the steel washer to rotate freely.
The weight bolt hole in the riser is threaded with a super hard stainless steel thread insert and does not need additional lubricant unless exposed to extreme moisture. Do not use bearing grease which may allow the weight bolt to loosen on its own. Light lithium grease is recommended.
The bottom line when choosing a bow is simply this – does it feel good to you?