7 Best Electronic Hearing Protections for Hunting 2021

a hunter wearing an electronic hearing protection muff when hunting

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.

Why is hearing protection required?

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 NRR measurements

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.

1. Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff

black colored Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff for Hunting

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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.



Fairly priced

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.


  • They come with comfortable ear pads
  • They are relatively affordable
  • Very comfortable
  • They offer decent protection at 22 decibels NRR
  • It is easy to connect to external MP3 players via AUX input for music
  • It folds well for easy storage
  • They are lightweight making easy to carry around
  • They have excellent design to help airflow
  • The volume knob allows hunters to adjust volume with ease


  • Not really good for music enthusiasts


2. 3M Peltor SV Tactical Pro Hearing Protector

2 black sets of 3M Peltor SV Tactical Pro Hearing Protector EarMuffs for 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.



  • It has an enhanced noise reduction rate of 26-30 decibels
  • Fits very well and are comfortable
  • Has a low-level noise amplification
  • They are very diverse, so you don’t have worry about gun calibre
  • They have smart listening capability for a good sound quality
  • It comes with an auto shutdown function to save battery life


  • They are simple to use but a bit bulky


3. Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muff

Purple-Colored set of Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Muff for hunting

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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.


  • It has a noise reduction rate of 23 decibels
  • It has low profile ear cups
  • They have a slim design making it easy to a carry
  • Made good quality material
  • It has mini directional microphones
  • They have a good battery life



  • The HD speakers can be really loud if not regulated


4. Honeywell Sync Wireless Ear Muffs

A set of Honeywell's Sync Wireless Earmuff for hunting

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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.


  • It has a noise reduction of NRR 25Db
  • They can connect with wireless devices
  • It has a playback time of up to 16 hours
  • The microphones can easily rotate
  • Very good noise blocker
  • Excellent for music lovers
  • The headband steel increases the durability of the headphones
  • Made of quality material


  • The wireless connection might fail between a long distance


5. Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Electronic Hearing Protector

A Pair of Black Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Electronic Hearing Protector for hunting

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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.


  • It provides flexible battery options
  • It supports both wired and non-wired connections to your audio devices
  • It has durable microphones
  • It gives a playback time of up to 42 hours
  • Has hearing protection of NRR, 26 Db


  • You might experience occasional echo


6. WULFPOWERPRO Bluetooth Ear Muffs

A piece of blue colored wulfpowerpro ear muff for hunting

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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.


  • It offers the highest hearing protection
  • It provides flexible options for wireless and wired connections
  • It can connect two different devices at the same time via Bluetooth
  • It has a playback time of around 10 to 12 hours
  • It has a voice that produce alerts


  • Has many features that might confuse a novice user


7. Mpow HP102A Bluetooth Ear Muff

1 piece of black Mpow HP102A Bluetooth Ear Muff for Hunting

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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.


  • It offers a playback time of 30 hours continuously.
  • Is has an adjustable headband
  • The PU leather and the soft foam ear pads provide comfortability
  • It supports both wireless and wired connections to audio devices
  • It offers hearing protection of NRR to 29 DB and SNR of 36 DB.


  • It may not provide maximum hearing protection if worn wrongly


Here’s Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Electronic Hearing Protection for Hunting: A Buyers Guide

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.

The Cost

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.

Best Box Call for Turkey Hunting

best box call for turkey hunting

There are several different kinds of turkey calls used to attract turkeys during a hunt: mouth calls, slate calls, and box calls.

Turkey box calls are easy to use and carry and are the loudest of all turkey calls.

The box call produces a realistic hollow, popping sound by sliding the lid across the surface of the box.

With just a little practice, its easy to create different calls for different situations. 2 sided box calls can reproduce quality hen sounds on one side and gobbler sounds on the other.

Unlike slate turkey calls, box calls should not be sanded. Refrain from touching the striking surfaces of the call since oils from the skin may affect the sound and life of the call.

It’s important to purchase a high-quality turkey call since, in turkey hunting, every call counts.

7 Best Thermal Scope for Coyote Hunting 2021

A man holding one of the best thermal scopes for coyote hunting

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.

How does a Thermal Scope Work?

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.

1.Trijicon Teo REAP-IR Mini


A pair of black Trijicon teo reap-ir mini thermal rifle scope for coyote hunting

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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.

Hunters describe it as alightweight thermal scope for AR15 coyote hunting.


  • Great for the outdoor enthusiast
  • Easy to use


2. Pulsar ThermionXP50

A side-by-side pair of black Pulsar ThermionXP50 thermal scope for coyote hunting

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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.

Optics Warehouse describe Thermion XP50 as remarkably built with a state-of-the-art design and latest technological advancements.

Why Pulsar ThermionXP50

  • A recoil activation
  • Consists of 13 electronic reticles
  • Digital zoom, double streaming to your microphone


3. FLIR ThermoSight Pro PTS 536

A pair of 2 black FLIR ThermoSight Pro PTS 536 thermal scopes for coyote hunting

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.


  • Superior value
  • Advanced image processing features


4. ATN ThOR 4

A pair of 2 black ATN ThOR 4 rifle thermal scopes for coyote hunting

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

  • A ballistic calculator
  • A dual-stream video recording
  • An extra sensitive Gen sensor which is a unique feature


5. TheOpticGuru Thor LT Thermal Scope

two black pairs of TheOpticGuru Thor LT Thermal Scopes for coyote hunting

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

  • Affordable
  • A heat detection sensors
  • A traditional design
  • Uses minimum power to perform to the maximum
  • Lighter


6. Armasight by FLIR Predator 640

the side and front look of two black Armasight by FLIR Predator 640 thermal scopes for coyote hunting

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

  • A FLIR thermal imaging camera
  • Operational time extends through the operation battery feature
  • A three-year warranty and upto ten-year warranty on FLIR detector


7. Trijicon Teo SNIPE-IR Clip-On Thermal Sight

upclose look of a pair of black Trijicon Teo SNIPE-IR Clip-On Thermal Sight for coyote hunting

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.


  • Easy to use
  • Best for the outdoor enthusiast

What to Consider when Choosing the Best Thermal Scope for Coyote Hunting: A Buyer’s Guide

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.

Color  Options

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.

Battery Life

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.

Detection Range

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.

Reticle Options

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.

Screen Resolution

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.

7 Best Dog Foods For Hunting Dogs 2021

What is the Best Dog Food for Hunting Dogs?

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. The best dog food for hunting dogs contains optimum levels of fat and protein, keeps them healthy and helps them perform well.

The sporting dog food you choose should contain micro-nutrients that support digestive and immune system, promoting healthy joints and bones for these sporting dogs. 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 active dog is working.


1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness

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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.

It is Chicken Recipe for Small Breed adult dogs

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. It is a hunters special dog food.

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.

Grain-free diet

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. Interstingly, if your dog is diabetic just try the Wolf Dreams, ‘Blue Buffalo.’

Customers who use this dog food product note “Blue Buffalo  Wilderness make sporting dogs have an amazing skin and hair.”


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.

2. Solid Gold High Protein Dry Dog Food

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Solid Gold Dog food is a holistic sport dog dry food that’s nutritious and tasty, suitable for all breeds and sizes of sporting 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.

Contains quality meat

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.

Nutritional carbohydrates

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. 

Omega acids 

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.

Customers have noted that hunting hounds have a greta liking of the Solid Gold Dog food because of the “extra veggies and vitamin-filled fruits.”


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

3. Orijen Original

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This brand is a favorite of many sport 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 sport 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.

A gun dog owner remarks the following about Orijen Original, “it has a probiotic element and glucosamine and chondroitin” making it palatable even to the pickiest of dogs.


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


4. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Formula

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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. 

I receommed Purina Pro formula if you are concerned about your sporting dog having “a beautiful skin and coat, bright eyes, sharp instincts, and great field performance.”


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.


5.Victor Super Premium Pet Food Hi-Pro Plus

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This sporting dog 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. 

Interestingly, American Sentinel endorse the use of Victor Classic Hi-Pro-Plus formula on sporting dogs citing it “has a great ingredient profile.”


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


6. Taste of the Wild Premium High Protein Dry Dog Food

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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 


7. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

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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. 

You can always trust anything that Chewy endorses for your hunting dog food. Chewy notes that Merrick “make this diet straight  from their own U.S kitchen using the best of ingredients.”


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

What is a Good Hunting Dog Diet?


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. 

Dog food can be canned or dry kibble

Canned foods

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 kibble foods

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 Canines Need Special Diet

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. 

Buyers Guide: What to Look For When Buying Hunting Dog Foods

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. For your best dog food for duck hunting dogs, ensure it is of the highest quality by checking on the brand and manufacturer to see if they meet your dog’s needs. You should not go for the most expensive diet as it is not always proportional to quality.

In the following video, the QBN Kennel in Cleveland, Texas reviews some of the best dog food that are suitable for your hunting dog.


Also Read: Best Dog Food for Hunting Dogs


7 Best Scopes For AR 15 Coyote Hunting 2021

Best scopes for Ar 15 coyote hunting

We all love a good coyote gun and therefore, a good coyote hunting scope comes in handy. The AR 15 is the right choice if you are looking at shooting at small game.  Hunters knows the versatility that comes with the AR 15 Rifle. Hunting Varmints such as coyotes is becoming a popular sport for hunters who do not want to hang their guns at the end of deer season. Interestingly, no one wants a coyote in your backyard because of their destructive nature.

Having the AR 15 is not adequate without a good rifle scope. Of course, the best scope for AR 15 coyote hunting offers you a tactical advantage if you are looking forward to enjoying shooting a varmint. As a varmint hunter, what is your best preditor scope for AR 15 coyote hunting? Below we look at some of the best scopes for AR 15 Coyote Hunting.

  1. Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 Rifle Scope, V-Brite Reticle

Vortex Crossfire II with the V-Brite reticle is your choice if you prefer hunting in low-light hunting

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40

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The Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×40 is one of the best scopes from Vortex Optics. For Coyote hunters who are worried about the distance, Vortex Crossfire has got you covered with the 3-9x power that allows you to spot the game at up to 400 yards away.

Talking of Vortex Crossfire II, the V-Brite reticle is exemplary considering Vortex Optics relies on V-Plex reticle for speedy target acquisitions.

Vortex Crossfire II with the V-Brite reticle is your choice if you prefer hunting in low-light hunting and not to forget a good illumination powered by a CR2032 battery.

Vortex Crossfire II turrets have 60 Minute of Angle (MOA) of elevation, and the windage adjustment is amazing. We are talking about ¼ and 15 MOA clicks and revolutions respectively.

With amazing specs and features as well as a pocket-friendly price, you are guaranteed of a fun-filled coyote hunting escapades.


  • Illuminated reticle
  • Weatherproof
  • Multi-layered optics
  • Fast-paced V-Plex reticle
  • Pocket-friendly


  • Fixed optical bells


   2. Simmons Matte Black Riflescope

Simmons Rimfire

Simmons .22 Mag Riflescope series

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The Simmons .22 Mag Riflescope series is your ultimate AR 15 coyote hunting riflescope. We are talking about a riflescope that has 3/8-inch dovetail mounting rings as well as a durable coated glass.

Coyote hunters look for riflescopes with a quick target acquisition which is exactly what the Simmons Rimfire offers you. In addition to this, you experience about three and a half inches of eye relief.

Besides the Quick Target Acquisition advantages, you are looking at riflescope that gives you sight stability thanks to its SureGrip adjustments.

The Simmons .22 Mag Series riflescopes are the right one if you like making fine-tuned calculations. If so, you can use the TruZero elevation and windage adjustments to get your calculations right.

With this riflescope, you can get clear and accurate visibility at 50 yards thanks to the riflescope’s Trueflex reticle.

Durable and fully coated optics in Simmons .22 Mage Series riflescopes make the gadget weatherproof.


  • Rapid target acquisition
  • 60/60 adjustment range
  • Stability
  • Weatherproof
  • Pocket-friendly


  • Weak knobs


   3. Nikon Prostaff 4-12×40 BDC

Nikon ProStaff comes with multicoated glass lenses

Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40 riflescope

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Nikon ProStaff 4-12×40 riflescope should be on your list of AR coyote hunting riflescopes. Do not worry about long-range shots, for you can get the coyote at 100 yards. Some hunters say the Prosatff BDC is really good for deer season.

The Nikon ProStaff comes with multicoated glass lenses. The 150 Ballistic Drop Compensating (BDC) reticles in Nikon ProStaff makes you feel like a pro predator hunter with that mid-range to long-range shots.

Do not forget that Nikon ProAtaff uses MOA graduations for elevation.

The Nikon Prostaff Rimfire weatherproof packaging is a hunter dream come true. Talk of cavities filled with nitrogen and sealed O-rings, multi-layered lens, amazing light-transmission clear glass, zero stop, HD imaging, and top-notch visibility in low light.


  • 98% light transmission
  • Has sub-tensions giving you some latitude
  • Weatherproof (fog proof, waterproof, shockproof)
  • Pocket-friendly


  • Lack of tight grouping


   4. Leupold Mark AR M-3. 3-9×40

Leupold is a serious manufacturer of riflescopes

Leupold Mark AR M.-3 .3-9×40

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Leupold Mark AR M.-3 .3-9×40 is for the pro hunter. Some hunters revere its performance and consider it an assault rifle scope. Yes, you had it right, Leupold Mark AR M.-3 is for the big dogs: AR 15, M-16, Standard .223 Remington, and .224 Valkyrie. I guess these admirations are because Leupold is a serious manufacturer of riflescopes.

The Leupold Mark AR M.-3 .3-9×40 is for those seeking to save time as well as take precise shots. We all know that with a Leupold Mark AR M.-9×40, you can take a coyote down at 500 yards.

The Leupold Mark AR M.-9×40 comes with a multi-coat 4 lens systems and therefore, improving your clarity. You can use this scope even at low-light conditions.

Leupold Mark AR M.-9×40 has Mark Ar Mod 1 P5 dial, and a better elevation thanks to BDC turrets that work amazingly irrespective of elevation and wind.

The Argon/Krypton glass bend ensures that Leupold Mark AR M.-9×40 is not affected by thermal shock. Yes, this makes it even better as the riflescope is 100% waterproof.


  • Outstanding accuracy
  • 100% waterproof
  • Works well in low-light conditions
  • Durable



    5. Trijicon ACOG Rifle Scope

Trijicon ACOG 4x magnification

Trijicon ACOG Rifle Scope

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Trijicon ACOG is one of the best scopes to ever come from Trijicon. It is a high-end scope, and that means it is a favorite for hunters and military operatives. With the Trijicon ACOG you can hunt at night since it is suitable for low light environments.

Trijicon ACOG 4x magnification is something to behold. You can gun down your coyote at 800 yards. A good eyepiece giving you the ease of viewing the target makes the ACOG your scope of choice.

ACOG has 32mm objective lens and therefore, making this scope the ultimate choice when hunting in low light. The addition Chevron .223 ballistic illuminated reticle makes you look like a real pro hunter.

Trijicon ACOG comes with a TA51 scope mount and the turrets caps well fixed on the optic body. Well, the Trijicon ACOG matte black finish makes the scope have an outstanding outlook.


  • Effective in hunting moving targets
  • Lightweight
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Wide eyepiece


  • Fixed magnification

   6. UTG 3-9×32 1̎  Bug Buster

UTG Bug Buster Rifle Scope

UTG 3-9×32 1̎ Bug Buster

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The UTG 3-9×32 1̎ Bug Buster is not your scope if you are an amateur hunter. The Bug Buster scope is for the pro hunters. It has features that bring out the best of a hunter.

The UTG 3-9×32 1̎ Bug Buster has emerald-coated lens giving you an amazing clarity. The 1-inch lens tube allows optimal light transmission and therefore, improving vision. Also, a premium zero-reset allows you to make adjustments with ease.

The UTG 3-9×32 1̎ Bug Buster is nitrogen filled, making it weatherproof.  Talking of clarity, the Bug Buster’s Emerald Coated Lens allows excellent light transmission.

True to its high-performance nature, the Bug Buster has Mil-dot reticle for great targeting. I must say, the Bug Buster comes with easy-to-adjust features. We are talking about easy adjustments of your knobs: zero-lockable and zero-reset turrets and a 1/4 MOA (Minute of Angle) per click.


  • Multi-color mode
  • Weatherproof
  • Resettable turrets
  • Great eye relief
  • Durable
  • Good design


  • Best suited for pro hunters


   7. Sightmark – Photon Xt Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

Photon XT

Sightmark – Photon Xt 6.5x50mm Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

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The Photon Xt is a high magnification rifle scope. With the 6.5x magnification, 50mm lens and 640×40 resolution, you are guaranteed of a good shot for up to 200 yards. The 50mm objective lens allows optimal light and therefore, giving you a clear view of the target.

The multi-colored digital reticle mode is an effective feature when shooting from a long distance. Besides, you will enjoy using the built-in laser and therefore, shooting at a target is easy.

The scope comes with a digital windage and elevation adjustment system. However, do not worry since you can set up scope as it comes with a full kit and rings ready to mount.


  • High magnification (6.5x)
  • Multi-colored digital reticles
  • A video output feature
  • Comes with a ready kit


  • Bulky
  • Premium price

Buyer’s Guide: What Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Scope for AR 15 Coyote Hunting?

There are some factors to look out for when choosing the best scope for AR 15 Coyote Hunting: magnification, objective lens, reticle, cost, durability, and weight.


Magnification is everything when it comes to the best scope for AR 15 coyote hunting.  I would recommend you look for a scope that suits your hunting environment. Remember, some hunters like hunting at night while others are okay during the daytime.

Go for high magnification scopes if you are hunting at night or on open fields. A medium to low magnification is okay during day time. Besides, each hunter has a unique shooting style, and therefore, the scope’s magnification is critical.

Now, hunting in deep woods does not require a high magnification scope as compared to hunting in open fields.

In the above video, Guns and Guitars explains the magnification of some of the best budget AR 15 rifle scopes for $200. We are talking about AR 15 rifle scopes that you can trust in coyote hunting.

Objective lens

Depending on whether you hunt at night or during the daytime, you must have a scope that gives you a good sight. You do not want to miss the varmint as it crosses the field. Always go for rifle scope with bigger objective lens.

For coyote hunting, I would recommend you choose an objective lens that is at least 50mm. I can guarantee you that with a bigger objective lens, you can get a clear shot at the coyote if not better.


A high-quality reticle is everything in a hunting rifle scope. Of course, you need a scope that helps you pinpoint a fast-moving coyote. Remember, coyotes move around nonstop, and sometimes, hiding. Fast Focal Plane reticles are commonly used in hunting coyotes.

However, Mil-Dot reticles are your choice if you want to drop the coyote from a long distance. Moreover, with crosshair reticles such as the fine duplex and wide duplex, you can pinpoint the coyotes at a longer range.


When buying a rifle scope for AR 15 coyote hunting, it all depends on your budget. As an amateur coyote hunter, do not go for the high-end scopes. Remember, a high-quality scope is slightly expensive but worth the price.


Durable rifle scope must withstand hunting the coyotes under extreme conditions. I am talking about hunting in extreme weather conditions and tough terrain. Sometimes, you crawl and move between bushes and therefore, need a rugged scope for such conditions. When buying a scope for AR 15 coyote hunting, check whether it is weatherproof; water-proof, shockproof, and fog-proof.


Hunting coyote is no easy task if you decide to carry weighty accessories. You do not need the total weight of your rifle and scope to slow you down. Choose a lightweight scope that makes your shooting experience easier.

Below is an amazing video of AR 15 Coyote Hunting by Tim Wells Bow Hunter. With a good rifle scope you can take down a fast moving coyote with AR 15 in any weather condition or terrain.

7 Best Rangefinders For Bow Hunting 2021

Best Rangefinders for Bow Hunting


For bowhunters, bow hunting has never been that easy. It requires some practicing to get that killer shot.

Bowhunters understand this better than those accustomed to hunting using a rifle or shotguns.

Apart from learning how to draw length, a bow hunter must learn to find the right range before striking.

Rangefinders compliment a hunter’s eyesight and help in scanning and determining if the target is within a good distance. As a bow hunter, you can use rangefinders while hunting on open fields or from a tree stand.  The rangefinder is one of the most essential bow hunting gear that a savvy hunter carry along.

1.Vortex Range 1300 Rangefinder

Black Vortex 1300 Rangefinder with HCD & 6x maginification for bowhunting

Vortex 1300 Rangefinder

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True to its name, the Vortex range 1300 Rangefinder is your ideal rangefinder for bow hunting if you want a range of up to 1300 yards. The rangefinder allows you to strike your game with acute precision.

The Vortex Ranger 1300 is your ideal rangefinder if you like going for the killer shot from a long distance.

The Vortex Ranger 1300 has a horizontal component (HCD) mode display that allows you to improve range accuracy by reading the correct angle distance.

You can take a long-distance shot from a difficult angle thanks to the Vortex 1300 LOS mode capabilities.

The Vortex 1300 Ranger allows you to scan both immobile and mobile targets. The scan mode of this rangefinder ensures the display is visibly clear even in poor light conditions.

The Vortex 1300 has a multi-layered lens with capabilities of reducing light reflection and therefore, improving the clarity of the target.

The Vortex 1300 comes with a neck string and detachable clip; hence, it is an easy hunting equipment to carry along in your bow hunting escapades.


  1. The price is pocket-friendly
  2. Can measure up to 1300 yards
  3. It has an LED display
  4. Can measure the distance from a difficult angle


  1. Looks identical to Vortex Ranger 1000


2. Bushnell 2022008 Bone Collector


Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector

Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector

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The Bone Collector Edition 4x Laser Rangefinder  Realtree Xtra Camo, 20mm  is the real deal if you prefer hunting in all weather. It is a high-performance rangefinder with incredible features such as the 4x magnified monocular and in-view LCD.

The optical performance of the Bushnell 2022008 Bone Collector is exemplary. The optics are sufficient, considering the gadget comes with a 21mm objective lens.

The rangefinder has a class 1 eye-safe infrared laser and accuracy of 1 yard plus or minus. For a bow hunter, the rangefinder allows you a maximum range of 600 yards and about 200 yards to a target.

The Bushnell 2022008 Bone Collector is easy to use and handle. It has a single-button operation and in-view LCD showing range, aiming reticle, and battery power status.


  • Secure grip
  • Weatherproof
  • Cost-effective


  • Uncoated glass


3.  TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder

TecTecTec ProWild Rangefinder

TecTecTec ProWild Rangefinder

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Bowhunters agree that the new TecTecTec ProWild Rangefinder has made bowhunting a lot easier and fun. TecTecTec is a new brand in the market, and the capabilities of ProWild rangefinder has revolutionized the bowhunting.

The ProWild Rangefinder comes with 6x magnification, and that means that its ranging is about 540 yards. Another interesting capability is its continuous scan mode allowing the bowhunter to have a better view of both mobile and immobile targets.

The accuracy of the ProWild rangefinder within 1 yard is unmatched.

You will find the TecTecTec ProWild rangefinder of great help if you like to calculate the speed at which your target is moving. This means that the ProWild rangefinder is both help to bow hunting as well as in rifle hunting.

The ProWild rangefinder is your ultimate gadget if your bow hunting adventure is on a rainy day.

It is both weatherproof and shock-resistant.

If you love simplicity and gadgets that are lightweight and easy to carry in your hunting adventures, then consider ProWild rangefinder.


  • Pocket-friendly
  • Multi-layered optics
  • Clear image
  • Accuracy in terms of distance and speed
  • Flexible wrist strap


  • Ineffective at night


4.  Niko Arrow ID VR 7000

Nikon Arrow ID VR 7000 Rangefinder

Nikon Arrow ID VR 7000 Rangefinder

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You can never go wrong with a Nikon Arrow ID VR 7000 Rangefinder in bowhunting. The Nikon Arrow ID VR 7000 is the most advanced rangefinder technology you will ever come across. The Vibration Reduction (VR) aspect that comes with the rangefinder is everything that sets the gadget apart from the rest. This means the VR is the real deal in image stabilization, and you do not have to worry about shaking and having a blurred image.

The anti-shake VR technology gives you image sharpness irrespective of the bowhunting conditions.

The Nikon Arrow ID VR 7000 allows hunters to have a clear view of 1,000 yards. Moreover, the gadget’s HYPER READ technology is an added advantage if you want instant readings and accuracy to -/+.5 yards.

The optics performance are out of this world as the gadget has a 6x magnification coupled with a 21mmm objective lens and not to mention the 18mm eye relief.

For bowhunters who are worried about angle compensation, Nikon Arrow ID VR 7000 gives you exactly what you want.

Indeed, Nikon Arrow ID VR 7000 is weatherproof, easy to carry and its performance in open fields is unrivalled by any other bowhunting rangefinder.


  • Cost-effective
  • ID technology
  • VR technology
  • Easy to use
  • Hyper Read technology


  • It has no LED display


5. Sig Sauer 4X20mm KILO850 Rangefinder


Sig Sauer 4X20mm KILO850 Rangefinder Monocular

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The Sig Sauer 4X20mm KILO850 Rangefinder Monocular (SGSOK85401) is made by a renowned manufacturer of hunting weapons: Sig Sauer. Sig Sauer 4X20mm KILO850 has 4X magnification and therefore, ideal for long-distance measurements.

With the addition of 20mm objective lens of 24mm of eye relief, this gadget works superbly well within 100 yards and an accuracy of +/- 0.2.

Sig Sauer 4X20mm KILO850 has Lightwave DSP (Digital Signal Processing) technology that makes it process readings at a superfast speed of 0.25 seconds.

Did I mention how the KILO850 turns you into a pro bow hunter? Yes, this gadget allows you to lock the target from a distance. Sig Saucer KILO850 gives you an angle compensated distance and provides you with accurate measurement readings thanks to selective buttons for your preferred modes.


  • Selective modes
  • Has a Hypersanc
  • DSP technology
  • Cost-effective
  • Lightweight, compact and user-friendly


  • Only water-resistant and not entirely weatherproof


6. HALO XR80038-8 800 Yard Tru Bark Camo

HALO XR80038-8 800


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The HALO XR80038-8 800 Yard Tru Bark Camo Rangefinder is popular among bowhunters who previously used the HALO XRT series.

With HALO XR80038-8 800 you can hunt from a tree stand or if you like from a mountain. The HALO XR has an angle compensation making it easy to hunt on any ground thanks to this gadget’s AI (Angle Intelligence) mode.

The fun part about this gadget is that you can get your target from 800 yards.

HALO XR80038-8 800 has a 6X magnification, and thus you have a great view of the surrounding. The HALO XR has a Scan Mode coupled with an Auto Acquisition capabilities allow the bowhunter to get the instantaneous readings and therefore, enhancing more accuracy.

You can use HALO XR80038-8 800 when it is raining; the gadget is water-resistant.

The rangefinder has LCD in addition to having a long-lasting CR2 lithium-ion battery and lanyard.

With a HALO XR80038-8 800 rangefinder, you get to have the feel of pro-hunter thanks to the gadget’s camo wrap.


  • Cost-effective
  • Camo wrap
  • Easy to use
  • Water-resistant


  • No LED readout


7.  Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Rangefinder

Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Rangefinder

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Simmons 801600 Volt 600 laser Rangefinder is your best deal if you want a cheap gadget for bow hunting. This rangefinder is not only cheap but easy to use, considering its effectiveness on short-range hunting.

The rangefinder has a 4X magnification and is best suited if you want to acquire a distance of around 600 yards. However, there still exist other advanced versions of this rangefinder.

The optical performance of this rangefinder is exemplary, and from a single button, you get to measure the distance to your target accurately.

The Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Rangefinder has accurate distance readings when used on an open field. This means that your bow hunting field should be devoid of trees, bushes and slopes.

It has a black display and therefore, making it suitable to hunt during day time.


  • Pocket-friendly
  • Excellent optic performance
  • Easy to use


  • Only suitable in open fields

How to Find Best Rangefinders For Bow Hunting

The following factors are important to consider when buying the best rangefinders for bow hunting.


Some of the best-rated rangefinders brands on the market include and not limited to Nikon, Bushnell, Vortex, WOSPORTS, Simmons and Leupold. A renowned brand name gives you confidence that the product will be of top quality. The following best-rated rangefinder considers the brand and quality.


Unlike in hunting with a rifle, the rangefinders for bow hunting have less range.


It is important that you get a rangefinder that is lightweight and easy to carry along. Therefore, you must be considerate of the rangefinder’s shape and weight. No one wants to go hunting with heavy equipment.

LCD light

Buy a rangefinder for bow hunting that has both the black and red display. The black display ensures you get the accurate range in blight light while the red display is useful in darkness.


A good rangefinder must have a great magnification to ensure that you get a clear and wider view of the target game.


Among the top-rated rangefinder brands, you will find rangefinders that are both expensive and cheap. The price of the rangefinder dictates the kind of range and functions you want.


As a good bow hunter, you should look out for additional features that you want in a rangefinder. For example, an ideal rangefinder must have a battery backup good optical capabilities as well as durable coatings. It is in your best interest to choose a rangefinder with a readable display and sizable screen. In recent years, bow hunters prefer rangefinders with angle compensation since it is not a must to hunt in open fields.

Pheasant Hunting Tips

Besides being extremely fun to hunt, the meal that a pheasant hunt produces is as good as they come. Knowing about this popular upland bird will help you in the field and will also make you and your family very happy around the table this year.
Owner of THE BREAK, John Caldwell, shows-off a Hancock County, Illinois ringneck. Photo by Mike Roux

I like this topic. It never fails that when I put pen to paper concerning pheasant hunting, a broad smile crosses my face. I have more fun pheasant hunting and guiding pheasant hunts than any other type. I enjoy hunting other species more, but I don’t have more fun with them. It is amazing how a target that big and that slow can be missed so often.

I have chased these beautiful, long-tailed oriental transplants in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. I have a special passion for N.E. Missouri pheasant. My first trip was exciting. My good friends, Jill and Steve Shoop, were kind enough to invite me on an opening day “bird hunt.” To me that automatically meant quail. Nobody bothered mentioning pheasant to me….until the first one flushed in my face. I hit that shot, but I have missed my share since then.

One of the reasons pheasant are so often missed is the desire most bird hunters have to harvest at least one bird like this each season. It is like the “bird hunters’ bonus.” Pheasant tend to bring out the once-a-year bird hunters. No other upland game has a hold on wing shooters like the pheasant.

Add to that the superb flavor of this game bird and the amount of meat that comes off this almost chicken-sized bird and you can easily see why it is so popular. A couple of pheasant breasts on the grill is enough to make any hunter “bird happy.”

The best thing about this big, tasty bird is its ever increasing availability.This bird is beginning once again to thrive in the croplands of Missouri and Illinois. We may not yet have pheasant numbers like Nebraska or South Dakota, but we are opening-up new counties almost every year. Our limits are not as liberal as those states with denser pheasant populations, however, I’m relatively sure that will come, probably on a county by county basis.

The ringneck pheasant is an immigrant to the U.S. that has become one of our most popular game-bird species. Photo by Mark Clemens

One thing that is helping pheasant re-growth is their ability to be reintroduced into “shot-out” areas or places where predation decimated them. This lets conservation departments utilize these birds to furnish supplemental hunting for its hunting license buyers and permits private landowners to stock their places with pheasant for fee shooting. Pheasant have the capability of becoming virtually as wild as their naturally reared counterparts within about 24 hours of their release. Few other “liberated” birds share that trait.

Pheasant can be frustrating to hunt. They will sneak through the brush and refuse to fly, preferring to run, and they often will not sit tight for pointing dogs. You must make the effort and take the time to condition your dog to these pheasant characteristics. It could save both you and your dog some embarrassing moments.

A king-sized rooster pheasant may weigh as much as five pounds, live weight, but the average is probably closer to three pounds. They have relatively short wings for this weight, which accounts for their slow take-off. Do not let them get lined-out though. Once a pheasant levels-off, they can fly at speeds of up to 40 miles an hour. Once they reach top speed they like to glide. This glide shot is tough for most shooters, because the bird is descending as it moves. This decent is not always noticeable as you swing for and lead your shot. If you want to get a good shot, you must learn how to pattern your shotgun.

The rule for wild pheasant hunting is “NO HENS.” You must shoot cocks only. On preserves you may harvest any bird. Even though it does not take a pheasant hen long to become wild after she’s been liberated, you may still harvest pen-raised hens on preserves. There is no mistaking the rooster though. His bright coloration, iridescent green head and long, streaming tail feathers make him unmistakable as he becomes airborne.


This pile of N.E. Missouri ringnecks came from Steve Shoop’s J&S TROPHY HUNTS. Photo by Mike Roux

The hen is a bird of a different color. Brownish and mottled, she is drab in comparison to the multi-colored cock and usually smaller. Young roosters who have not yet reached their full adult color phase may look a lot like hens. Early in the season, be sure of your target. Do not be fooled by a cackling bird that has been flushed. Sometimes hens cackle, too.

The two biggest problems we pheasant hunters face are finding a place to hunt and getting the birds in the air to shoot at. Most pheasant hunting is done on CRP land that lies close or next to grain fields. Because pheasants like this kind of crop cover, it can present more problems. Landowners, especially those who are raising crops, have become increasingly reluctant to give permission for hunters and dogs to traipse around their farms. And, if there is no grain crop, there most likely are no birds either. Also, many farmers develop not only proprietary interest in the birds they see every day, but they actually become fond of them as well. They do not want to see them shot.

So, unless you do your pheasant hunting on well-planned trips with guides, lodging and a place to hunt, your first step is to get to know a landowner. How each hunter gets permission to hunt private land must remain his own secret. I have very little advice to give, because I do not want to meet-up with you someday in a CRP patch I thought was mine. But here’s the key—If you treat a landowner as a friend or a business associate, and do not treat him like a “dumb hick,” you may find a door will occasionally open to you.

Once you have gotten permission to hunt, you now face the problem of finding the birds and getting them out of the cover they love. Those attention-attracting roosters everyone saw along the road scratching for gravel or feeding in a stubble field have suddenly disappeared. No other bird can be so visible one minute and so reclusive the next.

There is one sure-fire way to find pheasant, if they are there, and that’s with a dog. I have never hunted pheasant without dogs and never intend to. Another good reason for dogs is the pheasant’s toughness. Besides turkeys, they are the hardest thing to kill I have ever hunted. Recovering these birds once they are down is almost impossible without dogs.

Caleb Roux and Spencer Dietrich prove that at THE BREAK, pheasant hunting is also a young man’s sport. Photo by Mike Roux

Pheasant are famous for their unwillingness to fly until all other methods of escaping the hunter and the dog have failed. In comparison with most of the other upland birds, they have pretty short wings for their long length. But those legs are made for sprinting, and they use them.

When you find grain fields next to rough cover like marshes, creek bottoms, ditches or unmowed or unharvested strips of hay or grain, you have found the prime habitat these birds prefer. The birds stick to this heavy cover during the day. Pheasant start moving from their nighttime roosting places at dawn. They come out to dry-off and to pick gravel for their crops. That is why they are so often seen along the road in the early morning.

From here the birds spread out to feed with cornfields being their prime target. Standing corn is their favorite. This not only offers food, but the very best cover as well. Pheasant may spend their entire day in uncut corn. This makes them tough to find without dogs. You may educate yourself about the best flushing dogs in pheasant hunting.

I prefer to hunt this beautiful bird with dogs. There are flushing Labs and Springer Spaniels that do a great job with pheasant. There are also pointers and setters that have been trained to handle pheasant well. My personal favorite is the Brittany Spaniel. My pick-up could not hold all of the pheasant I have taken from the mouths of “Brits.”

Remember: Read Field Dressing Upland Game Birds

How to Choose an Upland Bird Hunting Guide


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.

Upland Bird Hunting Related Costs

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.

Guided or Self-guided Upland Bird Hunting?

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.

Do Some Research Before Upland Bird Hunting Season

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.

Know What You Want From A Hunt

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.

Have Realistic Expectations

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.

Prioritize What Birds You Want To Hunt Before You Book With An Outfitter

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.

Think About Other Features Of A Hunt

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.

Remember to Read: Field Dressing Upland Game Birds



Habitat Improvement for Upland Game


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.

How to Break a Gun Shy Dog


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.