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Monthly Archives: April 2013

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Mike Miller has been filming wildlife for 25 years and is as dedicated as they come, spending over 300 days outdoors each year studying animals. He has been hunting for more than 30 years and specializes in turkey and waterfowl. He has been lead camera operator for both the Duck Commander and Buck Commander. Mike’s passion and training is evident by his having won three turkey calling titles, including back to back Cabela’s Championships. In this brief video, he shares turkey tips you may not have seen before. Check out the video:

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Archery’s popularity has swept the nation, encouraging shooters of all ages to pick up a bow, knock some arrows, and aim for the bullseye. In no state is it more clear that archery is growing in popularity than in Alabama, which recently opened its ninth archery park.

The Archery Trade Association (ATA), Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and other partners built the park, and will work to build archery programs around the new facility.

“If it weren’t for ATA and other organizations that encourage people to hunt, shoot archery and buy hunting licenses, these resources wouldn’t be available,” said Jimmy Primos, COO of Primos Game Calls and an ATA board member, who attended the archery park’s opening ceremony.

Photo by: Tyler Cross

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Knowing the distance of the shot you need to make can mean the difference in bagging a monster tom and going home empty-handed. You can use a rangefinder, but what if the batteries die, or you simply don’t have time to use it before setting up on a turkey? J. Wayne Fears explains how to judge distance without a rangefinder and offers tips on using a rangefinder if you so choose.

“Any type of open landscape can make judging range difficult. An open pasture in North Carolina, the grassy plains of South Dakota or the open meadow of Montana are just a few of the many areas that can make distance judging a tough task.

Many hunters cannot judge the distance to a gobbler in any setting, and this misjudgment alone accounts for a high percentage of misses. If you cannot tell whether a gobbler is 20 yards or 55 yards away, you will not bring home many trophies.

The easy answer is to purchase one of the excellent rangefinders available today. However, not every shooting situation permits you the time or opportunity to use one, and they are somewhat expensive. Practice distance judging to make sure you’re on target.”

Photo by: Bushnell

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No matter the medium they choose to use – paint, charcoal, watercolor – many artists spend days, weeks, and even months working to get their artwork just right. The NRA just announced the winners of their 2012 youth art contest, and it’s clear these young artists worked hard to perfect their entries. NRA’s Kyle Jillison is also calling young artists to plan now for the next art contest:

“Now that the warmer weather of spring is arriving, the 2013 Youth Wildlife Art Contest is about to begin. The deadline to get your entries in still isn’t until late fall, but it isn’t too early to start thinking about your entry. Even if you don’t put anything to paper yet, simply day dreaming about which animal you’ll choose and what the entry will look like is a start in the right direction.”

Start planning now and your entry may just win part of the 2013 contest’s $7,000 in prizes.

Photo by: ehow.com

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Few things are more fun than sharing something that is special to you. Many hunters started hunting at a young age because they were introduced to the outdoors by a member of their family, and keep the tradition alive with their own children.

In the latest episode of Primos’ Truth About Hunting, Will Primos fires up his slate call to speak the language to a big longbeard, and Kevin Meacham explains why a box call is his go-to call, and discusses how the Primos crew gets their kids ready for youth turkey season.

“Hunting with the boys is more than just going out and shooting a turkey. We let them run the calls, use the trigger sticks, get in the blind and just have fun. They are involved in the hunt. These boys get to be involved with everything that’s going on from packing our vests, getting our gear and setting up blinds.”

Photo by: Brian Buddy Boitano

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Calling in a gobbler can be one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding tasks for a turkey hunter. Figuring out whether to use a box call, mouth call, slate call, or something else, and then deciding if a soft purr or brazen gobble will get the turkey’s attention, is all in a day’s work for the hunter. But as you head afield this spring, are you ready to fool one turkey or do you know how to call to a crowd?

Field and Stream recommends using three fall-hunting tips to call a single turkey away from a group this spring.

“This may seem like a blessing, but taking a bird from a flock is tougher than fooling a lone tom. It can be done, however, if you employ strategies used by fall turkey hunters, who face similar problems.”

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Hunters spend their hard-earned money on equipment, invest their time and energy in scouting and setting up blinds, and then get up before the sun day after day to enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and maybe a kill. After all they put in to a hunt, they could be faced with a decision: to do what is easy, or to do what is ethical.

Recently, two men in Wisconsin were chosen to receive awards for ethical hunting. Jerry Davis says,

“Ethics is not something that is easily taught. Maybe it comes partly from intuition. Maybe it comes when young hunters learn, and then hunt with ethical hunters. But surely the final examination in this outdoors course is realizing and practicing what is right and what is wrong, when you are with others and when you are alone.”

Find out why these Wisconsin hunters were honored with the state’s hunter ethics award.

Photo by: Brandon Carter

 

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For anyone interested in water sports – especially anglers – tracking the tide is important because tides affect the water current. Knowing the tide level and how to fish in it can mean the difference in going home with a cooler full of fish and going home empty handed.

Enter the Tidal Chronoscope app, which promises that you can now “tell the tide as easily as the time.” ChronGlobal, makers of the app, says,

“It is the first application that tells the tides in the simplicity of a graphic depiction of tide events in a watch format. And it’s no exaggeration to say that it’s going to change the lives of anyone with an interest in water-oriented activity. Not just fishermen, boaters, sailors or mariners. But divers, surfers and even shell collectors.”

The Tidal Chronoscope utilizes the GPS function on smartphones to provide instant and current tide information, and is packed with other features including tide predictions up to seven days in advance, 9,400 worldwide tide stations to choose from, tidal predictions by the hour, and much more.

The app is available in free and upgraded versions.

Photo by: ChronGlobal

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Virginia’s bobwhite quail populations will enjoy improved habitat thanks to a new partnership between agencies that will encourage best land-management practices among non-commercial landowners in the state’s six bobwhite focus areas.

Mike Black, forestry coordinator for the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, enthusiastically endorses the Virginia effort, saying,

“There is no greater opportunity in the historic range of bobwhite quail for habitat restoration than the forested landscape, and reconnecting forests with quail is one of NBCI’s top priorities. We encourage state forestry entities in all 25 NBCI states to join in examining opportunities for wildlife habitat creation on both public and private forestlands in their respective states.”

I could barely believe my eyes… the biggest whitetail buck I’d ever seen was standing 100 yards away in a wide-open field. I was crouching behind a bit of honeysuckle in a fencerow opening just wide enough for a two-track. As the buck began its rutting jaunt, I realized it was going to pass right by me. The 200-pound bruiser came closer and closer, until at 15 yards I had to draw the bow. As the arrow came back, the buck stopped and stared at the movement. My sight pin centered squarely on its chest, when a burst of November wind blew the arrow from the rest. Somehow, I managed to keep my eye in the peep and work the arrow back onto the rest and instantly release. The four-and-a-half-year-old buck nearly made the record book. Ever since that evening, rests have been a priority in archery gear.

So Many Choices

60050006Usually variety is a good thing, but today’s gear offerings have so many choices a person can easily become overwhelmed. To make selection even more difficult, the two basic rest strategies have completely opposite functions. One benefits from total containment (mainly the Whisker Biscuit), fall-away models credit “no-contact” as their best feature, and others tout a combination of each. On February 8, 2003, a new biscuit rest was introduced, with a “V” cut into the biscuit. Dubbed the “Quick Shot” by its inventors, out-of-work semi-conductor industry engineers Steve Graf and Ike Branthwaite, the Quick Shot has become one of the nation’s most versatile and popular rest.

Total Containment: The Whisker Biscuit

thCA6FON7RThe Whisker Biscuit from Trophy Ridge is very versatile and an excellent choice as a hunting rest because it contains the arrow completely and quietly. Had I used that rest in the above deer situation, the wind could not have blown the arrow from the rest. Also, drawing a bow from a tree stand requires different muscles than on terra firma, and an arrow can wobble from muscle strain. The arrow striking the riser will make a distinct sound that can easily spook an alert deer. Finally, the biscuit is easy to load and is very accurate. To see a demonstration, check out Brian “The Pig Man” Quaca shooting a Whisker Biscuit at 136 yards.

Fall Away: Limbsaver

thCA8JSZVGJust as the biscuit has total contact of the arrow and fletching as it passes through the fibers, fall-away rests tout the totally opposite strategy: zero contact. Using Limbsaver’s Fall Away Arrow Rest as an example, the rest is engineered to operate smoothly with a balanced twin-bearing system to quietly draw and release the arrow with zero contact to the fletching as it exits the bow’s riser. Most fall-away rests attach a tether to one of the bow’s cables so that when the bow is drawn, the tether raises the rest and upon arrow release, pulls it down for complete arrow clearance. Most fall-away rests recommend a level arrow nock so that the arrow is launched on a horizontal plane.

Combination Engineering: Trophy Taker Smackdown FC Rest

th[4]Which is best, total containment or contact abstinence? Like most things in life, there are compromises between the extremes, and the Trophy Taker Smackdown FC (Full Containment) rest is a perfect example. This type of rest offers the no-contact benefit of a fall-away with the containment features of the biscuit. The surface of the containment rings is covered in sound-dampening material and the loading slot is angled to make putting arrows on the rest easier. The launcher pivots on solid bearings for smooth, consistent operation and a Drop Stop launcher silencer is included for an extra measure of stealth.

Which Is Best?

Like the choice between Fords and Chevys, the best rest for you is a matter of choice. If you are new to archery or you have a problem keeping your arrow on the rest, the Whisker Biscuit is an excellent choice. It’s less expensive, easy to set up, and basically maintenance free. If you prefer the ultimate release of a no-contact rest, than a fall-away or a containment fall-away model may be best. For more information on the three rests mentioned above, check these links.

Trophy Ridge Whisker Biscuit |  Limbsaver Fall Away | Trophy Taker Smackdown