Monthly Archives: July 2013

You can’t judge a book by its cover… but you can judge it based on its authors. The new book Whitetails: From Ground to Gun comes from Craig and Neil Dougherty, pioneers in many of the Quality Deer Management Techniques we take for granted today. If they’re not authorities on the subject matter, we don’t know who is.

Craig Dougherty purchased an abandoned farm on a New York mountaintop and converted a “spike haven” into prime habitat for trophy bucks. His son Neil was so enamored by the wildlife transformation he ditched his senior year in college to spend time on the farm, a life-altering event that launched a career in deer habitat improvement. Here’s a quick overview.

Craig & Neal Dougherty 014Neil and Craig Dougherty’s new book promises to revolutionize deer hunting. Brian Murphy, one of the leading whitetail authorities in the nation and CEO of QDMA, is calling this book “a monumental leap into a new era of whitetail knowledge.” He referred to the book as “the next frontier in the QDM movement.”

Whitetails: From Ground to Gun picks up where the Dougherty’s first book, Grow ‘Em Right, left off. It’s one thing to create a great property with big bucks (Grow ‘Em Right); it is still another to be able to hunt and kill them. Whitetails-GtoG-1[1]Ground to Gun shows how. According to Murphy (Ground to Gun) “provides detailed insight into what makes a great hunting property and how to consistently harvest mature bucks “(it)… a clear roadmap for QDM success”.

To learn more about the Doughertys’ books and videos, visit NorthCountry Whitetails.

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Venison is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It’s high in protein, low in cholesterol, and lower in fat than turkey (and nearly as low as fish). Add to that the fact that its primary source, whitetail deer, keep multiplying at an amazing rate. Deer harvest limits are at historically high levels, and many hunters fill their freezer by the first week of the season. If you want to keep hunting beyond your freezer’s capacity, donate your harvest to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) or another local organization that donates venison to food banks and other community food groups. FHFH also solicits donations to offset the cost of venison processing, so that the cost to hunters is reduced or completely compensated.

Rick Wilson_0005The FHFH concept began more than a decade ago when Rick Wilson, an art teacher and avid hunter, stopped to help a young woman along a country road. “Are you having car trouble?” he asked. “No,” replied the young single mother, “I need help getting this deer in the trunk of my car. My kids are hungry and this will feed us most of the winter.” Wilson was so inspired by the event that he began approaching local churches and sporting groups with his notion of a charity focused on the concept of hunters providing food for the needy. Soon the concept spread nationwide, resulting in millions of donated meals. Here are the details of this landmark contribution:

Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) received over 165 tons of donated meat during the past year — enough to feed 1.3 million servings to the needy. This includes deer and elk donated by hunters along with livestock and poultry donations from farmers.

“This meat is a blessing to the hungry men, women and children in our communities,” said Josh Wilson, FHFH Operations Director. “It’s wonderful to be able to help hunters and farmers provide for their neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet.”

FHFH is thankful to all of the hunters and farmers, local FHFH Coordinators, financial supporters, participating meat processors, and prayer partners who make the ministry possible.

Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that provides nutritious meat from donated game and livestock to food banks and feeding programs that serve the needy. Formed in Maryland during 1997, FHFH now has Coordinators serving in 25 states.

Visit, call toll-free 1-866-438-3434, or email for more information or to inquire about finding or starting FHFH to help feed the hungry of your state.

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Accidents happen, especially in the outdoors. A first aid kit can save a hunt or fishing expedition, or possibly a life. One of the most important elements of a medical kit is that you have it with you. A severe cut or burn may become more critical if your medical relief is back in the truck or in camp. You can’t always anticipate the types of maladies that come your way, yet forethought and preparation can make a huge difference. Here are four basic, portable kits that will easily stow in your boat or travel rig and not cramp your style on the trail. If you have a favorite first aid kit that you haven’t refreshed lately, now is a good time.

Medical Kits - Adventure First-Aid 0.5 KitThe Adventure First Aid .5 contains basic supplies to treat cuts, scrapes, insect bites, and blisters. With enough supplies to treat one person on a day outing, the .5 is ideal for families and scouts on hikes, on or below water, or on any outdoor adventure. The kit weighs 3 oz., and its compact size makes it easy to include on any outing. Antiseptic wipes and bandages take the sting out of everyday injuries. The kit’s compact size allows it to fit in purses, backpacks, and glove boxes. All contents are packed in a coated nylon bag with a waterproof inner plastic bag. The kit includes a survival whistle, bandages, medications, and items for wound care;

Sawyer Sportsman's First Aid Kit (SP951)The Sawyer Sportsman’s First Aid Kit is designed for hunting, packing, fishing, and camping trips, for use with wound cleaning, care, and wrapping. It includes medication, a first aid manual, a hunting and fishing field manual, and an accident report form;

General Purpose First Aid Kit:
 Used in most military vehicles, this kit comes in a military style water-tight box and holds an assortment of bandages, wraps, ointments, and more;

Marine First Aid Kit Waterproof Adventure Medical 100:
 This waterproof kit has a Dri-Loc seal to keep contents dry. A perfect kit for the boater, fisher or hunter, items contained in this plastic box includes a guide to life-threating emergencies, a splinter tweezer, gauze dressings, bandage, tape, towelettes, and over-the-counter medicine;

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Tailgating is a great warm-up for hunting season. If you’re still lugging a full-sized grill around in the bed of your truck, however, don’t. There’s a much better way. Grills have downsized significantly, allowing you to cook burgers and hot dogs on the deck as well as create a hot breakfast before the hunt. Griddles are a great complement to any grill; they may not be as portable, but they allow you to multitask with a host of great foods like eggs, bacon, potatoes, and pancakes. One of our guys stopped at Cabela’s in Sidney, Nebraska, on the way to elk camp and purchased a large griddle that matched a Coleman three-burner stove. The French toast we enjoyed in the remote wilderness tent was heavenly. Check out these items for starters:

Blue Rhino Portable Lp BBQ Grill with Griddle (pictured above): There’s a 126 1/2″ chrome-coated flat cooking surface on this grill, room enough for up to four nice-sized burgers. Add to that a 100 1/2″ non-stick, cast-iron griddle surface;


Blacktop 360 Portable Grill: Twist the patented Hellfire infrared burner up to 11 and hit cooking temps of 650 degrees. Your meat is certain to cook up fast, keeping your ravenous tailgating bros at bay;

thCAG0RD7TColeman Roadtrip Propane Grill: This portable, lightweight grill is ready to go with you anywhere — camping, tailgating, the beach, and more! Compact in size, this piece is roomy enough to cook for five or six people. The InstaStart ignition offers fast, dependable lighting without matches. A fully adjustable, 6000-BTU stainless steel burner provides even heat distribution, and the porcelain-coated grill grate is removable and dishwasher-safe for simple clean-up;

292627_ts[2]Browning Buckmark Table Grill: Lightweight and easy to carry, this is the perfect addition to your outdoor cooking arsenal! Fire up the 12,000-BTU stainless steel tube burner and use the 246 square inch space to grill up hot dogs, brats, burgers, steaks, and more. Learn more at

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Mosquitoes often suck the enjoyment from the outdoors (along with your blood). The itchy result can be especially difficult for children and folks who seem to be mosquito magnets. Two standbys in insect repellents are the chemicals N-Diethyl-meta-toulamide (DEET) and permethrin. Non-chemical “natural” repellants also work, just not to the degree of these chemicals.

DEET is similar to SPF lotions in that concentrations quickly deliver diminishing returns. For example, 100% DEET does a great job of repelling insects, but it may also dissolve the finish on your bow handle or fishing reel. Concentrations between 15–25% are more popular applications, you’ll find this information listed on the label of the product. Permethrin was developed by the military and is most effective on clothing. Spraying it on your pants and boots will also repel ticks, chiggers, and other crawling insects.

A ThermaCELL non-spray device is one of the most effective devices for repelling mosquitoes while hunting or fishing and is nearly a necessity in many early season archery seasons.

What’s the science behind mosquito bites? How can you naturally reduce mosquito attraction? This post from The Wall Street Journal gets to the facts:

It is peak mosquito season, and while some lucky outdoor venturers seem unperturbed by the tiny insects, others appear to be relentlessly assaulted. Scientists are trying to understand what makes certain humans more attractive to the bugs. One expert, molecular vector biologist L.J. Zwiebel, a professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University, weighs in…


“How you practice is how you play.” This popular sports slogan applies to archery and hunting in particular. When a turkey gobbles, a buck grunts, or an elk bugles, you can expect your heart to pound and your blood pressure to soar. With this much excitement, it’s easy to good up, so the best way to perform consistently is to implement a simple, easy-to-follow practice regimen. I’m setting up a Mission 320 crossbow for an elk hunt and experimenting with sights. This bow shoots a 400-grain arrow so flatly that the standard crossbow scope with multiple sighting points borders on confusing.

byers003I wondered, Would a single-dot scope cover my range from 20–40 yards without worrying about selecting the correct sighting reticle? The Mission 320 shoots a bolt at 320 feet per second. By sighting the dot dead on at 20 yards, the 40-yard impact is only 6.5 inches low. Since I’ll be elk hunting from the ground, I’ll sight in the system for 30 yards and have a solid kill zone from 20–40 yards. If you’d like to experiment with this promising gear change, check out the following manufacturers’ websites:

Aimpoint Red Dot Sights | Mission Crossbows | Truglo Red Dot Sights

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Baby boomers won’t stop hunting, and here’s to those who give it their all. With older hunters in camp, you’re more likely to run into someone with a heart issue. That’s why it’s important that you know what to do in case of emergency. Fortunately, this new version of CPR requires just one action — the chest pump. If you can recall the disco beat of The Bee Gee’s aptly-titled “Staying Alive,” you can easily save a life.

Sarver Heart Center’s newest video makes it easy to learn Continuous Chest Compression CPR. Every three days, more Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest than the number who died in the 9-11 attacks. You can lessen this recurring loss by learning this hands-only CPR method that doubles a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest. Watch physician researchers Gordon A. Ewy, MD, and Karl Kern, MD, demonstrate the easy, life-saving method that they developed at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Watch this informative video that explains the process in detail. Someone you love will be thankful you did.

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Dove hunting is the polar opposite of most deer hunting. Instead of sitting alone on a stand, often in cold or inclement weather, dove hunting is usually a casual, gregarious event where the more hunters involved, the more fun everyone has. The weather is usually warm and the season opens at noon, so there’s no reason to set an early alarm. Furthermore, doves are among the most prolific birds in the country, and even a generous limit of 15 is often achieved. Typically, on the first hunt of the year many wing-shooters herald the return of fall festivities afield with great fanfare, burning shotgun shells by the box. Hunter Worth does an excellent job of capturing the unique mixture of sport and friendship in his OutdoorHub post. Read on to find out how such a small bird creates so much excitement, read on.


Cooking is cool these days. If you want to impress your hunting buddies or your amour, the CanCooker can transform you into an outdoor chef, even if you don’t have recipes or much cooking talent. Katie and Andrew Howard produce the popular Must Have Outdoors videos and have their own YouTube channel, through which they demonstrate outdoor products. The fact that they look like Mr. and Ms. GQ doesn’t hurt either.  Howared 300This camp (venison) stew recipe is incredibly easy. By mixing these meat-and-potato ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Plus, it feeds the whole gang. Once you master the stew meal, you can easily move onto breakfast omelets and even chocolate cake — all from the same CanCooker.


Anglers often want to know whether they should fish with noisy or quiet lures. A lot of factors come into play, and there is, of course, no one-size-sits-all answer. But Terry Tuma says there are a few questions any angler can answer about the conditions they’re fishing in to determine whether they should stick with stealth or bring the noise.

fishing from dock Photo by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Matching the mood of the fish has been my mantra for years for any species. It simply means using baits and lures to capitalize on fish behavior. When for example, should we use noisy versus quiet lures? Let’s start by answering that question. In darker water, use noisy lures… Follow a quieter protocol in clear water and pressured lakes.

Feature photo by: Bassmaster