Posts Tagged ‘hunting’

Shifting Deer, Shifting Cameras

September 24th, 2017 by BTC Editor

We’re beginning to get some early fall temps and the taste of clean, cool air. The skies are beginning to look a little different and we are both beginning to feel a bit different. We are anticipating…

Having found a new core bedding area via trail camera recon (photos below) we are now closing in on exactly how this section of property functions and we are stoked for the postseason and the chance to move cameras into this area and establish precise buck bedding locations. However, we still have the ENTIRE NY deer season in front of us and we now know that we have a prime buck bedding location nailed down adjacent to an area the local does bed in. As we continue to work on peeling the layers off that scenario we will ramp up our mock scrape game using our cameras to tell the story of these locations. This year we are adding into our equation several rubbing posts with overhead licking branches where we will begin to test the waters of the local big boys and hopefully provide ourselves another late October/early November tool for our arsenal. As all these fellas begin to take on their fall ranges and each personality begins to show we become probably a little too eager as we wait for the right time to make our next card pull, but hey, this stuff is what it’s all about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog originally posted on EverWild.

EverWild is an online journal of the outdoor adventure’s of two friends from New York – Justin Michau and DJ Tosh – who are passionate about the outdoors.

Southwestern Backstrap Fajitas Recipe

September 10th, 2017 by BTC Editor

When it comes to fresh venison, the meal I most look forward to is fajitas! For this meal, I used the backstrap from my 8-point taken during last archery season. I love taking all that fresh, organic, grass fed meat into my kitchen and turning out this Tex-Mex classic. It’s filling, full of protein, includes fresh veggies, (my favorite- avocado!), and goes great with chips and salsa, and a cold beer if you want one!

 

Making them is super simple as well.  We process our own deer and package it in portion sizes big enough for serving 2, which in this case is about 1lb of meat. (If you don’t have a FoodSaver for preserving your harvest, do yourself a favor and get one!)

 

Ingredients:

-1lb venison backstrap, fresh or frozen

-1 Bell Pepper (red, green, or any color)

-1/2 white onion

-1 Hass Avocado

-Flour Tortillas

-Cheese- your choice. This recipe used Jalapeno Munster

-Garlic Salt

-Worcestershire Sauce

-Southwestern Seasoning (or mix of cumin, coriander, oregano, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper)

-Chips and Salsa, of course

-2-3 tablespoons of butter

Recipe:

-Take your meat and slice it in 1/2in thick medallions.  Add the Worcestershire Sauce, Southwestern Seasoning, Garlic Salt, to taste. If you can, marinate your meat in the spices overnight, but if you can’t it will still taste great.

-Add butter or olive oil to your pan and turn to medium heat. When hot, add your meat and sear on both sides to medium doneness.

 

-Add butter to a second pan (or use your current pan after removing the meat) and saute your sliced onion and bell pepper once you have sliced them in strips. Saute until tender and easy to bite through.

 

-Dice/shred your cheese, slice your avocado, and prep your fixins’! I arrange the ingredients along the bar and let everyone (and by that, I mean, all of this is just for my husband and I….mostly me!) Warm your tortillas, top with meat, veggies, avocado, cheese, and throw in some salsa if you’re feeling fancy. Then chow down!

 

-This should make enough for about 6 fajitas, and these are great as leftovers as well for lunch the next day. Crack open a Cerveza with salt and lime, and enjoy!

 

Jenny Burden is a successful competitive triathlete through the Spring and Summer, but Fall and Winter are all about hunting for her. She is an avid hunter and is also a member of Huntress View, a team dedicated to strengthening the ever-growing community of women hunters.

Personal Goals for Deer Season

August 13th, 2017 by BTC Editor

Bowhunters everywhere are anxiously counting down the days until deer season opens. Although it’s exciting, if you’re a serious hunter there’s a lot that goes on before climbing into the stand. Preparation is the key to success in the hunting world. You do so by taking inventory of your deer, making sure you have the right setup and proper stand placements, and providing adequate food sources. This will help to increase your success rate, not just for that specific year, but for years to come. Through the preparation process, you really gain knowledge and respect for the land that, in return, helps shape you to be the best stewardess of the land you can be. Setting personal goals to increase your success helps to make yourself accountable and focused on land management.

 

For me, preparing for the season at a young age was different than it is for me now. Throughout my years growing up, I would help my dad hang tree stands and prepare for deer season under his wing. It was my chance to observe and learn. I recently moved a couple years ago into a house that had hunting ground that I could hunt and manage as I could. I finally got the chance to try my hand at land management on my own. It was an important goal for me to learn about food plots. I started by taking soil samples and executing how and what I needed to have a successful food plot. This is now an ongoing goal that I am excited to complete every year. As late August approaches, I will be planting a mixture of Triticale, Forage Oats, Winter Peas, Crimson Clover, Chicory, Turnip, and Daikon Radish. This food plot is located in a corner off of a large soybean field, not quite a 1/4 of an acre. It will provide deer with a highly palatable forage source.

 

Within these food plots I use my Browning Trail Cameras to take inventory of the deer. During early summer, bucks are in full velvet and still in their bachelor groups. By putting out your cameras early, you can watch the bucks progress and see how their antlers develop. Try to learn their patterns for early season hunting and pay attention to how they are using the land. This is a high priority, and yet something I truly enjoy doing. Study these bucks and get to know them. An attractant can help keep your deer coming back for more, while providing them with adequate supplements and minerals. I use Anilogics Mineral Dirt 180 which has minerals like Copper, Zinc, Selenium, and Manganese to help a deer’s immune system. As the velvet starts to shed completely off, each buck will soon start to go his own way and their patterns will quickly change.

 

You know, there are so many different ways to manage your land and provide for your deer. I think by actively being involved in all year prepping, you can tremendously grow and learn to become an even more successful hunter each year. After all the hard work has been put in, it’s time to enjoy time in the stand. It truly makes all your hard work and effort pay off when you harvest a mature buck or healthy doe. Myself, as well as thousands of other hunters, are making it our final goal to stock our freezer with lean, organic venison. Shooting your bow as much as you can prior to deer season will help give you the confidence you will need in the stand. It’s a year-round cycle of preparing, planning and executing, and it never gets old!

 

Kinsey Edmunds is a pro-staffer from Missouri. Being raised on a farm and surrounded by wildlife, her love for the outdoors began at a young age. Kinsey enjoys bowhunting whitetails, turkeys, hogs and gators, just to name a few. She is also a team member of Huntress View, a team dedicated to strengthening the ever-growing community of women hunters.

5 Tips for Elk Season Success

July 30th, 2017 by BTC Editor

I recently moved from Kentucky to Idaho, so instead of focusing on whitetails this hunting season, it’s all about the elk. I harvested my first elk last year, and I’m ready to put number two in the freezer this year.

 

Hunting elk on public landing in Idaho is definitely different than hunting whitetails on my farm in Kentucky. We aren’t using feeders, minerals and supplements or food plots to bring the elk in, and hunting elk typically requires much more physical effort than hunting whitetails where you have long periods of sitting in tree stands or ground blinds.

In preparation for the upcoming season, I’ve put together 5 tips that will help you have a successful elk hunting season:

Scouting for Elk – Before you can harvest an elk, you have to know where they are. Pre-season scouting can mean the difference between packing out meat or going home to tag soup!

  • Use maps to get a lay of the land – I use the Hunt App by onXmaps to research my hunting unit. It identifies each hunting unit, private and public land, roads and trails and more.
  • Glassing – A quality pair of binoculars or a spotting scope is a must for glassing. During summer scouting, look for herds of elk in fields in the evening and watch where they’re coming from and where they’re going.
  • Look for rubs and game trails – If you find an area that has rubs from several years ago to the most recent season, that’s a good indicator that the area consistently has elk. Game trails provide insight on where elk are coming from and going to, and will likely lead to food, water or bedding areas.

 

Look for Water – Animals need water. That’s a fact. Find water, and you’ll find animals. By the time fall arrives in the west, water is limited. There isn’t much rain during the summer months, and many of the small ponds and watering holes in the mountains that form from snow melt are dried up.

  • Find a watering hole and see what kind of tracks you can identify. The photo below shows two moose drinking from a mountain-top pond in Idaho; this pond is also frequented by elk and mule deer.
  • Elk will travel from high in the mountains to lakes and reservoirs at lower elevations, so look for game trails to determine where they’re coming from.
  • Look for beaver ponds, as elk and other game will use these too since they will hold water throughout the summer and fall seasons.

 

Use Game Cameras – Game cameras are useful when trying to pattern elk and other game. Place cameras in high-traffic areas, around watering holes or in bedding areas. Put cameras out early in the season to watch bulls growing their antlers, cows with new calves and identify if there are predators in the area.

 Here are a few things to consider when selecting a game camera:

  • Battery life – You most likely won’t be checking cameras frequently, so it’s important to select a camera that has a good battery life. I prefer cameras that take AA batteries; Not only are AA batteries usually cheaper, but they seem to last longer.
  • Picture quality – A camera in the 2-6mp range should be sufficient for most people. Higher mega pixels do not necessarily mean better quality.
  • Infrared or flash for night-time pictures – Infrared cameras don’t seem to spook animals and are not noticed by humans. Additionally, an infrared flash seems to help preserve battery life.

 

CAPTION: Image courtesy of @idahotrailcameras, Cassidy Golightly

Prepare Yourself Physically – As I mentioned already, I learned through my personal experience that elk hunting is more physically demanding than hunting whitetails. Elk hunting is spot-and-stalk hunting, rather than a sit-and-wait hunting. Listening for a bull bugle, spotting elk from across a ridge—then going after it. This means you could be hiking up and down steep inclines, stepping over a lot of downed trees, walking through high brush, and hopefully packing out a heavy load of meat. Because of this, it’s important to train yourself and get into shape for the hunt.

To prepare:

  • If you’re everyday life doesn’t include much physical activity, start walking, jogging or climbing stairs.
  • Spend time in the woods prior to hunting season hiking trails of various distances and inclines. This is a great way to scout!
  • Hike to your cameras instead of riding your 4-wheeler.
  • Carry a weighted pack to simulate packing meat from the mountains.

 

 

Get Your Gear in Order – Prior to season, take inventory of your hunting gear to identify new items you need, what needs to be replaced and what you have that you no longer need.

 The gear you’ll need depends on your hunt—whether you’re going on single day hunts, multi-day backcountry hunts or if you’ll be hunting with a guide/outfitter; it also depends on whether you will be bow hunting or rifle hunting. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has a helpful checklist available on their website.

 

Sarah Honadel is an avid outdoorswoman from Kentucky, now living in Idaho, who enjoys huntingelk, deer and  turkey. She is a Team Member at Huntress View and Brand Champion for ReelCamo Girl, two organizations that work to support, encourage and empower women in the outdoors. Follow her on Instagram @waddysarah and @arrowridgecreations.

Choosing Your First Trail Camera

July 16th, 2017 by BTC Editor

 

 

Trail camera technology has really improved over the years and there are more features than ever, allowing you to customize your trail camera experience to your liking. For someone who is new to hunting or the trail camera world, picking out your first game camera can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what features you need or what the features even do. After someone recently asked me for advice on what they need to look for when purchasing their first camera, I decided to share a few things that I feel are “must-haves”, as well as some bonus features and accessories that may be an asset to you.

Features

I really feel a lot of features on trail cameras are user specific and depend on user preference. I’ll briefly explain the features that I feel are the most important when considering which camera to buy.

Flash Type

The flash types are: White flash, Black flash (Invisible, or No-Glow), and Standard IR (InfraRed / Low-Glow). Tom Rainey of Browning Trail Cameras wrote a really great article for this blog explaining each flash type and their effect on trail camera picture quality: http://browningtrailcameras.com/nighttime-trail-camera-images-putting-light-on-the-subject/

Basically, the highest quality nighttime photos will be from White Flash cameras, then IR cameras, and then Black Flash cameras, but that’s not to say that the quality of the nighttime images from Black Flash cameras are bad. You just may notice a little more motion blur on them.

So, a few things to consider when choosing the flash type:

Where will you be putting your cameras?

If you are going to be putting them on public land or in an area that is known to have a lot of trespassers, you will probably want to go with a Black Flash camera. Otherwise, one of the previous two flash options may be what you would prefer.

Do you feel a White Flash or Standard IR camera will spook the game you are hoping to get pictures of?

If so, a camera with Black Flash may be best for you. My personal experience with Standard IR and White Flash cameras is I feel the animals get used to them. I haven’t noticed them spooking deer in the years that I have been running trail cameras. Everyone has their own opinion on this and each location may be different, so again, go with your own personal preference here.

 

Detection Range

The location where you plan on putting your game cameras will help you decide which camera may be best for you in regards to detection range. If you are running trail cameras primarily in the woods or have it set up over pinch points and travel corridors, the detection range can be quite a bit lower. But, if you are watching over larger areas, such as fields, the detection range needs to be a little higher, especially if you aren’t quite sure where the wildlife are traveling.

For example, the Browning Command Ops has a detection range of 55 feet with a 60-foot flash range, which is great. But the Browning Recon Force Extreme has a detection range of 80 feet with a 120-foot flash range, which is quite a bit more. So, you can see how the higher detection range could be quite a bit more beneficial in certain situations.

Trail Camera Accessories

Obviously, SD Cards and batteries are must-have accessories for your trail cameras. But there are a couple other accessories that you may want to look into purchasing for your first trail camera, depending on the location the camera will be in and how often you plan on checking it.

Security Box

As I mentioned above, the location really is a key factor to consider when purchasing your trail camera. The same goes for deciding whether or not you need a trail camera Security Box. A couple things to keep in mind here: Do you expect there to be trespassers, or will the camera be on public land? Also, what types of animals are in your area? Do you have a high bear population? If you answered “Yes” to any of those questions, I recommend getting a Security Box. Browning makes one that fits all of their camera models (excluding the Defender 850). It can also be locked using a standard padlock or a Master Lock Python Cable so your camera stays safe and stays put.

 

Trail Camera Power Pack

The Trail Camera Power Pack will extend the battery life of your Browning Trail Camera in the field. This is a great option if you don’t plan on checking your trail cameras very often. It holds holds 8 AA batteries in the same easy to use battery tray used in the trail cameras. Other features include a built-in battery tester and a twist lock plug to lock the power adapter to your Browning Trail Camera.

 

Bonus Trail Camera Features

Here are a few “bonus” features that you may also want to take into consideration when choosing your first trail camera. I personally don’t feel that these are features that you absolutely have to have, but I do feel they will enhance your trail camera experience. Personal preference comes into play here as well. Here are a few of my favorite features on the Browning Trail Cameras:

 

Viewing Screen

This is an internal viewing screen on some of the Browning Trail Camera models. It’s great for viewing trail camera photos in the field, and it really comes in handy when positioning the camera while you are setting it up.

 

Timelapse Mode

The Timelapse function allows you to set up your camera in the field, and program it to take pictures automatically at fixed intervals. This feature is helpful when you set a camera up in a new location such as a large field or food plot where you are not sure where the wildlife are entering the field. The camera will take images of the entire field, so you will end up capturing game at 200 + yards away, where a conventional game camera would not normally trigger a picture. All Browning Trail Camera models come with this feature, as well as the Timelapse Viewer Plus Software, so you can playback a whole day’s worth of activity in just a few minutes, much like watching a video.

 

Multi Shot / Rapid Fire Mode

In certain situations, the 8-Shot Rapidfire mode is one of my favorites to use on my Browning Trail Cameras. It takes 8 shots in 2 seconds! I prefer to use this when I have a specific animal that I am targeting that I know will not be in the frame for long. For example, I wanted a Bobcat on this log setup, but I knew it would likely not use this log repeatedly and not stay on it for long, so I put it on Rapid-Fire mode to get as many photos of it as possible and pick my favorites to share. Rapidfire Mode is also great in deer season when you are watching a smaller area, such as pinchpoints and travel corridors, so you don’t miss any deer activity.

 

 

 

Video Mode

This is a really fun trail camera feature. It’s almost like watching the wildlife in person when playing the trail camera videos back! With 1920 X 1080P Full HD, the audio and the clarity in the Browning Trail Camera videos is really amazing. Additional new features for the 2017 model includes Smart IR video, which continues to record video footage while game is moving in front of the camera and SD card management options which allow you to overwrite older images on the SD card if the memory is full.

 

I hope this article helped you know where to start in shopping for your first trail camera! If you have any other questions that were not listed in this article please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

By Andrea Haas

Andrea Haas is a Pro-Staffer from Missouri who enjoys hunting deer, turkeys, and upland birds. She is also the founder of the Huntress View, an organization formed to help strengthen the ever growing community of women hunters

Homemade Venison Jerky Recipe

July 2nd, 2017 by BTC Editor

Making homemade jerky is a simple way to preserve excess meat, and when done correctly, can be stored 1-2 months. Depending on the ingredients used, it can serve as a healthy, high-protein and low-carb snack—perfect for training for upcoming hunts or while in the mountains hiking or hunting.

 

 

Below is the recipe I use. Ingredients are approximations, and can be adjusted based on individual preferences.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. venison meat (can also use elk or other meat)
  • 2 cups teriyaki
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (dark or light is ok)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dried and crushed hot peppers (such as cayenne, jalapeno or habanero)

 

 

Instructions:

  • Slice meat into 1/8”-1/4” slices using meat slicer
  • Combine all ingredients (except meat) in small pot, mix well and heat over a low heat just enough to dissolve the sugar
  • Add meat to liquid mix, one piece at a time, ensuring all pieces are thoroughly coated
  • Place meat and all liquid in Ziploc bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours (I prefer overnight for a stronger flavor)
  • Place slices of meat on dehydrator racks, making sure not to overlap any of the pieces
  • Let dehydrate for 7-8 hours at 155°F
  • Remove from dehydrator and store in plastic Ziploc bag

 

 

Additional information:

  • 3 lbs. of raw meat yields approximately 1 lb. dried jerky
  • Many people use a jerky gun, but I prefer making jerky with sliced meat instead of ground meat. I have a restaurant-quality meat slicer, but good slicers can be purchased at Bass Pro or Cabela’s.
  • Sugar can be omitted for a lower-carb recipe; can also substitute a can of crushed pineapple
  • Cajun seasoning and hot peppers can be omitted if you prefer non-spicy jerky
  • I recommend the Nesco American Harvest Dehydrator, available for purchase on Amazon. I purchased this in 2009 and have used it for multiple batches of jerky every year, as well as for drying fruits and veggies in the summer. It comes with four dehydrator racks, and more can be purchased separately.

 

 

This is our go-to recipe, but would love to hear your jerky recipes. Please comment with your favorite recipe, or any tips you have for making jerky.

 

Sarah Honadel is an avid outdoorswoman from Kentucky, now living in Idaho, who enjoys hunting turkey, deer and elk. She is a Team Member at Huntress View and Brand Champion for ReelCamo Girl, two organizations that work to support, encourage and empower women in the outdoors. Follow her on Instagram @waddysarah and @arrowridgecreations.

Father’s Day

June 18th, 2017 by BTC Editor

In honor of Father’s Day, here is a poem celebrating and thanking Dad’s for everything they have done for us. We’d also like to say Happy Father’s Day to the Dad’s on the Browning Trail Camera team: Brad Miller, Carl Drake, Derek Dirnberger, Don Kisky, Hal Shaffer, Henry Woodard, Jon Brunson, and Levi Morgan. Thank you for setting such a great example for your children and doing a great job at raising the next generation of hunters!

 

Happy Father’s Day

A Dad is a person
who is loving and kind,
And often he knows
what you have on your mind.
He’s someone who listens,
suggests, and defends.
A dad can be one
of your very best friends!
He’s proud of your triumphs,
but when things go wrong,
A dad can be patient
and helpful and strong
In all that you do,
a dad’s love plays a part.
There’s always a place for him
deep in your heart.
And each year that passes,
you’re even more glad,
More grateful and proud
just to call him your dad!
Thank you, Dad…
for listening and caring,
for giving and sharing,
but, especially, for just being you!
Happy Father’s Day.

 -Author Unknown

Intro to 3D Archery

June 4th, 2017 by BTC Editor

Off season blues? No problem! 3D Archery is a great way to keep you occupied while waiting for your next hunting season. If you’ve never shot a 3D archery range then keep reading, this post is for beginners and what they will need to know before starting 3D archery.

I started competing in 3D tournaments this year to challenge myself, to continue shooting my bow during the off season, and to keep myself active outside. Not only do these tournaments help with my consistency but they have also helped improve my ability to judge yardage. Depending on your location, you could probably look online to find a local archery organization. If you can’t seem to find one online usually your bow shop can help you out by referring you to a few.

Once you find an archery association/organization you can then ask them for a copy of their tournament schedule if it’s not listed online. You will also need to know that specific organization’s available shooting classes, rules for shooting and what scoring system they will use.

I want to mention all the necessities you may need to start shooting competitively.

Essentials:

  • Bow (obviously)
  • Release aid
  • Quiver or archery stool that can hold arrows, keys and accessories
  • Binoculars (I love my Vortex Viper HD’s in 8x42mm –Has plenty of magnification and lets in tons of light in order to see targets efficiently)
  • A bow kick stand that stands bow upright so you don’t have to lay it down on the ground
  • At least 5 arrows, possibly more if you believe you will miss targets or damage a few on other shooters’ arrows
  • Pencil (if one’s not provided)
  • Rubber boots as a backup in case your range is muddy
  • Tick/Mosquito spray (We like to spray Scentblocker’s Tick spray on our shoes the day before and it usually last a few weeks)
  • Sports drink to keep you hydrated (I prefer Mtn Ops Yeti or Enduro)
  • Snacks are usually available at a small cost but it’s probably a good idea to bring either a granola bar or PB cracker type snack
  • Water (This is usually provided for free throughout our range but sometimes they’re all gone by the time we go through the course)

Before you shoot in a tournament it may not be a bad idea to find someone that actually shoots them first and just do a walk through with them while they shoot. I did this to make myself more comfortable in knowing how things ran and how the targets are scored. I was less intimidated when I actually shot in my first since I knew how everything worked. If you can’t find someone to walk through with, no biggie, shooters at 3D tournaments are usually very nice and encouraging. I can honestly say I have not ran into a single person that wasn’t willing to help a beginner. It was very calming to be able to get advice from people that not only shot in them regularly but seemed to not be bothered at all by a newbie trying to figure out how the tournaments worked. Again, this is part of the reason I have fallen in love with archery. The archery community is so supportive and educational.

Most 3D tournaments have a variety of classes to shoot in based on your level of skill and your bow setup. For example, the tournaments I have been shooting in have:

  • PeeWee
  • Cubs
  • Longbow
  • Traditional
  • Youth
  • Women’s Youth
  • Women’s Bowhunter
  • Women’s Open
  • Novice
  • Bowhunter
  • Bowhunter Outlaw
  • Senior Open
  • Open Class
  • KNOWN 45
  • Pro Class

Each class will have general rules for being able to shoot in it and will also have different colored stakes to shoot from at the archery range.

Some rules to keep in mind: (Rules may vary slightly depending on the archery club)

  • Each club will have a max arrow speed and also have the right to chronograph any shooter at any time
  • Rangefinders are prohibited unless shooting in the KNOWN class. All other classes require distances to be judged by the naked eye.
  • Binoculars/spotting scopes may be used determining shot placement
  • Bowhunter class is restricted to a 12” or less stabilizer, screw in or glued in tips, and may shoot a movable sight (but it must be a HUNTING sight with NO magnification)
  • Bowhunter Outlaw class is restricted to bowhunter equipment ONLY with hunting sights and NO magnifications. This is the only class with no max speed limits
  • Exchanging yardage information is strictly prohibited
  • Each shooter must be touching the appropriate shooting stake for their class with some part of their body
  • A “controlled letdown” must be verbally announced
  • Once your sights are set and bow has been drawn you cannot reset your sights after a controlled letdown

 

Here are a few tips I would recommend doing before tournament day:

  • Make sure your sight pins are sighted in to ranges that vary for your shooting class
    • For example, I shoot in Women’s Bowhunter and the ranges will vary but usually the farthest distance is 25-30 yards at our specific archery club
    • There are also moveable hunting sights that are great for 3D tournaments so you can easily adjust the distance per target.
  • I practiced at home shooting the distances my pins were set at and really looking at the animal to help myself with judgement of distances. Sometimes I would walk at a random distance, look at the target and guess in my head and then use my rangefinder to see how close I am to guessing correctly. I continue to do this until I am comfortable with my guesses
  • Make sure gear is all together and ready to go
  • Make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before
  • Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast before

Upon arrival:

  • I usually sign in/register and get my score card
  • I then head to the practice bags and shoot at each one that I have a pin set up for to make sure they’re all sighted in. I double check my arrows, release and bow to make sure everything is in good shape
  • We usually shoot in a group with friends and “draw cards” for our shooting order. We will mix them up (faced down) and get one person to draw one card at a time and we will use that as our shooting order. This helps keep it fair because some targets are harder to see where to aim and being the first one to shoot those types of targets can be a little tough. Some shooters will have bright colored fletchings so that makes it easier for the next person to use as a guide on aiming.
    • Side note: Our group sizes vary from 3-5 but I personally believe a group size of 3 is the best. Groups of 5 tend to take longer shooting each target and going through the whole course in general

When shooting at a target I usually go through a series of steps to help myself make a good shot. I like to going by these steps in order to be consistent. These steps may be a little different for each person but once you start doing things in a way that works keep doing them the same way EVERY TIME. I promise they make a difference.

When shooting at a target:

  1. I find the appropriate shooting stake and place a foot on one of the sides of it. It doesn’t matter where as long as some form of your body is touching it.
  2. I usually go ahead and nock an arrow and prepare my arrow rest.
    1. I then look at the target through my binoculars and try to find where I need to aim. The best way to do this for me is to look for specific things like: the shape of the target, which way it’s facing, if it’s leaning backward or forward, if there are any distinctive parts on it such as areas that are shot up or if it has spots you can use to help as a guiding tool. Aim small, miss small is a very accurate statement in this case.
  3. I make sure my feet are shoulder width apart and as flat as possible.
  4. Draw bow.
  5. Find aiming location in peep and match it with appropriate pin.
  6. I make sure my peep sight meets up perfectly with my sight housing. If I’m shooting uphill/downhill and will have to lean some way I make sure to lean with my waist and not just with the bow as this would affect how my peep sight and sight housing meet up.
  7. Relax bow hand and rest pointer finger on my trigger.
  8. Continue to breath, relax muscles and release.

 

When scoring targets, it’s important to know which scoring system the archery club/organization is using. There are two primary organizations that have their own scoring systems: Archery Shooters Association (ASA) and International Bowhunting Organization (IBO). The tournaments we shoot in only use ASA scoring system and the “Upper 12” can only be called or used if the targets specifically shows it can. Here are a few pictures that show the difference in the two.

 

 

If you’re a beginner or not shooting in a Pro class, it’s important to remember these tournaments are for fun and to help you improve. Bad shots will definitely come and you’ll more than likely miss a few targets. Don’t stress too much about those because they have happened to everyone at some point and they help you learn from your mistakes. So good luck to all you beginners and remember to have fun!

Note: If you plan to consistently shoot year after year I suggest investing in an “archery stool” of some sort. I currently use the Browning Steady Ready Stool with PVC pipe attached to the leg. We taped the pipe with black electrical tape and glued a cap on the bottom so that it can be used as an arrow holder. The stool has a mesh zipper pocket on one side and an insulated cooler pocket on the other. You can put ice and drinks in the cooler but we didn’t want to make the stool too heavy to carry so it’s used to hold our extra accessories (keys, binoculars case, back up release, snacks, etc.).

 

 

Courtney is an avid hunter from Louisiana. She has a passion all things outdoors and is an avid hunter. She is also a team member of Huntress View, an organization formed to help strengthen the ever growing community of women hunters.

5 Summertime Trail Camera Tips

May 21st, 2017 by BTC Editor

 

1- Summertime is when most hunters get their trail cameras out of storage and hang them to start taking inventory of their whitetail herd. It’s also a great time to take inventory of your trail cameras. Make note of how many you have, how many more you may need for the upcoming season, and also keep a list of each camera model and serial number in the rare case of theft. It can, and does, happen so keeping a record of this could help get your cameras back eventually if they do get stolen. Browning Trail Cameras also has a Security Box that makes it more difficult for thieves to take your cameras, if even at all.

 

2- Look at an aerial map of your hunting property beforehand so you have a good idea of where you’d like to hang your cameras. This way, you’re not driving or walking all over your property, disturbing the game and working up a sweat. If you have a weather app on your phone you can easily locate your property via the radar portion of the app. If you don’t have that, Google Earth is what I recommend. It’s probably a good idea to take a screenshot of your property and from there mark where you are placing cameras using the paint/draw tool on your phone in case you forget where you hung the cameras later on.

 

3- Summertime is obviously hot, even first thing in the morning, so in order to be out in the heat as little as possible it’s best to have everything ready to go before you head out. Have your trail cameras already set up with the correct date/time/camera settings, full with batteries and the SD card in so all you have to do is hang them, turn them on, and go!

A Browning Trail Camera feature that really helps get your camera positioned quicker is the viewing screen on some of the camera models. (See photo below.)

 

 

4- Everyone has their own system for transferring and storing trail camera pictures to their computer. I like to stay organized from the start by putting my SD cards in 2 separate cases – one for blank SD cards, and one for  full SD cards – and then loading the pictures to my computer once I’m home. A baggie works just as good, just make sure you label each one to avoid confusion. Some prefer to bring a laptop and transfer the pictures there in the field, but I like to get in and out as quickly as possible and this works best for me.

 

5- Last but not least, don’t forget the tick spray! So far this year has been one of the worst I’ve seen for ticks. Using a tick spray with Permethrin has worked well for me. Spray down your clothes and boots and make sure they’re dry before putting them on. You do not want this on your skin! For those worried about scent control, this kind is supposedly odorless once it dries. My nose is of course nowhere near as good as a whitetail’s, but I don’t smell it at all once it’s dry and would prefer to be tick free over scent free anyways, so to me it’s worth it. It also doesn’t hurt to spray it on some of your trail cameras to avoid ant infestations, which are very common in the summer months.

 

By Andrea Haas

Andrea Haas is a Pro-Staffer from Missouri who enjoys hunting deer, turkeys, and upland birds. She is also the founder of the Huntress View, an organization formed to help strengthen the ever growing community of women hunters

“Land and Wildlife Field Day”

April 23rd, 2017 by BTC Editor

Making and setting up Wood Duck boxes is not only a great way to get the next generation involved in conservation and wildlife management, it’s an excellent way to gain insight into the nesting and reproduction habits of Wood Ducks, with an ultimate goal of increasing their population. Scott Cronin, a Pro-Staffer from Kentucky, holds an annual event with a local High School called the “Land & Wildlife Field Day”. Junior and Senior High School students in the Wildlife Forestry Programs participate in this field event in which Wood Duck boxes and trail cameras are installed and studied.

 

The goal of this project is to pinpoint which locations are best for the Wood Duck boxes, what box styles and designs are the most effective, and the rate of nesting in the boxes. Scott has found that using his Browning Trail Cameras to watch the boxes gives them actual data to use, rather than just going back in a few months to see if there’s any eggs. The project also allows them to spend time with the students, teaching them about using trail cameras as a game management tool to get data and to see how successful the projects are.

Scott has been using trail cameras on this conservation project for the past 15 years, but has been using Browning Trail Cameras exclusively for the past 4 years, for several reasons: the durability, versatility and the camera features. Naturally, the locations of the Wood Duck boxes and trail cameras are very wet (swamp areas, flood timber, etc.) but Scott shares that his Browning Trail Cameras have been very maintenance free and has had very little issues with fog and moisture, which is a common problem with any trail camera in these types of locations.

This year Scott started using the new Browning Strike Force HD Pro, which features an incredible .3 second trigger speed, a 1.5” color viewing screen and an adjustable mount, all of which have been a tremendous asset on this project. Scott shares: “I selected the Strike Force HD Pro based on the fact that we’ve had tremendous success over the past 4 years with the Browning Strike Force, and now that it has the viewfinder and the bracket it makes it so much easier to set up the cameras and pinpoint the exact area that you’re wanting to center your frame on from the start.”

Side view of the 2017 Strike Force HD Pro

Trail Cameras are our eyes in the woods, or in this case the wetlands, when we can’t physically be there. They have been especially helpful on this project since they often go a few months before going back to check on these locations. The “Land & Wildlife Field Day” project is an excellent way to teach the next generation about using trail cameras and Wood Duck boxes as tools to help grow the Wood Duck population. While trail cameras are used most often to aid in hunting, don’t overlook how valuable they can be in collecting data for conservation efforts as well.

Kentucky Afield Magazine was there to cover the event this year. Here are a few more photos from their field day!

By Andrea Haas

Andrea Haas is a Pro-Staffer from Missouri who enjoys hunting deer, turkeys, and upland birds. She is also the founder of the Huntress View, an organization formed to help strengthen the ever growing community of women hunters.