Posts Tagged ‘ Big Game Hunting ’

Sighting In

I was helping out at the Lincoln Ike’s Hunter Sight In day today and am amazed at how many people only shoot their deer rifles once a year and then are frustrated when they can’t make the shot.  Sighting in is important (even if the gun shot well last year) but so is shooting throughout the year to keep your edge. 

If you have not sighted in your rifle for the November 13 opener its not too late.  You owe it to the deer and the time you have invested in the hunt.  Here are a few tips:

1. Sight in from a bench for the most steady hold possible.  You want to see what the gun will do not how skilled you are.

2. Use sandbags or a good rifle/handgun rest.

3. A quick method for sighting in is to fire one round at the target center at 100 yards.  Now see where the bullet actually hit.  While holding the crosshairs on the bullseye, move use the scope turrets to move the crosshairs now over to the bullet hole.  Now fire another round at the bullseye.  You should be on!

4. Now fire a three shot group (always three shots…then make adjustments). 

5. After a three shot group, clean the bore prior to the next group.

6. When making scope adjustments, remember most scopes move the point of aim 1/4″ per click at 100 yards.

7. Once sighted in, take a few shots using the type of rest you will use in the field.  Your groups will open a bit but that is okay.  As long as you can keep all shots fired into a 9″ pie plate you are good to go.  If everything is working, you should expect groups no larger than 3″ from the bench at 100 yards.  Don’t forget the eye and ear protection!

You will be amazed at how good it feels to head to the deer woods with the confidence of a well sighted in rifle that you know how to shoot well!  That is a skill to be proud of!

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly

Experts work with hunters to prep them for deer season at the Lincoln Ikes

Sighting in requires a good rest and sometimes a bit of coaching

Doe Down

This would have to be the shortest hunt I have ever made.  I asked Hershy if he would fly solo on the Nebraska Outdoors Radio show so I could spend an evening in the deer woods.   As it turned out, I left the office later than planned (what else is new) and found myself walking to my stand around 5pm.  Once I arrived to the my ash tree throne, I noticed I had left my safety line in the truck.  Walked back, found the line and back to the tree.  Once safely fastened to that herbaceous beauty I call a tree stand, I brought up my bow and knocked an arrow.  As I was knocking the arrow I noticed a big doe entering the woods to my left.  As luck would have it she chose a trail that would place her 20 yards in front of me but she would not stop walking.  With heart pounding and eyes wide open, I gave out my best baahh.  She stopped dead in her tracks and I let the Montec loose.  A beautiful double lung shot!  She ran under 20 yards and started for the ground.  I truly appreciate not having to blood trail any critter.  I canceled my tag and left the stand with a huge smile on my face.  I think my hunt took a total of 15 minutes but what a time!  We are now enjoying the first batch of black pepper and sweet bourbon jerky from that deer and what a treat! 

Tele-check – I absolutely love this system.  So easy to check in deer now and allow time for taking care of the meat.  Good move!

I keyed in on this stand as it sits in timber at the edge of a crick bed adjacent to a CRP field that is excellent bedding as well as harvested corn and bean fields.  I will be back in this one soon!

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly

Sometimes things just work out!

Do Deer Really Study The Moon?

Much has been said about deer movement in regards to the various phases of the moon and I will offer my limited observations on this.  Now some may say….”Jeff…how can you comment on the moon having never been to the moon before?”  These observations come from the physical phenomena of being able to look UP.  Looking up, I have been able to notice when the moon is fully visible and what my hunting conditions have been like the next day or so.  Very scientific. 

Some researchers, such as Charles Alzheimer, have powerful data suggesting the full moon triggers rutting activity in deer.  From his research, some have concluded that the first full moon after the autumn equinox, the hunters moon (Oct. 23, 2010), triggers rutting activity, while the second full moon after the autumn equinox hovers around the time rutting activity peaks (Nov. 21 for 2010).  We have long known that day length is a primary trigger for changes in testosterone in deer, stimulating rutting behavior.  What we are not as clear on is how the moon may impact these changes.  One could argue it makes sense because wildlife tune into such constants that are consistent for thousands of years.  Maybe there is something to these sci-fi theories? 

Before you completely discount moon phases on animal behavior, keep in mind many law enforcement and medical facilities have documented strange behavioral abnormalities during nights with full moons.  Are we influenced by the moon?  The maternity ward at some hospitals would suggest so!

My own experience has told me that on full moon nights, morning deer movement will be subdued but mid day activity will be higher.   This may be because deer take advantage of moon lit nights and feed longer, therefor are not as active in the 6am – 10am range?  It would make sense that deer who have not been active since say…4am would need to get up and move around by noon or so the next day.    Regardless, I subscribe to the theory of hunting when you can, regardless of what the lunar tables and telescopes suggest.  One constant is for sure…you can’t shoot a deer if your not out there!”  I wonder what impact Saturn has on deer?

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly

Phases of the moon - can they predict deer behavior?

Must be a full moon fight?

Introductions – Field Report/Archery Deer: From Sam

My First Buck - Taken in Mentor Program

Hi,
my name is Sam, I’m 15 and I have been in the mentor program for 2 years. With the season just underway I wanted to share a little about myself. I started shooting a bow in 2007. I bought my first bow (a Bear Odyssey ll) in 2006 when I had a broken arm. I couldn’t shoot it, or practice with it but I knew that I wanted to get into archery. Once I got the clearance from the doctor, I started going to JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) hosted by the Golden Arrow Archery Club and Mentor Kevin Markt. The guys taught me how to shoot correctly and accurately and have fun while doing it. I practiced shooting and got up to the minimum requirement (at that time) of 40 lbs to hunt  for the next year.

 September of 2008 was the first time hunting in the mentor program and it was awesome. That year I was able shoot 5 deer! I knew that this was going to be a good time. The mentors who taught me are amazing and I owe them so much, as well as the Nebraska Game and Parks mentor program who finds the land and gets it signed up for us to hunt and learn on with professional guidance.

By my second year (last year), I had learned and experienced more than I had ever expected to. Last year I was able to help other people and share my knowledge that the mentors had passed on to me. By now I was teaching other new hunters how to shoot, put up a tree stand and gut a deer. I love the mentor program. We all get along and have a lot of fun together. Even during the off-season we get together and shoot 3-D competitions and have competitive shoot-offs.

Mentees at 3-D Shoot

I can’t wait for this season to start, and get out in the woods to get some deer in the freezer! Good luck to all of ya this season!

Sam

Missouri River Outdoor Expo

Folks if you have made the short drive to Ponca State Park in northeast Nebraska for the Fall Expo you really owe it to yourself and family to get up there.  The largest Expo in Nebraska (and maybe the midwest) Ponca has something for everyone…from shooting rifle, shotgun,  muzzleloaders, archery, big game rifles, kayaking, Missouri River boat rides, fishing, bow fishing, camping, tree stand safety, outdoor villages, crafts, games, wildlife activities…you just can’t go wrong this weekend at Ponca. 

Jeff Fields and the team at Ponca have done an outstanding job, along with all the volunteers that make this huge program such a success.  And of course, just visiting Ponca State Park in the fall is a treat in itself.  The attitude amongst all the staff and volunteers just seems to foster a fun and exciting time for all who are fortunate enough to participate in this grand event.  Don’t miss out!  The Expo will run Saturday through Sunday this weekend only.  We’ll see you out there!

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly

Shooting is a big part of the Ponca Expo and is a lot of fun for anyone!

Archery Deer Season…Finally Here

hallelujah it’s finally here!  I thought I would never make it!  Tomorrow many will  start the pilgrimage from civilized citizen to life in the woods as the 2010 Archery Deer Season begins.  Here are just a few tips for this early season.

1. Buy a ThermaCell

2. If Scheels or WalMart are out of ThermaCells steal your buddies ThermaCell

3. Cut a clean path to your stand.  That way you are not leaving your scent on all  that green vegetation you had to wade through to put your stand in the tree.  Plus, as these annuals die back, they get brown, dry and noisy.  Walking through this stuff in the fall can be like sending off a warning siren to deer

4. Focus on good feeding sources.  Remember as harvest kicks in, deer will rapidly change their movements to take advantage of waste or spilled grain areas but for now, patterning can be good. 

5.  You have the whole season to score so don’t get too bold and take risks, such as hunting a bedding area, that could send deer to the next county. 

6. Scout field edges from a distance (what those binoculars are for) and determine best locations to hang a stand where deer consistently enter fields.  Even then, I like to hang stands 20 or so yards back into the woods.  You will be more likely to catch deer milling around in the woods waiting for sundown.

7. If your buddy shoots big deer each year…hunting with him/her more!

8. This early season can be a great time to harvest does.

9. Don’t waste your  time with too much grunting or even rattling this early.  Good early season calls to use include fawn-in-distress (easily made on your predator call) and doe contact bleats are always good but still  use sparingly!

10. Deer are not in rut yet (hardly thinking about it I  imagine) so stay away from estrous lures, scents, etc. and focus on controlling your own scent (that time of year to bathe again).

11. Ground cover scents such as earth or pine can work well to help confuse deer and mask your odor.  Better yet, next time afield, take several young bows of cedar and place them in a bag.  Then at home, store some cedar with your hunting clothes.  When hunting, rub fresh crushed cedar bows on your clothes.

Several years ago my brother-in-law Dave and I were bowhunting for deer.  Dave used the earth scent a bit strong and I have grabbed handfuls of weeds and rubbed them on my clothes (two genius hunters for sure-no deer was going to smell us).  On the way home…you guessed it, the counties finest wanted to discuss the speed limit.  When we rolled down the window I could tell he caught a huge whiff of earth scent and weeds (by now our eyes were watering as I have allergies too).  My first thought was this may be a long night.  But as luck would have it, our good servant of the public was a hunter himself.  He even guessed the scent we were using.  We all laughed so hard – I guess he just didn’t have the heart to write a ticket (Still  not sure why he stopped us).   Thank God for hunters!

Get Em’ Out There

Rawly 

A proud and dedicate archer

NEW Feature – Insight to Archery Deer Hunting

…Sept 15 is the opener of the Archery Deer Season in the great state of Nebraska – which also happens to mark the start of the 15th year for the Mentored Youth Archery Program (MYAP) which connects young Bow Hunter Education graduates with certified Mentors & Bowhunter Education Instructors for an entire archery deer season…this program has become the envy of other state wildlife agencies and organizations as we are seeing past participants of this program not only continue hunting but also pursue other outdoor-related & natural resource professions and some have even become certified Bowhunter Education Instructors themselves…

…to give you a better glimpse into this program – and the fun of deer hunting in Nebraska – we have several young archers that will be blogging from time to time about their experiences in the field…now for these hunters MYAP got started several weeks ago with preparations for the hunt including scouting, target shooting, hanging stands and more target practice…we hope you enjoy their insight into this challenging and yet rewarding pursuit of the white-tailed deer…these hunters give us all reasons to get pumped up for this year’s hunting season, and a look at our future conservationists…enjoy…

hershy