Monday, January 31, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Here Moose, Moose, Moose

Have you ever wondered how to call in a big bull moose?  We had a chance to talk with Bob Wozniak from Quaker Boy Game calls and he demonstrated the new Bulldozer Moose Call from Quaker Boy.  What's unique about this call is that it truly is an all in one call.  The Bulldozer has has the ability to make noises that in the past have required several different calls.

By the way, does that guy in the background look familiar?

PostHeaderIcon Turkey Hunting Secret Tidbits that Make for Success

by Naomi K. Shapiro

Here are some turkey hunting tips and tactics by the old pros. This "insider info" comes with experience, and only from hunters who have been through the trials and tribulations of turkey hunting for many years.

Traditionally, turkey hunters get up very early in the morning - -like "before dawn," and head out to their pre-scouted spot or area to set up their decoys and calls, hoping to get a turkey to come in directly from their nighttime roost. This is all fine and dandy and works a lot of the time, but not all hunts are successful, and you need to step it up a bit, and start trying some different things to make the turkeys come in to your set up.

One thing that experienced turkey hunters do is "run and gun." They'll grab their shotgun, one hen decoy, their calls, and start working their way through the woods, QUIETLY (remember turkeys are very wary, and have keen hearing). Every two hundred yards or so of trekking, and they'll stop, and do a series of calls . If there's no response, they'll move again. But, if they do get a response, they'll set out their one hen decoy, approximately 20 yards from where they have set up, making sure the decoy is set between the hunter and the direction of the gobbling. The hunter will continue a series of calls, until the bird is seen, OR, the hunter knows for sure that he's coming in. And if the bird doesn't come in, or the hunter hears nothing, he/she moves on until a "hot" bird, or even one who's "lethargic" comes in. Don't forget there are lots of "lethargic" birds who are just ambling through the woods, and will come in, if there's an attractant. These birds just aren't real "hot" at any given moment, but that doesn't mean you can't get one.

Let's assume that you've not gotten a return call, but you know there's a bird out there. Maybe he's hung up (real wary and won't come in). A little trick that works is based on the fact that that bird knows EXACTLY where your call came from, and it's used to hearing that call, and may still be interested - -especially a "lethargic" bird. What you should do is cup your hand over the call, turn your head and walk directly AWAY from the gobbling bird. This tells your quarry, that whoever made that call is still calling and moving away. This trick makes the gobbler think that the calling hen is moving away from him, and that quickly piques his interest. You see, usually turkeys while being hunted learn to recognize that hunters are trying to close the distance, and move in. If you do the very opposite, that tells the gobbler that it's not a hunter, because the call is moving away, not closer, so it must be a hen, and he says to himself, "I'd better get after her, or I'm going to lose her." Hunters who use this tactic, normally employ it towards the end of the season, as the toms are most wary at this point, having been hunted hard for a long period.

Another good ploy is to mix up your calls. Use a mouth call, a box call, a slate call – whatever variety you can muster. Give the tom an idea that there are MULTIPLE hens out there, and there's security in numbers. So he's going to feel safe, and content to move right in to the flock, he perceives is there.

Remember - -do your normal regimen first, but if that doesn't work, definitely try these suggested "old timer" methods. They really do work, and can make the difference between your family having turkey or Spam for dinner.
Thursday, January 27, 2011

PostHeaderIcon My Best Days Afield

This is a guest post by Ben Gustafson of Central Minnesota. You can enjoy more of Ben's work on his blog, Ben G Outdoors.

When I was still just a kid, around the age of 12, I went out squirrel hunting with my uncle. I was super excited about this hunting trip. First, I had never shot a .22 at any thing other than a target. Secondly, it was the first time I had ever hunted anything other than the bothersome birds around my grandparent’s farm.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was so excited. My uncle, cousin, brother and I all piled into my uncle’s car and drove to some woods somewhere. I really have no clue where it was because I was on cloud nine at the time and not paying any attention.

Not knowing the first thing about squirrel hunting Ryan, Aaron and I all followed my uncle’s lead. Now I know it as the spot and tree the squirrel. I remember it being kind of hard to walk through the woods while keeping quiet.

My uncle saw the first squirrel and we were off chasing it until it ran up a tree. Then with just one shot he killed the squirrel. I really wanted to get a chance to shoot one of these tree rats. After another short walk over to the next oak woods we came across another squirrel and it was my turn to shoot. I had the little bugger all dialed in took the shot and I missed. I was to say the least frustrated, because I thought of myself as a good shot. I guess shooting up rather than at a target is a bit more difficult.

I took a second shot and missed again as Mr. Squirrel jumped to the other side of the tree. I had to move to the opposite side of the tree too, so I could get another shot at the furry fella. I took a deep breath after I had him in my sights. I slowly squeezed the trigger back as the gun popped off a shot. Someone yelled out “you got him” as he fell to the ground. I don’t think the grin left my face for the rest
of the day.

Now jump ahead about seven years, I was 19. It was my second deer hunting season back in Minnesota and my first season hunting with my current hunting party. After about three years of deer hunting under my belt I hadn’t had a chance to take a shot at any deer. I was almost to the point where I was going to say deer hunting isn’t for me and move on.

It was early opening morning. I had been sitting in my tree for about 2 hours when I heard a strange sound off to my right. I really wasn’t sure what it was at first. Then it dawned on me it was a buck snorting. My heart started pounding like crazy. Then I heard a bunch of noise in the brush coming from the same direction, but it seemed as though it was far away. I heard it again and again. The sounds of brush being flung around and sticks snapping were very close.

I stood up only to have my leg start shaking like I was running a race. I had to calm down so I closed my eyes briefly hoping to stop my leg from shaking. No luck. I physically grabbed my leg to stop it from shaking and that worked until I saw him, a very nice 8 point buck. Oh and he was following a doe. They were both just walking and not really paying attention to anything.

As they walked close or at least as close as they were going to get, I brought my gun up and took a shot. But my leg started shaking again and I missed. The deer froze in their tracks and I hurriedly fired again. This time I hit the buck, but he didn’t go down. Instead he headed right toward me at full speed. I fired again and again until I unloaded my 870 pump.

As the last slug flew out of my gun the deer dove head first into some brush. At this point he started to baller so loud I almost thought there was a cow out in the woods. I hurried out of my tree so I could make a kill shot. I had to walk around a bit to get in a good position to take a good shot.

My whole party couldn’t believe that it was me who was shooting at the deer they all thought it was someone with a semi auto.

I don’t think those days will be replaced until my boys start hunting.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Antler Point Restrictions With Marrett Grund Minnesota DNR

Our newest podcast is online! This month Chris interviews Marrett Grund from the Minnesota DNR on a new concept that is gaining popularity with some hunters and upsetting others. Antler Point Restrictions (APR). In this podcast Marrett and Chris discuss reasons for implementing APR and it's effects on the deer herd.

If you like our podcast why not catch up on past episodes or Subscribe To Our Podcast On I Tunes.

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