Articles

Often heralded as Alaska's "best kept secret," Prince of Wales Island's Thorne Bay Lodge offers saltwater fishing, river fishing, and hunting opportunities sure to make even the most well-versed outdoorsman happy.

Located on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island (the third biggest island in the United States), Thorne Bay Lodge is a hunter's and fisherman's dream destination. The lodge is nestled in the forested hills covering the island and is only a hop, skip, and jump away from the water. In fact, visitors to the area must take either a 30 minute float plane ride or a 3 hour ferry ride to reach the island. The folks from Thorne Bay Lodge pick you up at the dock.

Thorne Bay Lodge acts as a homey and comfortable base camp for those wishing to explore the island's many opportunities for outdoor adventure. At the heart of the lodge's many offerings are saltwater fishing, river fishing, and hunting opportunities that are available as both guided or self-guided outings.

River fishing on Prince of Wales Island is unlike fishing anywhere else. Thousands of streams are fed by 8

Wilderness sports can provide a much needed break from civilization. However, when you are in a remote setting, it's important to be aware that the responsibility to keep yourself safe falls squarely on your own shoulders. Following a few wilderness safety guidelines helps to ensure that you enjoy your sport without putting yourself in danger.

Bring Extra Supplies

It's a good idea to bring more supplies than you need for your trip. This way, if you get stuck in the wilderness for longer than you expected to, you won't run out of food or water. At the least, bring along a few extra snacks and a spare liter of water.

Plan for Inclement Weather

Weather can change quickly, and you don't want to be caught unprepared. Bring along rain gear and an extra layer of clothing in case it gets cold. Keeping your core temperature well regulated prevents you from compromising your body to illness. Make sure that your footwear is able to handle inclement weather; you can prevent slips and falls in the rain by wearing shoes with sturdy soles.

Keep Others Informed

Hunting in the great outdoors can be an exhilarating experience. It can change to a stressful and even dangerous situation if the hunter becomes lost. Hunters can become lost for a number of reasons, including following an injured animal into unfamiliar areas, changing weather, and illness or injuries.

Before a hunting trip, people can become familiar with the overall hunting area using the Internet. Google Earth, as an example, gives satellite-based views of virtually anywhere on earth. Before the trip, use an overhead view to become familiar with easily recognized landmarks, local roads and lakes, or areas where people live who can provide assistance.

Global positioning systems (GPS) can be an advantage when hunting in remote areas. Like all electronics, a good battery supply is critical to provide power when needed. Extra batteries, secondary power supplies, and turning off the GPS unit when in familiar areas can extend battery life. GPS units usually include a marker feature that can place saved coordinates at spots chosen by the user. This feature can be used to mark

Have you been thinking about going hunting this season?  While hunting can be an incredibly rewarding activity, it's important to follow safety regulations when you decide to go out.  Even the most experienced of hunters can make mistakes or find themselves in harm's way.  Taking safety precautions is important for both yourself and your fellow hunters.  One of the most important ways that you can stay safe while you're out hunting is to wear orange.

Whether you're going on your first hunting excursion or your fiftieth, it's important to make sure that you always wear orange when you're out.  Even if you're hunting in an area where other hunters don't tend to explore, keep in mind that many individuals choose to hunt illegally or to trespass on other peoples' land.  Wearing orange will help protect you no matter where you hunt.

It's easy to mistake a human for a deer when you're hunting in the woods.  Keep in mind that when you're hunting, you often grow tired and weary waiting to spot something.  If a person is hunting and has been out all day, they might be quick to shoot

Anyone who has been hunting, whether for big game, small game or birds, has experienced, to one degree or another, the phenomenon known as buck fever.  The combined anticipation of the hunt and dreams of a trophy-sized animal lend to most hunters being very excited as they take to the field.  At the first sight of their quarry, the hair on their neck stands on end, their heartbeat races and reactions are sometimes spontaneous.  These are the telltale symptoms of a case of buck fever.

Reaction to this first sighting is very important in that it can present many dangers and problems that can ruin a perfectly good hunt.  Primary among these is danger to the animal.  While being concerned with danger to an animal being hunted seems counter intuitive, good sportsmanship dictates that animals be taken as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Many stories are told of hunters making fantastic shots in taking down a running animal.  Countless more stories go untold of hunters spooking an animal and then injuring it with a poorly placed shot as it runs away.  Unfortunately most of these

When hunting season rolls around, it's time to start getting excited.  After all, what could be more enjoyable?  Not only will you get to experience the thrill of the hunt and the pleasure of catching your prey, but you'll also have the opportunity to truly relax in nature.  If you enjoy the outdoors, love to camp, and can't think of anything better than spending a few days off the grid, it's important that you take safety precautions.  Unfortunately, hunting accidents do happen, so it's up to you to ensure that you stay safe while you're in the woods.  One of the simplest ways that you can stay safe on your trip is to avoid unsafe hunters.  There are a few reasons why this is absolutely essential.

If you plan to go hunting with friends, make sure that each hunter in your group is experienced and trained.  Each person needs to have their hunting license, of course, but you also need to ensure that each hunter with you is a trained marksman.  Has each attendee in your group taken a hunter's safety course?  Does each person know and understand basic first aid techniques?  Ensure that

The very mention of snakes can cause even the bravest outdoorsman to shudder in fear.  While snakes do represent a legitimate concern, snakebite is relatively rare in the US and the total number of annual deaths is a fraction of the number caused by automobile accidents, bees or lightning strikes.  (Johnson & McGarrity, 2013) (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013)  By learning the facts, and understanding a few basic safety principles, you can greatly reduce the odds of receiving a bite and increase your chances of avoiding serious ramifications in the event of a bite.

Seasonal Concerns
Snakes are ectothermic animals that are not active at cold temperatures.  Instead, snakes retire to burrows, dens or tree hollows when the mercury drops too low.  If the temperatures are below about 50 degrees the odds of seeing a snake above ground are very low.  Hunters seeking gobblers in the spring or fall, or predators and prairie dogs in the summer are the most likely to encounter snakes.

Species of Concern
Only two types of

Experienced hunters know that you have to hunt each type of deer differently if you hope to be successful.  While there is a specific way to hunt bucks, as nearly all of them share the same characteristics regarding movement, old, mature bucks need to be hunted slightly differently or you might not ever see them again.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that old bucks are old for a reason.  Simply put, they're smart.  If they've lived this long without another hunter taking them down, then they obviously know how to avoid most hunters.  Fortunately, this just adds to the challenge and the thrill of hunting an old buck.

Below are a few of the reasons why old bucks got to be so old.  Understanding these is the key to tracking down a smart buck on your next hunting trip.

Response to Hunting Pressure

Deer catch on surprisingly quickly to hunting pressure.  Studies have shown that deer that spend the majority of their time in open fields before hunting season, quickly learn to only visit these areas at night once hunting season begins.  And

Have you been searching for new ways to spend quality time with your kids?  Do you feel like you're constantly under pressure at work and don't have the energy to devote to your family?  Does it seem like everyone is too busy to just hang out with each other?  What's a family to do?  Unfortunately, many families feel like they're too busy to actually work on developing their relationships with one another.  This can lead to feelings of remorse, frustration, and even anxiety.  If you're worried that your children don't feel loved or that they aren't getting enough attention, it's time to take a family vacation.  There are a variety of reasons that a hunting trip can offer a great way to get to know your family on a deeper level.

First, a hunting trip means that you won't have any distractions.  If your kids are addicted to video games or your spouse tends to spend too much time online, getting away from the world around you can offer a fantastic way to unwind and relax.  When you're in the woods, you'll leave the cell phones and consoles behind and simply focus on each other.  While

It's a dream that is as old as hunting: Land, teeming with game, that you - and you alone - have the right to hunt upon.  Unless you're lucky enough to belong to a family that has a generations-old hunting camp with a few acres tucked away in the woods, you may find yourself scrambling around every year, trying to find a good hunting spot that is well-stocked with your game of choice, but lacking in competing hunters.  Areas open to public hunting, from state forest to, say, land owned by a timber or mining concern that provides general hunting permission, can sometimes be over-run with other people on opening day; the game patterns can become disrupted by a sudden influx of people trooping past "your" special spot, completely spoiling all the scouting and blind-building efforts you've made.  Getting permission from private landowners involves either finding a connection, no matter how tenuous (the brother-in-law of a neighbor of someone who works in your auto mechanic's shop) or making "cold calls": Spend a month of Saturdays, stopping by farm houses and asking farmers - complete

Many hunters, both experienced and otherwise, hear the words "squirrel hunting" and scoff. They give the activity the same kind of brushing off that many people give small game hunting in general. But squirrel hunting, especially during the winter months, is a very enjoyable activity for a number of reasons.

Chief among these is that squirrel hunting is different from other types of hunting. For one thing, there is not much competition in the way of other hunters. For another, reading sign and tracking in the snow is highly enjoyable. And then there is the peace and quiet of the hunting experience in general. Simply put, squirrel hunting can be a very fun winter activity when done correctly. Use the tips discussed below to make the most out of your first trip and improve your overall chances of success.

Camouflage

Though squirrels are small and skittish creatures (in addition to surprisingly smart), it is easy to track them with a little winter camouflage. When there is snow on the ground, wear whites or snow camo (and don't forget a cap!). As long as you don't make

If anyone knows geese, it's the folks who live on the great Central Flyway, one of the greatest migration routes for wildfowl in the world. In southeastern South Dakota, near the last truly wild stretch of the Missouri River - still as natural as when Lewis and Clark passed through more than two centuries ago - the Dakota Decoy Company makes a line of goose decoys that achieve the lifelike appearance that hunters need. Based on close observation of live geese, these decoys taken into account the changes in feather shading in different light conditions, changes in head position and even the appearance of "walking" active geese. These decoys are made to bring in geese, even geese under hunting pressure.

Good decoys look like geese; great decoys act like geese. Using a special combination of engineering, materials, design and a touch of individual artistry, the Dakota Decoy offerings achieve both the appearance of geese and their apparent behavior. The materials used in constructing the decoys, a combination of high and low density polyethylene, provides a base to

Code Blue is well known among hunters as one of the absolute best producers of hunting scents in the game today. And their hottest new estrous scent, the aptly named Screamin' Heat, keeps the company's image as one of the world's leaders intact.

Developed through extensive scientific research, Cold Blue Screamin' Heat is 100% pure estrous that is collected with meticulous accuracy. This is further enhanced with all-natural female secretions to make the scent as completely realistic as possible.

The patented collection process that has helped make Code Blue the stellar company that it is today is once again utilized in their Screamin' Heat deer scent. This process ensures that every bottle is as pure and fresh as possible. More importantly, it ensures that each bottle is from a single, individual doe in estrus. In fact, this collection and bottling process is where Code Blue's slogan "From One Deer to One Bottle" comes from. No other company does it like Code Blue does.

Code Blue Screamin' Heat arouses and attracts rutting bucks. It does so better than nearly any other

Team Xplore's picture
1496 views

If only more organizations could do what Pap's Shed Outdoor Club does on a regular basis.

As defined in their mission statement, "The purpose of this corporation shall be to provide hunting or fishing experiences for children and adults afflicted with life-changing illnesses, injuries, and disabilities within Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry counties."

Founded by Kenneth Peck, Pap's Shed Outdoor Club is dedicated to providing one-of-a-kind hunting and fishing experiences to those with life-changing illnesses, injuries, and disabilities. Each trip is completely arranged and planned by one of several outdoors outfitters that work in conjunction with the charity. Currently, Lindsay Sporting Camp's provides bear hunting experiences, Mountaintop Whitetail Haven Lodge provides deer hunting experiences, and Fernleigh Lodge provides fishing trips.

Pap's Shed Outdoor Club is all about doing something incredibly simple yet so meaningful for a person in need. The chance to spend a day outdoors, experiencing nature, and taking part in so normal of an activity as hunting or fishing

Team Xplore's picture
1291 views

Tired of struggling to drag your kills over all types of terrain? That's where the Hooker Deer Drag comes in - it is the simple, easy way to get your deer out of the field.

One of the best parts about hunting is finally getting a solid shot off and making a kill. It means that you've accomplished what you set out to do and have something to take home. Yet making a kill also brings about one of the "worst" parts about hunting: actually getting it out of the field.

Every hunter knows that large game like deer is a pain in the butt to haul out of the field. Part of this is naturally because of the animal's large size and awkward dimensions. Another factor is that hunters often have to track deer over sizable distances, often making a kill miles from their trucks.

Steve Huster faced this problem one too many times. A lifelong hunter, Steve knew there had to be an easier way to drag a kill out of the field and into the back of his truck. And that's why he invented the Hooker Deer Drag. Featuring two-inch heavy gauge steel rods, each cut to 3 feet in length, thick foam hand

Often heralded as Alaska's "best kept secret," Prince of Wales Island's Thorne Bay Lodge offers saltwater fishing, river fishing, and hunting
Located on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island (the third biggest island in the United States), Thorne Bay Lodge is a hunter's and fisherman's dream destination. The lodge is nestled in the forested hills covering the island and is only a hop, skip, and jump away from the water. In fact, visitors to the area must take either a 30 minute float plane ride or a 3 hour ferry ride to reach the island. The folks from Thorne Bay Lodge pick you up at the dock.

Thorne Bay Lodge acts as a homey and comfortable base camp for those wishing to explore the island's many opportunities for outdoor adventure. At the heart of the lodge's many offerings are saltwater fishing, river fishing, and hunting opportunities that are available as both guided or self-guided outings.

River fishing on Prince of Wales Island is unlike fishing anywhere else. Thousands of streams are fed by 8 major river systems and nearly all of them holds fish. 1,500 miles of road

Picking the Best Tree for Your Tree Stand

When used correctly, tree stands provide an incredible advantage for hunters. Elevated off the ground, your quarry is less likely to see, hear or smell you as you wait for the perfect shot. However, proper tree selection can mean the difference between a successful hunt and a day spent sitting in a tree. Even more importantly, proper tree selection can mean the difference between a safe day in the forest and one that ends in tragedy.

Types of Stands
Tree selection is relatively simple for large, semi-permanent stands with attached ladders. While you must still select a tree in a good location, the species and structure of the tree are not as important. Virtually any tree large enough to support the weight of you and your stand will work well. By contrast, platform stands that require you to attach steps to the tree or climbing stands require the hunter to plan more carefully. Whenever possible, place platform stands near the junction of the trunk and one of the first large, horizontal branches - one of the strongest points of

For most people, one of the great pleasures of a hunting trip comes from leaving the modern, day-to-day world behind. The woods, mountains, fields - wherever we go to hunt - are as far away from the busy, noisy, intrusive, time- and task-driven civilization we usually experience as we can possibly find. Of course, part of this desire to get back to a simpler life is an illusion: The clothing we wear, for example, is made from modern fabric that is lighter, warmer and more water-resistant than anything our grandfathers could have imagined. The game calls, ammunition and optics are all far beyond what was available a few generations ago. As for game cameras, global positioning systems and accurate weather forecasts brought to us by satellites in near-Earth orbit, they're technologies that were the stuff of science fiction even when most of us were still children. Taking along a cell phone while hunting can be justified if it keeps us just a little bit safer and makes the experience a little more enjoyable, without being too intrusive or helping us take unfair advantage of the game. Short of

After the season is over, a hunter is left with memories, perhaps a few photographs and, for many, packages of meat in the freezer. Even for trophy hunters, the ideal of "eat what you hunt" is central to the hunting experience, and there is a great deal of satisfaction in being able to literally put meat on the table after all the effort - and enjoyment - that goes into a hunt. For many families, a favorite game dish has become traditional, from wild goose dinner on Christmas Day to venison sausage on the grill in the summer.

Delivering good-tasting game to the table begins well before dinner is prepared, though. Proper handling of the meat, from the moment the animal is taken until it is ready to be prepared for cooking, makes all the difference between a tasty, enjoyable meal and meat that tastes too "gamey." Unlike domestically raised meat that is purchased in the grocery store, game requires much more responsibility from the individual. With a little care and attention, the game meals will taste great and only extend the pleasure of the hunting experience.

Field Dressing

Team Xplore's picture
946 views

Tree Stand Safety

Tree stands are incredibly valuable tools in a hunter's arsenal. Whether you are hunting deer, elk or bear, an elevated position often provides a good opportunity to take a high-percentage shot. By being above an animal's natural sightline, your quarry is less likely to spot you as it moves into range. However, each year, many hunters attain serious, life-threatening injuries when using tree stands. A 1993 survey by "Deer and Deer Hunter Magazine," suggests that as many as one out of three hunters will fall from a stand at some point in their hunting lives. (Deer and Deer Hunting Magazine, 1993) These injuries are unfortunate for the suffering they cause, but also because they are very easy to prevent. By adopting a handful of common sense safety practices, you will increase your chances of staying safe while using a tree stand.

Use a Safety Harness
While a safety harness provides no guarantee of safety, research shows that it drastically reduces your risk of serious injury. A 2004 review of tree stand related injuries by Metz et al, published in the

Lost Art: No longer existing because of the passage of time.

In the days of our forefathers, squirrel hunting was a very common way of putting fare on the table. It didn't matter to our ancestors that one squirrel consisted of only a small amount of meat. They harvested the squirrels, enough to feed themselves and their families, and were grateful for the meals God provided.

What happened to squirrel hunting? Are we too busy in these modern times to bother with hunting such small and insignificant game? Granted there's nothing glorious or monumental about taking a squirrel, but hunting shouldn't always be about the trophy.

Squirrel hunting may very well be the most unconstrained type of hunting in existence. It doesn't require countless hours of sitting in one spot, nor does it involve a great deal of advance preparation or specialized equipment. All you have to do is locate the appropriate habitat and stroll through the area with your eyes on the trees.

So, what constitutes an appropriate habitat for squirrels? In North America, some of the most commonly

How to Pick a Deer Hunting Spot
Any truly experienced deer hunter will tell you that your hunting location should be decided on long before hunting season opens. That being the case, there are a number of ways you can help your chances in landing a trophy before you fire your first shot of the year, but due diligence is required to find the best hunting areas in your neck of the woods. As hunting goes, though, these tips will help raise your chances of landing a buck, but they don't guarantee anything. Keep at it, though, and your trip should be a success.

Early Prep
Use aerial maps and your ribbon placements to scout what you feel will offer the best deer hunting your region has to offer. Once you have ample information at your fingertips concerning the living habits of the area's game, set up as many stands around that region as you think you can effectively hunt.
A lot of your ribboning and early preparation should take place during the spring, which provides hunters a look at what the woods will appear as in November since there's still no snow around.

It should go without saying that buying your child their very first gun should not be a rushed process. Your child's first gun will influence their safety and success on the range, both of which will contribute to their overall enthusiasm for shooting. A well thought out decision and choice of a first gun is the difference between a one-time outing and a well-developed interest in firearms.

Below handguns, rifles, and shotguns are discussed in length as they apply to children. This information will help you sort through the characteristics of each individual gun, so that you can weigh the pros and cons of each from a child's perspective. Above all, it is important to remember that your child's first gun doesn't have to be the biggest and best around. Rather, it should be one that is fun to handful and easy to use so that your child wants to go shooting with you time after time again in the future.

Handguns

Perhaps the hardest type of gun to learn to shoot accurately, handguns are generally not the best type of gun to start your child out with, especially if they are

When you bag the trophy of a lifetime, you'll want to find a taxidermist who will do justice to the job of crafting an attractive display mount of the animal. Taxidermists are not all the same; the quality of work can range from atrocious to superb. Choosing the right taxidermist to preserve the memory of your hunting experience needn't be difficult if you follow these simple tips:

1. Visit prospective taxidermists in person -

Choosing a taxidermist shouldn't be done over the phone. Pick a few likely prospects and pay them a visit. You can learn a lot by talking to them face to face. Ask to see several samples of their work. See if they've won any awards or ribbons for their mounts. Find out how long and how consistently they've been practicing their art.

2. Don't be in a hurry -

One way to assess a taxidermist is by looking at how busy he or she is. An in-demand taxidermist may not be able to get to your job for several months. If there's a backlog of clients, it's often a good sign that some quality work is being done. This doesn't mean that a good

Bears are fascinating animals to track because they leave a wide variety of sign for the hunter. But tracking bears successfully isn't easy; you need knowledge of their feeding habits and the ability to recognise the tell-tale clues they leave behind. Here are some vital tips to improve your bear tracking skills:

1. Know the size and shape of typical bear tracks -

Both black bears and grizzlies have five toes on the front and hind feet. An adult black bear's hind tracks will be about seven inches long (including the toes) and three and a half inches wide across the widest part of the track. A grizzly bear's hind track will be roughly ten inches long and between five and six inches wide. There is plenty of variation, however: male bears are bigger than females, and young bears will obviously leave smaller tracks.

2. Learn to recognise a normal walking gait, so you know how fast a bear is moving -

Bears can amble along quite slowly, especially if they're in a food-rich area and foraging along the way. They can also run nearly twice as fast as a human. With black

Zen monks in robes don’t exactly elicit images of hunting, so what could the two have in common? Although you’d be hard-pressed to find a monk who enjoys hunting in his leisure time, the Zen philosophy is less about what you do and more about how you do it. Applied to hunting, Zen allows you to experience the skill through a different perspective, with greater focus and awareness.

Presence

On an average day, you might find yourself on autopilot during most activities, with your brain scurrying around in different directions—chasing thoughts about the past, the future. Such thoughts lose some of their grip when you’re outdoors hunting, but only in the heat of the chase does your mind let go of all superfluous thoughts and worries to become fully present in the moment.

Zen practice gives you greater access to this state of presence. Whenever you find your mind wandering during the more tedious aspects of hunting, try closing your eyes for a moment to focus on your breathing. If you like, you could sit down on the ground to carry out this practice. Maintain a dignified,

Do you find yourself wanting to hunt, but aren't sure your health will hold out for it?

Even the most fit hunters find some aspects of hunting to be physically challenging. From shimmying up a tree in a climbing stand, to hauling out your harvest, hunting can create a plethora of opportunities to participate in strenuous activities.

There are a variety of ways to simplify your hunting experience so that you can enjoy the hunt, even if your health is not strong. Of course, if your physical limitations are severe, you will need to consult your doctor before engaging in any type of outdoor activities.

Rather than attempting to use an elevated hunting stand, try setting up a ground blind. A ground blind can be built by hand, or purchased as an easy pop-up, tent-style blind. For ease and comfort, the pop-up ground blind is highly recommended. In order to set it up, you simply remove it from its carry case, undo a couple of folds, and it unfurls itself. Because it is very lightweight, you can easily maneuver it into position. Once you've got it set up where you want it,

Have you been thinking about taking your kids on a family hunting trip? Hunting can be an exciting and interesting sport, so it's natural to want your children to get to experience the thrill of hunting with you. Unfortunately, many hunters aren't sure if it's appropriate to bring their children along. After all, won't hunting scar your children emotionally? Isn't hunting something dangerous? Could you children get hurt? No matter how old your children are, it's important to carefully consider whether or not they're ready to go hunting before you take them out. If you're ready to experience hunting with your family, there are a number of ways to decide if your kids are old enough to come along.

First off, take a look at how responsible your kids are. How are their grades? What is their behavior like? Any child that goes hunting with his parents needs to understand that hunting is a huge responsibility. It's not a game, nor is it something that should be taken lightly. If you want to take your kids hunting, you need to decide whether they're emotionally and physically responsible

Whether you are an experienced, intermediate or novice hunter, there are tried and true guidelines to follow regarding the carrying firearms and proper hunting gear. A number of these rules are taught in hunter education courses and passed on through the hunting community. They are always easy to follow and well worth taking the time to commit to memory.

Knowing the right way to carry a firearm and the right color of clothing to wear on a hunting trip is a life saver. Good hunters know that following these fundamentals of safety is the foundation of hunting for sport. Practicing firearm carries and wearing proper gear only aids in effective and safe hunting.

Depending on the terrain you chose to hunt in, there are six different firearm carries that a hunter should be familiar with. These carries are the two-hand, cradle, elbow, trail, sling and shoulder. Beside the terrain, the company you are hunting with also determines the type of carry you should be using.

The two-hand and cradle carries are good to use when more than two hunters are walking in a line with one

Sporting goods manufacturers offer a wide range of scents designed to help deer hunters to be more productive in the field. However, just like every other tool that a hunter uses, scents must be used properly to be effective. Hunters should understand the purpose of scents and avoid the mistakes that most hunters make with scents.

Scent Purpose

Scents designed for use with deer hunting have two primary purposes: to mask human scent or to attract deer. Scents that are designed to mask human scent are referred to as cover scents. These scents help to make a hunter less noticeable to deer. Cover scents work to defeat a deer's sense of smell like camouflage works to defeat a deer's sense of sight. Common cover scents include urine from common woods animals that are not deer predators such as foxes as well as natural scents such as pine and earth. Attractant scents include doe urine, doe-in-heat urine and buck urine. These scents work to attract deer to the hunter. For example, buck urine is often used in a mock scrape. This combination of a mock scrape and buck scent will make

One of the great pleasures of a hunting trip is the opportunity to leave behind the familiar urban places and head into the mountains, woods and marshes. There are no crowds, malls or six-lane roads, no traffic noise or strip malls. The unfamiliarity of your hunt also usually increases the possibility of getting lost. Learning to navigate across the land with certainty and confidence is a vital skill for any hunter.

Becoming lost is more than just about the embarrassment (although there's always a lot of that involved): It can become dangerous to have to spend an unplanned night - or longer - in the woods, with injury and exposure-related harm as constant dangers. Aside from personal safety, being lost affects friends and family, who can quickly become very concerned if you don't return on schedule. Most of all, a lost hunter can result in searchers spending time and effort to find them, at great expense and potentially placing the searchers themselves in danger.

It's always possible to get lost - even the famed experienced frontiersmen of old reported getting "turned around

Whether you have an air rifle for dispatching small game or a large-bore rifle for taking out bears, keeping your riflescope sighted properly is essential. There are several reasons for this, not just the obvious ones of simply being accurate.

First, a good hunter strives to minimize suffering. The point of a shoot is to get a clean kill with minimal bullet expenditure. It's not to cause pain and suffering to an animal. Therefore keeping your rifle sighted ensures that you minimize unnecessary injuries.

Next, consider safety. Hunters need to be able to predict where the shot will land. While this isn't as important with a low-powered rifle, such as an air rifle, it's essential for anything that uses a charge to propel the bullet. A .303 bullet has a killing distance of up to a mile, so if there's nothing to stop the bullet, you don't know where it will land. Keeping your rifle sighted will ensure that you know where that shot will end up every time.

Of course, if you're using the gun to repel a bear or a cougar, that shot needs to be accurate to save your life. If

Although all firearms, be they shotguns or rifles, perform the same task of bringing down wild game, the action of a firearm and the ammunition used for this task can differ. When hunting smaller game, a hunter must be mindful of the type of pellet cartridge used in a shotgun for a good kill. And when a shotgun does not cut the mustard for a takedown, a rifle performs in a different way but with much the same results. It all depends on whether you want to bring home big game or small game at the end of the day.

Shotguns are usually preferred when it comes to shooting at small game, because they use pellets instead of bullets. This spray of pellets increases a hunter's chance of making a kill of quickly moving small game such as doves, rabbits and squirrels. The choice of action to a shotgun depends on the individual hunter with some of the popular choices to include the pump, break or hinge and semi-automatic.

The shot size used when hunting small game should vary depending on the target. Smaller birds, like doves, require shot sizes like #7½, #8 or #9. Slightly larger small

Hunting broadheads come in a number of varieties. Though this variety means that every hunter can find his or her ideal broadhead, it also makes it difficult to determine which one to use. The good news is that there are a number of differences between the various broadheads available on the market. A hunter can use these differences as a point of comparison in order to choose which broadhead best meets his or her personal needs.

Fixed or Replaceable

In general, broadheads come in two distinct types: fixed blade or replaceable blade. The fixed blade design is generally the most rugged, being able to directly hit bone and to keep penetrating due to their smooth edge design. Fixed blade broadheads can also be sharpened with a whetstone or sharpener if the edges become dull. Replaceable blade broadheads allow a hunter to replace the cutting blades as needed. The cutting edge on a replaceable blade broadhead is razor sharp as the blades have a finer edge than fixed blade designs. Replaceable blades are often the most accurate in the fastest bows as the bulk of the weight of the

Every mid-December, a small, hand-written note would appear on the bulletin board in a gun shop in the small Appalachian town of Christiansburg, Virginia: "End of Deer Season Ammunition Sale. 18 rounds of .30-06, new in box. Call Dave."

It was partly a local joke, but really more of a boast than an attempt at humor. Every year old Dave would buy two deer tags, fire two rounds, get two deer. In the simple algebra of the old-time hunters, if x equals the number of rounds you fired during hunting season and y equals the number of deer you took, then x better equal y, and no more. This ideal not only recalled the days when muzzle-loading rifles were the only option - when your first shot hadbetter count, because it would take a minute or more before you could take a second - but also a statement about shooting safety: Make sure of your target.

The one shot ideal is a worthy one, and deserves to be the goal of every safe and ethical hunter. To achieve it doesn't mean that you have to be a world-class marksman, only that you are willing to pass up as many "iffy" shots as necessary

Every hunter should carry a portable survival kit small enough to fit in a jacket pocket, or in a zippered cargo pants pocket. The idea is to have enough basic survival gear to keep you out of trouble if you unexpectedly get separated from the rest of your equipment. This kit needs to be small enough so you won't leave it behind, yet big enough to hold what you need. Don't bother buying a ready-made survival kit - instead, make up your own.

Some books recommend using a tobacco tin (or even an old, flip-top metal Bandaid container) to house your survival kit. A better option is a tough, clear, waterproof bag: a few layers of Ziploc bags will do, but one of those 5" x 7" Coghlan's vinyl bags works even better. Clear Aloksak dry bags are excellent too.

Here's what your hunting survival kit should contain:

1. Fire making gear -

Pack a plastic lighter, some waterproof matches, a flint with striker and some tinder (prepared at home by smearing cotton balls with petroleum jelly). A tiny magnifying glass is optional.

2. Cutting tools -

Include a slim,

Before you take your youngsters on their first hunting excursion, it's important that you help your kids understand firearm safety. While hunting can be an enjoyable experience to share with your children, proper safety will help keep everyone safe and in control when you're out together. Whether your kids are 15 or 25, make sure that you thoroughly explore the importance of safety with your children before you embark on your trip.

Perhaps one of the first things that you can do to keep your children safe is to take a local safety course. The Hunter's Safety Course will train your kids in firearm safety, use, and cleaning. You'll practice shooting together, learn how to clean a gun correctly, and discuss how to stay safe even when you're out hunting. This also offers your kids the chance to learn with both new gun users and expert marksmen alike. You can attend the safety course with your kids, so you'll also be able to help them learn firsthand.

It's also a good idea to take your kids shooting together before you go hunting. This will help your youngsters feel more

If you've been thinking about taking your child on a hunting trip, you might experiencing mixed emotions. While it's wonderful to know that your youngster is old enough to share in an important past time, you also understand that properly preparing your child for the trip is important. If you've been worrying about how to introduce your child to the world of hunting and fishing, there are a number of ways that you can help your youngster prepare for your first trip together.

First off, make sure that your child wants to come hunting. Many parents are so excited to share this experience with their kids that they don't bother to ask what the child thinks. It's important to have an open, honest discussion with your little one before you embark on your journey. Make sure you ask, "Do you want to come hunting with me?" You can also try asking, "How do you feel about hunting?" or "Do you think that you would enjoy hunting?" Many children have very sensitive hearts, so seeing an animal die might not be something that they're ready for. Talking with your child can help alleviate any stress

If you're a hunter, it's likely your first hunting partner was your father, big brother or an uncle. Learning from an older, more experienced mentor is a tradition that goes back thousands of years, and is still effective today.

Eventually, of course, you move away from home, find different hunting grounds and have to think about looking for a new hunting partner. Sure, there are those who prefer to hunt alone, but for safety reasons it's best to have at least one companion along. You may split up during the actual hunt, but it's great to be able to swap feedback and share stories back at camp.

A good hunting buddy is someone with a level head, a reasonable level of experience, a dedication to safety and an easygoing personality. They should be willing to teach, willing to learn and willing to help out when needed. Above all, they should share your basic philosophy of hunting and enjoy it for much the same reasons you do.

Unfortunately, not all hunting companions are ideal. There are certain personal characteristics you definitely don't want in a hunting partner. If

Athletes who are also avid sportsmen and hunters always have the same dialogue after the season has ended. The comments at the gym after hunting season will sound something like this:

"Man, I hiked my keister off during deer season this year. I came home each day and ate whatever I wanted. I still lost 14 pounds!"

A great deal of knowledge concerning nutrition can be learned from the person who works out all year in the gym, but loves to take a few weeks off in the pursuit of bagging a trophy.

First to consider is the importance of off-season physical training. It's a good idea to condition the body for strenuous activity during the time an excursion through the woods isn't possible. Hunting conditions present a variety of terrains. Time in the gym working on cardio strength, flexibility and stamina for muscle groups like the back and legs, is absolutely necessary. Build and bulk during the non-hunting months for a sure and strong exertion effort throughout the hunting season.

Powering-through into high gear up hillsides and hip-deep snow is just as strenuous