Hunting Tips: Upland Game & Waterfowl

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We are back to discuss some new hunting tips and advice. As any good hunter is aware, the learning process is never ending. In this article, we will be discussing ways to improve your success hunting upland game or waterfowl. For more information, please check out Outdoor Life.Here are three great tips for when you are hunting for upland game or waterfowl.

1) Glassing For Ducks

When jump-shooting ducks along streams or potholes, use a good set of binocular to scan the area for distant ducks. If possible, make your observation while looking through brush. Ducks have great eyesight, so they will fly off if they spot you nearby.

2) Don’t Spook The Ringnecks

Wild pheasants are easily frightened by the sound of vehicles, dogs and voices. Most birds will start running or flying away at the first sign of humans in the area. To help prevent the birds from doing so, park as far as possible from where you expect to hunt and approach the area as quietly as possible.

3) Taking Down Grouse

As you are probably aware, ruffed grouse are masters at flying through tickets. Many hunters pass up shots if the birds are not in the clear. However, this is a big mistake. You should never pass up shots if you can see the blur of a grouse as it blasts through brush, but if you take this approach then you need to know exactly where the other members of your hunting group are at all times. If you continually pass up birds, you might never get a single shot all day.

Hunting Tips: Staying Warm

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We are back to discuss some new hunting tips and advice. As any good hunter is aware, the learning process is never ending. In this article, we will be discussing ways to stay warm while you are are outside hunting on a colder day. For more information, please check out Outdoor Life. Here are four great tips to stay warm while hunting.

1) Don’t Sweat It

Perspiration is one of your biggest enemies on a cold day. Take every precaution that you can to keep dry. This means that if you need to take off layers of clothes as you walk in frigid temperatures to avoid sweating, you take off those layers. When you sit for any length of time outside, you will guarantee yourself that you will get chilled if you have worked up a sweat beforehand.

2) Sleep In Comfort

A cot in an unheated tent or cabin will keep you cold all night if you do not have a pad underneath your sleeping bag. If you do not have a pad, spread out your clothing to insulate you from the cold air under the cot. The loft in your bag is compressed from the weight of your body, offering little to no insulation when in contact with the thin fabric of a cot.

3) Cold-Weather Horsemanship

Riding a horse in the cold weather will make you colder much faster, especially if you end up sitting for long periods of time. Warm up by walking the horse downhill. This will help you get your blood moving, and it is certainly good horsemanship to give the animal a break every so often.

4) Bring Your Best Bag

During a cold-weather hunt, you will want to make sure you have your best sleeping bag by your side, even if you are staying in a hunt or cabin with a wood stove. The fire is bound to go out during the middle of the night, and the temperature inside will not be much better than the temperature outside. A lightweight summer bag is only practical for use in the summer.

Four New and Exciting Outdoor Adventures To Try

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It’s always beneficial to get out of your house and enjoy the outdoors. On a regular day, the way to do this might be going for a walk, jog or bike ride. But sometimes it’s nice to really get out of the hustle and bustle. You may want to leave your hometown for a while to explore the great outdoors. It may seem intimidating at first, but immersing yourself in nature is a beautiful and exhilarating experience.

Spending some time in the rough of nature, regardless of what you’re doing, is a great way to truly sit back and appreciate life. When humans interact with nature, we gain a greater appreciation for the world around us. Don’t know what outdoor adventure is right for you? Here is a list of outdoor adventures that are bound to help you appreciate nature while also exercising and getting out of the usual routine.

1) Trail Running

You may be used to running on a treadmill or around your local neighborhood, but trail running creates an entirely different experience. When you run on a trail through nature, you never know what to expect. The unexpected nature of your surroundings truly allows you to be taken aback by just how incredible nature is. Not to mention, you’ll be exercising your mind by assessing the world around you while also exercising your body.

2) Whitewater Kayaking

Kayaking can seem dangerous, but with the proper instruction and gear, whitewater kayaking can be a lot of fun. Take an introductory class and make sure that you are travelling through Class I or Class II rapids when you are still a beginner. Kayaking is a great way to exercise and to immerse yourself into a new activity that revolves around nature. The best times to kayak are during the spring and the summer.

3) Slot Canyoneering

Canyons are some of the Earth’s most incredible structures. Explore them through slot canyoneering and it is sure to be an awe-inspiring experience. You’ll also be able to improve your abilities to travel through the wilderness. While some canyons are walkable, others require climbing, rappelling or scrambling. Always make sure you know what is required of a canyon before exploring it. Some of the most beautiful slot canyons are found in Utah, located in Zion National Park, the Paria Canyons region and more.

4) Peak Bagging

Have you ever seen a breathtaking photograph from the top of a large hill and wanted to see the view with your own eyes? You can if you go peak bagging! If you’re used to short hikes, consider taking your hikes to the next level and head up a larger hill. The terrain will be a bit hard to navigate, but this will make the experience all the more rewarding. It’s also a great way to get a cardio workout. At the end, stand atop your hill and look out at the beautiful view in front you. Once you see how incredible the view is, the experience will be well worth it and you’ll have a better connection with nature.

If you want to become one with the environment but don’t know how, why not try one of these activities? You will get a workout while also learning how to maneuver in nature. In the end, you will be happy you ventured out of your regular routine to take in the beauty of the world around you.

Hunting Tips: The Competition

Mack Prioleau Hunting Tips (2)We are back to discuss some new hunting tips and advice. As any good hunter is aware, the learning process is never ending. I would like to share some thoughts on the competition aspect of hunting. Like any sport, competition is an undeniable aspect. But it is important to not let the competition put anyone in danger or ruin the experience for anyone. For more information, please check out Outdoor Life.

Here are Four Essential Hunting Tips For The Competition:

1) Getting In First

Many roads are blocked to restrict vehicle access to the hunting areas. This means that you will only be able to access the area by foot or horse. Hunters will typically arrive at the gates early in the morning and hike up the roads. But you can beat everyone else by parking at the gate at night and sleep over. If you want to stake claim to the hunting area first, then consider taking a light sleeping back and searching for a clear area to camp out. You should position yourself in the back area in an elevated spot away from the road. Once you are settled, you can take a nap and wait for other hunters to push deer your way as the shooting hours approach.

2) Big-Game Honey Holes

If you are in big country and want to find a place where you have a high chance of finding big game, then you should look to find a heavily timbered canyon with no roads or major trails at the bottom. Most hunters will avoid descending into these spots because they know that they will need to climb back out. The idea of hauling a deer or elk out of the bottom is a double nightmare that will make hunters even more prone to avoiding these potentially game-rich spots. While this location will create more work for you, if you goal is to find the quality game, it will be worth the effort.

3) Drive Double-Dipping

If you are able to learn the drive of another group of hunters, then you may be able to use this information to your advantage. Find a location well away from the group in heavy cover where a scared deer might run after the other group frightens it away. This technique is ethically acceptable if you keep a reasonable distance from the party and do not interfere with the drive of the group.

4) Don’t Follow The Leader

If you are tracking a deer in the snow and discover that another hunter has come upon the same tracks (meaning they are in front of you), there is obviously no reason to keep following. You are better off making a  quick circle and attempting to ambush the deer. There is a good chance that the other hunter will keep pushing the deer ahead, hopefully to you. You will want to keep a considerable distance from where you think the hunter might be; this should be at least a half mile or more.

If you would like to learn more hunting tips, please check out my blog on hunting strategies and hunting tracking tips.

The Walk Across Arizona

The Walk Across Arizona is a visual film project of an 800-mile solo hike from the Utah to the Mexico Border via the Arizona trail. This project, brought to you by TArwood Media, began back in 2011 with the intention of exhibiting Arizona’s vast beauty and diversity by thru hiking from Utah to the Mexico border. They wanted this to be a visual reference for anyone interested in the newly completed Arizona Trail. As you will see in the video, the trip consisted of a wide array of challenges — everything from 105° heat to a daylong hail storm. Finding water was by far the most difficult part of the trail for them. On average, only 1-2 gallons of water was consumed a day. As the creators describe, this project literally took blood, sweat, and tears to complete. It is certainly worth checking out, and if you would like to learn more then check out their YouTube Channel.

A Breath of Life

I recently came across this moving surfing documentary that I thought would be great to share. Check out the description and video below!

To some people, surfing is a way of life. From birth, they are taught that the ocean is a resource, a place of healing, and something you never turn your back on. The lives of most surfers consist of traveling around the world in search of the perfect waves. They have built careers from it. Without the ocean, their lives would be incomplete. To cystic fibrosis patients, the ocean is something entirely different, it is a way to prolong their lives. For years, researchers have explored the connection between Cystic Fibrosis and the ocean. It was noted that in Australia, kids with Cystic Fibrosis who surfed all the time had better lung functions then the kids who were not in the ocean on a regular basis. They attributed this to the fact that the oceans high content of saline helps expel the secretions from the lungs.

In 2007, brothers, James and Charles Dunlop read an article about this connection. Being life long surfers themselves, decided to do something about it. It started first as just a simple idea: Get kids with cystic fibrosis surfing. What resulted was something incredible. Cystic fibrosis patients have to schedule their lives around hours of breathing treatments, chest therapy, and about 45 pills a day in order to stay healthy. Surfing is the one treatment that has proven to help cystic fibrosis patients more than ever. The oceans high content of saline acts as a natural lubricant which clears their lungs and makes breathing easier.

 

Only the Essential: Pacific Crest Trail Documentary

This documentary presents the cinematic story of a 2668 mile thru-hike on America’s premiere long distance footpath, the Pacific Crest Trail. In the summer of 2013 Casey Gannon and Colin Arisman thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail with cameras in hand. “Only The Essential” is the story of their 5 month, 2668 mile journey on foot from Mexico to Canada across the wilderness of California, Oregon, and Washington. The documentary is filmed entirely by hikers. If you are interested in learning more, check out their website: http://www.wildconfluence.com/ote

Essential Hunting Tips: Tracking

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As any good hunter knows, the learning process never ends. There are always new strategies to try to make yourself a safer and more responsible hunter. Over the years, hunters have done a good job of sharing their experiences and successes. Last week I discussed some great hunting strategies to help you have a more effective hunt. This week I would like to share some essential tracking tips. For more information, please check out Outdoor Life.

Here are Six Essential Hunting Tips For Tracking:

1) How To Follow A Blood Trail

To properly follow a blood trail, you are going to need to move quietly as you track. Be on the lookout for quarry, which may be bedded just ahead of you. If you are out with other hunters, it is important that you all communicate with hand signals. Make sure that you are all familiar with the hand signals you will be using beforehand. Every time you see a spot of blood, mark it with a piece of toilet paper or flagging; please remember to remove these later.

2) Do Not Give Up

As any seasoned hunter knows, many times the blood trail that you followed a long way will peter out to absolutely nothing. That is not a good sign because it means the animal is still going strong. However, this does not mean that the animal was not already fatally wounded. You should not give up on your blood trail. Keep searching the area for tiny spots of blood; get on your hands and knees, if necessary, to try and find a sign.

3) Look Up For Blood

When you are tracking a wounded animal, do not focus only on the ground for signs of blood. You should also be actively looking for traces of blood higher up on the sides of trees, on grass heaps, and on stems of a bush. Sometimes we become so focused in on traces of blood on the forest floor that we completely miss vital clues off the ground.

4) Call The Spot

If you drop an animal at a long distance, especially in a brushy area where it is more difficult to see the land, remember to make a mental note of where the animal stood at the shot. It is extremely important to find the precise area so that you can pick up the blood trail easily and track down the animal as fast as possible.

5) Beware Of The Instant Drop

An animal that drops at the shot is actually more likely to run off than an animal that does not go down and instead runs some distance before falling. An animal that falls immediately may only be doing so because of shock. Once it recovers from the shock it will begin running. If you see an animal drop instantly, stay put and be prepared for a quick follow-up shot.

6) No Eye Pokes

If you watch hunting shows, you will often see hosts walk up to a fallen animal and prod it with the firearm muzzle to make sure that it’s dead. You should avoid this course of action at all costs. The last thing you want to do is poke the animal and have it leap up when you are so close that you cannot take action. Instead, you should toss a stone or branch in its direction and look for a reaction. If the animals eyes are closed, it is probably still alive. If there are any signs of life, shoot it in the throat under the chin to administer a humane coup de grâce and not waste meat.

 

10 Essential Hunting Tips: Strategies

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Hunting is an incredibly fun and exhilarating sport, however, it can also be a very dangerous sport at the same time. That is why it is important to be familiar with and understand all the different strategies, rules, and safety measures. With the help of this Outdoor Life article, I would like to provide a running list of hunting tips so that we can all be better hunters. First, I would like to provide you with some key hunting strategies.

1) Go Slow, Have Patience

When still-hunting, most of us do not move slowly enough or stay in position long enough. Next outing, you should try using a watch as a guide. Decide on a period of time to stand still, such as 5-7 minutes. This way you will be forced to remain quiet and silent for this minimum amount of time. Having your eye on the clock will make sure you are not moving too quickly.

2) Stay Quiet

If you make a loud noise while you are outside, stop and stand there as long as you can if you suspect animals to be close by. A deer might stand a long time and stare in your direction, and if it sees you moving then it may run away. But if it doesn’t see or smell you, then it might go back to feeding or whatever else it was doing before it was disturbed. So when you accidently make a loud noise, stay put and wait it out.

3) Quick-Stepping For Deer

Deer are very good at detecting a human cadence as we talk through noisy leaves. Next time, try taking quick steps in a short sprint (10-20 yards), pause, and then do it again. If you can keep your footfalls as light as possible then you will likely sound much like a squirrel scrambling through the leaves instead of a human.

4) Design A Better Drive

All too often hunters will place standers in front of and alongside the area being driven. The problem is that deer will often wait for hunters to pass and then sneak back and run off in the opposite direction. Therefore, it is a good idea to position a stander in the rear where the drive originated to prevent the deer from sneaking away.

5) Judge the Quarry’s Place

You should always try to anticipate where the animal will be when you finish your stalk. Before you start, watch the quarry long enough to determine its direction and rate of travel if it is actively feeding or walking. You should then pick your destination accordingly.

6) Follow With Care

When you are tracking an animal, remember that the quarry will be alert to its back trail. A fresh track requires you to practically still-hunt, as opposed to merely following. This is especially true if the animal is not “lined out” but is taking bites of browse as it goes.

7) Clear Shooting Lanes

When you get into your tree stand, practice taking up shooting positions for all the directions where an animal may appear. After you have a good idea of your shooting lanes, try to remove any branches that are in the line of fire. You should then take up the position that requires the least amount of movement to turn in any direction to your desired shooting lanes.

8) Sweep Away Blind Clutter

If you are sitting in a ground blind or standing next to a tree, then you should sweep away leaves and brush with your boot so that the area is clean of forest debris. Clearing the area will help to eliminate unnecessary noise if you make a move when an animal is approaching.

9) Pick Better Landmarks

While you are stalking an animal, making a big circle and coming up behind it, it’s easy to become confused as you change your location. Pick a distinctive object on the skyline that you can recognize from the back, such as a tree, fence line, rock, or other landmark that you can use to help guide you to the correct spot.

10) Drive Solo

If you are hunting alone then you should try a one-man drive. Purposely walk into an area with the wind at your back. The goal is to stir deer up and get them moving. Once you have passed through, make a circle and do it again. This should be able to confused the deer as to your location. If this doesn’t work then you should take a position on the flank of the area you walked through and wait an hour or two.

The Most Impressive Adventures Of 2015

Over the course of the past year, we witnessed some of the most impressive adventures in recent memory. From speed records to first ascents to daring expeditions, there is a seemingly endless list of crazy adventures that people took on. Outside Magazine recently wrote a piece highlighting some of the most incredible accomplishments over the past 12 months. Below are five of my favorite adventures from the past year.

Dawn Wall Free Climb – Caldwell and Jorgeson

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As the sun set in Yosemite on January 14th, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson completed what may be the most difficult ascent in the history of rock climbing. They remained on the Dawn Wall of El Capitan for 19 days, climbing 3,000 vertical feet along widely spaced, razor thin granite holds. The prize for their accomplishment: the first people to complete a free ascent (using only ropes to catch falls) of the route. Months later, Jorgeson spoke on the difficulty of the climb: “I climbed brick façades as a kid. You’d kind of stick your fingers in there. But sink in those bricks so they barely stick out from the wall. That’s what you’re dealing with.”

The First Ski-Mo Attempt on Makalu

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A team of five elite climbers and skiers joined together in September to attempt the first ski descent of Makalu. Located on the border of Nepal and China, Makalu is the world’s fifth-highest peak (at 27,776 feet). The team made it higher than 25,000 feet before setting off a series of avalanches that caused them to turn around. The decision to retreat was a tough decision for the group to make. Expedition leader Adrian Ballinger wrote at the time: “Deciding to climb and ski a peak like Makalu always meant we would have to accept a level of risk. What level is ‘acceptable’ is deeply personal. Each of us has a different tolerance.”

Lonnie Dupre Solo Summit of Denali in Winter

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This was the fourth attempt to summit Denali by the 53-year-old polar explorer, and his persistence finally paid off. In January, after 25 days of climbing and camping in subzero conditions, Dupre became the first person to make it up North America’s highest peak (20,237 feet) in the dead of winter. During the winter, the snow is deep, the air is frozen, and the storms are treacherous. Tucker Chenoweth, Denali’s mountaineering ranger, compared Dupre’s ascent to “heading out onto the moon by yourself.”

Unsupported Run of the Appalachian Trail – Heather Anderson

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Heather Anderson, a 34-year-old personal trainer from Michigan, set the speed record last fall for running the 2,168-mile Appalachian Trail, without any assistance, in just 54 days. In case it is difficult to comprehend these numbers, consider this to the 46 days it took famed ultrarunner, Scott Jurek, to complete the trail, with assistance. His team provided hot meals, medical supplies, and a bed at the end of every day. Anderson now holds the unassisted speed records of both the UT and the Pacific Crest Trail and is the first women to do so.

Niagara Falls Ice Climb – Will Gadd

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The Canadian ice climber, Will Gadd, has done some pretty impressive stuff in his life. But scaling a frozen shoulder of Niagara Falls last January was absolutely incredible. Gadd climbed the ice while six million cubic feet of water ripped down the falls each second right next to him. The 47-year-old adventurer kept his poise and clawed his way 167 feet to the top. Looking back on it days later, he described the feeling of this climb to Outside: “Normally on an ice climb, if you fall in the first 20 feet you might land in the snow and walk away. Here, if you fall, you go into the world’s most savage mixing bowl. And it is going to fuck you up.”