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Scott Huntington

7 Tips for a Successful Deer Hunt

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A successful hunt is a positive experience for several reasons. It’s a way to get back-to-basics, a reason to spend time in nature and form strong ties with your hunting partners, and a potential source of high-quality meat that will last you and your companions a long time. 

However, not every hunt is successful. What separates the good from the bad? Luck has something to do with it, and if you want to make your own, we suggest implementing these seven tips. 

1. Plan Ahead

Every time that you set foot in hunting property, you risk disturbing the deer you’re there to find. Do any prep work weeks in advance, if possible. This will give deer time to get comfortable with your hunting location and increases your likelihood of success. It will also give you more time to consider logistical needs like transportation, as well as meal and weapon prep.

2. Learn Where Deer Like to Eat

One of the best ways to locate deer is by recognizing the path from where they bed to their favorite food sources. They prefer sugary foods like fruits and nuts. As part of your prep work, locate sources of these foods and plan your blinds or routes around them. You can set up a feeder ahead of time to raise your chances of a good hunt

3. Mask Your Scent

Deer have an extremely keen sense of smell. When you do finally get out into the field, you want to be as fragrance-free as possible. Wash with scent-free soap and use odor-masking agents to prevent deer from detecting you. 

4. Does Lead to Bucks

Hunting during mating season, or rut, is a popular technique because bucks tend to be more active at this time. However, you shouldn’t attempt to track the larger, more solitary males. Instead, seek does with the knowledge that bucks will follow them.

5. Attract Bucks by Simulating a Doe

As with many types of hunting, putting out a mating call and wearing scents that replicate the scent of a potential mate is an effective way of attracting that trophy buck. There are lots of options out there, but most effective hunters use this technique in some form to proactively draw in bucks. 

6. Listen Carefully

You’ve done your planning, and you know the deer should be here, so why aren’t they? Sometimes, instead of moving frequently and scaring deer away, it’s best to rely on your hearing. Listen for calls and move stealthily toward them, or listen for the sound of deer rising from their bedding to seek food or potential mates. 

7. Stake Out Bedding Areas

Thick, unkempt areas of underbrush make for comfy resting spots for deer. When you plan your hunt, set up some locations where you can rest near some of these areas. Grab yourself some high quality binoculars so you can see the areas from a distance without getting too close. Remember to consider closeness to food in the process. When a deer chooses to bed down in the thicket you’ve chosen, you’ll be in the perfect position.

The Thrill of the Hunt

These are our seven pointers for stalking and getting that 10-pointer you’ve dreamed of. No doubt there are countless other pieces of hunting lore, some more effective than others, that you can find on the internet and through your circle of fellow hunters. We’re starting with the basics here, but sometimes that’s the most important part.

How to Raise Fish for Food

By | Fishing | No Comments

Fish have long been a food staple around the world. Packed with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc and protein, many athletes and nutritionists consider fish a superfood and recommend eating fish regularly as part of a healthy diet. 

Typically, you probably think of buying fish at the store. It’s either wild-caught or farmed and then brought to your local market. What if you could grow your own fish for food? You can, and in doing so, you’ll save money and enjoy a cleaner meal. 

Create Your Fish Habitat

Fish need space to live, and if you’ve already got a pond in your yard, it makes a great start for your fish habitat. You may want to dredge it before adding your fish to remove any debris or algae and make the environment more hospitable for your finned friends. Also, be sure that you check with your local authorities to see if a permit is required to raise fish in your state.

Your pond should include some aquatic plants and algae, so you won’t need to use the algaecide you would in a swimming pool. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can ignore the quality of the water. You should invest in a limnology kit, which evaluates water quality, to ensure your fish have a suitable habitat to live in.

Add Some Fish

Central to the project of raising fish are the fish themselves. If you’re planning to farm fish for food, there are great options out there. Carp can survive under similar conditions as koi and will eat nearly anything. They can also be stocked cheaply.

In addition to these two options, tilapia and trout are two types of fish you might associate more with fine dining. Tilapia requires more close attention to temperature than koi and carp, preferring water between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. On the upside, tilapia grow to full size in about eight months, so you’ll enjoy some return on your investment quickly. Trout aren’t as delicate when it comes to temperature. They handle the cold well but can be picky eaters. 

Make sure you consistently add fertilizer and food for your fish to keep them growing and healthy. The aquatic ecosystem is sensitive, so you’ll even want to leave fish that die in the pond for some time to keep from upsetting the habitat. 

Harvest and Eat

When your fish reach adulthood, it’s time to enjoy the food you’ve grown. There are many great ways to cook fish — you can bake, fry or smoke it and add any number of seasonings. Pick up your favorite seafood cookbook and find something you can adapt to the type of fish you’ve raised. If your habitat is healthy, your home-grown fish will be fresher and tastier than anything you can pick up at the market.