Mini Vertical Crossbow! For SHTF Review


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How to make a trade point for primitive archery and hunting


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Prepping 101: Killer Traps

BY : http://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/prepping-101-killer-traps/

These are three sizes of Conibear, or "killer" traps, with their mainsprings folded in. The one of the left is the 330 size, and the 110 and 160 are on the right, with the AK mag in there for a size reference.
Resources:
Conibear Traps on Ebay
Conibear on Amazon
Trap Setter Tool (in video)Trapping is always a very sensitive subject. What is the purpose of a trap, whether for a man or animal? I think mostly it is so you can catch something or someone without having to be there. Sure, silence is also an issue. In a survival situation, silence is golden. In the mountains a .22 rimfire will echo for miles, and even in the flatlands, a knowing ear will be able to single it out in a suddenly very quiet, collapsed world. But though you can kill with both a bow and a suppressed firearm, you still have to be there. A trap, a good trap, removes that variable, and either stands guard for you or hunts for you while you are off doing other things.

The mainsprings on the traps have to be compressed, and the jaws spread open.
Why is trapping sensitive for most folks outside of flyover country? Mostly because of the danger of catching something you don’t want to catch in the trap. Then there is the pain factor. When we thing of steel traps especially, we think of leg traps. And yes, the thought of a coyote or possum waiting for you to come and kill it, with its broken leg in a trap, is not very pleasant. So that is why I decided to first explain the “killer trap.” This is an animal trap, not a man trap, and it comes in several sizes, depending on which animal you intend to trap. Also known as the Conibear trap, named after its inventor Frank Conibear in the 1950s, trappers call this trap a “killer trap” because it is designed to snap the neck of the animal. The big 330 size traps go for about $25 each on Ebay, and the smaller ones are about half that.
This is the trap setting tool I found on Ebay. For the 330 they are like $25. The video below demonstrates the tool.
A note of caution, one of a few here so please read the whole article, you can’t “practice” with any kind of steel trap while game laws are still being enforced. Trapping is a highly regulated industry, with licenses and seasons and huge rulebooks, and if you try to trap animals illegally you will get caught. If you live in any of the cold states, you’d be surprised to know probably that there are already people trapping the waterways in your area. Most of the felt for high quality hats (think Stetson) come from North American beaver and muskrat pelts. If it weren’t for the trappers still working in America, many of our neighborhoods in rural America would have been flooded out by beavers long ago. Yet if you check out the National Trappers Association website, trapping is one of those industries that is always under attack, not unlike the gun industry.Many types of animals that are completely illegal to trap now will be subject to trapping in a collapse scenario, even Bambi. And though a 330 Conibear might not be the best way to add some venison to your survival food (I hope to follow this up with other types of traps), it certainly isn’t a bad place to start either. If you look in the pictures, a Conibear has a steel trigger in the middle of it, and it can be driven through an ear of corn, or an apple, or just about anything else that deer regularly eat. The same goes for wild pigs, and having several different sizes of Conibear traps will allow you to try for different sizes of pigs. Breaking the neck of a 350 lb. boar hog with a 330 Conibear is kind of laughable, and I doubt it would even hold him until you get there, but you never know. Setting the large trap low, or even using a smaller trap might help you develop a system for catching perfect sized meat hogs. Nobody wants to eat a boar hog anyway from what I have heard.

The other thing you need to be very aware of with Conibear traps of any size is that they are really really really dangerous. Remember, these are designed to break the neck of an animal, so yes, they might also break your arm if you get it caught in there. In a survival situation, you can’t afford to get hurt, at all. Any injury could turn life threatening, so if you are going to buy some Conibears, you really need to practice setting them. Under the best circumstances you also may not have the strength to actually set a 330. It does require some hand strength and arm strength, and I struggled and got out of breath trying to set my first one.

It looks so easy on the video you see here! I bought his tool available on Ebay, for setting Conibear traps. Compared to the steel tongs that are traditionally used, I thought the physics of this device made a lot more sense. But even if you can use the tool successfully, and get it clipped, you still have to manually pinch the mainspring another inch or so to set the clips built into the trap. OMG is that hard! I almost gave up, then finally figured out where I could pinch with the most leverage to clip it. Mind you, I’m terrified of these traps because I had some years ago and had a small one snap on my hand. It was not pretty, so the 330s scare the heck out of me.

Once you figure out how to anchor the trap with your foot and yank up on the T handle, the tool clips the mainspring.
Eventually I did get it as you can see, and I can repeat the process without getting out of breath now. But fair warning, this is not something you want to do in the field in a survival situation. The traps travel just as well, albeit a little less compact, with both mainsprings set and held by the trap’s clips. I would get your traps to that state at home, then do the final set from there out in the field. Fortunately, once the traps have been clipped the physics are much more in your favor and the last step is really quite easy. you pinch the jaws the last inch or so, set the trigger, and the clips fall away. The trap is now set.There are a couple other considerations. The first is anchoring the trap. In the pictures you will see what are called disposable anchors. They are a plate connected to a cable, and you drive the plate into the ground about 18″. When you pull back up on the wire, the anchor gets sideways in the hole, and grips solid. Most likely a decent sized hog will tear one out, but not many other animals would, and don’t forget, the goal is the kill the animal when the trap snaps with a Conibear, so it is just as much so that coyotes won’t carry off your animal as it is about holding the animal down. If you expect large hogs, it might be smart to just use a large chain and linkage connected to the trap. Use your better judgement.

But OMG ouchies! Getting the trap that next inch to grab the built in spring clip is really hard for inexperienced big manly hands.
Another possibly important addition is called a trap stand. If you think about it, other than like the trap on the ground, what can you do with it? I guess you could technically hand it sideways from a tree branch, but it’ll be a bit conspicuous. On the ground the angle is wrong for a deer with an ear of corn, or even a mid-sized hog. You have to get it up off the ground some, and the trap stand allows you to do this, for not a lot of money.Trapping itself is also not so simple, and this you can actually practice, without including your traps. There is no law against attempting to funnel animals by where a trap would normally be, or using game cameras to see if it worked. You could also use game cameras to tell you where the animals usually walk. Baiting is the same deal. There is no law against nailing an ear of corn to a tree to see if the deer come and eat it with the fresh steel smell on the corn. And on private land, ie. hunting leases, there are no wardens to check if you are practicing your hog trapping skills along with your hog hunting skills. Like anything else, time is always different to put aside. Just remember that most animals have a stronger sense of smell than they do sight or hearing, so even if you are aren’t using lures and baits, cover your own scent as much as possible. If you smell the more popular scent cover sprays at Walmart, they are little more than leaf compost tea, which you can make yourself.

Eventually I got it and did both sides. Once the clips are clipped, the trap is fairly stable and can be transported into the field, read to be set.
Like most topics in this series, my overview here is simply meant to introduce you to a survival resource that you may never have even thought about. I plan to purchase a few different types of snares going forward, and I already did buy some leg traps because for problem coyotes sometimes they are the only thing that works. Man traps are one of the most abused subjects in survival literate. If Rambo traps actually worked it would be great, but tend to be obvious, and just who is it that wants to dig a man sized hole to put sharp sticks in the bottom? Certainly not me! The way I see it, one 330 Conibear and setting tool is going to set you back about $50 including shipping. Check that one off the list.From there leverage is in your favor, since the break point of the mainsprings has already been overcome, it is easy to bring the jaws together to set the trigger.
This is the trap set, with the setter tool sitting in front of it to show you how easy it is to carry out to your sets in case you need it, or to reset sprung traps on your next trip.
These are a couple different sizes of anchors. They also make some that look like a bullet.
An 18" long tool hooks onto the anchor and you hammer it into the ground.
This is the stake burying the flat pointy thing.
I don't know if I would trust this to hold a hog that didn't die in a trap, but it'll keep a coyote from dragging it away.
These are 330 sized trap stands.
Setting a trap a foot high or so with an ear of corn on the trigger is more likely to be successful than on the ground.
Even a big 330 has only about 8" of clearance before you hit the trigger.
Sticks smaller than this shattered when the jaws snapped shut. You don't want your hand in there and it is easier than you think to get confused about which way the jaws snap.

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Tomahawks


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How To Make A Fishing Spear The Old Fashioned Way How To Make A Fishing Spear The Old Fashioned Way

BY : http://crisissurvivortips.com/how-to-make-a-fishing-spear-the-old-fashioned-way/

Isn’t it great to be able to walk freely in the wilderness with the skills and knowledge and tools that you have? As a survivalist, you should learn different skills that you can use in the wilderness. One of the skills that you need to know is foraging for food.

When you are in the wilderness you need weapons to hunt food. One way of finding food in the wilderness is to go fishing. You can quickly make a fishing spear using a stick you can easily find in your immediate environment.

Here are the steps on how to make a fishing spear the old fashioned way.

Step 1.

Get a stick or a sapling that is straight, tall, and at least two inches in diameter. First, you need to create a pressure cut around the perimeter of the stick at the thick end of it. You don’t need to carve the sapling; all you need to do is apply a heavy pressure while rotating your knife around it.

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Step 2.

When you’re done making the pressure cut, the next thing you need to do is to carve away on the short side. As you shave away the sapling or the stick, the short end will become pointed and the long end remains flat.

2

Step 3.

Discard the short section of the sapling, by tapping it with the back of your knife.

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Step 4.

Find a sturdy surface and then secure the other end of the stick on it. Place your knife across the freshly broken end of the sapling.

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Step 5.

Get a wrist-thick piece of wood, use this wood to tap the back of your knife. This will help you split the sapling easily.

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Step 6.

After tapping your knife, push it down to split the sapling. Make sure that you do not go very far.

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Step 7.

The next thing you’re going to do is to make another split. Make another split that is perpendicular to the first. The end of the sapling is now divided into four even sections.

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Step 8.

Get a piece of cordage at least 4 feet long.

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Step 9.

Lash the cordage around the sapling at least 18 inches from the end.

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Step 10.

Split the sapling farther until you reached the point where you have lashed it.

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Step 11.

Get two small twigs. These twigs should be a bit longer than the width of the sapling.

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Step 12.

Slide one twig up and close to the lashing, after that slide the other twig close to the first twig.

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Step 13.

Lash the twigs tightly.

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Step 14.

Shave the outside of each prong.

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Step 15.

Shave the inside of each prong, and then sharpen all four prongs.

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Here is the finish product. Now you can use it to catch fish.

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Via hedgehogleatherworks.com
Image credits: hedgehogleatherworks.com


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30 second fish trap


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Bugs You Can Eat in a Food Crisis

BY : http://www.askaprepper.com/bugs-you-can-eat-in-a-food-crisis/

 

Bugs You Can Eat in a Food Crisis

There are a lot of bugs you can eat in a food crisis or when SHTF. For example, in 1933 when the famine hit Ukraine it is estimated that almost 25% of the people fed at least one time on insects. For many, this was their life ticket. Would you be able to do so if you had no other choices?

Insects may sound disgusting now. But as the starvation sets in, your perspective might rapidly change. Things you don’t consider as food now might start looking edible.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) nearly 2,000 insect species are already part of the diet of at least two billion people. The most commonly eaten insects are caterpillars, ants, bees, wasps, grasshoppers, locusts and crickets. All stages of insects are consumed, for instance ant eggs and pupa, beetle grubs and moth caterpillars.

About The Bugs You Can Eat

Did you know that some tiny bugs you can eat are delicious and scrumptious? In fact there are some cultures that consider these tiny creatures, insects, and worms a delicacy. You can try visiting an upscale restaurant to nibble on some of these insect delights only for the gastronomy purposes.

Those who have eaten insects for survival say that some bugs you can eat taste okay and others are really disgusting. Even really disgusting insects, though, can help you sustain life while you wait to be rescued. It’s really a mental challenge more than anything.

It is cheaper and quicker to raise a particular breed of insect to meal size rather than a cow. More so, insects have more protein per size than bigger animals, and various minerals which humans need but do not produce naturally. Here are the nutrients of most of the bugs you can eat.

But still, many of the bugs you come across shouldn’t be eaten even in a survival situation. Bugs that are generally associated with carrying diseases should not be eaten (flies, mosquitoes, ticks). Also,  avoid bugs that use poison for capturing prey and for defense (some centipedes, scorpions, and spiders) should not be eaten. If you have captured bugs from standing water you should boil the them before eating. Also, avoid brightly colored or smelly insects.

You can actually sustain yourself quite well with bugs so give them serious consideration when you’re otherwise without food.

10 Bugs You Can Eat in a Food Crisis

Here are 10 bugs you can eat in a food crisis – well-known in some countries as snacks or proper meals:

Wax Moth Larvae

Wax moth larvaeThese larvae are white colored and have a soft tender flesh. You can roast the larvae with peanuts in some oil and eat them with rice or alone. The larvae taste sweet since they feed on honey bee wax. The larvae are very tiny in length and they give a unique flavor when roasted. Some chefs add pretzels while others prefer to serve their customers with other combinations. You may be surprised to know that the wax moth larvae are very popular among the upscale customers for their taste and sweet flavor.

Brown House Crickets

Brown house cricketsThese creatures can be found up to almost two inches long. You can dry roast them or you can pull the wings and legs off. A chef was extremely fond of changing half of his Chocolate Chip pieces for these insects and cooking them. Others put them on a tooth pick and dunk them in chocolate. “They taste like you would expect a cricket to taste”, is the usual reaction. They also have been compared to a doughnut: crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The legs and wings are usually not eaten.

Centipedes

CentipedesYou would think a centipede would be one of the varieties one would not eat. Not so. In China, you can find them as a common street food.   They are usually threaded on a skewer, kebab style and eaten that way. One way of cooking them is to dip them in boiling oil or dry-grilling them. They also have a unique taste, which can be rather acidic. Any daring visitor to China should try this unusual food, but be careful of the circumstances in which you buy them.

Edible Ants

Edible AntsAnts are another hot popular dish at any upscale restaurant, including modern countries. Edible ants have many varieties and they have interesting names such as Lemon ants, Carpenter ants, and honey pot and leaf cutter ants. The edible ants are cooked like any other vegetable or meat dish. Some of the cultures in the world prefer eating raw ants over cooked delicacies. Honeypot ants can be eaten raw while the leaf cutter ants are toasted before serving the clients. In some countries edible ants are sold at cinemas.

Dragonflies

Dragon fliesIt is strange to think of eating these beautiful creatures with their iridescent wings, but they are considered a delicacy in some countries and are nutritious too.  Indonesia and China people catch these insects by waving a stalk coated in palm sap so they will land on it. They are cooked without wings.  The main way to cook them is to boil or fry them. Cooked dragonflies are often served with rice or vegetables. Although, foreigners are usually advised to only order what they can eat. Most of the times they end up eating something entirely different!

Mealworms

mealwormsDo you like to eat soft, juicy and flavor meat? You should try mealworms. These worms usually feed on grain and they are small in size. The total length of a mealworm is less than an inch. They are known to absorb the flavors of ingredients in which they are fried. You can cook them in oil or use butter to get a sweet buttery taste. In case, you do not like the taste in which the mealworms were raised, just let them starve for twenty hours and then cook them with whatever ingredient you like most.

Caterpillars

CaterpillarsCaterpillars is the only bug I’ve tried. I ate it raw and it’s not good at all. The hairs make it even more unbearable. Don’t try this! Be smart and cook them before you eat them. Cook caterpillars with great. Experienced Chinese chefs separate the hairy part from the body.

Dried mopane worms (a species of caterpillars) are considered a delicacy in Botswana. Mopane worms can be soaked to rehydrate, before being fried until they are crunchy, or cooked with onion, tomatoes and spices. The flesh is yellow, and the gut may still contain fragments of dried leaf, which is not harmful to humans. The taste of dried leaves not removed is somewhat reminiscent of tea leaves. Dried mopane worms are frequently canned in tomato or chili sauce to enhance the flavor.

Earthworms

EarthwormsLittle children put a lot of things straight into their mouths! But they may know what adults have forgotten. Earthworms are full of protein and iron. Croatia actually has a restaurant for the tasting of cooked earthworms. Worms digest dirt extracting nutrients in the process. If you don’t want to eat a little dirt then laterally bisect the worms and clean the dirt from them before cooking. The earthworms are specially farmed on site, so they are not feral worms. Earthworms are supposed to be full of protein and are low in fat, so some researchers have said they are a healthy choice.

Cockroaches

CockroachesYou can eat them raw if you like their taste but many people prefer them cooked nicely and gently with rice or alone. Cockroaches are raised specially for the purpose of gastronomy and these tiny creatures are fed on fresh vegetables and raw fruits to keep them healthy and scrumptious. You can eat cockroaches toasted or boiled. To some people the roasted cockroaches taste just like fried chicken and very delicious when sauteed.

Bee Larvae

Bee LarvaeBee larvae are prized in many cultures as tasty morsels. All they eat is royal jelly, pollen, and honey. The larvae, when sauteed in butter, taste much like mushroomy bacon. Adult bees may also be eaten, often roasted. In China, ground bees are used as a remedy for a sore throat.

 

Humans can survive for almost a month without food. As I mentioned, food crisis can last for years. After you finished your food reserves, you have to really think about how to procure your food. Bugs you can eat are a good option! But that doesn’t mean this is all you have to eat. Survivors are opportunists and should never turn down an easy snack, even if it’s a cricket. Gathering food in a survival scenario or food crisis is oftentimes a collection of many different sources, including bugs you can eat.

 


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Gill Nets are a Great Food Gathering Tool

By : http://preparednessadvice.com

gill nets

Whether you bug in or bug out, you probably will have to supplement your food supply.  If for no other reason than after living on canned and stored food, you will crave fresh food.  Depending on where you live, fishing may be a good option.  Now I am not talking about using a fishing pole, but you may consider the possible use of gill nets.

Whether you bug in or bug out, you probably will have to supplement your food supply.  If for no other reason than after living on canned and stored food, you will crave fresh food.  Depending on where you live, fishing may be a good option.  Now I am not talking about using a fishing pole, but you may consider the possible use of gill nets.

Now I know that gill netting is pretty much illegal in all fifty states.  For this reason, gill nets should be used for survival purposes only.  You don’t need to have trouble with the law unnecessarily.  The military has issued gill nets in various survival kits over the years.  I don’t know if they still do.

Gillnetting is a common fishing method used by commercial fishermen on all the oceans and in some freshwater and estuary areas.  According to Murphy, B. and Willis, D. in their book “Fisheries Techniques: Second edition, “Gill nets are vertical panels of netting normally set in a straight line. Fish may be caught by gill nets in 3 ways: (1) wedged – held by the mesh around the body (2) gilled – held by mesh slipping behind the opercula, or (3) tangled – held by teeth, spines, maxillaries, or other protrusions without the body penetrating the mesh.  Most often fish are gilled.  A fish swims into a net and passes only part way through the mesh.  When it struggles to free itself, the twine slips behind the gill cover and prevents escape.”

Gillnets are extremely effective and their use is closely regulated by fisheries management and enforcement agencies.  If you choose to use a gill net in a survival situation, be careful that you do not catch more fish that you can use or preserve.

gill net

The Adventure Survival Gill Net is small and light enough to carry in your bug out bag.

I have a couple of the military issue gill nets, which are small and compact, but I have found one that I think is better.  This is the Adventure Survival Gill Net that sells for 24.95 both on Amazon and through Best Glide.  This 12’ x 4’ emergency gill net is used by stretching it across a stream or pond.  Its 1.5″ mesh meets current FAA regulations for aircraft survival kits, but is perfect for all wilderness survival applications.

To use a gill net, simply string it between two anchor points and allow it to hang straight down in the water.  The top of the net does not need to be at the surface of the water.  The net can be strung across a stream or in a pond or a lake.  As long as both ends are anchored and the net hangs straight down in the water, it should work.

If you can’t get to water or are tired of fish, gill nets can be used for catching birds.  Simply string it in the trees.  Or for birds like quail set it low and drive them into it.  With a little imagination, it can also be used rabbits and other small game.

I realize that there are many larger nets available, and if you live near large bodies of water you may want to research the possibility of purchasing a larger net, they are surprisingly inexpensive.


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First Time Hunting? 14 Useful Tips to Help Beginning Hunters Put Meat on the Table

by : http://ready4itall.org/first-time-hunting-14-useful-tips-to-help-beginning-hunters-put-meat-on-the-table/

1st time hunting

Hunting is a skill and hobby that all preppers should attempt to try. We can spend years stocking up on long-term storage food, but in a long term disaster scenario that food will run out at some point. Stockpiling can only be considered self-sufficient, while hunting truly can bring us closer to self-reliance.

Using hunting to put meat on the table is not only practical from a preparedness point of view, but it’s also one of my favorite hobbies. Lately I’ve been asked by several new hunters about how to get started or if there are any tips that we could share about hunting.

In today’s post we’ll go over 15 useful tips to help beginning hunters get started out in hunting and what they need to do to not only increase their chances of putting meat on the table, but to also stay safe.

 

Make sure someone knows where you are

It is vitally important that someone know where you are when you’re hunting. Every year, hundreds of hunters get lost in the woods. Exposure is the most common cause for hunting-related fatalities. Most of these fatalities could have been avoided had the hunter simply told someone where they were hunting or carried a GPS device.

 

Always carry a wilderness survival kit in the woods

It is extremely important to carry some sort of wilderness survival kit when out in the woods. No one ever thinks that they’ll get lost in the woods or suffer a hunting accident… until they do. Having a basic kit that can provide some food, water (and a way to sterilize water), tools to make fire, shelter material and a way to signal for help will significantly raise your odds for survival should the worst happen.

 

Understand scents

Game animals have an extremely keen sense of smell. In fact, masking your smell could be the difference between bringing home a hundred pounds of meat for the freezer and coming home with nothing.

You must keep this in mind, especially when hunting larger game like deer. Your scent can carry in the air for well over a mile, which will likely guarantee that you’ll come him empty-handed. There are hundreds of various scent control products on the market that can make your scent much harder to detect by animals.

Also, it should go without saying, but if you’re a smoker, don’t smoke while hunting. Cigarette smoke can travel for miles. If a game animal gets a sniff of smoke, not only will they avoid going into your area, but you are pretty much guaranteed to drive off every animal already in your area.

 

Don’t go overboard on gear

If you watch any of the popular hunting shows or visit nearly any hunting forum on the internet, you’re going to be bombarded with gear advertisements. Although having the right hunting gear is important, you don’t need to break the bank or carry things you don’t need. Keep your supplies limited to the essentials of what you need to bring back food and to stay safe.

Remember, hunting is something that has been done for thousands of years. We used to bring down big game animals that would make your 10 point buck look like a chicken wing in comparison….and we did it with sharpened sticks and stones. Find good deals on the bare necessities that you need to hunt and stay safe, but don’t go wild on the gear. You can always upgrade your gear later if you need to.

 

Safety is more important than meat

Most states offer some sort of hunters safety course that is ran by the Department of Natural Resources or Wildlife Service. It is a very good idea for new hunters to take this course before even thinking about picking up a weapon and going hunting.
The second most common reason for hunting fatalities is simple refusal to follow simple safety procedures. Most modern hunters use tree stands, which are great and will give you a huge advantage, especially if you’re bow hunting. These stands always come with a safety harness that’s used to prevent you from falling out of the tree.

Use it!

Don’t be another statistic just because the safety gear is bulky or might get in your way. It may just save your life one day.  Also be sure that you are wearing the appropriate clothing for hunting. If you’re unsure, go with blaze orange. It is the international color for hunters and in some areas blaze orange clothing is a requirement for hunting.

 

Triple-check local hunting laws

Hunting laws are no joke. Every year, thousands of hunters are successfully prosecuted for violating local game and wildlife laws. Be sure that you are you using the appropriate weapon and projectile. Be aware of your state or local area’s tag, licensing and game reporting laws. Nearly every state has an online hunters guide provided by the Department of Natural Resources that outlines (in painful detail) what is allowed and isn’t. Don’t take shortcuts and don’t assume that you won’t get caught. It’s not worth it.

 

Patience is the key to hunting success

There are never any guarantees when hunting. You can have the best gear money can buy, find the best possible hunting land and be the only person that’s ever carried a rifle into those woods, and you could still walk out at the end of the day with nothing but a runny nose.

On the other hand you could sit down in your stand and be presented with the shot of a lifetime on a trophy buck within a few minutes. You just never know. Be patient. It’s called “hunting” and not “killing” for a reason. A good chunk of hunting is simple luck; the only part you can control is your patience. The more patient you are, the better chances you’ll have at getting a good, clean shot and bringing home meat.

 

Find a mentor

For a beginning hunter, having someone that can show you the ropes is a very good idea. Obviously anyone can buy a weapon, get their hunting license and tags and try their luck on public land; but having a mentor can be a game-changer. A mentor can show you all the small, minute details that could be the difference in a successful hunt. A mentor may even be able to set you up with private land to hunt on, which will greatly increase your chances as well.

Your best bet for finding a mentor is finding someone you know. Aside from that, online hunting forums and social media sites like Facebook are also great places to get advice and to meet new hunters in your area.

 

Practice Practice Practice

During the off-season times it’s important to not let yourself become rusty. Marksmanship is a skill that must be regularly honed like a knife or it will become dull. The last thing you want is to be presented with the shot of a lifetime only to blow it because you’re out of practice.

 

Scouting

Scouting is an extremely important part of hunting. Scouting is simply becoming familiar with the area you plan on hunting in. You’ll be able to pay more attention to game signs, potential spots to set up and being more familiar with the area you plan on hunting in will greatly decrease your chances of getting lost and will help avoid accidents. You may also find that specific animals stay in an area all year-round and scouting could give your invaluable intel on that animals habits and movements.

 

Have a plan for after the shot

A lot of beginning hunters are very quick to get some gear, get out there and get hunting. They’re looking forward to taking that shot so much that sometimes they forget about their responsibilities after the shot.

A lot of times animals can run a long way even after being fatally shot. This is where a many hunting accidents happen. Hunters scramble from their tree stands, miss a step and fall. Other times they are so focused on finding their fallen prey that they don’t pay attention to where they’re going or what’s around them. This is extremely dangerous.

In addition to safety, it’s very important to have a plan for your game after it’s been killed. You are going to have to have a plan to field dress, hauling the animal out of the woods, transporting it and processing the meat. Killing animal without having a clear plan for what to do with it afterwards is not only impractical, it’s also unethical and in some cases illegal.

 

Think like your prey when choosing an area to hunt

Hunting is all about giving yourself the best opportunity for a good shot. In order to do that you’re going to have to start thinking like the animals you’re hunting. Looking for animal signs is just the first step in finding a good spot to hunt. You have to know why animals are in certain areas, when they’re likely to be there and where they are going.

 

Make sure all your gear is in working order before opening day

20 feet up in a tree stand is not the place to do any final touches to your scope, or taking care of that squeaky hinge on your stand. Make sure all of your gear is in working order before you go out hunting. This means properly sighting in your weapon, making sure all your gear is not only in serviceable condition (but that you actually know how to use it) and completely testing out any new gear you have.

Even the slightest wrong move can mean the difference between bagging game and going home empty-handed. Make sure all your gear is tested beforehand so that you know you’ll be able to rely on it when the time comes.

 

Be aware of the weather

Hunting seasons usually aren’t in the best of weather times. Snow, high winds and storms often prevent hunters from getting out to the woods. Some hunters will cut corners and will go out even when the conditions are unfavorable or even dangerous. This is always a bad idea.

Be sure to research what the weather will be like during your hunt. If there is any chance that the weather could get bad, do yourself a favor and stay home. No deer in the world is worth getting stranded out in the woods or not coming home at all.


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Hunting Blinds Can Make Excellent Camouflage

Today I was setting around looking at a Cabela’s advertisement for hunting blinds.  This got me to thinking of all the potential uses of a good blind.  Properly made hunting blinds can give you good camouflage while hunting for game.  They can also be used for observation points.

The one I was looking at was a layout blind that lets you lay flat and will keep you dry in up to 10 inches of water.  Now they want $199.00 for theirs.  Now me, I am too cheap to spend that much money on something I can build for myself. I am also a nature photographer.

I have always used old military gear and the natural materials available from your surroundings to make hunting blinds.  It seems like there is always some old or damaged camo around.  If not burlap or other heavy materials and some good paint work well.  Depending on the time of year, I have used old white sheets in the snow or different shades of brown and green material.  Hunting blinds are just a form of camouflage.  Remember animals are easier to fool than humans are.

If you are building an observation post, remember that camouflage does not necessarily provide cover; it only hides you from sight.  Cover provides you physical protection from something coming at you; camouflage provides only protection from sight.

Sixteen Rules for building camouflaged hunting blinds.

  1. Choose an area that already has as much concealment as possible. Any area that provides a way to hide or conceal yourself is ideal.
  2. Cover your tracks.  Make sure the area that you are in is free from any signs that someone could use to track you such as footprints or paths.  Use the surrounding brush to cover your gear and yourself.
  3. Match the color and texture of your surroundings.  Make sure that if you are trying to hide in a jungle that you are not wearing desert camouflage utilities.  Keep the colors of your gear in line with the natural area.
  4. Do not over do it, when camouflaging an area.  You don’t want to make it obvious that someone is hiding under the bushes.  It must look as though it belongs there.
  5. Do not peek out from your camouflaged hunting blind.  Unless you are using face paint or holding a bush in front of your face, do not lift your face to look up at a bird or plane.
  6. Cigarettes should be avoided, but if you have them, do not throw them on the ground.  Pinch the fire out and scatter the tobacco around while rolling the paper into a ball.  Leave no clues.  Remember cigarette smoke can be smelled from a long ways off.
  7. Mirrors and shiny objects can be seen for miles.  They can attract unwanted attention and pinpoint your position.  Have nothing shiny
  8. If you have jewelry or dog tags, tape them together so that they do not make any noise. The slightest noise is enough to give your enemy or your prey a warning that you are there.
  9. Stay off the horizon.  Don’t silhouette yourself against the skyline.
  10. Never build fires in a clearing.  Make sure you are underneath trees or put some sort of screen over the fire to disburse the smoke.  The smell from smoke or cooking can give you away.
  11. Keep to the shadows and blend into the background.  Make sure there is no lighted background behind you.
  12. Bury all of your waste material.  This includes trash if you cannot carry it with you.  When you fill in the dirt, do your best to make it look as though there is no hole recently dug.
  13. If you are using brush and limbs, make sure that you take them from a position that is not located where you are trying to hide.  Watch out for the cut brush turning brown or losing it leaves.
  14. Don’t use deodorant, perfume or smelly soap; odors can be notice a long way off.  Let yourself get dirty.
  15. Do not disturb the look of the natural surroundings and also use materials that are commonly found in that specific area.
  16. Clothes, packs, weapons and other equipment should have their outlines altered by irregular patterns added to blend with the predominant color of the background in the area

As you have probably noticed, the same rules that apply to making hunting blinds also apply to military style camouflage.  To become good at making hunting blinds you need to practice, so go out and try it.  Back off 35 yards or so and see if you can spot the weaknesses in your hunting blinds.

Howard


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