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Know a Bird to Kill One

April 14, 2014

Knowing the habits and haunts of the turkeys in your area will significantly raise the gobbler hunting odds in your favor.

We have all been there: you're all amped up as the hens talk and the gobblers fire off from the roost, and you seem to be in the perfect position right in the middle of the action, feeling fairly certain that in a matter of minutes you will be draping a pair of ankles over your shoulder. But instead of the scene that played out in your head, the turkeys all flew down and wasted no time spreading the distance between you and them while the toms simultaneously fell silent. You've made one big misstep: you didn't do your due scouting diligence prior to your hunt. Scout for your bird Too many...

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Patterning the CVA Apex for Turkey Season

April 10, 2014

Last month, the author took his CVA Apex out to pattern it for turkey season.

Last month, I decided to take my CVA Apex set up with the turkey barrel out for a little patterning test. The gun is set up with the stock CVA turkey choke and a KONUS 3-9x40 Ballistic Reticle scope. The gun was dirty, so I deep-cleaned it. I used a Ballistol-soaked bronze brush on a cleaning rod and scrubbed the barrel for five minutes. I then let it sit for 15 minutes and scrubbed it with the CVA Barrel Blaster bore cleaner for three to four minutes. I finished by pushing...

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Plan Your Fall Whitetail Hunt Now

April 8, 2014

The author's friend Jon Tharp shows the positive results of starting to plan your fall hunt in the spring.

If you are going to take a hunting road trip for whitetails this fall, you need to start your planning now. Here’s how to get started on the road to success. The longest journey begins with a single step. If you are planning to travel to hunt whitetails this year, you need to take that first step right now. Tag application time is in the late winter through spring, and it’s also time to start doing your homework to increase your odds of coming home with a buck come fall. The first thing that needs to be done is to make sure you can secure a deer tag for your...

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Tree Pruning for Habitat Management

April 7, 2014

A pole saw, like this Husqvarna, can help you trim branches that are too high to reach without a ladder. It is something every hunter should have in some form.

When we think of habitat projects and game management, we often think of food plots. However, the trees on your hunting land are the most valuable resource you have. Managing them and knowing when and what to do with them can make your hunting turn from good to awesome. Let’s fire up the chainsaw and get to work. The best reason to prune trees in the early spring is that there is a greatly reduced chance that you’ll damage the core of the tree. Whether you’re pruning fruit trees, cutting shooting lanes in hardwoods, or clearing pathways in pines, now is the time to do it. Fruit...

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Tips for Writing Your Own Outdoor Book

April 2, 2014

In 1992 I borrowed $1,200 from my sister to print a few copies of my first book and held my breath while I waited to see if I would turn a profit. I have come a long ways since then. I now use a fulfillment company to store books and process orders.

You've read a book or magazine article and disagreed with the ideas you read. You may have even felt that you could have written it better. Well, the time to write a book of your own has never been better. You know that you have something to share, and there are some things you are good at with regard to hunting and fishing. You probably even have an inkling that people would pay to hear what you have to say in some particular area of hunting or fishing, but you have one problem: the thought of writing a book scares the puddin’ out of you. Well get ready for a crash course in...

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Producing Your Own Outdoor TV Show: Releases, Permits, and Insurance

March 27, 2014

Every time you take a photo for publication or shoot a video for commercial purposes, you should get two permissions: one from the person who appears on camera, and a second permitting you to use the land you're on.

In an earlier column I offered advice for producing your own outdoor TV shows or documentaries. It covered funding, production techniques, and how to pitch your ideas and shows. If you didn’t read that one, I recommend doing it as a set up for this column, which covers three more pragmatic areas about paperwork that could make or break your show---and maybe your bank account. Permissions for people who appear on camera For purely recreational stills or video that you have no intention to use for financial gain,...

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Lady Hunters: Tips for Starting Them Young

March 19, 2014

Chris and Cidney McCotter with two Arizona javelinas.

It's not much of a secret that lady hunters are the fastest-growing demographic in the hunting community. Part of that is due to families starting their daughters, nieces, neighbor girls, and granddaughters early, and making it fun for them with no pressure. My daughter is not an avid hunter, but she has hunted and has a javelina under her belt. As a matter of fact, she got her first javelina before I did! My friend Chris McCotter is well-known in Arizona hunting circles for not only his hunting...

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Dogging Yotes: Using Man’s Best Friend to Hunt Coyotes

March 19, 2014

Hunting coyotes with dogs is flat-out enjoyable! Just remember that it takes snow, several hunters, and permission to hunt lots of ground to get started. Image copyright iStockPhoto/thejack.

There are several ways to hunt coyotes. Calling them in is always an exciting and rewarding way to pursue them, yet it can sometimes humble even the savviest of hunters---let alone those that are new to the sport. Baiting them, where it is legal to do so, is another viable and productive option. This usually requires you to place the bait somewhere you can be within sight of most of the time. Then there is running them with dogs, which can be a very effective way to get the job done to do your part to help protect fawns and small game. Coyote hunting fills a void during our coldest months...

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Gearing Up for Turkey Camp

March 10, 2014

Turkey camp isn’t just about taking a bird, although that’s pretty fun too. It’s also about being with friends. Image by Rick Sosebee.

It’s hard to imagine, but spring turkey season is almost upon us. I can’t believe it myself, looking outside at the three-plus feet of snow still sitting on my lawn. But it’s here and it’s time to gear up for turkey camp. Even if you’re asleep, you can still prep for gobbler hunting---it’s a frame of mind more than anything. The most important part of it is getting ready to go out and enjoy the spring air, the greening grass, and the budding leaves. Oh, and shooting a turkey in the face. I know, I’m supposed to say it’s the act of going that is important, and that taking the...

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Training for Turkeys: A Treatise on Woods Running

March 6, 2014

For serious turkey hunting training, few things beat going for an old-fashioned woods run.

Perhaps the title is a bit inappropriate, as you train for physical sport and you train for battle---turkeys, not so much. But it’s the best I can come up with for the time being, so that’s how it’ll remain. P90X and Crossfit Training have become extremely popular within our culture of do-gooders. What I can’t figure out is what exactly 99 percent of the population is “training” for. Perhaps the fifty emails they have to read on Monday morning? Let me turn down the intensity by saying that being in decent shape for turkey season is pretty important. Imagine calling a hot bird....

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