“Don’t shoot it like a whitetail.” My friend was new to wild hog hunting and suffered my coaching for hours the evening before his first attempt at Texas feral pigs.  Although he was a new pig hunter, I watched him shoot the 3D hog target over and over, hitting the sweet spot. He was ready. We had been perched 15 feet up for several hours when we first heard the snap of a twig. Seconds later, squeals ushered in a sounder of at least a dozen feral hogs, including a mature boar. They filed into the rooted-up field and stopped…
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Advantages of Hunting Public Land Turkeys

Thursday, August 20 2015 5:00 pm - for Turkey
Most hunters shy away from the state and federal lands due to the fear of hunting pressure and shorter seasons associated with government lands.  As with deer hunting, I’ve found that, if you use the hunting pressure to your advantage, things can fall into place. Hunting Turkey on State Land In past years, I would apply for a permit on my father’s land in northern Michigan, knowing that the abundance of birds in the area would give me a shot at a productive season. Tags on the other hand, were hard to come by. The applicants were greater in the…
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3 Things Great Deer Hunters Do

Friday, July 31 2015 6:00 am - for Deer
Increase Your Odds for Bagging a Deer ... Start Planning Your Hunt Now! 1. While you’re sitting at home in the air conditioning, great deer hunters are out in the heat locating deer they plan to hunt in the fall and patterning their movements. 2. While you’re inside watching the baseball game, they’re outside locating food, water sources, and hard-to-reach areas of cover where they will hunt deer. 3. While you’re reading the newspaper, they’re reading a topographical map to find saddles, funnels, and edges that deer use to hide their movements. Then they determine locations for treestands and hang…
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How often have we as hunters sat in our deer stand, wind blowing the wrong direction, hoping that the animals won’t pick up on us?  I have to admit, there have been more times than I can remember. Whether it was a switch in the wind while in stand or just plain laziness, we have all broken the number one rule of big game hunting. First hand experiences have sharpened my knowledge of this unseen dictator. We have to remember that everything in an animal’s world revolves around their nose and to be proficient as a predator we have to…
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When the lawyer handed us the deed, our dream became a reality. My wife, Becky, and I had worked hard, saved, and finally bought 117 acres to live on.  Best of all, 80 acres of it was big, mature woods with towering oaks. This would be our deer hunting paradise. Funny thing was, the best deer hunting turned out to be in the 30-odd acres of lowland brush, cedars, and fallow fields that were also part of the property. As is often the case, our tall timber held only a few deer—save for a few weeks when the acorns fell.…
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Next time you head for the turkey woods, take some wings with you—not the BBQ kind, but a real turkey wing from a past successful hunt. Wings have been used for a long time by turkey hunters to make a flapping sound as they do fly-down calls, but here is another way you can use them. Set up within about 100 yards of a roosted gobbler and gently tap and scrape your wing against a tree as you yelp and cluck. That sounds to the gobbler like a hen stirring and preening on her roost limb as she begins to…
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Are you taking a child on their first turkey hunt this year? Make sure they have a shotgun that fits. Buy a youth model or trim the stock of a full-size gun. A 20-gauge shotgun is best for most younger kids and will take a turkey with good shot placement. Before you take a youngster on an actual hunt, be sure and teach them safe gun handling. Show them how to pattern the shotgun and let them practice shooting. During the turkey hunt, place them tightly by your side or inside your knees. Help them align the shotgun on the…
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With the turkey population at an all-time high across America, you have a pretty good chance of coming across a dominant gobbler traveling with hens, jakes, and subordinate gobblers. Even though it’s next to impossible to call the boss away from the flock, it can be pretty easy to call the flock’s subordinate gobblers into range. Subordinates are usually 2-year-old birds that have gotten beat up by the boss a few times. Because they don’t want to upset the boss again, they rarely gobble but do yelp and cluck to keep track of the flock. Whenever you hear a gobbler…
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If you want to be a good turkey hunter, you need to learn good woodsmanship. It’s as important, or maybe more so, than being a good caller. Woodmanship skills will help you entice a gobbler to an area where he is more likely to go. Being a good woodsman means learning to identify turkey hotspots such as where they roost, water, feed, and their different strutting areas. Finding the roost is your first step to success. Finding where they water and feed will certainly come in handy, too, but always remember, a gobbler usually doesn’t move far from his strut…
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One of the most important items turkey hunters can own is a good turkey vest. Turkey vests are important in helping to keep your gear organized and accessible. Most come with a variety of pockets designed for calls, strikers, extra shells, a face mask, gloves, binoculars, rangefinders, a knife, and even a snack in case you get hungry. Some even have attachment systems that keep everything you need within easy reach to minimize movemen. Large pouch pockets in back work great for decoys, stakes, and even a monster gobbler. My favorite turkey vest has a built-in seat with back support…
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