Spring and Summer Deer Feeding | When to Start and What to Feed

Spring and Summer Deer Feeding Leads to a Healthier Herd

With deer season well behind us, there’s no better time than now to start planning and preparing for next season. Part of that planning and preparation is providing your deer herd with the right resources at the right time to maximize their potential. Spring and summer deer feeding might be your chance to do just that.

Spring and Summer Deer Feeding Basics

Deer feeding can take on multiple aspects. As a whole, it includes planting food plots, providing supplemental minerals and feed, and working on habitat projects to improve native forage production. Deer management is all about providing the best resources, at the right amounts and the right time. Feeding deer in spring and summer correctly enables you to improve your herd during critical times, which leads to a healthy, more robust deer herd come fall hunting season.

Spring and summer deer feeding is distinctly different than feeding (or baiting) during deer season where legal. Although there are nutritional needs for deer in the fall during hunting season, maximum benefit and necessity from deer feeding occurs during the offseason, particularly in spring and summer. However, feeding deer in spring and summer months can be expensive. It can also be ineffective if not adequately planned out and purposefully designed as part of a larger deer management program for your property. For instance, herd dynamics, such as overall herd size and buck-to-doe ratios, and habitat concerns, such as carrying capacity and available forage, are important considerations to make before deer feeding programs are considered. If these are considered, then it might be time to begin looking into a feeding program for spring and summer.

4 Most Important Benefits of Spring and Summer Deer Feeding Programs:

  1. Attract and retain deer to your property.
  2. Increase antler potential of bucks.
  3. Improve overall deer herd health.
  4. Increase in fawn recruitment.

When to Start Feeding Deer in Spring?

Beyond weather, focus on paying attention to vegetation. Spring triggers new growth in the fields and woods and deer know this. Their nutritional requirements shift from survival mode to growth mode for both bucks and does.

Early spring to mid spring is a good rule of thumb to start your spring deer feeding program. This roughly coincides as food plots will start being planted. Bucks will still be recovering from the rut and the past winter, but they’ll be also transitioning into starting new antler growth. In addition, does will be entering the final stages of fawn development and preparing for nursing. The third trimester and then into nursing newborn fawns, does will naturally have high nutritional requirements to ensure peak fawn survival.

Nutritional Needs of Deer in the Spring

Spring deer feeding has to focus on the needs that bucks and does have transitioning from winter. As mentioned previously, bucks are starting antler growth and does are preparing for fawn rearing. Both of these lifecycle changes require certain nutrients to maximize their potential.

Unless you have planned appropriately for late season and spring forages, chances are your food plots are just being planted. This can create a gap in available food just before and during spring green up. Protein is critical for bucks to rebuild muscle and also for proper fawn development. Choose high protein deer feed, such as the Big Tine 30-06 Protein Plus

 

Furthermore, certain minerals are also needed by whitetails to maintain a healthy and productive herd. Native browse, food plots, habitat projects, and new growth vegetation will fulfill the food” need of deer, but supplementing these sources with the right minerals creates more mineral uptake for deer and more opportunities for hunters. For antler growth, deer feed ingredients such as calcium and phosphorous are a must. Does, generally, will require a range of nutrients and trace minerals during the spring fawning season. What they don’t already get through the environment they can obtain from a good mineral block like the Big Tine Block.

Finally, an often overlooked need for whitetails during spring is sodium or more commonly salt. The need for this relates to the increase in food intake occurring at this time. Ingesting more succulent vegetation significantly increases the amount of water and potassium intake for whitetails and the need for salt to balance the digestive process is great.

When to Transition to Feeding Deer in Summer

Transitioning between spring and summer deer feeding relates to the next phase of the whitetail’s lifecycle. Bucks are continuing to grow their antlers and now fawns are starting to drop. In conjunction, seasonal changes are also occurring.

Spring and summer deer feeding has no clear stop and start. However, deer can clue you in on when to modify your supplemental feeding program. Two observations can help you decide when deer have shifted into summer mode. First, and most obvious, you will start to see fawns. Second, antler growth in bucks will begin to increase to the point where you begin to see more development of points and height. Both observations are an indication that nutritional requirements are again changing for deer.

Feeding Deer in Summer

The most important time for proper nutrition for whitetails is summer. Bucks are rapidly increasing antler growth and does are recovering from fawning and providing for those newly born fawns.

For bucks, calcium and phosphorus continue to be important for maximum antler growth. A large percentage of these two minerals go directly to antler growth. When selecting the right summer deer feed, look for calcium to phosphorus ratios in feeds should be 1:1 or 2:1 to for optimal antler development.

Does have the largest nutritional needs in summer, especially a nursing doe. Their requirements exist on two fronts. They’re losing energy and nutrients while feeding their fawns and in turn, need to be passing adequate resources to that fawn through their milk. If proper food sources are not available, fawn survival can suffer and the health of the doe herd can be diminished. High levels of carbohydrates and protein-rich feed is needed to meet the needs of does in summer. Protein content should be higher in summer than spring. Feeds should have upwards of 15-22% protein content. Also when feeding deer in summer, your feeders need to be accessible by fawns so they too can take full advantage of all the deer feed ingredients you’re supplementing with.

Conclusion

If you’ve planned well, your food plots and native vegetation, in addition to her management should carry all of the nutritional needs whitetails require. Plots planted with high-quality forages like the Deer Delight mix from Arrow Seed provide very productive, palatable, and protein-rich forages from which deer can easily extract all the nutrients they need during the summer. Of course, throughout spring and summer, and even into fall and winter, every bit of energy, protein, and nutrition can go a long way.

To conclude, spring and summer deer feeding are extremely important to overall deer herd health and to maximize antler development. However, don’t think of it strictly as supplemental feed and minerals. Deer rely on the habitat and the environment first, not supplemental feed. Always check your state’s regulations when it comes to feeding deer and minerals for deer. Whenever possible, make habitat and herd management a priority instead of supplemental feed and minerals. However, if you have satisfied those management requirements, supplying additional nutrition can be an added gain on your property!

Spring Food Plots | Planning and Planting Guide

Start Planning Your Spring Food Plots Now

Along with turkey hunting, which we know you’re looking forward to as much as we are, you’re probably starting to get spring on the brain. Sure, there’s still shed hunting to be done, but it is hard to think about whitetails and not think about getting your food plots rolling again. What will you plant? Will you start any new food plots this year? What has worked best on your property in the past? These are all questions you should think about before you start your spring food plots. Here are some tips to get you started as you count down the days toward spring green-up, even though you’re really waiting until you can get another view like this.

Planning Spring Food Plots

Luckily, you can get started on planning your spring food plots for whitetail deer right now, even if there is still several feet of snow out your front window. The biggest thing to consider is obviously what your goals and objectives are for your property. Wouldn’t you rather have a deer factory over the summer to support many new fawns and watch the development of bucks with your Nikon® optics? If so, spring food plots are probably the way to go. Or would you prefer your property to really attract deer during the fall hunting season? If that is your primary focus, fall food plots are where you should spend your time. The best of both worlds, if you have enough property and resources to support them, is to keep a good mix of both food plots for deer so you have all-season nutrition. You can do that either by rotating spring and fall crops in the same plot or keeping completely separate plots.

As you identify your property goals, consider your neighbors too. For example, it would not make much of a difference to plant a small corn plot if you live in Iowa’s corn country. Focus on planting something that deer can’t easily find in your neighborhood. In that same scenario, try focusing on clover plots for spring nutrition (before corn is available) or brassicas and turnips for late season attraction (after corn has been harvested).

You should also consider the size of the food plots you want to plant. As the size increases so does the cost and time investment. It takes longer to till, prepare, plant, and maintain larger plots, and you will have to buy more seed, herbicide, lime, and fertilizer as well. So if you are feeling a little cash or time-strapped this year, you might want to downsize your spring food plots a little. Of course, the downside to planting small or micro food plots is that they can quickly get overbrowsed. This is especially true if you would like to keep deer on your property over the summer. There are many mouths to feed that time of year for small food plots for deer to keep up.

Best Spring Food Plot Mix

Alright, you have made your plans and now you need to buy some deer food plot seeds to plant. There are probably hundreds of choices when it comes to food plot seeds, most are just different varieties of the same dozen or so plants. But you can’t talk about planning food plots without mentioning perennials versus annuals. Perennial species include long-lived species that come back year after year, which cuts back on planting costs, as long as you properly maintain them. Common perennial food plot species include clover, alfalfa, or chicory. Annual food plot species only grow for that growing season and are highly attractive. Common annuals include corn, soybeans, turnips, radishes, cereal grains, or peas. In some seed mixes, you’ll find a blend of perennial and annual seeds to get the best of both scenarios. The annuals act as a nurse crop because they grow fast and are highly attractive to draw deer attention away from the slower growing perennials, which will grow back in the following years.

Whether you decide on planting fall or spring food plots for deer and turkey, Arrow Seed® has you covered. While they have a few spring food plot blends that would work great for you, two stand out.

Arrow Seed’s Deer Delight blend contains turnips, forage peas, forage soybeans, and two varieties of grain sorghum. This is an annual blend of seeds, and the sorghum acts as a scaffold for the forage peas and soybeans to climb on, while the turnips cover the ground surface.

Their Trophy Banquet mix is another good option, it contains orchardgrass, red clover, white clover, chicory, and two forage alfalfas. This perennial mix is high in protein and it will come back strong in the following years.

Planting Spring Food Plots

The planting process is where the hard work begins and it is a great way to get your kids involved. Of course, it is much more involved than simply planting. First, you need to prepare the soil, which can take some time. If it is a new plot and you are breaking new ground, it might be a better idea to use the first summer to spray it with herbicide and loosen the sod. If you have access to heavy farm equipment, you could also just till it under and have access to good soil relatively quickly.

Before planting, be sure to do a soil test, which will tell you how much fertilizer and lime to add to your plot. Without a soil test, you are just guessing (and you will probably guess wrong). Also, make sure you know the best planting method for the seeds you choose. Most large grains and seeds (e.g., corn, soybeans, etc.) need to be planted using a drill or by broadcasting and disking it into the soil. Meanwhile, small seeds (e.g., clover, brassicas, etc.) should usually just be broadcasted over the soil surface and lightly cultipacked in. It is always a good idea to plant right before a steady rain, so watch the forecasts. As far as when to plant food plots for deer, the seed you buy will have recommended planting dates based on your geography.

As long as you plant the seeds using the steps above and get enough rainfall, your spring food plots should do great. If weeds start to show up in your plots, don’t worry too much about it. Most forbs (flowering broadleaf plants like goldenrod) are preferred deer food too. If they start to take over or you notice really invasive ones (thistles, milkweed, etc.), you can mow the perennials to a height of 6 to 8 inches or spot spray the invasive ones. Don’t forget to hang a trail camera on your spring food plots to monitor the deer herd when you’re not there. Soon enough, you will be staring at a lush spring food plot and counting down the days toward autumn.

Raised Hunting | Does HECS™ Clothing Work?

How a Deer’s Sixth Sense Can Be Beat with HECS™ Clothing

Hunters focus much of their time on concealment and scent control. Whether it be using the latest camo pattern from Realtree® or utilizing the full line of Scent Crusher® products, hunters go to great lengths to avoid detection. HECS™ clothing is that missing piece needed to get you closer.

Going undetected afield is not an easy task. It is so difficult that we spend most of our effort in hunting trying to achieve complete concealment. If you hunt long enough, you will certainly get busted without explanation. We chalk it up to a deer’s sixth sense but what is really behind these unexplained missed opportunities?

What is a Deer’s Sixth Sense?

Every animal emits an electrical energy signal. Deer and most animals for that matter can detect this electromagnetic energy. According to study from Hynek Burda in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13451.full.pdf?sid=07d86620-89ef-4d42-a63e-c52cbe17d873), there is compelling evidence that large mammals can not only sense electromagnetic energy but respond to it. This can be termed an animal’s sixth sense. An animal’s ability to sense electrical signals hunters give off is no different than their ability to see or smell you.

Understanding Electrical Energy in Animals

It is indisputable that living organisms emit an electromagnetic field (EMF). It appears that animals have the ability to sense the EMF emitted by other animals based on research from Theodore Netter (http://www.hecsllc.com/downloads/research-EMF-Blocking-TheodoreWNetter.pdf). In fact, they might be able to sense them in great detail, according to his research referenced. Humans are no exception. Humans emit electrical energy signals that other animals, including game animals, can sense.

Animals sense and use electrical energy many different ways. The most recognized electric energy in our environment is that from the Earth’s EMF. Fish and other aquatic wildlife navigate using electromagnetic energy and migratory birds travel based on these same electrical signals.

The same way animals use the EMF to navigate, it has been shown by Netter and others that animals can sense electrical signals given off by other animals and more importantly those given off by hunters. HECS™ clothing blocks these signals and keeps you concealed from an animal’s sixth sense.

The best example of how we emit electrical signals comes from healthcare. Consider the medical test called the electrocardiogram, or EKG. Typically, this test is used to measure the electrical activity of your heart to diagnose inconstancies, which may reveal cardiac issues. It works by reading each electrical impulse your heart produces each time it beats. Your heart, like other muscles, produces electrical signals each time they move. The greater the muscle movement the great the signal produced by the muscle. Just like the EKG, this is what animals sense when you are hunting.

How Electrical Energy Relates to Hunting

Every hunter has had at least one occasion where you can’t explain why that deer suddenly spooked or that gobbler hung up just out of range. You have practiced the most stringent scent control, implemented all the tree stand hacks possible and remained motionless in hopes of getting a shot on a trophy. But even all that wasn’t enough to conceal yourself and make the shot.

What happened? That sixth sense, the deer or turkey’s or other animal’s ability to sense your electrical energy signal, busted you. Your accelerated heartbeat or your muscles priming to make the shot are firing elevated electrical signals. Animals are sensing these signals, which are getting you busted more than you think. HECS™ Stealthscreen and the technology behind it is the only way to get closer.

The Technology behind the HECS™ Stealthscreen

Simply put, the HECS™ Stealthscreen blocks electrical signals. It is a patented revolutionary technology that blocks the electrical energy you emit. Doing so, allows you to get closer to game than ever before.

“Something is helping us… So when people ask us if HECS works, yes HECS works.” – David Holder, Raised Hunting

HECS (Human Energy Concealment System) uses a carbon fiber conductive grid to block your electrical signal. Its design is based on a principle called the Faraday Cage, which was invented in 1836 by Michael Faraday. The Faraday Cage (https://science.howstuffworks.com/faraday-cage.htm) is generally a conductive mesh material that blocks electrical fields by channeling electricity throughout the mesh. Typical uses for the technology include protecting sensitive technology equipment from electrical interference or blocking microwaves emitted from your household microwave.

What makes HECS™ Stealthscreen effective is based on the design of the carbon fiber grid. The size of the grid is designed to specifically block the wavelengths of human electrical signals. When integrated into hunting clothing, this carbon fiber mesh creates a Faraday Cage that keeps your electrical energy from being sensed by animals. The fabric not only blocks your electrical signals but it is also flexible, lightweight, breathable and machine washable. HECS™ Stealthscreen will never wash out or become ineffective over time.

How Raised Hunting is Using HECS™ Clothing

HECS™ hunting gear is with us in every hunting situation. No matter if we are hunting elk out west or bow hunting deer in the Midwest, we are wearing HECS™ clothing. We wear it just about anywhere you can think of. Does hunting with HECS™ actually work? Yes, it works and that is why we wear it each and every time we hunt.

“Why do we wear HECS, why not?” – David Holder, Raised Hunting

HECS™ Stealthscreen is one of the products you can’t quite put your finger on. Is HECS™ for real? It’s not tangible like a bow when you know it’s working or not. However, we get away with movement when we shouldn’t. We get animals in close that never look at us. We also get away with drawing our bows, when in other scenarios we would be busted. There is no other explanation other than HECS™ clothing works.

Hunters have experienced situation after situation which is unexplainable. That bull elk picked you out while you were downwind and motionless or perhaps a whitetail mysteriously snorted and retreated to cover. This sixth sense by animals is legendary to hunters and most assumed it was unbeatable. It’s not a mystery, but rather the electrical signals you’re emitting that animals are sensing. And yes, it can be beaten. HECS™ clothing and its patented technology block those invisible electrical signals and keeps you concealed down to the last moment.

2018 Compound Bows that Pack a Punch from Bear Archery®

The New Compound Bows from Bear Archery®

Being on the precipice of a new year, many hunters are reliving the past season’s successes and missed opportunities. It’s no different for bow hunters. The only exception is they have an equally important thought on their mind. What is next for compound bows in 2018Watch our review a few of the best new bows for 2018 from Bear Archery® at Whittaker Guns!

The Bear Archery® Difference 

Compound bow hunting is as strong as ever. This benefits the bow hunter for two reasons. The first is that compound bow brands like Bear Archery® are continually innovating. Noise damping technologies like SonicStops™, a string vibration eliminator, and the Lock Down Pocket System, which provides the industry-leading riser-to-pocket-to-limb alignment accuracy are just a few of the innovations Bear Archery® is incorporating into their 2018 compound bows. The second benefit is that these innovations are happening every year. Each year there are new technologies around compound bows to shoot faster, shoot more accurate and take bow design to new limits.

 Bear’s 2018 New Lineup of Compound Bows 

The success of the Bear Archery® Moment this past year was not enough for one of the leading compound bow brands. For 2018, four new bows make their appearance. These bows are the Kuma, Sole Intent, Approach, and Species. The new lineup of compound bows continues to push the limits on speed, with the Kuma pushing the 345 fps mark. Also, the best hunting bows for 2018 are quieter than ever and these are no exception. Bear has loaded each with their latest vibration and noise reduction technology to give you the quietest and deadliest bow for hunting. 

Specs for Bear’s Newest Bows 

Kuma

The Kuma brings together both speed and comfort, with the top speed bow from Bear coming in at 345 fps. The Kuma is smooth and quiet. The unique design and manufacturing technique used to build this bow gives it superior accuracy in a lightweight frame. The Kuma also offers an LD model that features a longer draw length. The Kuma LD is available in a 46-60 lbs. and 55-70 lbs. peak draw weight models.

  Price  Weight  Brace Height  Axle-to-Axle  Let Off  Peak Draw Weight  Draw Length Range  Speed 
Kuma  $899.99  4.3 lbs.  6”  33”  75%  55-70 lbs.  25.5”-30”  345 fps 
Kuma LD  $899.99  4.3 lbs.  6.5”  33.25”  80%  45-60 lbs. 

55-70 lbs. 

27”-32”  330 fps 

 

Sole Intent

The Sole Intent features a single-cam system for maintenance free, accurate bow shooting. This small frame and lightweight bow fires arrows at 295 fps. A Bear Archery® compound bow that is perfect for drawing in close quarters like hunting from a blind. 

  Price  Weight  Brace Height  Axle-to-Axle  Let Off  Peak Draw Weight  Draw Length Range  Speed 
Sole Intent  $699.99  3.65 lbs.  6”  29”  75%  45-60 lbs.  22”-27”  295 fps 

Approach

Most compound bows rarely offer this level of performance at this price point. The Approach does just that. This single-cam bow tunes easily and shoots nearly silent. The Approach also comes in an HC model. The Approach HC is a hybrid cam system featuring high performance from draw cycle to speed to accuracy.  

  Price  Weight  Brace Height  Axle-to-Axle  Let Off  Peak Draw Weight  Draw Length Range  Speed 
Approach  $499.99  4 lbs.  6.25”  32”  75%  45-60 lbs. 

55-70 lbs. 

23.5”-30.5”  330 fps 
Approach HC  $449.99  4 lbs.  6”  32”  75%  55-70 lbs.  25.5”-30”  340 fps 

Species

If you are just starting out compound bow hunting, or looking for a mid-range bow that comes ready to hunt, the new Species bow is perfect for you. Simple to set up and easy to shoot, this bow offers an incredible value to performance ratio.

  Price  Weight  Brace Height  Axle-to-Axle  Let Off  Peak Draw Weight  Draw Length Range  Speed 
Species  $399.99  4 lbs.  6.75”  31”  80%  45-60 lbs. 

55-70 lbs. 

23”-30”  320 fps 

If you are looking for the best compound bow for hunting, check out the new compound bows from Bear Archery®. These innovative, high-performance bows give you top-end choices if you are looking to upgrade in 2018. 

Tree Stand Hacks to Use During Deer Season

Which Tree Stand Hacks Do You Use?

Have you ever been in the tree stand when a deer appears out of nowhere and catches you completely off-guard? You’re sitting there with a sandwich in hand, and out steps a hit-list buck at 20 yards. If you’ve hunted long enough, it’s probably happened. But there are a few things you can do to set up a tree stand that will minimize those scenarios. Here are several tree stand hacks to help you pick a location, set up your hunting gear, and ultimately, bring some venison home.

Tree Stand Placement

If you’re always picked out in a tree stand before deer get within range, you’re probably in the wrong spot or stick out like a sore thumb. Before you set anything up, think about the direction that deer will likely approach from (e.g., bedding areas for evening hunts, food plots for morning hunts, etc.). Instead of setting your tree stand directly in line of sight along a deer trail, place it downwind off to the side of the trail. Ideally, you should hang it within a dense conifer or oak tree, which will have enough cover to hide your silhouette. This simple idea is one of the most important tree stand hacks to utilize because it can allow you to hunt without spooking deerHanging a tree stand in a bare aspen or maple tree will really make you stick out, and you’ll probably be busted before you ever get a chance to make a shot.

 

There are a lot of tree stand tips depending on what style of stand you use. For example, if you’re wondering how to hang a hang-on stand safely, use a safety harness with a lineman’s belt, which frees up your hands to pull up additional ladder sections and the platform very easily. When you get to the top, you can screw in a sturdy hook to hang your platform from while you attach the ratchet straps around the tree. It’s a great tree stand hack that saves time and frustration, and is much safer for you.

Hunting Gear Setup in the Tree

Before you leave for the woods on a solo hunt, you should obviously know how to put up a tree stand by yourself, but there are other tree stand hacks as well. For example, once you’re in the tree (whether you’re in a ladder stand, climbing stand, or hang-on stand), how do you set up your hunting equipment so that it’s all easily accessible when you need it? How do you organize your camera gear so that it will take as little movement as possible to film your own hunt?

First off, let’s start with your bow. It’s certainly the most important piece of gear you’ll need to kill a deer, so it should be a priority concern. Many bow hunters elect to hold their bow at all times, just because you never know when a buck might pop out of the bushes. But that can get tiring. If it’s hanging above you, you have to turn halfway around and create a lot of commotion. Try using a HAWK® bow holder, which you can attach to your tree stand platform. It takes almost zero movement just to reach forward and grab it with your bow arm versus turning around in the tree stand.

   

Second, let’s talk about camera gear. It can get crowded in a tree with one or two cameras running. And the last thing you want is for one of the camera arms to block your shot. Use these tree stand hacks to solve your filming woes. Fourth Arrow® camera arms are solid and very adaptable in a tree, which gives you flexibility to get the right camera angle. If you’re a right-handed archer, you should place the camera arm on your right side. That way you can easily move the camera with your right hand before drawing the bow and making the shot.

Last, there’s all the other miscellaneous hunting gear that we bring with us. While you can get by with very little on an early season hunt behind the house, you might have to take a whole backpack with you during a late season hunt to a remote location. Use gear hooks to hang your backpack up in the tree beside you, which will keep it out from underfoot and help make sure you don’t knock it out of the tree stand accidentally when you shuffle your feet. One of the most important deer hunting hacks you can use is to eliminate your movement while in the stand.  Hanging it on a hook also keeps the contents up higher so you don’t have to hunch over to access it. But if possible, keep the critical stuff in your coat pockets since they will be much easier to access.

  

Additionally, many hunters use binoculars and range finders to identify deer and make accurate shots. If you’re one of those hunters, you need to be able to quickly grab your optics. Don’t just place them on top of your seat or bag since you could bump them, which would break them as they fall from the tree and ruin your chance at the approaching deer. Instead, hang your Nikon® binoculars or range finder on a chest harness, which will keep them safe, accessible, and out of the way for a shot. 

Do you use these tree stand hacks already or will you be adding them to your list of hunting skills the next time you’re in the deer woods?

Raised Hunting’s Bow Hunting Gear List

Bow Hunting Gear List

The world of hunting gear and archery equipment continues to grow and each year brings new technology that can help you become a more effective hunter. For most white-tailed deer hunters, the bow hunting gear that they take to the field can typically be broken down into the following five categories: bow and archery accessories, hunting accessories, optics, safety, and comfort.  In honor of the upcoming rut, and countless hunters who will grab their archery equipment and take to the tree, we have compiled a list of our bow hunting gear! Compare our list to your own to make sure you are not forgetting anything vital for the upcoming weeks of hunting!

The Bow and Accessories

 This category is fairly straightforward and self-explanatory, after all, what is bow hunting without your bow?  Bear Archery® bows have become a staple with our family.  They are durable, well-crafted, and exceptionally accurate.  Besides the bow, the arrows you select and tune can have a huge impact on your season’s success. We trust Gold Tip® arrows, a proven brand of hunting arrows that continue to fly straight and hit their mark every hunt.

 

After arrows, comes the bow quiver and bow release. While obvious, these two pieces of equipment are often left behind on the walk into the stand, especially the bow release. To combat this, make sure you have an extra bow release in your hunting pack. It could save you a trip back to the truck!

 

Other Hunting Accessories

Although these items are lumped into the “Other Hunting Accessories” category, that doesn’t make them any less critical to success.  These items will always find their way into our bow hunting pack, especially when the rut draws near!

Rattling Antlers & Deer Call’s

 If you are one of the few archery hunters who have not tried rattling, then you are simply missing out!  Rattling is one of the most effective ways to attract a big, mature white-tailed deer into bow range, and the time to break out the antlers is now!  Many hunters don’t realize just how vocal white-tailed deer are, especially during the rut.  If you pair a good set of rattling antlers with the Primos® Grunt Call and Snort Wheeze call, you will create a very real situation a buck could believe. Don’t be afraid to be vocal, the rut is the best time of year to do so, and you might just be surprised by the results.

Scent Control

While watching the wind is always an important part of being successful, sometimes you just have to hunt.  The wind can sometimes be your friend, but it can also be your enemy.  Taking advantage of scent control products, as well as wearing scent control outer layers is certainly one way to help control the variable of scent.  Hunting a steady wind is generally not an issue; however, hunting a variable wind is another story.  Carrying a product such as the Scent Crusher® Scent Grenade and utilizing Scent Crusher® scent eliminating products like the Ozone Gear Bag and Wash O3, will help combat the issues you might have with the wind. If you have never employed scent eliminating products before, give it a try this year.

 

Camera Accessories

Nowadays, it is much easier for hunters to self-film in the field.  Aside from being able to share your hunt, the DIY footage that sportsmen and women capture can help aid in future hunts or game recovery. We pride ourselves on capturing high-quality footage for everyone to enjoy, and because of that commitment, multiple camera arms and cameras find their way into the blind or tree stand every time. Although you may not want to go that in depth when filming your hunt, chances are you’re a little interested.

If you like the idea of self-filming your hunt, a great way to start is to simply purchase two GoPro’s and some accessories from Fourth Arrow Camera Arms. The Outreach Arm coupled with a GoPro can allow you to capture your experience of the hunt, while a head, chest, or bow mounted GoPro captures the deer and the shot. This simple setup can create great memories in the field or help recover game in a questionable shot situation.

Tree Stand Accessories

Hunting accessories can sometimes be the most important bow hunting gear you can bring to the stand.  Items such as extra J hooks, or the GoGadget™ Tree Arm, can certainly help keep you organized and effective.  No one likes clutter, and when you’re in a tree stand, there really isn’t any room to spare.  Having the ability to create additional storage space is often an overlooked detail that can certainly help to make your hunt just a little better, and less stressful than it might have been otherwise.

It also helps to have a little extra rope or wire to ensure you have plenty to haul up your gear into the tree. Having something beyond a “pull up rope” that is a little more this century might go a long way in making your hunt easier. The Speed Retract™, for example, can drastically reduce the amount of untangling you have to perform under the stand in the dark. Tools like this take away from the stress of taking so much gear into the stand!

Hunting Knife

No hunting gear list would be complete without a quality hunting knife. A knife that not only serves everyday hunting use but also contains a gut hook can be essential to make quick work of field dressing a deer. One example of this type of knife would be the Lonerock Folding Gut Hook from Kershaw®.

 

Hunting Optics

No matter if you are hunting the expanses of the west or the rugged wooded ridges in the east, optics are a must.  Optics cannot help you locate game but can help identify characteristics that reveal a game’s identity or whether or not they meet your goals for harvest. Other hunting optics such as rangefinders are absolutely critical pieces that are a must for any archer.

Binoculars

 Nikon makes an excellent set of binoculars, which are of the highest quality and extremely durable.  No matter if you are looking at the 10×42’s or the 10-22×50’s, having a solid set of binoculars in your hunting pack will not leave you disappointed.

 

 

Rangefinder

In the world of bow hunting, it is hard to find anyone who doesn’t have a rangefinder in the pile of archery equipment.  The number archery tip that is often given out to beginners is to learn how to effectively judge distance, and a rangefinder helps you quickly solve that equation.

Safety

 Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and when you add in some sleep deprivation and fatigue, the probability of an accident increases.  Ensuring that you have done all you can to both prevent an accident from occurring and being prepared if and when one does occur is a critical part of planning your next trip to the field.

 

Safety Harness

Investing in your bow hunting equipment is important, but investing in your safety is even more so.  If you spend any amount of time hunting from a tree stand, having an effective and durable safety harness and safety rope system is an absolute must.  Safety systems continue to advance each year, so stay current and up to speed.  Don’t be afraid to upgrade as appropriate, and ensure that you can continue to chase white-tailed deer for many years to come.

 

GPS & Phone

If you hunt in rugged terrain, away from public contact then having a Garmin GPS unit on your hunting gear list is something to consider.  While a GPS unit is obviously very beneficial for marking potential hunting locations, it can also be the one tool that can help save your life should you find yourself injured and lost in the wilderness.  Having the ability to know where you are in the world is critical to both success and safety, so if you do not have a GPS in your pile of archery hunting equipment, you should.

The same can be said for bringing your phone.  Whether you are simply looking to pass the time, or take some pictures of wildlife, having your phone with you can help save your life if and when you find yourself in trouble.  You never know when trouble might hit, so consider purchasing an external battery for your phone as well.  This can ensure that you have extended battery life and keep you in contact should an emergency arise.

 

Comfort

 Often overlooked, the aspect of comfort can really be one of the most important considerations you make. A decision which can often directly equate to success.

Durable Hunting Pack

This article has focused on hunting gear and archery equipment that can help you be effective while bow hunting, however with gear comes the need for a durable and dependable pack.  It is sometimes hard to appreciate just how much easier it can be to haul a large amount of gear in an out of the field with a comfortable and durable pack.  Spending a little extra on a hunting pack that fits, has plenty of storage space, and can help distribute the weight of your gear can make hunting day in and day out much easier.

Rain Gear

 Part of comfort is staying dry. This means not only incorporating moisture wicking materials into your layering system, but also trying not to sweat. It is also important that you carry backup rain gear. The weather might not be calling for a lot of rain, but pop up rain showers can quickly ruin a hunt yet provide ideal conditions just after. Make sure you pack rain gear, stocking cap, extra gloves– clothing that can all help keep you comfortable.

 

Extra Layers

In any hunting situation, it is always a good idea to pack extra layers of hunting clothing. Most camo clothing companies offer essential base, secondary, and outerwear options. It is a good idea to follow this model when packing gear for bow hunting. Start with warm thermal base layers, building up to fleece or a warm secondary layer, and finishing with a tough water resistant or waterproof outer layer. Also think about including a layer that could give you a insignificant advantage while hunting. Hecs® Stealthscreen layers block your energy field, eliminating the chance that an animal detects you.

 

Everyone has their own approach and method in regards to the hunting gear and archery equipment that they choose to bring to the woods.  At the end of the day, it is all about what works best for you. However, if you find yourself wondering how you might be able to better equip yourself for the upcoming fall, consider the information above. This bow hunting gear list is the items we trust to be dependable and everything we need before, during, and after the hunt!


Join the Pink Arrow Movement!

You can help Raised Hunting further their efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer one pink arrow at a time! As hunters, this relationship is broadened to other hunters, outdoorsmen, and women. Each hunter feels the joy, the frustrations, and the sadness that comes with hunting and life together as a group. When someone, whether a friend, a family member, a mother, or a wife is affected by something as painful as breast cancer hunters, as a united, compassionate, and responsible group, has the ability to take action. Get your pink arrow wraps today and show your support!

Podcast | History, Challenges, and Personal Stories of Raised Hunting

Living The Outdoors with Marc Drewek | Raised Hunting Podcast

We sit down with Marc Drewek, host of Living the Outdoors Podcast, and talk about the history, challenges, and some personal stories that have resulted in starting Raised Hunting. In more detail we cover the following topics:

  • How Raised Hunting started
  • How we approach the challenge of getting more people involved in the outdoors
  • Preparing for the upcoming hunting season
  • Hunting in Iowa
  • Bear Archery
  • Personal Outdoor Stories

Enjoy the podcast below!

 

Listen to “Living The Outdoors with Marc Drewek – July 26th, 2017” on Spreaker.

hunting technology

Hunting Technology | How Far Are You Willing To Go?

Hunting Technology | Hunting Ethics in the 21st Century

 

The hunting lifestyle that we enjoy in this century is a far cry from the world that our parents and grandparents enjoyed.  Without question, the biggest impact to the sport of hunting is the way we as sportsmen and women utilize technology.  Technology’s impact on hunting continues to grow each and every year, and while there are many cases where this can certainly be seen as a positive, for many there can be a limit to the benefits that advanced hunting technology can provide. One such cap is the duty of hunters to define what is and what is not ethical. As technology inches us closer and closer to this internal dispute, a moment should be taken to step back and debate it out loud.

 

The Very Real Debate of Hunting Technology

To really argue whether or not recent advances in hunting technology are ethical, hunters need to understand what technology is out there. By far the biggest developments is the ever expanding scouting technologies. Technology such as pinpoint accurate aerials, GPS units, mobile game cameras, and personal drones are now creating difficulty for every hunter. On one hand, the technologies help us get closer to game, they keep us busy in the stand, and they instantly connect us to what is happing in the woods when we are not around. On the other hand, there is no mystery left in hunting, no giants in the woods we don’t have a name to, and no hidden locations left to discover. These are the difficult questions associated with this debate. At what point or technology do we simply draw the line at?

Scouting Technologies

If you really want to know just how big technology’s impact on hunting has been, you need to look no further than the average, everyday trail camera.  Without a doubt, trail cameras have changed the world of deer hunting over the past few years.  What began as 35mm cameras enclosed within a semi-durable case has now turned into cellular enabled devices that have the ability to Livestream your hit-list buck right to your smart phone.  If that isn’t a revolutionary change, it would be hard to point to something that is.  Trail cameras, GPS systems, aerial imagery and even your smart phone are all pieces of hunting equipment that are helping outdoorsmen and women not only enjoy the sport of deer hunting, but time spent afield chasing a wide variety of species.  They have shrunk the world in many ways, and have given you the power to be able to better plan and strategize your approach to the game you are chasing, and by default have assisted many in finding success.  The future of hunting certainly appears to be speeding up, and it can be hard to imagine what the next five years will bring. In particular, one area of “scouting technology” is the most frightening. The recent advances and commonality in aerial drones are not only concerning for scouting game but hunter harassment. Do we draw the line at mobile game cameras? After these cameras? Before drones? Or do we draw a line at utilizing any of these recent advances including cell phone apps and scouting?

 

Scent and Detection Technologies

By far scouting technologies such as the drone and mobile game cameras are the biggest hot button issue when it comes to hunting. However, we as hunters must note other technologies that simply push the boundaries of limiting the game’s advantages. In particular, the scent management, and game detection technology has taken a far leap in recent years. Odor eliminating products such as Scent Crusher ozone activated technology now gives hunters an edge in taking away an animal’s greatest defense…scent! On the other end of the spectrum, advances have also been made to virtually eliminate a game animal’s sixth sense. Hec’s hunting garments block electromagnetic fields that every living being emits. This blocks the animal’s ability to sense these signals, allowing hunters to get very close to game. These technologies combine to give a hunter advantage over the far more developed senses game animals possess.

Firearm and Archery Technology

One important aspect of technology that we should also take note of would be the ever-expanding limits of today’s firearms and bows. With a host of optical improvements in scopes, rangefinders, and binoculars, hunters are now able to see animals further and more clearly. This allows hunters to shoot even greater distances. It’s not just limited to rifles and other firearms, however. Compound bow advances such as bow sights, releases, and broadhead developments have allowed archers to push the limits of ethical shooting.

As you navigate these technologies be sure to take notice of what is actually being changed, your ability at hunting, or the ethics of hunting!

Stay True to the Sport

Hunting technology, whether we are talking about hunting equipment like those previously mentioned, or advancements in firearm and archery technology are all fascinating ways that technology has impacted the sport of hunting.  These advancements generally lead to an increased level of success, comfort, and lower the level of difficulty when taking to the field.  Often times these technologies allow us and others to enjoy the sport of hunting.

One of technology’s impacts on hunting, while certainly not intended, is often one of philosophy.  Simply put, we can become so engrossed with technology and its application to the sport of hunting that we can get lost in it. We might forget why we run to the outdoors in the first place.  The sport of hunting has never been about number of game harvested or the size of the rack.  The sport of hunting is about connecting with nature and getting lost in the wilderness. It is about allowing your imagination to run wild.  This philosophy is obviously at odds with technology’s impact on hunting, and the future of hunting in general.

At the end of the day, it is all about balance and remembering that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  Just remember why you enjoy this sport in the first place. Now think of how your children or the next generation of hunters will view hunting as. Will it automatically involve technology, or will the roots be placed in what really matters…the outdoors? As you debate this question internally just note that the outdoors is one item that will never need an upgrade!

Is Your Youth Hunter Ready for Deer Season?

Start Preparing Youth Hunters Now for Deer Season

 

Deer season is approaching fast. Many states are in full license allocation mode and hunters should be starting to think about how to prepare for this upcoming season. Whether you are planning to take youth hunters out for the first time or another deer season, there are a few considerations to think about during the summer.

 

What is the Right Age?

 

This is the hardest question a parent has to face when deciding on taking kids hunting. One thought is that your kids can never be too young to start getting involved in the outdoors. While this is true, there is a big difference in getting kids involved in the outdoors and actually hunting with them. Youth hunters have to have the attitude and ability to be part of the hunt. Kids with a prepared attitude should be able to deal with harvesting an animal and have an understanding of the great responsibility that brings. Hunting with kids that can accurately shoot, be patient to sit for long stints and be able to physically and safely deal with environmental conditions are all important ability aspects.

 

So what age should I start hunting with my kids? While there are regulations in many states as well as mentored youth specific programs for hunting, there is no specific age when a child is ready to hunt. You as a parent will know and be able to assess this summer how another year has added to their attitude and ability when it comes to being ready for this year’s deer season.

 

 

Formal Hunter Education for Youth Hunters

 

Besides the experience and training, you can provide your youngsters, formal hunter education programs are ways to teach your child about hunting. These hunter education programs are often mandated for kids and required before young hunters can take to the woods or buy a license. Each course is designed to teach new hunters about safety, regulations and being a good sportsperson. Courses usually consist of a full day of classroom work followed by a test of knowledge, which requires a passing score to be able to become a licensed hunter. These courses are offered throughout the summer months through your state wildlife agency and in most cases in cooperation with local sporting groups.

 

 

Mentored Youth Hunting Programs

 

Age, and more importantly attitude and ability, determine when a kid is ready to go hunting. But how does one build those skills with youth hunters? The answer is what hunters have been doing for years and has recently become part of most state wildlife agencies programs. Mentored youth hunting programs are designed for kids who either do not meet the legal age or are not all the way there enough to fully take part in hunting. This allows younger kids the ability to learn all aspects of hunting, including harvesting certain game species within a set of specific guidelines. A powerful way to get and keep kids involved in hunting. As part of preparing for deer season, review your state game laws now in summer and see what requirements there are if you are thinking about taking kids hunting for deer this season.

 

 

Practice Hunting Safety Throughout the Summer

 

Safety in hunting comes down to weapon safety. Whether it be with a firearm or bow, nothing is more important than making sure your kids and other hunters are all safe while afield. Summer is the perfect time to practice safely operating a gun and getting comfortable shooting and handling it. Cover all aspects of gun safety such as handling the firearm, loading it safety, safe shooting and range and hunting etiquette. A good choice to start kids out with is a Gamo air rifle, which is easy to handle and has low recoil to get kids comfortable shooting safely. Summer camps that provide instruction on shooting, hunting and the outdoors such as the Raised Hunting Bow Camps are a complete and valuable resource to get your kids involved in the sport.

 

Hunting Safety Tips

  1. Know your surroundings. Focus practice this summer on getting kids concentrated on the act of hunting. The most dangerous time hunting with kids, for them and you, is when they get distracted and forget about their surroundings with a loaded firearm.

 

  1. Be sure of your target. Teach your kids that you only pull the trigger when you are 100% sure of your target. When hours of hunting finally pay off with a deer within range, you need to be completely sure of your shot and what is around, behind or near it before you take the shot.

 

  1. Practice then practice again. Summer gives you the opportunity with longer days to spend more time practicing safety. Head out to the woods and practice situations your youth hunters may encounter during deer season. This will instill safety as priority one while hunting.

 

Summer Preparation Activities for Youth Hunting

 

Along with safety and hunter education, there are a number of activities you can do this summer to prepare kids for deer season. Although there are much more, these three activities will have you and your kids ready to go on opening day.

 

  • Spend time in the woods. A child’s hunting experiences will be much more enjoyable if they know exactly what they are in for. Taking kids in the outdoors often over the summer provides them a chance to explore the woods with you and get comfortable with all the sights and sounds. They will learn how to walk through the woods, look for deer sign and understand how game moves with the goal in mind of preparing for deer season.

 

  • Gear up. Do not skimp on youth hunting clothes and other gear. They will be more comfortable and more likely to enjoy the sport if they are outfitted like a hunter. Start with Under Armour youth hunting clothes matched with a good weatherproof layer and topped off with a kids orange vest and hat. Also be sure to get quality boots to keep your youth hunters comfortable and dry. Gear up in the summer so clothing and boots can be broken in before deer season. The most important piece of gear, the youth bow or gun, should be very familiar for the youth hunter by now. If they do not have a bow or gun specific for their size then go get one!

 

  • Plan Hunts Now. Each hunt is more critical than usual when taking kids hunting with you. A bad trip or two can quickly turn off the enthusiasm. Summer is when you want to plan your youth hunting Scout areas that are not too far off the trail and have little hunting pressure. Consider if you will be hunting from a stand or blind and be prepared with several locations within walking distance so you can move as patience wears. Have these spots prepared and ready to go come opening day.

 

Preparing for deer season now in the summer is even more important if you are planning on taking kids hunting in the fall. Youth hunters should be properly educated and have the attitude and ability to be part of the hunt. Focus summer activities on safety and basic hunting skills in these months leading up to deer season to ensure successful youth hunts this fall.

 

Don’t know where to start? If your kid is the right age to begin hunting, then go ahead and start with the gear. Check out Whittaker Guns for great prices on youth guns, bows, and gear! After the gear, get them acquainted to it and go over hunting safety. Then follow the rest of the blog’s advice all the way up until deer season!

youth hunting

Why Spring Is the Perfect Time to Get Kids Outdoors!

Spring Youth Hunting and Outdoor Opportunities

 

Spring time is upon us, and it is a great time to share the outdoors with young outdoorsmen and women.  Spring is youth hunting and outdoor season, and a perfect opportunity to introduce young men and ladies to the outdoors.  There are many opportunities to spend quality time with youth in the spring of the year.  Many states conduct youth turkey seasons, and special youth only draw turkey hunts.  Working on food plot and stand strategies for next fall is a great opportunity to get young folks involved in the outdoors and next fall’s hunt.  Introducing and developing young archers and marksmen is a great springtime activity to help young men and ladies develop hunting skills.

Spring brings with it mild days and cool nights.  The daylight hours lengthen and offer some of the best conditions of the year to enjoy the outdoors.  These ideal conditions lend themselves to introducing young people to outdoor activities, or developing youth that has already begun their outdoor journey.  Spring is youth season and a terrific opportunity.

 

Youth Turkey Season

 

Turkey season and youth hunting is often the first thing that comes to mind when outdoorsmen and women think of spring.  The same can be said for young outdoorsmen and women.  All across the nation states host youth only turkey seasons, and youth only special draw turkey hunts.  Turkey hunting for young men and women is a great introduction to the outdoors and the sport of hunting.  Here is a list of some of the best locations for a great youth spring turkey hunt.  Mild temperatures and fast action that turkey hunting is so famous for are prime for young people wanting a heart-pounding introduction to the outdoors.  For many hunters, spring means turkey season, spring can also be youth season.  The sound of a tom gobbling in a stand of hardwoods echoing down a spring creek lined with green grass leaves an impression.  A young hunter armed with a simple push – pull hen call, or a small box call can easily trigger a spring gobbler to sound off and leave a lasting memory in the heart and mind of a new hunter.  A few key tactics like hunting from a blind, the use of decoys and locating the roost ahead of the hunt can play huge dividends in making a turkey hunt enjoyable for a youngster.

 

 

 

Spring Outdoor Chores

 

A great activity to share with youth in the spring is work on food plots and stand strategies for next fall.  The time spent in the deer woods in the spring and summer is much more low key.  Noise and scent are much less of an issue this time of year, and it is a great opportunity to introduce young people to the outdoors.  Spring is youth season, and youth cherish opportunities to learn and grow outside.  The deer woods and food plots are a terrific place to help a young outdoorsman or outdoorswoman develop a love for deer hunting and the outdoors.  Putting a seed in the ground and watching it grow is something magical that leaves a lasting impression.  Coming back to a food plot after seeds are germinated and growing, and wildlife is using and feeding on the forage a youngster help to establish is fascinating.  Playing a critical role in the management and nutrition of the game animals is an amazing accomplishment that young people are happy to be apart of.

 

 

Offseason To-Do’s

 

Youth can also play a role in the planning and selection of stand and blind locations for next fall’s hunts.  Working outdoors in the spring cutting trails, trimming shooting lanes and considering wind direction and food plots for next fall is great practice and an opportunity to learn a skill set for young hunters.  Spring is youth season, and young people appreciate investing themselves and applying themselves.  Working outdoors to develop next season’s hunting setup this spring is a perfect opportunity to involve youth in hunting and the outdoors.

 

Get Them More Acquainted to Equipment

 

Spring is also a perfect time for young men and women to practice their marksmanship, and allow them to get more acquainted to equipment. The mild days and longer daylight hours provide a great opportunity for youth to practice their shooting skills.  There are many products on the market for young men and women to develop the expertise with a rifle or bow.  Time spent at a safe range with a qualified instructor developing safe practices and accuracy in the spring can go a long way in developing marksmen.  Spring is youth season, and youth developing their archery skills is a great spring pastime.  Developing muscle memory with a bow and range estimating skills can often come as second nature to a youngster.  Practicing correct form and repetition with a quality youth bow provides young archers with accuracy and confidence for their first hunts.  The mild days of spring spent at the range with young people learning to sharpen their marksmanship is time well spent.

 

 

 

The spring season brings many opportunities with it to enjoy the outdoors.  Developing the sportsman and sportswoman of tomorrow can get a head start this spring.  Spring is youth season and a great time to get outdoors with a young person and pass along generations of outdoor tradition.

Want to get your kids involved in the outdoors? Raised at Full Draw bow camps are a great opportunity. Click here for more information!