Goose Hunting

Late Season Goose Hunting | Two Tricks to Bag More Geese

Goose Hunting I Late Season Tips and Tactics

When the cold winds blow and the snow is on, there is really nothing like being tucked away in the comfort of a warm box blind or seated high in the air in your favorite tree stand with your Bear bow in hand. Chasing white-tailed deer during the late season is often a solitary sport. That is something most hunters enjoy and appreciate about that style of hunting. Whether it’s chasing whitetails or other large game, pursuing these species provides the hunter with a chance to pit their wits against the great outdoors. Just you, your gear and the wild! There is truly something magical about that!

Hunting is a very versatile activity. It is what most has come to love and appreciate about our sport. If you like the opportunity to be alone and connect with the great outdoors there are plenty of opportunities to do so, however, if you enjoy the more social side of hunting and yet are still interested in testing your grit and hunting prowess there are still plenty of species that you can pursue that will do just that.

The sport of goose hunting is rooted in American history and has a rich tradition and legacy that has continued on to present day. Goose hunting offers an excellent opportunity to spend time afield with family and friends, and certainly offers a new set of challenges to help keep your instincts and reflexes fine-tuned. Late season goose hunting can be a fun packed and rewarding adventure, with large flocks of migrating Canada geese covering the lower 48 states. However, with much of the waterfowl season behind them, the birds that remain have truly heard it all and seen it all, which can make goose hunting during the late season extremely tough. That being said, with a little skill and know-how you can level the playing field and make some memories goose hunting during the late season.

Late Season Goose Decoy Strategies:


There many components that make for a successful late season goose hunt. Without a doubt, putting your Nikon’s to work and spending your time scouting is 90% of the game when it comes to late season goose hunting. However, once you have the geese located and have gained access to the property it is time for the real work to begin.

Late season goose hunting often affords the hunter little margin for error. This attributed to one simple fact, and that is you are often hunting educated birds. Late season geese have had everything thrown at them by the time the late season rolls around and as a result will not be likely to set their wings and commit to the decoys unless everything is absolutely perfect.

Mimic What you See

Without a doubt, it always helps to observe the behavior of the geese in the field you plan to hunt before you hunt it. We have probably all tried to set up in a new spot without observing it beforehand and very seldom does that approach work exactly how you thought it would. It always pays to see how the geese are behaving in the area you plan to hunt, as their behavior will tell you exactly how you should set the goose decoys the following day. A few things to pay close attention to are whether the geese are bunched in large groups, or are they broken into family groups? Are there any geese sitting or sleeping in the field or are they all feeding with a few “lookers” scattered throughout? Where exactly in the field are the birds, and how do they enter and exit the field? Are they calm and collected, or spooky? The answers to all of these questions will help you to begin to set up your decoy spread to look as natural as it can, which is what late season goose hunting success is all about.

Visibility is Key

Visibility is really important when it comes to late season goose hunting in two ways. First, you want to make sure that your goose decoys are set in the most realistic manner possible. Second, you need to make sure they are visible. Hopefully, in most cases, you are hunting a field where the geese have been coming to feed or loaf. That being said, sometimes it is hard to gain permission to be on the X, so the next best thing is to get in front of the birds and attempt to “run traffic” or in other words pull geese to you as they fly overhead. In order to be successful in this approach, you need to make sure that they geese see your spread first, as it is often critical to getting that first group of geese to commit to ensuring the groups that follow do as well. Making sure that you are using a high quality, realistic decoy is step number one. The second step is to attempt to locate the highest point in the field. Often a hill or terrace is a great place to start and gives your decoy the advantage of being visible from a greater distance than if they were down over a hill.

One final point as it relates to visibility, it is very important that your goose decoys be visible and it is equally as important you as a hunter are not. During the early part of the goose season, hunters can get away with spending a little less time camouflaging their blinds. That all goes out the window during the late season. Without a doubt, it is absolutely critical that you ensure that you are putting your Realtree Max 5 to good use and are as well-hidden as possible. Late season geese are wary beyond compare and the slightest shine off a blind or the slightest movement can send the flock heading for the hills, so budget for the extra time strictly devoted to camouflaging your set up.

Calling Late Season Geese

Calling late season geese can sometimes be tricky. Having heard it all and seen it all, you can quickly find yourself in the Goldie Locks zone, where you can either be too aggressive, too passive and sometimes just right. One of the best tips for calling late season geese is to simply let the geese dictate what they want to hear. This can be a very successful technique if you are disciplined enough to use it. What can separate a good goose caller from a great goose caller is having the ability to read the reaction of the birds. Many times, we tend to stick with the same old calling cadence and series that we are used to, rather than responding to what the birds are doing. This can truly be a hindrance to success.

Let the geese tell you what they want to hear, by simply listening to geese as they are coming your way. If the geese are loud and vocal, then grab your Shock Caller and attempt to be loud and vocal. If the geese are being mostly silent, then do your best to match them. If you can marry this calling technique with realistic decoy spread and a high level of concealment you have all the ingredients you need for a successful late season goose hunt!

Raised Hunting 2017 ATA Show Recap

2017 ATA Show Recap

The 2017 ATA Show finished up on Thursday last week! Along with some new products, we had a blast visiting with our partners! Check out the action below in this 2017 ATA Show Recap.

Outdoor Channel:

We visited Outdoor Channel to give a little background into our 2016 season and what can be expected from us in the upcoming seasons. Also a few comments on some new gear present during the show!

Bear Archery:

We had an unbelievable experience shooting both the Bear Moment and the LS6. Check out the new compound bows from bear at!


Trophy Ridge:

We just had to stop by and take a look at the React H5 Bow Sight from Trophy Ridge H5. The new bow sights are infused with the React Technology. This technology makes it possible to accurately predict what each pin gap will be based on a 20 yard pin set, and setting any other yardage! Check the new sights at!


Big Tine:


As ATA finally slowed down, we got a chance to hang out at Big Tine’s Booth. Great way to end the week and a sendoff to SHOT show this coming week!

What to Expect at SHOT?

We are excited as SHOT show approaches for our 2nd annual Raised Hunting Arm Wrestling Contest. In case you missed it. The first contest didn’t go as we anticipated? Who do you have your money on for 2017? Let us know and don’t miss the video, be sure to follow us on the channels below.

Raised Hunting Facebook

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Take the Family Hunting this Holiday Season

Family Hunting Over the Holidays

The holidays are devoted to family time. It is the one time of the year to catch up with distant relatives, share stories of the past hunting season with close family members and look towards a new year of success outdoors and within our personal lives. All those being true, it is also a great time to enjoy some family hunting.

Hunting during the holidays is not for everyone. The weather is terrible (think snow, wind chills and early darkness) and not to mention those animals that are still out there are the best of the best. Only the most mature bucks, strongest birds and fastest small mammals have made it through lengthy hunting seasons to this point. Any game left is crafty and elusive so hunting this time of year will not come easy.

Family hunting around the holidays makes perfect sense, though. Kids are off from school for an extended period and usually you also have a few days off surrounding Christmas and New Years. This presents more opportunities for families to get outdoors for some quality time hunting. There is often no better place for life lessons than the freezing duck blind, snowy pheasant field or oak flat searching out winter squirrels. Hunting with kids is not only about harvesting an animal but more related to the skills and facilitation of conversation that hunting opens up. Also, hunting is not the only outdoor activity to take part in over the holidays. Holiday break can be a great time to also introduce kids to shooting. Whether it is in the backyard with a new Bear Archery bow or time at the shooting range plinking with .22s, both give you that chance to connect with your kids outdoors.

Hunting during the holidays is also a tradition for many families. As we grow up and start our own lives, hunting is a way to reconnect with siblings and extended family members over the holidays. Instead of sitting around eating meal after meal for days, plan a hunt with family. This will get you outdoors and back among family enjoying the sport of hunting you grew up with. Family holiday hunting can either be scheduled at a hunting club or outfitter or it can be simply a preplanned time to get a few family members to head out to the local public grounds for a half day small game hunt. Either way, family hunting over the holidays enables a reconnection with the past, the ability to relive hunting experiences and an opportunity to start your kids hunting among family.

Family Hunting Options for the Holidays

For those looking to plan some hunting during the holidays, there are numerous opportunities depending on where you are located. Most states have small game seasons open throughout the winter. Also, select deer seasons come back in around the holidays such as late-season archery and traditional muzzleloader. If nothing else, game farms and hunting preserves usually have family hunting opportunities. The upside is that most hunting opportunities available over the holidays are better suited for a family. For instance, deer hunting is often solitary. You may hunt the same general area with your kids or friends but usually, it is you by yourself in a tree stand for hours. Hunting waterfowl, small game or upland birds, all of which are typically in season around Christmas, aligns more with group family hunting trips. These types of hunts are fun and shareable with friends and family.


Tips for Balancing Hunting During the Holidays

Even though the holidays are a joyous time of year, they are jammed packed with dinners, visits, and other family related activities. Do not worry, however, there are ways to accomplish it all and take part in some family holiday hunting. With some planning and a little compromising, you can find ways to get outdoors over the holidays. Here are five tips on how to balance the holidays with family hunting.

  1. Schedule It

    . With hunting, you know what is in season this time of year so there are no excuses not to schedule a time to hunt well in advance. Marking your calendar early ensures you schedule time for family hunting trips but it also allows the rest of your family to plan the remaining holiday season.

  1. Preplan

    . Preplanning is similar to scheduling, except once you have hunting scheduled during the holidays you need to plan all that goes into it. If you plan ahead of time, you will not have to spend precious time away from family around Christmas and New Year’s searching Scheels for winter Under Armour clothing or other last minute gear you may need for winter hunting.

  1. Communicate

    . The most important tip for balancing hunting during the holidays is communicating with your family about your schedule and plans. Communicate your intentions for the holidays (days you will be gone, when you will be available, etc.) but also remember to stay in touch with family while you are away. Your holiday household will be much healthier if everyone is on the same page regarding the holiday schedule.

  1. Experiences Matter Most

    . Family hunting comes down to spending quality time outdoors with your kids and other family members. Plan hunts that are ones where all your family can get involved and enjoy. Great experiences outdoors will lead to a family holiday hunting tradition shared year after year.

  1. Compromise

    . As the years go by, life changes. We grow up, have families and change priorities. It is important to compromise over the holidays. Years ago you may have spent all your time off around Christmas hunting. However, you may now have to narrow that down to a few days. By compromising between hunting and non-hunting activities over the holidays, you will have a complete and enjoyable holiday season.

The holiday season brings with it traditions and time spent with family that is unique to this time of year. Family hunting is one of those traditions that provides an opportunity to bring together different generations outdoors. Make the most of this holiday season by spending time with you kids hunting and enjoying time with family and friends outdoors.

Late Season Hunting

Late Season Hunting | It Can Be A Family Affair

Late Season Hunting I A Great Opportunity with Friends and Family

Snow is beginning to fall across the Country, and as the white starts to come down, a great time develops to slap on the Under Armour, break out the Bear bow, muzzleloader, or slug gun, and tuck in close to a food source in the preparation for some cold weather, late season hunting.

The months of December and January can be two of the best months to find yourself in the deer stand or box blind in search of your hit-list buck. White-tailed deer during the latter part of the season are no longer focused on breeding and have changed their attention to survival. This is especially true for mature bucks that are worn down from the heavy rutting activity. Success with late season hunting is all about cold weather, and keying in on food and cover. Although the conditions may be somewhat harsh, the late season can also be a great time to share the blind or deer stand with your friends and family.

Food = Late Season Hunting Success

No doubt, if you read any article that discusses tips and tactics for late season hunting success it will make some reference to the importance of focusing on a food source. The reason you see the topic of hunting food sources continue to be repeated is simple, it is because it really is an important part of most late season hunting strategies. Now hunting food sources is not the end all be all, but keying in on these areas and building your overall hunting strategies around them can be a great move and can lead to putting a cold weather whitetail on the ground.

When the weather turns cold and the snow begins to cover the ground, deer will begin to keying on food sources that are high in protein and carbohydrates. At this point in the year, whitetails and more specifically bucks are focused on replenishing their fat reserves and their body condition. They have been physical appearance and health has greatly deteriorated from heavy rutting activity. In order to make sure that they make it through a hard winter, food will constantly be on the mind.

Not all food sources are created the same, however, so as a result there are some food sources that are sure to be more productive during the late season than others. For example, clover plots are excellent locations to ambush an early season whitetail, but during the late season, they have lost their luster. In contrast, forages like turnip and radish plots as well as grain fields like corn and soybeans can certainly be key areas to focus on during cold weather whitetail hunting. When you read about hunting grain fields during the late season, you often hear the term “standing grain”. Standing soybeans or standing corn is simply areas that have either been planted as a food source for wildlife or are areas that have been unharvested by the farmer. In both cases, these areas are exceptional areas for late season hunting.

Standing grains do provide a little bit of a benefit verse hunting a completely cut corn or soybean field. The main reason is the ease in which whitetail deer can get to the food. Standing grains make it easy for the deer to access, whereas a completely cut field or even cereal grain fields like winter rye or winter wheat may be a little more difficult. This is exceptionally true when the cold weather hits and the ground begin to freeze or be covered with snow. That being said, both areas are exceptional locations to put a late season deer on the ground.

There is another added benefit to hunting areas such as standing grain fields during the late-season, and that is simply visibility. Hunting a corn or bean field, especially from an elevated position can help you put your Nikon to work and allow you survey a large area from a distance. Hunting from an elevated box blind or tripod stand can be an excellent way to put a late season whitetail on the ground, but they can also help you in your overall scouting efforts as well. Often, hunting from these types of sets and treating them as more of an “observational stand” can help you further hone in on major areas of entry and exit into the food source, allowing you to move in close and hang a stand. Food sources are a great hub in which you can build your late season hunting strategy around, and should be high on your list of areas to key in on when the cold weather moves in.

The Importance of Cover

When the weather turns cold, we like to wrap up under a blanket next to a warm fire and just hang out. Occasionally, we will get up to stretch our legs and get something to eat. The same can be said for white-tailed deer during the cold weather of the late season. The cold weather and short days have the deer desperately clinging to the cover, conserving energy and only making an appearance when it is time to grab a quick bite to eat before the frigid temperatures of the night kick in.

When you looking at the types of areas that whitetail deer tend to seek out during the cold weather of the late season, there are a few types of areas that tend to stand out over the others. The first is areas that have a southwesterly aspect. These areas tend to receive more direct sunlight during the winter months, and as a result are typically warmer with less snow cover than the north facing slope. Whitetail deer will key in on these areas and utilize these areas as bedding locations as well as mid-day loafing areas. Thick areas such as cedar thickets or woodlots that have had Timber Stand Improvement or other types of thinning practices completed will often provide the dense thermal cover that whitetails and other wildlife need during the cold temperatures of the late season.

During other times of the year, it would be in your best interest to avoid putting much pressure on the bedding areas, choosing to hunt the perimeters verse getting in close. That philosophy changes during the late season. With time winding down, the late season is often the time to put on the ScentCrusher and tuck in close to the bedding areas. Hunting these areas can be challenging, but if you are patient and ensure that you have an easy way of entry and exit of the location, and ensure the wind is right for your set and you can find yourself sending around or a GoldTip down range.

It is a Family Affair

The late season is cold and usually wet and snowy. For some, it doesn’t necessarily sound like fun, but believe it or not, the late season can be an excellent time to get out on the field with your family and friends. There is something about cold weather that brings people together, and from the comfort of a blind or deer stand many memories can be made.

One of the aspects of late season hunting that makes it so memorable is often the conditions. The cold conditions tend to stick in your memory banks, but it also makes the hot chocolate or coffee taste that much better. Another aspect of the late season that makes it so memorable and a great time to get your family and friends outdoors is the activity. The woods tend to come alive when the weather turns cold and the snow is on. Whitetails are not the only critters that tend to show themselves during this time as birds, small game, and other wildlife species are alive and well and make for some enjoyable hours in the stand. Whitetail hunting during the late season is many whitetail hunters favorite time to hit the woods, and if you find yourself in the position of still having a tag left to burn, some of the best hunting may still be ahead of you. If you get a chance to get out and brave the elements for late season whitetails you might just be happy that you did. Good luck!

when is the right time to take your youth hunting | Raised Hunting

When Is the Right Time to Take Your Youth Hunting?

Youth Hunting | When Is the Right Time to Take Kids Hunting

Doesn’t it seem like each fall disappears in a crazy blur? Between schools starting back up, getting ready for winter, and of course hunting seasons, it’s easy to lose track of time. As a result, we tend to push some things off our plate, resolving to do them in the mythical “later” category. But “later” might not happen. That’s why it’s important to dedicate time now to life-altering things like taking your youth hunting. Think about it; if you go hunting with a child and patiently pass on your outdoors knowledge to them, you will theoretically create another grounded and responsible adult who’s connected to their food source and the world. Hunting teaches ethics, responsibility, patience, and respect. What more could you want for your children?

So it’s obviously important to get your kids in the outdoors when they’re young. How young? That depends entirely on you and your child. Some kids are ready to go afield much younger than others. It can be challenging to teach them everything, but family hunting is also a great way to spend more time with your kids doing something you love. In this post, we’ll look at some common signs your child may be ready for youth hunting, and some tips to help you teach them what they need to know.

Signs They May Be Ready for Youth Hunting?

when is the right time to take your youth hunting | Raised HuntingIf you notice the following behaviors about your son or daughter, they may well be ready to head to the woods with you. First, if they’re asking to come with you on a hunt, it’s definitely time to start doing some kind of outdoors activity with them. Even if you’re just doing a mock-hunt (discussed below), it’s a great time to get your youth outdoors.

Similarly, if they routinely ask a lot of questions about hunting-related activities, show them in the field instead of simply telling them. Better yet, put them in situations where they can learn the answer on their own without having to explain it. If they are going on make-believe hunts on their own, they?re probably ready too!

If they are intensely curious when you bring a wild game animal home, they may be ready. Encourage them to hold or handle the hide, antlers, feathers, etc. and teach them throughout the butchering/processing task. Some people worry their kids may be too sensitive to see a dead animal. If they seem to be bothered by it, explain the emotions you feel when hunting and that you’re respecting the animal by eating it around the table.

General Rules of Youth Hunting?

One of the best and most important things you can do to teach your child about hunting is to be patient. Kids are going to be too loud in the woods, make mistakes, have short attention spans, and do all sorts of other things that will make you think about quitting. Keep your emotions under control and use any mishaps as teachable moments.

You also may want to start them on smaller animals, such as birds, squirrels, or rabbits. These seem to carry less emotional weight for most kids, and are more their size. As they get used to hunting small game animals, start to introduce larger ones like whitetails.

Try to make every hunt or time in the woods as fun and enjoyable as possible for them. It’s not the time for all-day sits or extreme temperatures either. Keep the field adventures short, comfortable, and enjoyable. The more fun they have, the more likely they are to want to go back. From there, you can slowly introduce reality to them without putting them off.

Emotions of Youth Hunting

Think back to your first successful youth hunt. It may have been exhilarating. Or it may have caused some tears to flow. Teaching your kids beforehand about the emotions they might feel is a good approach. Watch hunting shows with them and show them the wild game you have killed. How do they react? When/if they make a marginal shot and are kicking themselves for it, encourage them. Let them know that it happens to everyone. But as long as they do everything they can to find the animal or exhaust all possibilities, they haven’t done anything wrong. Also let them know that killing an animal shouldn’t be done lightly, and that they deserve a lot of respect by hunting ethically.

First Field Trip?

If they seem like they’re interested in hunting and you have done a few of the steps above, it’s time for your first hunting trip together. Ask them if they’d like to go hunt with you in a ground blind somewhere. Obviously if you’re hunting with kids, you shouldn’t go on a high-stakes hunt after a hit-list buck or you’ll just get frustrated. Instead, simply set up a ground blind in the backyard where you can watch wildlife, even just squirrels or rabbits. Use the time as an opportunity to teach basic hunting skills (e.g., how to be quiet, how slowly to move, how to listen and look for animals, etc.). If they like sitting with you, you could bring a Gamo? .177 or .22 caliber rifle with and have them shoot their first squirrel or rabbit. This is assuming that they have gone through all the necessary firearm safety courses and are legally able to hunt, of course. If they are interested in bow hunting, consider sending them to bow camps for children where they can learn about archery. If they’re really interested, consider getting a Bear Archery? youth hunting bow.

Moving Up to Larger Game Animals?

when is the right time to take your youth hunting | Raised HuntingAs they get better about hunting small game animals, it might be time to introduce them to larger ones. If they’re not quite ready for a full day in the woods, take them out after you get an animal to help you track the blood trail. After you shoot a whitetail, for example, follow the trail and check to make sure they are down. Then bring your kid out to “help” you find it. Show them where you shot it, and help them stay on the blood trail. With your helpful nudges, they should eventually lead you to the deer. Explain how grateful you are to them and that you could have never found it without their help. This encouragement and the excitement of finding a deer usually cements their interest in youth hunting. Your passion and enthusiasm is contagious with kids, so let them see it in your actions.

After they’ve helped you in the woods, try a few co-sits together, where you’re both actually in the tree stand or ground blind with the purpose of hunting deer. While there’s not a lot of required hunting gear for kids, make sure that they are dressed in appropriate and comfortable youth hunting clothes like Under Armour clothing. Stop by Scheels to load up on any essential hunting gear for them. Offer help or advice to them throughout the trip, but also use it as an opportunity to test their skills and knowledge. If they do really well without your help a few times, they’re probably ready for their first deer hunt all by themselves. If possible, try not to impose too many quality deer management rules on them their first year. Let them take a doe, a spike buck, or a mature buck anything they want. This will keep them interested and lay the foundation for future hunts.

Get Started Now?

Taking kids hunting can be a lot of work, it’s true. But youth hunting is also some of the best quality time you can spend with your child. If you start exposing them to the outdoors and wild game at a young age, they will be much more likely to become confident hunters one day. And you’ll have created one of the best hunting buddies you could ever have.

processing game youth hunting | Raised Hunting

Processing Game With Youth | Youth And The “Dirty Work”

Processing and Preparing Wild Game I Leading the Way for the Youth

processing game youth hunting | Raised HuntingThere is truly something special and spiritual about the fall, cooler air, the changing of the leaves giving way to the first snow of the year. Fall is truly a magical time to put on the Realtree and hit the woods. Fall is also the season of the harvest. Not only harvesting game, and processing game, but also for farmers. The hard working and dedicated agricultural producers of our Country begin to literally and figuratively reap what they have sown, providing a means to take care of us here in the United States as well as many countries overseas.

Of course, you cannot think about fall, and especially the month of November without thinking about the tradition of thanksgiving. Giving thanks for all we have, that too is a very magical and spiritual thing itself. Giving that fall is the season of harvest and a time reflect and give thanks on the bounties that God has provided, perhaps it’s only fitting that hunting season occurs during this time of year. Having the ability to head out into the woods, and enjoy the cool fall atmosphere with friends and family, enjoying the bounty that nature has provided is something that all of us should be thankful for.

One of the most popular characterizations of hunters by non-hunters is that we do not appreciate nor respect true animals we are pursuing.To them, all we care about is all letting the GoldTip fly, and nothing more past that. If you are a hunter, you know that this premise could not be any further from the truth. Sportsmen and women do more to conserve and protect our natural resources and the wildlife that we pursue than anyone.This goes along with many other non-game species as well. We give billions of dollars annually to help manage our wild landscapes and the animals that live within, and we self-impose limits and restrictions to ensure that others can enjoy these resources for generations to come. Hunting and the hunting lifestyle instills ethics and an appreciation for our environment and our natural resources. It teaches hard work, discipline, compassion, and unity. You see it’s not all about the kill, it’s about enjoying nature and harvesting a hearty and healthy food source to help feed our families. We are thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy nature in such a way!

The Other Side of Hunting

processing game youth hunting | Raised HuntingWhen we talk about the sport of hunting having the ability to instill a work ethic, many would have you believe that it is all about the work that goes into making the hunt happen. While that is certainly the case, the work doesn’t end once the animal is one the ground. One of the best ways to get youth involved in the sport of hunting in a way that will help to teach them what it means to truly “harvest” an animal is to get them involved in the “dirty work”. Harvesting, processing game, and cooking your own harvested meat usually requires a lot of work, especially if you are planning to process the game yourself. While the small game doesn’t require much effort (other than packing the Gamo) as say a white-tailed deer or elk. Cleaning and processing wild game is a skill and requires attention to detail and there is not a better way to learn than “hands-on”.

If you are introducing a youngster to the art of self-processing your game, sometimes it’s almost better to start out with a larger animal like a white-tailed deer. Reason being is it’s easier for them to see what you are doing, and there are opportunities to get them involved right away. Regardless if they are holding a leg, or holding a light getting them involved early helps to ensure that the lessons you are instilling take hold. It’s can be very easy for a young mind to wander, getting them engaged is critical.

Talking them through the process is good, showing them the process is better, letting them help while explaining the “why” and the “how” is best. It is important for them to learn and understand that if you plan to harvest an animal, you had better be prepared to put in the time after the trigger is pulled.

Though big game animals are great for illustrating the principals behind cleaning and processing wild game, for their first solo attempt, nothing beats working on a smaller animal like a squirrel or a rabbit. Although the process is a little different, game bird species like quail and waterfowl are also excellent starter animals. Though the process may be different, the concept is still the same! You might just surprise at just how many do not take the time to properly educate young hunters on the process of “field to freezer”. Will the pickup bits and pieces along the way Sure, and is there something to be said about learning by doing? You bet, but by taking the time to step them through the process and teaching them how to use a knife effectively you can certainly save them a lot of time and frustration.

Never Too Late to Brush Up

Now, you might be thinking “yeah this is all great, and I can see teaching my child how to field dress a deer but we take our game to a processor”. If you are one of the many who elects to have their game professionally processed, that is fantastic as well. There is not a thing wrong with having your harvest processed by a professional. That is your choice! At the end of the day, it is all about the lesson that comes from the harvest, and that is simply “respect the animal”.

processing game youth hunting | Raised Huntingprocessing game youth hunting | Raised Hunting

As we have made mention several times up to this point, processing wild game is certainly a skill. The skill necessary to effectively process wild game can certainly he honed over time. However, there are many of us out there who have probably never really be taught the “proper” way to process wild game. Whether you are taking the animal to your home for processing, or you a the type who prefers to debone the animal in the field there is certainly a right and wrong way to complete the process.

If you fall into this category, don’t be ashamed. There are many just like you! Regardless if you have never been officially taught yourself, or you just want to brush up on your techniques there are opportunities out there to do just that. For starters, pay a visit to your local butcher. Generally, they are more than willing to discuss proper cutting techniques, types of cuts and can generally provide you with a few helpful storage tips as well. If you are looking for a something that is a little more hands on, many states offer “field to freezer” courses through their fish and game departments. These courses provide hands-on learning opportunities that can teach everything that you need to know to clean and process both large and small game.

Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labor

Teaching a youngster that the work isn

t over once the trigger is pulled is a very valuable lesson that will help them develop into excellent outdoor men and women. Giving the tools and information they need to be able to properly clean and process the game the harvest is a really important piece of the whole hunting experience. The final piece of the puzzle that helps paint the whole picture is enjoying the fruits of your labor, and preparing a meal that consists of the game you have harvested.

There is no doubt that cooking is a very technical skill that can often require many hours in the kitchen to perfect and hone the craft. Luckily, when it comes to a wild game there is a plethora of menu options and recipes that are available either on-line or in a wild game cookbook that anyone can complete and enjoy.

Click Here For Raised Hunting Wild Game Recipes!

From grilling, jerky and baking to crockpot meals, there is an abundance of options that even a youngster can master in just a few tries. The wild game lends itself to be very easily incorporated into a wide range of ingredients, herbs, and spices and with a little research and practice; you can be eating well all winter long.

Having a youth hunter involved with not only the harvest, but everything that comes after (cleaning, processing, and cooking) really helps to them to understand the entire process that is involved in harvesting an animal. It helps them to understand that you if you don’t plant to consume the animal, or provide the animal for consumption by someone else, then it are simply not worth harvesting the animal. It helps so them not only the importance of ensuring they utilize the animals that they harvest, but that wild game is also excellent table fare and can be easily prepared in a short amount of time.

As mentors in the outdoors, you have the ability to set the example when it comes to youth hunters and the experiences that they have in the great outdoors. In order to ensure that they are as active, passionate and share the conservation values that was passed down to you from your mentor. As you find yourself in the outdoors this fall, especially if you are fortunate enough to find yourself sharing a tree stand or turkey blind with a new or young hunter, just remember the responsibility that you have to set the example and not only teach them how to hunt but to ensure that they are equally prepared to do the dirty work that comes with harvesting wild game. If you take the time to do that, then the hunting heritage that we love so much will be in good hands for many generations to come, and we can rest easy knowing that our fish and wildlife species will continue to be a priority and be managed for, for generations and you will have done your job in passing the traditions along!

hunting ethics youth hunting | Raised Hunting

Hunting Ethics In Today’s Culture

Instilling Hunting Ethics In Our Youth

Ethics, many of us “understand” the word and can most likely apply it to our everyday lives. Living an ethical life can sometimes means different things depending upon who you are and what your background is. Webster defines the word ethics as “Rules of behavior based upon ideas of what is morally good and bad”. If you take this definition literally (and most of us do) then there are codes of ethics for almost everything we do on a day to day basis. From riding the bus, to crossing the street, this list goes on. This includes hunting ethics.

For most of us, our code of ethics was instilled in us at a very young age, beginning with our parents or guardians. They taught us the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. For most of us, a little reinforcement was often necessary to drive the point home. (Steal a piece of candy from the grocery store…BAD!) (Help and elderly neighbor mow their grass…GOOD!) The Point is that most all of us were given the structure and tools needed to one day become ethical adults at an early age. These lessons were often reinforced through various activities such as school or sports that we were involved in along the way, all helping to shape us into the men and women we are today.

The sport of hunting is absolutely no different. As a matter of fact, many would argue that the sport of hunting might be one of the best tools to help educate someone who is going youth hunting for the first time the importance of life, family and conservation. This is often a point that is lost among those who are less indoctrinated into the hunting lifestyle or the sport of hunting. The common misconception is that it is all about “the kill”, and while that can certainly be a highlight it is much, much more than that.

Youth Hunting Lessons

Exposing a youngster to the hunting lifestyle through a youth hunting or mentor opportunity is a very big responsibility, and should be on every hunter’s bucket list. For many, it will be their first time every being around a firearm or a bow, and it can be very intimidating. Sometimes it is simply the act of putting on the Realtree Camo pants or jacket that makes it exciting! The point here is that youth are very impressionable, and when it comes to installing conservation and hunting ethics, it is important to do it right.

One of the best ways to ensure that you are doing all you can to teach your youth hunter right from wrong in the woods is to make sure you are always communicating. Remember that you are a teacher, and they are your student. Having an appreciation for the sport of hunting often comes from the effort that is required to be successful. This is an excellent lesson that can be applied to everyday life; you get out what you put in! Keep communicating! Help them to understand the “why” as much as the “how”.

The reality of it is that the more time you spend in the woods with your youth the more opportunities you have to be an example to them. The more time you spend taking a youngster out youth hunting the more opportunities you will have to show them the right way from the wrong way, the more opportunities you have to educate them on the topic of conservation, on the importance of taking care of the land and being a good steward of our natural resources. There are no two ways about it, simply spending time in the outdoors with a youth hunter teaching them how to be an ethical hunting by being the example is the absolute best way to ensure that your youth hunter has an understanding of what being an ethical hunter means.

Keeping It Fun

The early you can introduce a youth hunter to the sport of hunting, the better. It can be important to develop an interest early in life before other distractions begin to compete for time. Now, no one ever said taking a very young hunter to the woods was an easy task, or at times even a fun task but that is all beside the point. Sometimes, it is just about being out in nature with them whether you are packing a Gamo air rifle looking for squirrels or just flinging a few arrows down range at a target it is all about keeping your time in the field fun and exciting.

If you get lucky and harvest and animal, fantastic! However taking the time to show them the wild things that live outside our towns and cities, and educating them on the responsibility we have as hunters to ensure that the animals we chase live and thrive is even more important. It is this love of wildlife, nature and conservation that drive us all to hit the woods every year, and the conservation ethic that has helped make us who we are. It should be the responsibility of all hunters to see this legacy and conservation ethic passed on to the next generation, so if you have the opportunity to expose someone, especially a youth to the sport of hunting, we hope you will take the opportunity to do so!

oppurtunities challenges with youth hunting | Raised Hunting

Opportunities and Challenges with Youth Hunting

Ways of Getting Kids Involved and Mistakes to Avoid with Youth Hunting

Each and every time you go hunting it is special. Whether you have been hunting for 30 years or have just started with the sport, you have or will accumulate a lot of special outdoor memories from each day in the field. For those that have been sportsmen and women since early youth hunting days, we remember our first positive hunting experience and nothing is more special than being there for that first successful youth hunting experience by our own children.

Like many who love to be outdoors and hunt, our hope has always been to share our passion for the outdoors with our children. Hunting is more than a sport, it is a lifestyle that passes along values like tradition, respect and a desire to better ourselves. As parents, we want our children to grow up with an interest in the outdoors, and hunting particularly so that they can enjoy and understand how the family hunting tradition enriches our lives. There are, however, times when youth hunting may not develop as we would like. Kids will move to their own passions early on and as parents, we respect that. While there is no guarantee that each one of our kids will take part in our outdoor passion, there are certain things we can do as a parent or youth hunting mentor to help in developing that lifelong passion for hunting.

3 Tips for Getting Kids Involved in Hunting

Generally, kids take an interest in just about anything their parents are doing. At a young age, children are fascinated by what you do and curious about being like you. It is a good thing and one characteristic that helps in getting kids involved in hunting. If your kids seem to take an interest in hunting, here are three youth hunting tips to help foster that interest.

Start Youth Hunting Early?

Curiosity alone will have your kids asking questions about where you are going or what type of animal that is if you should be so lucky to harvest one. Eventually, that curiosity will lead to the time when they ask if they can go with you hunting.

Getting asked this question as a parent is both amazingly satisfying and also challenging. It can be tough because many of us take hunting seriously, and rightfully so. But getting kids involved in hunting at a young age requires you to adapt and change the way you hunt. Having your kids along means making shorter trips, hunting different and often unproductive areas and lowers your expectations about the chances of harvesting an animal. These are the sacrifices you need to make to get your kids hunting early on in life.

Starting them early is different than pushing them into the sport. Children can quickly lose interest in the outdoors simply from being pushed too hard because a parent or youth hunting mentor wants so badly for them to take part in the outdoor experience. We, as hunters, all want our kids hunting with us. However, forcing them into hunting either too soon or because they have yet to build an interest will be the quickest way to lose a future hunter. If they do not show as much interest as you would like, then give them their space. Often youth hunting takes times. Always keep the invitation open, but never force them to be an unwilling participant.

First Impressions Matter

Regardless of the child’s age, the first few days afield are the most critical in determining whether or not he/she maintains an interest in hunting. These first youth hunting experiences, like any first impression, are where the child is going to form their opinion about hunting. They are either going to decide that hunting is fun and enjoyable or that it may not be something for them. Your job is to not push them and make the first impression a fun youth hunting experience.

The first step to ensuring that a child’s first hunt is not their last is to keep the initial outings brief. Kids have short attention spans, for no fault other than being a kid. That being said, the last thing they want to do is go sit in a blind or a Hawk ladder tree stand for hours on end no matter how into hunting they may already be. As soon as the questions start coming, like “when are we leaving”? or how much longer are we hunting, their attention has veered away from hunting. Take these cues as it is time to make a change or wrap it up completely for the day. Either change spots, take a walk or end the youth hunting day completely.

Secondly, during that time you are focused on hunting you want to help young hunters be successful. All the youth hunting tips and best practices only go so far if eventually a child does not get to experience success. Success can take many forms but for kids, it usually relates to harvesting an animal. Kids find it difficult to comprehend sitting for hours not seeing or shooting any game. Start them off with hunting squirrels, doves or other small game where there are opportunities to see and harvest animals. The other alternative is to find hunting areas that are plentiful with game. Many landowners are willing to open up their farms and forests to youth hunting if you ask. Many times these private oases are loaded with does and absent from other hunters, especially during youth hunting seasons.

Although there is a substantial amount of time and effort leading up to a first successful youth hunt, the first taste of success almost always instantly hooks a kid to hunting for life. Excitement and a sense of accomplishment flow from a kid’s eyes when they harvest their first game animal. The excitement and sense of pride are not only within the child but also with you, knowing you played a big part in their success, which is rewarding no matter what activity it is your kids are doing.

Equipping Youth Hunters Properly

Along with making a good first impression to young hunters, your kids should be as comfortable as possible while outdoors. Equip your kids with the right youth hunting clothing and gear. If you are fully invested in hunting with kids, then invest in them with the proper equipment. Youth hunting clothing today has many of the same qualities adult clothing has to ensure your kids stay warm and dry. This is sometimes an expensive proposition as kids grow out of clothes just about each year, but the downside to not having good hunting clothing and proper boots could be a lost future hunter.

oppurtunities challenges with youth hunting | Raised Hunting

Aside from clothing and gear, you also want to make sure the weapon they are using is fitted correctly for them. The most important reason is for safety. An oversized firearm can lead to not being able to shoulder the gun correctly and recoil that is unmanageable. You want to find youth versions of a firearm and introduce youth hunters early to shooting to make sure the weapon is safe to use and they know how to be safe shooting it. For a bow, it means finding one with the proper draw length and weight so it is comfortable to pull back and shoot. Bear Archery has several youth bow packages that are specifically designed with kids in mind. Without considering the right equipment, including a firearm or bow, your kids may become frustrated and disappointed. Equip them properly, no different than you would yourself, for successful youth hunting.

6 Youth Hunting Mistakes to Avoid?

Hunting with kids is both rewarding and challenging. It is much different than hunting with a buddy or by yourself. Once you have peaked an interest in hunting, avoid these six mistakes when taking your kids hunting.

Unrealistic Expectations

Expectations for youth hunting are and should be, much different than those you have heading to the woods by yourself. Kids will be restless and inquisitive, both of which should be expected while hunting. Encourage questions about the outdoors and hunting. Hunting with younger kids is more about the experience and teaching them the sport than harvesting an animal. Avoid getting frustrated when game animals get spooked away or if you are bombarded with questions during a youth hunting outing.

Not Focusing on Fun

If something is not fun, a child will be reluctant to do the activity again. The same holds true with hunting. Instead of trying to sit motionless for hours on end, identify birds and trees or start a mini scavenger hunt to keep it fun. Let them use your Nikon binoculars to spot game or blow a few grunts from your Primos grunt tube. In addition, talk up hunting every chance you get. Half of the adventure is the anticipation and the planning before the hunt.

Missing Youth Hunting Opportunities

Many states have started youth hunting seasons as a way to give youngsters an opportunity outside of the normal adult hunting seasons. These few days a year can be some of the best for youth hunting as hunting pressure is limited and some even provide an early chance at deer or turkeys before the main season opens.

There are also many mentored youth hunting programs available in different states to provide opportunities for kids to learn from a licensed adult hunter. License fees are reduced and special privileges are granted to youth hunters as a way to expand their opportunities. Take advantage of all you can.

Forgetting Safety First

Safety should always be priority one while hunting, especially when hunting with kids. Avoid even the chance of a safety mistake by thinking ahead on what may be encountered during the hunt. For instance, focus on firearm safety if going out for deer or discuss how to walk safely through the woods if you plan on traversing rough terrain. Accidents do and will happen, but preparing beforehand as much as possible from a safety standpoint lessens the chances they will.

Hunting in Extreme Weather

Days in the woods are limited by work and other daily life responsibilities. Avoid pushing to hunt on a day when the weather is bad. Nothing can ruin a youth hunting experience more than being uncomfortable while in the field. If bad weather cannot be avoided, then make sure you have the proper youth hunting clothing and gear needed to make the experience as comfortable and safe as possible.

Overly Controlling the Hunt

Part of hunting is being outdoors. That means enjoying and exploring the natural environment. A common mistake, particularly with younger hunters, is to overly control every action of the hunt. Relinquishing control on things like letting your kids prepare their own youth hunting gear or having them use the Garmin to find the hunting spot are all ways to get them more involved in the hunt. It is part of the learning process, and by doing everything for them they will never be able to learn from their mistakes.

To conclude, there are many opportunities and challenges when it comes to youth hunting. Getting kids involved in hunting is a rewarding experience for a parent or hunting mentor. Your focus should be to get kids involved early without pushing them, make a good first impression when hunting and to give them the proper tools, clothing and gear they need to be successful.

In order to continue the enthusiasm for hunting beyond those first few hunts, avoid certain mistakes like having unrealistic expectations, not having fun, missing youth hunting opportunities, forgetting about safety, hunting in extreme weather and controlling every aspect of the hunt. Finally, hunting with kids comes down to the experience and instilling in them the values the sport provides with the hope they will continue the tradition on into their adult lives. Reflect on each youth hunting outing not only from your perspective but from your child’s viewpoint. Let them shape the experience and tell the tale from their eyes. Getting kids involved and trying to avoid youth hunting mistakes along the way go far in growing the next generation of outdoorsmen and women.

raised hunting tells us about hope | Raised Hunting

Wide Open Spaces | The Most Meaningful Episode Yet


By Eric Pickhartz
October 13, 2016

We spoke with David Holder from Outdoor Channel’s “Raised Hunting” to find out about a very special episode airing October 15 at 11:30 am ET.

David Holder, no matter what he’s doing, is thinking about bowhunting. That was apparent throughout our recent conversation with one of the stars of “Raised Hunting,” Outdoor Channel’s excellent portrayal of how hunting can bring families together for the good of everyone.

Holder “cut out some” time from his hunting season preparations to reflect on the show, and specifically the newest episode, airing this Saturday at 11:30 am ET on Outdoor Channel. Entitled “HOPE,” the episode takes a rare look at how being affected by something as painful as cancer can cause a positive change in perspective.

David quickly shared his tremendous pride in the full third season of “Raised Hunting” and talked about how the show has progressed.

Season 1 went really well. We won a few awards, even from the Outdoor Channel, he said. Season 2, it was still kind of Okay, they liked it, we gotta do it again. But Season 3 we were really ready for. We had our legs underneath us, and we believe, without a doubt, this is by far the best season of episodes we’ve aired. Both in the cinematography we’ve put forward, and the storylines that are there, and then the way that we’ve put them together. It’s really like watching 13 miniature movies.

He gets a kick out the folks who send photos of “Raised Hunting” stickers on their trucks and t-shirts sporting the show’s logo. He admits the audience has already developed into a community, made up of likeminded followers who can relate to a family like the Holders.


It’s more of a culture that people are proud of being a part of, and we?re proud to have them, said Holder.

Reaching those people, with not only great hunting television, but also important messages, is what Holder seems to hold most precious. That led us to the discussion on “HOPE” and the story behind it.

The episode is so interesting not because David Mitchell kills the largest deer that any of us have ever shot, in this family or anything we’re connected with, Holder said, but for a different reason altogether.

Take a minute to let that sink in. A hunting television show captured tremendous footage of the biggest deer anyone in the family had ever harvested, and that’s not even the strongest, most meaningful aspect. How common is that?

The episode is really about one of my best friends and his wife, and their battle with breast cancer, Holder shared. We just didn’t think we could do justice to this. It’s just such a sensitive story, and it affects so many people.


When discussing the possibility of not airing the biggest buck taken by the “Raised Hunting” team, Holder said, “Absolutely. if the story can’t be told correctly, it shouldn’t be done.”

“At that point, it just seemed to all fall in place,” he said.

Holder spoke more about Tammy, Mitchell’s wife, and knew that her role in the story was bigger than the deer’s.

“I don’t want to say she didn’t care for hunting, but she didn’t care that her husband and I spent as much time doing it together as we did,” he said. “Going from that place to then realizing, after this whole battle, that “My husband needs to go do things, too.” Not only did she allow it, but she actually pushed David Mitchell to come hunting with me, and go have that time, because she realizes, probably more so than any of us, how important each and every day is.

The outcome of the experience doesn’t end with just a great episode, either. Holder filled us in on the pink arrow wraps that “Raised Hunting” has started offering, and the meaning behind them.


How can I get involved? How can I help someone who, maybe I don’t know their story? Holder asked himself. “So that’s what we did, we came up with the arrow wraps, that are pink in color, and people can wrap their arrows to show that they know someone fighting the fight. You can represent and make the statement, I’m not going to forget what you’re going through.'”

The wraps can be found on, and David encourages bowhunters to try them out, share them with other hunters, and show the support. His entire family will be carrying them this season.

Holder also talked about the importance of introducing kids to hunting and the outdoors, sharing some interesting thoughts that aren’t always fully voiced. His own involvement in hunting camps has taught him that it’s okay if kids don’t show extreme interest in the outdoors. A base understanding is sometimes all you can get.

“What we’re hoping is that they’re shown, at an early age, what hunting’s all about,” he said. “Then, even if they grow up and decide they don’t actually want to shoot animals themselves, they’ll be an advocate or a supporter of hunting.”

His own kids, uniquely placed in a spotlight that most young hunters will never see, seem to be following David’s example. He commented on how he stresses humility and appreciation, so that his kids have a better understanding about the world of hunting.

“The thing that worries me is that this will become easy for my kids,” he said. “I hope they’ll always appreciate what they’re blessed with. One of the things that seems to have happened, not to everyone, thank goodness, but he size of an animal has become such a well, if it’s not a big rack, you don’t shoot it, right? And I’m worried that my boys will get caught up in that, and that will be the only thing we’ll be looking for.”

That’s the kind of fatherly advice any young hunter could spare to hear. Holder said his show’s main objective is to keep positive stories in the world of hunting, and if you ask us, he’s achieving that.

If viewers feel like connecting with that community that David spoke about, they can join the conversation by using: #RaisedHunting. Follow the series on Twitter,Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

The Holder Obstacle Course | Training and Hunting Workouts

Training and Hunting Workouts

You will only reach the limit of success for what you trained for. You can’t expect to gain the benefits of hunting without first preparing and training for that hunt. Training for hunting, or performing hunting workouts doesn’t necessarily require going to the gym, in fact, we at the holder family have set up our own obstacle course in our own backyard. Not only that, we filmed it! We also want you to tell us how you perform your hunting workouts!

Holder Obstacle Course | Training and hunting Workouts
(Video) – This obstacle course can easily be done anywhere and not only allows us to train and perform hunting workouts but allows us to practice real shooting scenarios. By elevating our heart rate while working out, taking the time to shoot a bow will allow us to experience the fast heart rate caused by a bugling bull elk! While the actual feeling and heart rate caused by adrenaline might be different, these hunting workouts are allowing us to get as close to the real thing as we can.

Hunting Workouts: Backyard Training Steps

First things first, ask yourself what you are wanting to achieve by training, and performing hunting workouts. To get stronger, get fit, create stamina and endurance? Whatever the case may be it is worth it to achieve the maximum benefit from every workout. Take a serious look at one of our partners, Complete Nutrition. They have a full line of products, pre-workout, post-workout and much more that could give you even more of an advantage with each workout.

hunting workouts pre-workout | Raised Hunting

First: Start with an intense activity. In the holder backyard obstacle course, this is pulling a Delta McKenzie deer target across the yard. This will get the heart pumping in the first step before doing anything else.

Second: After an intense and demanding activity runs over to a different spot in the backyard for the next activity. For this obstacle course, pull ups was that activity.
Third: After those two activities, a change up in the workout is desired. For this obstacle course, it was running up and down a set of stairs (a hill would work) 5 times. This gets the heart rate up significantly and should be tailored to your endurance to absolutely peak you out. If it takes 10 times to wear you out on this step be sure you hit all 10 times.

Fourth: After you are out of breath, and your legs are strained, follow up with another quick building exercise like push-ups. This will balance you out and make sure every part of the body is receiving attention and strain.

Fifth: Take a run. For this obstacle course, it was simply to spring 60 yards, weaving through targets to ensure the heart rate is up.

Sixth: The final step in the holder obstacle course and this hunting workout is the most important. Up to this point, this has been regular training. There is no “hunting” aspect to it. The final step ties it all together and uses the benefits of the workout to help in another department of training for the hunt, the shot. While the heart rate is up, grab your compound bow and bow release, and try making a shot on a 30 yard or 40-yard target. Make it a realistic shot and focus as best you can. Your heart rate will simulate the final adrenaline filled moments leading up to a shot on an animal.

hunting workouts activity tracking | Raised HuntingAs the video mentions, tailor the hunting workouts and your own backyard obstacle course to your ability and training level. Be sure each step in your workout strains every part of your body and ensure your heart rate is up for the most critical and final piece of the workout. As you train throughout the season and off-season, bump up your hunting workout each and every time to ensure you are always bettering your strength, endurance, stamina, and focus. Also be sure to track your heart rate, activity, and create a record so you ensure you actually are creating more endurance, better physical fitness, and to be organized in your hunting workouts. Raised Hunting’s partner Garmin, has fantastic products for activity and hunting workout tracking.

The Idea

This is something you can do in your backyard, something that you don’t have to go to a gym for, or even drive to. Simply create an obstacle course, a detailed step by step activity plan, set up the archery target, and perform this hunting workout every other day when you get home from work. By the time the season rolls around you will be more than ready.