Elk Hunting in New Mexico: A Lesson in Perseverance

Elk hunting vital zone. Patience Elk Hunting in New Mexico pays off.

Antlers in August

One of the many things we love about the hunting community is that we feel connected to so many of you through our TV Show, through the feedback we get from you on social media, and to the hundreds of you that show up for our in-person events. That was exactly the case this month at our annual Antlers in August event, held at the Raised Hunting headquarters in Winterset, Iowa.

We are so thankful for the hundreds of you that showed up to get ready for deer season. We enjoyed hearing from each of you and having a chance to share stories about scouting for deer and how our TV show Raised Hunting, and our Raised Outdoors App have helped you with your hunting strategies, and made hunting more affordable.

Thanks also to Iowa Ag Radio Network for the great video you shared from the event. 

For those who were unable to attend this year’s Antlers in August, here are a few takeaways from the event that can help you prepare for deer season this fall. 

  • At our seminar, Using Rubbing Trees to Put Your Buck Where You Want, we shared the importance of thinking outside the box. When they won’t come to you, make them! When they do come, capture them, on camera of course! Make just a couple tweaks to how you set your trail camera during pre-season to learn more about the whitetail you have your eye on.  
  • We had a panel of three hunters who had each killed a 200-inch deer. The odds of taking a deer of this caliber are one in a million. So, we had lots of questions for the panel members. Their stories all had one thing in common – strategy. They each spent a lot of time planning their hunt, doing their homework, watching videos, and practicing. 

For more information on how to get your gear ready for this year’s deer season, follow us on Facebook or checkout our gear on the Raised Outdoors store.  

If you missed Antlers in August this year make sure to mark your calendar for next year. We look forward to seeing all of you there.

Raised Hunting Podcast Appearances

Have a listen as the Holder’s have been busy spreading the good word about hunting, conservation, and their faith in Christ.

David and Karin join Carol of Dr. Carol Ministries to discuss how a love for the outdoors was the catalyst for building and growing their faith, strengthening their marriage and transforming their family all for God’s glory.

David recently sat down with Richard the host of Conspiracy Unlimited.


Richard speaks with the star of a reality tv show about a family that uses hunting as a platform to impart values and ethics.

GUEST: Dave Holder is founder and CEO of Raised Hunting TV, Raised At Full Draw, and Raised Outdoors. Raised Hunting is the parent company and tv series that currently airs on Discovery Channel.

David, being an avid bowhunter and outdoorsman from the early age of ten, loves spending every moment hunting or thinking about hunting. While serving the city of Great Falls, MT as a firefighter captain, David started his public speaking career by conducting seminars across the nation teaching Elk, Whitetail and Turkey calling as well as hunting techniques. After accumulating hundreds of archery kills on video, David retired from Firefighting in 2009 and turned his focus full time to producing high quality, heartfelt stories that inspire, motivate and teach the viewer a hunting message, life message or both.

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. Hecs 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!

deer sheds

What You can Discover by Finding Deer Sheds

What You Can Learn From Deer Sheds

Shed season is reserved from February to March for the most dedicated outdoorsmen. This season is devoted to hitting mile after mile high and low to find deer sheds! The basics of shed hunting, besides when to go shed hunting, and where to find sheds, is how to find shed antlers. Perhaps an even bigger question is what can you find out from finding sheds?

In case you missed the recent posts part 1 and part 2 of this 5 part video series is featured below.

Part 3 | Matching Antlers Year after Year

How To Find Shed Antlers | Matching Antlers Year Over Year (Pt 3 of 5)

Why do you go out in search for deer sheds? Most of us would answer with one of these answers. I like shed hunting just to get out there after hunting season ends. I shed hunt to scout the areas of my property that I normally stay out of. I shed hunt to simply find sheds, but see what bucks survived and to hopefully not find dead heads of bucks that did not.

These answers are common but there is much more to shed hunting that we do not normally discuss. Just the fact of finding sheds to deer that you have seen before have not seen before, had trail camera pictures of, or are surprised to find thinking that they did not survive the season. One thing is for sure, finding the sheds, and getting the white gold in your hand is what it is all about. So why do you shed hunt?

What You Find Out By Finding Deer Sheds

When the shed is in hand you get several things that are addicting. Confirming the score of what you estimated the deer to be is one thing, but the biggest thing we deer hunters start to love as our passion grows is building history with deer. Trail camera pictures, sightings, encounters, close calls, multiple years of sheds, they all start to add up into a long history of somewhat of a nemesis out in your woods. Each and every year all of this data, and the location of where you find the deer sheds starts to add up and an incredible story of that deer’s movements, habits, and life takes shape. Knowing this confirms what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and shows you how and what to do with hunting another deer in similar areas.

Shed hunting can tell you a lot, it’s more than just an addicting hobby, its history, satisfaction, and information to fuel your passion! Looking for antlers provides a great sense of satisfaction as it connects you to the animals you chase. There is a great enjoyment to the activity since there are few barriers to heading afield to look and explore. Each shed antler teaches you more about the animal and how they use the land they live on because it shows you at one point they stood in that spot for a particular reason. That reason is up for you to decipher and put into your bank of knowledge for the coming fall.

shed antlers

Why Do We Hunt For Shed Antlers?

Finding Shed Antlers | Why Do We Shed Hunt?

The desire to find shed antlers from deer and elk have created a die-hard passion within the tight-knit community of hunting. Reasons to work hard in the late winter, spring and summer to find white gold vary from person to person. There is the intrinsic value of finding antlers and building history with particular animals year after year. Shed antlers are a large part of working to unlock the secrets of a mature deer or elk’s movements. In part two of a five part shed hunting series, David and Easton Holder and their taxidermist, Wayland, express why they love finding deer sheds. This is where the anticipation begins to build for the upcoming fall. Making clear notes of where shed antlers are found can help build your scouting and hunting strategies for the entire year.
In case you missed it, find How to Train Yourself To Find More Shed Antlers | Part 1 below!

Part 2 | Why Do We Hunt For Shed Antlers?

Shed Hunting Tips, Part 2, why do you shed hunt What is it about deer sheds that force us out into the bitter cold of February and early March? Have you asked yourself that question and thought or came up with a solid answer Some may answer to scout my property, other may answer to simple find a shed, or to get a picture of a shed in my hand. Whatever it is that drives us to the cold woods every winter, it’s a good thing. Raised hunting discusses the reason for why we shed hunt. On the discussion, we reveal some eye-opening opinions. First is satisfaction without anything spent, it does not require a license, does not require a set in season. It is going out to the woods for one goal, to find deer sheds and the rewards of finding a shed go much farther than just holding a deer antler. Finding a deer shed provides more history, more information, the locations, and habits of that buck. It confirms that he has survived the season, and knowing that he will be bigger than what you are currently holding. Reversely, finding a dead head is the end of a long story, it can be frustrating, but knowing where your hunt stops is key. Early or late, we still get out there, enjoy the outdoors, share the memories and frustrations, and share the passion of hunting. Why do we shed hunt Why do we go out looking for deer sheds What is your answer? Shed Hunting Tips Part 2 – Why Do We Shed Hunt

Taking the time to look for shed antlers is not just about preparing for the coming fall. David says in the video that the best part of looking for antlers is, You don’t need a license. Unlike sitting in a tree during the fall, looking for shed antlers does not require a license. Finding shed antlers is one of the best ways to get someone new interested in hunting as it opens the door to a new world of adventure opportunity. Because antlers are a part of the mystery of the wild which peaks the curiosity, it is easy to introduce new people and kids to the hunting community through shed antler hunting. Now, some states in the West may have restrictions forcing people to wait until much later in the year to begin looking for antlers, which has more to do with not putting extra pressure on animals trying to recover from a harsh winter. Other states may have rules in regard to finding dead animals, or deadheads as David refers to them in the video. Quickly checking your state regulations is always a good way to stay proactive in order to have a full understanding of the laws.

What To Bring

Chances are, regardless of where you are going to look for antlers you are going to be out for a while and walking a few miles. David says in the video he recommends people carry a small backpack to pack snacks and water in. Even in the cooler temperatures of the late winter and early spring, you can still become dehydrated and lose focus in the field possibly walking by antlers. A good backpack is also needed for when you need a place to put your coat or sweatshirt after walking for a while, not mention a place to carry antlers when you do find them.


Binoculars are also a necessity for shed hunting. Having a great pair saves you a lot of walking to decipher whether or not that “thing” in the field is another corn stalk or an actual antler!

Did these basic shed hunting tips help? Don’t miss the other shed hunting videos in this five part series!

The First Episode | The Beginning of Raised Hunting

Season 1, Episode 1

Raised Hunting

Here it is, the very first episode of Raised Hunting that aired back in July of 2014! This is the beginning of the story, the first episode of the show that represents “Raised Hunting”. In this episode, you will see a family truly realize how hunting brings them together and the lessons that can be learned from it.

Raised Hunting Season 1, episode 1 : “Proud”

This is a story, of a 12 year olds first deer season through the eyes of a father, and the guidance of a big brother.” -David Holder
Newly planted in Iowa, Warren and Easton Holder look for permission to hunt Iowa whitetails. It is the story of how Easton harvests his first buck, with the help of his older brother. The boys take it upon themselves to find land, ask hunting permission, scout it, set up their own stand, and put in the time and patience to achieve success. Nothing comes easy, and by working together the boys can accomplish their goal.

About Raised Hunting

Raised Hunting is about an average American family that has used hunting as a platform to teach ethics and values to their family. The Holders share their North American hunting experience and use real adventures from their journeys. Raised Hunting captures the raw emotion that comes from an animal at close range, all while focusing on bringing you ultimate adventures with the highest regard to cinematography. Raised Hunting is the show that keeps you on the edge of your seat and looking for more when it’s over.

Where to Find More from Raised Hunting

Want to see more of Raised Hunting? Subscribe to the Raised Hunting YouTube Channel to get updates of when other episodes and videos are uploaded!

Predator Hunting | Late Season Tactics and Gear

Predator Hunting | A Late Winter Past Time

For many hunters, the late winter months can really be hard to handle for many reasons. For starters, many of the game species that we look forward to pursuing all fall are no longer in season. That fact alone can send most of us into withdrawals. On top of that, the late winter months can often be downright unpleasant. Cold, brutal north winds and snow often dominate this time of year, and while the gray overtone of the late season may put most of us in a bit of a funk, there is a little light at the end of the tunnel, and it is called predator hunting! Predator hunting has continued to grow in popularity over the last several years, and with many states having abundant predator populations, liberal bag limits, and long seasons the late winter months can be the best time to predator hunt.


Predator Hunting Gear 101

There is a popular misconception that predator hunting is a gear intensive sport, which requires a significant investment in equipment in order to be effective. While there are plenty of predator hunting accessories for hunters to enjoy, predator hunting generally requires very little investment to get started. In all actuality, the predator hunting gear needed to effectively call and hunt predators is really very minimal when compared to other game species, and there is often a good chance that you may already possess most of the gear that you will need.


Aside from your actual weapon of choice, probably the most crucial piece of equipment that someone needs to have to effectively predator hunt is an excellent pair of optics. Predator hunting typically takes place in open landscapes, where having excellent visibility can make all the difference. Being able to see a great distance, and monitor your targets response to calling as well as how they respond to other techniques such as using a decoy can certainly help you adjust your set up which will ultimately increase your chances for success.

Nicon Optics

Late season hunting can be very hard on your gear and equipment, so it is very important to not only have an effective set of optics but also a durable set as well. Nikon brand spotting scopes and binoculars are extremely durable and dependable, can take any amount of abuse that late season hunting can dish out. If you plan to chase game that prefers more secluded or wooded environments such as bobcats, coyotes or various species of fox, investing in a pair of Nikon 10×42-s will more than address the need. If you find yourself predator hunting in a more open landscape such as the black hills or the western prairie areas, then it will be important for you to have the ability to see a great distance as well as close by. In this case, a pair of Nikon 10×42-s will help you to quickly identify any potential targets that slip in within a few hundred yards while a Nikon 16-48x60mm Field Scope will help you keep a keen eye peeled at greater distances. Predators are very wary by nature, and in many cases success hinges on your ability to spot them before they spot you, and a great set of optics will certainly give you a leg up every time.


It is undeniable fact that concealment is the name of the game when you hit the woods for big game, and predator hunting is absolutely no different. As the name implies, predator species have very refined senses and this is especially true when it comes to vision. Predator hunting is often a sport of opportunity, and because of this fact, you need to be able to rely on your camouflage to do the trick in a wide range of landscapes and cover types.


For us, there is no better camo pattern than Realtree AP. This camo pattern has worked for us, regardless of the terrain or the game we are after. Predators can often make out the outline of a hunter, especially if you are making a set in open country. This is one of the most common situations that results in your target hanging up just out of range. A camo pattern like Realtree AP has the contrast and tones that you need help break up your outline and keep you concealed, even in the wide open! Do not fall victim to eyes of your target by underestimating their ability to pick you out. Face makes and gloves are often a necessity in the world of predator hunting.

Weapon of Choice

One of the most challenging and exciting facets of predator hunting is the fact that it provides the hunter with the opportunity to take game with a wide range of equipment. In many states, you can legally harvest predator species by any method you wish. If you prefer to stick with the traditional high-powered rifle or shotgun as your method of choice, then you are good to go! If you like to spice things up and break out the handgun, rifle, or Bear bow then you are free to do so as well, which helps to keep things interesting!


Selecting the right weapon for the job is really dependent upon which game species you are after and the conditions you will be hunting in. More open landscapes clearly call for more tactile firepower such as a .243 or .22-250, however, when you start getting into close quarters is when things start to become very interesting. With the right wind, and the right set up it is not uncommon to coax various predator species such as coyotes and foxes into close range, at which time a shotgun with buckshot or a heavy load or even and high powered air rifle can be very effective and still very challenging. A benefit to hunting predators with light caliber equipment is it allows youth hunters the opportunity to get out and enjoy this very exciting sport as well! At the end of the day, it is ultimately about selecting a weapon that you feel comfortable with and that can ethically do the job, however, it is very nice to have options!

Predator Hunting Accessories

The tactic of predator hunting is continuing to evolve with new calls and decoys being developed each and every year. If you are a hunter who really enjoys trying something new, and picking up a few small accessories here and there that can really help make a difference in the field, predator hunting can certainly scratch that itch!


When you think of decoys the first thing to come to your mind is likely not predator hunting, however, utilizing a decoy can be lights out when calling and hunting predators. There are typically two types of predator decoys that are used by most predator hunters. The first is the “distress decoy”. This is a decoy such as a rabbit that when used in conjunction with distress calls give the impression of a wounded or trapped animal. This is a set up that most predators are completely unable to resist. Decoys like the Stray Cat or the Sit-N-Spin from Primos can trigger an immediate response from predator species like coyotes, fox, and even bobcat and really are a must have for any predator hunter.


The second and likely less utilized predator decoy is simply a confidence decoy. These decoys are designed to be used with group vocalizations of specific species and are designed to keep the target animal content and comfortable, bringing them to within range. While this method of decoy set certainly has its place and can be very effective it does have its limitations as opposed to the wounded animal set.

Predator Calls

If you were to ask a turkey hunter or a waterfowl hunter what they truly enjoyed the most about their respective sports, most likely the response would be “tricking them into coming in”. Predator hunting is no different! In fact, many who have tried it would tell you that successfully calling a coyote or fox into range might just be on par with a hen’d up gobbler or a late season flock of mallards.

There are a couple of different methods for calling predators. The first is utilizing a mouth style call to either exhibit social vocalizations. Utilizing a call such as the Mini-Howler from Primos can be very effective in this regard. The second technique is to utilize a mouth call to exhibit a distress call which would be intended to mimic a fawn deer or rabbit that is in distress.


The challenge that most hunters appreciate with these types of calls is that there is a level of skill or technique required to use the effectively. Much like calling turkey or waterfowl, you are the operator of the call so there is a sense of satisfaction when you outsmart a slick old coyote, not to mention the certain appeal that exists to when you hit the field with your baby howler hanging off your C4LL!

The second method of calling predator employs the use of an electronic caller. This method is very popular simply because it can be very effective, and most electronic calling systems can also be used for other species (snow geese, crows, etc.). At the end of the day, it really is hard to beat using the real vocalizations of the game you are after. While both calling methods allow you to be mobile, the electronic predator call is always on point and never wavers as far as quality and volume are concerned. This reliance offers a certain appeal to many who hunt predators. The electronic predator calling systems such as the Boss Dogg or the Dogg Catcher from Primos are excellent when used in large landscapes or when the wind and other conditions may limit your ability to effectively utilize your mouth caller. These electronic predator calls a very versatile when it comes to the type calls them make, and can often be used in conjunction with a mouth caller, offering you the best of both worlds!


The best thing about predator hunting, whether you are using a decoy or just hitting the woods with your predator calls is simply that you can literally hunt them anywhere. From your own property to public land, there are hunting opportunities are abundant everywhere you look. Predator hunting not only provides you with an opportunity to kick the winter time blues but controlling the predator population only benefits a wide range of other species that we as sportsmen and women care deeply about! So grab your gun, and lace up your boots and put a few miles on the truck and a few coyotes in the truck bed this winter!

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

Raised Hunting Instagram

Raised Hunting Twitter