Category: Outdoors

Can Hunting Be A Job?

Everyone dreams of doing what they love for a living. If you could get paid to be a hunter would you do it? Of course! But it is a lot harder than it may sound. Many professionals in the industry have spent years working very hard for little or no pay. So if you are in it for the money and not because you just deeply enjoy the outdoors and the community around it, you are looking in the wrong place.

The dream job of getting paid a decent living to only hunt does not exist. There are, however, many jobs in the outdoor industry. The outdoor industry is broad but you could find careers related to hunting, fishing, conservation, videography, marketing, and biology. The opportunities are endless and the only limitation is you and the amount of work you are willing to put in.

The Tv Hunter – Being Realistic

If you are here searching how easy it is to start your own hunting show, the answer is not hard at all. But you will not make very much if any money. If you think about some of the “celebrity” tv show hunters and how their business plan is actually laid out, they make their money from sponsorships or selling their own products. The hunting is just entertainment so they hope they can grab your attention long enough to advertise to you. This market is extremely competitive and flooded. If you wanted to buy a set of arrowheads or new arrows or maybe a new set of hunting boots, think of how many brands you actually have to choose from for those products. Now think of the following you have to build to just get people to watch your show. This would take 10+ years of very hard work with zero profit just to start making anything at all, but hey, if you are willing to do it nothing is impossible.

Deerhunter TV

Have you ever wanted to hunt for a living? I have, check out this post on the topic from Omega Outdoors.

Getting Started In The Outdoor Industry

What do you actually have to do to get started in the outdoor industry? Get Involved! Be active on social media, go to trade shows and community events. Do not forget about job sites like Indeed or Glassdoor. Search for the companies that you like or would like to work for and see if they have any job postings. Even if it is not something that you are crazy about, getting into a company and making connections can boost your success and opportunity for the job you really want. This advice also stands for any other industry as well, you just have to put yourself out there and sometimes even work for free just to get in and get experience and connections.

Six Job Examples In The Outdoor Industry

Property Management

Being a property manager is an amazing job for someone who loves wildlife. Technically a property manager can manage anything from wildlife to agriculture, or eco-tourism. With one quick search, I found a listing on indeed.com for a position labeled ” Whitetail Outfitter & Ranch Operations”. This type of job is for a veteran outdoorsman that knows all about the outdoors and how to handle it.

Here is the description of the job I mentioned: ” role requires the individual to have significant deer, and turkey hunting, guiding, and calling experience. They are responsible for all aspects of the hunting experience; including, but not limited to: deer habitat management, deer stand management, food plot implementation, and management, pre and post-hunt experience management, game processing, significant people skills and ability to interact with guests, demonstrate good hunting morals, ethics, and knowledge of local and federal regulations. Outfitters are required to interact and guide guests in shooting, fishing, and other miscellaneous event activities. Outfitters are also responsible for the facility, vehicle, and all general upkeep, cleanliness, and maintenance. ”

Summary

  • Average Salary: $107,798/ yr – Glassdoor.com
  • Education required: Highschool, Some college preferred, Extensive wildlife knowledge.
  • Housing included
Northern Sikes Guided Goose Hunt

Hunting Guide

A hunting guides job is to take the customer to a successful location and guide them to a successful harvest. They make sure everything is carried out in the proper way, including but not limited to: ensuring all harvests are legal, firearm safety, locating wildlife, upkeeping camp, and providing a fulfilling experience for the customer. Many hunting guides own their own property but is possible to work for a property manager and carry out hunts on their behalf. Many managers hire guides to take customers out on paid hunts not only to increase revenue but also harvest mature deer from the population.

RELATED POST: HOW TO AGE A MATURE WHITETAIL IN THE FIELD

Summary:

  • Average Pay: $1,500 – $2,500/Month
  • Education Required: Hunting Guide School
  • Housing and Food Included

Wildlife Biologist

If you are a scientifically inclined person that loves the outdoors, you may want to consider being a wildlife biologist. A wildlife biologists duties can be very broad depending on the employer and the location. They perform research and help better manage wildlife populations. Wildlife biologists can work for private parties but many of them work at the state or federal level where their findings can influence regulations and seasons.

Wildlife biologists also tend to specialize in a specific species. So you may spend years studying bears of Idaho, tracking these animals and analyzing the data flowing in from hunters. You may add collars to captured animals to track their movement or study food plots to see how animals react to certain foods and which food groups can best benefit them. These are just some examples and every job will vary, but it is a hands-on outdoor job and if that is what you are passionate about you should go for it.

Summary:

  • Average Pay: $51,483 – payscale.com
  • Education required: Bachelor’s degree in Biology

Influencer

What the heck is an influencer? An influencer is anyone that builds a following in a certain niche, ours being hunting and the outdoors. Influencers use social media to share content with others who like what they like. This is not an easy job. Large influencers have a lot of influence (hence the name) in their industries, and companies see them as an amazing marketing opportunity. So they may pay a certain influencer to use their product and tell their followers about their experience. To be an influencer you have to really love your industry and be in it for the long run because you will be in the trenches working really hard for years before you start to make any money.

The best thing about being an influencer is you can do it on your own time, as much, or as little as you want. However, your income will directly correlate with the amount of time and effort you put into your craft. You also do not need any formal education for this job and could even do it on the side after your boring nine to five job.

How do you make money as an influencer? Influencers have multiple ways of monetizing their audience, and they should use more than one method. You can make youtube videos which generate ad revenue, you can do sponsorships on social media or podcasts, or you can place ads on a blog (like this one)

Wildlife Conservationist

A wildlife conservationists job is to protect wildlife and the habitat that supports it. They work to make sure the ecosystem is in good health and not in danger to any diseases or invasive species. They will also check the soil to see if there is possibly any pollution or runoff affecting the area.

Another responsibility of a wildlife conservationist is to advocate for wildlife and the environment. They also educate the public. As a matter of fact, 79% of wildlife conservationists work for government agencies (bls.com) where they can better communicate with the public about these topics. While working for these government agencies, many conservationist advocate for things like green energy, climate change, national forests, habitat conservations, and regulations relating to wildlife and the environment.

Summary:

  • Average Pay: $63,800/yr – bls.com
  • Education Required: Bachelors degree in wildlife biology, agricultural science, or environmental sciences
Oklahoma Game Warden Ryan Walker

Game Warden/ Conservation Officer

Game wardens do enforce laws in the wilderness to ensure the safety of the habitat, but that is not their only job. They actually do a lot more than you may think. Game wardens are responsible for issuing licenses ti hunters, running hunter safety and education classes, performing search and rescue, provide backup to law enforcement, conduct investigations of game harvesting operations, and also maintaining the census of wildlife populations. These are just the bulk of their duties, as with any job other duties may arise.

Obviously, this is a hands-on job for outdoor lovers. You are outside in the thick of every situation, and you are the determining factor of how it all goes down. If you are instrested in this career I would highly suggest checking out gamewarden.org.

Summary:

  • Average Pay: $49,400/yr – bls.com
  • Education required: Bachelors degree in one of the following fields,
    • Wildlife and/or Natural Resource Conservation
    • Wildlife Ecology
    • Biological Science (Specifically Wildlife Biology)
    • Environmental Science
    • Fish and Wildlife Management
    • Criminal justice

Thanks for reading my article I hoped you enjoyed it and learned something you didn’t already know. If you like my content subscribe for my weekly update.

Complete Guide To Aging Whitetail Deer

Aging a whitetail in the field can be an important aspect of your hunt. Trying to hold out for a mature buck has become an increasingly popular management strategy. Every single buck is different though. Many of the attributes that we will soon learn that help us age a buck, can vary from deer to deer. This is why many hunters struggle to age deer correctly; although, most anyone can tell a mature deer apart from a yearling, let’s dive into how to judge the middle stages.


What do we use to Judge age?

To quickly judge the age of a deer in the field we can use four major attributes, the body/estimated weight of a deer, the belly and how low it hangs, how thick the neck is, and lastly if the antlers are spread outside the ears or not. It is recommended to not look at the antlers themselves to determine the age, focus mainly on the body. The bigger the neck, lower the belly, the older the deer. Make sure to follow through on your estimate after the shot with a jaw bone method (seen below).

Mature vs young deer body size, Photo: Startribune

Choosing the Right Picture on Cam

If you are not in the field and are judging bucks off of a trail camera picture, it is very important to choose the right pictures and not just ONE picture. You need pictures where you can clearly see all the physical features of the buck. We will use his features to judge him and choosing a picture with a bad angle or shadows can complicate the aging process. The QDMA ( Quality Deer Management Association) posted this picture to show the ideal stance of a buck.

Photo: QDMA

Do you know how to age a whitetail just by looking at its body? Or how to age them by their teeth? Check out this total guide from Omega Outdoors.

The Body

When judging the age of a deer you really should act like they have no antlers at all, and just focus on the body. If you look at a young deer you can really see just how slender they are. They are very sleek and skinny looking, deer take a few years to fill out. Just like humans, you can see the difference in the weight and muscle mass between a 13-year-old boy and a 25-year-old man. Year after year deer start to pack on the pounds, so it is not unusual to see a super skinny young deer. When you see a mature deer, around 4 1/2, there will be no doubt that you know he is a mature buck just by how big his body is. A mature buck that is over 200lbs will appear to have shot legs with his belly hanging down. His neck will look short and fat.

The Belly

Hanging belly, Photo: Kruger Farms

If whitetail have good available nutrition, over the years they will pack on the pounds. Fatter deer are more likely to be older. Just looking at the belly you can tell a young deer from a mature deer quite easily. Young deer will have level bellies or even curved upward. While a mature deer will have a lower or even hanging belly, the lower the better. This causes old deer to appear short or stubby.

Thick swollen neck

The Neck

The neck is one of the first things to look at when aging a buck. Combined with the muscle on the shoulders, the size of the neck can be a good sign of age. How swollen a buck’s neck is can also change with the season. During the rut, the neck swells up to show dominance. Around age 4 1/2 a bucks neck and shoulder muscles have fully developed and will appear to be short and thick. While in young deer the neck appears sleek and slender.


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Hi, I’m Patrick, the sole author of Omega Outdoors. I work on this blog whenever I get a chance in between school and my different jobs, but I would greatly appreciate it if you subscribed to my email list so I can keep you updated my content and giveaways.


What to expect at each age

1 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

At this age, bucks are just starting to grow their first set of antlers and are probably the easiest deer to age. They are long and lanky and look like they are all legs. They are very slim with a small waist. These deer have a distinct line of separation between their neck and shoulders with little muscle definition. Most of the little weight they do have will be shifted towards the back of the deer. They will also have very light staining of the tarsal glands. At this age, if you were to strip away their antlers it would be difficult to tell a yearling buck apart from a doe.

Yearling bucks antlers are most likely small and are inside the width of the ears, but on well-managed properties, yearlings can be larger and have a respectable rack. That is why we try to disregard the antlers and focus on body features instead.

2 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

These bucks are still slender looking with a thin waist. They have developed some muscle in their shoulders along with a little swelling in the neck but not very much. Their belly will still make a straight line and will not hang down. Most of their weight is still in their back half. With good nutrition, their antlers can be as wide or slightly wider than their ears. They likely have small mass but should be showing the framework of how their rack will look in years to come. These bucks can have moderate staining in their tarsal glands during the rut, especially if only a few mature bucks are in the population.

3 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

For these bucks, their legs are finally the right length and they have built some muscle in the shoulders and torso. These bucks are still somewhat lean but are also built, so they are small and fast while also being big and strong. These bucks are close to their prime and have a lot of testosterone flowing and tend to have a badass teenager attitude which a lot of the time gets them killed. Their belly is still straight and they still have a defining line separating their neck and shoulders. Many of these bucks are starting to develop a very nice set of antlers. They should be outside the ears and starting to accrue a nice amount of mass. According to the QDMA, “most bucks have achieved 50 to 75 percent of their antler-growth potential” by this stage.

This is the average age a buck makes it to in the wild. Most unmanaged properties (especially public lands) do not have many bucks past this age. This is mainly due to their hormones and attitudes at this stage. It is bucks like these that can teach you about the trouble that chasing women can make.

4 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

After 3 1/2 it gets much harder to tell the exact age in the field, but it is still very possible. 4 1/2 is the age most management systems believe that hunters should harvest bucks. At this age, bucks are very developed throughout the body and they are in their prime. Their legs now appear to short for their bodies. The bucks shoulders are filled out, their neck is much bigger and swells during the rut due to increased testosterone levels. You can no longer see a defined line between the neck and brisket, they are now one mass. Their belly will not hang by much but they will not be completely flat. Now you can see significant staining on the tarsal glands as well.

According to RealTree “By this time in their life, bucks will display 80 to 90 percent of their antler’s potential”. Bucks by now have large antlers and a large amount of mass. Bucks in this age range account for many of the trophies taken.

5 1/2 – 6 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

Bucks rarely get past 5 years old in free range areas. These bucks are as big as they are going to get and if you are lucky enough to take a buck that makes it to this age you will be able to immediately tell that this is a mature deer. Deer at this age regardless of antler size are a true trophy, these bucks have been around the block a time or two and have most likely outsmarted or barely escaped a hunter before. If you have ever heard of the term “roman nose” these are the bucks they are talking about. The bucks nose begins to round off as he gets older and looks less pointy like a doe.

Now their bellies are starting to sag, the back may even sway down. The chest is deeper and larger, and the brisket may sag as low as the stomach line. The neck is extremely large and swollen. The legs appear very short compared to the rest of the body and there is very heavy staining on the tarsal glands.

7 1/2 – 8 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

You can think of these deer as the elderly old men of the deer world. For deer to be this old is very rare. These deer are on the decline and are losing weight. Their antlers will start to get smaller and they will become less active and probably will not chase does, and if they do, they will not chase as hard as a younger buck. A chin flap may also be present as the deer shrinks from its former size.

To help you remember all these rules The QDMA has a poster with examples that you can get here from Amazon.

The Follow-up – Aging Whitetail By Teeth

It is very important to check your age estimates after you take the shot. This way you can audit your own performance and better manage your property.

Photo: fffnj.com

Where do you start?

Aging deer by the teeth is a game of elimination. The whole concept is that if this jaw passes certain criteria then it must be older than X amount of years. We will use two processes in this technique, tooth replacement, and tooth wear. during these processes, we will use the number of adult teeth coupled with the amount of wear on the molars to get an accurate estimate of the deers’ age.

Tooth Replacement

Just like humans, a whitetail has baby teeth that fall out and get replaced periodically. An adult whitetail has six teeth on each jaw, three premolars, and three molars. These are the teeth we will be looking at to assess age. Using this method we can quickly tell the difference between a fawn, a 1 1/2-year-old, and a 2 1/2 & older whitetail.

Fawn

Judging a fawn is the most simple of the ages. Deer are born with three temporary teeth and one molar. The other two teeth are soon to come around the age of 1 1/2. So easily enough, if a jaw has less than six teeth it is a fawn.

1 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

A 1 1/2 deer has grown six molars on each side. You can tell a jaw belongs to a 1 1/2-year-old deer is by his third premolar. The third premolar will still be a baby tooth and have three cusps to it. if you can verify that it has three cusps, you can confirm it is a 1 1/2-year-old whitetail.

1 1/2 year old whitetail jaw bone
Photo: Wisconsin DNR

2 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

Much like the last strategy, check that the jaw has six teeth. Then go to the third premolar and check if it only has two cusps. If your deer only has two cusps on his third premolar you can confirm the whitetail is at least 2 1/2 years old.

To get a visual representation of this information the QDMA has some really good videos on this topic.

Tooth Wear

Using the tooth wear method you can tell the difference between 3 1/2-year-old deer all the way up to 6 + years old. This technique looks at the enamel(white outer layer) and dentine(dark inner layer) of the whitetails fourth molar to start. We use the fourth molar in this case because it is the oldest tooth the deer has. The main question we will be asking is how wide is the dentine strip on the TOP of the crest compared to the outer layer of enamel.

2 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

If we have concluded that a deer is at least 2 1/2 using the tooth replacement strategy, we can now look at the wear of the fourth molar to confirm it is 2 1/2 and not older. We can see an inner strip of dark dentine and we can ask the question, is the inner strip on dentine twice as thick as the outer strip of enamel? If the answer is no, then your whitetail is 2 1/2 years old.

3 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

Using the same strategy on the fourth molar, we can ask is the dentine or dark material twice as thick as the outer layer of enamel? If the answer is yes, the deer is at least 3 1/2 years old. We then have to slide over to the fifth tooth and ask the same question again. If your answer is no then you can confirm your deer to be 3 1/2 years of age.

4 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

Now we are on the fifth molar, asking is the strip of dark dentine on the top of the cusp twice as thick as the enamel next to it? If your answer is yes, then the deer is at least 4 1/2 year old. Now we go to the sixth and last tooth. We ask the same question and if your answer is no, then you can confirm your deer to be 4 1/2 years of age.

5 1/2 Year Old Whitetail Deer

If you get to the last molar and ask the same question, Is the dentine twice as wide as a strip of enamel, and your answer is yes, then the animal is at least 5 1/2 years old.

6 1/2 + Year Old Whitetail Deer

After your deer jaw has passed all the criteria to be at least 5 1/2 years old, we can start looking at the fourth molar again. We then ask a new question. Is the fourth tooth beginning to flatten out or dish? if the answer is yes, then the whitetail is at least 6 1/2 years old.

After 6 1/2 this method loses its reliability, and aging up to 6 1/2 is adequate for most management strategies. However, any deer that is 6 1/2 years of age or older, regardless of antler size is a true trophy that anyone would be proud of.

Thanks for reading my article I hoped you enjoyed it and learned something you didn’t already know. If you like my content subscribe for my weekly update.

19 Essential Items For Your 2019 Whitetail Hunting Pack

What Items Should I Always Have In My Hunting Pack?

Every hunter has a basic load out of items that they make sure to bring every single trip. In this list, we make sure to cover every item you will need in the woods and in your pursuit of happiness. If you don’t already have a good pack and find your self asking ” what backpack should I use for hunting?” well our suggestion is the Timber Hawk Kill-shot Backpack.

Here are Our Top 19 Items to Pack For 2019

1. Skinning Knife

We have all been in that situation after you have got a deer on the ground and go after your Skinning Knife and you left it at home… A Skinning Knife is one of the basic necessities for a hunt. obviously, you won’t be using this in the stand but after your successful hunt, you will defiantly need a high-quality knife that can Hold a Real Edge.

2. Flashlight

Leaving for a hunt without a Flashlight is one sure way to derail your hunt. Hopefully, you got up on time and are headed to the woods before daylight. On the walk in you will definitely need a Good Flashlight.

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Photo: Primos Hunting

We recommend a flashlight with an integrated Blood Light for when you shoot that big buck close to sunset.

A Flashlight will be an even larger asset on the walkout from the stand. The last thing you want to do is to get lost after a long day in the woods.

3. Binoculars

One thing you definitely need is an advantage in optics. If you are bow hunting this is even more crucial because you do not have a good scope to look through. Binoculars are useful for looking over fields and through the woods in your stand.

Most seasoned hunters will tell you, it can be difficult to see slow-moving deer far away or even deer in a farmed field. Deer can hide in plain sight in fields and a pair of good binoculars can give you that edge you need.

Check out this complete list of 19 things you will need for a hunting trip in 2019 from Omega Outdoors! I need to get a few of these.

4. Utility Knife

Stat Gear Utility Knife

Whether you are on a hunt or just a walk through the woods, something you should never leave without is a Good Knife. What I call a utility knife a knife that you can use in any situation and not just for skinning. I always carry one in my pack no matter what, I do not always use it but it is nice to have if you do need it. I also recommend getting a Knife with a Firestarter as well as an added layer of preparation.


Hi, I’m Patrick, the sole author of Omega Outdoors. I work on this blog whenever I get a chance in between school and my different jobs, but I would greatly appreciate it if you subscribed to my email list so I can keep you updated my content and giveaways.


5. Gloves

Unless your hunting in 70-degree weather, a pair of gloves is something you definitely need to pack. I normally have two pair, one light pair and one heavier pair for the really cold days. Keeping your hands warm is more important than you may realize. Other than cold hands being uncomfortable if you can not feel your hands’ chances are you can not make a well placed shot on that Boone and Crockett you’re waiting on. I have definitely been in my stand before on a 20-degree day and realized I forgot my heavy gloves… definitely will not do that twice!

6. Rangefinder

Now if you are bowhunting I will not even bother telling you about the importance of a rangefinder, that is a no brainer. However, if you are rifle hunting, a rangefinder can be more useful than you may think. In the early season, you probably did not have a chance to see your stand before the leaves fell and a rangefinder can give you the edge to know exactly how far away your shooting lanes are.

7. Haul Rope

A haul rope can be useful for many reasons but it is definitely always safer and easier to have a haul rope to get your gear in the stand.

David Blanton from Realtree Outdoors made an exceptional video about the correct way to climb you stand and use a haul rope effectively.


David Blanton, Realtree Outdoors

8. Rain cover

If your sitting in the stand all day, some sort of rain cover is a good thing to have. You could wear a waterproof outer layer, bring a poncho, or stand umbrella. Either way, covering up is key to staying dry and warm so you can make that perfect shot on a big buck.

9. Water Bladder

Any hunter will tell you that sitting all day in a tree stand is not an easy thing to do. Staying hydrated is an important aspect of any sport. A bottle can be quite noisy in the woods especially if you have to pull it out of a pack. Most well-made backpacks will have a built-in water bladder, and you can fit your own in most cheaper backpacks. Oh and do not worry about peeing in the woods, it has no adverse effects on your hunt.

RELATED POST: Top Five Deer Hunting Myths

10. Tree Hanger

I know you have been in a stand at least once without a hanger. You’re sitting there holding your pack between your feet facing constant scare/uncomfortable feeling that you may drop your pack, and you know what that means… no more Little Debbies. Let’s not chance it, use a hanger.

Big Whitetail Hunters LLC Coated Gear Hangers

11. Folding Saw


Bahco 396-LAP Laplander Folding Saw

A folding saw can almost be the same as your utility knife, but a folding saw can be much better to get through a larger tree or through the back end of a whitetail. I much rather pack the little extra weight of a saw than trying for 30 minutes to chop through a thick tree.

12. Mobile Battery Pack

Never be without a phone in the woods

Other than checking your virtual farm world while in the stand; having your phone is actually very important. You can use your phone for a few important things in the woods, such as reporting your harvest or texting your hunting buddy about lunch. Not to mention the safety factor of being able to communicate with your hunting buddies or the police in case of emergencies. So having a mobile charger in your pack is a definite no brainer.

13. Grunt Call

Grunt calls can be a game-changer during the rut. I know you have seen a buck mid-November on a fast trot not even thinking of stopping. A grunt call can be just the ticket! Gunts also work very well when there is a buck farther away from you. If he hears your gunt he will differently raise an ear in curiosity and if you’re good enough he will even come your way.

Photo from Realtree.com

14. Hand-Warmers

Seasoned hunters will tell you, having hand warmers can make or break your day. When the thermostat gets close to zero you definitely need to have hand warmers with you. Most of the time I put one in each glove, and one in each pant pocket to stay nice and warm.

15. Ozone Generator

Scent control is a major priority in hunting. I assume you are already using scent free body soap and laundry detergent for yourself and clothes. But now a new technology actually releases ozone to cover your scent and the nearby areas scent. The ozone breaks down scent on a molecular level so it is undetectable. This would be an added layer of protection for your scent game.

16. Basic First Aid

One of the most important pieces of gear for anyone who steps foot off the pavement, a solid first-aid kit is especially important for hunters. Whether you are heading into the backcountry for a multi-day hunt or simply hitting your favorite trails for the day while setting trail cams, a first-aid should always be in your backpack. Don’t think of the kit as a fixed item—the contents within your first-aid kit should change per trip… you’re going to want a beefier assortment for 11-day Dall sheep hunt in Alaska than you will for a simple morning in the tree stand five miles from home. You may choose to go with an ultralight kit to save weight and space or a broader selection if you are in hunting camp. Never assume the outfitter, your hunting buddy or someone else along the trail will have a medical kit—always be ready to take care of yourself.

FREE PDF DOWNLOAD – Wilderness First Aid Pocket Guide

FREE PDF DOWNLOAD – Wilderness First Aid Pocket Guide

17. Lighter/Matches

Even if you do not plan on staying in the woods, some items fall into the “rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it” category. If you’re on a camping hunt than you better make sure to pack a lighter or box of matches but if your just a hotel hunter(no shame) then they are probably not as important.

18. Shooting Sticks

Quik-Shot Predator Shooting Stick

On a hunt where you need to make a lot of miles and do not want to settle in one spot, a solid prop to shoot off can make or break that hunt that you have worked so hard for. Even if you are staying local, on the days where you just feel like walking instead of sitting, shooting sticks are a much better rest than a random tree or a freehanded shot. Shooting sticks come in many varieties, but the common denominator is that all sticks provide an added measure of stability in the field and can dramatically increase the effective range of any hunter when they’re used the right way.

19. Extra Sd Cards

I hope I am not the only one that goes to check my trail cams after hunting in a different spot and realize I forgot to bring extra cards… To combat this I started to just put a few extras in my pack that I do not plan to use. That way I actually forget to bring them I still have sd cards for my trail cameras.

Thanks for reading my article I hoped you enjoyed it and learned something you didn’t already know. If you like my content subscribe for my weekly update.

Top 5 Deer Hunting Myths

 There are many misconceptions about deer and deer hunting throughout the country. Everyone believes that one crazy thing that an uncle or granddad told them, and you probably never thought twice to question it. Don’t worry, after some research I sadly realized I was also one of these gullible young hunters. Here are 5 quite popular deer hunting myths

1. Peeing in the woods

If you’re like me, you probably thought that peeing in the wood was a giant cardinal sin in the woods! However, peeing in the woods is absolutely fine and has zero negative effects. All urine turns in to ammonia within 20 minutes and the deer can’t even tell the difference between deer and human urine. Some hunters even admit to peeing in their own mock scrapes. This sounded crazy to me but hey now I don’t need to carry a pee bottle or hold it during all day hunts.

Did you know that peeing in the woods does not matter? Check out this and other debunked myths from Omega Outdoors.

2. Dry Does

Many people define a dry doe as a doe that hasn’t produced fawns this year. So many management hunts choose to take out these does not think about why she doesn’t have does. According to wildlife biologists a doe will always have fawns unless she is very unhealthy and dying. Although some does may have had fawns still, but they got lost or eaten. There are many reasons why a doe doesn’t have fawns around her so next time try not to judge your does so quickly.

3. Buck Always Bed Downwind of Does

There is a big misconception about bucks bedding downwind from does. While this may happen on the off chance bucks do not outgoingly try to do this. Imagine you’re a buck and you bed down and the wind changes every little while. are you really going to get up just to be behind the does? No you wouldnt, Neither will the bucks. If anything they will get up and move along.

4. Dew Claws In Tracks

So many nieve hunters say that when you can see the dew claws in a track that it is automatically a huge buck. Any deer can leave dew claw prints depending on how it stands, how fast they are going, or if they are scraping. There are many ways to tell the story of a track but remeber all deer have dew claws not just the giants!

Muddy Deer Track

5. Scent is not That Complicated

While dressing in scent free clothes and making sure you wash in scent free soap is important, many hunters are very paranoid about their scent. Placing your stand in the right spot and be virtually undetectable. Try to secluded, the higher ground you can get the better so try hunting a valley if your having trouble with scent.

Thanks for reading my article I hoped you enjoyed it and learned something you didn’t already know. If you like my content subscribe for my weekly update.

Becoming a Good Shed Hunter

Whitetail season is a month past us now. For those of us that already want to be out back in the woods, now we have an excuse! Shed hunting is a popular pastime for the hunters during the postseason. For some it is just a hobby or fun experience, others use it as a management strategy to keep up with certain bucks. Whichever you do, hopefully, these tips can help you out.

What is Shed Hunting?

If you don’t know what shed hunting is, it’s when you go out looking for bucks antlers that have been “shed” hence the name. After the rut, the day starts to shorten and this sends signals to specialized cells to start eating away at the base of the antlers. After a while, they will fall off to make way for new growth. Whitetail bucks can begin to shed their antlers in January, with most bucks shedding by late April. Depending on what type of land you are on or how your deer are behaving can determine when exactly you should start shed hunting. Do some reconnaissance, place cameras and scout your deer. When the majority of bucks have lost their antlers it is about time to get in the woods after them. If you are on public land you might want to go in a little earlier because those sheds are going to go like hotcakes.

I’m excited about shed hunting this year! Check out these tips I found from Omega Outdoors. #shedhunting #outdoors #hunting

4 Questions From Shed Hunters

1. When do I start hunting?

Well, obviously this doesn’t have a defined season like the a actual whitetail. So timing is very important. this could vary depending on if your hunting private or public land, and also what your weather is like.

If you’re on Public land then you should be wary of other hunters getting out and finding sheds first. So, in this case, you might want to get out a bit earlier. Make sure to check the local deer population either by cameras or in person, because if you’re still seeing bucks with antlers then you’re thinking about sheds a little to early.

The weather also has more input then you might think. If you are farther north then you probably still have snow on the ground through January and into February. Finding sheds in snow can be super difficult and is going to hinder your success greatly. That being said if you are on private property and can afford to wait a month or two extra for the weather to clear and for all the antlers to drop, you will likely be much more successful.

2. What type of day is right for shed hunting?

Honestly, most of us shed hunt whenever we have time, and it is not a planned event. But if you could pick the perfect day, it would actually be gloomy, dark, and lightly rainy. 

Think about it, most of these sheds are a brown-white color and during a beautiful sunny day, they are going to blend in with everything. but if the leaves are flat and the woods are a little darker then they will stand out much better and you should be more successful.

3. Where Do I Find Sheds?

Sheds mainly come from three places: food sources, bedding areas, and the trails in-between. If you decide to go shed hunting early then you might want to stick to tree lines or food plots or else you will be rooting around in the woods turning deer. One great tip for hunting sheds in a food plot is to always bring binoculars. Shed hunting is a lot of walking and if you can see farther that means you have to walk less!

Food Sources

Coming out of the winter months deer are packing on the pounds and will spend a sizeable amount of time around food sources. If your property is corn fields, by shed season they will be cut but stalks and sheds look a lot alike over a big field. The key to hunting sheds is to cover as much ground as possible, so when out at your food plots try to see as much of it as you can. Covering ground does not necessarily mean walking, get a height advantage and glass a area around 50 yards around you and then move farther down the plot.

Food Plot, Photo: Advancedhunter.com

Bedding Areas

When deer are ready to bed down, the simple act of laying down and getting up throughout the night, which they do about every 30 mins, can be enough to shake those antlers off. The bad part is that deer love to bed down in the thickest areas they can find. In the middle of a brier thicket or if you are lucky maybe it is just a secluded grassy patch. But if you can find these areas of high traffic, check them weekly.

Trails

Trails are probably the easiest way to find sheds. The trails themself are easy to find compared to the bedding locations, and chances are you already know where a good bit of trails are on your property. A good place to check is around hills or a drop down into a creek. these areas can cause the buck to produce a lot of movement which could be enough for a weak antler. Some times limbs or brush can knock sheds off, or just the act of walking is enough, but make sure to go all through those trails and do it weekly.

Fences

Similar reasoning to looking at hills or creek beds, when bucks jump fences that obviously jars the deer to an extent and makes a high possibility that their antlers will shed. Not many hunters think of this but I have found a good amount of sheds around fences.

At the end of the day, the more ground you cover, the bigger and better your chances are to find sheds.

4. Do I Need a Shed Dog?

You do not NEED anything to shed hunt, except permission. But does it hurt? No way! Shed hunting dogs can be very useful. Even if you haven’t trained your dog to find sheds, just bringing them along can be a ton of fun. Actual shed dogs can be much better than you at shed hunting and they will probably find the majority of sheds.

Photo: Field & Stream

Training a dog to find sheds does not take all that long, just in 4-6 weeks you can have your dog ready to go. Labrador retrievers are a great dog for hunting in general, they love to please and love to be in the outdoors right by your side. Do not worry about messing up your duck dog either, other hunters that trained their duck dogs to find sheds said that it did not interfere with their performance during duck season.

Thanks for reading my article I hoped you enjoyed it and learned something you didn’t already know. If you like my content subscribe for my weekly update. If you have any questions about shed hunting that I did not talk about here, feel free to comment or shoot me a email at Patrick.long@omegaoutdoors.net and I will be more than happy to answer it for you.