5 Duck Hunting Dog Breeds You Need To Know

Dogs are man’s best friend, and one of the biggest reasons for that is how helpful they can be during a hunt. Personally, I have a beagle that’s been with me for four years now. There are several options to choose from, much of which is decided by individual preference. Waterfowl hunters, inland bird hunters, and more generic game hunters can all help step your hunting game up significantly. Here are the top five duck hunting breeds to have by your side in the blind.

5 Duck Hunting Dog Breeds You Need To Know

1. Brittany

If you hunt upland, a Brittany Springer is the best hunting breed you can have. Not only are they great swimmers and incredibly loyal, the icing on the cake is that they are also great listeners.

They are big enough that retrieving a larger duck is no problem, and agile enough that they move around an area quickly and discreetly.

Training a springer is as simple as bringing them on a few hunts and thoroughly walking them through the routine of what they need to do. This breed is particularly strong when compared to others that aren’t as agile in and around water.


Let’s start with Golden Retrievers. This breed is masterful at both force and blind retrieving, and is smart enough to perform well under pressure (in a competition, or in time-sensitive or crowd-sensitive areas). Golden retrievers are impeccable swimmers, runners, and might be the most loyal dog you’ll ever encounter. If I didn’t have my beagle, I’d have one of these. Other retrievers, such as Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, are honorary mentions here. Here is a video that goes into detail on this:

Next, let’s talk about Labrador retrievers. The distant cousin of golden retrievers, these dogs are also incredibly versatile in the field. It often seems like they prefer water over land, which is perfect for duck hunting. It’s important to begin training retrievers early in life, because they have immense amounts of energy and need the discipline to be engrained from a young age in order to be effective. But once they’re trained, you won’t find a better hunting dog than a retriever. Here are more top retrievers to consider.


Now, I don’t want to sound biased here, but Beagles have a connection with humans that is incomparable. Their scent-tracking abilities on the hunt are second to none. They are so fast and can dart around through bushes and shrubbery in a way that larger dogs can’t. I’ve never seen a duck retrieved so fast as what a Beagle will do every time. I also advise starting training when the Beagle is young. The earlier that they get the scents down, and are used to retrieving ducks, the better they will be as adult hunting dogs.

4.Cocker Spaniel

Here is one of the best duck hunting dog breeds, simply because they were bred to hunt from the beginning. With quick movements and a keen eye (and nose!) for fallen fowl, it’s no wonder Cocker Spaniels are such commonplace in hunting fields across the world. These dogs necessitate less training than other breeds that have a more difficult time paying attention. A few runs through of the routine, and Cocker Spaniels will be begging you to take them out hunting nearly day. It is more effective when using with best duck call for beginners.


Far beyond the showrooms of dog competitions are the poodles actually doing what they are best at.

These dogs are fiercely loyal, incredibly smart, and not afraid of anything.

Send your poodle into the water, across a field, through a bush- as long as it will feel valued and rewarded upon returning with the bird, the dog will outperform any other. Just remember, toy poodles and other smaller breeds aren’t going to cut it. You must have a full-size poodle and be willing to put in the training time to get it up to speed. Because they are so smart, poodles are more alert than most other top duck hunting dog breeds and therefore will pick up on smells and abstract hints that the others would miss.

Don’t believe me? Watch this video:


While there are a number of great breeds, these are the top 5 duck hunting dog breeds you can have in terms of training, memory, agility, and overall enthusiasm for hunting.

Do you use a breed that I didn’t discuss here? Share a photo and a story here in the comments and let’s get a discussion going.

I hope you found this article helpful, if so please share on social media. Hunting is such a powerful activity, and having a great dog along not only makes it more fun and efficient, it helps with conservation and with promoting the sport as a great way to bond with your best friend.

Which Scope Should You Choose Fixed Or Variable

Choosing the best riflescope can be a difficult task if you are a new to the game.

The first thing that comes to mind is that you are in need of the best scope that suits your budget. There are thousands of options available and finding one to suit your budget leaves you with several factors you need to consider before buying one.

The first and most important questions are for what purpose are you going to use the scope and buying one based on other shooters experience is not always the right choice for you. An optic that works for one shooter may not work for you as one’s eyesight is different to another shooter’s eyesight. If you are using Ar10, you can check the best scope for AR 10, I have review 4 of them.

As you know there are two different types of scopes a variable tactical scope and a fixed scope and today the RifleScopeGuy is going to show you the differences between the two, leaving you to decide which one is best suited for your needs.

Two Types of Magnification

The Fixed Powered Scope

The fixed powered scope has a unique design as it only uses one specific power and you cannot change it. For example, the magnification can be set to 6 x 42. These scopes are more reliable than your variable type of scope. However, they do have some disadvantages you cannot change the power when needed. The advantage is that the fixed scope gives you a brighter and clearer view. The reason for this is that it does not have different lenses for the light to emit through the scope.

The Variable Tactical Scope:

When it comes to shooting the variable tactical scope is more versatile to use as the scopes designed with variable power. You can change the magnification settings to suit your different situations from hunting or shooting for fun at the shooting range.

The Basic Terminology Found In Both Scopes

The only difference between a fixed and variable scope is the magnification settings. The rest of the terminology is basic for both scopes as the following is important when choosing either one.

1. The Objective Lens

The objective diameter is the measurement of the lens found on the end of your scope. They can vary in size from 32 – 50 mm. The only thing that the objective lens does is to gather the image of your target and allows the light to transmit through the scope. The larger the objective lens the more lights transmitted to your eye. The only disadvantage is that the bigger the objective lens is the heavier the scopes designed and needs a higher position.

The objective lens works as follow: a standard 40mm objective lens at 5-x power gives you an exit pupil of 8mm when viewing your target through the ocular lens. This means that the objective lens diameters divided by the magnification and equals the diameter of the exit pupil.

2. The Reticle

The different brands available have different reticles and each shooter has their own preference. You can buy a scope with a mil-dot, MOA, Bullet Drop Compensate for long-range shooting, and standard duplex reticles. The main purpose of the reticle also known as the crosshair is to provide you with a centralized aiming point as each one caters for different shooting purposes.

When you look at the hunting crosshair they are made of wire, but the glass-etched ones are also becoming very popular, as they are precise and durable.

3. A Critical Measurement is the Eye Relief

When deciding on your scope the eye reliefs critical. A handgun scope only has a 20-inch eye relief and suitable to use for short distance shooting. While shooting with a rifle or shotgun that has a powerful recoil needs and optic that gives you a longer eye relief range.

4. The Field of View Varies From One Brand to Another

If you are planning to hunt you, need a wide field of view as you will able to pick your target quickly? If you plan to shoot long distances, the F.O.V is not that critical. The field of view varies from one brand to another and best to read the available specs when buying your scope.

5. The Importance of Light Transmission

Light Transmission is the amount of light transmitted through the scopes lens. Some of the best riflescopes can give you a light transmission of up to 95%. This means that the scope transmits through 95% of light without reflecting it away from the lens. Here magnification plays an important role, as a scope with a good light transmission is easier on your eye to focus when used during the day.

6. The Importance of Parallax Adjustment

When you look at your target at a distance greater than 100 yards parallax occurs either in front or behind the reticle. Once you move your eye from the optical axis of the scope, parallax occurs. This is an important feature to have when buying a long-range scope, as they are equipped with either an adjustable objective or a side focus parallax. With an adjustable objective, you can focus down closer when shooting at short distances. With a side focus adjustment, you do not need to move your head or rifle too much.

7. The Turrets

You can buy a riflescope with exposed or covered turrets. You can buy them in ½ MOA up to ⅛ MOA adjustments. Each adjustment is suitable for different needs and you use the exposed turret for target shooting, as it’s easier to change the distance of the target. Closed turrets are great for hunting as once the scopes sighted there is no need of changing it.

8. The Exit Pupil

Exit pupil measurements important when shooting, especially when the light begins to fade as the higher the exit pupil it allows you to see through the scope for longer. You can measure the exit pupil as follow: you take the objective lens and divide the power magnification. When buying a 3-9×40-magnification scope you take the 40/9 and this equals to 4.4mm of light.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there, are different factors to consider when buying a fixed or variable scope? Another topic that many people argue about is the brand. At the RifleScopeGuy, you can buy different famous brands such as Leupold, Nikon, Vortex, Burris, and Bushnell. By knowing what you are, going to use your scope for is the first step and the second step is to know your basic terminology. When buying the best riflescope whether it be a fixed or variable one the choice is still yours.

Hunting Blinds: What To Know And What To Look For

Hunting blinds are a common and effective way that a hunter can shield himself from the animal he is after and minimize chances of being detected.

Often, a deer hunter will use climbing equipment to perch himself in a tree and use that as cover, but there are several grounded blinds available for purchase that are easy to pack in, set up, and move around while in the field. Some require the hunter to lie down while others allow for sitting and kneeling/standing.

I have been using the Harter’s Ground Blind for several years now with great success. Here, we’ll discuss different types of blinds with examples for you to check out before making a purchase.

Hunting Blinds: What to know and what to look for

  • Deer hunting blinds

    • Portable- Portable blinds are the most common, and work best for most hunters as they can be packed in and out, and moved from spot to spot quickly. They range in size from small to large enough to fit two to three hunters  and have shooting holes built in. They set up like a tent with stakes and a mesh lining, typically weighing between ten and twenty pounds. A good blind will provide 360-degree shooting capabilities and vision while maintaining disguise from all angles.
    • Permanent- When thinking of permanent blinds, picture a treehouse that a father might build for his kids. Some are made of wood and built on stilts, giving the hunter an extended range of sight, while others  sit on the ground. Permanent hunting blinds will require power tools to assemble, but are durable and will last many years. Permanent blinds are only doable if you own the hunting property, or have an arrangement worked out with the landowner, as they cannot be packed in and out and require an immense amount of labor to put together. Here is a video on setting up permanent hunting blinds.

While they are more comfortable and can be modified to your specific setup and preferences, it’s quite an investment. Some require the purchase of an elevated hunting tower to serve as the base of the blind pod. If you are looking into buying a permanent hunting blind for your property.

  • Tree stand blinds

These are often not much more than a skirt to go around a hunting chair or platform already built into the tree. The benefit of these hunting blinds is that they provide an elevated viewing and shooting area. You will need additional gear to climb the tree and to set up a seating area. Be sure you have fastened the skirt on securely before setting up shop, especially if it’s windy outside.

Duck hunting blinds are similar to deer hunting blinds but designed for waterside landscapes. Often they are designed to look like the tall reeds and plant life that waterfowl thrive in, and feature wider shooting holes that often run the length of the tent’s long side. Around fifteen pounds in weight, give or take, duck hunting blinds are quick to set up and break down.

However, you can build your own duck blind by building a pit deep into the ground using boxes that are built to resemble a 30-gallon oil drum that has been shaped into the landscape .Be sure to put a wooden cover on it so that it won’t fill up with rain when not in use. Again, this is only effective if you are always hunting the same spot.


Personally, I refuse to hunt without a blind, mostly because in addition to camouflage they also provide shelter. You can bring a cooler of beer, food, and other necessities for the hunt and keep it hidden away, and if it rains or is very windy you’ll have protection from the elements.

I don’t own land, so my hunting is done on public land where I have to truck in my blind each time, so I try to keep the process simple by using a tent-like blind with a hunting chair and always bring a blanket. While I’ve always been partial to Harter’s, Ameristep makes many quality products that are affordable and easy to set up.

Have ideas or product recommendations? Share here in the comments and let’s get a discussion going, and don’t forget to blast this article out on social media if you’ve enjoyed it.

3 Best Duck Call For The Money Reviews 2018

Now that we’ve covered the basics of duck calls, you should have an idea of what is the best duck call for your situation.

Duck calls emit different noises based on how they are used, and take practice to master, but are the single most effective hunting accessory for increasing your chances of bagging a duck.

I’ve used many different calls over the years, and have compiled my favorites in this list. Obviously, I’m a big fan of Duck Commander. Their products have been the most consistent and well-rounded that I’ve ever used.

Here, we’ll take a look at three of their best duck calls and their pros/cons, helping you make a decision on which one is best for you.

Best Duck Call Reviews

Best Duck Call Reviews

Things to consider when buying a duck call

  • There are some cheap options out there, but many of these will stick and become clogged with spit very quickly, leaving you high and dry just when need to make that killer call. By spending a little more upfront you’ll save time and stress immediately, and money down the line as you won’t have to buy a replacement very often
  • Consider the type of duck, the length of hunting days/trips, and experience level of the hunter before making a purchase. I strongly recommend a two or three reed duck call for most circumstances, although there are some decent one reeders

Top Our Pick For Best Duck Call For The Money 2017

Top 3 Best Duck Call For The Money 2017

This is my review about 3 duck call for hunting, it will help you find the best for the money. Check out it:

1. Duck Commander- Triple Threat- Duck Hunting Call New

Duck Commander ~ Triple Threat ~ Duck Hunting Call New

Duck Commander ~ Triple Threat ~ Duck Hunting Call New

This three-reed device is ideal for two groups of hunters – beginners who need multiple reeds to practice the pitch, and experienced hunters looking for multiple calls to track a mallard hen.

The system is easy to learn and tune, ideal for camping and long days out in the field. Because the call is so easy to blow, it doesn’t require much practice before actual use It’s consistency and accuracy make this call an industry standard because as it holds a tune with little maintenance.

I recommend cleaning out the spit every few hours to prevent the call from sticking and clogging. Also, be careful of blowing too hard – this can make a high-pitched squeal sound that will annoy both you and the ducks.

If you’re in the middle of some action and it starts sticking, try using different reeds because odds are that only one or two of the reeds will be sticking and the others will work just fine.

This can also happen during cold weather, so do your best to apply some body heat to the call when not in use. It works well in rain, unlike many calls. That’s the benefit of buying this call instead of a cheaper one, it has more durability and versatility.

2. Duck Commander Wood Duck Call

Duck Commander Wood Duck Call

Duck Commander Wood Duck Call

First and foremost, this best duck call for the hunting is meant to emulate the ‘wood duck’, it is not made of wood. It’s made of durable plastic and intended to be very specific. Hence only one reed. As far as versatility, this is not the best product, but if you’re going after ”woodies”, it’s call is incredibly accurate and consistent, you can’t beat it.

Duck Commander is a reputable brand that has mastered their niche, and it shows with this call. The sound is high pitched and replicates the sounds made by the wood duck as they sit on the water.

It does not require an immense amount of air pressure to call, but you’ll want to be consistent with how hard you blow if you’re calling differently each time the woodies won’t come in.

I frequently tell people to buy this as a gift for children or new hunters, because woodies are so common that they can practice at home or a nearby lake before heading out on a hunt.

3. MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo Mallard Duck Decoy

Duck Commander Uncle Si Duck Call

Duck Commander Uncle Si Duck Call

The Uncle Si is perhaps the easiest call to blow on the market.

With moderate force, this call is extremely loud and great for big lakes or wide open areas. The volume level also makes it best duck call for beginners, because it doesn’t take much practice to perfect. If you are hunting in an area where there may be other noises (from animals or otherwise), this is a great call because the ducks will be able to hear it no matter what. It’s raspy, giving it an authentic flare that will beckon to ducks anywhere in the nearby vicinity.

What makes this one of the best duck calls is that you get exactly what you pay for. A sharp call, that is easy to clean and performs well in all types of weather. You’ll be replicating the call made while the duck is sitting, attracting it in to your decoys.

Because it is a single reed duck call, it can become clogged with spit, but it’s easy to clear out and only takes a moment. If you are a collector of duck calls or have several of them on a lanyard, the Uncle Si duck call is definitely a good add-on.

Duck Commander makes their products in Louisiana, meaning they are built with American quality and standards and will ship quickly. It comes apart easily, which is good when cleaning but just be sure it is secured when you’re out in the field so as to avoid having issues.

Head To Head Comparison Of 3 Best Duck Call

These three Duck Commander calls are diverse, and best for different situations. I’ll break those down real quick here:

  • Use the Triple Threat for chasing mallard hens. Master, it’s three reeds and enjoys its versatility in the field. This is the best duck call for experienced hunters who have a routine down.
  • Use the Wood Duck for practice, and generic field uses. It’s also a great gift because any duck hunter will be able to find a use for it. No duck call collection is complete without a wood duck call.
  • Use the Uncle Si for big lakes and the wide-open spaces that surround them. It’s great for beginners and louder situations.
  • Overall, the best duck call reviewed here is the Triple Threat. It offers features that the other two don’t, putting it in a class full of calls that are much more expensive than this one. Also, it will last a long time. Because these products are made in the USA, if you buy now it will be yours within a week’s time. This is good duck call from Duck Commander or otherwise.


The best duck calls are the ones that you can count on to perform even in inclement weather, bringing ducks in quickly. A good call will bring them right to you. I’ve used the Triple Threat from my back porch and had ducks walking right up through the lawn.

You can learn how to use a duck call to know about it.

Don’t overuse the call, study what the ducks do and replicate it. I’d like to hear about your favorite duck calls, please post here in the comments so we can keep this discussion going! If you found this helpful, please share on social media as well. Thank you!

Learn How To Age A Deer In The Right Way

As an experienced hunter, one thing I’ve worked hard at improving over the years is knowing how to age a deer.

We all want to shoot the biggest buck possible, with the best set of antlers, and with years in the field comes the wisdom to which age class a deer is part of.

I manage a small whitetail property, and the last thing I want to do is take out all of the 2 ½-year-old bucks before they age and reach prime antler range. Here, we’ll discuss tips on how to age a deer.

And i wrote a article about how to find a deer sheds, it is helpful, let's read it.

How to age a deer

1. Young bucks (1 ½ years)

You can tell a young buck as their antlers won’t extend past the ears. They also tend to have a slim, tight body shape as judged by looking at their belly, and at the fact that during the rut they won’t have a bulky Here are some great photos of deer in different age ranges

Take a look at the body size. If it looks about average and has only those small antlers, it’s a young one. The tarsal glands will appear fresh and clean, along with the buck’s facial features.

Its stride may appear a bit clumsy and nervous as well​

2. 2 ½ to 3 years

This is the age when it can be a bit confusing because the deer’s body size is approaching what it will be for the remainder of its life. Here’s a hint: look at its belly.

How close it hanging to the ribs and organs? At 2 ½ years, it will still appear thin and youthful. The buck’s movement and stance may still appear a bit awkward and frail, as it hasn’t yet acquired a life’s worth of muscle

​Without looking at the antlers, if the buck looks like a full-grown doe but not quite an adult buck, you’re dealing with a buck in the 2-3 year range and its best to let it walk.

I encourage hunters to give themselves that extra second before shooting to look at the antlers and body shape, whenever possible, in order to spare the young ones and make sure they are bagging a trophy. Here is a video about aging deer in the wild:

3. 3 ½ to 4 years

At this point in the buck’s life, it is beginning to develop defining muscle characteristics and appear as a full-fledged adult.

The neck is beginning to swell during the rut and tarsals will show some wear and tear. The stomach will begin to sag a bit, and the neck will begin to meld itself into the shoulder with muscle in a noticeable fashion.

It’s stance and movement have stabilized and are beginning to resemble that of an older buck

​The best way to tell if the buck is in this age range is to look at its rack and body characteristics.

Size wise, it will appear older and more fully developed, but by honing in on specific features a hunter can tell that this animal still has a couple years to go before its fully ready

4. 4 ½ years

By this point, the rack and body are developed to the point of resembling a fully aged buck.

When learning how to age a deer in this range, look at the legs first. Instead of the frail and weak stance of younger bucks, those in this age range will feature muscle and strength in their legs and stance, which will also be reflected in their noticeably intentional movement.

​The stomach has begun to sag quite a bit, and the entire body weighs enough that the buck will appear to lean backward or have to settle itself when standing still

5. 5 ½-year-old bucks (Primetime!)

This is what we’ve been waiting for, and the reason why we pass on younger bucks.

Take photos of the buck, particularly its developed rack and fully shaped body. A buck that is this old will likely have a full-fledged pot belly and legs that are stocky enough at the top to resemble those of a much less agile creature. 

And the best way to have good target let's use best shooting sticks for hunting.

​At this point, you’ll want to take your shot whenever you have the opportunity.

Look for a bulbous nose, muscles protruding the entire body and loose skin. Their movements are direct and well thought out, making these bucks quite a prize for those of us lucky enough to find one


    Just writing about older bucks gets me excited for hunting season. Discussing how to age a deer is one of my favorite pastimes, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.

    I am a stickler for ethical and educated hunting, and always encourage the sharing of valuable educational materials. Best handgun safe is recent my post to tell you 5 gun safe to storage your gun safety, check it out.

    With that in mind, please share this article on social media if you found it helpful. Remember, next time you’re in the field, take that extra moment to appreciate that you are hunting an aged buck and let the younger ones scurry along. It benefits us all in the end.

    How To Use A Duck Call For Beginners

    Using a duck call allows for a bit of artistic improvisation in your hunting game.

    As a reed-based instrument, duck calls take practice to master but are one of the most effective ways to call waterfowl into your hunting area and increase your chances of a successful hunt. It should be treated like a musical instrument – experience and knowledge of how it is built and how it works will help you get the proper pitch.

    By combining these tips with plenty of practice, you’ll have a solid grasp on how to use a duck call for the beginners. And you should have the best duck call for the money to use these tips.

    How To Use A Duck Call For The Beginners: Step By Step Guide

    • Know the instrument. There are three main types of duck calls: wood, polycarbonate, and acrylic. While all basically doing the same thing, each takes its own tweak to get the perfect call as they each emit slightly different sounds. For example, wood duck calls make soft, appeasing noises very easily, and are the best way to attract a duck’s attention if you can’t see them or are a beginner. Wood calls work best in optimal weather, especially if you are using decoys. Acrylic calls emit a higher pitched, sharp noise and take more practice to master.

    That said, they are much more effective in situations where the sound is disturbed by factors such as the wind, cliffs, or long distances.

    They will last for a long time, and are easy to clean, unlike wood calls. Finally, polycarbonate duck calls are like a cross between the two. As far as cleaning, maintenance, and learning curve, they are similar to acrylic calls, but the general noise they emit is closer to that of the wooden duck calls. A great sarcastic take on this can be found here.

    • Hold and blow the right way. A common mistake made by beginning duck hunters is that they whistle into the call instead of blow. The object is not to add any of your own influence into the call, make it as natural as possible, and a whistle throws everything off. Blow thoroughly and forcefully into the chamber and the noise emitted will be much more realistic. Also, be sure you hold the instrument by the sound chamber with pinky and ring fingers around the hole . This is the best advice I can give on how to use a duck call.

    • Know what you’re after. There are different kinds of ducks, and they make different sounds. Pintails have a different sound than wigeons, who make a different noise than mallards and blue or green wingtails. If you’re calling the wrong variety, you’re going to have a bad time. I suggest loading some duck photos onto your phone to easily identify what you’re spotting in the field.
    • Know the calls. Duck language is more complex than the basic ‘quack’ that is associated with the animal, although this is the basic call and the root of all other calls. Master that noise first, then work on the feeding call, which is more like a ‘taca-taca-taca’ following a short introductory quack. Also, try a ‘KAK KAK KAK’ type noise if trying to bring the ducks in from far away. These sounds signal feeding time and may be taken more seriously than just a quack.

    An extended quack, kind of like “qqqquuuuaaaacccccckkkkkkKKKKKK!” is the sound of a sorrowful, lonely hen, and can be used to draw other ducks in for comfort. But it shouldn’t last more than a couple seconds at the most. When practicing, make each noise separately. Ducks do not link noised together, there is a noticeable pause between each one. Check out this video for examples.

    • Don’t get in over your head. While the ultimate goal of duck calls is always the same (getting you to bag a duck!), there are different instruments for different ability levels. I always recommend that beginners start with a double reed duck call, as it is easier to control the pitch and sound and produces a more accurate call with minimal effort. You’ll notice that double reeds aren’t as loud as single reed calls and take more breath to power. While this may seem annoying, it will help you master the calls and feel more confident out in the fields. I never even tried a single reed until I had called in several hens with the double, and had built up enough confidence that I was posting up in less secure places that needed a louder call.

    When moving to a single reed duck call, you will immediately notice a difference in sound accuracy and projection. Mastering the technique of using single reed duck calls is tough. You have to blow just the right way to get audible noise and it is even more important that you hold the instrument correctly. They are tougher at impulse blows. I recommend getting set up in your location and being quiet for a few minutes before calling (which should always be done anyway) because you may attract attention on your way in. If hunting with another person, I suggest having two different instruments so that it appears there are multiple ducks in the area, I’ve had more success this way than with two people using the same call. That tends to scare ducks off.


    As a lifelong duck hunter, I could go on and on about tips, but everything you need to know to get started is right here in this article. The satisfaction of bagging your first duck is unparalleled, it really helps you feel like a sustainable human being that is capable of fending for themselves. Read carefully my guide about how to use duck call. And if you can, let’s consider my article about best shooting sticks 2017.

    My last piece of advice is to dress the part- wear your camo and hunting gear, and try to blend in with the environment. I hope this article has helped you if you have tips to add please share them in the comments below, and if you’ve enjoyed reading I’d appreciate a share on your social media accounts. Take care, and good luck out there!

    5 Things You Need To Know About Buck Rubs And Scrapes

    The foothills of the Rocky Mountains rolling through Wyoming was the location of the most memorable buck scar I saw as a kid, a memory that has stuck with me and turned into a lifelong fascination with the simple activity of a buck rubbing its antlers against a tree.

    It wasn’t until later that I learned how to incorporate buck rubs and scrapes into my hunt in order to track bucks and increase my odds of landing a big one. You can do the same by utilizing these tips that will help you understand what buck rubs and scrapes mean and pick up on the clues they contain.

    5 Things You Need To Know About Buck Rubs And Scrapes

    #1. Bucks leave primer pheromone scent in their rubs.

    • The scent accomplishes many things for the buck. First of all, it can attract does, a particularly effective mating call and flirting strategy of the buck.
    • Along the same line, the scent can hinder the sex drive of younger and weaker bucks. This increases the mating chances of the stronger buck, which can come into play with territorial concerns.
    • The scent also displays the buck’s social status. Larger, more prime bucks leave stronger scents which stimulate does and detract the approach of younger bucks.

    #2. Buck rubs and scrapes help the animal ‘blow off steam’ in different ways. This is very helpful in identifying buck size, age, and location.

    • Rubbing against a firm tree strengthens the buck’s neck and shoulder muscles, making the animal fitter and ready to fight if necessary.
    • It also releases tension and helps a buck relax. It works sort of as an anxiety reliever after a long commute or stressful encounter.
    • Rubbing and scraping marks territory, helping the buck to feel more at home and maintain a sense of control. 
    • Trail rubs are made by bucks that are moving through their home territory, typically between feeding areas and nesting cover. If you see frequent rubs, it may mean the buck spends the majority of its time in that area. Keep this in mind during scouting and your actual hunt. On the other hand, boundary rubs are made before rut, earlier in the season, as a buck is marking his territory. If you are out in early season these make great stand sites, but other than that you’ll have more luck scouting trail rubs later on. Rut rubs occur during peak mating season when the buck’s hormones are at the highest levels. The buck needs to release testosterone and may shred small trees and shrubbery. If you notice this activity and it wasn’t there a few days ago, set up stand because you are in the prime spot!

    #3. As a buck gets older, it rubs and scrapes more often- up to 3-4 times as much as younger bucks.

    • This means that the scrapes you are seeing while hunting likely are the marking of an older buck. This is great news for you! Keep your eyes peeled for similar markings along your route and use them to zero in on the buck’s location and overall territory.
    • Older bucks start rubbing earlier in the year, with bigger marks and more frequent occurrences.
    • All bucks old and young will rub and scrape smaller trees, three or fewer inches in diameter. Young bucks typically won’t scrape larger trees, as this can cause tension and disputes.

    #4. Young bucks don’t have the strategy that older bucks do.

    • Younger bucks have a tendency to scrape and rub without much theme because they are inexperienced and are just trying to mark up as much territory as possible. Older bucks know how to mark an area and identify it as theirs. When you’re trying to get the largest buck possible, pay particular attention to how consistent and numerous the scrapes are in an area.
    • If scrapes are similar but few and far between, the buck is young and won’t be the trophy shot you’re after.
    • Don’t be tricked by one scrape that is inconsistent in a line of consistent scrapes. This is likely caused by a young buck passing quickly through the area.

    #5. What to look out for and keep in mind.

    • Wide open field rubs are likely made early season, and the buck won’t return to that open area until after shooting light is passed. You’ll want to find a nearby area of grazed trees and identify other rubs. These will be more helpful in locating the buck during hunting hours.
    • If you find rubs that are dried up or discolored, they were probably made in a previous year. Don’t spend much time on those because if the buck were still in the area, there would be fresh rubs.
    • Singular and random rubs aren’t going to be very useful during your hunt. Look for connected series of fresh rubs as described above and don’t get too excited the first time you see one. You want a trail, marking over an entire area, not just a one-off.
    • Landing the biggest buck will be done in fall after strong scouting, back rub and scrape tracking, and trial and error. Return to areas of consistent rubbing several times and you will greatly increase your odds of landing that trophy buck!


    Looking for buck scrapes and rubs is an essential part of fall hunting. When done correctly, this process will greatly increase your chances of making a kill and having something to brag about. I suggest doing some web research to get a feel for what these scrapes and rubs look like  and identify lookalikes when out in the field. Another my article best shooting sticks 2017, check it if you need buy a shooting sticks.

    I hope you have enjoyed this article! I’ll be back out in Wyoming each year looking to find the next gorgeous collection of scrapes and rubs. If you found this to be helpful, please share on your social networks. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this topic – let’s get a conversation going in the comments section, that way we can all learn more tricks of the trade.

    How To Find Deer Sheds

    Although you may have heard otherwise, there isn’t much luck or many secrets about how to find deer sheds.

    What it really takes is patience, a keen knowledge of the trail and habitat, and a bit of hunting prowess. I found my first shed antlers at the age of 11 after my uncle had spent three years instructing and leading me around without any luck.

    It happened because we covered ample ground quickly during the hunt, with our eyes skimming the terrain for noticeable color differentiations. I’ll admit, I felt like a much more legit hunter after snapping a photo with the shed and showing it to my friends (I instantly gained more respect around our small town, too – it’s amazing what a nice trophy does for your reputation!)

    Since that hunt, I’ve collected many sheds and in this article, I’ll break down field-tested tips on the best ways to go about the practice, what to look out for, and what NOT to do when trying to find deer sheds. you can read Whitetail Scouting Tips to know about some my tips.

    What you need to find deer sheds

    • A sharp eye. Rarely will a hunter trip himself over a shed set of antlers. When in the field, keep your eyes peeled just above the tips of the shrubbery for anything sticking up or oddly colored. Instead of darting your eyes around from side to side, take the time to focus on your surroundings and process everything that you see. It should almost feel like you are memorizing the terrain for later reference.
    • Time in the field. Sorry, but your first hunt might not land you anything. Nor the second, While some guys seem to find sheds like your chubby friend finds a KFC, that isn’t normally the case, especially for newer hunters.
    • A sense of place. You have to have an understanding of where deer traverse, where they sleep, and where they are during the critical time of year when shedding happens. This is why your best bet for finding deer sheds is typically going to be on hunts closer to home – you are more familiar with their patterns, you see their migration pattern, you know where they cluster together and where they run free.

    Step-by-step instructions for how to find deer sheds

    • Locate food and water sources. Where are the deer in your area feeding? If there are cornfields or terrain with diverse vegetation and nearby water, those are great places to start. The reason this is number 1 is because bucks spend so much time feeding that your odds of finding sheds near their food source are significantly higher than anywhere else. Clear-cut areas, hard mast areas, places where berries and nuts grow, these are all solid spots to check out. Watch this video to get a good visual of what you should be looking for.
    • Raise a hunting dog. Want an extra pair of eyes and ears? Better yet, a nose that puts yours to shame? A pup provides all of those things. Plus, he needs the off-season exercise. A hunting dog will take after you, so if he sees how excited you get upon finding a shed (even if it’s a staged setup in the backyard) he will crave that attention and recognition. It will take time and a lot of encouragement to get the dog up to speed and teach him what to look for. The easiest way to do this is by ALWAYS bringing the dog with you on hunts, and taking several days during the winter to try and find sheds. Dogs are creatures of habit. Get them excited about something, and they will have a lifelong passion for it. Here is a video explaining how to do this:
    • Find their bedding areas. In the winter, bucks spend a whole lot of time in the bedding areas. Identify south facing slopes in the area because they provide the deer with the maximum amount of sun and warmth, which in addition to keeping the deer warm means that accumulated snowfall is going to be minimized. I remember finding three sets of antlers in one area during a particularly successful mission traversing from the top of a medium hill down the south facing side to a creek at the bottom. This is the ideal winter habitat for deer, with nearby water and food in addition to the extra sun. Down low, there was ample tree cover and a strong thicket of vegetation near the watershed. Tracks and poop were aplenty, and I knew right away that I was on the right track. I’ve returned every year since and get lucky about 75% of the time.
    • Search during late winter and early spring. To be more specific, March and April for whitetail deer are the best months. While I’ve had success in February and early April, your odds are exponentially higher once maximum snowfall and cold temperatures have passed. If you’re looking for mule deer sheds, push everything back one month and begin your search in April. Odds are you can get several good laps in before temperatures rise and deer become more mobile in mid-May.
    • Identify objects that will loosen or pull on the antlers. What causes the antlers to take their final plunge is rough contact with tree branches, thick patches of brush, fences, and other solid objects that deer come into contact with. Last year I found a small antler set literally stuck on the side of a fence post, which the deer had evidently tried to either jump over or charge. You’re not going to have much luck in wide open grassy fields unless you stick to the perimeter, along the side of where objects like the aforementioned are. This renowned expert explains more.
    • Find game trails. Because of reason number 5, game trails can lead you in the right direction. Deer will take the trails coming in and out of thicker areas or heading to water sources, places where they spend a lot of time during late winter. They will likely be feeling relaxed on these trails and trotting leisurely, stopping to look around and check out the surroundings, proving ample time for the antlers to fall off while they are bent over.
    • Find the oak leaves. Now, I’m not sure if this is just my experience or what, but so many times I find the antlers laying on top of oak leaves, looking like a weathered stick. They tend to blend into these situations, so always keep your eyes peeled and move slowly. Take the time to fully analyze everything around you and don’t be afraid to zig zag around to check out promising leads. Lee Lakosky offers some great first-hand advice here.

    • Plan on getting some exercise. Make a day of it. Walk for miles, especially if you find deer tracks or droppings. Bring a lunch, maybe a six pack of beer, and plenty of water. Toilet paper, a map, and even a book can be good to for when you need to take a break. I’m always surprised by the number of people trying to find sheds that aren’t willing to put in any effort. This activity is like everything in life – the more effort you put into it, the higher your chances of success.
    • Look under stand-alone trees. If a deer is out in the field, feels threatened, but has nowhere to go, a lone tree may be shelter to hide under. He may also head there for any berries or food nearby, or to take a rest. This is a tip that not many people know about, so even if you’re in a highly trafficked area you might have found a hidden gem that others haven’t visited. If there are large amounts of leaves around the tree, this is even better. For whatever reason, I’ve always found that deer are attracted to leaves and seem to enjoy walking through them, often scattering them around.
    • Pre-scout! Get to know your target area a little better before heading out, especially if it’s not close to home or somewhere that you visit frequently. Using a topo map, mark the areas where you intend to spend ample time and also include a few backup spots. If you can find a forum online where hunters talk about that specific place, it will be of great help. Ask questions read other people’s comments. The more knowledge you bring with you, the better your chances of success! When shoot a deer, you can use best shooting sticks to improve your result.


    I hope this guide has given you a good base of knowledge on how to find deer sheds. While this activity is relaxing and not always strenuous, it is becoming increasingly popular because of its accessibility and the satisfaction that comes with finding a set of antlers. It doesn’t take a high skill level and is great for families, so I encourage you to get your crew together and get out there! If you liked this guide, please help spread the word by sharing on your social media accounts. I’d love to hear your stories and tips, please share in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

    10 Tips for Scent-Free Hunting

    Although deer are not as aggressive as other species, deer possess a level of adaptability and defensive skills that allow them to protect themselves – their strongest asset being their noses. Over the years, there have been numerous types of gear and products that are specially created to help hunters control scent.

    Here are a few easy tips that will keep you scent free:

    1. Use Odorless Detergents

    Once you’re finished hunting, make sure that you use a detergent product that is manufactured specifically for hunting. Some of the best choices that you can find online or at local sporting stores include Scent A Way and Dead Down Wind.

    1. Wash your clothes in baking soda

    An alternative to store-bought hunting detergents is detergent you can make in your own home. Washing your clothes in baking soda can help eliminate odors picked up by deer. You can also make large quantities of simple DIY detergent composed of peroxide, baking soda, and distilled water.

    1. Dry your clothes outside

    After you’ve washed your hunting clothes, dry them outside. Hanging them outside to dry prevents indoor scents from clinging to your clothes like cleaning products, baking/cooking scents, etc.

    1. Store your washed hunting clothes

    Once your clothes are completely dry, place them in a large air tight container for storage until your next usage. For an added measure, you can leave odorless dryer sheets in the container with your clothing.

    1. Use scent-free products

    Take a scent-free shower before heading out into the field. Use scent-free body wash, shampoo, tooth paste, and deodorant. You can also use scent-sealed hunting gear to eliminate human scent, like scent-sealed slings, bags, and more.

    1. Use scent-eliminating spray

    Using scent-eliminating spray will help mask any remaining scents you have or you’ve picked up on the way to the field.

    1. Scent-free baby wipes

    For easy, inexpensive, and fast cleanup in the field, use scent-free baby wipes. An alternative for this is bringing rags that have also been washed in scent-free detergent, but they are harder to pack around than a package of scentless baby wipes.

    1. Use an Ozonics Unit

    Although some hunters may think that Ozonics Units are unnecessary if you’ve taken enough precautions to cover up scent, they still can help hide human scent in the field. Ozonics Units mask your scent in ozone and continuously work to neutralize scent throughout the time that you’re out in the field.

    1. Wear rubber boots

    Use knee-high rubber boots and tuck your pants into them. Make sure they are placed in an air tight container beforehand. Do not wear your boots at home or in any location to and from the hunting area.

    1. Keep your stand site downwind

    One of the most basic yet important rules for preventing the spread of scent in the field is to stay downwind. Check the direction of the wind before setting up your stand site to make sure the wind won’t be blowing in the direction of your target and their bedding/feeding areas. You can check predicted wind conditions on weather websites and apps beforehand, but be prepared to double check the direction of the wind once you have arrived. It’s best to have the direction of the wind blowing towards a cliff, lake, pond, etc.

    5 Best Turkey Scouting Tips For Hunter

    If you’re looking to get into hunting as a beginner, turkey hunting can be a great introduction to this exciting and passion-filled lifestyle. My first hunting kill was a turkey during the Autumn season in South Dakota, along with my father and uncle. I was hooked after that- I’ve returned almost every year and taken part in many Spring season hunts as well.

    Turkey hunting scouting tips are plentiful on the web and we’ll incorporate top tips and my experience here to give you a well-rounded knowledge base for the upcoming season. Make sure you check weapon requirements and bag limits for the state where you hunt and bring your camo gear. Here we go!

    #1: Identify the best location

    Different states and provinces have different regulations, so do research in advance and then get out there to scout the area.

    • The location is the most important of my turkey hunting scouting tips. Ideal turkey habitats are diverse and contain different sources of food, plenty of water, and shelter. Turkeys roost in trees and often drink from streams in more open areas. Much of their food is found in open areas.
    • Note whether you’ll be on public or private land and be sure you have necessary permits and permissions. (Here’s a great video about location)
    • Try planting a food plot heavy with bugs and wood to attract turkeys. I prefer to do this because it gives me the best chance at having nearby, well-hidden ambush areas. If you have the means to do this set it up while turkeys are roosting and be sure not to leave a man-made trace, (for reference, see this article).

    #2: Start scouting early!

    Turkeys are notoriously feisty and paranoid and without the proper approach you’ll find yourself eating Hormel from the grocery store instead of experiencing that delicious wild game taste and the satisfaction of self-sufficiency. Do your planning and you’ll see the easier side of turkey hunting.

    • There is no reason not to begin your turkey hunting scouting in late winter, like February or March. By finding where the flock is in your target location well in advance, you’ll have the best chance at knowing their habits and ultimately having a successful hunt. (Great article here)
    • As turkeys are very mobile, the longer you are able to observe them during scouting gives you best chance to learn their movements and be prepared for the hunt. Note their roosting and drinking areas on your map and how long they tend to spend there per day.
    • Set up trail cameras across the area and check on them every 2-4 days (checking more often is just extra time out that gives turkeys more chances to see you and avoid the area). Find where they are feeding, and when the season starts to follow the turkey hunting scouting tips in step 3.

    #3: Plan to make a day out of scouting before the hunt.

    Prep equals perfection. That’s my hunting motto, and the most successful  hunts I’ve done are the ones I prepped for the most. Follow a routine and always take notes of what you’re doing!

    • Break your day up into sections, each with a primary focus to help you achieve the overall goal of bagging a turkey. The night before, make sure you have everything in order and ready to go. Binoculars, topo map, GPS, notes/outlines/research of the target area, weapon, outdoor supplies and clothes. Get on the road by dawn and cruise around the hunting area listening for turkey sounds and keeping an eye out for any hints of turkey presence. (Good discussion here)
    • Later in the morning, patrol the hunt area. Watch for strutting toms in the fields, wooded areas, ridgetops, and crevasses. Blow the occasional owl call to perk their ears. Remember, when in open fields keep quiet always pay stark attention.
    • By afternoon you should have a general idea of where the turkeys are. Look for roost trees, droppings, food, and other signs to mark their trail and start pinpointing your ambush spots based on where they will be later in the evening. Your turkey hunting scouting process is now in full swing.
    • In the evening, follow their track from feeding back to roost spots. Before heading home, make sure you know exactly where they will be when you return the next morning for the hunt. I like to take notes on the map and mark ‘X’ in two to three different places I plan to hide out.

    #4: Turkey talk!

    Calling the birds reduces the chances that they will run away or remain hidden. Watch some videos of calls and practice while in your vehicle.

    • To call in the turkeys, you’ll want to frequently use the mating noises of young hens. Hopefully, you’ve been practicing all winter! In the fields, stop frequently to make the call and then listen carefully for ruffles, noises, or movement. Turkeys respond to calls and can be surprisingly social. Toms come in easier than the quiet gobblers. (Here is a sample turkey talk)
    • Having a decoy or stage noise maker makes your calls seem more authentic. Try and switch back and forth between your calls and using a decoy, this sounds more convincing!
    • More info on talk and fall prep here.

    #5: Have your weapon ready to go during scouting.

    This makes scouting as realistic as possible and gives you a chance to test visibility in your ambush areas. Just be sure to prep your weapon:

    • To avoid detection of your barrel, it should be camouflaged or at least dulled. Do this before turkey scouting and practice some approaches from your ambush spots. As part of your scouting prep be sure that the gun will shoot a clean shot to the head or neck from 20-40 yards, body shots won’t drop the bird cleanly.
    • For bow hunting, you’ll want to get within 20 yards. Practice your approach during the scouting and use a blind to conceal movement. (For actual hunting guide, see here)

    I hope these turkey hunting scouting tips help you to better prepare for your next hunt! I’ve found turkey hunting to be the most addictive way to hunt because of the unique challenges those feisty birds bring to the table. I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories of turkey hunting- please share in the comments below! When taking new hunters out in the field, have them read up on procedures and take notes of what you are doing. If you found this article useful, share on social media because being prepared and educated about hunting is the best way to keep our passion sustainable for everyone.