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Get A Pefect Shot! Let Learn How To Measure Length Of Pull?

Many new shooters may not quite grasp the concept of length of pull. If you aren’t familiar with long guns, it’s probably not something you’ve spent time worrying about or measuring. A long gun’s length of pull is the distance from the end of the gun up to the middle of the trigger. When looking for the right gun, length of pull is one of the most critical measurements which will determine whether or not the gun will fit you. Here, we’ll take a quick look at how to measure length of pull.

What goes into determining length of pull?

There are a number of factors to consider when measuring a gun’s length of pull. How long is your neck? Are you in shape or do you have fat poofy cheeks? And how big are you overall as a person?

Your personal dimensions must coincide well with those of the gun you hope to use. What is the long gun’s drop at heel and drop at comb? Trapshooters does a really great job in this article of breaking down length of pull measurements.

  • Drop at heel refers to how much distance sits in between the butt of the gun and the line of sight.
  • Drop at comb refers to the distance that sits between the line of sight and the comb of the stock. In case you aren’t familiar with this, the comb of stock is the part of the gun where you rest your cheek, whether poofy or not.
  • One thing to note here: length of pull is not measured by the distance between your elbow and your thumb. My grandpa told me this when I was child, but it has been proven false. So, when someone tells you measuring length of pull is that simple, you can refute the claim!

Why correct length of pull matters

To optimize your shooting skills, having the correct length of pull is important because it allows for comfort and familiarity. Hunting is a sport of patience and repetition. Therefore, having a gun that is well suited to you along with the proper tools for the field will greatly increase your chances of success. Here is exactly why length of pull is important:

  • If the length of pull is too short, your line of sight can be impeded. Maybe it’s by the thumb coming into the field of vision during aiming, or maybe the gun just never sits quite right and getting the best aim is impossible.
  • When the length of pull is too long, accuracy is directly impacted. Your clothes may shift the aim by moving the butt of the gun. Or the gun may wobble slightly as you zero in because your arm isn’t able to properly situate the equipment.
  • Here is a great video on accurately measuring length of pull:

Measuring the length of pull

I always encourage young and new shooters to be professionally fitted to a gun for proper length of pull. That way, nothing is left to chance. They will likely run through several long guns until the perfect one that meets both your personal criteria (including budget) and the correct measurements is identified.

If you do choose to measure it yourself, remember to fit for comfort as much as you are fitting for measurements with a ruler or however you measure at home. It is critically important that the gun fits you – how much fun is doing an activity with improper equipment? Not very much!

It is possible to become comfortable with a gun’s length of pull even if it isn’t perfectly suited to you. This is much easier to do for experienced shooters and those that have spent their lives in the field trying out different long guns in different situations. Practice makes perfect, and experience makes comfort. That is my motto with shooting, and I encourage you to adapt that motto as well. For the newbies, get that gun measured from the middle of the trigger back to the buttstock and don’t settle for anything that doesn’t feel right!

Conclusion

As I’ve said many times before, shooting is all about comfort. Accuracy comes from comfort, and so does a budding passion for a life of hunting. Using a long gun with the correct length of pull measurements will put you on the right track for both of those. Double check the measurements, especially if buying a new gun.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, go ahead and share on your social media channels so that others can learn how to correctly measure length of pull and we can put those old rumors to bed for good. Leave any questions in the comments – we’ll get a discussion going.

What Is The Correct Way To Shoulder A Shotgun

An accurate shot begins with a proper mount and shoulder of the shotgun. As you progress as a hunter, from beginner to a more experienced shooter, certain patterns will begin to take form. One of the most important of these patterns is finding the best way to shoulder a shotgun.

Experienced shooters have their shouldering skills down to a science. It takes almost no effort to get the butt of the gun into the pocket and stance ready to go. I’ve been using the same shouldering stance since I started shooting, and I’m going to walk you through I there today. Let’s get started.

1.It starts with the feet

Just like in football, good footwork is incredibly important in shooting. The shoes that you wear should be well broken in field boots, or other active wear that are comfortable and flexible. Start by placing the feet about shoulder width apart. A little more than half of your body weight should be on the front foot, with knees bent and ready for action.

I usually draw a reference to bowling when describing the foot placement to people. I know this sounds weird, but hear me out – when bowling, it is important to position your body in a way that drives the ball toward to the pins you are aiming at. The same thing is true in shooting. Aim your back foot towards the target (as best you can).

  • Make sure your feet are loose and agile, should you need to shift. We’ll talk about this more in the next section.
  • Stand up straight at first, and then loosen yourself down into position with knees bent. This will keep you from standing to firm, standing to far forward, or not being ready to react and shift.
  • Don’t tense up. Part of accurate shooting and the correct way to shoulder a shotgun is to be loose and ready.
  • Here is a great quick video on shouldering a shotgun.

2.Body movement and flexibility

In shooting, it is important to keep all body movement symmetrical to the gun and to the rest of the body. The gun hits the pocket at a 45-degree angle. Your eyes peer over the top of the shotgun at the same angle. The back of the head is perpendicular to the spine.

Once in position, all movement should come from the hips. Twisting and turning from there will allow you to keep the gun level and your aim on point. Be careful that you aren’t shifting your back around while in position. I always like to keep my knees bent slightly, for that extra bit of added pop. If I need to do any height adjustment, it comes from the knees. I never lift my toes or ankles up off the ground – it is important to keep the feet level, flat, and comfortable. Toes should be able to jiggle but the feet shouldn’t actually move.

Any shift required to hone in on a target should be initiated by a twist of the hips. I encourage you to do a bit of stretching before heading to the range or out in the field. This will ensure that you are loose and won’t pull any muscles should you need to move slightly to zero in on a target.

3.Find the pocket

Let’s start here by lifting the right arm. If you aren’t already familiar with the pocket between your shoulder blade and neck, feel around until you find it. Before ever trying to fit your gun to the pocket, take a block of wood, a book, or some other firm object in your opposite hand and try to fit it into the pocket.

Once it’s in there, move around a bit. Find the positioning with the least pushback. Try to move your shoulder around in circles and ensure that the object doesn’t just slide right out or cause any discomfort. When the gun is in there, it should have no problem staying there with the small bit of applied pressure from the other hand. The National Shooting Sports Foundation does a great job of showcasing fitting the gun to the shoulder, and realizing that you don’t have a gun fit problem, in the below video.

4.Consistency

Face should connect with the same spot on the gun each time. You want your eye to be right over the center of the rib, providing a clean line of vision. This shouldn’t impact either the comfort level of the gun in the pocket or the accuracy of the shot. In order to have consistency, you’ve got to have comfort.

This is a repeating theme that you’ll find in each of the tips I’ve provided here. The best way to shoulder a shotgun is also the most comfortable way to shoulder a shotgun. There shouldn’t be much pressure on the shoulder before the shot. During the shooting process, the movement of the gun should trigger a similar reaction from the body. It should be a slithering snake-like process. The gun fires, the body reacts and moves with the shot, and then the posture is reset post-shot.

After the shot, you shouldn’t have pain the shoulder, wrist, or elsewhere. It should be as though not much has happened – the main thing going through your body should be excitement at making a great shot from the pocket.

Conclusion

When asking yourself, ‘What is the best way to shoulder a shotgun,’ the correct answer is to find the pocket and then get yourself comfortable. These steps should help you to establish a solid, actionable stance that will increase both your accuracy and your comfort. Whether at the range or in the field, shouldering the shotgun correctly is as important as using the right ammo. Do some practice in your garage, and if necessary, have your gun personally fitted to you. Any gun shop can make this happen easily. If you enjoyed this article, please share on your social channels. Education is key to top performance when shooting. Go ahead and post a picture of you in your shooting stance down below in the comments. I can’t wait to see what you’re shooting!

Are You Own a Shotgun? Let’s Find How To Aim A Shotgun

Finding the right stance and getting comfortable with aiming is something that all new shooters have to go through. It’s a fun process – it allows for a bit of personalization and flare to come into the sport.

When I first started hunting with my dad and uncle and a kid, it took me several times of going to the range and trying out new positions. Once I became comfortable, I began honing my aim.

While much of it is about feeling, there are some general guidelines to follow. Here are some tips for how to aim a shotgun.

Learning the proper stance

Spend any time hanging out at a gun range and you’ll likely see some interesting stances. Some stand straight and tall, others do weird things with their arms. My favorite is the old guy who stands with his feet super far apart – maybe he’s worried about knocking himself over when he takes a shot?

  • The best stance that will allow you to aim your shotgun easily is to put your feet between armpit length and shoulder length apart. Much further than that and you’re lowering your line of vision and not optimizing for the best balance points. Closer together and you’re liable to blow yourself over on kickback.
  • Just over half of your weight should be on the front foot. Not too much, because you want to remain balanced and stable. But enough that your momentum is slightly forward. If too much is on the back foot, you’ll find that you shoot over the top a lot because you’re leaning back when the shot is taken.
  • Stand at a 45-degree angle to the target. This allows for comfortable and proper shotgun positioning.
  • I always recommend shooters do a bit of rocking back and forth. Lightly lift the toes in the process. This familiarizes you with the stance.
  • This video here goes over the basics to know how to aim a shotgun.

Finding your ‘point of aim’

Here is where a shooter can put a bit of their personal vibe into their shooting stance and shotgun aim. Now you’re in your stance and working on the rocking motion. If you haven’t already been doing so, hold the gun in a shooting position during the rocking process. Notice where you feel most comfortable during the rock. Likely, it will be right about where 55-60% of the weight is on the front foot. Once you’ve identified this position, STOP!

That is your natural point of aim. The object with this term, as it relates to how to aim a shotgun, is that this is the angle where you’ll shoot the target. This is where the bullseye will be directly in front, or where the clay will be broken by your bullet.

It’s important to remember that you’re not shooting a rifle. Don’t stand fully sideways with the gun near the shoulder. I prefer to have the stance a bit more open here.

Keep it flexible and position your head

When aiming your shotgun, the goal is to be able to shoot in more than one direction without becoming uncomfortable or urged to reset yourself. Make sure you are able to comfortably position your head above the barrel and hone in on the line of site.

  • I urge shooters to rock a bit every time they get settled into the stance. Come to the same final position the same way every time. Eventually it will be a habit.
  • Don’t pull your head off the stock. The shot should hit wherever the eyes are pointed. If you find yourself looking down at the barrel, or left-to-right or vice versa, focus on keeping your eyes and head positioned correctly.
  • Keep your feet planted when turning, and move with your upper body. Going back to the whole flexibility thing, following and aiming at a moving target should be an easy thing to do. It shouldn’t require you to jerk yourself around in a circle.
  • Don’t close your eyes. Train yourself to keep both eyes open during the shot. Depth perception is as important as anything else in relation to how to aim a shotgun.
  • Work on the mount and positioning on the shoulder. It shouldn’t be a painful thing when you pull the trigger. Slide the gun back and forth until you’re able to find a comfortable position.
  • Here is some advice on leading your target.

Conclusion

Aiming a shotgun is really about making the gun a part of your body. If it isn’t a natural stance, you’re never going to feel comfortable as a shooter. The right point of aim for you is the one that allows the most flexibility without compromising any sturdiness or power. Remember the rocking motion. I’ve been hunting for over fifty years now and still rock into my stance every single time.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, I urge you to share it on social media to help others get accustomed to finding the best possible stance and aiming their shotgun correctly. Feel free to leave any tips here in the comments, I’m always game for upping the ante a bit!

How To Attract Deer To Your Yard

Some of us are fortunate enough to live the dream, with a nice open piece of property behind our home. Perfect for fishing, backyard camping, and of course, observing nature. For the latter, you’ll need to know how to attract deer to your yard. I live in a house that backs up to a vast landscape of hunt-able land. Over my twenty years here, I’ve mastered several techniques that draw deer in and keep them around. The best part is that once a few deer come in, more always follow. Let’s take a look at my 5 techniques.

1. Increase the amount of shrubbery in your yard

This is key, as deer are constantly grazing. The more natural in appearance the plant life, the more deer will be attracted to it. Having shrubbery native to your area is equally as effective. For how to attract deer to your yard regularly, follow these tips:

  • Tall shrubs work the best in attracting deer to your yard. Taller plants can spread their seed further, which encourages additional growth as well as brings in wildlife that pick up on the smell.
  • The more unkempt the shrubbery, the more natural it will appear to the deer. This will pique their interest more than perfectly planted lines of bushes and plants.
  • This video shows a particularly effective deer attractant

2.Keep a calm and serene environment

Deer are skittish animals. They spook easily, and certainly won’t hesitate to bolt if they feel at all threatened. To attract deer to your yard, you’ll want to keep a quiet, peaceful environment. Minimize noise escaping from the home.

Along the same line, don’t have loud birdfeeders or clanging wind chimes hung from the porch. Deer feel comfortable solely in natural settings free from outside distractions.

Reducing the ‘barrier to entry’ helps as well. Deer aren’t going to hop over a tall fence that they can’t see through. Do everything you can to meld your yard in with the natural settings beyond your property.

They also aren’t going to approach bright light, so turn off your porch lights when not in use and don’t have unnecessarily bring or shiny objects sitting around. We’ve all seen how deer act when they are caught in headlights. The initial freezing, followed by a quick escape as soon as they feel threatened.

3.Have water available for the deer

If you’ve got a small pond in your yard like I do, then you’re in luck here. Mine is a natural water source, I don’t even have to feed water into it. The deer love it because it is exactly what they are used to.

If you haven’t got a pond, consider adding a water fixture of some type. Even if it isn’t natural (such as a bath or fresh water pool), you will still find that it attracts deer.  Avoid chlorinated pools, or anything with a bunch of chemicals in it. The point is to offer the deer a place to refresh and have a drink, and they can smell that chlorine a mile away.

  • If you live in an area with a strong winter, keep logs of wood in the water to prevent it from freezing.
  • Replenish the supply consistently so the deer come to trust the water source.

4.Have a large salt lick or other food source

To get deer into your yard, having a large salt lick for them to taste is a great idea. They smell it, which brings them in from afar. Once they’ve tasted it, they will continue coming back for it and may even hang around for a bit. This is particularly true if you have a water feature for them to enjoy – we all know how salt makes us thirsty.

I don’t recommend putting the salt lick on your porch. Deer will be more hesitant to approach if it’s that close to the house. They’ll like it more if it’s out in the yard, maybe on a fence. Or, better yet, right next to the water source.

  • If you can’t get ahold of a salt lick, a mineral block or other block high in sodium will suffice.
  • Keep it away from areas of heavy movement. No dogs, children, or other ornery activity should happen near the salt lick.
  • Corn feeders also work great. I have both a salt lick and a few corn feeders in my back yard. This gives the deer an easy source of food, which gives them (and their pack) ample reason to return again and again.
  • Deer love oak trees. Dotting your property with oaks will attract large numbers of deer. They feed on the twigs and leaves, as well as the acorns found on the tree.

5.Install grasses that deer love

There are a handful of grass types that deer love to graze. A good thing about grasses is that it will attract them from quite a distance and, if you have enough of it, keep them coming back despite the other techniques listed here. If you live in an area where it is possible to use one of these, then go for it:

  • Bluegrass
  • Wheat
  • Fescue
  • Minimize the amount of pesticides and chemicals in the grass, so as not to turn the deer away.

Ferns will also attract deer to your yard. Keep these ferns in shady spots, and do everything you can to help them thrive. The better the ferns, the higher the odds the deer will be attracted to them.

Now you have a basic understanding of how to attract deer to your yard. Hopefully, you live in an area surrounded by wildlife already – your chances of attracting deer are very high if you follow these steps. If you have any tips or techniques that you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments here so we can get a discussion going. If you found this article helpful, feel free to share on social media. Keeping deer around the yard is relaxing and surprisingly not that hard to do, it just takes some persistence!

How To Find A Coyote Den?

The toughest thing about finding a coyote den is the pure intelligence of the animal. Coyotes have great instincts and are quick to adapt to different situations – natural and predatory. Coyotes should be monitored if you have livestock or significant agriculture, and there are multiple steps on how to find a coyote den that we will discuss here.

Research a coyote den’s characteristics.

First and foremost, note that coyotes do not use dens year round. They primarily use them for pupping, or when elements drive them inside. Typically, coyote dens are located on hillisides and deep creek beds that allow for easy digging and earthmoving. Loose shrubbery and branches also come in handy, giving the coyotes a bit of extra security. Here is a great video about coyote dens:

  • Pups move out at a young age, but remain active in any hiding spots around the den. Coyotes frequently sleep outside, and despite being near den, aren’t necessarily going to be in it. Keep this in mind when approaching.
  • Dens are typically located below ground level, sometimes up to five or six feet down. There will be a dug-out tunnel that leads to a main living area that is expanded and can fit multiple coyotes.
  • Coyotes typically rotate between multiple dens. They will be spread out around an area, and the animals are very careful not to lead others back to their den. This is what makes it so challenging when learning how to find a coyote den. Here is a great article explaining the basics behind coyote denning.
  • Identify water sources nearby where you suspect a den may be. The coyotes need to drink water, so if you can confirm they are drinking from a certain source than you are on the right track.

Identify where you’ve seen or heard the coyotes.

Likely, you’ll hear them howling at night, or in the early evening. On the edges of nature preserves, parks, green spaces, and hillsides, coyotes actually tend to make their presence quite known- it’s the exact location that is much harder to pinpoint. Then comes the process of finding a coyote den. Plan to devote several days to the process, if you’re really serious about finding it.

You may find scat or other remnants of their presence in areas near your home. Try walking about fifty feet further out and seeing if you find more, if so, you have identified which direction they are coming from. Here are some tips to help everything go smoothly:

  • Coyotes typically prowl about five or six square miles from their den, in any given direction. The further they roam from the den, the more on edge they will be. This means they will be more easily startled and quicker to retreat.
  • They are quick and often deceiving because you’ll hear them in one place one moment, and in another the next. Try to track where you most frequently see or hear the coyotes. Even if that’s not their den, you’ll have a general idea of their path and where they spend the most time.
  • Where could other prey be located near your property? Maybe their coming around has nothing to do with you or your property. If there are collections of prey, bodies of water, or other attractive elements nearby, try tracking them from that spot back to the den. For basic tracking techniques, check out this video.
  • If you aren’t having any luck, try howling and seeing if you can generate a response from the coyotes. Try different pitches, tones, and cackles that resemble those made by the animal.

Track the coyote back to its den.

If the coyote has attacked any of your livestock, you’re likely very upset and wanting to get the pesky coyotes as far away from your animals as possible (if not take it a step further!). Be careful when searching around at night, and definitely DO NOT BRING YOUR DOG WITH YOU. Coyote hunting is an exciting activity, but one best done alone.

The animals spook easy and even if you do locate a den, the odds that they will return there are very minimal if they know that you have found it. All things considered, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem tracing the suspect back to its den from the site of the kill. Here’s what to do:

  • Look for blood stains, trampled shrubbery or plants nearby the kill site. Figure out the most likely direction of escape and trace the potential route with your eyes back to a nearby hillside or embankment.
  • Identify a game trail or other foot markings left by the coyote leading up to the hillside or embankment. If you can’t find any obvious trails, look for markings left on nearby trees or other larger vegetation.
  • Follow that path as closely as you can. Remember, it may be up to six miles, so having a four-wheeler or motorbike may come in handy. Although you’ll want to be as quiet as possible during the final or actual approach.
  • When close, let out a coyote howl and see if a response happens. If you get one, don’t be surprised if you do not receive another for quite some time. Be ready to track based on the one howl that you got from the coyote.
  • Always be careful! Shoo them away but don’t put yourself in danger.

Conclusion

Locating a coyote den is often a lengthy process. Personally, I enjoy it because it’s a good excuse to get out into nature and focus on something direct and real. Remember to track the coyotes via sounds, tracks, and any sightings you encounter, for several days before attempting to locate their den. I always suggest perusing around your property regularly just to keep aware of any new ‘neighbors’ and to establish a firm presence and authority. If you found this article helpful, please share on social media, and don’t forget to leave any comments here. Let;’s get a discussion going!

3 Best Duck Decoys On The Market 2017

The best duck decoys will work in your favor with minimal effort, instilling confidence in the ducks that the area you are trying to lure them to is a safe, habitable, and enjoyable environment for them.

Decoys are also meant to reduce the hunter’s need to overcall in order to lure ducks by giving the feel of a natural environment. When implementing duck decoys into your hunting strategy, plan to assemble a collection of them – potentially up to a dozen or more, and practice setting them up in a realistic fashion. The more natural your decoy setup, the better it will work, leading to more fowl.

Here, we’ll look at three of the best duck decoys on the market.

Top Our Pick For Best Duck Decoys On The Market 2017

Top 3 Best Duck Decoys On The Market 2017

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

1. Greenhead Gear Pro-Grade Duck Decoy, Mallards/Butt-Up Feeder Pack, Pair

Greenhead Gear Pro-Grade Duck Decoy,Mallards/Butt-Up Feeder Pack,Pair

Greenhead Gear Pro-Grade Duck Decoy,Mallards/Butt-Up Feeder Pack,Pair

This is one of the most effective duck decoys on the market because it simulates the ducks in feeding position. This makes it harder to detect as phony and gives the impression of the area being a suitable feeding environment. Ducks traverse environments seeking safe and popular feeding grounds, and by portraying that image you will greatly increase your odds of bringing them in. Some great insight on Greenhead decoys can be found here:

  • Minimal movement reduces your chances of losing them out in the water, especially if you rig up a jerk string.
  • · Realistically colored and designed, and built to last for a long time.

  • Great appearance in the water, enough to fool the uncanny hunter who hasn’t seen them before.

But there are a couple down points:

  • I’ve heard about leakage issues. While this is likely a rare defect or result of misuse, be careful to follow installation instructions.

  • · Butt-up feeders don’t resemble the full duck and must be used alongside other types of decoys.

Overall, these are a great addition to your decoy collection and help complete a well-rounded decoy scene.

2. Mojo Outdoors Teal Duck Decoy

Mojo Outdoors Teal Duck Decoy

Mojo Outdoors Teal Duck Decoy

The Mojo Outdoors decoy is a master of its intended purpose: luring in fast-moving fowl. This is the best spinning wing duck decoy on the market. The wings spin incredibly fast and will catch the attention of nearly any ducks moving through your hunting area. Mallards, teal, gadwall, pintails, and other ducks are attracted to the ‘strobe effect’ created by the wings and are likely to have the interest piqued enough to check out the situation. Here are the best things about this duck decoy:

  • Single speed and simple operation are If you encounter and issues, replacement wings are readily available online and at outdoors retailers.

  • Batteries last for several hours, so there is no need to replace them in the middle of a day hunt. They claim 16 hours, and I have no reason to argue with that.

  • Despite the three-piece support pole, this duck decoy is surprisingly light weight. For me, that was a big selling point because I already have a large collection and didn’t want to add much weight to it, but it compacts well for transport and storage and makes it one of the best duck decoys

There are a couple of improvements that could be made for future models, such:

  • Making the wings easier to screw off. After a long day in the blind, the last thing I want to deal with is prepping for storage, and this decoy can take a few minutes.

  • The wings are built with thumb screws instead of magnets. While this makes it more durable, it also (at least to me) appears to make it slightly less realistic and modern.

3. MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo Mallard Duck Decoy

MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo Mallard Duck Decoy

MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo Mallard Duck Decoy

Mojo has another strong offering here with the Mallard Decoy. This is another great addition to your arsenal of action-depicting decoys because it gives the appearance of a curious duck coming in to peruse a new feeding ground or piece of terrain. When spread, this decoy is about 20 inches wide, starkly resembling a green head. Because it looks as though it is landing on water, if you set it up to your left, other birds will want to land in front of it and thus will be coming down right in front of you. Here are the things I like best about this decoy:

  • Batteries last for several hours, so there is no need to replace them in the middle of a day hunt. They claim 16 hours, and I have no reason to argue with that.

  • The battery can be charged in your truck with disassembling the product.

  • The wings on this baby are a magnet, so no screwing and unscrewing are

  • The legs can be taken off, a feature unique to decoys like this. I personally like to keep them on, but depending on the location of your setup it may suit you better to remove them

On the downside:

  • Magnets can come unattached, especially during high wind. Be sure you have aligned the wings correctly onto the magnetic part to minimize the chance of this happening

  • Don’t use it in salt water as it will rust the product after time. Just something to be aware of if you plan to be a long-term duck hunter.

Head To Head Comparison Of 3 Best Duck Decoys

My favorite product here is the MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo. I’ve never had a decoy so effective at drawing in birds to land right in front of it. While all three of these are different and are a great addition to your hunting setup, this one is the best buy. I recommend having a couple of them set up with one closer to you and the other further away. Throw a couple of Greenhead Pro-Grades in the water along with some generic duck decoys on top of the water, and you’ll have a great setup. Here is my guide about how to set up duck decoys, read carefully before you do it.

Conclusion

Using the best duck decoys has greatly improved my hunts. I’m able to lure in more birds and be more specific about where they are coming down (hopefully right in my line of sight!) and the results have been incredible. If you found this article helpful, please share on social media, and let’s get a conversation going in the comments.

How To Set Up Duck Decoys Spread

Now that you have put together a collection of duck decoys, the obvious question comes up: How to set up duck decoys spread.

This is where the artist in you gets to come out, as you develop a strategy to create a spread which optimizes both the surroundings and your collection. Here in this article we will look at the basics for how to set up your decoy spread, what to look out for, and I’ll re-emphasize the importance of patience.

These are the basic introductory steps:

1.Identify your surroundings.

If you’re hunting in a swamp or shallow water basin, keep everything as versatile and mobile as you can. Don’t make it hard to break down and pack out. Keep your ducks clean and shiny to maximize realism. If you are setting up a permanent spread, try to create a scene. Place your decoys where you have seen ducks congregating in the past, and don’t just focus on one area. Get the whole spread as thorough as you can using a couple hundred decoys, if possible.

2.For non-permanent spreads, use light-weight anchors.

In swamps and shallow backwater, you won’t need more than 6oz anchors. Or, use over-the-head anchors or neck ring anchors. For larger bodies of water, upsize to 12-16oz neck rings or over-the-heads.

3.Make your mallards a prominent attention-grabber.

Mallards are the universal duck, found in many locations and known to socialize with other species. Thus, having your mallard decoys spread around isn’t going to intimidate approaching ducks (in fact, it should help draw them in). When planning how to set up a duck decoy spread, start here.

4.Then, place pintails and black ducks.

The white tails and all-black bodies add another touch of realism to your display. Place them in highly visible areas, preferably around the perimeter of the spread with one or two in the center. These are the two primary decoys you should employ in addition to the mallards. Unless you already own other decoy species, don’t worry about obtaining them because you’ll get the added attention-grabbing out of pintails and black ducks.

5.For permanent spreads with high visibility, use standard size decoys.

They are easier to pack in and set up. Because the ducks will see the spread as they approach, there is no need to use larger decoys. Save these for low-visibility spreads. While you’ll want to have some ducks in clusters, be sure to spread ducks out throughout the available area so that approaching fowl will be enticed no matter the direction, height, or angle they are approaching from.

6.Use the most attractive decoys to lead into the preferred landing zone.

This should be set up so that you’ll have maximum visibility from the blind or shooting spot without having to move and potentially scare the ducks.

7.Put a line of ducks on a log.

Then, float the branch out into the water (with a jerk string to pull it back in). Ducks love to lounge on floating logs, and a bit of an active touch like this can really increase the attractiveness of your spread. Leave space on either end of the setup for incoming ducks to land – try to leave enough room for a few ducks, so that the approaching fowl has plenty of space without overcrowding.

8.Use wing-spinners and butt-up feeders.

These help your spread touch on as many triggers of a duck’s senses as possible. Feeding, flying, resting, and calling (of course you still need to be a good caller!) will help make your spread irresistible.

Additional Thoughts About  How To Set Up a Duck Decoys

Remember, always keep a positive attitude! No matter how good your spread is, some days the ducks just aren’t going to bite. The important thing is not to let this get you down, or to think you aren’t good enough to attract them. Even the best big league hitters have a slump now and then, and it isn’t because they aren’t working hard. Part of hunting is luck and the mood of the fowl. If you catch them on the right day, your learning how to set up a duck decoy spread will be the icing on the cake luring them into your arms.

After setting up your spread, hunker down and wait. Be patient, bring beer and lunch, and accept the fact that you’re working on their schedule, not yours. Be prepared for periods of overwhelming activity as well as periods of mind-numbing boredom (that’s what the beer is for!).

Conclusion

Setting up a duck decoy spread is a fun and worthwhile activity, and if it’s your first one you still have the benefit of feeling it out and seeing what works for your setup. Remember- don’t get discouraged. Do some rearranging and try slight alterations. If you enjoyed this article, please share on social media and feel free to comment! Let’s get a conversation going.

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.

2.Retrievers

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.

3.Beagle

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.

5.Poodle

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:

Conclusion

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.

3 Best Duck Call For The Money Reviews 2017

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.
  • Duck calls in the mid-range price wise often but the more expensive ones to shame, if you do your research and get a good one.
  • 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 the money, it will help you find the best for hunting. 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 and for the price, 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. There are no better duck calls at this price point, from Duck Commander or otherwise.

Conclusion

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!

How To Age A Deer

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

  • 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 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 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 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. Learn how to age bucks on the hoof.
    • 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 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.

Conclusion

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. 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.