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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.
  • 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
  • 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.

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 2018

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.

  • 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
  • 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.

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 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.

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!

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. 

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​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. 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.

    Conclusion

    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!

    Conclusion

    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.

    Conclusion

    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!