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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Hunting Wild Turkey….the Basics

So turkey season is upon us and though we don’t have wild turkey up in the Wawang region, this delectable bird is the start of the hunting season ahead and a fantastic reward for a difficult hunt!

  1. Scout first. Before you can shoot a turkey you have to find one. Before hunt season, drive the back-country roads just after dawn and listen for turkey gobbling. Become aware of creeks, trails, fences and pastures, so that during the hunt, you will know where you are going.
  2. Wear camouflage, as turkeys have very keen eyesight. Suits, caps, facemasks and gloves are essentials, and don’t forget to wear dark socks. Try to match your colors to the plant life around you.
  3. Pattern your shotgun. Make a target that looks like a turkey’s head and neck. Practice firing from 25, 40 and 45 yards using different choke and ammunition. You’ll know what to expect when you’re aiming at a real turkey.
  4. Use a call. A call can be an important part of a successful hunt.
  5. Take advantage of the landscape. When you are stalking a gobbler, hide behind bushes, trees, rocks, tall grass or anything else that will obscure your approach.
  6. Choose a location to shoot from that puts you slightly above your target. Make sure that you have a good view of everything around you, including the turkey.
  7. Wait until the turkey is within 40 yards of you. Take aim at the area between his head and neck and fire. Strive for a perfect, one-shot kill.
  8. Check out “Practical Turkey Hunting Strategies: How to Hunt Effectively Under Any Conditions,” by Ray Eye at Amazon (see Resources below).

Here’s a couple of pointers from Stephen Ward:

Stephen Ward

 Stephen Ward Typically at dawn, sometimes mid day and then again right before sunset, a gobbler will go to the creek to drink, then work his way back up the hillsides feeding… they sometimes have a favorite spot to drink from that affords them easier access…. find that spot and you can score. Also, a gobbler will often gobble as he gets to his roost for the night at 7 pm or so; if you hear that, then you have an idea of where to set up the next morning down below that point and a creek”

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Posted by on April 30, 2015 in hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Tips on Choosing The Best Field Knife

It doesn’t matter how many knives you have at home. The one you reach for when you’re in the woods—to gut a deer, cut brush, carve a fuzz stick—that’s your field knife, your everyday companion. There’s no one perfect model, but here’s how to pick the ideal features for you.
1) Fixed or Folder?

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The traditional choice, a fixed-blade knife is stronger than most folders. With no moving parts, it’s virtually fail-safe, and cleaning is as easy as wiping off grime and wiping on oil. If you need a deep belly for skinning big game, fixed is the primary choice due to the challenge of storing a wide folding blade inside its handle. A folder, on the other hand, makes everyday carry simple: Just pop it in your pocket. The increasing popularity of pocket-clip folders has spawned huge innovation in materials and designs, so the options are breathtaking. Bottom line: Fixed or folder, you can’t lose. But you have to choose.
2) Steel Yourself

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Basic steel is just iron and carbon. But there are hundreds of alloys. The least you need to know is that the more carbon, the harder the blade and the better it holds an edge—but too much can make a blade brittle. Also, adding chromium prevents rust (stainless steel usually has at least 12 percent), but it can soften the steel. It’s a balancing act. Here’s a breakdown:

Non-Stainless Steel: It rusts easily but makes a great blade if you take care. High-carbon examples (1095, D2) really hold an edge. A few are both hard and tough (A2, CPM 3V, 8670M).

​Stainless Steel: If you want low maintenance, this is the way to go. But low-carbon versions (18/8, 420, 440, 440A, AUS-6) can be too soft to get or keep a fine edge. More carbon or a harder alloy is better (440B and C, AUS-8 and 10, 8Cr14MoV, 154CM).

Powdered Steels: The newest stainless alloys (S30V, Elmax, M390) are made of powderlike granules that are heated to form very hard steels that take a wicked edge. They pretty much have it all—​­corrosion resistance, hardness, and strength. Naturally, you pay for it.

3) Get the Point

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Most field knives have a drop point or clip point, either of which may be combined with a deeper belly for skinning. The drop point is ideal for field dressing game without slicing innards. Its thicker tip also helps with separating joints and with heavy camp chores. If your hunting knife will double as a fish cleaner and camp-kitchen slicer, the finer clip point is the better choice, and it’s fine for gutting game as long as you’re careful with the tip.

4) Find the Grind

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Likewise, most field knives hew to one of two grinds: hollow or flat. A hollow-ground blade has a concave shape, as if material has been scooped out of the blade’s thickness. It’s easy to resharpen and best for shallow cuts, such as field dressing, cutting hide, and simple camp chores. A flat-ground blade is the more common choice; it is tougher, holds its edge better, and excels at deeper cuts, working around sinew and bone, and chopping food at camp.

Now that you know what to look for, check out our field knife gear test to see which brands of fixed and folder blades are worth their metal.

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Sharpen your bow skill during the off season!

We practice with our bows all summer long, but after opening day its easy to get wrapped up in the hunting and forget about practicing. But even if you’re spending your time in the field and can’t hit the archery range every day, you can still keep your edge. Shooting in hunting situations is obviously different from target shooting. In the real world, weather conditions, shot angles, brush and other obstacles can impact your shot. Also, when the time comes to take a shot during a hunting situation you’re usually either stiff and cold from sitting in a treestand or sucking wind from running up a hill. All this combined with the fact that you must make a clean shot with the first arrow makes it all the more important to keep your shooting skills sharp. Here are a couple tips.

Practice Drawing
One of the biggest challenges to making a “cold shot” is that often the muscles I use for properly drawing my bow are stiff. The simplest way to cure this is to periodically pick a target, draw your bow, aim, hold, and let down your draw. This keeps you loosened up, plus drawing and aiming without actually shooting helps you focus on the target.



Practice Shooting

Although just drawing and aiming will help a lot, the single biggest help is to actually shoot while out hunting. A common practice among traditional shooters is to carry one or two blunt pointed arrows in your quiver so that you can stump shoot in your down time. Stump shooting is fantastic for keeping you warmed up, but unlike just drawing, actually completing your shots will bring your release into play, as well as give you all sorts of angles and situations to practice.

Small game is even better than stumps (grouse and rabbits taste a lot better too). Grouse can be deceivingly tough to hit. You want to aim for the base of the neck or the head. Sometimes they flush at the shot, but grouse will go in the direction that their head is pointing, so if you use a snaro point, you can either take their head off or hit them in the body as they flush. The best thing about grouse is they often give you extremely challenging shots, and if you can become consistent at taking them, you will be ready for the big game (make sure to check your local regulations before taking any small game with a bow).

 

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Field dressing a black bear

With the bear hunt just around the corner, we will cover the basics 🙂  Pictures have been withheld due to graphic nature.

Instructions

imagesFG3W4IGS 1. Clear an area surrounding the black bear. Make the area large enough to allow room to move around and roll the animal away from the entrails. The lowest part of the ground should be reserved for the entrails. Move the bear onto its back. Spread the rear legs and either have your partners hold them apart or secure them with ropes. Repeat with the front legs.

  1.  2. Insert one of your knives in the cavity at the base of the bear’s throat. Cut the blood vessels with a deep, crosswise motion to open the jugular vein and bleed the animal. Move the bear so the blood will flow away from it and clear the ground as needed.
  2. Cut the skin in a straight line from the breastbone — located just below the rib cage — to the base of the bear’s jaw. Cut the muscles along this area to the bone to expose the throat and windpipe. From the same starting point, cut the skin in a straight line down to the anus. Some areas require hunters to leave the genitals for sex identification; cut around the genitals slightly to preserve them.
  3. Split the breastbone.  This can be done with a bone saw, hack saw or a couple of axes.  If you choose to use axes, hold one axe against the breastbone and hammer it with the other axe; this will break the bone from the base of the rib cage up to and through the top ribs. Open the chest by pulling the front legs apart. Cut the windpipe and gullet close to the head. Lay them in the chest cavity for later.
  4. Cut through the abdominal muscles; start at the base of the rib cage. Take care not to puncture the intestines, the stomach or the bladder; doing so could taint the meat. Sever the muscles down to the pelvic bone. Enlist your partners to hold open the bear so you can work more smoothly.
  5. Break the pelvic bone by using the same technique implemented the breastbone. Do not cut the urinary tract as it may contaminate the meat. Start on one side of the chest cavity and use your knife to cut the diaphragm from the chest wall. Start at the base of the ribs and slice as far back into the cavity as possible. Have your partners pull the organs to the side so you can see and cut more easily. Repeat the process on the other side of the black bear.
  6. Cut the intestines and rectum from the split pelvic bone to where the rectum meets the muscle tissue at the anus. Cut a circle in the skin at the base of the tail; cut 1 to 2 inches from the anus. Cut the muscles to the top of the pelvic bone to free the anus and rectum. Pull the lower intestine, rectum and anus away from the cavity and hold clear. You must not puncture or cut the urinary tract or intestines.
  7. Hold the parts, roll the black bear away and allow the intestines and stomach to spill onto the ground. Grab the windpipe to pull the lungs and heart out onto the ground. Cut any remaining diaphragm tissue to free the organs. Complete the field dressing by draining as much blood from the bear as possible and wiping the body cavity with cloth rags to clean. Do not use water. At this point your main concern becomes to cool the cavity and prepare for transport which can be done by propping the cavity open with a tree branch.

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    Proper field care will ensure less weight and trouble with removal and transportation from the hunt site.

     For more information on black bear hunting, visit us at http://www.wawangresort.com

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Grouse Hunting RATES

Gouse Hunting RATES

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Moose hunt 2014 in review

So our 2014 moose hunt has come and gone again with fantastic results!  Due to reduced tag number across the province, we were concerned that the hunt would be sparse.  It couldn’t have been further from the truth.  This year we harvested 1 mature bull, 1 cow and a calf with 3 more bulls, 2 cows and 2 other calves spotted!  There was sign evident everywhere around us and made for excited hunters!johnmoose

With both new groups in camp and some here that are 14 year Wawang Veterans, each party worked together to help the overall success of each other as a whole.  As usual, the hunt was a complete community effort 🙂

We are proud to keep our tradition of excellence strong and look forward to 2015!

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We have limited availability for 2015.
Reserve your spot early for great accommodations during your next moose hunt in 15A or 15B.

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Bow Shooting – Stance & Grip

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2014 Black Bear Hunt Video

Our 2014 season was both rewarding for us as outfitters and successful for our hunters as well.  Our hunts consists of an average of 14 hunters annually and our guide Terry (owner of Wawang Lake Resort) works hard each season to provide active baits for each and every hunter.  His objective is for every hunter to harvest a bear – if they opt to do so – so is it any wonder that much of his day is spent out in the field during the black bear season to ensure a positive outcome..

The following video are of the highlights of our 2014 hunt.

ENJOY  The  Video!



If you enjoyed this video please visit our page on YouTube for more clips on Wawang Lake Resort

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Check out our 24 pg. HUNT BOOKLET

Hunt Booklet – Information

pg 01 Cover

Brochure (rates for the 2015 season)

 

 

 

 

 

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How Marinade Works

For some reason, the go-to recipe for wild-game always starts with “Soak (insert game meat here) in Italian dressing for three days.” Seriously, how many times have you heard a hunter say this?

One argument for using marinades is that they help tenderize tough meat. But this is probably the biggest misconception about using marinades, at least if you believe in science.

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“When proteins are exposed to an acidic marinade, the bonds break and the proteins unwind. Almost immediately, one unwound protein runs into another unwound protein and they bond together into a loose mesh. This is the same thing that happens when proteins are exposed to heat. At first, water molecules are attached to and trapped within this protein mesh, so the tissue remains juicy and tender. But after a short time, if the protein is in a very acidic marinade, the protein bonds tighten, water is squeezed out, and the tissue becomes tough.”

This and similar studies have also found that the acids used in marinades penetrate meat at the rate of one to two millimeters per day. So even a three-day marinade isn’t going to penetrate much past the surface of the meat. Now, there are marinades that call for enzymes (such as those found in pineapple, papaya and yogurt) rather than acids, and enzymes actually do tenderize meat by breaking down the muscle fibers and the collagen that holds muscles together. However, you have to be very careful when marinating with enzymes as they can make meat mushy rather than just tender.

If a marinade doesn’t tenderize meat, why use it?

Marinades are great for enhancing the flavor of the meat. Note: ENHANCE, not cover up. For game birds, the lighter flavored the marinade the better. Venison and red meat, particularly from older animals, can handle heartier marinades, but again, be careful not to overpower the game.

Because marinades also coat the surface of the meat, they help keep it moist, which is particularly useful for cooking over high-heat, such as grilling or pan-frying.

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Anytime you’re cooking wild-game, it’s a good idea to reserve some marinade for basting. But remember to not reuse marinade that’s had meat soaking in it as your basting. Reserve some liquid separately to prevent cross-contamination.

So what’s the best marinade if it isn’t Italian dressing? That depends on what flavor you’re looking for, but here’s one to use for grilled ruffed grouse breasts. It’s a little sweet and a little salty, with some Asian influence that makes it wonderful for a stir fry or even just grilling and chopping it up to serve in a soup with some noodles. Dress that with some diced jalapeño and some cilantro and it makes a great lunch.

Honey-Ginger Ruffed Grouse Marinade

Ingredients
– 2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
– 2 tbs. honey
– 1 tbs. soy sauce
– 1 tbs. sesame (or olive) oil
– fresh, grated ginger

Directions:
Whisk ingredients together and pour over pheasant breasts. Let marinate 1-2 hours before grilling.

 

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Muzzleloader For Beginners

Each year more hunters are discovering the thrill of muzzleloader hunting. There are several advantages to a muzzleloader hunt over traditional rifle hunting. In the Western states in particular, there are special muzzleloader seasons that traditionally coincide with the peak of the elk rut. Licenses are limited, so there are few hunters in the woods. Depending on the location and the skill of the caller, bulls can be bugled in to close ranges. All in all, it makes for a very exciting hunt.

2However, there is a learning curve to becoming a proficient muzzleloader hunter, and chances are, you’ll make every mistake in the book at least once. You’ll see some mighty fine bulls get away from a situation where it would be “meat in the pot” with a high-powered scoped rifle.

For those who are unfamiliar with muzzleloaders, allow me to explain. Muzzleloaders are the weapons that Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone carried afield with them during their bear hunts, Indian fights, and battles. Today there are two basic types of muzzleloaders used for hunting—primitive and in-line. Both are based upon the premise that the shooter pours powder down the end of the gunbarrel, then rams a slug or ball down on top of it to load the gun.

Primitive muzzleloader aficionados must choose between either a flintlock or a caplock ignition system. A flintlock is the more primitive technology, popular from the time of the Revolutionary War through the early 1800’s. The hammer of the gun holds a piece of flint wrapped in fine leather. Below the hammer is a frizzen, a swinging metal plate. Below the frizzen is the pan, into which the shooter pours a small amount of fine black powder. When the shooter pulls the trigger, the hammer strikes the frizzen, the frizzen folds back, and sparks are showered into the black powder in the pan. The ignited powder in the pan shoots a tongue of flame into the barrel of the gun via a small port. In turn, this flame ignites the black powder that has been poured into the barrel. The powder explodes, forcing the ball that has been seated on top of it to shoot out the barrel.

This process sounds cumbersome, and it is. Ignition is not instantaneous. Flintlock shooters have to hold steady for a second or more while an explosion occurs under their eyes. The possibility for error is very real.

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The more modern of the primitive technologies is the caplock design. Caplock muzzleloaders use the same basic concept of funneling flame into a port in the barrel, but the ignition is accomplished through a small nipple seated under the gun’s hammer. A small copper cap with a tiny bit of nitroglycerine is placed atop the nipple. When the hammer falls, the cap shoots a tiny spurt of flame through the nipple and into the port in the barrel, igniting the powder inside and shooting the ball out the barrel. Ignition is much more rapid than the flintlock.

In the last decade or two, several companies have noticed the resurgence of muzzleloading popularity. In response, they have crafted rifles that adhere to many states’ definitions of muzzleloader technology, i.e., a ball is rammed down the barrel and it can only be loaded with one round at a time. However, these are not primitive weapons. There are various ignition systems to discharge the load in the barrel, including shotgun primers and specially manufactured discs that are loaded directly behind the charge in the barrel. These are called “in-line” muzzleloaders. These rifles look more like high-powered rifles with a ramrod than something Daniel Boone might have carried on a bear hunt. Many in-line shooters use pelletized powder that can be dropped into the barrel in 50-grain increments and saboted copper-jacketed bullets that are built much like a high-powered rifle bullet with a plastic sleeve to allow ramming it down the barrel. Many of them are mounted with scopes and other optical sights.

Muzzleloader calibers range from old .36 and .40 caliber flintlock squirrel rifles to .68 caliber muskets used for warfare. Most flintlock and caplock guns today are .50 or .54 caliber, with an occasional .58 caliber rifle. The minimum size elk rifle is .50 caliber, and .54 certainly hits harder. The biggest in-line muzzleloaders are .50 caliber, with the occasional .45 caliber rifle used for deer and smaller game.

So, if you’re going muzzleloader hunting, you must make an immediate decision: is your goal simply to be in the woods with fewer people around, or would you like to stalk an animal with the additional challenge of carrying a rifle based on 1830’s technology? If your goal is to maximize your chances with the best available technology, then get your hands on an in-line muzzleloader. If the mystique of hunting like Jeremiah Johnson or John Colter appeals to you, then look into buying a caplock or flintlock rifle.

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Whichever route you take, shooting a muzzleloader demands practice and patience. If you choose an in-line rifle, thinking that you can accurately shoot an animal out to 175 or 200 yards using pelletized powder, saboted bullets, and a scope, think again. First, you’re still obligated to use iron sights. Few riflemen these days are skilled enough to consistently hit targets at 200 yards with iron sights, and scopes are illegal in most Western states. Secondly, the data provided by the rifle manufacturers that suggest an 11-inch bullet drop at 200 yards are using saboted bullets and pelletized powder, both of which are illegal in most Western states. Thirdly, even if you can hit the kill zone on an elk at 200 yards with black powder and iron sights, the bullet will have lost much of its down-range energy and the chances of only wounding the elk are great. Combine that with a minimum 20-second reloading time (if you’re fast and your hands aren’t shaking with buck fever) and you’ve got a lose/lose situation. An elk can cover a tremendous amount of territory in 20 seconds, and I HATE tracking wounded elk. I recommend limiting your shots to a maximum range of 100 yards, no matter what rifle you’re carrying. After all, the whole point of muzzleloader hunting is to be more skilful hunter and to stalk within closer ranges.

The caplock Hawken. When I’m hunting with the caplock Hawken, you must have a game plan organized down to the finest detail.  Sight in the rifle until you can put three shots in a Skoal can at 100 yards.  Clean the barrel meticulously to rid it of the corrosive black powder fouling. Prepare the powder flask and possibles bag with measures of powder and bullets.  Practice speed loading at the range so that you can get off a quick (twenty second!) follow-up shot. Before setting out to hunt, load the rifle meticulously and check your gear.

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There are three basic kinds of bullets to use in a muzzleloader: the above-mentioned plastic-sleeved sabots, lead slugs, and lead round balls. Round balls are loaded by seating the ball on top of a greased patch of cloth on the muzzle, then ramming it home with the ramrod. Slugs are coated with grease, started down the muzzle, and then rammed home.

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The problem with round balls is that they’re usually significantly lighter than a Minie-type slug, and don’t travel as far or hit as hard.   A typical .50-caliber round ball weighs 150 grains, while a typical buffalo bullet or Minie-type slug weighs 350-380 grains. I’ve shot a pile of elk using Thompson-Center 370-grain Maxi-ball slugs, and they each went down like they had been hit by a truck.

Keep in mind, however, that certain muzzleloader barrels are cut with a slow twist for shooting round balls, and others are rifled with a fast twist for shooting slugs. Make sure that you research the rifle and match it with the appropriate hunting load before you purchase so that your rifle is most accurate for the type of shooting you plan to do.imagesJN6SJJ3E

Most rifles have a “sweet spot” where they shoot very accurately with a certain load. Loading a rifle with more powder may indeed generate more muzzle velocity and knockdown power, but it may also cause it to lose its accuracy. For my caplock, I’ve learned that 90 grains of powder makes it shoot very accurately up to 100 yards and it still kicks pretty darned hard. It develops plenty of energy at that rate to dump an elk with one shot. The maximum load for most muzzleloaders is 120 grains of powder, though the experts say that black powder doesn’t explode like smokeless powder and you really can put a lot of powder in a gun with no adverse consequences. I still wouldn’t recommend it, though. Please note, however, that any amount of smokeless powder will explode almost any muzzleloader because of the high pressures generated.

Hunters can prevent their powder getting wet by covering the muzzle of the rifle with plastic wrap secured by a rubber band, and also by sealing the nipple’s connection to the breech of the gun with modeling putty.

If you think the possibility exists that your powder may have gotten wet, there are still ways to make the rifle go off. With a nipple wrench, you can remove the nipple, dig out a few grains of wet powder, replace it with a few grains of dry powder, and away you go again. If it won’t make a difference in your hunting, fire the gun. If it won’t fire, try several caps until it goes off. In humid places like Alabama, hunters all fire their rifles at the end of each day of hunting. Towards sunset, you can hear a ragged salute of gunfire as each hunter discharges his load.

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On an elk hunt, the excitement is in getting close to the game. A rutting bull usually has only one thing on his mind, and when a big bull responds to a bugle with a challenge of his own, well…it just doesn’t get more exciting than that. Armed like one of the mountain men of the 1830’s, knowing that you’ve got just one chance to put a killing shot in him, knowing that you’ve got to be patient and wait for the ideal shot, it makes hunting with a high-powered rifle seem just a little unfair.

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