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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Gear up: Best Hunting Boot Review

So tis the season!  While searching online for my next pair of field boots, I came across this fantastic post done by Outdoor Life Magazine.  A realistic review of several different boots including price 🙂  Talk about a treasure trove.

Remember, when searching footwear to take into consideration:  Climate, Terrain, Fit

NEVER purchase a pair of boots without trying them on and getting a good feel for how they physically feel.  Ensure that you leave enough room for the socks you intend to wear during the majority of your hunts.

boots

Boot Review: Best New Hunting Boots

In order to help you draw a bead on your next pair of boots, we tested a dozen pairs in three categories in Alaska.

A quick glance at this year’s crop of new hunting footwear reveals that although manufacturers aren’t slashing prices while at the same time improving the quality of their goods—as makers of fishing tackle and firearms have done in 2012—they have taken strides to make their boots lighter, more waterproof, and easier to break in than the offerings of recent years.

In order to help you draw a bead on your next pair of boots, we tested a dozen pairs in three categories in Alaska in early March. We wore the boots in snow, waded them through icy marshes, and used them to climb slick, rocky ground. See the results here.

irish setter

Irish Setter Havoc
Price: $199

Though it’s billed as a big-game boot, we found the Havoc to be agile enough for grouse and supportive enough for elk. The boot is available uninsulated or with 800 grams of Thinsulate. Boasting a short break-in period, these boots are an excellent all-around option this fall.

SCORE
Overall: * * * * 
Construction/Materials: A-
Fit: A-
Meets Intended Use: A
Innovation: B
Price/Value: B+
Weight (per boot): 1 lb. 14.9 oz.

Website: irishsetterboots.com

llbean

L.L. Bean Technical Big Game Boot
Price: $199 

Full of quality amenities—400 grams of PrimaLoft, a Gore-Tex layer, an antimicrobial lining—the most innovative feature of these boots is the Boa lacing system, which tightens with the twist of a dial. A reinforced toe-cap increases the boot’s lifespan.

SCORE
Overall: * * * 1/2
Construction/Materials: A-
Fit: C+
Meets Intended Use: A-
Innovation: A
Price/Value: A-
Weight (per boot): 1 lb. 14.9 oz.

website: llbean.com

wolverine

Wolverine Scout II
Price: $140

These boots are dependable, comfortable, and will do a great job in the early season or regions where the weather doesn’t get overly cold. The best thing about the Scout II is Wolverine’s new molded, angled track sole, which provided sure-footedness on snow, ice, rocks, and fallen logs.

SCORE
Overall: * * * 1/2
Construction/Materials: B+
Fit: B+
Meets Intended Use: A-
Innovation: B-
Price/Value: B+
Weight (per boot): 1 lb. 5.2 oz.

Website: wolverine.com

muck

RUBBER/NEOPRENE
Editor’s Choice: Muck Terrain
Price: $240

Brought to you by the original neoprene bootmaker, the 18-inch Terrain is rimmed with an adjustable neoprene dirt/snow skirt, and the upper features textured rubber guards that offer protection in places that get poked, jabbed, and scuffed the most.

Made from 4-millimeter neoprene, the boots are generously sized around the calf, allowing pants to be tucked in. It’s a stout boot, yet it’s still comfortable during longer walks. The soles stayed glued to treestands and the footboards of ATVs and snow machines.

SCORE
Overall: * * * *
Construction/Materials: A
Fit: A-
Meets Intended Use: A
Innovation: A
Price/Value: A-
Weight (per boot): 2lb. 8.8 oz.

website: muckbootcompany.com

bushnell

Bushnell Archer
Price: $170

A familiar name in an unfamiliar category, the legendary optics maker’s new Archer boot (one of eight hunting boot models for 2012) has a drawstring closure, a handsome suede finish, and a sole that practically adheres to treestand platforms. The warm, 3.5-
millimeter neoprene features a nice fleece lining.

SCORE
Overall: * * * 1/2
Construction/Materials: A-
Fit: B+
Meets Intended Use: A-
Innovation: B+
Price/Value: A-
Weight (per boot): 2 lb. 10.6 oz.

Website: Bushnellfootwear.com

lacrosse

LaCrosse 4x Burly
Price: $120

These throwback rubber boots are stable on rocky ground and feature lots of room to accommodate large calves or thick pant legs. With 800 grams of insulation and a much-improved molded sole, the boots are quite warm. The sizing is classic Burly—snug around the ankles—so you might need help pulling them off.

SCORE
Overall: * * * 1/2
Construction/Materials: B
Fit: B
Meets Intended Use: A-
Innovation: C+
Price/Value: B+
Weight (per boot): 2 lb. 15.2 oz.

Website: lacrossefootwear.com

bogs

Bogs Bowman
Price: $191

The ingenious side handles make pulling on the Bowmans a snap. Overall, the boots are reasonably durable, and the sole gripped both metal and snowy surfaces equally well. While there was not a lot of built-in structure to protect the top of the foot, these boots were comfortable to wear over long distances.

SCORE
Overall: * * *
Construction/Materials: B+
Fit: B
Meets Intended Use: A-
Innovation: B-
Price/Value: B-
Weight (per boot): 2 lb. 9.9 oz.

Website: bogsfootwear.com

kenetrek

MOUNTAIN HUNTING

Editor’s Choice: Kenetrek Mountain Guide
Price: $425 

A one-piece 3.4-millimeter leather upper and excellent lacing control combine to produce an accurate and highly adjustable fit. The interior is lined with luxurious, soft leather. The aggressive (nearly sharp) Vibram soles accommodate crampons.

The boot’s support is  second to none, and the build quality is extraordinary. The Mountain Guides will likely be the last pair of mountain hunting boots you’ll buy for a decade.

SCORE
Overall: * * * * 
Construction/Materials: A+
Fit: A+
Meets Intended Use: A+
Innovation: B+
Price/Value: A-
Weight (per boot): 2lb. 6.6 oz

Website: kenetrek.com

Lowa

Lowa bighorn Hunter GTX
Price: $450

This boot utilizes a proprietary outsole that incorporates a layer of textile in the rubber lugs to increase grip. A great choice for elk and sheep hunters alike, the Hunter GTX was easy to break in and displaced sweat like a dry sponge.

SCORE
Overall: * * * * 
Construction/Materials: A
Fit: A
Meets Intended Use: A+
Innovation: A
Price/Value: B+
Weight (per boot): 2lb. 0.7 oz.

Website: lowa.com

Schnee

Schnee’s Beartooth
Price: $339 

A soft leather collar and tongue combine to deliver incredible comfort. Using a compound exclusive to Schnee’s, the Vibram sole holds tight even on slick rocks. The 2.6-millimeter upper is triple-stitched, making this a killer value at under $350.

SCORE
Overall: * * * *
Construction/Materials: A
Fit: A
Meets Intended Use: A
Innovation: B
Price/Value: A
Weight (per boot): 1lb. 14 oz.

Website: schnees.com

columbia

Columbia Hell’s Peak
Price: $190

The Hell’s Peak provides impressive lacing control and a decent amount of protection, given its ultralight weight (26.4 ounces). They’re perfect for stalking elk or mule deer, but you likely won’t get more than two seasons of aggressive use out of these boots.

SCORE
Overall: * * * 1/2
Construction/Materials: B+
Fit: B+
Meets Intended Use: B
Innovation: A-
Price/Value: B
Weight (per boot): 1lb. 10.4 oz.

Website: columbia.com

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Five Ways To Control Your Scent

Deer have always been prey species. They use all of their senses to avoid being killed by predators like coyotes, wolves, bears, hunters, and automobiles. Their most refined defense is their nose. Whitetail deer are believed to have noses one hundred times more sensitive than a dog’s. Uneducated deer are usually not exceedingly wary of human scent. But if you want to get close to a mature buck you’re going to have to control your scent. Here are five great tips for controlling human odor while deer hunting.

SCENT-WAWANG-LAKEScent Control Clothing The first step is scent control clothing. Some clothing utilizes activated carbon, others use silver to eliminate odor. Just about everything from base layers, socks, gloves, pants, jackets, hats, and facemasks are made to control odor. Of course, rubber boots are also an important addition. It doesn’t matter what you wear if you don’t take care of your clothing. If you’re wearing your scent free clothing in the truck or during breakfast you might as well wrap yourself in bacon. Don’t put on your hunting clothing until you’re in the field and have everything else ready to go.

Don’t wash your scent free clothing in normal detergent. Use scent free, phosphate free, UV brightener-free detergent. In fact, wash a load of your normal clothes in this detergent before doing a load of your hunting clothes just to get any residual detergent out of the machine. Once clean, clothing should be stored in a sealed, scent-free container.

De-Scenting Shower Your body is constantly creating odor. Bacteria is the chief cause of human odor and most scent killing soap is designed to kill bacteria. Lather your entire body and leave the soap on for about a minute before rinsing off. Letting the soap sit on your body will allow it to kill more bacteria. Be sure to wash a supply of towels with your scent free laundry detergent too. Before dressing, apply scent free antiperspirant.

Dirty Mouth One of the most bacteria rich environments on your body is your mouth. As you exhale, much of the scent from your mouth is dispersed into the air. Brush your teeth with unscented baking soda toothpaste at home and just before going into the field. Plaque is a chief producer of scent. Regular visits to the dentist can help control plaque and in turn, control scent. Chewing gum flavored with vanilla, apple, or mint can mask your scent.

Scent-Eliminating Sprays Just about everybody sprays down before hunting these days. But are you doing a good enough job? Buy your spray in bulk at the beginning of the season and don’t be shy about using it. Spray down at the truck and again in the stand. Spray down everything including yourself, your equipment, decoys, calls, and anything else you may have with you.

Using Scents There are two basic types of scents; cover scent and lures. I have seen deer lure scents work but personally avoid them. Using a deer lure scent is essentially asking deer to use their nose at a heightened level. Think about walking into your house when something really good is on the stove. You try to figure out what it is that you are smelling and are very aware of the scents in your home. If you come home before dinner is on the stove your house just smells like it always does and you’re probably not thinking about scent at all. The same principle applies for deer in my opinion. I do like cover scents but I don’t buy commercially produced scents. I prefer using scents from my hunting area. For example, we have junipers, apple trees, and various pines scattered throughout the property. I’ll use branches and apples to mask my scent. I’ve also been known to walk through cow pies on the way into my stand.

You’re never going to completely eliminate your scent. But if you can control it well, you can make a buck and possibly even a bear think your 200 yards away when you’re really just 20 yards away.

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Posted by on June 20, 2015 in hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Women Hunters – Interesting Facts

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Posted by on June 19, 2015 in archery, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Shooting A World Record MOOSE

If you are in search of a record book moose because he has survived many previous hunts, and you as a hunter respect the survivability of the animal, then you have set a high standard for yourself.

Pursuing any type of world record is not something that many aspire to do.   for the trophy hunter, shooting a world record moose is the ultimate goal. Are you a trophy hunter? Or a meat hunter?

Do we need to continue to search for the ever bigger? Then when we find it, is it right to destroy it? Should we limit the very essence of the mighty beast; snuff out the possibility of procreation? These are tough questions?

giant-moose
Canadian World Record Moose 2013

Hunter Heinz Naef shot what he believes could be the largest moose ever harvested in the Yukon(Sept. 2013). 

His moose, scored 263 1/8 inches after the required drying time of 60 days. The official scoring will be made in Nevada in early 2014.

Heinz is not a trophy hunter, he wasn’t looking to harvest a world record moose. No, he is a meat hunter… by his own admission. He was just out looking for any legal moose to fill his freezer. It just so happened to be this one.

Human beings have pushed everything to its limits. The Guinness Book of World Records is a testament to this. We strive to better ourselves, to beat our predecessors, going beyond what anyone has done in the past. Is it wrong to have the desire to be better, to do it bigger? Is our only purpose to get our names in a book?

When entering animals into record books, who deserves the respect? You or the animal? It is vitally important to include all relevant information about said trophy… the hunters name however may not be so important.

Many hunters have a few trophies on the wall, but most are not world record moose, but all of them are trophies to the hunter.  Many hunters do not go hunt with the sole purpose to acquire a trophy, and likely many of you, may scoff at some of the animals that have been shot. They are not in any record book, nor are they of that class, but to the hunter, they are a reminder of the hunt and a way for to show appreciation for the animal.

No animal should be killed for the sole purpose to raise a hunters social status, to do so is crossing the ethical line for hunters.

Where does one find a world record moose? This question is one that no one person can answer for sure. Through research and dialogue you may be able to locate moose habitat that will contribute to the growth of these monsters. A hunter in search of a world class moose will spend a lot of money and time to achieve his goal. These big animals are not going to be easily accessible. Days, weeks even years of pursuit to harvest a moose that can make the record books will be the required 22dedication.  Hunting the most remote areas of the planet is what it will most likely take and never discount luck. Luck is a huge part of hunting.

As an example the latest world record moose taken with a rifle, shot by Jay Link in 2001. Jay travelled to Russia, to the very remote regions to get this moose. He has stated it cost him $20,000.00 to do this hunt (before shipping and taxidermy). Jay may not have been looking for a world record when he shot this one, but he was certainly looking for a world class moose. Unfortunately for Jay, because the moose was taken in Russia, it is not eligible for Boone and Crockett.

Aaron Folk killed this state record North Dakota moose in October 2012, with a green score of 166 and a 53-inch spread.

Aaron Folk killed this state record North Dakota moose in October 2012, with a green score of 166 and a 53-inch spread.

Real Langlois, who's been dubbed "The Rackman" for all his moose hunting exploits, bagged this world record bull in the Yukon with his bow in 2008. With a score of 249 1/8, The Rackman beat out Michael Cusack, whose 1973 bull moose scored 248. The most amazing thing about Langlois' kill? You can watch the whole thing on YouTube, where he makes a breathtaking five yard shot on this behemoth.

Real Langlois, who’s been dubbed “The Rackman” for all his moose hunting exploits, bagged this world record bull in the Yukon with his bow in 2008. With a score of 249 1/8, The Rackman beat out Michael Cusack, whose 1973 bull moose scored 248.

Eric Arnette killed this Yukon monster in 2004, with a B&C score of 236 and a span of 75 inches.

Eric Arnette killed this Yukon monster in 2004, with a Boone & Crockett score of 236 and a span of 75 inches.

The world record moose, Boone and Crockett scored 261 5/8 and was taken by John A. Crouse in 1994 near Forty-mile River Alaska.

Hunters value the opportunities to venture out into the outdoors and hunt. The chase is wonderful and exhilarating. To some degree the kill is saddening as a wild animal has paid the ultimate sacrifice and many hunters pause to give thanks for any animal that they just harvested.   They truly appreciate it!

Many hunters don’t hunt for a trophy – after all the antlers will make poor soup. Given the opportunity though, if a world record moose were to walk out in front of you, and assuming you recognize it as a trophy. Would you shoot…?   Would You?

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Ontario’s Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed GrouseAlthough sometimes regarded as “wilderness” birds, Ruffed Grouse have no aversion to living in close proximity to humans if the cover gives them adequate security. In some areas of Ontario, Canada –  Ruffed Grouse are more abundant in remote wilderness forests. They thrive best where forests are kept young and vigorous by occasional clear-cut logging, or fire, and gradually diminish in numbers as forests mature and their critical food and cover resources deteriorate in the shade of a climax forest.

Ruffed Grouse response to man varies greatly across their range, depending upon their experiences. In southern Ontario generally they are usually quite elusive and difficult to approach. Yet they can still be killed with a canoe paddle or thrown stones in NW Ontario wilderness forests.

When the ground is bare of snow, Ruffed Grouse feed on a wide variety of green leaves and fruits, and some insects. They have also been known to eat snakes, frogs as well. But when snow covers the ground as it does for most of the winter across the major portion of their natural range, Ruffed Grouse are almost exclusively “flower-eaters,” living on the dormant flower buds or catkins of trees such as birches and pin cherry bush’s.

Known as solitary in their social behavior they do not develop a pair-bond between males and females, although there is usually at least one hen in the woods for every male. Young birds, especially, collect in temporary, loose flocks in the fall and winter, but this is not equivalent to the covey organization of the quails and partridges.

Male Ruffed Grouse are aggressively territorial throughout their adult lives, defending for their almost exclusive use a piece of woodland that is 6-10 acres in extent. Usually this is shared with one or two hens. The male grouse proclaims his property rights by engaging in a “drumming” display. This sound is made by beating his wings against the air to create a vacuum, as lightning does when it makes thunder. The drummer usually stands on a log, stone or mound of dirt when drumming, and this object is called a “drumming log.” He does not strike the log to make the noise, he only uses the “drumming log” as a stage for his display.

The drumming stage selected by a male is most likely to be about 10-12 inches above the ground, in moderately dense brush, (usually 70 to 160 stems within a 10 ft. radius) where he can maintain unrestricted surveillance over the terrain for a radius of about 60 ft. Across much of the Ruffed Grouse range there are usually mature male within sight in the forest canopy overhead.

Drumming occurs throughout the year, so long as his “log” is not too deeply buried under snow. In the spring, drumming becomes more frequent and prolonged as the cock grouse advertises his location to hens seeking a mate. Listen to an example at the top of this page.

Courtship is brief, lasting but a few minutes, then the hen wanders away in search of a nest site, and there is no further association between the male grouse and his mate – or the brood of chicks she produces. A hen may make her nest more than 1/2 mile from the log of her mate.

Nests are hollowed-out depressions in the leaf litter, usually at the base of a tree, stump or in a clump of brush. The nest is usually in a position which allows the hen to maintain a watch for approaching predators. Sometimes hens will nest under logs or in brush piles, but this is less common, and a dangerous location.

A clutch usually contains 8 to 14 buff colored eggs when complete. Eggs are laid at a rate of about one each day and a half, so it may take 2 weeks for a clutch to be completed. Then incubation, which usually commences when the last egg is laid, takes another 24 to 26 days before the eggs hatch. A nest has to be placed so that it will not be discovered by a predator during a period of at least 5 weeks.

The chicks are prosocial, which means that as soon as they have dried following hatching they are ready to leave the nest and start feeding themselves. Grouse chicks are not much larger than a man’s thumb when they leave the nest. They are surprisingly mobile and may be moving farther than 1/4 mile a day by the time they are 3 or 4 days old. They begin flying when about 5 days old, and resemble giant bumble bees in flight. The hen may lead her brood as far as 4 miles from the nest to a summer brood range during its first 10 days of life.

Although grouse broods occasionally appear on roadsides, field edges or in forest openings, these are hazardous places for young grouse to be, and broods survive best if they can remain secure in fairly uniform, moderately dense brush or sapling cover.

wawanggrouse1The growing chicks need a great deal of animal protein for muscle and feather development early in life. They feed heavily on insects and other small animals for the first few weeks, gradually shifting to a diet of green plant materials and fruits as they become larger. Chicks grow rapidly, increasing from about 1/2 ounce midgets when hatched to 17-20 oz. fully grown young birds 16 weeks later. That is a 38 to 46 fold increase in weight. At 17 weeks of age, a Ruffed Grouse is almost as large and heavy as it will ever be.

Biologists and others who want to age Ruffed Grouse rely upon certain peculiarities of the molt of the primary flight feathers. The booklet A Grouse in the Hand explains this aging procedure. And following the first complete molt by a 14 to 15 month old adult grouse, there are no known physical characteristics which reliably identify the age.

When about 16 to 18 weeks old, the young grouse passes out of its period of adolescence and breaks away to find a home range of its own. This is the second and last time that Ruffed Grouse are highly mobile. The young males are the first to depart, when they range out seeking a vacant drumming territory, or activity center, where they can claim a drumming log. Most young males find a suitable site within 1.8 mi. of the brood range where they grew up, although some may go as far as 4.5 mi. seeking a vacant territory. Many young cocks claim a drumming log by the time they are 20 weeks old; and once they have done so, most will spend the remainder of their lives within a 200 to 300 yard radius of that log.

Young females begin leaving the brood one or two weeks later than their brothers, and they normally disperse about three times as far. Some young hens move at least 15 miles looking for the place where they’ll spend the rest of their lives.

Occasionally a hen and her brood will remain together as late as mid-January, but this is unusual, and most groups of grouse encountered in the fall and winter are composed of unrelated individuals who gather together temporarily to share a choice food resource or piece of secure cover.

In fall and winter some inexperienced young grouse frightened by a predator or something else, crash into buildings, trees or through windows in a so-called “crazy-flight.” Sometimes they are evidently simply trying to take a short-cut when they can see through two large windows on the corner of a house. After all, young grouse in their first fall have never been confronted by something that can be seen through but not flown through, such as glass!

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Fire Without Matches

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How to Identify a Gray Wolf

Identify a Wolf

 

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