So much goes into a duck call, but what makes it sound good to ducks? On this episode I interview a duck call maker, hunter, musician and fellow podcaster to better understand what goes into a duck call, what really matters in the field, and how you can navigate the marketing clutter to find a duck call that is right for you.

The main goal of a duck call is to sound like a duck. It’s that simple. But most duck calls are judged by how well hunters can play them as musicians. Duck calling competitions are marvels of skill and experience, but they often sound far from what a real duck is like.

Sometimes real ducks make calls that hunters would consider quite lousy but that is because our perception can be skewed. There is another truth though that sometimes ducks do respond well to sounds that real ducks just do not make. Be it instinct or curiosity, you can have some success hunting ducks with calling sounds or sequences that do not exist in nature.

But for the new hunter, duck calling can be a rather simple affair. The goal of this episode is to talk through some of the feature and marketing of duck calls to help you discern what kinds of calls are right for you and what is worth spending your money on.

Riley is not a sponsor and I get no kickbacks, but at my request he agreed to give a 10% discount to all New Hunters Guide listeners. Just go to his website and use the code nhgcast at checkout for the 10% discount.

Every duck hunter needs a choke tube, and it is only a matter of time before you become obsessed with finding the best one. But it doesn’t need to be that complicated or intense. On this episode I talk about the basics of finding the right choke tube and I share some high-level research-based insights.

Almost all shotguns have changeable choke tubes these days. What not many people are willing to admit is that most of them will do the job just fine for hunting ducks at regular distances of 30 yards. But there are some gains to be made with finding higher quality chokes and matching them to the distance you take shots at.

Some chokes are made for certain types of shells, and some are made for specific shells themselves. My research hasn’t proven either way if they really can engineer chokes better for a specific shell, but you can count on choke manufactures having tested those shells heavily so the risk of the choke not performing with them is minimal.

Do aftermarket choke tubes improve performance? According to my firsthand field testing, they absolutely do, with some guns and some stock chokes. Stock recessed or flush chokes can often be replaced with extended aftermarket chokes for improved performance. But many of the high-end shotguns come with stock chokes just as good as aftermarket ones. 

People are obsessed with tighter and tighter patterns these days, and that sounds good, and it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. But we want to eat our ducks, and blasting them to shreds is not better. Ultimately you want a pattern that helps you consistently and reliably get clean kills so the birds do not suffer and are not lost, but not so tight that it destroys all edible portions of the bird. 

Listen to the podcast episode for all the details!

When it is freezing, raining, snowing, windy or blistering cold you need extreme gear to keep hunting. The Cabela’s MT050 Whitetail Extreme kit was designed exactly for that fridged task.  I have been hunting with the Cabela’s MT050 Bibs and the Cabela’s MT050 Parka for a few years in some of the worst conditions possible going after whitetail deer and waterfowl and I can vouch that it does what it was designed to do, and exceptionally well at that. It also works for pretty much any outdoor task in the dead of winter.

Why This Parka & Bibs?

I bought these with my own money after scouring every top cold weather gear option on the market, #NotSponsored. I didn’t intend to buy this kit originally, but I landed here after doing alot of research. Check out my podcast episode All About Deer Hunting Bibs for more info on the research process and why some gear is worth the money while other gear is not.

You see I was getting cold while hunting whitetails on cold windy days. Not just uncomfortably cold, but sick. After the second or third round of illness one year I decided that toughing it out was no longer an option, I needed to find a way to get warmer. I figured quality gear was still cheaper than doctor bills.

I decided I needed bibs before the parka because my hunting pants were particularly sad and bibs still cover part of your core. I looked at everything I could find and I narrowed it down to my top three options.

The Cabela’s bibs were not my first choice, the Sitka was. The First Lite was a close second. Cabela’s came in third. So how did Cabela’s win? One word, sales. Every year the Cabela’s Bibs go on sale one or more times, as much as 30-40% off. Though it has been a long time since they were 40% off. But it is not uncommon to get them for $200. I waited until such a sale happened, I cashed in some point and Cabela’s gift cards and ended up paying very little out of pocket for them. The bibs came in the mail and then something unexpected happened.

I opened the Cabela’s Bibs, tried them on, and I was so impressed that I immediately ordered the Cabela’s Parka as well. I didn’t really even have the money to do it. I just knew based on how impressive the bibs were that I had to have the parka also. The Bibs won for me on price, their ability to keep me warm was close to First Lite and Sitka, but at half the cost they won the day. The parka won because of how good the Bibs were.


The moment I touched the MT050’s they won me over. They were so soft and quiet, yet so substantial and protective. I felt like I was wearing a cross between a silk blanket and armor. Each piece is serious and weighs about 4 pounds. This is not early season gear. It has a very specific cold weather job to do.


  • Thinsulate™ Platinum Insulation: 150-gram through the midsection, 100-gram from the knees down and in the chest, 150-gram in the seat. 
  • 100% windproof and waterproof but still breathable GORE-TEX shell
  • Aquaguard heavy-duty, water-resistant zipper hardware
  • MT050 fabric: quiet as fleece, tough as suede
  • Hip-high leg zips ensure easy on/off over layers or muddy boots.
  • The double-reinforced seat adds long-lasting durability. 
  • Concealed thigh pockets allow gear access in otherwise difficult positions.
  • Articulated knees enhance range of motion.
  • A rear pocket and generous side cargo pockets store plenty of vital gear.
  • Adjustable cuffs seal out the elements,
  • Reduced-bulk design
  • Hip-high leg zips
  • Elasticized sides and back waist
  • Gusseted crotch
  • 100% polyester. Machine wash.


  • Thinsulate™ Platinum Insulation: 150-gram through the body, 100-gram in the arms
  • 100% windproof and waterproof but still breathable GORE-TEX shell
  • Aquaguard heavy-duty, water-resistant zipper
  • Chest and body handwarmer pockets keep digits toasty,
  • Detachable, drawstring hood with reinforced hood bill
  • Adjustable cuffs and a front storm flap seal out the elements,
  • Body pockets with bonded flaps, a zip interior chest pocket, and interior mesh dump pockets.
  • A droptail gives extra coverage against wind, rain, and snow. 
  • 100% polyester
  • 100% waterproof/breathable GORE-TEX shell
  • MT050 fabric: quiet as fleece, tough as suede
  • Fully sealed seams
  • Zip, bonded center back harness opening and license loop
  • 100% polyester. Machine wash

Ironically, I really wanted the bibs initially, but I ended up using the parka more. The parka is very versatile, and I use it waterfowl hunting over waders into the coldest, wettest, most miserable part of the duck and goose season as well as deer season. I also wrote a review on the Cabelas GORE-TEX Wind Stopper Glomitt, the complementing gloves designed to go with this set.

Feild Performance

I was impressed by the Cabelas MT050 system from the moment I touched it. Trying it on only further affirmed it was built well and warm. In my first outing I spent the morning leaning up against a snow- and ice-covered tree that had fallen some time ago. It was cold but neither my legs nor body ever got a chill. I felt impervious to the wind and cold.

I have done several cold weather whitetail hunts with the system but I’ll tell you where it has gotten more use and shined brightly is in waterfowl hunting. I have hunted ducks in much harsher conditions than I would go after deer in. Cold, blistering wind, snow, rivers so cold that the decoys froze solid in moving water at 8 degrees F. And of course days where it was just warm enough to rain and rain alot. Everytime the MT050 Whitetail Extreme performed exceptionally well. Check out my Cabelas MT050 Whitetail Extreme Parka & Bibs video review for even more info.

When I write reviews like this with products I’m very pleased with, I feel compelled to give a disclaimer that this gear is not magical. It is not life changing. It did exactly what I wanted it to do. It performs very well. But it’s only clothing and you can still get cold. I found if I sweat too much and get too wet before the hunt starts, the cold will find me, especially when it is in the single digits. And if my base layers and mid layers are not equally high grade, these outer layers can only do so much. 

But they are impressive for what they are and what they cost. I have worn the parka over a dress shirt on days when its -5 degrees F to go to work and been toasty warm.  In some senses it does seem magical. But you have to do your part to control perspiration, wear good base layers, boots, gloves, etc.  

Pros & Cons


  • Very warm
  • Windproof and waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Fairly quiet
  • Good pockets
  • Built in handwarmer pockets
  • Can be machine washed
  • Excellent value
  • Quiet snaps for the pockets
  • Feels great to the touch
  • Great zippers


  • Could be more rugged
  • Not full-length zippers on the Bibs
  • Handwarmer pockets are not at ideal places for me

Final Analysis

I am a big proponent of this bibs and parka set. If you can buy the MT050 on sale, I think it is the best value on the market. At full price, I would be tempted to go with the First Lite Sanctuary. But on sale at $200 or less, the Cabela’s MT050 Bibs and Cabela’s MT050 Parka are unmatched.  And I do like the pattern.

When it comes to performance, the MT050 really impressed me, and I think it will impress you if you have realistic expectations. Is it the best bibs and parka set on the market? No, certainly not. But I do think it is the best for the money, when it’s on sale. As is the story with all gear. No matter what you are looking for, you can always find something better if you are willing to keep spending more and more. 

Everyone needs to make their decisions about what their budget is and then look for the best gear options they can at that budget level. And these really hit the spot for me. For some people even $200 for each piece is too high, and I get that. But I learned the hard way that I needed to spend more to get more because my cheap gear just was not doing it for me.

I do think I’ve made my money back on doctor bills not incurred from getting too cold. So for me it was a great investment that has lasted several seasons so far and I expect many more to come.

Be sure to listen to The New Hunters Guide Podcast and check us out on YouTube

Till next time. God bless you, and go get em in the woods!

George Konetes Ph.D. – Founder and Host of the New Hunters Guide.

The New Hunters Guide is simply what George wishes he would have had when learning how to hunt; a single place to get practical hands on knowledge about different kinds of hunting, gear, strategy, and tips that can improve your comfort and fun factor in the woods.


Every now and then you find the perfect balance of cost and performance, the Cabela’s GORE-TEX Infinium Windstopper Glomitts are just that. In fact, I believe these are the best value in cold weather hunting gloves on the market. Windproof, water resistant, and insulated with zoned Thinsulate these gloves/mitts are rich on performance but modest on cost. Performing nearly as well as gloves that cost two-three times as much, they work great for deer hunting, turkey hunting, waterfowl, and so much more.

This review is not sponsored, I bought these gloves with my own money.

What Makes Great Hunting Gloves

A few years back I was in serious need of some quality gloves, in fact cold weather hand ware was the weakest link in my hunting gear. I set out to research the best gloves on the market and figure out what made a great glove in order to determine what I was willing to pay for.  I identified 9 core features that I would measure hunting gloves by:

  1. Wind Resistance. If my gloves were made of the warmest material on the planet but if the wind cut through them, they would be useless before long. Good, late season, cold weather gloves have to be windproof. For me it is nonnegotiable.
  2. Water Resistance. Snow and rain happen in the woods for deer, ducks turkeys and anything else. Good hand ware needs to be water resistant. Waterproof is too much to ask because it comes at the cost of reduced dexterity, but good gloves need to be able to shed water.  
  3. Insulation. Gloves need to be warm, and they need to retain warmth when wet from sweat, rain, or anything else. Something like Thinsulate, Primaloft, or treated goose down is needed to added low bulk warmth to late season gloves. Check out my podcast episode on Making Sense of Insulation for Hunting Gear to get more info.
  4. Versatility. They make some amazing beaver skin mittens that work great down to -50 degrees, but you can’t pull a trigger with them on or grab a call. Quality hunting gloves need to be versatile, enabling you to do all the things that hunting requires without having to take them off. Glomitts provide the best of both worlds because you can have the extra warm of mitts with the finger function of gloves at a moment’s notice.
  5. Quiet. If moving your hands to shoot makes enough noise to spook your target, then your gloves become a liability. Completely silence is a bit much to ask if you need wind resistance, but the gloves have to quiet enough to archery hunt with.
  6. Durability. Great performance and value do not matter if your gloves do not make it through a season. Quality hand ware has to perform at peak level for years under average conditions to be worth any investment.
  7. Hand warmer Compatibility. No gloves can keep you warm all day long while sitting motionless in blistering cold alone. Using hand warmer packs for the coldest days is a must, and the perfect gloves will enable those to be included one way or another. Glove mitts are perfect for this, the mitt flap is the best place ever to slide some HotHands.
  8. Layering Options. Ideal late season gloves will give the option to wear a pair of liner gloves underneath to add even more warmth for the coldest days. Gomitts are great for this as long as you get the proper size, this way your fingers are always covered with something, and the rest of your hand can be extra toasty. For more check out my video 7 Tips to Stay Warm on Super Cold Hunts.
  9. Price. There are no two ways about it, price matters. The best gloves on earth are of no use if they are not affordable. But then there is also a difference between affordable and practical. Given enough time I could save enough money to buy almost any glove, but does the cost justify the price? Or is it more practical to get something cheaper that is almost as good. That is where these glomitts shine brightly.

How the GORE-TEX Wind Stopper Glomitts Compare

After doing all of my research of all the top gloves on the market through the lens of these 9 core features I ended up with three finalists.

My final conclusion was that the Sitka Flip Mitts were indeed best in almost every way, but only a little better than the others. For the price, they were not 3x better than the Cabela’s.  I judged the First Lite Trigger Mitts as the warmest, but they lacked dexterity, and the trigger finger was just too bulky for my comfort and shooting preferences. Using game calls and operating zippers wouldn’t be practical and they had a hefty price tag as well.

The Cabela’s Glomitts made the top 3 list and were very close in the running with the others. The fact that they were so good and are only $50 made the final decision easy. Are they the best cold weather hunting gloves on the market? No. But they are the best gloves for the money, for me at least. 

Functionally speaking, I personally could not justify paying 300% more for gloves that were only a little better than the Cabela’s at my current budget level. I was impressed with these Cabela’s Glomitts and their modest price tag so I bought them with my own money, but how would they perform in the field?


The GORE-TEX Winstopper Glomitts are part of Cabela’s highest line of cold weather gloves. They are the complementing handware for the Cabelas MT050 Whitetail Extreme GORE-TEX Parka & Bibs, you can see my review on those as well. 

  • Polyester shell with premium leather palms and thumb overlays for better grip
  • Water resistant but breathable material
  • Adjustable wrist webbing with tension lock on the back
  • Soft, smooth, brushed-tricot lining enhances comfort and ensures easy on/off
  • Machine washable
  • Two camouflage patterns to choose from
  • 100% windproof, water-resistant GORE-TEX INFINIUM WINDSTOPPER fabric
  • Zoned Thinsulate Insulation: 160-gram on palms, 320-gram on back of hands
  • The warmth of mittens and the dexterity of gloves
  • Half-finger construction with foldover hood and thumbs

My Field Experience

I have used the Cabela’s Glomitts for hunting deer, turkey, ducks, geese, and more over several seasons. I have used them in wind, rain, and snow. I have machine washed and dried them many times. In terms of wear and tear they look only moderately used. In terms of function, they are still perfect. I would recommend ordering perhaps a size larger than you typically wear so you have room for liner gloves underneath.  

These gloves have done everything I wanted them to do and under all conditions. Are they perfect? No. When it rains water eventually gets into the openings as you might expect. When the sits are long and cold, I need to use heating packs to make it through the day, and every now and then I struggle to get the mitt open in time to get a shot at a fast-passing bird. They aren’t magic. They are just great performing cold weather gloves at a price point that I am happy to pay.

I will vouch though and say that when it’s bitter cold and windy I will use a liner glove and a heat pack in the mitt, and these things perform amazingly well. They are leaps and bounds better than anything I had used for years prior. Also check out my podcast episode on Everything You Need To Know About Hand Warmers.

Pros & Cons


  • Very warm
  • Wind proof
  • Water resistant
  • Looks great
  • Covers your wrist and forearm 
  • Easy to flip open with one hand
  • Nice and quiet
  • Very comfortable
  • Cost effective


  • Leaks a little for obvious reasons
  • The flap on the glomitt does not secure that easily, a magnet would have been better
  • They come well fitted, order a size bigger to fit a liner glove

Final Analysis

I was very happy this purchase, and very happy that these gloves continue to perform season after season. Not everyone loves glove/mitt style hand ware. If you don’t then you don’t. But I think the Cabela’s GORE-TEX Windstopper Glomitts are a piece of gear that every new and experienced hunter alike should have. These things perform very well and nothing I have found yet can compare with them for $50.

Be sure to listen to The New Hunters Guide Podcast, and check us out on YouTube

Till next time. God bless you, and go get em in the woods!

George Konetes Ph.D. – Founder and Host of the New Hunters Guide.

The New Hunters Guide is simply what George wishes he would have had when learning how to hunt; a single place to get practical hands on knowledge about different kinds of hunting, gear, strategy, and tips that can improve your comfort and fun factor in the woods.

September can be the best month to hunt deer, depending on your land and preferences. On this episode I talk about why you would want to hunt the early archery season and how to do it effectively.

Reasons to hunt the earliest part of the season:

  • The deer have not yet been pressured; they are in their most natural habits.
  • It is warmer, so you need less gear and less budget.
  • Ground hunting is more feasible due to more available cover, which can be a cheaper way to hunt.
  • Deer are more active during the day because there is more daylight and fewer dark hours.
  • You can get into the woods after work and still have daylight to hunt.
  • Deer are likely to have not shifted to their fall and winter patterns yet, so summer scouting can pay off immediately.
  • Bucks are often still traveling in bachelor groups, multiplying potential opportunities.
  • No deer have been shot yet, giving you a chance at every buck alive that season.
  • You can tag out early to make time for hunting other things later in the season.

Listen to the episode to hear about HOW you can hunt effectively in September.


First Lite’s Furnace EXP 350 merino wool base layers may be the best available next to skin layer for hunting everything from deer to waterfowl on the market when it is super cold. That said, they are not magic. But they do the job about as well it can be done. I bought the Furnace Henley, Furnace Long Johns, and Furnace Beanie with my own money to hunt with. I proceeded to do more than hunt with them, I also lab tested them at 5 degrees Fahrenheit dry and wet to see if they could live up to the marketing. 

Why Spend The Money?

I had long wanted to get the Furnace 350 base layers for hunting whitetail deer but it was duck hunting that actually gave me the needed push to spend the money and buy them. I would get cold while deer hunting with the cheaper less effective layers I was using, but it rarely seemed like a big enough deal. But with waterfowl hunting we would drag our gear into the woods and build a blind. By the time I sat down I was exhausted and soaking wet. Within a few hours I might get dangerously cold. I not only needed something warmer, I need something that kept me toasty when wet. Enter merino wool.

The Basics of Merino Wool

Merino wool comes from the merino sheep, it is unique because it has finer fibers than most wool. This enables you to have more wool with less volume and less itch. So, the gear is more compact and can be comfortably used next to skin. An ounce of merino wool takes up less space than an ounce of regular wool and keeps you just as warm. Perhaps just as important, those shorter fibers wick moisture away from your body so they evaporate and dry quicker than regular wool. And just like regular wool, merino minimizes odor, retains the majority of its insulating ability when wet, and is very durable. Listen to my podcast episode on Hunting Gear Insulation to go deeper or watch my video: What Is Merino Wool? Is It REALLY Better Than Regular Wool?

Why The Furnace 350?

Lots of companies make great late season heavy base layers, like Sitka Gear, Cabela’s, Ice Breaker, and many more. I investigated and even tested several other options, but I settled on the First Lite Furnace because it was essentially solid merino wool, they have a great reputation, and it was super heavy duty. All the other great base layers have their place, but for me on days so cold that your game is frozen solid by the time you get it home, the Furnace felt like the best match.

Furnace Features

First and foremost, the Furnace pieces are thick. They use First Lite’s Merino-X 350g EXP weight fabric, which essentially means there is 350 grams of merino wool per square meter of fabric. That equates to the Henley being over one pound in weight and the Long John being just under a pound. That is kind of mind boggling that a base layer shirt could weigh a pound, but that is the best pound you can wear in the cold.

Henley Features

    • True to size: Purchase your normal size to wear over or under other layers
    • 5 micron, superfine, merino wool
    • 95% merino / 5% spandex
    • Expedition weight, fleeced Merino fabric for extreme cold
    • Snap closure, quarter length Henley collar
    • Modified raglan sleeve moves seams out from under backpack shoulder straps
    • Ergonomic cuff with thumb loops
    • Flatlock seams
    • Machine wash, line dry

Long John Features

    • True to size: Purchase your normal size to wear over or under other layers
    • 5 micron, superfine merino wool
    • 95% merino / 5% spandex
    • Expedition weight, fleeced Merino fabric for extreme cold
    • Full length
    • Jacquard waistband
    • Fully functional fly
    • Flatlock seams

Henley Overview

The Henley is very nicely put together. It does not look or feel like long underwear, in fact I have worn it to the office as a long sleeve shirt on really cold days (I got the gray one pictured at the top of this post). It looks really nice and can pass as a quality three button winter shirt. I was not too hot either, which is another one of the strengths of Merino wool, it helps regulate temperature. Think about how God made these sheep, the same wool needs to keep them warm on super cold days but not overheat them on warm days. It works just like that for us. Full discloser, my Henley came with a broken snap. I contacted First Lite and they gave me a return label and I had the old one sent back with a new one in hand very quickly, no out of pocket cost. The Furnace is also available in a quarter zip.

Long Johns Overview

I am very picky about Long Johns because I want a lot of warmth, but I do NOT want them to inhibit my movement at all, especially around the knees. I was impressed at how good the Furnace did in this area, they are very thick and fit snug, but they create very minimal tension around my knees, and I have very good range of movement. The pro here is that I can get away with fewer layers on active hunts so in the end I have less bulk because I am wearing these. Merino also shines extra bright when used to make pants because often your seat gets wet when you sit down, and these keep you warmer and dry faster.

Beanie Overview

Unfortunately, I am not able to sing the praises of the beanie the same way I can the other pieces. The marketing for the beanie lead me to believe that this was First Lite’s heavy duty cold weather head gear option. And it is not that, not even close. The beanie functionally serves as a 350 merino base layer for your head. If you wear this under your heavy duty wind proof head gear then you will be super warm. But wearing this alone is just like wearing the Long John alone, you need other layers over it. The beanie works great as a stand-alone piece in the early hunting season or during spring turkey season, but it does nothing to stop the wind or weather on cold late season days. It is a great Merino wool layering beanie for the late season, use it for that purpose and you will not be disappointed. I also did a full video review of the First Lite Tundra Balaclava, that is a serious piece of head warming gear there.

My Experience In The Field

This again is where I need to reiterate that the Furnace base layers are not magical. They work great in the field. They are the warmest thing I’ve ever put on, but to get the most out of them you need to combine them with other good layers like a good pair of hunting bibs. I also did a podcast episode on the technical qualities that make a good pair of bibs and outerwear in general. You need to have something wind resistant, or the wind is going to make you cold. You need layers that breathe, or you will end up wet. You need to be mindful of how you are hunting, you likely do not want to wear these on warm days on long hiking hunts. That said, they did everything I wanted them to do. The Furnace performed very well. I used them on snowy days, on 8 degree duck hunts, and more. They are excellent.

My Lab Tasting

It is easy to subjectively say these performed great in the field, but I wanted more than that, especially for the price tag. So I did some testing. In one test I pulled together all of the best base layers I could put my hands on, took them out on a 5 degree morning and did an experiment. I filled paper travel coffee mugs with boiling water, wrapped one with each base layer, place the wrapped mugs and placed them inside of a plastic bag to act as a barrier layer and then came back in an hour to see which base layer kept the water the warmest.

I calculated the data and then repeated the test after soaking each layer in a bucket of water to see how they would perform when wet. You can watch the video below to see the full test. In both the wet and the dry test, the First Lite Furnace beat all of the competition.

Pros, Cons, and Care Tips


  • Super warm
  • Odor resistant
  • Wicks moister away
  • Dries fast
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Helps minimize over heating
  • Not overly bulky
  • Flame resistant


  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Care Tips

Merino wool is a natural material, and it can still contain traces of natural oils left in it which can cause a strange smell when wet. My Long John had no odor whatsoever, it was perfect. My Henley however had a very strange smell when it got wet then it went away when it dried. This faded with washing and use, after 5 or 6 washes I stopped noticing it.  You can machine wash them but do not put them in the drier, you risk shrinking them. I just hang them up somewhere warm with good ventilation and they dry very fast. You should definitely wash your Merino wool gear, it gets dirty and gross after wearing just like anything else, it just takes a little longer to stink.


I am a big fan of Furnace layers, and I heartily recommend them to anyone in the market for high end layers to hunt in extreme cold. You would be hard pressed to find better gear. Check out the Amazon reviews for even more input on the First Lite Furnace Henley and the First Lite Furnace Long John.

Be sure to listen to The New Hunters Guide Podcast, and check us out on YouTube

Till next time. God bless you, and go get em in the woods!

George Konetes Ph.D. – Founder and Host of the New Hunters Guide.

The New Hunters Guide is simply what George wishes he would have had when learning how to hunt; a single place to get practical hands on knowledge about different kinds of hunting, gear, strategy, and tips that can improve your comfort and fun factor in the woods.

Shot placement is part of a deer hunter’s choice and preference to a large degree, but there are shots that are definitely more effective than others, and more ethical. On this episode I talk about not just where you can shoot a deer, but where you should in order to minimize suffering and have a quick, clean, easily recoverable kill.

Here are 6 of the different shot placement philosophies:

  1. Meat Hunter: Attempts to save as much meat as possible by shooting the deer in the head or neck.
  2. Opportunist: Will shoot at any vital area presented to take the deer home at any cost.
  3. Sketchy Hunter: Will shoot at any brown fur they see, and likely to take few deer home. This is also largely unsafe on often illegal.
  4. Heart Shooter: Aims for the heart to the kill the deer as quickly and painlessly as possible while preservice the head and neck.
  5. Traditionalist: Attempts to shoot through the largest vital area, both lungs, to produce the most consistent kills.
  6. Disabler: Tries to shoot through both shoulders so the deer is unable to run to escape.

Listen to the episode to hear the pros and cons for each shot style and which are the most effective and most ethical.

Duck hunting is a gear intensive sport and getting that gear to the field is a hurdle that every hunter needs to navigate. On this episode I talk about 5 different levels of gear and the main options for getting your equipment into the field for each. I also highlight different ways of hunting and moving gear which should help inform new and experienced hunters alike. 

  1. Extra Heavy Gear Hunting – Gear at this level either needs left in the field or brought in by vehicle, it is beyond what the hunters can bring into the woods under their own power. When you see hundreds of duck decoys, or large goose spreads, this is the only option.
  2. Heavy Gear Hunting – This is the upper range of what individuals can somehow lug to their hunting spot. Often they are using multiple jet sleds, farm carts, or boats to get it in.
  3. Medium Gear Hunting – What the average hunter is able to bring into the wood solo, or what a group can bring in without great effort. The is what most hunters are doing. This often involves what can practically be taken in on a single sled or cart. 
  4. Light Gear Hunting – What the average hunter can carry on their back without any mechanical aid. This usually consists 6-12 decoys and only the bare essentials. You would most often hunt this way if you have to cover a lot of ground, 
  5. Little to No Gear Hunting – This is for hunting on foot, moving throughout the day, usually with 0-2 decoys. This will enable you to go deep into the woods and access locations you could not get to laden down with gear. 

Most Common Tools Used

  • Jet Sled – These are heavy duty, super durable sleds designed for farm work and other rigorous activities. They can be used to drag or float hundreds of pounds of gear across just about anything at any time of year. 
  • Farm Cart – These wide wheelbase carts can make it possible to transport excessive weight with ease, as long as it is across relatively even surfaces. 
  • Open Top Kayak – Almost nothing is going to be easier than paddling into a location and floating your heavy gear in, provided of course you have the water, locations, vehicles, and equipment needed to make this option work. 

Listen to the episode to hear the options for bringing the gear for each level into the woods.

If ever there was a deep and confusing quagmire in the world of hunting, it is waterfowl hunting marketing. You have conflicting, inaccurate, deceptive, and at times even illogical claims all trying to get your attention or get you to pay more. On this episode I help you cut through the clutter of all the marketing hype so you can make informed decisions about what you really should by and what is worth paying for.

Links mentioned in the show:

In this podcast episode I cover several of the big areas of waterfowl hunting marketing such as:

Waterfowl hunting ammunition – This may be the most deceptive and confusing marketing in all of the hunting world. But with a few pointers you can learn to identify what elements of the ammo have value and what is hype.

Waterfowl hunting shotguns – It seems like duck hunting shotguns are very specialized and expensive. But what really makes a gun a waterfowl gun? Surprisingly little. Learn to discern what matters and what doesn’t.

Hunting waders – I think waders are the single most disappointing part of the waterfowl industry. They are almost all bad. And by bad I mean they fail, come apart, are easily shredded to pieces, the seams fail, the boots are terrible, the insulation is cheaply only placed around part of the foot and they never seem to last more than a season or two. What is worse, they come packed with bells and whistles that raise the price but amount to nothing once the waders leak. But you can find good waders out there if you know what to look for and what to ignore.

Hunting clothing – The cost of hunting clothing can be through the roof. And while at times there seems no way to justify the price, the marketing is relatively truthful. There are reasons garments cost what they do. Some education can help you identify what matters to you and what is worth paying for your hunting style.

Layout and A-Frame blinds – The marketers want you to think that dropping a few hundred dollars on a new blind setup will make all the difference in the world. The truth is, sometimes they can help in some situations. But rarely is this your weakest link. Most hunters would be further ahead by spending this money on practice by shooting sporting clays.

Duck and goose calls – The sky is the limit on the cost and complexity of waterfowl calls, and every call promises to make the difference and bring ducks right to your feet. You do need calls. More than one is helpful. But knowing when to part with your money is critical. Most of the time a new call is not going to change much of anything, unless you know exactly what it will add to you, and only experience can judge that effectively. As mentioned in the show, here is the link Ryloh Game Calls.

Listen to the episode to find out how to navigate the duck hunting marketing!

Learning is the most valuable thing we take away from each hunting season. And learning from someone else’s mistakes can be a great way to keep from making your own. On this episode I talk about the number 1 thing I learned during duck season last year.

Most people want to believe that every shot they take instantly kills the bird they are shooting at. Ammo companies make it their business to get people to believe that. But the truth is that this just does not always happen.

Never assume a bird is dead until you have it in hand and can confirm its condition. Always make it a point to immediately collect birds that you down. Do not wait, do not delay, do not take your eyes off of the bird. Get it and get it now. Make sure it’s dead and not suffering, and make sure the bird is not lost.

Listen to the episode for all the insights, stories, and more.