When you hunt the coldest days of the year, half of the hunt is battling the elements, and that is a battle you can win with the right gear and preparation. You do not always need to spend big money on top brand gear either, the biggest thing you can do is follow proven principles. On this episode I talk about the strategies and gear you need to hunt the coldest days of the late season.

Here are some of the resources mentioned in this episode:

When it comes to comfort, acclimating to the cold is an important step that can be easily overlooked. The more time you spend outside in cold weather the more used to it you will become and the more comfortably you will be able to hunt in cold weather. That does not mean your body is better able to withstand the cold, it simply means you no longer need to be in 70-degree temperatures to feel comfortable.

Cold weather gear should consist of two main things, layers and barriers. Layers keep the warmth close to your body, and barriers keep the elements out that would plunder that warmth. You cannot have one or the other in the late season, you must have both. That does not mean you must have the most expensive gear on the market to keep warm, there are many reasonably priced layer and barrier options.  They may not use GORE-TEX or Primaloft but they will do the job almost as well and for a fraction of the cost.

There are some high-end brands that make some tremendous late season hunting gear like First Lite, Sitka, Cabela’s, and many more. But you can get much of the same benefit for a fraction of the cost if you understand what you are looking for in gear and piece together what you need from more modest brands. Don’t let the marketing hype fool you, you can stay warm by wearing almost anything if you understand how to use layers and barriers and pick your materials wisely. It might take more time, research, and knowledge, but you can build late season gear affordably. 

The same layer and barrier philosophy needs to be applied for every piece of gear, not just your parka and bibs. Boots, hats, gloves, facemasks, and everything else should work to keep the warmth in and the elements out. Addition items can be very helpful like hand warmers, body warmers, or even heated vests, socks, and coats. 

Listen to the podcast episode for all of the information.

 

Perhaps no other single person in history has done more to advance firearms technology than John Moses Browning. His innovations laid the groundwork for almost all hunting firearms in use today, and many military firearms as well. On this episode I talk about his patriotic contribution to the world of hunting.

Before there were semi-auto rifles and shotguns, before there were pump actions, lever actions, and so on, John Moses Browning invented the comprehensive mechanism breech loading single shot rifle. No one had seen anything like it, it earned him a visit from the top brass at Winchester who came to buy the patent rights for an astronomical sum of money in those days and started a long and fruitful relationship.

Not only did John invent a masterful way to operate a single shot rifle, but he also pioneered the repeating rifle, invented the pump action shotgun, went on to invent the automatic shotgun, created the automatic pistol from thin air, and would go on to invent the machine gun.

Almost every hunter does or has carried a gun into the field that John Moses Browning invented or influenced, even though almost none of his firearms were sold under his name. He invented guns like Winchester Model 94 in 30-30, the Browning Auto-5, the Colt 1911, the BAR, the M1 and M2 Machine guns, so much more. Some 120 patents were credited to his name, many of which were built into innovative firearms that changed the course of hunting, and the world.

Listen to the episode to hear more.

To learn more, this book is an excellent read:

Has a myth ever hindered you? The truth can lift burdens and bring freedom. On this episode I debunk 7 hunting myths that make it hard for people to start hunting or to pursue new types of game.

Hunting myths can mostly be broken down into two main categories, internal and external. 

Internal Hunting Myths

  • These are things you believe about yourself.
  • Things no one told you.
  • They may be started or perpetuated by a bad experience or observation.
  • You never questioned them because they seemed to always there.
  • Now is the time to question things!

External Hunting Myths

  • These are things someone else told you were true.
  • They are based on tradition, folklore, experiences, and something basically nothing.
  • Things are said enough times and over enough generations that people assume they are true.
  • You never thought to question these things because you never had a reason.
  • This is the time to start questioning!

Listen to the episode to hear the 7 myths that bog down new hunters.

Show Notes:

Up until recently every hunter using a firearm had to make a decision with every hunt. Do they protect their future or relish the present? Tetra Hearing has changed the game for all hunters when it comes to saving their hearing and enjoying every precious sound of every hunt and game species. Whether you are hunting ducks, geese, turkeys, deer, pheasants, grouse, crows, doves, elk, or anything else the Tetra AlphaShield & Multi-Pursuit hearing devices can not only save your hearing but help you hear better and hunt better.  I make no commissions on this product and there are no affiliate links. These are my own opinions and this my very own detailed and passionate review.  This may be the most important podcast episode I have ever done. Please listen to this episode.

Pros:

  • Allows you to hear everything around you with crisp clarity.
  • Audio quality is exceptional, no static, hum, ambient sounds, distractions, etc.
  • Can be custom tuned to your actual personal hearing levels for each ear.
  • Instantly blocks out the sound of gun fire and loud calling to protect your hearing.
    • These are designed to both stop the incremental hearing loss that comes from infrequent shooting with the average deer and turkey seasons as well as stop the accelerated hearing loss caused by high volume shooting seen in hunting waterfowl, pheasants, doves, crows, etc. 
  • Utilizes advanced audio processing technology to filter out various sounds you do not want to hear but more clearly capture subtle sounds you do want to hear.
  • Filters out the majority of wind noise.
  • Amplifies the unique sounds of the game animals you are hunting like turkey gobbles and yelps, duck quacks and wing beats, deer grunts and footfalls, pheasants flushing, and much more. 
  • Far better than anything I’ve seen on the market. In my mind they have no competitors, no one else offering similar products is even in their league. 
  • Fits snugly in your ear and will not fall out.
  • Works great while wearing a hat, beanie, whole head facemask, camo head shroud, etc.
  • Can be put on in seconds.
  • Reduces flinching causes by loud muzzle blast and may help some hunters shoot more accurately.
  • Uses long lasting disposable hearing aid batteries you can easily and inexpensively get in bulk.
  • Super simple to use, there is almost no way to do it wrong. Before long you can easily put them on in the dark without effort or thought.
  • Is sensitive enough to pick up the faintest whisper and the wing beats of ducks but instantly blocks out the roar of magnum shotgun shells.
  • Can be programmed for the game animals that you personally hunt.
  • Improves your hearing so well that even archery hunters may want to use them to hear game more clearly from further away.
  • Designed by ear doctors and hunters, does its job with outstanding excellence. 
    • It is as if they thought of every intricate detail but put it in a package with unexplainable simplicity. 
  • Utilizes high grade hearing aid technology meant to be used constantly, reliably, and without down time. 
  • Comes with 6 different size tips to accommodate different ear sizes.
  • Tetra has confirmed that people with Health Saving Accounts (HSA) can use those funds towards purchasing their products.

Cons:

  • They fit too tightly for my small ears at first. They felt acceptably snug after a few outings. But after a few half day hunts they fit comfortably enough that I would forget I was wearing them. I’d rather them fit perfectly from day one, but this is still preferred over being too loose.
    • Some people with small ears may not wear them enough to find out that their ears will adapt to them and they become comfortable over time.
  • Sounds weird indoors and around town. But they are meant to be used in the field and they do thrive in their intended environment.
  • The battery door feels a little delicate when open. Should be fine, but be careful to take it is easy when changing batteries. 
  • Price. No two ways about it, they are expensive. Costing as much as a firearm makes them a significant purchase. A very well worth it purchase, but not something most people can casually buy without saving up. 
    • They do go on sale occasionally. And Tetra has said they are working on sourcing more cost effective components to lower the prices.

Final Analysis: Every hunter using a firearm should get these, especially those hunting game requiring regular and frequent shooting like waterfowl, pheasants, doves, etc. If you are a new hunter it would be better to hunt another season or two with a less than thrilling firearm and buy these before upgrading your gun. Everyone should put these on their vision list and prioritize them as they are financially able. 

Learn more at www.TetraHearing.com

Show Notes:

You cannot always control what comes at you in life, but you can decide how you will react. On this episode I share about how hunting not only helped me to survive a year of pandemic, but it helped me to thrive, to come out better.

  • Often in life we find ourselves in a mess because of our own mistakes or choices. Sometimes we are in difficult places because of someone else’s mistakes and choices. And then there are times where our lives are impacted by factors beyond the control or negligence of ourselves or those around us. Those can be exceptionally hard times because we do not understand the reason or the solution. We feel powerless in the face of factors beyond our control. But we are NOT powerless.
  • We have complete control over how we respond, how we bounce back, how we focus our thoughts and our lives. We can be driven to internalize our frustrations and fears, we can let those emotions lash out at people or groups, or we can let those forces propel us on to something good. Maybe even something better.
  • COVID pushed me deeper into the woods, more into my family, and more into God’s beautiful creation. I didn’t like everything about the past year by any means, but I focused myself on things that were good. And that didn’t just help me to get through, I came through better in many ways. This has been a year of thriving for me. The good outweighed the bad, the fun outweighed the loss, the beauty outweighed the ugly, and the peace outweighed the turmoil.

No matter what comes next, you don’t have to defer your thriving. You can thrive in spite of what happens. You can have your best  year yet.

 

The New Hunters Guide Podcast has now expanded to video and has launched on YouTube! We are now not only able to reach more people but we can do more things and unique things with video that we could not do with audio alone. 

Please help us launch and grow the new YouTube channel buy subscribing, commenting, and liking videos! It all effects the YouTube algorithm and helps us reach more people.  You can find the new channel here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZjvticGCNP4ta-K2-CK_6A 

Show Notes:

From beginner to expert, the backpack is a staple piece of gear for almost all hunters. Picking the right backpack is very important because you will use it for almost every hunt in every season. It is an important decision but it doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. On this episode I talk about how to pick the right backpack and what to put inside it. 

Take Aways

  • Do not let other people, especially ones selling backpacks tell you what is important to you.
  • Start with something you already have or can get cheap, hunt with it, and let experience tell you what features matter to you.
  • More expensive does not always mean more useful for YOU. 
  • The features that often add cost are not always features that will benefit you or your hunting style.
  • The best backpack out there is the one that will do what YOU need it to do, reliably and consistently. And that usually amounts to something that will carry your stuff. 
  • Your pack does need to be comfortable, concealable, and rugged.
  • Bigger is not better, in fact often smaller is better for longer hunts.

 

Show Notes:

Navigating the woods in search of game is an involved pursuit. Navigating other hunters can further add to the difficulty of the sport. On this episode I talk about how to deal with other hunters to maximize both your chances of success and theirs.

Take Aways

  • The one big thing is that game is most often found where hunters are absent. If you are too close to other hunters then you can improve your odds by distancing yourself.
  • If you see other hunters from a distance, the best thing to do is often turn around and look for an area without other hunters.
  • If other hunters approach you, your best chance of success is often to withdraw and look for a place with less hunting pressure.
  • Parking lots are great places to chat with other hunters. Deep in the woods is not a great place for talking.
  • Always have a backup plan, and maybe more than one, incase the area you plan to hunt has too many other hunters around.
  • Often the best thing you can do is just go further into the woods than other hunters are willing to go.
  • If you suspect other hunters are in the area, be doubly cautious about using a firearm or getting downrange of someone else.
  • Listen to this episode for real examples, stories, and more precise advice. 

Show Notes:

Anything that is made can be made wrong. But much of the time people think their gun is a lemon, it is actually a situation that is caused by or can be fixed by the user. On this episode I talk about common issues that are mistaken for firearm defects and then what to do if you really get a gun that is a lemon.

Poor accuracy can be caused by a great many things such as:

  • Loose action screws
  • Loose scope mounts
  • Loose scope rings
  • Loose scopes
  • Poor scopes
  • Defective scopes
  • Poor ammo
  • Dirty ammo
  • Ammo that the gun doesn’t favor
  • Poor shooting position
  • A poor shooting rest
  • And many other things other than a defect

Failures to feed right can also be caused by lots of things:

  • Not cleaning a new gun before using it
  • Dirt or gunk building up in the gas system or the action
  • Too much oil in a gun
  • Underpowered ammo
  • Ammo that the gun doesn’t favor
  • Dirty ammo
  • Ammo that the gun is not setup for
  • A magazine that is not in all the way
  • Loose screws
  • A grip that isn’t firm enough
  • Shooting position that isn’t firm enough
  • And lots of other things

But there are still times when a firearm is truly defective and the solution is often easy. Return it to the manufacturer to be repaired or replaced. This is not that difficult to do or that expensive. If you have verified that none of the above issues are the cause of your problem and can document that on paper with your return, it helps make sure you are only sending the gun back for a real problem.

Most firearm manufactures will repair or replace guns that are truly defective without cost or question. No need to fret. You may also have the gun warrantied through the dealer your purchased it through, giving you two options to get it fixed.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about what to look for and what to do. 

 

Show Notes:

Every hunter will face opportunities to get discouraged with what seems like a poor hunt. But the very nature of hunting makes it a pursuit were success can happen in an unexpected instant. On this episode I talk about how quickly things can turn around and how you can take advantage of those unanticipated opportunities.

How to have more turn around moments:

  1. Always be ready – If you are not ready and able to take a shot within two seconds you may miss turn around moments.
  2. Pay careful attention – Whitetails, turkeys, and many other animals can appear unannounced, silent and seemingly from nowhere.
  3. Assume there is always a deer close by – Don’t get lax or sloppy because you assume no animals are around. Your quarry really could be feet away from you and you not realize it.
  4. Stay positive – You hunt better when you believe it matters. You can always have a good day in the woods, no matter what the animals do.
  5. Never give up – Everyone has a time they need to leave the woods but realize success can come even at the last minute you are out there.

Listen to the episode for more!