Show Notes:

What you eat and drink matters a lot for hunting, and so does when you eat and drink it. On this episode I talk about what I have learned to be the best eating and drinking habits prior to hunting and even while you are in the woods.

Take Aways:

  • Nothing is more important than knowing how different foods effect your body.
  • If dairy causes you problems, don’t eat it before going hunting.
  • If bacon or sausage will put you in the bathroom before the end of the morning, don’t eat it before hunting!
  • The type of hunting matters a lot. Sitting requires less food and drinking, and the downside of eating and drinking is larger.
  • Moving and hunting requires more of both, and there is much less if any downside to eating and drinking if you are moving a lot.
  • Few things are as disruptive when hunting than getting up to go to the bathroom or unwrapping a few granola bars.
  • Everything about your eating and drinking strategy should be focused on making you a more effective hunter.
  • You want to maximize comfort and stealth in the field. 
  • If you are hunting in a hard walled blind from 200 yards then you can get away with a lot more than someone hunting game within 50 yards of a tree strand.

Show Notes:

Are AR style rifles good for hunting? Should you hunt with one? Should new hunters use one? This is a hotly debated topic where opinions tend to overshadow facts. On this episode I talk about the pros and the cons without ranting or raving about either position.

Take Aways:

  • I cover both AR-15 rifles and AR-10 rifles because they are the most common.
  • I am familiar with the term “modern sporting rifle” but I’ve opted not to use it in this episode. It is not because I dislike the term but only a percentage of listeners would be familiar with it, so I’ve gone with the more familiar terms. No hate mail please.
  • Are there good reasons to hunt with an AR? Yes.
  • Are there good reason not to hunt with an AR? Yes.
  • Should you hunt with one? Maybe. You need to examine the pros and cons and YOUR situation to answer that question for yourself.
  • The answer an experienced hunter comes to and the answer a beginner comes to may be different however.
  • This episode is not politically motivated or charged. It is motivated by a hunter who wants to help other hunters navigate these questions logically and responsibly.
  • An AR-15 can be used effectively for coyotes, foxes, raccoons, woodchucks, and other small to mid size game, even turkeys with the right load.
  • AR-15s can be used to hunt deer under certain conditions I discuss in this episode but an AR-10 would be a better choice for hunting deer, elk, moose, and other large game.
  • I did not cover recoil in this episode. Mostly because I forgot, but also because it is not that big of a variable for most people. I have a bolt action 223 WIN that has less recoil than most AR-15 rifles that I’ve shot. It is really a non issue until you get to AR-10 platform.
    • In this case, the AR-10 would typically have a little less recoil than a manual action 308 WIN rifle of the same weight. But since most AR-10’s tend to weigh more than a conventional bolt action rife, the felt recoil is even more significantly reduced.
    • This is a benefit to those who are small framed, injured, or physically disabled in a way that they could not comfortably fire a traditional rifle due to recoil but could use an AR-10.
    • Reduced recoil could be a reason someone opts to use an AR-15 for deer hunting.

Show Notes:

All animals are edible, but not all animals are tasty or healthy. On today’s episode I help new hunters navigate what common game animals are best to eat, which ones are questionable, and which to avoid.

Take Aways:

Almost anything can be palatable if cooked right, and somethings that are very unhealthy can be tasty. So the below classifications take both health and taste into consideration, it is not just a list of the things I like and don’t like. 

  • Best To Eat: Dear, Elk, Moose, Turkey, Pheasants, Grouse, Doves, Quail, Ducks, Geese, Sheep/Rams/Goats
  • Worth Considering: Squirrel, Rabbit, Wild Boar
  • What To Avoid: Crows, Foxes, Coyotes, Raccoons, Beavers, Muskrats, Martins, Fishers, Opossum’s, Woodchucks, Bob Cats, Bears, Porcupines and essentially anything that is a predator or a scavenger.

In the end, do your own research about health, and your own taste testing so you can come to your own conclusions. These recommendations are just a guide to help new hunters get started.

Show Notes:

The number one thing I have seen turn off new or potential hunters is them being pushed or made to feel like they need to hunt in some hardcore way to be successful or accepted. On today’s episode I shine the spotlight on this false, pride driven, and empty nonsense. And no, I’m not mincing any words! 

Take Aways:

  • You should hunt as often as you want, as long as you want, and the way you want in order to get the most enjoyment from the sport.
  • There is no wrong way to hunt unless it negatively impacts other hunters.
  • Hunting longer, harder, and more often does not make you a better person, and does not make you better than anyone else. It adds nothing to you except fun and experience. 
  • Most people who talk about how hardcore they are, are just blowing smoke, they are exaggerating, lying, or just plain trying to make themselves look good.
  • Those who really do hunt hardcore and still talk a big talk are just full of pride, and trying to make themselves sound impressive.
  • Much hardcore hunting is misguided, not strategic, and rather clumsily planned. You can often get better results by hunting smarter and easier.
  • Maybe 1 in 100 new hunters are interested in hardcore hunting, which means you will prevent 99% of new hunters from ever starting by running your mouth.
  • Do what you enjoy because you enjoy it. If you want to hunt harder then do it because you want to. Don’t let anyone else’s expectations, talk, or pride push you around.
  • New hunters need something that appeals to them, something to make them want to hunt. Don’t try to lift them up to your level, find out where they are and help them there.

 

Show Notes:

A backpack is one of the most important pieces of hunting gear you can buy, you will likely use it hunting all different types of game, with all different types of clothing, firearms, and footwear. A good pack can literally last half a lifetime and go with you many more places than just the woods. On today’s episode I talk about what are the top five things to look for in a good hunting backpack

Take Aways:

  1. Concealment. A good backpack must have reasonable concealment. It should be some combination of camouflage, black, brown, or tan. It needs to blend into the woods well during all seasons and not be something that ever gives you away.
  2. Compartments. The right hunting pack for you should fit your style with the right number and size of compartments. I recommend simple and easy, the fewer pockets you have, the fewer you have to search through in a tree, in the dark, or when every sound and movement matters. But make sure you have a place to easily access a water bottle.
  3. Comfort. The best backpack for you is one you can wear all day. It shouldn’t be too big or too heavy. It should have good padding on the straps and against your back. And there should be strap adjustments as well.
  4. Waterproofing. Ideally your pack will be water resistant or water proof. If it’s not, you need to have a water proof backup plan. I keep a big plastic garbage bag inside mine that I can quickly put the pack inside of when needed.
  5. Cost. When it comes to hunting packs, the sky is the limit for price. But you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for a quality pack. The pack that fits you best may not even be a name brand. Set yourself a budget you are comfortable with and find the pack that best meets the above criteria for you. 

Show Notes:

If you spend more than an hour in the woods, there is a good chance you will need a bathroom break. What you are hunting determines the best tactics for relieving yourself. On today’s episode I talk about how and when to use the restroom with the least chance of disrupting your hunt.

Take Aways:

  • Contrary to popular belief, deer are not put off by the scent you leave from relieving yourself, in fact they may find it curious. You are more likely to spook a deer by being seen or heard. So the best option is to go right from your tree stand if possible with minimal movement or noise.
  • Turkeys and most birds can’t really smell, so movement and sound are the only things to concern yourself with.
  • Small game gives you maybe the most flexibility, most of these game animals don’t care much.
  • Predators do care, and you have to play the wind. If the wind is on your side then you have minimal risk using the restroom, if the wind is against you then it can ruin your hunt.  
  • The rule of thumb is anytime you are going to leave an area, use the bathroom then, as opposed to whenever you come into a fresh area.

Show Notes:

When it comes to hunting, there is a ditch on either side of the road. On one side people cannot find enough time to hunt. On the other side, people get out of control and hunt so much that it hurts their family or job. On today’s episode I talk about how to balance hunting and life, and that includes how to make time to hunt as well as set up guardrails for yourself. 

Take Aways:

  • Schedule time off for hunting each year, plan how many days and in what seasons, this will make sure you do it.
  • Schedule a Saturday every month for hunting. Some months this means going into the woods to hunt, other months it means target practice and scouting.
  • Use more of your time off for your family than for hunting.  Make it a point to never let this balance shift towards hunting and away from family.
  • Always schedule and talk about hunting in advance, never be a no show at work.
  • Always be willing to blow off a planned hunting day for something that is more important. Never blow off something more important for hunting.
  • Put first things first, honor what is most important, and you will earn the respect and flexibility you need to hunt.

 

Show Notes:

Hunting is a rich, fulfilling sport. But unlike many sports, it is not as easy to tell who is good at it and who isn’t. This has given rise to a discouraging “everyone is a master in their own mind” mentality that far to many hunters share, from beginners to veterans.  On this episode, we talk about how to navigate that attitude in order to fully enjoy the sport without being subject to the opinions and judgements of others. It might not sound like a big deal, but this episode could be the difference between many newer hunters falling in love with the sport or leaving it discouraged.

Take Aways:

  • Every year people quit the sport or never start because of the pressure, attitudes, or superiority complex of other hunters.  This is crazy.
  • Getting a big buck, a long beard turkey, or an elk are all great pursuits. But taking a little buck, a doe, or even a squirrel can be just as fun, and sometimes more challenging. 
  • Hunting is about fun, it is not a competition, and no one has a right to shame anyone. The only person you can honestly compete with is yourself.
  • Just because someone says or lets on that they are a master means nothing. You would be surprised to know how many self proclaimed masters have never even taken the game they claim to be experts on.
  • Experience is valuable, pride is valueless. 
  • Every way of a man is right in his own eyes – Proverbs 21:2.
  • Expect people to tell you their way is the right way, whether it’s even worked for them or not. Listen to them, but then make your own decision.
  • But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise – 2 Corinthians 10:12.
  • Someone who thinks they are a more skilled hunter or a better person because they took a larger buck than you is plain foolishness. It means nothing, don’t even listen to it.
  • Plenty of successful hunters are miserable bitter people. The only thing they enjoy about taking a trophy is boasting about it. Those types of people are not really successful. If you take a trophy without having fun you are a failure. If you hunt and come back empty handed but had fun, then you are truly successful. 
  • If a person, or a forum, or a magazine put pressure and expectations on you and discourage you then walk away from that. Don’t allow it into your ears. People weave their own realities out of the opinions they surround themselves with. 
  • The best hunters, and the best teachers tend to be the humblest men and women. 
  • Pursue what is fun for you, and seek the company of people who enjoy the sport.
  • Get into the woods and enjoy being there, that means more than anything else!

Show Notes:

I think many hunters have not discovered their favorite kind of hunting. Some have hunted for years and years and still not found what they enjoy most. They like hunting and they enjoy the game they pursue, but they have never ventured to hunt anything different and they do not realize there are other things that may be more enjoyable than what they are doing. On this episode we talk about making it a point to hunt something new this year, and finding a new exciting thing to do outside.

Take Aways:

  • Either think about a type of hunting you have always wanted to try or pick something you have never thought of before that is present in your state.
  • Pick a type of hunting that seems like it could be fun to go after.
  • Success is measured in the fun you have thinking about hunting, planning for the hunt, and walking through the woods. Taking game or not taking game cannot make you successful. If you take an animal and did not enjoy the hunt, you still did not succeed. 
  • Not every type of game requires a big investment to pursue, or at least to try. If funds are tight then pick something you already have the gear for, or that only requires a few small things.
  • Here are some less sought after game animals that are common, fun to hunt, have long seasons and can be pursued without a big investment: crows, woodchucks, coyotes, and doves. I would only recommend eating the doves though.
  • Decide that you are going to try something new even if no one is willing to go with you the first time. Don’t put your path in the hands of others. Be a leader. Chances are in time people will follow, especially if you are having fun.
  • There are many people in other countries that have never tasted the freedom we have to hunt. Don’t take that freedom for granted, use it and use it well.

Show Notes:

No hunter should ever walk into the woods without a flashlight, even if you do not intend to be outside past dark.  The ability to see is paramount, and the ability to signal for help may be even more important. That said, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on flashlights, but depending on what you are hunting there are some basics that you should always have with you. On this episode we cover the highlights about what new hunters should know about flashlights.

Take Aways:

Hunting Flashlights

  • If you are hunting predators, hogs, or anything else at night, make sure you have a light that will shine at least 100-200 yards further than the longest shot you plan to take. You need to identify game coming in before it’s time to shoot.
  • Red and green lights are much less obtrusive to just about all animals at night, Red is the best for predators, and there is arguments on both sides about which is best for everything else.
  • If you want a red light, get a light with a red LED. Do NOT get a white light with a red filter, you will loose a huge amount of your brightness and distance.
  • Here is the Sniper Hog light package mentioned on the show.

Work Flashlights

  • You need a good handheld light, it does not have to be very bright or have special features, it just needs to be reliable.
  • A headlamp light is absolutely critical for field dressing game, and it is inexpensive. Always have one in your pack.
  • An LED popup lantern is very helpful, as is a light that can be hung from a branch.
  • But be mindful of the balance between space in your pack and how far you will be from help or other lights when you consider what to take.

Search Flashlights

  • Search lights should be as bright, powerful, and long lasting as is practical. These are flood lights.
  • If you plan to hunt anything you might need to track, you need to have a search light.
  • It can be good to invest in a higher end light with multiple brightness settings that can double as a work light and a search light.