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What Are Some Ways to Successfully Call A Deer?

Have you ever been out in the woods hunting and just had no luck at all? Maybe you are wondering how to attract the big deer? You could be hunting in the perfect spot, wearing the perfect camouflage and using the right rifle or bow and still not see a deer the whole hunting trip.  If you were relying on luck to get that big deer to come to you, then chances are you could benefit from learning some basics on calling deer.

A successful deer call can convince deer in your vicinity that there is either a potential mate or, worse yet, a challenger to an alpha deer’s domain. Either way, using the proper deer call at the proper time can help ensure you get the deer you are after.

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Best Deer Hunting Rifle – Available On The Market Today

Whether it’s your first big hunt or you’re a seasoned veteran, there are few things more important than your rifle. Finding a deer-hunting rifle is easy, but finding the best deer-hunting rifle can be a challenge. As you do for any other tool, you want to carefully research each option before choosing the best rifle for the job. Each rifle is specifically designed for a particular purpose. Whether you are hunting big game on the open plain or chasing smaller animals through the woods, you’ll want the right gear for a safe, enjoyable and successful hunt. Here is a list of some of the best hunting rifles on the market today. It’s by no means all of the rifles available, and there are many great options that didn’t make this list. Look through the FAQs to better appreciate each of these finely crafted rifles, and get to know your gun and its safety features before going out on your next big hunt. If you want your rifle to last a lifetime, make sure to take proper care of your equipment.

FAQs

What Makes a Great Hunting Rifle?

There are several factors to consider when looking for the best deer-hunting rifle. Obviously you’ll want one with great build quality and thoughtful engineering. Each of these rifles is designed for particular needs, so take these factors into account. First you want to choose a rifle with the right caliber. Next, take a look at the length of your barrel, and decide what type of hunting you’ll be doing and at what distance you expect to make your shot. You should also consider the action type: whether you want the long-range bolt-action, break-action or semi-automatic. There are many different tools and features to consider, but these are the biggest factors when determining which rifle will best suit your needs.

Which Caliber Do I Need For a Deer Hunting Rifle?

Finding the perfect caliber is like finding the holy grail. Many hunters, professional and amateur, have different feelings about which caliber is best suited for deer. There are many pros and cons when choosing your caliber, and over time you may find yourself favoring a particular caliber. The caliber refers to the diameter of the barrel’s interior. Most rifles on this list are larger caliber rifles. .308 Win Mag, .30-06 and 7mm are all heavy-duty rifles that have lots of recoil. You may feel they are too powerful for deer hunting, but the extra power is great for longer shots and bigger deer. You won’t want to take a .30-30 to a trophy hunt. There are many calibers available, and some hunters prefer smaller, more portable rifles with less recoil. Calibers like .243 and .270 are great for these close encounters. Whichever type you prefer there are many pros and cons, so try a few out before settling on your preferred caliber.

What Length Barrel Should I Use?

There are two factors to consider in choosing the length of your barrel. First, a longer barrel can give you more accuracy for a long-range shot. Second, a longer barrel adds both weight and length which can make your gun heavy enough to hold steady or too heavy to carry comfortably through the woods. Depending on the type of hunting you are doing, the amount you’ll be walking and the length of shot you hope to take, you’ll want to choose the right barrel size for your specific hunting style. The most common barrels are around 24 inches. These are a bit on the long side but give you some nice accuracy as you look for the perfect shot. The smallest barrel on this list is 16 inches. It’s too small for long-range shooting, but this lightweight and compact design is great for stalking or tracking deer.

What Do I Need Before I Hunt Deer?

Do you have a rifle, and are you ready to hunt? In the excitement of a new purchase, whether you have one rifle or 100 you’ll no doubt be ready to get shooting. However, there are many other factors to consider before going out. You’ll want to carefully research the rest of the gear you need, including safety gear like a hunter’s orange vest. Next you’ll want to look for local deer-season laws and the necessary tags and training you’ll need. Deer hunting can be both invigorating and dangerous, and your careful planning can make the difference between the two. There are also plenty of tools and gear available to give you a more comfortable and effective hunt. Everything from a rifle sling to binoculars to scents and calls can make the difference between a miserable or successful and comfortable hunt. Proper clothing, safety and preparation are just as important as a proper rifle and understanding of your rifle. Be sure to review all the safety features of your rifle before use.

How We Reviewed

Each of these rifles was selected based on a number of factors. First, they are all highly rated by professional reviewers. Next, they are best sellers and popular among buyers. These rifles are affordable, rugged and able to meet all your deer-hunting needs. Because of the number of factors that go into choosing a great rifle this isn’t a complete list of all the top-rated rifles, but it’s a good snapshot of some excellent-quality choices. Depending on your hunting style and caliber preferences you may or may not find the best hunting rifle for you on this list.

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Best Deer-Hunting Rifles

Remington Model 700 Sendero SF II

Made for accuracy, this bolt-action 7mm rifle is an excellent choice for long-range kill shots. It has an ambidextrous grip and can be equipped with a bipod for additional accuracy and support. With a 26-inch barrel it’s the longest rifle on this list. The fluted barrel helps with heat dissipation, and the sleek look gives you no-nonsense power and performance. For a calm, steady hunter who likes to line up the perfect long-range shot, this is a great rifle.

Vanguard Safari

This stylish rifle has a beautiful European walnut stock and hand-rubbed oil finish. It’s another bolt-action, accurate rifle. The adjustable trigger ensures you get a clean shot, and you won’t have to worry about tugging the trigger or any delay in action. With a powerful .30-06 you’ll be thankful for the comfortable recoil pad. The bolt body is also fluted which gives you smooth action and eliminates resistance. It only has a 24-inch barrel, but it’s significantly less expensive than the Remington Model 700 Sendero SF II. It’s a great rifle for a balance between long range, lightweight and budget-friendly hunting.

Ruger American Rifle Magnum

One of the more inexpensive rifles, the Ruger American Rifle Magnum is a straightforward choice. Its .300 Win Mag won’t sacrifice any power for affordability, and the single-column magazine gives you a 3-round capacity. It comes with a scope rail so you can add a scope for greater accuracy. It has a more modern look and can also come with .338 Win Mag.

H&R Synthetic Handi-Rifle

The least-expensive rifle, the Handi-Rifle is one of the only small-caliber rifles on this list. The .22 Hornet gives this rifle far less recoil and weight than other, larger-caliber choices. Because of this it’s a great rifle for young hunters. The 22-inch barrel is still long enough for mid-range shots, and the overall length of 38 inches is good for easy carrying. Of course it won’t have the stopping power of a high-powered rifle, so you’ll want to line up the perfect shot. If you’re a casual hunter looking for a great deal or if your teenager is looking to join your next hunt, this is a great choice.

Tikka T3 Hunter

This rifle has an incredible amount of customization. While the .308 is a popular choice, you can choose anything from .243 Win, 7mm Rem Mag or .30-06. You can also purchase a variety of barrel lengths for this versatile rifle. This rifle has a wide and angled ejection port which is convenient for feeding and ejecting cartridges correctly every time. The stock is specifically designed to lower the noise so you’ll be able to take your time. If a .308 gives you too much recoil, you’ll enjoy the comfortable recoil pad. This particular option comes with a slightly shorter barrel which is great for a compact, stalking design. If you prefer a longer barrel, there are several options available. It’s a great rifle for the avid hunter if you know the exact caliber and barrel length you prefer.

Sako 85 Finnlight

This durable, high-quality rifle is designed to be used in a variety of climates and is compact enough for long treks, tired arms or younger hunters. It’s got plenty of power with .308 Win Mag. The fluted barrel helps cool it much faster and also gives it less weight. The stock is comfortable and efficient. The overall look is a bit plain, but the subtle style creates a sturdy, no-nonsense feel. It’s great for someone looking for an affordable, lightweight rifle that still provides a powerful and accurate shot.

DPMS GII AP4

This award-winning rifle has a tremendous number of features and high-quality craftsmanship. It won the Golden Bullseye Award from the NRA which means you can trust it’s an excellent product. It’s designed to be compact, lightweight, durable and accurate. This tactical rifle isn’t as long-range as some of the other more traditional deer-hunting selections. However, it’s designed for efficiency and has an extraction system that avoids ejection malfunctions. The magazine is beveled which is easy to change and comfortable to hold. Its heavy-duty construction includes an upper and lower that is forged. The steel feed ramp has excellent ammunition-feeding functionality. If you are looking for a professionally designed rifle with excellent features and a lightweight package, this is a great choice for you.

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The Verdict

Now that you’ve reviewed some of the best deer-hunting rifle options on the market, carefully consider the type of hunting you most enjoy. Whether you are looking for a long-range mule deer hunt on the plains or stalking elusive whitetails through the woods, there are many options when it comes to deer hunting. Once you have decided the type of hunting, you need to consider which options will best suit your style. A long-barreled, accurate model works well for a smooth, careful kill shot. On the other hand, if you need to hike long distances and have low visibility, other options may prove to be better choices. Whichever model you choose, any rifle on this list will give you a durable, accurate choice for deer hunting.                                            

Step By Step Guide to Successfully Field Dressing a Deer

Are you new to deer hunting and are worried about field dressing a deer for the first time? This final step is one that many hunters dread having to do since this is where the real work seems to begin. It can be difficult when you are first learning because it is not something that you do or practice regularly. Field dressing only needs to be done when you have killed a deer.

Field dressing a deer can be a challenge if you are unfamiliar with how it is done. There are a number of things that can go wrong and can potentially cause you to lose a significant amount of useable meat unless done properly. The good news is that once you have seen how it is done, the actual task of field dressing a deer is not difficult. It may take a few times to become as efficient as possible, but you should have no trouble cleaning you next kill.

However, if you follow these steps and have a little patience (and a sharp knife!) you will soon be able to properly field dress a deer with no problem. Once you sharpen these skills this is a quick task that becomes easier every time you do it.

What You’ll Need

Apart from a deer to gut, there are some key items you will need in order to make this process easy and efficient. While the items in this list aren’t the only tools used to field dress a deer, they are the ones you will find most useful when following the steps detailed below. There are also several tools that are designed specifically for gutting a deer that may make part of this process even easier. You can often find knives, saws, and kits that are built with cleaning a deer in mind.

Our Favorite Deer Gutting Kit

This pack comes equipped with a caping knife, gut hook skinner, boning/fillet knife, wood & bone saw, tungsten carbine v-sharpener, steel stick/brisket spreader, and game cleaning gloves. Below are additional items you may need for field dressing a deer.

  • Hunting tag with string already attached
  • Recently sharpened knife
  • Bone saw
  • Disposable plastic gloves
  • Dark colored rag
  • Rope
  • Large plastic bag

knife and gloves

Photo credit: Shootingtime.com

Steps to Successfully Field Dress a Deer

To have the best chance for field dressing a deer, you should follow the following steps:

Step One:

Ensure the deer is indeed dead. Approach the animal from the rear and look for any signs of life. If possible, poke the animal in the eye with a long stick in order to ensure it is actually dead. Deliver a killing blow at this point if needed. This is not typically an issue but for safety sake we want to make sure this is done properly.

After the kill is confirmed, make sure to unload and safely store your firearm or weapon. People get injured every year because of unsafe weapon handling, you don’t want to be one of those people.

 Next position the deer on its back with the head pointed uphill if possible. If you shot a buck it is much easier to keep the head straight when the deer is on it’s back because you can rest it on the antlers. Positioning the head uphill from you will make each step in gutting the deer easier as well. It helps when you are pulling out the inside of the deer and draining it. The guts and organs inside of a deer weigh more than you may think so letting gravity help you is very beneficial.

Step Two:

Tag your kill according to local policy. You are then going to want to remove any clothing you want to avoid getting blood on. Mark your position in the field by hanging a blaze orange marker either above or close to your location. The orange helps with safety, especially during firearms season.

Next you should lay out your necessary tools in a place where they are easily accessible and won’t be misplaced. Put a pair of disposable gloves on prior to going any further. You will realize this once you begin working, but it can be a little difficult to hold and control all of the deer as you are field dressing it. This is why you should have all your tools in arms reach once you start. The deer will want to roll over and move as soon as you let go.

All cutting or gutting tools should be within arms reach to make this process easier. You also don’t want to be reaching into a hunting pack or your pockets with bloody hands.

Field Dressing a Deer

Photo credit: Shootingtime.com

Step Three:

Using your knife, make a small incision at the base of the sternum. Make sure the blade of your knife is pointed up to help avoid any unnecessary wear and tear to the blade. Only cut deep enough into the cavity to pierce the hide and the initial layer of fat. The easiest way to do this is to pinch a small amount of skin and pull it up and then cut across it rather than just pushing down through the skin into the stomach/sternum area. This helps it cut easier and avoids cutting too deep.

 Avoid cutting any internal organs throughout this process unless otherwise instructed to do so. If you cut through the stomach you could end up ruining part of the meat and at the very least it will smell very bad.

You should also be sure to pull the hair back before you start cutting. This will help avoid tons of white hair ending up everywhere as you cut through it. Once covered in blood that hair will stick to everything.

Insert two fingers into the incision to help guide your knife and keep the hide in a taut V. This makes it easier to cut and will also keep your fingers out of harms way. Go a few inches at a time and go slowly. This helps keep the incision straight and makes sure you do not cut yourself. There are also some knives that are built in a small hook shape to help with this. You just insert them into the original incision and pull down like a zipper.

Our Favorite Deer Gutting Hook

Continue the incision down to either the base of the penis or the udder. If a buck, cut around the penis and down to just above the anus. If a doe, cut around the udder and down to just above the vagina/anus. Be careful to avoid cutting the bladder.

Step Four:

Now you will need to cut the esophagus to start removing the upper organs. There are two ways to do this. You can either reach up in the chest cavity as far as possible and cut through it, or you can use a knife or saw to cut up through the sternum to expose the rest of the chest cavity.

As long as it is not a trophy buck, the easiest way to to cut the sternum. To do this, start near your original incision and cut up on either side of the sternum. It will be tough but a strong knife or small saw will have no issues going through the cartilage.

Once the chest cavity is exposed, reach up as far as you can into the top/throat area and grab the esophagus. You will be able to pull it away from the wall of the neck to help cut all the way through. Once you have cut through it, you can start to pull. The esophagus will peel away from the sides of the deer as you pull it down.

Now you can cut through the diaphragm, which is the large membrane separating the chest cavity from the intestinal area. Make cuts to the connective membranes preventing the organs from being removed.  At this point most of the organs should be loose enough to pull out. Grab a hold of the esophagus or any other strong membrane and start to pull or roll the guts out of the deer.

The lower organs will still be attached down near the pelvis and the anus. This all needs to be severed carefully to avoid getting waste or urine on the meat. There are several different methods for doing this.

One way is to make an incision around the anus and vagina (if necessary) from the outside. Once you have fully cut free these items, carefully push them back into the cavity of the deer. Both the large intestine and the bladder can now be successfully removed from the deer and be pulled out with the rest of the guts.

Another way is to just use a small bone saw to cut through the pelvic bone so you don’t have to pull anything back through that small cavity. This allows you to just rip or cut everything out as one piece.

If this last part doesn’t go well or gets messy, don’t worry. It takes everyone a few tries to figure out the best way to do it. In the end all that matters is that you got all the organs, guts, and bladder/anus pieces out as well as any waste. If you think you spilled any urine or waste on the inside of the deer be sure to clean it off.

There are many different techniques for field dressing a deer and everyone has their preference. Hopefully this gave you a great starting point to work from. We have included a video below to help show one method for field dressing a deer. Feel free to make small changes in the process to make it as easy for you as you’d like. The most important thing is that at the end everything has been removed and the inside is clean.

See How Steven Renella likes to field dress a deer. As you see, some of his steps are slightly different than ours but the principle is the same.

Step Five:

Once all the deer’s internal organs have been removed, use the large plastic bag to safely store the heart, liver, and other organs you wish to keep. Next, tip the deer on its stomach to help remove any remaining blood or other debris. If you have cut through the pelvic bone the lifting up or raising the front half of the deer will help any left over blood drain our very quickly.

After this, gather your belongings, secure a rope to the deer’s legs and drag it to a secure area to continue the butchering process. Here is a quick tip on dragging. When you tie the rope to the deer, tie it’s front legs up with the neck. If you just tie the rope around the neck then the front legs will keep getting caught on branches and logs as well as hit your feet and trip you. Tying them up with the neck makes it much easier to drag.

Check this article to learn about tracking wounded deer if you want to learn more about how to find a deer.

Conclusion

It is highly important that you process your deer as soon as possible in order to avoid damage to the meat. The steps needed in order to properly field dress a deer can vary based upon preferred methods, but the above steps are a proven way to do it safely and with minimal cuts needed.

We here at CaptainHunter.com hope that you found this guide to be of value to you as you pursue your hunting goals. We not only believe in what we post but practice it as well.

Have a different method for field dressing a deer or have more questions regarding one of the above steps? Let us know below and as always…feel free to share our posts with other dedicated hunters.

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Three Easy Steps On How To Bleach A Deer Skull

As a hunter, it is very meaningful for us to have a remembrance of our catch. After filling ourselves with its delicious meat, after storing all the best proteins we can get, we would want something that would remind us of our great hunting experience and of our great feat. One thing we enjoyed having after catching a deer is a nice white skull for a trophy.

Some hunters bring it to a taxidermist to have it cleaned for them while some find it more fulfilling to clean and bleach their own trophies. Some, on the other hand, just wanted to save money. Some hunters may have already mastered bleaching a deer skull but some may not.

Are you just new in deer hunting and wanted to experience the rewarding feeling of preparing your own trophy? Have you been paying for a taxidermist all this time and wanted to try to bleach your own deer skull for a change? Do you want to save money from paying somebody to clean your trophy for you? Let me help you with that. Here are some easy steps on how to bleach a deer skull. But before we proceed, let us first discuss some things that you need to know about bleaching a deer skull.

We understand some of you may want a quicker process and have seen kit out there on the market. Most kits out there that claim to make the process much quicker and yield similar results so they may be worth your investment. If you are interested in one of these kits we decided to list our recommendation below for your convenience. The kit below has enough material included to bleach two deer skulls. This kit will finish the bleaching process in a day.

Three Ways of Cleaning a Deer Skull

Cold Water Maceration

In this method, you will have to soak the skull in water of approximately 90 degrees F temperature until there is no remaining flesh in the skull. If you want to help remove grease from the skull you may add 2 tablespoons of laundry detergent per gallon of water. In order to lessen the foul odor, you should occasionally change the water with a fresh one. This process may take several weeks to around two months. After soaking, you should remove all the remaining flesh and soak it again for 24 hours to get rid of the foul smell. This method does not damage or shrink the deer skull but is a very slow process.

How to Bleach a Deer Skull

Cold Water Maceration – Photo credit: missouriwhitetails.com

Hot Water Maceration

This method simply speeds up the maceration process. For this process, you will have to soak the skull in boiling water with ¼ cup sodium carbonate per gallon of water for several minutes. “Cooking” the skull softens the tissues which allows you to easily remove them. This process is fast but may cause the skull to shrink. The materials needed during the hot water maceration process are listed below.

How to Bleach a Deer Skull

Hot Water Maceration – Photo credit: wp.com

Dermestid Beetles

Dermestid beetle larvae are actually pretty easy to come by, and they have a voracious appetite for the fleshy bits left on your prize. The actual beetles are rather small and unassuming, and don’t eat much – however, their larval stage (which somewhat resembles a silverfish crossed with a mealworm) is ravenous.

To clean your skull for bleaching, all you need to do is place it in a covered container large enough to hold it comfortably, with screened air holes for ventilation. Add your beetles and larvae, then you can just check-in on their progress over the next several days until it’s as clean as you want it.

You can keep the dermestid beetles in that tub, feeding them carrion or food scraps, for your next project. If you do not want to keep them, never free them, they can be a problem in your local ecosystem. You can also freeze the tub to euthanize them humanely.

How to Plant Soybeans for Your Best Deer Food Plots

Over the years there have been a lot of improvements and developments in hunting strategies in order to attain some good catch. In deer hunting, one of the most effective strategy is to have a soybean plot in your property. This strategy is one good way to attract and keep deer in your property and it also allows you to have larger, healthier deer. Soybean is a good choice to put in your plot since deer really loves it. It is a good source of protein for them since it consists of around 30 percent crude protein and during the winter, there is no other plant that can provide them with the same protein level. Actually, this amount of protein is even more than enough for a deer to develop their antler and body to its optimum. Also, soybeans are also high in fat because of its oil content. This can be a good source of energy for them to increase body heat. With this advantages in mind, are you interested in having your own soybean plot? If yes, this article might help you. Listed here are steps on how to plant soybeans for your best deer food plots. But before we proceed to that, let us first have some background knowledge.

Things to Consider before Setting up a Soybean Plot

Location

Our goal for having a soybean plot is to have a nice deer catch, so when choosing a location, make sure that there is a good place where you can perform both bowhunting and gun hunting. Look for places with good stand trees and staging areas around. Also, choose an open area so that your plants will get enough sun. If possible, choose a site which is flat but if you can’t find one, pick a slope which is facing east or northeast to avoid exposing your crops to late afternoon sun which may cause them to wither. It is also good if you choose a location where bucks can comfortably go even during the daytime. A good location would be somewhere where there are bedding areas and security covers that are close by.

Soil Productivity

One very important factor before learning how to plant soybeans for your best deer plots is to know the productivity of your soil. Soil productivity is the inherent capacity of the soil to support plant growth. It is dependent on the soil’s chemical, physical, and biological properties. Examples of chemical properties are the cation exchange capacity (CEC) which affects the ability of soil to retain nutrients and the pH which affects the type of nutrients available in the soil. Soils with smaller particle size retain nutrients longer and most plants grow well at pH 6.0-7.0. An example of soil physical property is soil texture which refers to the particle size of the soil and is categorized as clay, sand, or silt. This affects the ability of soil to hold water. Clay holds water well while sand drains water quickly. For the biological properties, it refers to the mineral, nutrient, and organic matter content of the soil. Soybeans grow well in slightly acidic, loamy, and nutrient rich soils.

Things that You May Need

Before proceeding to the main steps, let us first have a quick look of the things that you may need for your soybean plot.

Seeds

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There are many varieties of soybeans but you can put them into two major categories – grain and forage. Soybeans which are developed for grain production are short, erect, and has short maturation period while those which are developed for forage production are taller, bushy, and has longer maturation period. If you are going to choose seeds for your soybean deer food plot, I recommend forage soybean seeds since these can provide the deer of leafy forage during the long growing season then give you a good crop of soybeans after. You can also try experimenting to know which soybean variety suits your region, soil, and purpose the best. Also, choose good quality seeds over cheaper seeds.

Soil Conditioners

Wakefield Biochar Soil Conditioner - Premium - 1 Cu/Ft Bag (7.5...
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Soil conditioners are used to enhance the properties of the soil. It helps repair damaged soil and maintain the quality of soil. It also helps loosen the soil and maintain and replenish nutrients. They may also contain organic matters such as plant and animal remains. It also destroys weeds.

Fertilizers

Black Magic 10101-10063 All Purpose Fertilizer, 5.5 lb
  • Good for every stage of the growing process
  • Broad spectrum nutrient program is great for herbs, veggies, and more
  • Great for indoor and outdoor gardening

Fertilizers are added to soil to supply the nutrients that the plant needs to improve its growth and yield. They either provide the nutrients that the soil lack or replace the nutrients that the plant has already taken in. The primary components of fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Seed Spreader

Scotts Elite Spreader
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When planting in a large area of land, it is good to have a seed spreader in order to have a good distribution of your seeds. You wouldn’t want your plants to clump in one place while the others are too scattered. Choose a seed spreader that can deliver your seeds uniformly and accurately.

How to Plant Soybeans for Your Best Deer Food Plots

Step 1. Test the soil

One of the most important steps on how to plant soybeans for your best deer food plots is to conduct a soil test since it allows you to determine if your soil is favorable for your crop to grow, and if not, it lets you know what adjustments to do in order to optimize your plant’s growth and production. It also helps you save money since you will only apply the amount of fertilizer needed, no excess. You can get a sample of your soil and send it to a reliable testing laboratory or if you are not very particular and just want to know the basics, you can do it on your own. You can buy a soil test kit and simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions written in there.

Step 2. Condition the soil

As I have said earlier, soil conditioning enhances the property of the soil and helps you eliminate the weeds. The type of soil conditioner that you should use would depend on the result of your soil test. You may consult an expert or go to a university’s horticultural department regarding that. You may use liquid soil conditioner so that it is easier to apply. You can just use a sprayer and spray it all over the land area where you are going to plant and wait for a few days to allow it to do its work.

Step 3. Adjust soil pH to what the plant desires

Soil’s pH affects the plant’s efficiency to absorb nutrients. It is good to grow the plant at its desired pH to attain optimum growth. Soybeans grow best at pH 6.3 to 6.5. Depending on the result of your soil test, you will adjust your pH higher or lower. If your soil is too acidic, you may apply lime to increase its pH; if it is too basic, you may use aluminum sulfate. Just make sure to apply the proper amount and not overdo it. You can use drop spreader to apply these substances evenly. If you applied lime in your soil, make sure to water it regularly so that the lime seeps well into the soil. If you use aluminum sulfate, till the soil so that it mixes well with the soil.

Step 4. Apply fertilizer

Based on the result of your soil test, add a proper amount of fertilizer to your soil. Also consider the plant that you are growing. Since we are growing soybeans, we wouldn’t need high nitrogen since it an fix its own nitrogen. Thus, we should focus on adding potassium and phosphorus to maximize our yield. Soybeans need a lot of potassium. When applying fertilizer, you may also use drop spreader to apply them evenly in your soil.

Step 5. Till the soil

Tilling loosens the soil which makes it easier for air, water, and nutrients to penetrate. It also allows for more seeds to germinate. You can use garden tillers if your plot will not be so big or you can use a disc harrow if you are going to deal with a large piece of land. A disc harrow consists of a row of sharp, slightly concaved discs fixed in a frame and is used to till the soil and chop off unwanted weeds. This can be attached to your tractor or four-wheel to make tilling easier. It is better if you loosen around six inches of land when you till to have a good result.

Step 6. Spread the seeds

After preparing your soil for the best conditions for the growth of your plant, you can now plant your soybean seeds. Since we wouldn’t want our seeds to be buried too deep in the soil, we must first pulverize the soil and make it firmer by using a cultipacker. After that, we can now spread the seeds using a seed spreader to make sure that our seeds are well-distributed. After spreading the seeds, we will again cultipack the soil to firmly press the seeds into the surface of the soil.

Step 7. Maintain your food plot

Soybeans don’t actually need much maintenance while growing, and since we have already provided a good soil environment for them to grow, we can just water them from time to time enough for the soil not too dry and spray them with liquid fertilizer once every thirty days when they are already growing. If the seeds are not germinating yet, make sure to get rid of the grass and mow the area.

Conclusion

It is now very popular for deer hunters to use food plots in order to attract their prey and provide food for them. The idea of food plots is to put a concentrated food source of your prey in one location, thereby increasing the possibility of encountering them. If done correctly, having a soybean food plot not only increases your chance of catching your game but it also allows you to produce quality prey due to the nutrients that you provide them. Mastering how to make an effective soybean food plot is never easy but once you get the grip of it, it can provide you of a lot of advantages. I hope this article helps you learn how to plant soybeans for your best deer food plots.

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8 Awesome Tips About How To Find Deer Sheds

Shed hunting is a pretty good pastime for hunters who would like a glorious new centerpiece for their dinner tables. A deer sheds its antlers once every year and grows a new set, which makes their awesome shed a good pick up for a passing hunter. But how to find deer sheds?

In my time, when my interest in shed hunting was at its peak, I’ve found that like in any other type of hunting, hunting for antlers is as tedious and complicated as hunting for its owner. You won’t get your pair on the first try, and there are a lot of researches you need to do before being able to find a good deer shed.

So, here are a few tips that I’ve formulated myself, based on my experiences while out shed hunting:

Tips About How To Find Deer Sheds

1. Know when is the best time to go shed hunting

It is known that the best months to find deer sheds are between March and April, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t find a shed in other months. However, during the summer months, male hormones slow the growth of antlers, which causes vasoconstriction and cutting off of blood and nutrient supply. The antlers then slowly fall off, aggravated by the deer rubbing its antlers against trees or bushes.

A deer will most likely shed its antlers after the rut season. This is because of the drop in testosterone levels, which causes weakening of the tissues in the base of the antler. When this happens, a buck will most likely shed its antlers within two days.

2. Look for traces of deer

Just as you do when hunting the deer itself, you may have better chances of finding a deer shed when you look for the traces of deer. The first and most obvious factor is to look for deer trails. As expected, these deer trails will be a bit far from the trails that humans usually take. Tip: you may also want to look for fresh droppings.

It’s also a good idea to focus on your surroundings instead of training your eye to spot huge, white antlers. Deer sheds aren’t usually easy to find and you’ll have a much easier time if you take in everything on the forest floor, raking your eyes over every surface as much as possible. You wouldn’t want to miss any good deer sheds, do you?

Moreover, you would also want to check out beddings as I did when I hunted for deer sheds. In the winter, deer stay in their beds to conserve energy. Most likely, you’ll be able to find a deer shed near these spots that deer frequent.

3. Check places where a deer could have lost its antlers

In some cases, deer lose their antlers abruptly when the bone is weakening and they have come across an obstacle, say, a low branch or a log that they have to jump over to get across a ditch. While traversing the deer trail, you can check these “obstacles” and be extra wary of your surroundings, just in case there’s a deer shed lying around.

Another tip is to check bushes and trees just in case the deer tried to shed its antlers against them.

4. Observe the bucks

In the winter, bucks will separate from the does and form groups of males. If you find out the area where these groups frequent, you can be luckier with finding a deer shed, so keep a lookout.

Moreover, bucks without their antlers are a top tell-tale sign of deer shedding nearby. In this case, scour the area where the antler-less bucks frequent.

5. Train your dog

Hunting breeds can also be taught to find deer sheds, and sometimes, man’s best friend may be better at it than we are. If you have a hunting dog or are thinking of getting one, consider having it trained to smell out deer sheds so you can use it as a guide.

Training dogs to smell out deer sheds is not a complicated regimen (since they can master the smell of a shed). In fact, it requires only a simple training program before your furry friend can find you some antlers.

6. Shed hunt in areas with low hunting pressure

Deer tend to stay away from areas that are stressful for them, such as areas with a lot of hunters in it. Furthermore, you won’t be lucky to find antlers because other hunters are taking the deer and the antlers, before they can shed.

With this fact in mind, you may be twice as fortunate finding a pair of antlers when you search in areas where hunting is not allowed, or areas where other hunters are scarce. Of course, these areas may be far from roads and your trucks, but you may have a better chance of finding your prize in these places.

7. Find deer food

If you find areas where deer feed, you’ll most likely find a lot of bucks and a lot of shed antlers. These areas are most likely those with thick foliage, plenty of plants, fruits, nuts, and acorns.

8. Walk slowly and mark your path

One of the most common reasons why shed hunters fail to find their prize on the first try is walking too fast and walking in circles. An important tip is to walk slowly, keeping your head down and scouring the forest floor for any sign of antlers. Walking slowly can help you spot antlers which are most likely hidden in thick brush or under forest debris.

Another tip is to mark the areas that you’ve already traveled. This way, you can cover more undiscovered areas. However, it is also wise to go back to the areas you’ve already discovered a few days after, just in case a buck came losing an antler in that area.A

Conclusion

Shed hunting is a great pastime when you don’t feel like hunting live animals. In this way, you can get a beautiful set of antlers but without killing off a buck. It is almost as difficult, perhaps even more difficult, than hunting live animals, but the results are just as rewarding.

Did you like these tips on how to find deer sheds? If so, comments and shares are most appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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How and Where to Shoot a Deer Instantly

Many times I am asked numerous interesting questions by friends, strangers and novice hunters about my obsession for hunting. Each time I end up on the same reply; hunting for wild meat is my passion. Not just because of the thrill and adventure it gives but also because wild meat is what I am crazy about. Unlike other sources of meat, wild meat is hormone-free and natural. My personal favorite has always been venison (deer meat). It’s a great source of protein. To get the full benefits of it, the hunter must know how and where to shoot a deer. Many of you must be thinking why I said so? Let me explain.

If a fresh and tasty meat is what you are looking for, you must learn to gun down the animal in the first shot. The sooner you down the animal, the better taste it promises. The animal killed in more than one shots can easily produce lactic acid and adrenaline. Both of these may affect the taste of the meat. All of you out there, whether you are a beginner hunter or an experienced one, your first priority should be to be a responsible hunter. Do not let the animal suffer a lingering death. Let me guide you on how to kill a deer in a single shot.

Steps to Follow Before Hunting

Before going into the details of the right way of shooting a deer, the hunters must follow these few necessary steps to make sure they have the best hunting experience.

Step 1: Season of Hunting

Doing things legally is what I always recommend. It’s not that you can hunt for deer in any season you like. Each hunting area offers a different season. That you must inquire before planning the hunt. Simply log in to the website of Department of National Resources of that state, to get the basic information about the hunting season there.

  • Note: Out of season hunting of animals is illegal as it may endanger the wildlife population in that area. Anyone committing this illegal activity may face penalty defined by the state law.

Step 2: Get Your Hunting Permit

Before deciding about how and where to shot a deer, get all the information about hunting permit from the state Department of Natural Resources.  Without a hunting permit, no one is allowed to hunt legally.

Step 3: Hunting Dressing Tips

  • Your hunting clothes are commonly determined by the weather. For summer, hunters should wear light weighed dress and cold weather gear for winter hunting (Wear the clothes in layer for keeping yourself warm in freezing temperature).
  • Choose the camouflage pattern keeping in mind the type of area you are hunting in.
  • Your personal safety also matters. For that I would advise you to wear men’s blaze orange vest over the hunting suit. It would help distinguishing you against the foliage and other hunters (if any) would easily detect you in the wild.
  • Choose the most suitable type of hunting boots from insulated, uninsulated and rubber boots for hunting.
  • Make sure that your clothes are washed in a scent-free soap. Any strange odor may alert the animal of your presence and you may miss the target. In addition to it, do not forget to wear a face mask and gloves. That would also help in controlling your scent.
  • Note: Avoid drinking alcoholic drinks, eating fatty edible items, using scented soaps, deodorants and perfumes for about 24 to 48 hours before the final hunt.

Step 4: Right Weapons for Hunting the Deer

I have always preferred using a rifle in deer hunting. And got the best results. So I personally would suggest a rifle as the best weapon for deer hunting. Rifles come in different calibers. Starting from 243, up to a 30-.06 or 30-30, are some of the best ones for hunting all type of deer. Deer slugs are another great option to kill the deer at one shot. You can give it try.

Lastly, using a bow for hunting the deer is yet another great option. But the hunter must be skilled enough for using it. It’s not my personal favorite as it comes with a legal limit of about 45 pounds draw weight. And that would allow you to aim your target for 20 to 60 yards of distance maximum. And in hunting, you never know how much distance you would have to face.

How and Where to Shoot a Deer?

Once you are done with all the above mentioned steps, now is the time to reach your hunting destination. Sometimes, it takes many hours in waiting for the deer. You have to sit quietly and wait. As deer are more likely to appear in the silent areas of the wild. Once you have located the deer somewhere around you, make sure to take the right position to get it killed in a single shot.

What I have learned from my personal experience is that you can’t hunt a deer in a single shot so easily. There are many factors associated with it. These may include;

  • The distance between you and the animal
  • Angle of the deer
  • Type of weapon
  • Your shooting skills
  • Meat retention

Hunter’s Position

You can shoot the deer in a standing position but my personal recommendation is a crouching position where your knee and thighs give a nice support to your elbow of the arm, holding the rifle.

Right Shot Placement for a Deer Hunt

Check out a few best placements for hunting down the deer.

#1 – Above the Front Leg

The highly recommended area for a deer hunt in a single shot is just behind the shoulder. It includes the heart and lungs. The most accurate position for shooting is 5 to 7 inch above the chest. For that you must be in a position where you can have the broadside view of the prey. Just like in the image below.

  • Note: There are great chances that the animal is not killed immediately. Sometimes it recovers and runs away. And hunters have to chase it through the wild. So be prepared for that too.

#2 – In the Head

For getting the deer down in the first kill, shooting directly in the head is the best option. The perfect area to shoot is right behind the eye of the deer. Only experienced and skilled hunters can deal with such a tricky shot. This way also ensures lesser or no damage to the meat (quite contrary to other ways). But again, there are equal chances of missing your target, especially for the beginners. So be prepared.

#3 – Shooting in the Neck

Another common method is shooting the deer in his neck through the spine. Many of my fellow hunters opt for this method. But I hesitate in trying it. The reason is simply the torture; the deer has to face. Most of the deer are not dead instantly with this method. Rather they are left paralyzed and hunters have to shot it again or simply slit its neck. Like I already told that I dislike a lingering death of the prey, I do not go for this lethal option. But you are free to make your choice.

Conclusion

Hunting down a deer without the right placement and positioning of the shot is quite tough. It should be the first and foremost responsibility of every hunter to save its prey from suffering and pain. And try to kill it instantly. It would not only ease the misery of the deer, but would also save your time. And that is simply possible from practicing, experience and knowing well about how and where to shoot a deer.

You may well want to seek out training like THIS to further hone my shooting skills.

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Tips on How to Track a Wounded Deer and What to Look For

One of the most common questions all new hunters have is how to effectively find an animal you have shot. Tracking wounded deer can be a challenge if you are unsure of what you are doing. There are some easy to make mistakes that can make finding your deer far more challenging than it needs to be, but it is capable to avoid these mistakes if you know what you are doing.

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