Hunting may seem like an out-dated hobby to many, but for those with experience on a hunt of any variety, it is an unrivaled recreational activity which offers participants a chance to exercise, commune with natural habitats, and occasionally, dine on the fruits of their labor. If you are interested in hunting but have little experience, we suggest you begin by learning how to hunt quail, a ubiquitous and delicious species found across the United States and the World.
To hunt quail successfully, you must know the most common varieties of quail, their appearance, their habitat, and what to do with the appropriate equipment once you have located a covey, a group of quail, in the wild. As we will describe below, the properly equipped hunter can locate and bait quail according to their preferred method and safely operate a shotgun loaded with the appropriately sized ammunition. Then, with a touch of luck, you may watch a delicious dinner flutter to the ground.
In the United States alone, there are many varieties of quail you may encounter depending on which region of the country you are planning your hunt in. We have briefly described the most common types of quail along with some helpful information regarding their appearance and habitats below.
This is by far the most common type of quail in the United States. Its population is concentrated in the Midwestern states but it can also be found throughout the American South and in Mexico. The bobwhite quail is easy to identify as its brownish body is topped off by a telltale white streak along the length of their heads. They can be found in sparsely wooded areas with easy access to grassy fields in which they feed across the country.
Button quail are native to Asia, Australia, and sub-Sharan Africa, but they are being bred more often in North America in the 21st century. Button quail prefer a sandy habitat with access to wooded areas as opposed to the grassy terrain preferred by the bobwhite quail. Their appearance varies by region but generally includes brown and black tones perforated by yellowish spots.
As the name implies, the California quail is concentrated in the Western United States with some populations extending over the Rocky Mountains into the Midwestern states. It prefers a habitat similar to that of the bobwhite quail and can be distinguished primarily by the bluish tint found on its stomach.
Like the button quail, the Japanese quail is not native to the United States, but it is being bred in North America at this point. Japanese quail look very similar to button quail but they have a rounder body and a whitish stomach.
Unfortunately, quail populations have been on the decline in recent decades as the species' habitat has become more and more sparse. This situation makes opportunities to hunt quail less abundant and hence more valuable. If you look carefully, you will still have the opportunity to learn where and how to hunt quail most effectively.
Quail populations are concentrated in the central portion of the United States. The states with the highest quail populations include Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas although quail can also be found across the country. If you are interested in to how to hunt quail internationally, populations can be found in the eastern portions of Mexico and across Asia, particularly in Japan.
Quail typically feed on worms and small bugs found readily in open fields without excessively long grass which hampers the movement of quail. While they prefer to feed in an open field, quail also prefer an accessible wooded area they can use to hide when they feel threatened. Therefore, the ideal place to find quail is a habitat in which the terrain frequently oscillates between wooded areas and small grassy fields.
Before you undergo any hunt, quail hunts included, you must check with the local game board to ensure you won't be hunting out of season and attracting unwanted attention from the game warden. Quail season varies from state to state but typically begins in September or October and stretches through January.
Regardless of the time of day, keep in mind that quail typically spend the morning looking for food in grassy fields before retiring to a shady, wooded area for the hottest part of the day. After the sun has set, quail will move back to the grassy fields and continue looking for food. Besides noting these general behavior patterns, keep in mind that quail feed in fairly open fields with greater enthusiasm after a bout of rain has driven their prey up from under the ground.
You may hunt quail using bait or using dogs. If you use bait, collect traditional birdseed or dried corn and set it out in an area where quail populate. Once you have laid your bait, retreat to at least 25 yards away and crouch behind an obstacle that will make your presence less obvious. It is important to stay back and use your binoculars to confirm the presence of a quail; otherwise, you will scare them off before you can get close enough to fire without your shot scattering.
If you have access to specially trained quail-hunting dogs, you may forgo bait altogether and instead have your dogs identify the location of a quail, or a covey of quail, by smell. Your dog will scare the quail into flight, at which point you will have the opportunity fire. This strategy is more adventurous and less lonely; however, raising a great hunting dog is a huge investment and is typically practiced only by very serious hunters.
No hunt is successful without the necessary preparations. Before you set out to hunt, especially if you are new to the sport and just learning how to hunt quail, ensure you have checked the weather report, researched the terrain in which you will hunt, and brought enough provisions to perform in the field comfortably.
Quail hunting is typically done in pairs or small groups which necessitates brightly colored clothing to ensure nobody in your party is, at any point, unsure of the location of his or her companions. If you hunt with dogs, consider clothing them in brightly colored vests so you don't accidently weigh down your valuable hunting dog with shot. Bright colors, in addition to general gun safety practices and awareness, should keep you and everyone else joining you on your hunt safe from accidents.
It is important to find a shotgun with which you feel comfortable above all else. That being said, we recommend either a 20-gauge or 28-gauge shotgun. The 20-gauge has a long barrel which will keep your shot together and optimize accuracy while the 28-gauge is lighter and easier to use, making it an ideal selection for hunters who are just learning how to hunt quail.
Ammunition should be carefully selected to be sufficiently lethal without ruining too much of the meat on the bird. Anything smaller than 6-shot may be too small to kill the bird whereas anything larger than 8-shot will be large enough to ruin much of the quail. We recommend 7.5-shot, which should provide a localized, but lethal blow to the bird.
Some quail hunters have moved to using rifles and bows, but we recommend you avoid these practices. Because quail are small, a successful shot with a rifle or a bow would require hyper-accuracy and, even if you were successful, you would find that you had ruined most of the meat on the small bird by electing to use a weapon more damaging to the quail.
You must remember to dress appropriately for moving throughout a quail's habitat which is often damp, wooded, and rife with briar patches. You should wear long sleeves and durable pants to combat the briars, and a good pair of boots to keep your feet dry. Be prepared for rain and low temperatures, the probability of which you can assess using the weather report preemptively.
You should have binoculars to help confirm the presence of quail whether you choose to hunt with dogs or not. It is also wise to bring a knife and pliers, or some sort of multi-tool to help you cut your way through densely wooded terrain if need be. If you feel like going the extra mile, you can always include a map or GPS device to navigate the area in which you are conducting your hunt.
If you are eager to learn how to hunt quail, you are taking the first steps toward a thrilling recreational journey which often morphs into an obsession. To ensure your first experiences are rewarding and successful, you must know to look for quail in their unique habitat: areas that feature grassy fields and wooded hiding spots. Once you know where to look, you must be prepared with the proper clothing, equipment, and firearms. If you internalize the advice above, then you now know how to hunt quail.
Have you ever heard a coyote’s howl? It’s a sound unlike any other, especially if you are unfamiliar with the animal or its calls. Whether alone or in a group, the howl of a coyote is one of the most compelling sounds that can be heard in the wild.
Nowadays, even urban dwellers might wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of a coyote howling, barking, yipping or making another of the many sounds these perseverant canines make. The coyote is not called the song dog for no reason! But what do the coyote’s vocalizations mean?
Chances are good that if you have heard one coyote call out then you have most likely heard others respond. A pack of coyotes gives the night a chorus unlike any other animal. So this brings us to the question:
The answer to this question is by no means a simple one, and can best be explained in several steps. The first thing to consider is just how many coyotes are calling out and what sounds they are making. The calls of one coyote can mean different things than the calls of a pack.
The coyote’s howls come in a few subcategories. A coyote who is howling alone begins the performance with a group of barks called herald barks. As with the voices of individual humans, the sound of an individual coyote’s howl is peculiar to the animal. It lets its pack mates know where it is. A lone howl can be heard over a mile away by a human and is nearly always answered by another coyote. Given their keener hearing, a coyote can probably hear another’s howl about three miles away.
The sound of the calls is also important to consider. Some sounds resemble a dog barking or a muffled whine while others can be the widely known wolf howl. Depending on the noise you hear, the animal in question is conveying some very distinct information.
This is the most iconic of all coyote calls. The one lone howl that seems to come out of nowhere is a sound familiar to most people. If you hear a single lone call from only one animal, chances are what you are hearing is a single member of a pack attempting to locate other members. Coyotes are very social animals and will often seek out other members of their group. If you hear one call, pause and wait for the response. It will be there.
This is two or more coyotes howling at the same time, either because they have met up after a period of separation or to answer the howls of another group of coyotes in the distance. Coyotes can also give a sound called a whoop during these group howls.
If you hear a chorus of coyotes in the distance, what you are hearing are members of a single pack converging together. The reasons they can have for making these types of noises can range from greeting one another to displays of dominance and unity.
The group chorus is often times a method used by a pack to mark their territory. An unfamiliar coyote who calls out in a pack’s territory may receive the chorus response in return. This announces to the stranger that this space is taken and they need to leave.
Another call that coyotes can make is a series of rapid yelping calls. These sounds are often made in response to a coyote being startled or a pup in distress. They are a loud call and are more drawn out. Think if you have ever heard a dog begin to yelp and you will know this noise.
A yelp can be a more intense sound of submission or can be a sound of surprise. How surprised the coyote is can be told by the intensity of the yelp.
This is also a popular call one may hear if they or a predator were to travel too close to a coyote den. Often times, parent coyotes will flee their den when a threat is perceived and will make rapid yelping calls in order to distract and draw the threat away from their den and potential offspring.
These sounds are distinctly different from the rapid yelping call mentioned above. They are made in quick succession and are extremely high pitched. Often times, you may hear coyotes make noises similar to this if they are hunting something as a group.
This diagnostic sound is given by a pack of coyotes after they’ve reunited or before they part to go on solitary hunts. The more coyotes gather, the louder and more complex the yip-howl. This makes scientists believe this sound helps to strengthen the bonds between the individuals in the pack and let other coyotes in the area know that this is the pack’s territory. The yip howl also lets the auditor know who’s who in the pack and is accompanied by enthusiastic body language between dominant and submissive coyotes. During a yip-howl session, the male of the alpha pair mostly howls. The female also howls, but her howls are shorter and interspersed with barks and yips. This can lead to chains of coyotes yip-howling for dozens of miles. Also, when a few coyotes howl together they can sound like a crowd of coyotes, which further intimidates interlopers. Whoops are also made among the group yip-howl.
This is a howl that sounds like a question and may be used when a pack member is lost.
Coyotes growl for the same reason as dogs. It is a warning sound, though pups have been seen to growl when they play.
This is a sound prompted by a serious threat. It’s also an alarm. It starts off with a bark that escalates to howl.
This sound is made through expelling air from the animal’s mouth and nose. It is a close-in warning sound aimed at another coyote that’s forgotten its place in the pack hierarchy.
This is also a warning sound, but it is of lower intensity than a growl. It is made by an animal who’s not sure if they are facing a threat or not.
The bark is also a warning sound, but it can also be an alarm. The threat, if there is one, is low or medium. Some researchers can tell different coyotes by the quality of their barks. Barks and barks combined with howls also tell another coyote where the animal is, whether it is a pack member and its mood.
A whine is a sound made by one coyote to show submission to a dominant animal.
This is also called a woo-oo-wow and can swing from a growl to a whine and back again. It is heard when a bunch of coyotes happily meet up.
Whenever you hear a coyote, it is clear that this animal is saying something. If you should hear a coyote, try to take these steps:
Though coyotes found in the eastern part of the country are a different subspecies than those found in the west, scientists have not yet studied coyote vocalizations enough to learn whether coyotes have regional accents. Humans have a hard time differentiating between the calls of male and female coyotes.
So what are your experiences? Have you ever encountered this elusive animal or heard its cry at night? Do you have something to share or a question about coyote calling that wasn’t answered here? If so, please feel free to comment below!
Check Coyote Pack Howl:
First thing’s first, what are coyotes and why do you want to get rid of them? Coyotes are canids native to North America that are very much like wolves and are considered predatory. Why do you want to trap them? Although it can happen, coyotes rarely attack people. However, coyotes can be a problem for livestock and domestic pets, especially if you own a farm with animals. In this article, I will be talking about how to trap a coyote in the most efficient way possible.
Now, let’s lay some groundwork down first. What do you need to trap a coyote? Depending on your method, you will need a few trapping devices like the coil-spring trap or a live cage trap. Keep in mind that depending on your state, there will be varying laws and regulations regarding hunting and trapping, so check that first before doing anything else.
When you’ve got your trapping mechanism, where do you place it? You need to be very observant. Determine the area where the coyote is causing the damage and determine the path it travels often. Look for tracks, animal remains, and disturbed dirt under fences. At these areas, lay down a couple of traps.
There are many different kinds of traps you can choose from. Each trap offers a different way to catch an animal. The type of hunting style will determine which trap is needed. Below are three of the most popular trap styles to catch a coyote.
This trap is recommended by many hunters. It is easy to hide and essentially traps a coyote’s paw without killing it. Make sure your trap is large and strong enough for the coyote you’re targeting; otherwise they might escape from the trap. The coil spring trap above is recommended for catching coyotes. There are half a dozen traps included in the package. The trap has a 5.25 jaw spread, a quick reaction, and a strong hold. This trap will catch a coyote and will hold on to it. Pro tip: do not use the coil spring trap if you’re a beginner. When it comes to dealing with the trapped coyote, you may not have enough knowledge on what to do next.
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Although it has been regarded as a less successful trapping device, a live cage trap will catch the animal in a cage. Once the coyote is caught, a professional can deal with the problem for you. However, you need to place this in the most strategic area and provide the proper bait. This is recommended if you do not want to kill the animal afterwards. This tomahawk original series rigid trap is large enough and designed to catch coyotes. There are two top handles on the cage for safe and comfortable holding. The cage also features a safe sliding rear door for easy release.
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Another option is the use of lethal traps. The most recommended lethal trap is the snare, wherein a coyote will be choked by the loop of the cord. Naturally, a coyote will pull away from the chokehold and thus tighten the grip. The above 12 pack is designed for coyote catching. Each snare is 60 inches in length. These snare traps are easy to use, loaded for speed, and they trap legally. There are two methods in using a snare trap. One way is to create a slip knot with the loop and anchor it to a nearby tree or fence. A second way is to run a small chain through the loop and anchor the chain around a tree. Whichever method is used, the snare will reliably come down quickly and capture the animal when the snare is hit.
Remember: when choosing your trap, check with the local laws regarding this matter to make sure your trap is appropriate to use.
This is so that your traps are well-hidden from the predators. With a trowel, dig a shallow hole about 8-inches deep at a 45 degree angle, place your trap and cover it well with dirt or hay/leaves. You can use the hole set-up for the coil-spring and snare traps.
To make this trap as efficient as possible, dig the hole in the area that the coyote frequents. Pro tip: you may also want to add live bait near the hole. Live bait will attract coyotes more than dead bait.
Most coyotes will stay away from a trap when they detect a human scent. When setting up your traps, wear thick, scent-free rubber gloves to avoid leaving your scent. It is also best to make sure that your traps are clean and oil-free to make it devoid of any scent.
Another thing you can do is spray a little bit of apple cider in the area to get rid of the human scent. This tip will make sure your trap is more efficient and be able to lure the predator well.
If your coyote problem is mild, or if you don’t want to kill the animal, you may opt to choose alternative methods to avoid coyotes from loitering in your area.
You’ve caught the coyote pestering your area with your trap, now what?
When getting rid of the coyote, again, check with the local rules and regulations before deciding what to do. Some states will have the coyote euthanized, but you can also opt to take it to a wildlife reserve. Most hunters/trappers will shoot the animal once caught, but make sure that this is legal in your state before doing so.
And there you have it! These are just a few tips on how to trap a coyote and some on how to avoid coyotes, and you can scour the Internet for more to make sure your trapping method is correct. Important: Keep in mind that coyotes are dangerous animals and will attack when provoked.
If you are a beginner wanting to try trapping the animal, keep in mind the safety procedures as well as the laws in your state regarding this matter. On the other hand, if you are not a hunter whatsoever and just want to get rid of your coyote problem, call in wildlife control and/or follow tip no. 4.
For a detailed tutorial on how to set up a hole trap (with a foot hold trap), watch this video:
Do you have any questions, comments, or stories on your own hunting/trapping experiences? Let me know in the comments below. Share this page if you liked the article and send it to a friend you know with a coyote problem, too! Good luck hunting!
You can read about Coyote Fast Facts here!
Hunting in the wild, it is not impossible for us to lose our way or be caught in a situation where we need to stay in the forest longer than we planned. Sometimes, we even plan to camp in the wilderness for a longer game stakeout. Whichever of these situations you might be in, knowing how to build a survival shelter is a very helpful thing. Shelter is very important especially if you are facing mother nature’s unpredictable behavior. We may not have put much thought to it but having a shelter especially in emergency situations makes a big difference on your survival. A shelter can protect you from the rain, snow, heat of the sun, hot and cold temperatures, wind, and even from insects or wild animals. Being able to build an effective one is a very important outdoor skill.
Now that we know how important survival shelters are, then let’s go and learn how to build them. Here are 10 best designs of survival shelters and how to build them.Continue reading
There are many different types of knives, each, with their own specific purposes. There are chef knives, utility knives, boning knives, hunting knives, and many more. In hunting three types of knives that can be very convenient and useful to bring are tactical knife, survival knife, and hunting knife. As a hunter, being able to make our own knives which we can use for our future hunting activities is not only a very rewarding task but it is also a very productive way to use our spare time. Think about having a very enjoying and rewarding recreational time for yourself while having a product that is customized for you that you can use for a long time – exciting right? Then let’s put that excitement into work. In this article, I will discuss how to make a knife: DIY on 3 different types of knives. We will use the three types of hunting knives that I have mentioned above. Before we proceed, let us first have some knowledge about these three knives and the materials that we are going to use to make them.
A tactical knife is a knife that is designed to be used in extreme situations which may or may have a military or combat feature. It is a comfortable knife that you can draw quickly and can be used in a variety of tasks. We can say that a good tactical knife can fit into your pocket or have some type of clip, durable, and does not have a lot of weak points. It can also either be a fixed blade knife or a folding knife.
A survival knife is designed to be used in order for you to survive in case you are left alone in the wild with few or nothing with you. It should be able to perform a lot of tasks like cutting, slicing, digging, piercing, whittling, shaving, dressing, skinning, and many others. You can use it for starting a fire, making a shelter, bandaging a wound, and hunting for food. In general, the key characteristics of a survival knife are versatility and strength. It must be a full tang knife to emphasize strength and durability.
A hunting knife is used to prepare the game caught in hunting by skinning and cutting, thus, it’s design is optimized for slicing and cutting rather than for stabbing. It has a single sharpened edge and usually has a curved blade so that you can smoothly separate the hide from the meat of your game. Some hunting knives, however, have blades with both a straight and a curved part to facilitate both skinning and cutting meat efficiently. A hunting knife can either be a fixed blade knife or a folding knife.
Before we proceed to how to make a knife: DIY on 3 different types of knives, let us first look on the materials that we will need.
This is what basically makes your knife and is a very important material to consider. When choosing a steel for your knife, you should consider the type of knife you are making and its purpose so that you will know the characteristics that you should pay attention to. The five key properties of steel are hardness, toughness, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and edge retention. The common knife steel types are tool steel which is hard, carbon steel which is tough and durable, and stainless steel which is corrosion-resistant.
Choosing your knife’s handle material depends on the purpose of your knife but it also depends on the preference of the user. It is good to choose a handle material that will be most comfortable for you to use and is also durable and with good grip. There are a lot of knife handle materials that you can choose from, each, with their own pros and cons. Examples are stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, fiberglass, leather, bone, and wood.
An angle grinder is a tool used to grind, polish, or cut metal or other materials. You will use this tool mainly to cut and shape your knife. It uses a variety of wheels or discs like diamond wheels and abrasive wheels. If you do not have an angle grinder, you may use a hack saw for cutting but that would require more work.
You will need a variety of files from rough to fine and a sand paper in a variety of grits for finishing your blade. You will need the wood rasp in shaping your wood handle and the sharpening stone in sharpening your blade once your knife is finished.
You will use the drill to make holes on where you will attach the handle.
You will use this for holding your knife during the heat treatment.
You will need a heat source to heat treat your knife. For this process, you may use a grill and hardwood charcoal. Make sure that the charcoals are super hot before immersing your blade.
You will use the epoxy to glue the blade and the handle together.
One thing that we should know on how to make a knife: DIY on 3 different types of knives is that basically, the steps in making these knives are just the same; they only differ in designing the template and shaping the blade and handle. With that in mind, we will just proceed with the basic steps in making a knife and emphasize each key point in making each knife.
Design your knife and draw the template – Photo credit: i.pinimg.com
Making your knife’s template is a very important step in making your knife since it will be the basis of what your finished knife will look like. You should be very careful and detailed in making your knife’s template and make sure to consider all the aspects of the knife and what you want your knife to become including its type, length, design, and purpose. Also, it is important that you make the template the same or close to the actual size that you want your knife to be.
In making your tactical knife’s template, bear in mind that what we want is something that is easy to carry. A good size of the knife would be around 8-9 inches. Consider the size of your hand when deciding the length of the handle. You may trace your template in a piece of cardboard for you to have some idea on the feel of the length of your knife. For the design of the blade and handle, it is up to you as long as it serves its purpose. For me, a good design would be something with a half-serrated blade with a good cutting edge and a strong, thick point.
For your survival knife, a good design would be something with a handle that fits well in your hand, a blade with a thickness of around 1/8 to 1/4 inches, and a total length of around 9-11 inches. It will also be good if it will be a full tang knife which has a fixed blade, straight edge, and either a clip point or a drop point. For the steel, high carbon or stainless are good choices.
Lastly, for your hunting knife, I recommend that you design your blade with a drop point, a thick spine, a bevel with around 20-30 degrees angle, and a choil that matches the size of your fingers. The knife should also be a full tang.
Trace the blade template to a piece of steel and cut the steel – Photo credit: http://2.bp.blogspot.com
Using a permanent marker, trace your designed template on your chosen piece of metal. It is better if the piece of metal is not too large compared to the size of your knife so it will be easier to cut later. Also, make sure that you include the tang since the blade and the tang are in one piece. Using a hacksaw or an angle grinder, cut the outline on the metal. Leave a bit of allowance when cutting to leave a room for some adjustments when finishing the blade.
Finish the blade and drill a hole in the tang – Photo credit: http://poorfolkbows.com
Using your angle grinder, make the bevel of your knife by grinding the edge side to side taking into account the design of your blade. You may also use files and sandpapers to make a nice finish and polish your blade. Start with a rough grade sand paper going to a finer grade. Make sure that the whole blade is polished and the bevel is grinded well. For the serrations of your tactical knife, use the appropriate size of files and make sure that you make the spacing between the serrations equal. Also, make the serrations before grinding the bevel. After you have finished your blade, drill some rivet holes in the tang where you are going to connect your handle later.
Heat treat the blade – Photo credit: anitachowdry.files.wordpress.com
In making a good knife, more important than the type of steel that you use is the heat treatment. For your heat treatment, you may use a grill and hardwood charcoals. Also, prepare your quenching bath. You may use food grade quenching oils, mineral oils, or commercial quenching oils for this. When heat treating your blade, you can say that it is ready for quenching when it is already non-magnetic. When your blade turns orange in color, put it out the flame and check if it will still be magnetized, if it is already non-magnetic, put it back the heat, make sure that the whole blade has become orange colored, then immediately but carefully dunk it in the quenching bath. Allow the bubbling and hissing of the oil to subside then cool it in open air. After this, temper your knife in the oven for an hour and cool it to room temperature. Repeat these three times. The temperature of the oven depends on the type of steel you use but it usually ranges from 350 to 850 °F. Make sure to use clamps when handling the knife and wear protection like gloves and helmet.
Make and attach the handle – Photo credit: http://www.hobbynerd.com
After we are done with the blade, it is now time for us to make the handle. In this article, we are going to use hard wood as the material for making the handle of the three knives. For the tactical knife, your handle must have a steady and comfortable grip in both forward and reverse grips. Don’t put grooves and contours on the handle that forces you to hold it in any way. For the survival knife, your handle must fit well in your hands and must have a flat pommel. You may put some grooves for better grip but make sure that it fits comfortably to your hand. For the hunting knife, make sure that your handle has a groove that comfortably fits your hand, a nice bolster, and a pommel. To make and attach your handle, get a piece of wood a bit larger than the size of your tang with the thickness that you would want your handle to have, shape them the way you want, drill the rivet holes using your tang as basis, split the wood into two equal parts, then attach the handle into the tang using some rivets or pins and epoxy. Make sure that the epoxy sets well. Use clamps to hold the handle and the tang together while waiting for the glue to set. You may use wood rasps in shaping your handle and sand paper in polishing them to make a good finish.
harpen the blade – Photo credit: icdn9.themanual.com
It is very important to sharpen your blade since it satisfies the main purpose a knife – to cut. Use a sharpening stone to sharpen your blade by holding your blade in a 20° angle and lightly scraping through the stone in a cutting motion. Do this in both side of your blade. Make sure to wet your sharpening stone with oil from time to time. Also, if you have a double sided sharpening stone, use the coarse side first then the fine side after for a better finish. Make sure to finish both side of the blade first before moving on to the finer side. To test if your knife is sharp enough, hold a piece of paper with one hand and slice through it with your knife. Your knife must smoothly cut through the paper.
Polish the blade and handle – Photo credit: http://www.instructables.com
Now that your knife is finished, you can give your blade and handle a final polish and add some final touches. You may even put some customized carvings or design on the blade if you want.
A knife is a very important tool for a hunter. It serves a lot of purpose and is sure very handy in a lot of situations. Buying a good knife can be an exciting activity for a hunter but making your own knife gives an entirely different excitement and feeling. Although making a knife is not easy, it is possible for you to make your own given the right tools, materials, and knowledge. Just bring your passion and enthusiasm with you and your good to go. It may take time and effort but the product is surely rewarding. That is why to help you with making your own knife, I have written steps on how to make a knife: DIY on 3 different types of knives in this article. I hope this article helped you!
Did you like this article? If so, please a comment below and share this with your friends. Thank you for reading!
Being a favored food of the Native Americans for as early as the 1500’s, wild turkeys are one of the games that hunters sought after the most. Wild turkeys symbolize abundance and is often served as the main course representing successful harvest in the North America. As turkey hunters, it is important that we know some facts about our game. It does not only give us advantage in hunting but it also ignites our interest on our prey. In this article, I will discuss some fascinating facts about wild turkeys and provide information on how long do wild turkeys live.
The wild turkey, Meleagris gallopovo, is one of the two species of turkeys which is a permanent resident of Pennsylvania’s woods and mountains and is native only to North America. This species was nearly eradicated in the 1900’s because of excessive hunting and destruction of their woodland habitat, however, their population has been revived when people reintroduce the species to areas wherein the woodlands are recovering.
Adult wild turkeys range from around 36-44 inches in length from the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail. They have featherless blue heads, long necks, fan-shaped tails, and strong and long legs. Compared to males, female wild turkeys are smaller and their feather color is duller. Male wild turkeys’ throats have red wattles and their breasts have dark tufts which are often absent in females. Males also have spurs while females usually have none.
Wild turkeys are omnivorous animals which eat a wide variety of foods. Majority of their diet is vegetable and they are ready to sample many different plants that they can eat. Their type of food also depends on the season where availability of plants and other food sources varies. Examples of foods that they eat are acorns, hickory nuts or beech nuts, seeds and grain, berries, wild grapes, crabapples and other small fruits, small reptiles, fleshy plant parts, plant foliage, grass and tender young leaves or shoots, large insects, and snails, slugs and worms. Wild turkeys also have the habit of gritting sand and small gravel to help them with their digestion.
HabitatTypically, you can see wild turkeys foraging on open forest floors, however, you can also find them in grasslands and swamps. Habitat requirements for turkeys are the presence of trees which become their source of food, provide them a place to rest and take cover, and serve as their roost sight during the night. Grasslands are also important as these also become adults and poults source of food and are a good place to forage for insects. Wild turkeys’ habitat must also have moisture since it affects their reproduction and survival directly and indirectly. However, the answer on how long do wild turkeys live depends upon many factors.
Wild turkeys spend most of their days foraging. Poults spend around 90 percent of their time feeding. They feed mostly on insects which are better sources of protein than plants. Juveniles and adults, on the other hand, eat a wide variety of food including soft and hard plants, grasses, and insects. Usually, wild turkeys get around by walking, however, when they are threatened, females tend to fly while males tend to run. When courting, males strut, lower their wings, fan their tails, and make non-vocal hums and chump sounds. When the female lays the eggs, the male leaves it to the female to care for the youngs and form a flock. Males breed with multiple mates and form an all-male flock outside the breeding season. At the age of around 2-4 days old, young turkeys begin to dust, preen, and sun their feathers. This is their way to keep their feathers in good condition. At 14-28 days old, poults begin to roost in trees. This is part of wild turkeys’ behavior that helps them avoid predators.
A wild turkey has an average life expectancy of around three years, however, some turkeys live much longer and reach 13 or even 15 years. Actually determining how long do wild turkeys live will depend on a lot of factors. Let us look at them one by one.
The environment plays a major role in the life span of turkeys as this is where the food, shelter, and cover for wild turkeys will depend. A change in habitat, in species diversity, species balance, forest age-class and many others may contribute to wild turkeys’ life span due to change in food, shelter, and cover conditions. Unforeseen diseases and increase in predation shortens wild turkeys’ life span.
Weather has a great effect on wild turkeys’ survival, thus, it is also a determining factor on how long do wild turkeys live. If there is a good weather all year round, the survival rate of wild turkeys is high, however, if there are more extreme whether events, there will be a low rate of their survival, thus, resulting to their shorter life span.
Wild turkeys who are exposed to hunting will obviously have shorter life span than those who are not. If, for instance, a person tries to domesticate a wild turkey, the turkey’s life span will largely depend on how this person can manage to raise it successfully.
Female turkeys have shorter life span than male turkeys. In their natural habitat, turkey hens live for about two to three years in average while gobblers live for about six to seven years.
A very well-known way to determine a gobbler’s age is by looking at its spurs. According to the Conservation Department index, if your gobbler’s spur is ½” inch and has a rounded tip, it is one year old and is called a jake; if it is between 1/2 and 7/8 inches long and straight, with a blunt tip, it is two years old; if it is between 1 and 1 1/2 inches long, slightly curved, with a pointed tip, it is three years old, and if it is more than 1 1/2 inches long, more curved, and sharp at the tips, it is four years old at the least.
Wild turkeys are very interesting game animals that it was even suggested by Benjamin Franklin to be their national bird. Being a good source of delicious and nutritious food, the Native Americans hunted them and even became a steady food source for them in the past. Today, turkey hunting became an exciting sport which is enjoyed by many hunters. Knowing more about wild turkeys makes hunting them more fun and interesting and one good information to have is how long do wild turkeys live. I hope this article answer that question well and help you gain some fascinating background on wild turkeys.
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Are you itching to hunt bushy tails for this season? If you are up to early season squirrel hunting, then you came to the right place. An advantage to early season hunting is that of course, you will be able to catch them off guard since not too many hunters have spooked the lot. However, shooting a squirrel will require more than just luck—here are 5 early season squirrel tips that can help you get your first kill stat.
In some cultures, snakes are hunted and caught for their meat. For most people, snake meat is a delicacy and is something that is not eaten regularly. In some cases, snakes are eaten in emergency situations for sustenance and survival. If you are an avid snake hunter and want to try getting a taste of their meat, let’s talk about edible snakes first and if they are safe to eat.
Some snakes are safe to eat while others are not. Before you try eating a snake or catching one for food, make sure that you identify its species and determine that it is not a poisonous snake. Needless to say, eating a poisonous snake can be detrimental to one’s health.
So, how do you know if a snake is safe to eat?
It’s pretty obvious that venomous snakes are risky to eat. You can identify if a snake is venomous or not if you know the appearance and skin pattern of the most common venomous snakes. However, the most dangerous venomous snakes are unlikely to be recommended as edible snakes.
The four venomous snakes are as follows: coral snake, cottonmouth snake, copperhead snake, and the rattlesnake. These species of snakes are highly venomous and their venom can easily kill a human adult with a single bite. For reference, here is a list of the top 10 most venomous snakes in the world.
Identifying a venomous snake can be difficult for those who are not very familiar with snake species. Thus, if you want to hunt for a particular species of non-venomous snake, make sure that you know what it looks like or you might end up encountering a dangerous snake.
Some sources say that cooking a venomous snake can inactivate the remaining venom in their bodies, but let’s not risk it, shall we? Especially if you are not an expert on snakes and snake venom.
On the other hand, if you happen to find a dead snake lying around, it is not recommended that you eat it especially if you don’t know the cause of death. Because in some cases, snakes can die from eating poisonous animals like rodents or frogs. If you eat a contaminated snake, the toxins may transfer to you and cause detrimental health effects.
It is also not recommended to get yourself into a situation where a snake bite poses a high risk. If you really want to eat a snake, there are some restaurants that offer this delicacy. On the other hand, you can also find someone who sells snake meat so you don’t have to catch it for your own.
So, you find or catch your non-venomous or non-poisonous snake. What do you do now? If you happen to capture a snake for your own, you need to clean it thoroughly and learn the proper way to cook it so that you don’t pose any health risk to yourself. Here is a slight overview of what you can do to eat an edible snake.
Preparing your snake means that you have to clean it, skin it, and gut it before cooking. Just like other edible reptiles like alligators and frogs, preparing the snake for cooking can be a bit more tedious that when using regular store-bought meat. But that’s the fun of it! You will really feel like a survivalist while preparing your snake.
The first thing you need to do is cut the snake’s head off preferably with the best tactical knife or hunting knife you have. Cutting the head off is necessary sometimes because the snake can still pose a bite threat due to reflexes post-mortem.
Next, find the anal opening of the snake. This is where you will make your first cut. With a pair of scissors or sharp knife, cut through the snake’s anal vent and work your way upwards until you reach the neck. Be careful while cutting because you would want to save your snake skin for later.
After you’ve cut the snake vertically, you would notice that there is connective tissue that attaches the snake’s skin to its muscles. If you have experience skinning a fox or rabbit, then this part should be easily. But if not, practice makes perfect.
Carefully cut away the connective tissue until the snake skin separates from the muscle or until you can easily peel away the skin. Then, the next step is peeling the snake skin off of the body. Take hold of the snake’s body and use your other hand to carefully separate the skin from the muscle.
The next step in preparing your snake meat is to remove the guts. You can easily do this but cutting along the snake’s stomach and removing the tube that contains its innards. Easy-peasy, just like gutting a fish. Make sure you don’t puncture the innards so that you avoid getting the gross goo/snake bile all over the place.
Give your snake meat a good wash-down and then clean up the area you used for preparing the snake.
Now, you’re left with your precious snake meat! It’s time to get cooking!
There are a few recipes available on the net for snake meat, but the most common ones are frying and grilling. If you’re out in the wilderness with not much choice for cooking options, you can grill the snake over a fire. Just make sure that you’ve cleaned the snake thoroughly.
Another snake cooking method we recommend is to fry it up like chicken fillets or gator meat. You can do this by simply cutting the snake meat into thin slices, seasoning it as desired, dredging with bread crumbs, and then frying in deep oil. Snake meat can go well with cornbread, rice, pasta, or veggies.
Of course, you cannot let the snake skin go to waste. After cutting it off from the meat, you can trim the excess tissue of, rinse it, and then save it as a trophy or use it for other creative purposes. You can also sell snake skin online!
Like frog meat, people who have tried eating snakes say that snake meat tastes like chicken or fish. Thus, you can season snake meat the same way you would season chicken or fish.
On the other hand, when we’re talking about nutritional quality of the snake meat, you can find it a great source of lean protein. It has lower fat content and calories than regular red meat, but it has a high protein content that can serve as fuel for the body and for repairing of tissues.
In the case of using snake meat to survive in the wild, it will definitely keep you going due to its nutritional content. You can also grill, bake, or sautee snake meat instead of deep frying to keep the calories on the down low.
Snake meat can be delicious and nutritious to eat both as a delicacy or emergency food item. If you plan on eating snakes, make sure that it is one of the edible snakes and it is safe for human consumption. Now that we’ve answered the question on edible snakes: is it safe to eat? You can try acquiring one of your own and trying it out.
Do you have any questions regarding this topic? If so, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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.
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.
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.
Before proceeding to the main steps, let us first have a quick look of the things that you may need for your soybean plot.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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If you are planning to catch a small game animal, one of the very effective way to do so is by using a Paiute deadfall trap. A Paiute deadfall trap is a setup used to catch animals by using a very sensitive and quick trigger mechanism. It is an Indian trap which dates back to the early Paiute Indian Nations. Whether you are lost in the wild without any equipment to use for catching your food or you just chose to catch your game without the hassle of pursuit, using a Paiute deadfall trap would be perfect for you. The good thing about having traps is that it gives you time to do the other things that you need to do.
Also, Paiute deadfall trap can be made with materials found in nature so you can make it even without available tools and it can even serve as a good camouflage so your prey won’t get suspicious. Do you want to learn how to make one and experience the benefits I just mentioned? Let me help you with that. In this article is a step by step procedure on how to make a Paiute deadfall trap. But before we proceed, let us have some knowledge about the trap first.