Monday, May 25, 2015

A Bird Sanctuary

By Becky Williams, Huntress View ProStaff
Originally posted on Becky's blog: Let a Girl Show You How to Hunt and Fish


On our small five acre property I have hung, built, and been given many different bird houses. Now that it has been a few years, we have so many varieties of birds living on our property, from regular little everyday birds to cardinals, turkey, mallards, wood ducks and blue birds. It's so fun to watch them build their nests and see all their sticks and strings hanging from the bird house holes.


Adding finishing touches to be added to a tree

Hung about 7 feet above the ground near our pond

One of the chicken wire duck nesters I made this spring. No ducks yet, but it can take a couple of seasons.


Little momma wood duck, no eggs yet, but hoping to have some soon.

A wood duck house built 4 years ago and there is a wood duck hen that sits in there

This is an old bird house I built years ago. It is full of straw and sticks, but I've never seen anything nest in it. It overlooks the pond in some trees.

I've even made some "not so normal" bird houses. This was an empty peanut butter container. I cut a hole, painted it gold, and screwed the lid to the tree. I put this up last year and this year there is a nest in it!



This is a regular nest outside of my laundry room window. I was able to watch a mother cardinal raise her single baby. The day I wanted to take a picture was the day her baby left the nest, so now it sits empty. Hopefully she will nest in it again.

I am so happy to know that my property is comfortable and that the birds and wildlife feel safe enough to raise their families here.  I love to see them in the yard and in the woods.  I have had a couple turkeys nest on my land, unfortunately one was killed by a fox, but the other had a healthy family and we would see her walk out yard with all her babies.
Beçk¥








Rita's WITO Spring Turkey Hunt

By Rita Cook, Huntress View ProStaff


I have only been hunting a few short years, so I am always looking for new and
exciting groups or events to participate in. It is a great way to meet fellow huntresses, 
gain knowledge, share experiences, and its just plain fun!! One of the groups that I have 
been lucky enough to participate in is the Central VA Chapter of the National Wildlife 
Turkey Federation (NWTF) –Women in the Outdoors (WITO) group. They hosted an 
event last August where they showed ladies how to shoot a crossbow, skeet shoot, and fly 
fish. It was a wonderful time! I had never shot a crossbow or fly fished, so I definitely 
learned something, but more than that I made some great friends. 

On April 25th, 2015 the Central VA Chapter of the NWTF hosted the first ever 
WITO Spring Turkey Hunt. Entries were collected and six women were picked to 
participate; I was one of the lucky winners! We had a “meet and greet” on Friday where 
we enjoyed a catered dinner and we got to meet our guides and the fellow huntresses. We 
patterned our guns and had a good time talking about our experiences. Most of the 
women had never been on a turkey hunt before and the excitement was electrifying. After 
dinner we were dispersed from that location to accommodations that were closer to our 
hunting destinations. I stayed with my guide and two other huntresses. We had a blast 
getting to know each other and talking about our upcoming hunts. 

We were up bright and early Saturday morning and we each went on our guided 
hunt with an experienced hunter or huntress. My guide was Emily Beasley and she 
delivered an amazing hunt!  I didn’t bag a turkey but I heard plenty of gobbling and I was 
able to see so many turkeys. We had a hen fly across the river to come talk to us, and a 
gobbler strutting in a field at 60 yards.  Emily gave me pointers and advice throughout 
the hunt. 

video


video


After the hunts, we all met back at the original location for another great meal and 
awesome conversations. We all shared our exciting stories, with noises and animations of 
course.  None of us were able to get a turkey, but we were anything but disappointed. We 
were each given an engraved box call and a copy of “Beginning Turkey Hunting”. We all 
shared something really special that day and we have memories that will last a lifetime. I 
learned a lot about hunting and a lot about myself.





Friday, May 22, 2015

How Much Longer Till' Deer Season?!

By Kaitlyn Harris, Huntress View ProStaff
Originally posted on her blog: her point of view.


How Much Longer till' Deer Season?!

A question asked to me today by my fellow Huntress View pro staffer Evin Damuth. "Now that turkey season is over, we can look forward to dove season. Then we'll be counting down the days until deer season! Now, what to hunt during this 4 month lull?" I had many things come to mind, on top of scouting, trail cameras, and food plots, of course! I have compiled a list of what I like to do while waiting for Fall.

Fishing
You just can't go wrong with fishing. I always just enjoy the opportunity to be on the water. It's especially nice if you get the opportunity to hit the deep sea! I'm crossing my fingers for another trip this Summer!

Bow Fishing
Yes, I would love to have a super awesome bow fishing setup, but for now I am bow fishing on a budget! This is my first few times ever trying it and I am hooked! I literally bought 3 complete arrows online for $21 and some bow fishing hand line for $10. I'm using a super old, I mean old, old compound bow. Check your local pawn shop or Craigslist for a cheapie! One day I might step up my game, but for now I am just having a blast with my friends!

Frog Gigging
It's cheap and so much fun to do with friends! Check into the different kinds of gigs or even make your own! Grab a spotlight and try to spot the eyes in ditches, pounds, and creeks. Listen for the big deep croaks, those are the ones to find! Talk about good eating! Good luck!

Bow Practice
It is the perfect time to make any changes or modifications to your bow. You have time to really get dialed in and comfortable shooting it! It's also a great time to spend time with friends. I enjoy having my friends over for some bow practice! A little friendly fun competition never hurt anybody! We really motivate each other to shoot better. We set goals and we achieve them, sharing tips and pointers along the way! Plus, it's also an excuse to bust out the grill and cook up some venison burgers for everyone!

Range & Trap Shooting
Who couldn't use a brush up on their trap shooting, really!? I say this with the exception of the 11 year old I met last month at the skeet range, who made me want to cry. We won't talk about that anymore for now... This is good preparation for those dove hunts that are going to sneak up and those duck hunts that seem so far away! Always another time for you to get the friends together too! Oh yeah and that new scope isn't going to sight its self in! Get to the range so you're accurate and ready for the big boys this fall!
So don't be discouraged! Deer season is practically right around the corner! Just get outside and live, time will fly! I hope this list inspires someone to try something new, or to do the things they love. Get outdoors and experience the natural world! Even if you don't hunt or shoot, I encourage you to spend time with our Mother Earth in your own way.

Thanks for reading. -RobbieKKHarris

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

C-EZ Reflective Outdoor Products Review

By Britni Dunham, Huntress View ProStaff
Originally posted on Britni's blog Britni Outdoor Tradition




C-EZ Reflective Outdoor Products is a company that provides outdoorsmen with highly reflective decals for many uses.  These decals are weather resistant and carry a 3-5 year rating. Each pack includes 1 window decal, 20 arrow-wrap strips, and 8 treestand wraps. When struck by a light source they are visible in low-zero light conditions.  They are the perfect "back up" when your lighted nock fails!

The highly reflective decals are mainly used on arrows, treestands, and as trail markers. With a weight of only 1.5 grains, they do not effect your arrow flight! When tested against three arrows without the decals, there was no difference in placement on the target. The small pre-cut decals fit on any arrow shaft or crossbow bolt.  Whether your lighted nock fails or you do not use a lighted nock, these wraps are a must have in finding a missing arrow in low-zero light. All you have to do is take out your flashlight and look for the bright reflective decal, as shown below. C-EZ reflective wraps help you to recover your arrow, including broadhead which ultimately saves you money.

Have any trouble finding your stand or navigating to and from your stand in the morning/evening? The larger sized pre-cut decals are perfect for wrapping around various parts of your treestand.  Also, for marking your ins and outs, your flashlight will reflect the decals for easy entry into and out of the woods.  Utilizing your ins and outs is a crucial part to hunting any animal, especially whitetails, and C-EZ reflective wraps will help you to be successful! 

C-EZ Products in action on a treestand!

These versatile decals can also be used on turkey call strikers/locators, ATVs, utility trailers, cell phones, blinds, cargo racks, etc.  Each pack is $9.99 with a total of 29 decals and can be ordered through www.cezproducts.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram for new products, giveaways, user testimonies, and more.  No matter the need, C-EZ highly reflective decals are a must have for any outdoorsman.  I know my arrows will be wrapped and my treestands/trails marked with C-EZ reflective decals.



Weighing only 1.5 grains, they do NOT effect your arrow flight!

Britni's 2014 buck


 3-5 year rating and are very visible in low-zero light conditions when struck by any source of light.



All of the options:
C-EZ green, Major League Bowhunter, Bone Collector, Just For Does, C-EZ pink, Just For Bucks, Crush and Realtree

Also check out http://cezproducts.com/ for C-EZ apparel!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sporting Clays: How To Get Started

By Andrea Haas, Huntress View Founder
Originally Posted on TheHuntersFeed Blog by EvoOutdoors


I shoulder my shotgun and yell “pull”! 

Shooting at the last station in the competition
Prois Competitor Shooters Vest
I take my aim and miss the first two clays. I’m at my very first sporting clay competition and to say that I’m nervous is an understatement. I hear encouraging words from the other competitors behind me as I shoulder my gun again and prepare for the next two clays. Again, I yell “pull”, but this time I bust both clays! The other competitors in my group start cheering for me and giving me high fives, easing my nerves as we walk to the second station.

I recently shot at the 16th Annual Women’s Charity Shotgun Event hosted by the Ozark Shooters Sports Complex in Branson, MO. The proceeds from this shoot went to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, a hospital that provides high quality care to children in need, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

Before now my only experience in this area was shooting trap in my backyard a few times, as well as hunting doves, pheasants and crows. One thing that I truly believe is that you learn the most by forcing yourself to get out of your comfort zone. Going into this sporting clay competition by myself, not knowing what to expect was definitely a little uncomfortable for me, but I am so glad that I did it! 

The women competing in this event were not only very friendly and encouraging, they were excellent shooters and I was happy that they were willing to give me some pointers. One tip was to lift my right elbow up just a little higher & keep it parallel to the ground. This creates a “pocket” in your shoulder that the shotgun fits into better which helps with recoil, especially after shooting 50 shells. I learned that other shooters really want to help you and want to see you succeed. Sure, it’s a competition, but it’s all in good fun and for a great cause.

For those like me that are new to sporting clay shooting, here’s a basic run down on what to expect:

How It Works

Out of all shotgun sports, sporting clays is the closest thing to actual field hunting. With skeet and trap you have clays thrown at generalized distances and angles each time. Sporting clays are designed to simulate actual wing shooting of ducks, pheasants and other upland birds. The clays can be thrown from any direction, at any speed and any angle. Some clays even vary in size, giving you the next best thing to real world hunting conditions.
Sporting clays are usually shot in squads of 2-6 people and is played over a course of about 10 different shooting stations throughout fields and the natural features of the land. Being from the Ozark Mountains, our stations overlooked some beautiful scenery and was naturally, very hilly. Each person in a squad shoots a determined number of clays, usually around 4-6, before moving on to the next station.

Safety

Like all shooting sports, safety comes first in sporting clays. As soon as you remove your gun from the vehicle, make sure the breech is open and the gun is not loaded. If you shoot an over/under shotgun, make sure you break it open and the barrel is pointed down or up towards the sky. Even if you know the shotgun is not loaded, always treat it as if it is.
Ear and eye protection are also a must any time you are on a sporting clay course.

Shooting a Round

Once each squad is at their designated first station, hand the score cards to the referee. Before anyone shoots, the referee will show you the targets so you can see how they are being thrown.

Step up to the station when it’s your turn to shoot and load your shotgun. Point it safely towards the firing area and yell “pull” once you are ready. The target is considered a “dead bird” if any part of it is broken. When you are done shooting, make sure the breech is open and exit the station. Remain behind the station until everyone in your squad has finished shooting and is ready to move on.

Shooting sporting clays is a great way to sharpen your shooting skills and “extend” your hunting season. If you feel sporting clays is something you would like to get involved in, here are a few ways to get started!

Join a Local Club. Check out the National Sporting Clay Association (NSCA) website to search for clubs in your area: http://www.nssa-nsca.org/index.php/nsca-sporting-clays-shooting/clubs-associations/club-search/

Once a member, you can use your clubs facility on a regular basis and meet other shooters. Like I mentioned above, my experience with meeting other shooters was a positive one. They were very helpful, encouraging, and these ladies could shoot very well!


Join the NSCA. The NSCA is the ultimate resource for all things sporting clays. They are dedicated to getting more people involved in shotgun sports, no matter what level they are at, and promoting healthy competition within its membership.

Shoot In a Competition. I think one of the best ways to improve your shooting skills is to actually shoot in a competition, like I did. You can watch other great shooters and learn from them. Don’t worry about “not being good enough”. You only compete within your own class, so you’re only competing against others that are at the same level as you.

Keep Practicing! Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more! Experience really is the best teacher. Also, if any upland seasons are open, get yourself a tag. I ended up getting 1st place in my class and I feel that my experience with hunting live birds prepared me the most for sporting clays.



Andrea Haas
Huntress View Founder