Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tips for Air Travel (Part 1) – Finding Flight Pitfalls – The Layover

By Lora Gene Young

A goodbye photo before leaving for New Zealand
Seasoned travelers and rookies alike, traveling to and from your destination dream hunt could be the most stressful part of your hunt. You do not want to start your trip with a missed flight or end your trip stuck in an airport on standby because the plane left without you.
There are so many things to consider I am going to break these tips up into parts. 

Part 1, the LAYOVER…

1 Layovers – No one likes a long layover, but too short is more detrimental to your travel than long.

a.  Remember, when you change from a domestic flight to an international flight, even though you are still in the US, you will have to change from domestic to international terminal. This takes longer than your usual flight change. Also, you will possibly be changing airlines; this could add time needed to find your correct terminal and gate. I always go for a minimum of two hours for a layover if I am changing between terminals, especially if I do not know the airport.

b.  Next, when you enter your destination country, you might have to make a connecting flight to another part of the country. You will go through customs at your first airport of call. Customs always takes time, especially when you are the foreigner. Make sure your layover in this airport takes that into account. Once again, allow at least two hours. This also applies when returning home. You will have to go through customs. If your port of entry is a large airport, such as LAX, there could be three or four additional planes landing at the same time. This means a VERY long line to go through customs. Then the terminal change. Possibly re-checking baggage. Make sure you know what you will need to do. Once again, I suggest a minimum of two hours, more if you are in LAX or re-checking luggage.

c.  One time when too long is really too long. With a layover over 12 hours your luggage will not be checked through to your final destination. You must retrieve your luggage, and then re-check it. Many times you cannot check-in until two to three hours before your flight. This means you are stuck with your luggage, limiting your site-seeing ability during this long flight. You also cannot proceed through security to your gate; you are stuck in the check-in area with very few amenities.

Bring some reading to keep you occupied in-flight or when waiting during long layovers!
d.  When it comes to layovers on a hunting trip, the last thing, and possibly the most important, your guns. If you are bringing guns into the destination country this will make your layover longer. Some countries require police to review your guns in person in order to approve your importation paperwork. Many times these officials have specific office hours. If your flight arrives at 6 am and the customs officials or police are not there to examine your guns until 8 am and you only have a two hour layover, you will miss your connecting flight. This is no way to start your hunting trip. Make sure this does not happen to you. Ask your outfitter about this or research the airport of entry.

Flying does not have to be stressful. You do not have to arrive for your dream hunting experience frazzled and on edge. Plan ahead, check the little things, ask questions, and most of all, just relax, you will get there, even with a few bumps in the road. Even if there are hiccups, one day, you will laugh about the whole experience.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Scent Control Tips

By Andrea Haas

We all have different views and opinions on scent control while hunting. Some feel scent control is just a way for companies to get you to buy their products and make more money. Others may not use any scent control products at all and still see deer while out hunting, feeling they don't need to follow a scent control regimen in order to harvest deer. 

Personally, I disagree with both of the above. Yes, the hunting industry is just that, an "industry". And yes I'm sure you can go hunting, using no scent control at all, and still see deer. But, there's no denying that deer use their amazing sense of smell as one of their defense mechanisms.That alone is reason enough to at least experiment with different scent control products & find something that you feel works to your advantage. 

I think that a good scent control regimen should be at the top of your list when planning out your hunting strategy, along with hunting stands only when the wind is in your favor for that specific spot. Here's a few tips & products that have worked well for me in the past!

  • Wash your clothes using scent control laundry detergent. We always wash a load of our every day clothes first using the scent control detergent to help rid the washer of the smell of our everyday detergent. Make sure the detergent does not contain UV brighteners as they can make your camo appear to "glow" to a deer in low light situations. Scent Killer Gold Laundry Detergent is a great option. 
  • Air drying your clothes outside is ideal but you aren't always able to do that. When drying our clothes in the dryer we like to use dryer sheets to help prevent static build up. I like Scent Killer Autumn Formula Dryer Sheets. 
  • Keeping your clothes scent free until ready to wear is crucial. I store mine in a Watson Airlock Bag. The "Bottomless 26" bag has 7,000 cubic inches of water resistant storage. A 4680 cubic inch scent free storage compartment gives you plenty of room to store your clothing, plus there is a separate compartment just for your hunting boots! 
  • As soon as possible before going hunting shower using scent control body care products. For women the Scent Killer Gold for her Value Pack from Wildlife Research Center works great! The shampoo has all the great scent killing abilities as the original, but this one is formulated just for women. It's safe to use on color treated hair and is a lot more moisturizing. The Value Pack contains Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Scent Killer Spray and a bath pouf. 
  • Brush your teeth with scent control toothpaste right before heading out to hunt. I like the e2 Scent Prevent Toothpaste from Dead Down Wind. 
  • Don't wear the same clothes you will be hunting in while driving to your hunting property, otherwise you will just be wasting your time with the above steps. I pick out an outfit to wear while driving to the property, wash it in scent control detergent with my camo and store it in my airtight bag until ready to head out. Keep your hunting clothes in their scent free bag or container and bring them with you but don't change into them until you are at your property & out of the vehicle. 
  • Finally, I spray myself head-to-toe with scent eliminating spray after getting dressed before heading to my treestand. These sprays help kill bacteria & limit the amount of human scent detectable to a whitetail. I use the Scent Killer Gold Spray mentioned above that is included in the Value Pack for women.
Good luck to everyone this season and I hope these tips will help you! Do you have any tips of your own that I didn't mention here? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tips For Using Deer Scent

By ProStaff Kinsey Edmunds

If you're new to bow hunting, at first it can be a little intimidating. But think about it, it’s no different than learning to ride a bike, or learning to play guitar for example. These are all things that take practice. The more practice you allow yourself, the better you're going to be! You're going to make mistakes and mess up from time to time, but that’s how you learn! Some of the most valuable hunts I’ve been on was when I had made a mistake. Those mess ups in the field helped me to be a better hunter in the future. One of the things I love most about hunting is that there are always opportunities to learn more about the outdoors. No hunting experience will ever be the exact same. The more you get out there, the more you will experience and learn!

I would like to share a tip with you that I learned that helped me in killing my first archery buck. Last year, October 23, I was out bow hunting. I won’t ever forget it because it was the day before my birthday! Bucks were starting to chase after the does as the pre-rut was beginning, and soon the rut would be in full force. The rut really picks up in Missouri around October 31 into the first few weeks of November. Prime time :) My friend had told me that using Wildlife Research Center Golden Estrus was a great way to attract those bucks running hard in the rut. I decided to try it out. 

I started at the base of my tree stand and drug the scent wick I had dipped in golden estrus out about 30 yards in the field. I did this directly in front of my stand and then to the right of my stand as well. An important thing to remember when doing this is to start out dragging the scent at the base of your tree and then drag from there. The scent will be stronger when you first put it on the ground, than when you get done dragging it out. You want to lure the buck in closer to your stand. Which is exactly what happened with my buck! 

I was sitting over a clover and cow pea food plot which is surrounded by timber. He came out one side of the timber and crossed the field to the other side. He began marking his scent while rubbing his antlers on some trees and then proceeded into the edge of the woods that he had crossed over to. Not going to lie, I was a little bummed, but knew anything could happen. I sat eagerly in my stand hoping he might come out again. I’m pretty sure he caught wind of that estrus and went down into the timber he crossed over to. He made a circle back around putting him now directly in front of my stand where I had drug out the estrus to. He slowly walked closer towards that estrus as my heart was beating harder and harder. I couldn’t have planned it any better! He ventured in closer because the estrus lured him closer to my stand, and continued to stay on that scent. He got to around 18 yards and I shot! This was my first time using the golden estrus and I was highly impressed as it helped me shoot my first archery buck! 

Another thing you can do is dip a scent wick in the golden estrus and leave it hanging from or near your stand. There are many products out there that are the same thing, but I have only used Wildlife Research Center, and it definitely worked for me. Like I said, I killed this buck in the pre-rut and I had sat in that same stand the night before and watched that same buck I killed run those does. It was one of the coolest hunts I’ve been on. There were multiple does that night in that food plot, and he was having a hay day chasing them around! The next night he was the only deer I saw and was in search of those does to chase again. 

I hope this has been a helpful tip and got you excited to get out there and try something new! Remember, just because you didn't kill on a hunt doesn't mean it wasn't a successful hunt. Each time in the stand is a chance to observe nature. Watch and learn! That is the best way to become a better hunter, by learning first hand from personal experience. I wish you all the best this hunting season!