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Other sites to visit Pictures 2013 Game Bag 2012 Game Bag Trail cam pictures Trophy room sheds Fear the BEARD Missouri Deer News and Alerts
Scoring Hillbilly Huntin Staff Wild Game Recipes Merchandise check in 2013 Age That Deer
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“The Deer Hunter”
My dad was going through pictures that my grandma had and came across pictures of deer we had taken throughout the years. He also came across something called “The Deer Hunter” it’s funny and my grandma had made a copy of it and put it with our hunting pictures so I thought I would share it with everyone. Here it is:
01:00 am - Alarm clock rings.
02:00 am - Hunting partner arrives- drags you out of bed.
03:00 am - Throw everything except the kitchen sink in the pickup.
03:05 am - Leave for the deep woods.
03:15 am - Drive back home and pick up gun.
03:30 am - Drive like crazy to get to the woods before daylight.
04:00 am - Set up camp – forgot the tent.
04:30 am - Head into the woods.
06:05 am - See eight deer.
06:06 am - Take aim and squeeze trigger.
06:07 am - “click.”
06:08 am - Load gun while watching deer go over hill.
08:00 am - Head back to camp.
09:00 am - Still looking for camp.
10:00 am - Realize you don’t know where camp is.
Noon - Fire gun for help – eat wild berries
12:15 pm - Ran out of bullets – eight deer come back.
12:20 pm - Strange feeling in stomach.
12:30 pm - Realize you ate poison berries.
12:45 pm - Rescued.
12:55 pm - Rushed to hospital to have stomach pumped.
03:00 pm - Arrived back in camp
03:30 pm - Leave camp to kill deer.
04:00 pm - Return to camp for bullets.
04:01 pm - Load gun – leave camp again.
05:00 pm - Empty gun on squirrel that’s bugging you.
06:00 pm - Arrive at camp – see deer grazing in camp.
06:01 pm - Load gun.
06:02 pm - Fire gun.
06:03 pm - One dead pickup truck.
06:05 pm - Hunting partner returns to camp dragging deer.
06:06 pm - Repress strong desire to shoot partner.
06:07 pm - Fall into fire.
06:10 pm - Change clothes – throw burned ones into fire.
06:15 pm - Take pickup – leave partner and deer in the woods.
06:25 pm - Pickup boils over – hole shot in block.
06:26 pm - Start walking
06:30 pm - Stumble and fall – drop gun in mud.
06:35 pm - Meet bear.
06:36 pm - Take aim.
06:37 pm - Fire gun- blow up barrel plugged with mud.
06:38 pm - Make mess in pants.
06:39 pm - Climb tree
09:00 pm - Bear departs- wrap &;*%$! Gun around tree.
Midnight - Home at last
Next day - Watch football game on TV, slowly tearing hunting license into little pieces – place in envelope and mail to Game Warden with very clear instructions on where to place it.
This made me laugh and I enjoyed reading it. I don’t know where my grandma found it or who wrote it but since it made me smile I thought I would share it with everyone.
Mid Atlantic X System broadhead
Well I have ordered the first set of boradheads I’m going to try this year and I will make sure to do a full run down of how they work when I get them in but until then I will tell you a little information about these broadheads. The broadhead I’m trying out is from mid-Atlantic archery products and is the 100 grain x system broadhead.
The Mid Atlantic X System is a hybrid mechanical with an aggressive 7/8" Teflon coated cut-on-contact main blade .040" thick and Teflon coated 1 1/2" cutting diameter deployable blades. Patented airfoils on the main blades spin-stabilize the arrow for perfect flight. The X flies like a field point. The X System are 100 grain and comes in a six pack, 3-X's and 3 Turbine Tip field points.
The thing that made me choose this broadhead to try first is that it has a fixed blade and deployable blades all tied into one. For some reason if the deployable blades don’t open I’m not just going to be shooting a field point I still have a fixed blade to do some damage. Something that caught my eye about these broadheads is the thickness of the blades they seem to be very durable with the thickness with both of the fixed blade and deployable blades. Not to mention these broadheads just look cool got to be worth trying out.
They should be here in 4-7 days so look for the review of how they work out of my Barnett Ghost 350 crossbow sometime before opening day of deer season September 15th.
Thank you to everyone that visits the Hillbilly Huntin website the staff here understands that there are many other website that you could be going to and skip out on us and we are happy that you don’t. Here at Hillbilly Huntin we are striving to be the best place on the internet for hunters and outdoorsmen to find information pertaining to hunting. We can’t do it without people like you and the feedback we receive.
If there are articles you would like to see or information you want to know about let us know and we will get back to you in a timely manner. With the resources and contacts we have here at Hillbilly Huntin there is nothing off limits to what information we can get for you. The Hillbilly Huntin staff is here to help promote ethical hunting and traditions and do it in a way that is enjoyable to everyone that reads it.
We make no money doing the Hillbilly Huntin website we do what we do because we truly love the sport and traditions we carry on year in and year out. We try and pass all the information we receive on not to build our name and see how big we can get. We do it because building the trustworthy friendly honest reputation we stand for is more important to us than seeing how big we can get. As time goes on Hillbilly Huntin may grow or stay the same to us it doesn’t matter as long as we can continue to promote the sport we love with all the traditions that come with it.
I just wanted to let everyone know how much we appreciate all the support Hillbilly Huntin is getting and that we are going to keep putting out information and try and help hunters all over grow in knowledge and tradition. Thank you again for all the support and keep checking back for new updates and article added daily. Good luck this season and make sure to share your success stories with us this year along with your pictures.
What are you looking forward to?
What are you looking forward to most this season? What is it that you have been waiting all year for? Is it the camp atmosphere, sitting in your stand as the sun rises, the sound of leaves crunching from a deer, or just being in the woods again? Other than what I’m looking forward to let’s hear what you can’t wait for. Head to the deer camp talk page and leave a comment about what you’re looking forward to.
I wait all year for deer season I’m addicted to deer hunting anyway I can take it. It’s not just the hunt it’s everything about deer season that keeps me going year round. It’s not just sitting in my stand and watching the sun come up or hearing a deer walking through the woods the sound of leaves crunching as a deer walks through the woods makes my heart race as I wait for the deer to come into site. The friendships in deer camp can’t be beat the stories and fun are memories that will never be forgotten but that’s not it either.
You can’t some up one thing I’m looking forward to most and what has kept me going all year. Everything about deer season keeps me going and that’s why I spend so much time scouting and preparing for deer season. Carrying on the traditions that have been passed on for more generations than I can go back is what it’s all about.
If I had to pick one thing that keeps me going all year and what I’m looking forward to most come deer season would have to be the execution of all the work I put in throughout the year. Seeing the work I put in pay off has to be what keeps me going. The payoff doesn’t have to be putting my tag on a mature buck or even tagging out. All the work I have put in will pay off if I am seeing deer and choose not to shoot. As much as I love putting bone on my wall it’s not all about measuring success by inches it’s about measuring success with knowledge. If I’m able to learn a little more this season that I didn’t know last then I’m doing my job.
The camp atmosphere is something that I look forward to all year when I’m able to spend time with friends and family when we are being true to ourselves sitting around the fire telling stories of hunts past and family members I didn’t have the pleasure to meet is something that can’t be replaced with a set of antlers. Bringing new hunters into camp or guys that haven’t been able to hunt for a few years and putting them on deer means more to me than putting myself on a deer.
If I’m able to scout and plan a hunt for another hunter and they put a tag on a deer that means I have moved up on the ladder from hunter to teacher and my experience level has grown. When you can not only scout and plan a hunt for yourself but for another hunter you have truly done something. It’s easy to take your knowledge and put it to use for yourself but when you can explain and teach another person to become a hunter you have passed on knowledge to grow our sport.
Seeing the enjoyment and happiness in another hunters eyes is probably the best sight you can see during deer season. When everyone is happy and has enjoyed there hunt it’s a good season. I guess I really haven’t picked the most important and most looked forward to part of deer season for me there is just too much about deer season that I look forward to. About everything in deer season I’m looking forward to the sights, sounds, stories, fun, and knowledge is all part of it and it’s really hard to put one above the other.
So let’s hear what you’re looking forward to this season! Head to the deer camp talk page by clicking here. Tell us your story and share with us why your look forward to deer season this year. If we get enough submissions we will give away some SD cards by putting the names into a hat and drawing a few for the SD card give away. The giveaway ends on Saturday the 24th 2013 if you don’t submit by then you won’t be entered in the giveaway but we still want to know what you’re looking forward to.
Checking mineral sites
I took a trip to the deer woods a few days ago to check my trail camera and my mineral sites of witch I have 3 now. The rain had stopped for a few days and it was a cool morning. Luckily the tree that covered the road on my last trip to the woods had been cut up and removed. My guess is that some locals took care of the tree since they use the road to get to their homes and work. My pack had three different containers with mineral in it along with some .22 bullets, a second trail camera that who knows what I will get out of it since the LCD screen doesn’t work all I can do is turn it on and hope for the best, and my digital camera. I brought my .22 rifle with me on this trip to try and get a few squirrels and my smith and Wesson 9mm pistol for emergencies.
The trail I take to get from the top the bottoms had trees fallen across it and had been washed out from all the rain we have gotten. It made for a very slow walk when I was packing fifty plus pounds in my pack. The first salt site I stopped at is in a hole from were a tree had once been and fallen at some point in time. Two weeks ago I selected this site because it’s in a natural travel corridor and the deer are funneled right passed it. The hole when I found it before I put salt in it was only about five inches deep when I got to it and checked it was about twelve inches deep and been used in what seemed to be a frequent amount and I was pleased to see it.
The second site I stopped at I started it 2 weeks ago with just salt in the rain. This site would be hard to find if you didn’t know where it was. Most likely you wouldn’t even realize that there are open woods behind the thick ciders and brush. The ciders and brush run about 100 yards and is about 50 yards deep to push your way through the ciders and brush is rough and the sticker bushes will tear your legs up but I have a way of getting around it that works and gets me behind the line. When I made the site I didn’t dig a hole all I did was clear out a foot and a half circle and dump my salt as it started to pour down ran. I selected this site because in years past I have found good sign and the nearby cover it offers. When I checked the site the hole there was deeper the any other site I have it was about a foot deep and there was deer droppings all around. The most exciting part about what I found is what I like to call a droppings log. It was an old buck dropping about 2 inches around and 3 inches long the pellets were stuck together in a log. That lets me know I have a very old deer in that area. I poured more salt in the hole and around it and put the trail camera up facing it with hopes of getting some pictures.
I continued on to my mineral site that I have been using this off season with the trail camera. To start with I checked the camera and was disappointed I had no pictures something was wrong with the SD card. I got no pictures I changed the batteries put a new SD card in then went to the site it had doubled in size and droppings were everywhere. The area I dumped my deer feed 2 weeks ago had started to be dug up. The trails leading to and from the site were more defined and evident. I turned my trail cam on made sure it was working and headed out.
The entire time I was in the woods I didn’t see or hear a squirrel I even sat on a log up on top for 30 min after jumping a doe and still didn’t see any squirrels. My trip was good and bad at the same time we will start with the bad. The bad part is I didn’t get any pictures of the deer visiting my sites. The good part is I was able to tell just by looking at my sites that I have mature deer visiting them. What I’m taking out of this trip is the amazing beauty that natural beholds and that I have more than one place I will be able to hunt that I feel confident I will be able to fill my tags.
The picture I took of this waterfall made me happy it’s not too often I get to see this much water running through this creek and I was able to enjoy the cool fresh spring water that was flowing out of it. I know not many people would do this but I was raised this way and felt it would be ok to do it again. The water was cold and crystal clear even though it was a cool day I was sweating and hadn’t brought water or anything to drink I cupped my hands and dipped them into the water and took a drink I did this a few times and it quenched my thirst. I will have to say it was the best tasting water I have had in a long long time. I splashed water in my face and dipped my hat in the water to keep myself cool on my hike back out. It was a great trip it has been to long since I have been able to drink from a stream.
I won’t be heading back to the woods until September and I might wait until bow season starts before I head back down I’m not sure yet. I should probably head down one more time before bow season starts September 15th but we will just have to see. Enjoy this picture and check back for more articles as I analyze my information to decide where and why my first hunt will be where I choose.
Camouflaging your face
When you’re hunting you camouflage your entire body and you should most animals we hunt have very good eyesight and if part of your body is un-covered it could give you away. When your bow hunting the masks hold the hot air in that you’re breathing out and make you hotter. The moister in your breathe makes you mask wet and your face damp depending on your mask they can mess with your field of view. How can you change this? Use face paint when your bow hunting instead of a mask.
Most hunters make the mistake of putting on face paint like a girl puts on makeup. I’m not saying they put the paint on like a girl would make up I’m saying if you cut your face in half both sides would be the same. When camouflaging your face you want both sides to be different. A girl wants both sides to look exactly the same if you made both sides look the same you have not camouflaged your face you have just painted it.
The goal of using face paint is to make you face blend in with your surroundings and hide the fact that it is a face. Most hunters make their face look the same on both sides and just color in there face with different colors. By doing that the shape of the face is still there and you don’t want that. You’re trying to hide the shape of your face and with the paint put on correctly you can do that.
To make the shape of your face disappear you have to think about the shapes and the parts of it that stick out along with the parts that are sunk in. you want to think of the dark paint as negative and the light color as positive, neutral colors need to be thought of as even. Then you need to think of your face with positive, negative, and even areas.
Your nose would be positive; your eye sockets would be negative. You want to use the opposite color paint to make your entire face equal even. So it’s like math positive plus negative makes it even. Your goal is to make your face look flat so by thinking of it like this you should get the idea of where the colors need to go.
Now the key is to not make both sides look the same but still follow those rules. Just because you put a light color in one eye socket doesn’t mean you can’t put it on the other side you can just make the shape different.
To start painting your face use the light colors first like gray or tan and put those colors on the negative areas of your face. Make sure it’s changed up width, length, and shape of the color you use. Then use the dark colors on the positive areas. Don’t cover your entire nose with one color use two dark colors like black and dark brown but don’t do it right down the middle remember your goal is to make the shape of your face disappear.
After you have done the dark and light colors now do the neutral colors on the rest of your face. Your face should be covered with paint now including your ears and neck. It probably doesn’t look right so take a light or neutral color and make a line across the dark area and then dark lines across light areas. Make sure not all the lines are the same width, length, or angle. Use wavy and straight lines when you’re adding in these marks. For your nose the line should go across to break up the shape. A line going up and down some way across your lips things like that to make the shape of your face get lost.
Shapes you can use are dots, lines, blotches, stripes, and patches. Don’t use the same shape repeatedly! You don’t want one side of your face to match the other so you can say your un-matching one side to the other.
By putting on your face paint like this it should improve your odds of not being spotted again the goal is to make the shape of your face disappear by making the face not match one side to the other and making your face look flat you should be able to make it disappear. Practice makes perfect and every time you put the paint on it will look better and you will figure out what works best for you.
A very good friend and I were talking the other day about honey holes and hidden spots that produce the most deer traffic and why. We both talked about the same things and compared thoughts. One of the thoughts that we both agreed on was what we referred to as a kill tree. We also talked about the consistency year after year without the presence of much sing in preseason scouting in these honey holes. I will be telling you about these topics a little more in depth and describe what we feel is one of the best places to hunt.
The honey hole we were referring to is a ridge that has a flat on it with step sides or a saddle. The terrain forces the deer to move in a certain area. They may be crossing, traveling down the ridge, or using a distinct trail. What the terrain does is forms a focal point that concentrates the travel routes. Because the saddle is flat or the low point on the ridge it makes it easier for the deer to travel. Think of a road when they build a road it’s easier to build the road around the sides of a hill or on a gentle slope. Most roads go with the flow of the land and deer travel the same way.
The definition of a kill tree or the definition we used is a tree that year after year produces the hunter/ hunters siting at it a deer to harvest. The kill tree we were talking about would be in a honey hole that the deer travel within shooting distance of every year. Kill trees would be in an area that you really don’t scout and can go to expecting to shoot a deer from the tree every time.
There are places where I hunt that I don’t scout but know I can hunt from there if the other places I scouted haven’t produced. It’s always nice to have places put back as a plan B. sometimes the plan B produce better than the plan A. depending on your amount of time you have to hunt should determine whether you use plan A or B. my plan A is normally the area I think will produce the biggest buck my plan B is where I know I can go and shoot a doe to provide meat for the year.
The reason these spots are consistent every year even when you don’t find the sign is because of the terrain. As long as there isn’t a major natural disaster and the land stays the same the deer should move in the same way every year. The land dictates deer movement and without major changes you should be able to rely on that area as a consistent spot to shoot deer. The reason you may not see much sign is because what the bucks are looking for isn’t there the sign you should look for in these areas is trails, beds, and droppings. As long as you’re seeing doe sign you will see bucks during the rut and when pressure kicks in.
The best place for you to hunt depends on what you’re looking for if your meat hunting you should hunt the place that gives you the best opportunity to see the most deer like one of the honey holes. If your trophy hunting you need to put in the work and scout for a place that has the most buck sign and gives you the best opportunity for a buck. Just remember during the rut the bucks will be looking for does and you need to be in an area that the does travel regularly. These honey holes will produce nice bucks but you have to be patient and wait for the nice buck to travel through there and will it is just a matter of when.
Really crazy non-hunters
The white-tailed deer native to North America is considered to be the most harmful animal for humans in the United States, owing to the large number of accidents that it is involved in. (http://reason.com/archives/2001/11/21/north-americas-most-dangerous)
A very good friend shared this quote with me who ever wrote that needs to look at thing and reconsider the part about being the most harmful animal to humans in North America. I would have put it as humans are the most harmful thing to whitetail deer. Yes vehicle deer collisions happen often according to this article these collisions kill more than 130 Americans every year.
My thoughts on this are we built the roads right in their backyards. Deer were here first the article said there are about 1.5 million deer/vehicle collisions annually. That means 1.5 million deer are injured or killed every year due to humans and that doesn’t include hunters like you and me.
Deer don’t stand on the side of the road saying hey lets commit suicide and jump inferno of that car. Deer are not the problem here humans are deer move at night and people don’t pay attention to the sides of the roads. Deer move more when it’s a bright moon and during the rut. How much can we change the number of deer vehicle collisions?
The answer to that question is really hard to answer being vigilant can only do so much deer are wild animals and they do what they want they adapt to their surroundings. The only thing I can say is when you’re driving through deer country pay attention to your surroundings, be extra vigilant when it bright out due to the moon, and during the rut.
Putting the whitetail deer as the number one most harmful animal to humans isn’t really fair we have done this to ourselves by building roads in places deer normally cross and travel. To save the lives of both humans and deer building bridges for save animal passage were vehicle animal collisions occur most often would be an improvement.
Then the article goes into talking about how deer cause “Economic damage to agriculture, timber, and landscaping by deer totals more than $1.2 billion a year.” Really congratulations on pointing out that deer live in the woods and eat plants. What they want is to eradicate deer it won’t happen deer were here before us and are a form of meat and money for the state.
■ A hunter’s best friend is his dog and they show it—hunters spend $605 million on hunting dogs, well more than the $513 million skiers spend on ski equipment. Each year hunters spend more money on food for hunting trips than Americans spend on Domino’s pizza. Business generated by hunters is often the lifeblood of rural communities.
■ Over a half million jobs in America are supported by hunters. That’s more jobs than the combined employees of all the top U.S. based airlines including American, United, Delta, Northwest, Continental, US Airways, Southwest, Alaska Air and American West.
■ the $2.4 billion in annual federal income-tax money generated by hunters’ spending could cover the annual paychecks of 100,000 troops. That’s 8 divisions, 143 battalions, 3,300 platoons and some major money.
Source: Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
“On average, each hunter spends $1,896 per year on hunting, which is 5.5% of the typical wage earner’s annual income. These expenditures then “ripple” through the economy generating three times more impact for the U.S. economy. For many communities, hunting dollars keep them afloat.”(http://www.fishwildlife.org/files/Hunting_Economic_Impact.pdf)
The economy is down and hunters are still spending money every year on hunting from clothes to ammunition. Every time you buy hunting tags you pay a special tax “Hunters also pay a truckload of special excise taxes. The Wildlife Restoration Fund under the Pittman-Robertson legislation collects these excise taxes on certain hunting equipment and apportions them to state natural resource agencies for.
Conservation and education, which includes habitat restoration, shooting ranges, wildlife research and more. For fiscal year 2002, this program delivered more than $481 million to the states and territories of the United States, with more than $292 million of it for sport fish restoration and more than $188 million of it for wildlife restoration.” (http://www.fishwildlife.org/files/Hunting_Economic_Impact.pdf)
So the last statement made about deer being the most harmful animal to humans should really be one of the major animals that raise money and stimulate the economy is whitetail deer. Deer hunting is tradition to many families that has been passed down from one generation to the next. Go read the articles and make your own choice on what statement is actually the correct one. Are deer the most harmful animal to humans or are humans more harmful to deer? My thought is we are on their property not the other way around!
No time to hunt
I have been talking with more and more people that when hunting comes up and you ask them if they hunt they say “no I haven’t in years, I did growing up though.” When I ask them why they say they don’t have time. Well I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter if you have a week off or just the morning you have time to hunt. The key here is taking the time you do have and using it to hunt. You really can’t you the excuse that you don’t have time to scout and hunt so you just don’t go. I’m going to give you keys to use when time and schedule are limiting you from hunting.
When you say you don’t have time to hunt you’re not saying you don’t have time to hunt your saying you don’t have time to do the preparation for hunting. Scouting and practicing both take up time but you can scout from your desk and practicing can be done throughout the year to keep your skills up and making it easier and take less time when it comes to getting ready for the season. When you save all your prep work for right before the season it seems like it takes up so much time that you don’t have. When you take your prep work and spread it out you only have to have short amounts of free time throughout the year instead of a big block of free time.
Scouting can be done from your desk by looking at maps and remembering last season. But there is another way to scout. Team up with a group of guys that are all going to hunt the same property and take turns doing preseason scouting. Talk with each other and make a copy of your map explain to each other the places you want to scout and be honest with each other. Everyone that teams up together should take notes of the trip to pass on to each other of your findings.
When it comes time to hunt use the time you have to head to the woods and hunt even if it’s just for a few hours. You can read all the weather, activity, moon phase, and timing charts you can find but it boils down to odds. Even with the worst conditions your odds of tagging a deer are greater when you’re in the woods then if you’re at home watching TV. You will be amazed by the success hunters have when they hunt in bad conditions.
The reason deer will end up moving in the worst conditions during deer season is because few hunters head to the woods under those conditions. The odors deer associate with hunters will be less and not filling the woods. The deer will take their chances with the weather conditions and move about because the threat of hunters is down.
Hunting pressure dictates most of the deer movement and the way I can prove and justify what I’m saying is this. When hunting pressure heats up what do mature bucks do? They turn nocturnal because the pressure is on them. They have learned through surviving multiple deer seasons when to move and when not to. It’s not the time of year that tells deer to become nocturnal it’s the odors and pressure hunters bring to the woods with them.
These are just things to consider the next time you look out into a field when you’re driving to or from work and say man I wish I had time to hunt. You do have time what you have to figure out is how to manage your time to make it possible to hunt. Managing you time is the key that we all have to work out. Every one of us has time the difference is how we manage it.
This article should stir up some controversy and make for a good conversation. You have different views we all do when it comes to shot placement we will be talking about the ideal shot placement and some not so popular shots that are still effective. We also want to hear your thoughts on ethical shots so head over to the Deer Camp Talk page and let us hear your views after you read this article.
The ideal shot is a broadside with the leg to you stepped forward. When you take that shot your goal is that your bullet hits the heart and lungs. I wish every deer I saw gave me that opportunity but sometimes it just doesn’t happen so what do you do? Do you pass on your chance to put meat in your freezer or do you take another shot?
There are people I know that will make a shot we call a blue eyed buck or what most people call a head shot. This is a shot that with a rifle you know if you hit or missed right away. When you’re aiming at the head and shoot if the deer doesn’t drop you know you missed. If you don’t miss the deer will drop dead in its tracks. This is not a shot you should take if you are not a comfortable with shooting or not the most consistent shooter.
Another shot that wastes no meat is a neck shot. Your goal with this shot is to hit the deer’s spine and break its neck causing the deer to drop in its tracks. This is another shot that with a high caliber rifle will let you know right away if you hit the deer. If you’re going to take a neck shot make sure you don’t aim to high or too low.
The shot that I have had plenty of success using is shooting in the white of the neck between the shoulders. You can use this shot when the deer is facing you and you think it’s going to bolt and you won’t get the ideal shot. Your goal when you take this shot is that the bullet will go through the chest and hit the heart or lungs with a high caliber rifle the kinetic energy and concussion will destroy the heart and lungs along with major artery’s in the neck coming down from the brain.
With any shot you take you need to weigh your odds on lethally injuring your game. You can successfully take shots like these by knowing the anatomy of the game and the ability of the rounds you use. But the most important thing with every shot even an ideal broadside shot is marksmen ship. Make sure you practice and are comfortable with your shooting before you put your sights on an animal. Most bad shots aren’t because the hunter was trying to take a bad shot it’s because the person didn’t hit where they were aiming.
So let’s hear your thoughts on ideal and controversial shot placement. We want to know your thoughts on this conversation so head on over to the deer camp talk page and tell us about it.
Buck fever is in the air when you talk to someone deer season comes up and the conversation about gear gets started. Everyone is trying new stuff and asking questions about other gear. With the hunting industry growing so big and the amount of company’s making gear growing so much how do you know what real hunters think about the gear. We all try out new gear and have our own opinions on it so we are going to start a blog that gives you a place to talk about the gear you try out and ask questions about other gear you thinking about trying out. For as many people that visit the Hillbilly Huntin website we should be able to cover almost every inquiry about the gear in question. So head over to the Deer Camp Talk page and check out the gear review blog. Add your own submissions and tell us what you think about the gear you’re trying. If there is some gear you want to know about just ask the question.
Camp fire debates
Any deer camp you’re in or any time you run into a group of hunters talking for a period of time you’re bound to hear the debate start up about scent control. You have the guys that are all about it and the guys that don’t pay much attention to it but the most common is the ones that are in the middle. Depending on your experiences and your teachings normally determines how much you pay attention to scent control. In all honesty who is right and that is the debate that will go on forever because well were hunters and we will always debate what is the right way.
You will hear stories about old timers going into the woods with a cigarette and coffee not wearing any camouflage and by the end of the season they are coming home with a nice buck. The honest truth with that is they were probably playing the wind and understood how there scent traveled. Without knowing they understood thermals, wind, and weather conditions and used it to take out the need for scent control. There is no telling how many deer the old timers didn’t see because they winded them before they were even in sight.
You also have the guys that spend tons of money on the best and newest equipment and clothing for scent control. They are meticulous about how their gear is washed stored and used. They study the weather and understand how wind moves and scent travels. They have the money and time to spend on it and it’s not for everyone because when you’re spending all that money and going through all that work you can’t skip even the smallest detail or all that work and money could be wasted.
If you are that guy that spends countless dollars on gear and clothing you can’t keep it in the closet or garage with everything else. You can’t wear it in your truck driving to the deer woods. When you spend that type of money your routine has to be flawless to get the correct results. Your truck is full of scent that will attach to your clothes and your gear collects scent from everything.
They guy that falls in between is what most of us are we know that a deer sense of smell is 1000 times greater than ours and we try and play the wind by sitting down wind of the trails and were we think deer will be coming from. We all have our scent control rituals and I’m sure we all would say the other hunter is doing something wrong. If you combine the two types and take a little from both you will have someone that understands weather and how deer use it and someone that understands scent control. Both have pros and cons but the biggest thing with both is understanding wind and thermals or how scent carries.
When you hunt hilly terrain wind bounces off the trees and ridges swirl’s in the valleys and travels in crazy un-predictable ways. If you don’t understand wind you’re in trouble no matter what gear and precautions you take. Nothing will eliminate all of your scent but the more you try the better you are. So there is not one better than the other everyone has their ways and if it works for you that’s great if it doesn’t maybe you need to try something else. Never stop trying to understand and learn more and you will be fine.
Remember things were different for the old timers they didn’t have all the advantages we have but I’m sure some would still do what they know because it works and I’m sure we all will do the same until it stops working and we will try something else. Good luck this year bow season is less than 4 weeks away I hope you’re ready!
Hunting Through the Eyes of a Deer
Each year many beginners give up on hunting because they can’t seem to figure out why they aren’t able to spot any deer. The biggest cause of this is because they are underestimating the cunningness of the deer and their impressive vision. There are a few key basic principles we should first understand about what a deer sees before we know enough to be able to implement new strategies for hunting.
Vision is something all animals experience, and it only happens when light enters into the eye and is engaged by cells located in the back of the eye. Whenever the cells receive the light, they then forward a signal to the brain letting it know what has been seen. The wavelengths of the light are also reflected, which is what allows us to see color. Now that we have had a basic course about how vision works, we need to move on to the next step and try to figure out what the main difference is between the deer’s vision and how it compares to the human eye. If we knew that deer were able to see objects and colors the same way we did, then there wouldn’t be any further discussion and debate about the topic. However because we know that a deer’s vision is different from ours, then we must understand what they see in-order to figure out ways to “trick” them into coming within our shooting range.
What many studies are finding is that deer are able to see ultraviolet light at a level that we are unable to comprehend. Imagine walking through the woods at dusk and suddenly spotting a person in the distance who is glowing with blue light. Your first reaction is probably similar to what the deer is going to do, and that’s to hightail it out of there.
A lot of the clothes that’s sold in stores today actually have ultra violet brighteners added to them to make them look brighter and more vivid. So whenever you suddenly frighten a deer in the woods for no reason, it may not actually be completely your own fault. The good news is that most hunting clothes sold in specialty hunting stores are designed and sold without any of these brighteners added. If you want to be sure, you can purchase a UV killer that will destroy the additives and allow you to blend into the surroundings better. The easiest way to figure out if your outfit is UV safe before stepping out into the woods, is to take a black light and do a quick scan in a dark room. If any part of you or your outfit glows then you need to rethink your wardrobe for that trip.
It’s also thought that deer cannot spot bright colors the same way we do. So as long as you’re ultra violet light free, then wearing an orange shirt or having bright colored accessories shouldn’t cause much of a problem with deer. There are other things you can do to help you evade a deer’s unique vision such as purchasing and utilizing a hunting tree stand. The great thing about hunting tree stands is that they allow you to sit above the field of vision of the deer and therefore permitting you to make necessary movements and avoid detection by these smart animals.
Blake Anderson from www.Huntertreestands.com
weather is changing again
The temperatures are climbing when I wish they would be falling and the ground is starting to dry up. So what does this mean for your preseason bow scouting and the beginning of early bow season? We will start with scouting and then moving on to a few things you may want to try and gear you may want to have ready. We can’t forget to talk about whether predictions for deer season.
The scouting you have been doing may need to be altered due to the fact there has been a lot of water and cool temperatures the deer haven’t had to use normal water sources. Now that the temperatures are rising water will be a bigger factor and there will be less water for them to just drink as they travel. Scout water sources that are spring fed and aren’t just wet weather water sources.
When you’re scouting water sources there are a few things to look for first off look at the tracks in the mud on the banks. You’re looking for mature deer tracks that look fresh to be able to tell if it’s a heavy deer look for deep tracks next to shallow tracks. It can be difficult to determine a heavy deer in the mud because you don’t know how wet the mud was when the deer was standing in it. Next look for the trails were the deer are entering and leaving the water source. There may only be one trail in and the same one out but then again you may have multiple trails leading to the water source follow the trails away from the water source and look for more sign to determine what trail to set up on if you’re lucky you can choose a tree that will give you an opportunity to watch multiple trails. You need to pick a tree that gives you the best opportunity to see the water source and the trail you feel will give you the best chance of making that shot.
Some gear you may want to try would be climbing sticks or some kind of latter that you can strap to the tree you choose so you don’t have to climb up and down with your tree stand every time you hunt that location. Bring extra scent away with you since the temperatures are higher you will probably be sweating and producing a scent make sure to keep your smell as little as possible when your hunting a location like this. If you can find a bug repellent and there are a few out there that isn’t out of your budget the bugs will most likely be crazy so you might want to use it.
When your hunting over a water source plan on hunting all day bring water and some snacks so you can stay in your stand as long as possible. Even when the deer are bedded down because its hot the deer will get up on their feet to get a drink then bed back down you don’t know when it will be but they will make their way to water at some point during the day just like any other day the difference is they will need more water to stay hydrated when the temperatures are warmer.
Predicting the weather is pretty much impossible ask the guys and girls on the news predicting it for a living how often do they hit the nail on the head? My guess is this winter will be crazy because we haven’t had much of a winter and we have had lots of rain. We may not have any clue but I’m hoping for snow and cold temperatures. Just guessing it’s going to be hot with lots of bugs and downright miserable this deer season. You may ask why that’s my guess? It’s my guess because I plan for the hardest conditions to stay in my stand and hunt all day trying to predict deer movement. I’m hoping the weather isn’t that rough this year but planning for the extremes and falling somewhere in between can make choosing were you hunt easier.
Ultimate survival weapon
What is the ultimate weapon to have in a survival situation? That question is hard to answer it would depend on where you were at and what the situation was. The animals you are most likely to see and the distance you will have to shoot are big factors. Then you have to think about the ammunition you would have to carry and the availability of it. I recently read an article in a magazine that got me thinking about this and I thought I would share my thoughts and the idea the guy who wrote the original article that started it all.
Is the situation in Africa with dangerous game all around? Are you in Alaska were the game is few and far off? Are you in the amazon where there is very little light making it through the canopy of trees? Maybe it’s an alien attack or zombie apocalypse? Between a shotgun, rim fire, center fire rifle, assault rifle, air rifle, or pistol not one would work in every situation.
When you think about ammunition availability you think of common calibers but with this last hoopla on ammunition bans what used to be the easiest to find was the hardest a .22 LR round was the hardest ammunition to find and flying off the shelf as fast as it came in. shotgun ammunition is bulky and heavy and it’s for short range and home defense. With air rifles these days it would work well for putting small game in your belly and you could carry a lot without worrying about much more then pellets. So what do you do?
In the article I read they guy described it like this “is there one golf club you would take on the golf course with you? Probably not so why would you only take one gun with you?” in the article that is the question the guy put out. In no situation was one gun able to suffice in every situation he took an old golf bag and put an air rifle, a shotgun, center fire rifle, rim fire rifle, and a pistol in it. He put boxes of ammo in the area you would normally put golf balls. In a bug out/ survival situation he can sling the golf bag over his shoulder and be gone.
I thought that he made very good points and the golf bag idea was an easy way to have everything in one spot that you could take with you when you needed to make sure to stay alive. Just some thoughts to toss around when you’re sitting back thinking but let’s hear your thought and ideas.
Why do we do it?
Why do hunters like me spend so much time in the woods before deer season? What does it do for them? What is it about the woods that draw hunters to become addicted to it? What are hunters like me learning by scouting and spending so much time focusing on deer? There are many different types of hunters in every deer camp that make the deer camp work like a well-oiled machine. Every type of hunter gives something to the camp that is hard to be replaced. Let’s talk about all of this.
Hunters like me spend so much time in the woods for many reasons. They set goals a little higher every time they meet their goal. When you raise your standards and goals you have to put in more work to achieve the new goals. If do increase the work you put into hunting you won’t ever be able to reach your goals as you goals get bigger your work and time you put into it needs to increase. Part of the enjoyment of hunting is increasing and bettering your skills you can only do that by practicing and working hard at it.
Part of spending time in the woods is what I like to call being lost in nature. No I don’t mean literally lost in the woods. By saying lost in nature I mean you’re off the beaten path away from the work, the city, and enjoying everything God gave us. The tranquility of nature and the enjoyment you can receive by enjoying the sounds, smells, and sights of your surroundings is amazing. When you can relax and just enjoy nature when nothing else maters peace can be found when. Your day slows down when you can enjoy walking through the woods trying to outsmart Mother Nature and survival instincts.
What in the world can spending a lot of time throughout the year and not just deer season do for hunters like me? Well to start out with spending time away from everything gives you time to think, relax, gather your thoughts, and enjoy Mother Nature. That’s a personal thing on why I spend as much time as I do in the woods but on top of that I want to better myself as a hunter and part of being a better hunter is understanding whitetail habitat and whitetail deer. The best way to understand the habitat is to get out and spend time were the deer live and in their habitat. By monitoring deer activity throughout the year you should get a better grasp on the deer in your area.
Learning from scouting and spending time focusing on deer is inevitable when you’re spending time trying to understand the habitat and deer in general. When you spend time year round trying to study deer you can figure out how there pattern changes throughout the seasons. The knowledge you learn in the spring and summer you can use in the fall you will figure out where food sources are and natural travel corridors. You will also figure out what deer are in your area. Come fall and deer season if the deer have left your area you will know that the things they need in the fall aren’t there. Food sources change and deer move with the food you can figure out what is around and how you need to alter your hunting tactics for your area.
The different hunters in deer camps across the country fall into a few categories. You have the hunter that doesn’t care what he shoots mature buck, doe, or young buck all he wants is meat and that’s what he’s after. Most likely he will be the one you ask advice for when you haven’t seen a deer and your down on your luck. He might not be able to put you on a monster buck but he will be able to put you on a deer to fill your freezer. He most likely is the first to offer a stand location to a new guy and help drag your deer out no matter how deep in the woods you shoot it.
Then you have the lucky one you know he gets a good buck every year or more often than anyone else in your camp. He’s most likely putting in the most work and spending the most time in the stand. He’s happy to give any advice you ask for other than the locations he thinks are going to produce the biggest buck. This guy spends all year planning his hunt and when it comes to advice on finding good bucks he’s the one you go to. He understands deer behavior and the habitat they live in.
You also have the guy that buys the new stuff every year and spends more money on equipment than anyone else in your camp. He’s always trying new gear to find the best equipment that will give him the advantage. When it comes to gear this is the guy everyone goes to for advice.
You also have the guy that has more seasons under his belt than most people have alive. He’s the first to help around camp and is the one that cooks most meals in camp. Spending time with friends and family is more important to him than tagging out.
Most hunters will fall into one of these categories and even fall into a combination of them. There are more categories I could throw in to narrow down were you fall but I’m sure you can tear apart this list and figure out where you fall. Hunting camps don’t work as well when everyone in camp falls into the same category you may have a few of each or none of some but when you have a combination of different type of hunters in your camp it will work and even if you don’t as a camp you will make it work its part of deer camp going with the flow and having a good time. Make sure you enjoy every hunt and all the time you’re able to spend with your friends and family in deer camp the memories and stories will last forever.
How long have you been hunting? Do you know absolutely everything there is to know about whitetail deer? Most likely you are an experienced hunter and you know a lot about deer hunting. You possibly have some monster bucks on the wall but guess what? There is no one that knows absolutely everything about whitetail deer. Every hunter should have a mentor to talk to about hunting. Let’s talk a little about being a mentor and why having a mentor is a good thing.
We will start off with this fact: there is no one that knows absolutely everything there is to know about whitetail deer! I’m starting off with this to prove a point every hunter has his own way of doing things like scouting and hunting tactics. That is important to remember because both can be right and provide the hunter with a successful hunt but at the same time one might not work due to certain factors that season or location. Just because you have found a way that works for you doesn’t mean that you can stop learning.
The key to hunting is expanding your knowledge of habitat, whitetail deer, and skills are talking to other hunters, reading, and hard work. To become a better hunter you can’t close yourself off to learning more there is always someone out there that knows something you don’t when it comes to hunting. Deer are very fast learners and they adapt to their environment, hunters are part of their environment so they will learn your tactics adapt and adjust to the way you hunt. By continuing to gather knowledge you will be able to continue to adapt your hunting strategies in a way that you stay successful.
Most hunters will talk to their hunting party about what they saw and how they will adjust to it but they don’t talk with other hunters. Most hunters are worried about sharing too much and losing a mature buck to another hunter by talking too much. You don’t have to tell them where you’re hunting but by talking to other hunters you can gain trust and knowledge that they have.
The reason you should consider being a mentor to another hunter is because part of hunting is sharing your knowledge and passing on the traditions we have to other people. You will learn more by being a mentor because you want to be able to pass on the most accurate information you can so that will force you to learn and study to try and perfect what you do.
When you help and mentor another hunter you are making sure that the traditions of hunting are carried on when we stop teaching others and trying to get more people into hunting we are shortening the lifespan of what we love. When we stop passing on our knowledge to others the bond and traditions will fade away to a point we no longer have anyone fighting for our rights, traditions, and heritage.
By no way am I a whitetail deer expert and I’m learning more and more about hunting whitetail deer. I do know a lot but there is still a lot to learn by talking to other hunter’s I’m able to figure more out about things I knew but might not have put together. No matter how experienced you are there may be things you don’t know by having a mentor (by mentor I mean someone you can talk about hunting with that is experienced and has knowledge to pass on)you will be able to continue to grow your arsenal of knowledge even if its small pieces at a time. By listening to hunters things you may have known but couldn’t figure out how to figure them in or how to use it will fall into place.
I study and try to learn and gather as much information as possible throughout the year by talking to other hunters my knowledge is growing. If you have heard this before it should make sense to you but “knowledge is power” with hunting knowledge is success and that is what we strive for to be successful. No one hunter will ever know everything but by being a mentor and student at the same time you will continue to learn along with the rest of us on skills and understanding whitetail deer and there habitat and that will make you a successful hunters as long as you are open to learning more you will. They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks but you can teach them if they are willing to learn.
There is a quote out there that goes like this “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” and that goes with hunting you can teach and talk as much as you want but you can’t make someone do what you have said to be successful. Your job is not to guaranty that they are successful but to teach them what they need to be successful.
With life it you continue to grow and learn the knowledge that’s out there is overflowing it’s your job to go out and learn it so you never stop growing. By doing this you will find as a hunter you are passing on the traditions that make hunting so special to us by bringing and helping hunters become successful.
I tried going coyote hunting on Tuesday and with the rather remarkable weather we have been having I didn’t get to hunt the area I wanted to try. If you’re not from Missouri and you haven’t been following the weather we our having flood conditions right now and rain every day. Honestly thinking back I can’t tell you the last day we had with no rain. It’s not been just rain severe thunderstorms with high winds have really thrown a lot off. I headed to the woods anyway because where I hunt I don’t have to cross any low water bridges and thought I could make it. I was wrong!
Plan A was to take the main road into the national forest get to the large glade and set up on the wood line calling down with a decoy about 100 yards down the glade. Plan A was shot from the beginning because a very large tree had fallen over into the middle of the road and I couldn’t get around it. I had a plan B.
Plan B was to take back roads into the national forest come up on the far side drive through and make it to plan A’s glade and set up the same way. Plan B was shot because the low water bridge I had to cross was flooded and had about a foot of water flowing over the top of it. Hey stuff happens and I am the Hillbilly but I do have a smart phone with GPS.
Now we are to plan C I turned on my GPS and found another road leading into the national forest and it was going to take 50 minutes to get there and I didn’t care all I wanted to do was get some time behind scope and hopefully get a chance at some coyotes with my crossbow as well. After 30 minutes driving on roads that I had no idea where there I drove up to another low water bridge with more the a foot of water flowing over it and my tires were slowly sinking into the mud so I had to back up the one lane gravel road about a mile before I found a place to turn around.
What do I do now I can’t get to any decent places to coyote hunt and I have been driving around for 3 hours trying to figure out what I was going to do? If I go back to plan A I was able to get into the forest just not where I wanted to hunt and there was a ridge I wanted to scout that every time I go check my trail cameras I’m seeing bucks cross at so I chose not to waste the opportunity and head back an hour and go scout that ridge.
The ridge that I was scouting was only about 200 yards at least what I could scout that wasn’t privet property. The trails on top looked like cattle trails giant white oaks with acorns already falling because of the wind and more walnuts on the ground then I have ever seen in the national forest. I took my ghillie suit, calls, and rifle just in case I found a spot to hunt and I did a small glade overlooking farmers’ fields so I sat and called until it started pouring down rain again and I decided to walk out but this time I walked the side of the ridge and found some nice rubs from last season. As I walked back to the top of the ridge I found three giant trees knocked over two oaks and a walnut.
This ridge being short discourages me because hunters can walk in and out all day I try and stay in the bottoms or at least a ways off the road and it’s not possible on this ridge. The ridge did get moved up on my scouting report due to the amount of food up there and the use of the trails. Expect to see a full scouting report on this ridge come fall I have seen three nice bucks in velvet here already so it will be interesting to see how it changes when the bachelor groups break up.
The hunting trip wasn’t a complete bust no I didn’t get to shoot anything or get to spend as much time hunting as I would have liked but I did get to scout out an area that I wanted to scout and made the most out of the situation and I played the cards I was dealt. Any trip you take to the woods weather the result is what you wanted or not make sure to use the time you’re given to make the best out of it. Knowledge was gained and in my book the hunt was successful because of it.
Its August and what in the world are we supposed to be doing? Early bow season starts in 41 days and rifle season starts in 103 days here in Missouri. How do you pattern a buck that’s in summer patterns and bachelor groups when he will be transitioning to a fall pattern by deer season? What can you do now to prepare for deer season? When time is ticking by as slow as ever before waiting for deer season how do you keep your head on right without going crazy?
Trying to pattern bucks now in a summer pattern and predict what they will be doing in the fall is very hard. You need to calculate the weather and food sources to be able to predict a buck’s pattern this fall. This fall when the rut is starting the does will be hitting the food heavy and were the does are the bucks will come. The summer pattern can be helpful because a buck’s home range is larger right now. This fall the bachelor groups will split up and they will establish dominance between each other. The most dominant buck will take the best area and run other bucks off. His core area will be defended with crazy fights.
So what does this mean to you and me? We need to understand the area we are hunting knowing the food sources and cover to predict were the does will be will give you an idea of where the dominant buck will be roaming. The summer pattern will give you an insight on what bucks are hanging around. Just because you’re seeing the same buck in the same field every day at the same time doesn’t mean come deer season he will still be there.
Right now the deer are focused on feeding and preparing for fall and winter manly the rut. When fall comes around bucks will be focused on establishing his home range and core area. Rubs and scrapes will be on the bucks mind and he will be making tons of sign to give away his area and trying to locate the does.
What you should be doing right now is driving the roads and glassing the areas you hunt to figure out what bucks are in your area. Put boots on the ground and try and figure out what food sources are going to be around come deer season. Get your bow and rifle out if you haven’t already and start practicing your shots. Practice the way you plan on hunting. If you hunt from a tree stand or ground blind sitting down practice the way you hunt. If you hunt sitting down practice from a seated position, if you hunt from 30 feet up in a tree practice from a tree.
With time moving slow and you’re trying to find things to occupy your time take time to sharpen your knives oil your gear clean your guns and make sure you have everything in working order for deer season. Get your maps out and circle the areas you want to scout and start coming up with a plan for your scouting trips.
If you’re like me you’re using every excuse you can come up with to head to the woods. I have sharpened my knives and cleaned my guns. It’s been raining so much I haven’t been out to shoot lately but as soon as it dries up a little you can beat I will be out shooting. My scouting trips are mapped out and every trip I make to the woods to check my trail camera I come up with another area because I’m seeing bucks crossing every time. If the bucks are using a saddle to cross the road now I’m sure the does will be to. My scouting trip next month will give me a better idea about how that crossing is being used. If anything that first week of bow season I will be set up in an area I have seen the bucks using often in there summer pattern.
With nothing to do on rainy days spend time studying your topographical map and cursing back roads just to see deer. With all the rain we have gotten lately the food should be plentiful and the deer should be filling there belly’s as much as they can. I look forward to seeing you all in the woods with me this year. Be safe and stay sain deer season is right around the corner.
Ground blinds are very user friendly. They can be a piece of equipment that is your go to every time for concealment in the woods or on an edge of a field. A ground blind is a piece of equipment that every hunter should at least own one. Using a ground blind is a great alternative from a treestand because not only are you on the ground but you can brush them in, you can keep your scent from traveling outside of the blind to a minimum & by keeping the back windows closed & the side windows cracked for some ventilation you can keep yourself concealed from the eyesight of a deer. Also what can help staying concealed is by wearing a black shirt & face mask & at least one glove on the hand that will be insight from the outside of the blind. By doing this you will be matching the inside of the blind just like your camo that you use when hunting from a treestand. Even though you may choose to hunt out of a ground blind you still want to keep your movements to a minimal just like if you were hunting from a treestand.
There are a couple of things you might conceder. (1) instead of a face mask use black face paint it’s not as hot (2) a good comfortable stool or chair " folding " (3) Primos makes a ground blind light fan which is very handy to have for in the early mornings & the fan for when it's hot (4) Primos also makes a ground blind pole which is used for if you leave your ground blind up overnight or weeks on end and it snows it keeps the ground blind from collapsing. Ground blinds also have shoot through mesh windows which is a nice feature. By them having this mesh on them, if you are bow hunting you can shoot through the mesh with fixed blade broadhead's & if you use mechanical blade broadhead's practice before hunting because your broadhead's will open and cause the flight of the arrow to drop a little sooner than you might like or even kick left or right so practice to see what kind of adjustments you may have to take. The draw back to the shoot through mesh windows is you cannot shoot a gun through the mesh. The mesh can catch on fire. The mesh windows are removable & replaceable. Ground blinds also is a good way to take a kid hunting. You don't have to worry about them falling from a tree. Ground blinds are a good way to stay out of the weather when the weather changes to rain or snow and even keep you out of the wind. The only thing that’s bad about ground blinds are they can be heavy, awkward if caring a lot of equipment with you but outside of that if you stake them down when it's windy you will have it made. Be careful of branches and thorns they do rip & puncture. Easy temporary fix would be to use other a camo duc tape for the outside or regular duc tape for the inside either way works. Keep a role of duc tape in the bag with your ground blind for a just in case quick fix. The number one thing is to enjoy your hunt.