Hunting Whitetail in the Rain: Some Pros and Cons

If you’re ever caught in the rain waiting for that buck to come by, some of you might call it early that day. Being in the rain is never fun, especially if you aren’t in a covered blind (like me). The cold an humidity gets to the bones, and it’s almost impossible to shake off if you weren’t prepared.

Here are the Pros and Cons:

Pro: Scent is covered – Rain will keep your scent down. The chances of your scent travelling in the wind are slim to nil and will keep you hidden.

ConMovement is slow – Since those monster bucks can’t smell much in the rain, they’re are more likely to stay put and be more cautious. Unless that buck is on the trail of a doe, and has only that in mind, you might not see him.

Pro: Sound is covered – The no of the rain will drown out any noises you may inadvertently make. Those small movements you might make by moving or manipulating your choice of weapon will most likely be covered up with the sound of the rain.

Con: Breaks in the rain – Along the same lines as scent, deer might be less likely to move when hey can’t hear their surroundings very well. Something i noted over the years was that when ever one of our group got lucky on a rainy day, was in between breaks in the rain. The deer seem to know when it would start up again and quick movement would occur right before.

This year in Quebec, the weather has been unseasonably warm. It has rarely gone below freezing. It made it hard to predict movement and follow the natural patterns we were used too. Adapting to these different weather conditions, and changing your tactics on the fly will give you that edge and make you an well-rounded hunter during any type of season.

Please share your rain hunting stories and let us know how you’ve dealt with it.

 

 

 

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What are tarsal glands on Whitetail deer? and what are they for?

After my group had a successful weekend hunting, I decided to try something new. Not knowing what the outcome would be and considering rattling / calling has not successful in the area, I wanted to try something a little more natural. I had decent pictures on my trail cameras all season and pre-season. The cameras were spread out at almost every blind we had, and we had deer coming during prime shooting hours. Even though it was encouraging, nothing is ever guaranteed with hunting right? I have tried calling and rattling in this area for years, and I’ve never seen any type of response. So this season, I had an idea.

tarsal_glands_574_380_sI removed the tarsal glands from a male and female for the first time. After a quick google search (just incase), I removed the glands off the hind legs. It can be found on does and bucks of all ages. It’s a fatty lump which has a darker coloration. You’re going to need a very sharp blade on your knife. Any knife you would have used to skin your deer would be best. I learned this the hard way when i accidentally cut through the tendon in the leg. It didn’t seem like anything at the time, but when it came to hanging our deer, my group were not happy campers. You will need to remove the fatty part of the leg where the fur is darker. Cut about an inch more around the gland to make sure you keep it intact. I noticed they had a very pungent smell to it. All deer, male or female, have these glands. It’s made up of a dark coloured fur that covers a fatty area, about half way up the rear legs. The dark fur is actually stained fur from constant urination and rubbing. Deer will urinate on these glands all year around and bucks even more so during the mating season. If you click on the picture above, you can get a bit more detail on how the urine scent can give off specific information from deer to deer.

I put the glands in separate ziplock bags (I knew I would be doing this) to lock in whatever scent was on them. My plan was to keep the refrigerated until the next weekend, and hang them from my tree stand while i was posted. When the next weekend came around, I kept both glands strung to my back-pack with holes punctured in it. I wanted to leave as much scent behind me as possible. I kept them low enough that they would rub along the ground as i walked. FYI… if you walk to your post in the dark, and there are branches along the way, expect to lose them a couple of times as you walk…

I was not very successful at my post this year, but we did see fresh tracks along the path I took with my tarsal glands. I always use the same way to get in and same way to get out. The deer seem to always avoid my trail, except for this one time. I am going to experiment with the idea again next season, but I will use them ate my mock scrapes instead. This year was a little to improvised with the idea, and the weather was not in our favour.

If anyone has any experience with tarsal glands, please share it!

 

My first Saskatchewan Black Bear

Another old clip i dug up was of my first black bear, harvested in Northern Saskatchewan. With my buddies at Steepbank Outfitters, there was never a shortage of bears at each stand.

Like I mention in the video description, back then, I wasn’t very well equipped when it came to recording my hunts. I had a borrowed, hand-held, video camera from a cousin of mine. No stand or tripod, and barely enough experience to catch the proper angels.

Since i wasn’t able to catch the final part of my hunt, I’ve added some pictures to give you a better look!

Thanks for reading!

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Saskatchewan Black Bear Close-up In Tree-Stand

Another old video of mine from one of the Northern Saskatchewan Black Bear hunts I went on. My friends at Steepbank Outfitters have THE best spots to be in. Check out their site for more video’s.

This female didn’t seem to be interested in the bait, but was set on climbing up into my tree stand. Being my first time out for Black Bear season, I needed up putting my camera down. Thinking back, I should have kept rolling….but in hindsight, it’s always easier said than done.

Top 5 Gun Dog Breeds

Choosing your canine partner can be a crucial part of your hunting strategy. Personality, temperament, natural abilities and which type of hunting you prefer are all things to consider. Though there are many types of hunting dogs (i.e. hounds and flushers), in this article, we focus on breeds that have natural abilities for pointing. Here are the reported top 5 breeds of dogs for hunting activities:

5- Cocker Spaniel:

gun_dog_with_pheasantThere are many kinds of Spaniard breeds but Cocker Spaniels seem to be the most popular. They have great gun dog instinct dating back to their English origins. They have very good temperaments for family life but have the capability for being great gun dogs. They are last on my short list because of their natural ability, but are more often used to be house or show dogs.

4- Irish Setter:

irish_setter_puppy_v_by_lesnydrwalObviously of Irish decent, this breed is many times overlooked as gun dogs. These are beautiful dogs that can find you woodcock and go win a dog show the next weekend. A bit bigger than their Spaniel cousins, they have the same lush coats  and fantastic water retrieving capabilities.

3- Labrador Retreiver:

labrador-retriever-05A great, well-rounded, gun dog. Their origins are a bit hazy but the consensus is that their from Western Canada, mainly Labrador on the Atlantic tip of Canada. Known for their water capabilities, Labradors are build to fetch downed birds in cold water. Over the years they have been groomed to hunt on land and point. You can’t ignore their popularity as a family dog either making it high on our gun dog list.

2- Weimaraner:

Weimaraner1The Weimaraner is HIGLY overlooked as a top 5 Gun Dog. Originating from Germany, this breed was mixed with many other breeds to be able to hunt waterfowl and larger game. They are high energy with a strong and tall build, with a killer hunting instinct. You need to absolutely train these dogs, and keep them social with your family. If left in solitude they will be wild, family life is an absolute must. An amazing hunting dog, if you can get your hands on one as breeder are very rare.

1 – German Short Haired Pointer

122b1edf509074d9c445d0319c6ca920My first choice, and I must say I have a bias…I bought one! My top pick for this short list. The GSP has a strong hunting, stalking and retrieving instinct. My GSP “Pepper” will stalk and point at anything from squirrels, birds and even the occasional fly around the house (she is known to eat them too…good girl!). They are high energy and need lots of exercise. This breed has been bread to hit the water with webbed paws and a short haired water resistant coat (not water-proof). I am personally training Pepper to hunt small game, retrieve downed pray in the water and also find sheds in the winter for my whitetail passion. GSP’s also need to be socialized with the family, you can’t leave them out in the yard. My dog will point out the most reclusive of partridge, but also cuddle up with you in the evening to keep the family company and safe. She is also what drove me to write this blog.

In sum, it is important to choose a breed that matches your hunting and family’s lifestyle as they will not only be your hunting partners, but your partner’s in life for potentially the next 10-15 years.

Switching My Dog To Raw Meat Diet…1 Week Later

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It’s been a little over a week since we switched Pepper to a raw meat diet from Aliments Crue Grenier. To be
honest, I was pleasantly surprised! I imagined that the change would take a least a week and that we would be having explosive diherrea episodes during that week. Luckily that wasn’t the case. Pepper took to it very well. Adding rice to the meat or the fist two meals really helped her stomach cope with it.

Here’s a look at the ingredients i mentioned in the last video. There’s a higher content of protein and lower Carbohydrates. If you want more info on this brand, feel free to contact me.

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Right away, her stool was harder and much less in volume. Before we started, the kibbles she was eating would leave her with a lot of digestive problems. Her stool was rarely consistent and smelled like….well..shit.

I don’t want to put this other brand down. It is better quality than most kibbles you would buy in bulk at any random store, but for my dog, it never sat well with her. Even other local known brands that we tried when she was very young would cause her digestive problems. When you have a small puppy that cries in the middle of the night because of loose stool, it isn’t fun.

Now, there’s hardly any smell and she doesn’t seem to be in any sort of discomfort. For an 8 month old pup, she can now last a little longer in her cage during the day without having that discomfort of exploding out the rear.

I’d have to say that, in general, her first experience with this new diet has been very good, she seems happy with the taste, no negative reactions to it, and it even cost me $10 less then her kibble brand.

GoPro – Fetch….Not What I Was Hoping For!

Today I was finally able to go out and buy the GoPro Fetch for my GSP Pepper. I’ve been dying to try this and couldn’t wait to see what kind of footage I could get while training her. It would let me get a much better perspective of what she’s doing and how she is seeing the world as we go along….If only I was able to afford more GoPro cameras!

Got home and strapped her in right away! Thought it would be a good time to test it out while I was feeding her. Unfortunately the GoPro battery decided otherwise, so the test would have to wait. Instead, I decided to leave it on her and see how she reacts to it while playing and doing basic commands that we’ve been working on recently. It took all but 20 minutes before this happened…

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I couldn’t believe that the strap snapped in two! I JUST bought it this afternoon, and didn’t even get to go outside with it. Now it should be noted that I indeed read the quick instructions for this harness, as I needed to make sure I was attaching it properly. When I first opened the package, I wasn’t sure if the front plate was required to be on (It is not required and should be taken off for smaller dogs). As per instructions, my dog was not left unattended….especially with my new GoPro Hero4 attached, and there was no check cord or leash attached to it (it isn’t made for that sort of thing).

In all fairness, the tear looks like it was just a weak link, a defect. In general, any of the GoPro products I’ve purchased are well-built. I try avoiding other manufacturers that make similar products, mainly because I hate buying things twice.

I hope this is not going to be a complicated thing to exchange or return…I hope.