Friday, August 18, 2017

Do targets really matter?



I visualize my shot every time I am in the woods.  Each spot offers different opportunities and different entry points where deer/bear/turkey typically travel. I picture the animals walking in from each side and how I can move (or not) to get the most effective shot off without blowing my cover. As someone who needs to be hunting from a blind and am usually in a tree, this helps to alleviate some of the adrenaline gitters that can creep in when an animal actually appears.

Prior to each hunting season, we spend time sighting in our guns and bows and have shot at many different targets throughout the years.  Rifles are probably the easiest; we aim at either circles drawn on a piece of paper or an old plastic jug.  They are larger targets but if we are able to group our shots and come close to whatever bullseye that we are aiming at, then we know that the rifles are good to go. A few years ago, Dad and I sat at the kitchen table and used a stuffed Rudolph the Red –Nose Reindeer that I had to go over shot placement based on where the deer may be coming into my shooting lane and where I could and should not shoot. It is an algebra equation really; if the animal comes in at “X” angle, then your placement needs to be “Y” in order to end up with a dead animal.

When Dad and I got ready for our first turkey hunt, Dad drew the neck and head of a turkey on a piece of paper and we aimed at that; the goal being to visualize where on the turkey to place that bead in order to get the tightest grouping and make the biggest impact.  This helped us figure out the spread and yardage for each shot.

As Hubs and I get into bow hunting, we have square targets, one large and one small, and a 3D deer target to work with and improve our accuracy. I like the 3D target better as it helps me visualize where on the deer to be aiming based on distance and how high I am in the tree.  For him, it doesn’t matter what he is shooting at, as long as his grouping is where he wants it to be consistently.

So do targets really matter?  Is the 3D target really any better than the circle we draw on a piece of paper or a stuffed animal? Are they more important for visualizing shot placement or are they better for sighting in your weapon? Or both? Regardless of which ones you use, they will hopefully help with the end result and lead you to have a successful hunt.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Are you my father?

I am not sure if the target in the backyard has made the deer around here more relaxed or not, but for this fawn, it wasn't sure what to make of this thing that looks like a deer but doesn't move.  If this target can fool these deer, I am wondering if we could use it as a decoy during hunting season... that is something that I will need to research!

Either way, the doe and the fawn both look incredibly healthy!  Always a good sign for the deer herd.






Friday, August 4, 2017

Look at those beards!

I am hunting these guys this fall!  I couldnt hunt this past spring since I had a baby but seeing these guys on the trail cameras and the size of those beards... I may be bringing my rifle and shotgun with me into the stands this fall.





Friday, July 28, 2017

Why kids don't know their animals

A few weeks ago, my kiddo was handed a piece of paper from his teacher.  I was standing next to him as she told him that when he and his family go for walks in the woods, we could look for some of these animal tracks.

My first thought was that it was odd to see "cow" listed there since you don't typically find cows in the woods.  As I skimmed down through the sheet, I was mortified. When I got home, I made an "x" next to all of the animals/tracks that do NOT live in Maine.


To me, this is just laziness. There is no moose or white tailed deer listed on here.  No black bear or turkey.  Even if you had no idea about the outdoors and the animals who live in your home state, you still know that the four animals that I just mentioned, are found in the woods.  A quick scan of this sheet SHOULD be a red flag since we don't have badgers here or mule deer.  Maine is not the prairie.

As kids get further and further away from knowing the animals that live in their State and understanding their importance to the overall ecosystem and economy, the last thing we need are teachers who think that this is ok.  My kid never saw thing sheet, it ended up in the trash.

But, being the outdoorswoman that I am, I went to the IFW website and grabbed this actuate listing of the animals in Maine and their tracks.  I made enough copies for everyone in the class (and a few extras) and brought it in the next morning.  When my kiddo say the copies, he was concerned that I was giving away his track sheet but I assured him that we were just sharing the information with his friends.


If we want more kids to take an interest in the outdoors and be successful when they are out in the woods, then we need to give them correct information.  Can you imagine a poor kid here in Maine looking for a pronghorn track? or a ferret?  The kid would never find one and be discouraged.  As more parents become disconnected from the outdoors, the last thing we need is for teachers to be sending home inaccurate information.  Give them a list that has deer tracks and turkey tracks and there is a huge likelihood that they will find some.  That might be just enough to get them interested in the woods and exploring it more.  It is easy to get kids interested in hunting and conservation IF they are given accurate information right from the start.