Hunting Buyer’s Guides – Your One-Stop Bowhunting Headquarters Sat, 06 Jan 2018 13:26:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Choose Women’s Hunting Boots Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:04:30 +0000 Stepping out has taken on a new meaning for women who enjoy the outdoors. We’re breaking new ground and in ever increasing numbers, enjoying what many women in the past didn’t consider pursuing: a passion for the hunt. For many, we’re not just simply heading into the woods, we’re venturing into new territory altogether when we […]

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Stepping out has taken on a new meaning for women who enjoy the outdoors. We’re breaking new ground and in ever increasing numbers, enjoying what many women in the past didn’t consider pursuing: a passion for the hunt.

For many, we’re not just simply heading into the woods, we’re venturing into new territory altogether when we embark on a hunting trip.A critical component of any successful hunting adventure is choosing the right gear.While many of us have a closet full of shoes, we still aren’t sure what features to look for in a hunting boot. Make no mistake here — nothing can end a hunt quicker than sore, cold, wet feet.To make sure your first step is in the right direction, here are some tips on selecting the correct boot for your hunt.

Hunting Boot Selection for Terrain & Climate

You can never go wrong with waterproof boots.

Boot selection should focus on two key considerations of your hunt: terrain and climate. Both of these factors will dictate the type of boot you’ll need. Many boots sold are available in non-insulated or insulated styles, and often in waterproof styles also. Changing weather is common during hunting seasons, and you can’t go wrong in guaranteeing dry feet by ordering a pair of waterproof boots!

Study the weather of your intended hunting grounds, researching the temperatures and weather you’ll likely encounter while hunting there. Know what type of land and land features you’ll be setting your feet on. Use these criteria when searching for the right boot:

Mountainous, rocky or uneven terrain: This type of terrain requires boots with good, stiff ankle support, stiffer soles for stability, good lacing system for support, padded collar and tongue for comfort, waterproof protection for changing conditions, and good moisture-wicking properties to accommodate a lot of hiking and stalking. Common materials for “high-country” boots are leather or oiled leather uppers with rubber “bands” or toe guards for abrasion resistance and protection from rocks.

Upland hunting/open fields: Flatter terrain means you can use a softer, lighter weight boot, especially appreciated for the miles of walking you may do, and softer soles with less tread or traction are required. Lightweight leather or Cordura Nylon uppers are common, with waterproof and breathable linings a necessity. Also look for extra padding on the collar and tongue for all-day comfort.

Lowlands/marshes or swamps: Wet, sloppy ground calls for rubber boots or snake boots (if you hunt in the south).These boots are the tallest you’ll find, with women’s boots reaching 15-inch tops.Be sure to look for a snug ankle fit so they won’t pull off in the mud, and side cinches or buckles at the top to eliminate a noisy, sloppy fit when you walk, and to help seal out moisture.

A removable foot bed is a definite plus, as rubber boots will become damp and won’t dry out easily overnight unless you use boot dryers. Be certain to check the outer sole for cleats or lugs; a necessity for good traction in the mud.Although a great all around choice for water protection and varied terrain, rubber boots are not a comfortable boot to do extensive walking on uneven ground — they lack adequate support and cushioning needed for longer treks.

Varied terrain: dense woods, ridges, meadows: Varied land features call for a boot with varied features — leather or nylon uppers (or a combination of the two) with a more flexible sole, breathable, waterproof linings, stable ankle support without being too stiff, and a medium weight and height.This will be a good all-around boot you’ll reach for often and wear for many years if you make a smart purchase and a wise investment now.

Selecting Weight & Gram of the Boot

Snake boots that go high on the calf are important to have in snake country.

The weight of the boot you’re selecting should be of concern, especially if you’ll be doing a lot of walking. The fabric you choose, type of sole, and height and insulation will all contribute to the overall weight of your boot. The majority of boots will weigh anywhere from 3 to 4 pounds, with leather or heavily insulated pac boots hitting the scales in the 5-pound range.

Generally; choosing a lighter boot that’s non-insulated or one with just 200-gram insulation will suffice for more active hunts, hunts in early season, or in milder weather.

For mid-season, cooler weather or less active hunts, it’s imperative to purchase a quality-insulated boot with 400 to 800 grams of insulation. Thinsulate offers excellent insulation without adding bulk and weight — a great choice for hunts where you may do a combination of walking and standing. Changing mid-season conditions mean unpredictable weather, so be sure to purchase a pair of boots that are waterproof and breathable.

For late-season frigid weather and stand hunting, heavily-insulated, waterproof boots are a must. Heavy? Yes. The heaviest you’ll find on the market, usually topping 5 pounds, but they’re warm, and warm is what you’ll need. Pac boots will often have removable liners with a cuff to seal out the cold air and snow, and cleated soles for good traction in snow and ice. Look for boots with insulation of 1,000 to 1,200 grams for the coldest, wintry conditions.

Key to Buying Women’s Footwear

The key to buying women’s footwear is in the width of the footwear. Women’s sizes are designed to fit the narrower width of a women’s foot. In addition, women’s shoes and boots are cut to accommodate our narrower heel cup, meaning the heel will be trimmer than the forefoot width on women’s boots. Men’s boot widths generally measure the same from forefoot to heel. The average width (“B”) of a woman’s size 8 boot is 3.2 inches, while a man’s average width (“D”) in a size 10 boot is 4 inches wide. That’s nearly an inch wider than we need. Try on a man’s boot and you’ll quickly see how “sloppy” it feels. Too much width means a lack of support and blisters on your feet if the boot doesn’t fit snugly. Your feet will suffer and so will your hunt. If you do have wide feet, and are unable to find a wider width (“C” or “D”) offered in women’s boots, then you may need to try a man’s size to accommodate your needs. To find your correct size, choose a size that is one and a half to two times smaller than what you wear in a woman’s size. (Example: size 9 women’s usually translates to a size 7 1/2 men’s).

Dress Your Feet for the Elements

Women's feet are on average narrower than men's, which is why choosing a women's boot is important for comfort.

Your feet endure a lot out there, so don’t neglect to dress them properly before heading out. In milder weather, a single wool or synthetic-blend sock is all you need. But as the temperatures drop, you’ll need to be prepared to add a layer or two. Mid-season autumn weather usually requires a bit more bundling; add a layer by starting with a good 100-percent Polypropylene liner followed by a wool, or wool-blend sock. The liner will absorb perspiration and draw the dampness away from your foot, while the wool will keep them dry and warm, regardless if they are wet or not. Stay away from cotton — they don’t have the insulating or moisture-wicking properties needed for warmth. If the temperatures really plummet, add another wool sock layer, or switch to a thicker wool sock with the liner. Don’t like itchy wool? Not to worry-look for Merino wool, the ultimate choice for warm, itch-free, soft wool. Look for socks that have a “vertical ribbing” design on the shin area and some spandex in the blend, both will keep them from falling down around your ankles. If your feet are chronically cold, or chill easily, consider purchasing your heavily insulated boots one-half to one size larger than your normal size to accommodate layering with thick, wool socks.

Cold Feet

ThermaCELL heated insoles can help keep your feet toasty.

Still got cold feet? A common complaint among women; here are two suggestions: Try heated insoles inside your boots. Like hand-warmers, these chemical, foot- shaped insoles are activated by air and placed under your foot inside your boot. They will give your feet several hours of heat. Another option is to try insulated “over boots.” These boot insulators should be carried to your stand location, and then slipped over your hunting boots once you’re settled in. They’re lightweight and sure to give your feet extra warmth and protection from the cold. Choosing a boot with features you’ll need, wearing good socks, and keeping your toes warm and dry will keep you in the field longer, increase your odds at being successful and make your hunt more enjoyable. Take a step in the right direction by researching your hunting conditions and footwear options first, then selecting the best boot for you hunt.

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Trail Camera Buyer’s Guide Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:59:08 +0000 Dean Reidt's TrailTimer was the original electronic game monitor.Dental-product engineer Dean Reidt began tinkering with the idea of recording deer movements in 1985 and soon launched a new industry. The idea started when Reidt, a bowhunter, was waiting along a deer trail wondering what deer hunters have wondered for generations: How many deer use this trail when […]

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Dean Reidt's TrailTimer was the original electronic game monitor.

Dental-product engineer Dean Reidt began tinkering with the idea of recording deer movements in 1985 and soon launched a new industry. The idea started when Reidt, a bowhunter, was waiting along a deer trail wondering what deer hunters have wondered for generations: How many deer use this trail when I’m not here?

To find out, Reidt placed a digital clock inside a box that could be attached to a tree. He added a string to place across the deer trail and tied the string to a switch closer connected to the clock.

“What I did was turn a digital clock into a stop watch,” Reidt said. “When a deer hit the string, the clock would stop. So then I knew what time the deer came through and from which direction.”

Reidt called his invention the TrailTimer. It was the first device hunters could use to monitor game movements and the cornerstone of today’s constantly evolving game-monitor industry.

Today’s devices bear little resemblance to Reidt’s TrailTimer. No longer are trip strings used to determine the time an animal passed. Hunters now employ sophisticated cameras that photograph the animal and record time, date and other information. Many types are available, from simple digital cameras to high-tech marvels with all sorts of bells and whistles. The technology is changing so fast it’s hard to keep up with it. But if you’re in the market for a game camera, this basic buyer’s guide can get you started.

Why Use a Game Camera?

Game cameras allow users to scout their hunting areas 24/7 without actually being there. That’s a great advantage. After the camera is set up, animals passing in front of its infrared heat-and-motion detector trigger the camera so it shoots a photograph and records pertinent information.

This provides a visual image of the animal so you know its sex, relative age, the time it was using the area and other information that can increase chances for hunting success. A game camera can help you determine if a quality buck is using a scrape; which waterhole is being visited by pronghorns; what time a bear is hitting a bait pile or other facts about your quarry.

A single camera provides lots of useful information, but several cameras placed strategically throughout the area you hunt can be even more helpful. If a big buck is spotted, for example, it can be tracked through the property using the different cameras, which provides an idea of the deer’s range. This helps you pinpoint the best places to hunt. As photos are collected, they can be cataloged to provide a record of different animals and their movements so you’ll be better prepared when hunting starts.

The biggest advantage of a game camera is it leaves the animals less disturbed. The camera serves as your surrogate “eyes in the woods” and does so much less obtrusively than if you were there. You don’t contaminate the area by going in frequently to scout.

This photograph captured by a game cameranot only provided the user a visual image of a nice buck using his hunting area, it also recorded the date and time the photo was taken, as well as the temperature and moon phase.

Trail Camera Features to Consider

Some features make certain cameras more applicable for particular situations than others. The proper selection often depends upon the individual hunter, area and species pursued, but here are features to consider before making a purchase.

Date/Time Function For most hunters, this function, which records the date and time a photo was taken, is imperative. Most, but not all, cameras have this feature, so check before buying. Having a photo of a monster buck is nice, but knowing the exact time he came by is what you really need. Some cameras record additional data as well, including moon phase, temperature, barometric pressure and, as a security measure, the user’s name and other identification information. Some cameras also record a GPS geotag that pinpoints the precise location of the camera when a photo is taken.


The term “resolution” refers to the size of the digital images a camera produces and is usually expressed in terms of “megapixels.” When comparing cameras, this is one major difference you’ll see. For example, the Moultrie M-888 Mini Game Camera has a resolution of 14.0 megapixels, RECONYX HyperFire Semi-Covert IR digital scouting camera is a 3.1-megapixel camera. Some cameras, such as the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential Game camera allow a variety of resolution choices-in this case, 3, 5 or 12 megapixels.

A discussion of resolution can get very technical, but for the sake of discussion here, let’s just say that the higher the megapixels, the larger each image will be. And as long as the optics and internal components of the cameras are the same quality, the larger the image, the higher its quality. If you don’t plan to print a lot of photos, this is less important because photos viewed on a computer or TV screen can be smaller and still look good on the monitor. If you want clear, crisp prints to show your buddies, however, you’ll be happier with a higher-resolution camera.

Here’s another factor to consider, one that accounts for variable-resolution choices on some cameras. Larger digital images take up more space in your camera’s memory. So if you opt for a 3-megapixel resolution on the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential Game camera, for example, there will be room on the memory card for many more photos, allowing you to return to the camera site less often to download images. If you opt for a 5-megapixel resolution, the photos will be higher quality but the camera can’t shoot as many before the memory card is full. Opt for 12-megapixel resolution, and the photos will be of the highest quality but even fewer in number. Nevertheless, even high-resolution cameras will hold enough photos for general use by hunters in most situations.

As you might expect, higher-resolution and variable-resolution cameras are more expensive than others. If you want decent photos you can print but want to use multiple cameras, you may want to go with a mid-range choice. If capturing high-quality photos of animals you can print and frame for the wall is your goal, then a more expensive high-resolution camera is best.

Having a trail camera that allows for lower resolutions, as well as high picture resolutions, will allow your SD card to hold more images.

PIR Angle Width and Range

Many camera descriptions refer to PIR (passive infrared) width and/or range, which refers to the camera’s sensing mechanism. The infrared beam on most cameras has a very narrow scope of coverage, usually about 10 degrees. This means an animal must be centered in the field of view for the camera to trigger. Cameras with a wider PIR angle can sense activity up to 180 degrees, which allows them to capture photos of animals that cross anywhere in front of the camera. Wide-view cameras also are better able to capture pictures of faster-moving animals.

It’s also important to note the furthest distance at which a game camera can detect trigger-activating motion, which may range from 30 feet on the low end to 100 feet or more.  

Trigger Time The time that elapses from the moment the camera detects motion until an image is snapped is called trigger time. This can vary from a small fraction of a second on some cameras to as long as 6 seconds on others. While this may seem relatively unimportant, you’ll capture many more good images of game animals using a camera with a quick trigger time.


Almost all game cameras now use removable SD memory cards for photo/information storage. Most cameras have a card included, but if one is not, you’ll incur the additional expense of buying one and will need to know the maximum size memory card your camera will accommodate. Cameras that will accommodate larger-capacity cards — a 32 GB card as compared to an 8 GB card, for example — allow you to store more and higher-resolution images on the camera in the field. A handy accessory now available is a portable handheld viewer like Wildgame Innovations Cloak 8 IR Game Camera & SD Card Viewer Combo, which allows you to monitor game movements while in the field.


Game cameras use incandescent or infrared (IR) flashes to illuminate the subject in low light and at night. The picture quality of incandescent tends to be far superior to IR, but IR flashes use considerably less battery power, fire much quicker than incandescent flashes and, many hunters say, are less likely to spook animals because the animals can’t see them. A few high-end cameras allow changing from IR to incandescent with the flip of a switch, offering the best of both worlds.

Also important to know is the effective range of the flash, which may vary from 10 to 50 feet or more. A flash with a low range may be OK for photographing animals coming to a wild game feeder or on a trail where the camera can be set at close range, but may produce nothing but the glow of red eyes when photographing animals at a distance in a food plot. Be sure the range will be effective for the area in which you’ll be shooting.

Additional Game Camera Features

Among the many additional game camera features you may want to consider are these:

  • External LCD: Some models have an LCD display that allows you to check how many pictures have been taken, as well as other stats, without having to open the enclosure or trigger the camera. Built-in viewers that allow previewing your photos also are available.
  • TV Jack/Cables: With one of these, can connect directly to a TV to view your photos.
  • Intergrated Solar Panel: Some units come with solar panels that charge a built-in rechargeable Lithium battery, So you don’t have to worry about running out of power when the bucks are running hot. One example is the top rated SpyPoint Solar 12 Game Camera.
  • Aiming Aids: Many units have a test mode or laser aiming device to help aim the camera properly so you won’t miss a shot.
  • Event Counter: Some units incorporate this feature, which will tell you an animal crossed the sensor beam, even between photos. That way you can get an accurate count of how many times there was activity on a certain trail or area and around what time the activity centered.
  • Video: Many cameras now are capable of capturing video (with or without audio, depending on the camera) in addition to photographs. Some only offer fixed-length videos, while others offer programmable video length.
  • Multiple Shot/Burst Mode: When this feature is used, the camera will shoot multiple images over a specified time range to capture action that might be missed with a single shot.
  • Time-lapse Mode: This feature allows you to set the camera to take images at preset intervals over a period of time, in addition to photos triggered by game.
  • Zoom Feature: Depending on the model of camera you have, this allows 2X, 4X or greater magnification for up-close shots of game.
  • External Battery Jack: Game cameras usually are powered by standard or rechargeable 9-volt, AA, C or D batteries. If you can’t make timely visits to your camera, however, you want to make sure you don’t lose battery power between trips. Cameras with an external battery jack can be hooked up to 12-volt batteries for almost unlimited field life. Add a solar charger like the Moultrie Power Panel and they can run indefinitely.
  • Security Features: Game cameras are subject to being stolen or damaged by animals like bears. For this reason, many security features now are incorporated into the designs (camo finish, padlock tabs, password protection, etc.) or are available as accessories (locking bars/brackets, cable locks, security boxes, etc.).
  • Wireless Capability: If you don’t mind paying the extra cost, you can purchase a wireless camera or an accessory that works with certain cameras that will transmit images to your personal computer or the Internet for off-site viewing. These eliminate the need to travel to or through your hunting area to retrieve camera images, creating less disturbance and saving time and money. Moultrie’s Game Spy cameras, for example, are compatible with their Game Management System, which connects to a wireless cellular modem. Once you plug the modem into your game camera, the cellular network gives you the ability to wirelessly transmit images from your game camera to your private-access website. The GPS modem connection also allows you to change your game camera settings or check the battery status, even from your Internet-capable cell phone or PDA.
  • Special Features: As game cameras evolve, more special features become available such as the built-in programmable game calls (deer, turkey, moose, elk and predators) that attract animals. Expect to see more exciting innovations in the future.

Once you use a game camera, you will never want to scout without one again. Imagine being able to keep tabs on a favorite rub, waterhole or hot bear bait day in and day out, even when you’re working. Game cameras allow you to do all that and more, helping you know more about your quarry so you have a greater chance of success on all your hunts.

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How to Pick the Right Binoculars for You Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:01:50 +0000 On any big game hunting trip, and on many outings for small game and waterfowl as well, next to your rifle, shotgun or bow, a good pair of binoculars may be the most important piece of equipment you bring.Although most hunters today have scopes on their rifles, you can’t — and shouldn’t glass with a […]

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On any big game hunting trip, and on many outings for small game and waterfowl as well, next to your rifle, shotgun or bow, a good pair of binoculars may be the most important piece of equipment you bring.

Although most hunters today have scopes on their rifles, you can’t — and shouldn’t glass with a scoped rifle. Not only is it dangerous (remember, there’s a rifle sitting underneath that scope and what you’re seeing could be another person), but there’s simply no need when there are so many good binoculars available at reasonable prices.

But there are a lot of different models of binoculars to choose from, and selecting the right one for you may seem difficult. Here’s what you need to know, including some of the terms used in the optics industry and what they mean for you.

Porro Prism Versus Roof Prism Binoculars

Binoculars come in a wide variety of sizes, magnifying powers and features, but they all utilize either a Porro prism system or a roof prism system, which refers to the type and configuration of the internal prisms used to magnify and transmit light through the binocular to the eye. Porro prisms feature front or objective lenses that are offset from and not in line with the eyepiece or ocular lens. They generally cost less than roof prisms, however, they tend to be bigger, bulkier and heavier.

Roof prism binoculars tend to be more slim and streamlined, with less bulk. Look for roof prisms with phase correction, which is a feature that prevents interference when the path of light crosses over itself while being reflected off of the various surfaces of the internal prism.

What Do the Numbers Mean?

So what do the numbers mean on binoculars?

You’ll notice that the specifications of a typical binocular are usually stated as 7x35mm, 8x40mm, 10x42mm, or some variation thereof. The number before the “x” refers to the magnification, which means that the object will appear that many times closer or larger than it actually is. Although a higher magnification will mean a better look at the object, it also means a smaller the field of view, which can make scanning for game more difficult. Most hunters prefer 8x or 10x, which provides a good balance of magnification and field of view, but some will go as high as 12x. Anything more than that will not only have a small field of view but will likely be too difficult to hold steady without the aid of a tripod or other support, as the higher power will magnify the unsteadiness of your hands to the point of making prolonged viewing nearly impossible. The vast majority of binoculars are fixed-power, whereby the magnification is permanently set at a given level, but a few are variable-power, which can be adjusted or zoomed within their set range. The number following the “x” refers to the diameter of the objective lens, expressed in millimeters. The larger it is, the larger the field of view will be at any given magnification setting, but also the more light the binoculars will gather, and brightness is one of the most important features to look for in binoculars. High-quality binoculars have the ability to gather available light through the lenses and utilize it in such a way that you can actually see better during low-light conditions while looking through the binoculars than you can with the naked eye. The key term here, however, is high-quality, but what makes a high-quality binocular? Unfortunately, large objective lenses do not automatically translate into a bright image. A binocular with 40 mm objective lenses can actually be brighter than one with 56 mm lenses. It all depends on the quality of the glass used, the overall construction of the unit, and particularly on the coatings used on the internal glass.

Binocular Coating Options

In order to reduce glare and the amount of available light lost during transmission from the object to your eye, special chemical coatings are applied to the surface(s) of a lens. The quality, number and position of these coatings determine how much light is transmitted. Here are the options available and what they mean:

  • Coated — a single layer is applied to at least one lens surface
  • Fully-coated — a single layer is applied to all air-to-glass surfaces
  • Multi-coated — multiple layers are applied to at least one lens surface
  • Fully multi-coated — multiple layers are applied to all air-to-glass surfaces

Figuring Out Diameter of Exit Pupils

As mentioned, the overall brightness, as well as the sharpness and clarity, of a pair of binoculars depends upon a lot of factors, but one way to compare the inherent brightness from one model to another is to compare the diameter of the exit pupils. This refers to the size of the circle of light visible at the eyepiece of a binocular, when pointed at a light source and held about a foot away, but really means how much light is available to the human eye.

The larger the exit pupil, measured in millimeters, the brighter the image, everything else being equal. To determine that number, divide the objective lens diameter by the magnification (an 8×32 model has an exit pupil of 4mm). Full-sized binoculars should have exit pupils at least in the 4-5mm range. Anything larger than that is typically larger than the pupils of an adult human’s eyes, meaning that there is more available light than the eye can use, at the expense of lugging around bigger and heavier lenses. Anything smaller than that and the image is likely not as bright as it could be.

The exception to the 4-5mm exit pupil rule is in regard to compact or pocket-sized binoculars. These models are usually 7x or 8x magnification, with objective lenses usually less than 30mm in diameter. As a result, they tend not be as bright as full-sized models, but this is offset by the convenience of a small, lightweight binocular that you can carry in your pocket or in your glove box. A quality compact binocular that is always with you when you need it is far better than a heavy, bulky model that you always leave back at camp or in your vehicle.

Buy the Best Binoculars

The rule of thumb when it comes to binoculars is to buy the best that you can afford, but don’t be surprised if that range is $200-$2,000. You won’t regret it. Not only are high-quality optics clearer and brighter, but they won’t cause headaches or eye fatigue from hours of glassing the way that cheap optics can, and they will last several lifetimes. What else do you get for this money? Many binoculars are rubber-armored, to provide some shock absorbing protection against scratches and bumps in the field, and it also makes them quieter to carry and more comfortable to hold. Top quality models are waterproof, fogproof and shockproof, through the use of O-ring seals and nitrogen gas filling or purging. Many models also offer a dioptre adjustment, which is a fine focus adjustment ring usually provided around one or both eyepieces, rather than just the standard center focus wheel, to accommodate for vision differences between the right and left eyes. Examine each one and look through them all, preferably at distant objects, for a few minutes each. If you start to feel eye strain or fatigue, try another pair. Everyone’s eyes are different, so you may have to try a few before you find one that feels good in your hands, offers that perfect level of brightness, sharpness and clarity, in a package that is not too big, heavy or hard on the pocketbook. Once you find it, you’ll wish you’d done it sooner.

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How to Select the Perfect Broadhead Tue, 05 Sep 2017 15:55:09 +0000 A broadhead is a large cutting point assembly, attached to an arrow shaft for hunting. The proliferation of broadhead designs and blade configurations are diverse, making the decision on which one to use under a given set of hunting factors confusing, but it doesn’t have to be so.Each year manufacturers come out with new models […]

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A broadhead is a large cutting point assembly, attached to an arrow shaft for hunting. The proliferation of broadhead designs and blade configurations are diverse, making the decision on which one to use under a given set of hunting factors confusing, but it doesn’t have to be so.

Each year manufacturers come out with new models designed to maximize cutting efficiency, minimize flight deviation and increase impact stability, so even if you’re content with the broadheads you’ve been shooting for a long time, it might be worth considering some of the newer broadheads.

Broadheads can be divided into two categories based on their physical makeup and further depending on the number of blades they sport. The two main categories are fixed blade, and mechanical blade. Within those main categories you will find additional variations or sub categories. Additionally, various designs bridge the basic model descriptions by adding features like cut-on-contact blades on the tip.

For most bowhunters, broadhead selection is a matter of personal preference based on experience, the speed of the arrow and the game being sought. If you’re new to bowhunting and short on experience, here are some guidelines.

As a general rule, bowhunters with slower shooting speeds (created by lower draw weights) should use fixed-blade broadheads of 1-1/4” or less to improve penetration. An additional consideration for shooters with slower speeds would be to select a cut-on-contact broadhead. Cut-on-contact broadheads have minimal resistance, which increases penetration and the likelihood of a quick, ethical kill.

Shooters with higher draw weights and faster speeds have more options. Increased kinetic energy will afford the advantage of using larger-diameter fixed-blade or mechanical broadheads. With sufficient penetration, these larger broadheads have the potential to produce heavy blood trails, but there is a point of diminishing returns. Larger blades should be reserved for smaller game such as turkeys when penetration isn’t an issue.

Blade Count

The number of blades that a broadhead has will have a direct impact on the blood trail, with more blades producing the best effect. The theory is that with broadheads using three or more blades, at least two are cutting across the grain of muscle tissue, making it less likely you’ll lose a blood trail because of muscle fibers closing up a cut that happens to run with the grain.

Broadhead Configurations

  • Fixed-Blade Heads

      • Replaceable Blade – The blades are removable for sharpening or replacement, and on some designs the points are replaceable.

      • One Piece – Full-blade broadheads have cutting edges that extend from the tip of the point back to the rear portion of the blade(s). These broadheads are available in two-blade, three-blade and four-blade versions.
  • Mechanical heads – Have blades that fold into the body to reduce drag and deflection during flight. The cutting blades extend upon penetration and give these heads their name.

Fixed-blade Broadheads

Fixed-blade broadheads can be broken down into two categories, one-piece broadheads and those with replaceable blades. Replaceable-blade broadheads are very popular because you don’t have to deal with the tedious process of sharpening the blades’ edges. When they lose their edge, you simply drop in a new razor-sharp blade.

Within these categories you’ll find two-blade, three-blade and four-blade configurations. For novices not as experienced in bow tuning, smaller and fewer would be two words to consider strongly when it comes to broadhead selection.

If your bow is poorly tuned, when an arrow leaves the rest its flight will be affected more readily. An arrow that leaves with its fletching end raised will tend to catch the wind and take a sharp dive in its trajectory. Conversely, when the fletching end drops on release, the lower rear angle will cause the blade to catch the wind and plane upward.

For the same reason, the number and size of blades will have an increasing effect the bigger they get. If you want to minimize tuning your bow, stick with compact broadheads – their smaller surface area reduces the effects of wind and out-of-tune bows compared to larger, higher-profile broadheads. They’re becoming more and more popular, and most manufacturers offer at least one compact fixed-blade broadhead.

Leading Edges – Chisel Tip vs Cut on Contact

Broadheads that use a chisel tip will punch through an animal’s tough hide before the broadhead’s blade surface begins to cut. This helps to ensure the broadhead enters the animal at the desired angle and the trajectory is unaltered. Chisel tips are one of the most durable types of broadheads, and are well known for punching through bone without being damaged.

Cut-on-contact tips don’t have to punch through the hide – they instead slice through it. This requires very little energy, therefore maximizing penetration. Cut-on-contact tips are a favorite among traditional archers and those shooting low-poundage bows

Mechanical Heads

This ingenious innovation has gotten a bad rap, largely because of a limited number of bowhunters with bad experiences, and justifiably in some cases due to poor initial designs. However, mechanical heads have come a long way since they were first introduced.

The truth is that mechanical heads aren’t ideal for every application; however, they do meet a need and many dedicated shooters use them successfully every season. Certainly, improvements in original designs have minimized the number of disappointing experiences, but selection for particular applications is also a major factor.

Mechanical heads have one major advantage: they fly in a manner very close to field points and require very little tuning to attain tight groups. The critical issue to keep in mind with mechanical heads is that the blades have no support for the trailing edge. Blades that use thicker metal for the extendable blades will withstand greater stress and have less flex upon impact. While some mechanical blades are as thin as .020″, Cabela’s Lazer Strike Mechanical broadhead blades are made from razor-sharp, heavy-duty stainless steel that is .036″ thick. Also, the length of blade you select should be limited when targeting larger species.
For the most part, modern mechanical broadheads are available in two styles: over-the-top (front deploying) and rear deploying. Over-the-top broadheads have blades that are hinged at the rear of the ferrule, and pivot out from the front upon contact. The blades typically open up after they are inside the animal, which ensures the blades are razor-sharp when cutting through vitals. The entrance holes from over-the-top broadheads are smaller than rear-deploying broadheads. Rear-deploying broadheads have front-pivoting blades that deploy outward from the rear of the broadhead, resulting in full-size entrance and exit holes. This style maximizes blood trails and guarantees the blades are deployed before reaching an animal’s vitals.

While mechanical broadheads are available with blades up to 2-3/4″, hunters should limit the size of broadheads to a maximum cutting dia. of 1-1/2″ when going after elk or other big-bodied animals. Smaller blade diameters will give you more penetration and improved performance with bigger-boned animals.

That said, there is another factor to consider and that’s the force that’s driving the business end. Mechanical broadheads around 2” in length are fine for deer-sized animals as long as you have enough kinetic energy to drive them home. Industry experts recommend at least 55 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy for the larger heads and 65 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy when going after elk and large game. The 65 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy translates roughly into the result achieved by launching a 400- to 500-gr. arrow with a 60- to 65-lb. compound bow.

You can use this formula to in order to calculate kinetic energy so you know exactly what you are producing with your particular set up:

ke=M * v2 / 450,240.

ke=Kinetic Energy, M=mass (weight of arrow in grains), v= velocity of arrow in fps, 450,240 = (gravitational constant of 32.16 * 7000 [gr.])

For example: An arrow with a weight of 450 gr., traveling at 265 fps will have 70.19 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy. (450 x 70,225 (265×265) / 450,240 = 70.187).

With mechanical broadheads, you still need to tune your bow to achieve maximum performance in both penetration and accuracy. The adjustments required to perfect your setup are less than with traditional broadheads, but even slight variations in flight can rob you of valuable energy. Tuning is time well spent regardless of what you shoot. A good compromise for mechanical broadheads is to shoot the smallest diameter, so that you get maximum penetration and still have the advantage of the accuracy characteristics of mechanicals.


The next decision after determining which style of head you want is weight. Industry experts recommend 100-gr. heads for carbon and lightweight aluminum shafts, and for heavy aluminum shafts, 125-gr. heads.

Once you decide which weight and style of broadhead you want to use, it is incumbent upon you to set up and tune your bow for true broadhead flight. Before you start tuning, make sure your arrows are perfectly straight and that the broadheads are installed properly. You can check head alignment by spinning your arrows to make sure there is no wobble of either head or shaft. Keeping half a dozen arrows set aside strictly for hunting is a good idea, since it eliminates the potential wear from use during practice sessions.

Broadhead Tuning Tips

Even after tuning your bow for target shooting using methods like paper tuning and walkback tuning, your broadheads still may not group with field points. This broadhead-tuning method is an easy way to get them grouping together, assuming you have a properly tuned bow and correctly spined arrow. You can broadhead tune at any range, although the planing effect of broadheads is greater the farther the distance. 25-30 yds. is the most common broadhead tuning distance. Be sure to use a fixed-blade broadhead for tuning, as they will exaggerate the imperfections in your bow setup more than mechanical broadheads.

  1. Shoot a group of three or four field points at the target, making sure you are properly sighted in for your shooting distance.

  2. Shoot two broadhead-tipped arrows at the same spot, and take note of where they hit. If they group with your field points, your bow is already tuned for hunting (however, check at longer distances just to make sure). If they don’t, you will want to “chase” your field points with the rest. For example, if your broadheads group low and to the left of your field points, you’ll want to move your rest up and to the right (only move in one direction at a time, so pick either vertical or horizontal rest travel and make one of those adjustments before moving on to the other). Make only small adjustments at first – assuming your bow has been paper- or walkback-tuned, you will probably not need much adjustment at all. Do not move your sights at this stage, as that will come later.

  3. Shoot another group of field points (always keeping the same aiming point) and then a group of broadheads, taking note of where each group hits. Make rest adjustments accordingly. Although you are aiming at the bull’s-eye, the ultimate goal for this step is to get your broadheads and field points grouping together. Chances are high that once your field points and broadheads are flying the same, they will not be hitting your exact aiming point (this is normal and will be addressed in the next step). Repeat this step – making rest adjustments in only one direction at a time – until your field points and broadheads are flying interchangeably.

  4. When your broadheads and field points are flying together, your bow is tuned for perfect hunting-arrow flight. Check each of your sight pins (or your sight tape) and make any necessary windage and elevation adjustments, and shoot a mix of field points and broadheads at varying distances to make sure they’re flying together.

To ensure a quick and humane kill, you’ll also need to spend some time practicing with your new broadheads. Even the biggest, sharpest broadheads will not bring an animal down if they hit a nonvital part of the animal’s body. Practice how you’ll likely end up shooting – sitting, kneeling, through tight windows, during high winds and adverse weather, with an elevated heart rate, up and down hills and any other scenario that you may come across in the field. Confidence in your equipment and staying within your physical limits are the biggest factors in making clean, ethical kills.

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Buyer’s Guide for the Best Turkey Hunting Blinds Tue, 05 Sep 2017 15:48:06 +0000 There was a time when hunting blinds were a luxury. Making a blind was difficult work: building the framework, cutting foliage to match the area and securing the foliage to the frame — not to mention where the blind was built, is where it stayed. Today’s blinds are a must have, and setting one up and using it […]

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There was a time when hunting blinds were a luxury. Making a blind was difficult work: building the framework, cutting foliage to match the area and securing the foliage to the frame — not to mention where the blind was built, is where it stayed. Today’s blinds are a must have, and setting one up and using it is so simple even a beginner can do it and be successful hunting from it.

BlindsBuyingGuide SF

A blind serves many functions — not only does it keep the hunter hidden from the keen eyes of game, but being inside the blind hides the human silhouette and allows the hunter to move without getting busted.

By using the latest camo patterns blending in is as simple as setting up the blind and climbing inside.

Turkey hunting legend, Ray Eye, is a believer of blinds especially when taking young or new turkey hunters into the field.

“When taking out new hunters they don’t yet understand the term, sit still,” says Eye. “They fidget and spook birds. Also they are often carrying a 20 gauge which means you need to get the bird in close. By using a blind the hunters can move around; eating and drinking or being a kid without the worry of scaring off birds.”

There are several types of blinds to choose from and each has its own pros and cons.

Tips for Using a Hunting Blind
  • When using a blind make small openings rather than opening the windows fully. This gives the quarry less chance to see you inside the blind.

  • Don’t skyline yourself, by opening a 360-degree bank of windows an approaching deer or turkey will pick up movement inside as you prepare for the shot. Keep the back side of the blind closed.

  • Ensure there’s enough room. For firearm hunters this isn’t normally a big deal of sticking the barrel through the port, but archers must ensure there is space to hold up their bow and draw while not bumping any part of the blind.

  • Archery hunters need to decide to shoot through the ports or open them. Some mechanical broadheads open when striking the netting.

  • Practice setting up, taking down and perhaps most important preparing for the shot. Archers should practice shooting from the blind. The last thing you want to be doing is fumbling around in the dark or trying to figure out how to operate a shooting port when a longbeard or buck appears.

Ground Blinds

Perhaps the simplest type of hunting blind is the ground blind. This is a normally a piece of camouflage material and a few poles.

Ground blind advantages:

Ease of set up and use, very lightweight and inexpensive. Many photographers, both still and video, utilize these ground blinds because they require much less space to set up in and use.


It doesn’t keep hunters or photographers hidden from a turkey’s eyes in a 360 degrees circle like the other blinds and offers little protection if inclement weather springs up.

Most hunters use a small chair and sit behind the cloth peeking over the top in wait.

Mad Max Portable Ground Blind

This ground blind features a compact and lightweight design, built- in shooting sticks and its size allows easy packing. The Mad Max Portable Ground Blind may be the ultimate blind for Runnin’ & Gunnin’ for turkeys but is equally versatile as a deer blind. It is available in Mossy Oak Break -up.

Primos Stake Out Ground Blind

With features including Primos’ Bricaid spun-bonded camouflage screen material, five collapsible solid fiberglass shock-corded poles for quick and compact takedown and its own carrying case. The Primos Stake Out Ground Blind is great for a fast set up or if you are planning to sit a spell. It is available in Mossy Oak New Break-up.

Hunter's Specialties 12' Camo Portable Ground Blind

What’s not to like about this blind? The Hunter’s Specialties 12′ Camo Portable Ground Blind easy to carry, set up and takedown and features shock-corded poles, spun-bonded polyester material die cut for a 3-D camo effect and is durable enough to last season after season, all at a price that won’t break the bank.

Spring Steel Hunting Blinds

Spring steel blinds are essentially a pup tent; a piece of camouflaged material stretched over spring steel poles just like a tent. These blinds are lightweight and fast to set up and take down and lightweight making these blinds easy to pack. The disadvantage is that these blinds are lightweight and whip in strong winds scaring off turkey, deer and any other game in sight.

Most of these blinds feature shooting windows and are blacked out; the inner walls are blacked out to provide a “shadow” so the game won’t see you inside.

The spring steel type blinds are less expensive than the hub style blinds, but due to its construction are also smaller than the hub style blinds.

Ameristep Doghouse Hunting Blind

The Doghouse features Edge ReLeaf 3-D camouflage system, ShadowGuard interior to eliminate shadows inside the blind, four shoot through windows and high wind tie downs all with a back pack case for ease of carry and is available in Realtree AP.

Hub-style Hunting Blinds

The hub-style blinds are the ultimate in ground hunting blinds. The design uses a metal hub in each of the walls and roof attached to these hubs are metal poles by pushing out on the hubs the wall springs into place. These blinds are the sturdiest and are usually roomy enough to keep two hunters out of plain sight with room to spare.

While not completely waterproof, they will take the brunt of a torrential downpour. So much so that on more than one occasion I’ve climbed inside one to escape the elements. These hub style blinds are often a bit heavier and more expensive than the other type ground blinds.

BlackOut Hub-Style Ground Blind

Featuring an ultra-dark interior, extra-large size for multiple hunters the BlackOut hub-style ground blind is ultra- light and ultra-easy to set up and take down. Other features include shoot-thru mesh and zippered exterior windows all fits inside a backpack-style bag for easy carrying. The BlackOut comes in Realtree AP.

Big Game Treestands The Redemption Ground Blind

The Redemption is full of features found on blinds costing much more. Easy-access zip door with fastener to secure lower opening, extra-large center windows, bottom wind flaps, and reversible shooting windows is all the blind you will ever need. The Redemption comes in Epic camo.

Primos Double Bull Double Wide Ground Blind

The ultimate in ground blinds, the Double Wide is the standard of how all other blinds are judged. The Double Wide features the no zip Double Wide door, 180 degree of full front shoot-thru mesh windows and a Blackout interior. The Double Wide is the ground blind for serious hunters. The Double Bull Double Wide is available in Ground Swat camo.


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Hunting Boots Buying Guide Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:28:50 +0000 I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a hunt camp where someone had a problem with their hunting boots. Usually the boots weren’t dry or warm enough, but other times they didn’t offer enough support or traction for hunting in rugged terrain or were brand new and simply hurt the wearer. Unfortunately any […]

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a hunt camp where someone had a problem with their hunting boots. Usually the boots weren’t dry or warm enough, but other times they didn’t offer enough support or traction for hunting in rugged terrain or were brand new and simply hurt the wearer. Unfortunately any one of these problems can ruin a day in the field. I wish I could say that I was never the one to have these problems, but the truth is that I’ve learned some hard lessons over the years when it comes to hunting boots. Here’s what you need to know to make the right choice.

A quick glance at the wall of hunting boots at your local Bass Pro Shops will show three basic types: Pac boots, rubber boats, and leather and/or nylon boots. Let’s examine the pros and cons of all of them.

Pac Boots

HuntingBootsBG RH8MtZumaPac

Pac boots tend to be the warmest boot available but are heavy and not suitablel for long treks.

These boots usually consist of a rubber bottom with a leather, nylon or combination upper. They tend to be the warmest ones you can buy, thanks to a removable, insulated inner bootie, often constructed of felt. Pac boots are waterproof, generally 8-16 inches in height, and are designed to be worn in the coldest, snowiest, iciest conditions.

They are often a bit heavy and clunky, so they are best suited to long sits in a cold, late-season tree stand; if you intend to do a lot of walking, these boots are probably not your best choice. They are usually sold based on a temperature rating, and I recommend the warmest you can buy if you are going to be sitting for long periods.

Rubber Boots

HuntingBootsBG RH8CamoAllPurpose

Rubber boots work well for waterfowl hunting but may not be viable for cold-weather hunting.

There was a time when most hunters in North America wore rubber boots for just about all types of hunting and for good reason. When it comes to keeping your feet dry in wet conditions, with little weight, there is simply no better choice. Rubber also tends not to absorb scent, which is an advantage for bowhunters who need to always be cautious about leaving human scent around their deer stands.

They are available in heights ranging from 10 inches up to about 18 inches, which can be a great choice for waterfowling in areas that are wet but still shallow enough not to need waders. Rubber boots are also very popular for turkey hunting and early season deer hunting, when temperatures can get cold, but not bitterly cold. These boots are not generally considered to be ideal for hunting in frigid temperatures, but some models are now available with warm neoprene uppers and as much as 2,000 grams of insulation, which can challenge that long-held belief.

The waterproof nature of rubber is what ensures that water stays out of the boots, but it will also keep sweat in as rubber doesn’t breathe. As a result, these boots are not the ideal choice for situations that call for a lot of walking, and rubber also doesn’t generally offer enough support for hunting in rugged, rocky terrain.

Leather/Nylon Hunting Boots

HuntingBootsBG RH16SideZipGuideInsulatedBoots

The most popular hunting boot is one that is insulated and waterproof.

These boots seek to combine the best qualities of Pac boots and rubber boots, which makes them probably the most popular and certainly the most versatile style of hunting boot today. They are typically constructed of either leather, nylon or a combination of the two. A waterproof and breathable membrane such as GORE-TEX will help keep your feet dry, while insulation options ranging from none to 1,600 grams of Thinsulate will keep your feet warm and comfortable in conditions ranging from spring turkey hunting or early-season archery in the south, to late-season pheasants in the Midwest and November whitetails in Canada.

When combined with an aggressive lug sole, this type of boot in an all-leather construction is the preferred choice for hunting in rocky, mountainous terrain, where a good grip and ample ankle support is essential to prevent slips and falls. Many models even sport a reinforced toe cap for extra protection and increased durability in rough conditions. At the other end of the spectrum, softer-soled models are also available for still hunting, stalking or any hunting that requires extra stealth.

In terms of weight, models meant for hunting upland birds, where many miles are walked each day, can weigh as little as 2 pounds or so, on up to heavily-insulated models or those built for the roughest conditions which can weigh up to 5 pounds or so. If you intend to do a lot of walking, every extra ounce can make a difference at the end of a long day.

These boots are also available in a wide range of heights, from as low as 6 inches up to about 12 inches, with most being in the 8- to 10-inch range. The higher models are great for additional support in rough terrain or if shallow wading may be necessary. If biting snakes are prevalent in your area, models from 13 to 18 inches will help keep you safe.

Boot Insulation

Technological advancements in insulation mean that boots are now warmer and lighter than ever before. Materials such as Thinsulate(tm) and Thinsulate Ultra are widely used and boots are usually labeled in terms of how much of it they contain, expressed in grams. When hunting in mild conditions, uninsulated models, or perhaps boots with just 200-400 grams of insulation, will keep your feet from overheating.

Mid-weight models with 600-800 grams would be ideal for mid-season hunts, or even later season hunts if you are constantly moving. The coldest conditions call for 1,200-1,600 grams or even more to keep your feet warm, or if sitting still for many hours. A selection of socks of various weights/thicknesses and can also increase the temperature comfort range of boots.

A Final Word

When shopping for boots, take a pair of socks with you that are typical of what you would wear while hunting, to ensure proper fit. If you wear orthotics, take those too and remove the factory footbed (insole) before trying each boot. Finally, make sure your new boots are nicely broken in before hunting in them. Wear them around the house, while walking the dog, etc. Again, walk with your usual hunting socks, as much and as far in advance of hunting season as possible.

With so many makes, models and styles available today, at affordable prices, there’s a boot that’s just right for any hunting situation.

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The Complete Broadhead Selection Guide Tue, 29 Aug 2017 23:16:24 +0000 As the fall archery hunting seasons close in, there’s one question on the lips of bowhunters that we hear time and again at Lancaster Archery Supply. “Which broadhead is the best?” That’s a question that has nearly as many answers as there are bowhunters. Everyone has their favorites. What we like to do at LAS is provide information […]

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As the fall archery hunting seasons close in, there’s one question on the lips of bowhunters that we hear time and again at Lancaster Archery Supply.

“Which broadhead is the best?”

That’s a question that has nearly as many answers as there are bowhunters. Everyone has their favorites.

What we like to do at LAS is provide information about the types of broadheads available today, and then let customers choose from there.

Essentially, there are four types of broadheads – fixed-blades, mechanicals, hybrids and traditionals.

And here’s what you need to know about each in making your selection this season.

As their name suggests, these broadheads have razor-sharp blades that are set in place. Once it’s screwed into place at the end of an arrow, there are no moving parts on a fixed-blade head.

An advantage to having a head with fixed blades is that all of the energy behind the arrow is spent on pushing it through hide, tissue, bone, etc.

Combine that energy with the relatively stiff blades of a fixed head, and you get a cutting tool that is well-suited for slicing through bone – the toughest component of an animal’s anatomy. Fixed-blade heads tend to be the hardest-hitting and most durable broadheads.

Also, the blades on these heads are easy to sharpen, since the cutting surfaces are exposed. So if you miss a deer, and your arrow buries into the dirt, it’s possible to sharpen that head and put it back in the quiver, assuming the blades didn’t hit something hard and bend.

Or, many models have replaceable blades, so sharpening isn’t necessary. You can just change blades if you want.

If a bowhunter says his broadhead-tipped arrows aren’t hitting the target in the same spot as his field points, he’s almost always using a fixed-blade head. They tend to be the ones bowhunters struggle with when it comes to arrow flight.

The issue almost always is related to the bow’s tuning or the archer’s shooting form, but fixed-blade heads can require some tinkering to perfect your arrow’s flight.

Most any fixed-blade broadhead will work for hunters who use crossbows, although the short, compact heads tend to fly better at the end of a bolt.

These heads have expandable blades that are deployed when the head strikes an animal.

They are the most aerodynamic, and an arrow carrying a mechanical head will almost always hit a target exactly the same as your field-tipped arrows.

Because the blades fold up inside or against the head’s body, they can be very long, offering devastating cutting diameters up to a little over 3 inches. That’s going to cut a huge hole.

In most cases, however, expandable broadheads are one-shot wonders – whether you hit the animal or not. The blades on these heads tend to be pretty thin, which makes them susceptible to bending and chipping. You can buy replacement blades for most expandables, but don’t count on reusing a head more than once without replacing the blades.

Those thin, long blades also aren’t the best at cutting through bone, and some of the arrow’s energy will be spent on deploying the blades, as opposed to pushing the arrow through the animal.

Crossbow hunters will want to choose mechanicals that the manufacturer has approved for crossbow use. The tremendous force applied to the back of a bolt when a crossbow is shot can cause the blades on some mechanical heads not suited for crossbow use to open prematurely.


These heads are a combination of the previous two types.

They’re going to have two or more fixed blades, and they will also have expandable blades. So you get the ruggedness of fixed blades, matched with the wide cutting diameter of expandables.

Usually with the hybrids, both the fixed and expandable blades are not quite as wide as they’d be if the head simply featured one type or the other.

They can require some tinkering to get perfect arrow flight, and the expandable blades likely will have to be changed after each shot.

As with the mechanical heads, crossbow hunters will want to make sure the mechanical portion of a hybrid head is approved for crossbow use by the manufacturer.

These are broadheads intended for use by bowhunters shooting recurve bows and longbows.

Traditional bows generate less energy than modern compound bows. Most fixed-blade heads can be effective for traditional bowhunting, but traditional bowhunters often choose broadheads designed to maximize penetration for arrows carrying less energy.

To that end, traditional broadheads are often long and heavy, with a low cutting angle and a cut-on-contact design.

Traditional broadheads can be screw-in style heads or glue-on heads used with wooden shafts. We recommend traditional archers not use expandable broadheads.

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Women’s Hunting Clothing Buying Guide Tue, 29 Aug 2017 23:14:57 +0000 Women's Hunting ClothingWomen’s hunting clothing has come a long way over the last two decades. We’ve gone from virtually no options to a quite large collection of styles and patterns of hunting wear designed specifically for women. The first hunting garments made for women often focused more on style rather than function. What these clothes boasted […]

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Women's Hunting Clothing

Women's Hunting Clothing

Women’s hunting clothing has come a long way over the last two decades. We’ve gone from virtually no options to a quite large collection of styles and patterns of hunting wear designed specifically for women.

The first hunting garments made for women often focused more on style rather than function. What these clothes boasted in fit, they severely lacked in features. However, over the years, many options and useful features emerged as women’s involvement in the sport increased. The industry listened to our requests and took our demands to heart by producing clothing designed for serious hunters and styled for the female form.

Yet, when looking for hunting clothing, many women still ask, “Where do I begin?” Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or anticipating your first day in a tree stand, stop and ask yourself a few of the following questions; this will make your hunt for quality clothing less confusing and your day afield more rewarding.


What are You Hunting?

The hunting clothing you look for largely depends on the game you pursue. Consider all the game you might hunt. Will you be after deer, elk, turkey, pheasant, bear or a combination of these animals?

Consider what methods you’ll use for each animal. You’ll dress differently when bowhunting bear or deer from an elevated treestand than you will shooting ducks from a marshy duck blind.

Camouflage patterns should change to match your surroundings. Perhaps you’ll be pursuing mule deer and elk on foot in the fall, but turkeys out of a blind in the spring. A varied pattern of branches and leaves is great for treestands, but you’ll require a marsh grass or wetlands pattern while duck hunting.

Use your answers to the following questions as your criteria when it comes time to search for hunting clothes. Do you need clothing that protects your legs when walking through heavy brush and thickets? Do you need clothing that “breathes” as you continually move throughout the day? Or will you spend several hours motionless in a treestand, requiring insulated clothing to retain body heat. You may be surprised to find that some clothing manufacturers incorporate several of the features you desire into one versatile garment.


What Kind of Hunting Will You Do?

WomensHuntingClothing UnderArmourScentControlEVO

Today's women's hunting clothing is made specifically with women in mind.

Will you be bowhunting, gun hunting or both? Will you hunt with a handgun, crossbow, muzzleloader or shotgun? All these factors need to be considered when choosing your clothing. Bowhunters prefer less bulk in the front of their clothing (snaps and storm flaps may interfere with drawing a bow), more radial arm and shoulder movement for pulling back their bows, and sleeves that fit snug so as not to interfere with bowstrings when released.

Gun hunters, on the other had, need jackets and shirts that don’t bind and that allow for a comfortable shoulder mount. Jackets and shirts that incorporate gusseted arm seams are ideal for increased mobility.

Both types of hunters may or may not do a lot of tree climbing. But if you’re a treestand hunter, you’ll want to be certain your pants don’t bind so that they allow for easy climbing in and out of trees. Articulated knees are a great feature that keeps pants from riding up when climbing. Reinforced knees and rear-ends and double-stitched seams are a must — women, like men, are hard on their hunting clothing.

Finally, don’t neglect to research the state and county hunting laws and regulations in which you’re hunt will take place to find out if blaze orange is required.


Where Will You Hunt?

Geographically speaking, determine where your hunts will take place. Will you be hunting turkeys in the Deep South, deer in the upper Midwest, elk in the mountains of New Mexico or javelina in Arizona? Where you’ll be traveling on your hunts is perhaps the foremost factor when determining what gear to purchase. It will determine which fabrics you’ll need and what camouflage patterns to consider. Fabric options can range from 100-percent brushed cotton or poly-cotton blends, to fleece, scent control or waterproof finishes.

Do you hunt in the hardwoods or along fencerows beside a cornfield? Maybe you prefer river bottoms or marshes? While the patterns available are as varied as the terrain around the world, women’s clothing options still aren’t nearly as numerous as the men’s. But the camouflage patterns that are available are researched and developed to be used in specific cover — whether it’s the desert southwest, the cornfields of the Midwest or in the northern forest. You need to be smart and choose the pattern that best matches your hunting environment.


When Will You Hunt?

Consider the climate you’ll be hunting in and the time of year you’ll find yourself outdoors. Some deer hunters enjoy early season, others primarily hunt the rut, and others get out as much as they can the entire season. Turkey hunters in some states have several months to hunt, making for a long season, while other states have hunts lasting only days.

The time of year you’ll find yourself in the woods will determine if you need insulated or non-insulated clothing, a single layer or several layers, waterproof or windproof features and brown camouflage or green. Research the geography and weather conditions in your hunting zone to better educate yourself on the type of clothing and camouflage you’ll need. Staying warm and dry is key. Regardless of the climate, consider waterproof clothing or waterproof finishes for your outerwear and footwear — you can’t go wrong guaranteeing you’ll stay dry in unpredictable weather.


Why Not Purchase Men's Clothing?

WomensHuntingClothing RHStalkerLiteIIPants

Women's hunting pants offer the same features as men's, but fit better.

Simple answer: the fit.

Men and women are physically different. The average man is approximately 5’10” tall and 190 pounds; the average woman is 5’4″ tall, 135 pounds. Because of these differences, there is much more fabric used to make men’s clothing than the female’s — that’s extra fabric we don’t need.

Additionally, men’s chest and waist sizes are nearly 2 to 3 inches larger than a woman’s, while a woman’s hips are approximately 2 inches wider than a man’s. This all translates into big problems for women who try to fit into men’s clothing.

Women hunters want to hunt and be comfortable; they want clothes that fit their female form, clothes that don’t bag or sag or interfere with shooting their weapons. We don’t want jackets and vests that hit below our waist or hang down to our knees. We don’t want to purchase pants that need hemming or to be held onto our bodies by a tightly cinched belt. We want clothes that eliminate bulk where we don’t want it, but “give” where we do need it.

Over the years manufacturers of women’s hunting wear often sacrificed function for style. Yes, they acknowledged our desire to look good in the field, but they often underestimated our love of hunting and our dedication to the sport by leaving off essential features needed in quality hunting wear. In recent years women’s clothing has improved and we’re now seeing features included that have been requested for a long time.

When shopping, expect the following “female-specific” features to be advertised on women’s clothing. (If not advertised, ask customer service for confirmation of these features.)

Women's Hunting Shirts & Jackets

  • Shorter length (from shoulder to waist) in jackets and vests;
  • Gusseted underarms (a triangular insert in the underarm seam for increased mobility)
  • Tapered waist or mid-section (to accommodate our smaller waistlines, this eliminates bulk you'll encounter when wearing men's "boxy-cut" shirts);
  • Darted chest (accommodates our bust lines);
  • Pleated back/shoulder yoke for better arm and shoulder movement;
  • Extended shirt-tails (stay tucked in better);
  • Heavy-duty YKK, two-way zippers (not often found in women's clothing, but a great feature to have);
  • Adjustable Velcro wristbands; and
  • Zippered insulated liner (a nice option for jackets); adds great versatility in unpredictable weather.

Women's Hunting Pants

  • Wider fit through the hips;
  • Smaller waist sizes — adjustable tab or elastic waistband (a great feature for layering);
  • Hem-to-desired-length option belt loops (yes, women like to wear a belt and carry a knife too!); and
  • Adjustable Velcro, ties or snap-tabs on pant legs.

Thankfully, women’s hunting clothing options are continually increasing, as are the camouflage patterns, and they not only look good, they fulfill our hunting requirements as well. With concerns about baggy, cumbersome clothes eliminated, you can now focus on your hunt. Take advantage of clothing manufactured and designed for women and see for yourself the difference that good fitting clothing can have on your hunt.

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Snake Boots Buying Guide Tue, 29 Aug 2017 23:09:52 +0000 Snake boots, like these RedHead Bone-Dry 16″ Bayou Zip Snake Boots, are ideal for hunting in snake country.If you live in a part of the world where there are no poisonous snakes — count your blessings. For the rest of us, you better be prepared. If you live in a part of the world where there are […]

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Snake boots, like these RedHead Bone-Dry 16″ Bayou Zip Snake Boots, are ideal for hunting in snake country.

If you live in a part of the world where there are no poisonous snakes — count your blessings. For the rest of us, you better be prepared.

If you live in a part of the world where there are no poisonous snakes — count your blessings. For the rest of us, you better be prepared. Where I was raised as a kid we had a million snakes. On one water gap that we replaced in our fence we killed about a dozen. We didn’t have rattlesnakes but we had copperheads and water moccasins (cotton mouths).

To help protect you against bites, let’s talk about some snake protection for us hunters — even fishermen, since last summer my daughter and I had a snake jump in the boat with us while we were crappie fishing over in Oregon.

As far as I know we have four options for snake protection:

  1. high top leather boots
  2. snake gaiters
  3. snake proof boots
  4. stay home and play the piccolo

This article is a little unique in that on most outdoor gear I give it a good test before recommending it. On snake boots though, I’d have to walk in a few viper pits and let 20 or 30 chew on me. That’s probably not going to happen! So we’re going to trust the manufacturers testing procedures.

What I’ll recommend is to try on whichever model of boots that you are looking at purchasing to see if they fit well. None of them are too comfortable due to the requirements to make them snake proof, but mine have a side zipper to ease in removal. If you’re going to be walking all day you’ll want to purchase a pair that is comfortable to walk in.

Snake boots are a lot like seat belts. They don’t do any good unless you wear them. My dad’s cousin lived in New Mexico and was out building fence. Why I don’t know but it was super hot and he’d cut the top off of his cowboy boots. Sure enough while building fence a rattler struck him. He said he knew right away what it was. If you’re in bad snake country, don’t cut the top off your boots and try to turn them into Go Go boots.

I know when I turkey hunted with my brother and his kid down by El Dorado years ago they both wore them since we’d be crawling around in the brush all day calling turkeys and spotlighting varmints at night. He kills a lot of rattlesnakes on that ranch.

I’m going to assume that knee high snake boots will suffice for our snakes in the states. The only situation where I see they may not suffice is if you’re climbing mountains or such situations where the snake will be elevated above you.

When I was a kid the old man that owned the ranch beside us had gotten bit on the hand years before by a copper head. He was picking up a rock and it struck him. So be careful when you’re picking things off the ground. But don’t necessarily think that you’ll be safe if you kick over a log or flip it with a stick. It may just coil up as the story below will tell.

Unfortunately you can’t feel safe if you’re the back man while hiking. I’ve heard it said that the first hiker spooks the snakes so they coil up and then they strike the second man.  When I lived in Colorado there were a ton of rattlers out on the prairie and certain times of the year a guy in the plant would go out and catch nearly 100 after work. There were a couple of guys out there bird hunting and twice one of them came out of the brush and had a snake latched onto his pants leg dragging along. He must have walked in on snaky areas for this to happen to him so often is all that I can figure. Whatever he was doing — don’t do!

One fall Chris Puckett and I ran over to Hell’s Canyon to do a little deer hunting. We were walking down a canyon and Chris said, “Wow, look at that.” I turned around and there was an 18-inch rattler in the trail. We’d both stepped right over it and he was wearing tennis shoes (Chris was wearing the tennis shoes, not the snake). Even though it was coiled up it hadn’t struck. So not all snakes will strike you so you never know how many you have actually walked right by.

Used to when visiting out by El Paso we’d go snake hunting at night. It gets cool at night since it’s a desert and snakes would crawl out on the black top to get warm. One time we pulled over to get one and the light went out. It finally came back on and he was crawling towards me and only about 2 feet away. The light came on and I shot outta there. Snake boots would have been nice for those midnight hunts.

As we wrap up remember: Getting into the outdoors is a blast but a bad snake bite could turn an otherwise good day into a bad one real quick. Be careful and be prepared.

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Beginner’s Guide to Compound Bows Tue, 29 Aug 2017 23:05:00 +0000 Today’s archery market consists of numerous compound bow manufacturers, making it difficult to know which bow is best for you. All compound bows, regardless of name and make, have similarities that you need to consider before buying. In this compound bow buyer’s guide for beginners, we’re going to look past the propaganda and consider the core aspects […]

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Today’s archery market consists of numerous compound bow manufacturers, making it difficult to know which bow is best for you. All compound bows, regardless of name and make, have similarities that you need to consider before buying. In this compound bow buyer’s guide for beginners, we’re going to look past the propaganda and consider the core aspects you need to know before buying a compound bow.

With anything that you buy, you must first consider application. Why are you buying a compound bow? Are you into hunting or target shooting? The application calls for different specifications. To start, we need to fit the bow to the shooter.

Let’s become familiar with a couple very important terms for fitting the bow to the shooter: draw length and draw weight.

Draw Length

Compound bows will draw only a certain distance before the string stops. This distance is the draw length. Most compound bows have a range for draw length and can be adjusted to fit the shooter for a comfortable shooting form. It’s very important that shooters find their appropriate draw length for multiple reasons.

  • If draw length is too short, it can hurt accuracy since maintaining reference points for aiming becomes more difficult. At full draw, shooters have an anchor point, and too short of a draw length leads to a floating anchor point and therefore inconsistency between shots. Too short of a draw length also can lead to increased torque on the bow which contributes to inaccuracy.

  • If draw length is too long, archers have the natural tendency to lean their head back in an attempt to see properly through the peep sight, a small device used for aiming. This will cause a host of other problems such as bad back posture and therefore shooting form. Improper shooting form can add tension and torque to the bow, leading to inaccuracy. To make matters worse, this will inevitably cause the shooter’s bow arm, or arm holding the bow, to extend more than it needs, putting the inner elbow right in the path of the string. Ouch!

  • Proper draw length. There are endless sources that explain how to predict or measure draw length. For the beginning archer, it’s smart to visit your local Bass Pro Shops archery department or other qualified archery shop to measure draw length. Having the correct draw length will help with form, consistency, accuracy and safety.

Draw weight is an important part of a selecting a bow, as hunters have to hold at full draw while taking aim at their game.

Bow Draw Weight

When it comes to draw weight, the most important thing to understand is matching your strength to the bows draw weight. Heavier draw weights produce faster speeds, but more important than speed is finding a weight that you can hold at full draw steadily without too much stress. Draw weight is the peak weight you pull as the string is being drawn back before let-off. Compound bows have what’s called let-off, which is a way to lessen the weight archers have to hold at full draw. So, when considering draw weight, also look for let off percentage.

Selecting draw weight— What archers need to consider, hunters especially, is the potential to be drawn back for long periods of time while waiting for an opportune shot. Or, drawing in adverse conditions, as draw weights that are too heavy are hard to hold for a long time and are even harder to draw after a long sit in a treestand on a cold winter day. So, match the weight to your strength. When testing bows, see if you can draw and hold the bow for a full 20-30 seconds without shaking. If you can, then the draw weight should be appropriate for you. Another important point is accuracy, having a draw weight that you can easily draw and hold will allow you to have a steadier and more accurate shot.

Bow Length

When choosing a bow, length is an important factor for maneuverability and stability. Again, what is the application? If hunting, shorter bows are more controllable in the field or in the treestand. If target shooting, many archers suggest that longer bows are more accurate. Bow length is measured from axle to axle, and while there is no set length, hunting bows are generally shorter, around 30 to 32 inches. Target shooting bows will be significantly longer. There’s no right or wrong answer, it comes down to personal preference and application for the end user.

Some compound bows come read-to-shoot in a package, while others require purchasing accessories separately.

Speed and Noise

Common among archers is talk about speed and noise. Modern bows are capable of shooting upwards of 350 feet-per-second or more. Arrow speed is important because it also translates to kinetic energy, or knock-down power. Bows able to shoot heavy arrows at fast speeds will provide greater penetration potential, which is desired when hunting. Faster arrows also shoot flatter, which aids in downrange accuracy.

Also important to archery hunters is noise. A quiet bow is generally desired over a loud bow. When a bow fires, energy stored in the bows working components is transferred to the arrow, but some of that energy isn’t transferred and is lost as vibration, which causes sound. Thanks to new innovative designs, energy loss is minimized and compound bow accessories called vibration dampeners can absorb leftover vibrations making for a quiet shot.

Bare vs. Ready-to-shoot

For the beginning archer, it is important to understand the difference between a bare bow and a ready-to-shoot bow. The compound bow is designed to use accessories when shooting an arrow. For example, an arrow rest, a sight and a quiver to start. Ready-to-shoot bows that come in packages have these necessary accessories already on the bow. However, if you buy a bare bow then you’ll have to outfit that bow with the required accessories. Either way is fine, but realize that a bare bow will require some additional work and money before going out and shooting. Overall, this buyer’s guide only touches on the basics that should be considered when purchasing a compound bow. Buyers can consider multiple other factors such as brace height, limb and riser design, cam types and much more when buying compound bows. However, having a basic understanding of the concepts described in this buyer’s guide will help you in buying your first, and hopefully not last, compound bow.

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