Why Every Hunter with Dogs Should Consider SafeShoot

By Nathan Unger

Hunting with dogs is a tradition we continued from our ancestors that colonized America centuries ago. However, the sport of hunting with dogs, though fewer, still remains vibrant and strong today. Dogs can be used for many forms of hunting. Most notably, hunters chase deer, small game, upland birds and waterfowl with dogs every year. This is not an exhaustive list by any means as hunters also hunt bears and wild boar with dogs too.

While hunting with dogs is very exciting it can be challenging as well when the animal simply follows its nose and instincts to track down wild game. Keeping this in mind, sometimes dogs can be unpredictable in their movements.DSC05801

For example, two winters ago I went feral hog hunting with some friends. The dogs caught a whiff of the wild pigs and took off like lightning. It was several minutes before we caught up with them.

SafeShoot is specifically designed to alert a hunter when a dog is down range of its owner. If you have been around dog hunting for any length of time you can probably think of a time when a dog had a close call with a bullet or, worse case scenario, get hit with bullet or a bullet ricochet. No hunter plans for it to happen, but unfortunately it happens. When your dog is downrange and jumps in the way your sensor will turn red and set off an alarm alerting you that your dog or partner is down range.

It’s easy to mistaken a dog for wild game in thick cover or brush, especially when adrenaline is flowing through your veins.

SafeShoot provides two harness sizes for the Dog Defender device to fit any size dog. The device works on a GPS and knows yours and your dog’s location even if you can’t visually see the dog downrange. The devices communicate together via RF communication to know when your dog is downrange.

This device is not limited to hunting dogs. The device can also and should also be considered for law enforcement dogs and military dogs while in combat.
Though anyone with a gun should remember to always identify their target first and foremost, accidents happen.

SafeShoot aims to decrease these friendly fire accidents and ultimately save your life or your friend’s life whether that is your hunting partner or your dog.

Though anyone with a gun should remember to always identify their target first and foremost, accidents happen.

SafeShoot aims to decrease these friendly fire accidents and ultimately save your life or your friend’s life whether that is your hunting partner or your dog

Us the promo code ‘nathan25’ to receive $25 off your next purchase of any SafeShoot device at safe-shoot.com
All images are provided by the SafeShoot.

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Practice safety with these 4 tips hunting in the woods this fall.

By Nathan Unger

Twitter: @Bulldawgoutdoor
Instagram: @Bulldawgoutdoors

Promo: To receive $25 off a SafeShoot device use the code ‘nathan25’ at checkout.

Each year during hunting season several factors come into play that may or may not have anything to do directly with hunting. Here are a few ways to stay safe. While some may be common sense others may not be so obvious. However, it’s always good to reiterate safety habits each year.

1. Practice tree stand safety

First and foremost, if you are using a tree stand always wear a safety harness. According to the Tree Stand Safety Awareness campaign the leading cause of accidents associated with tree stands is losing one’s balance. This is avoidable if wearing a harness. It’s better to wear a harness to prevent permanent injury or even death. See the infographic below for other causes.

TSSA

                                                                                                                          Treestandsafetyawareness.org

2. Eliminate pesky bugs and insects

Each year stories surface of hunters, loggers, or forestry workers contracting diseases from mosquitoes, ticks or some other form of bug. Unfortunately, these stories are becoming more prevalent. How can you prevent this? Well, there are a couple of ways. First, and the obvious, is with bug spray. If you’re a hunter you might be concerned with giving off too much unnecessary scent. There are several insect repellants sold in stores that are scentless or scent free. Another good option to repel bugs is a Thermacell. A Thermacell unit will deter mosquitoes and provide up to a 15-foot zone of repellant.

3. Make gun safety a habit

Too often bad stories roll across the screen of the computer or television about another shooting accident that occurred. I do mean accident. A majority of the accidents could have been avoided. Maybe a handgun wasn’t locked up in a safe or a rifle was left loaded. Maybe two quail hunters crossed up and one shot the other. The list goes on and on. It is pertinent that one practice gun safety and teach gun safety so that it becomes habit. SafeShoot aims to decrease these accidents. SafeShoot attaches to your hunting weapon of choice and prevents accidents and even death from occurring.

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4. Get plenty of sleep

This is especially necessary when hunters spend several days in a row in the woods. Some hunters even spend several weeks hunting. Get plenty of sleep in order to stay safe while driving, entering and exiting your stand site. It’s not worth falling out of a tree or getting into an accident while traveling due to a lack of sleep. Several times hunters simply forget common sense practices because of sleep deprivation. For example, I recently read a story about a hunter who placed his thumb in the line of his crossbow string. The string broke his thumb, and caused discoloration and bruising. Thankfully, the thumb is still intact; however, this happens way too often. It’s not that the hunter was purposefully careless, but simply forgot to remove his thumb. These are the types of careless mistakes that could lead to greater mistakes with lack of sleep.

No matter your situation this fall, practice these tips. Not only will you do yourself a favor you will also ease the minds of your loved ones as well, not to mention you will still be able to hunt the remainder of the season.

Like what you see here? You can read more awesome hunting articles by Nathan Unger at the Bulldawg Outdoors blog. Follow Nathan Unger and subscribe on YouTube @Bulldawgoutdoors

Velvet Is Off, Summer Is Over, Now What?

By Nathan Unger

Twitter: @Bulldawgoutdoor
Instagram: @Bulldawgoutdoors

Early season is upon us whitetail enthusiasts, and for the most part bucks have rubbed their velvet clean off revealing hardened antlers that they will carry all fall and winter. However, when bucks shed their velvet it’s almost as if they become a whole different animal to hunt. With that in mind, there is good news and bad news.

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Bad News: Bucks seemingly become harder to pattern.

Bucks, for the most part, are no longer on their bed-to-food-only pattern. While some may keep this pattern exclusively many are preparing for the seeking and chasing phase of the rut. They’re looking for does and doe bedding.

Good News: Bucks break off from their summer bachelor groups.

This, in theory, creates a higher chance for you, the hunter, to get a shot at one. While bucks are not rutting yet their testosterone levels are steadily increasing. If you’re like me, hunting a smaller land parcel, the bucks may have been venturing through every couple of days or even every other week. Now that they are broken off the likelihood of you seeing one could be more frequent as they hopefully travel more often.

Bad News: You probably shouldn’t check trail cameras every week.

The more you go check your camera the higher probability of leaving something behind for that mature buck to smell. Eventually, that buck will pattern you and stay clear whenever he gets the slightest glimpse or whiff of you in the woods.

Good News: You increase your odds by not checking trail cameras

By not checking your camera as frequently you are enhancing your odds of running into a mature buck. Even better, if you have the means to purchase a cellular camera you won’t have to defile the area at all.

Bad News: Mature bucks prove why they are mature.

Mature bucks will start to travel less frequently during the day. Why? There are several reasons. Here are a few:

  • They start to feel pressure from hunters
  • Food sources are changing.
  • Habitat and bedding are altering.

Good News: It’s time to start hunting that mature buck

This is why we as hunters do what we love. This is why we hunt. The chase. The camaraderie. The venison. The chess match. This is what brings us back each and every year.

So good luck and good hunting!

Like what you see here? You can read more awesome hunting articles by Nathan Unger at the Bulldawg Outdoors blog. Follow him on Twitter @Bulldawgoutdoor, Instagram @Bulldawgoutdoors and subscribe on YouTube @Bulldawgoutdoors.

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Analyzing Terrain Features on Small Properties

By Nathan Unger

Twitter: @Bulldawgoutdoor
Instagram: @Bulldawgoutdoors

Small properties might be some of the most overlooked gems in the deer hunting world. While it’s difficult to keep and sustain mature bucks on the property for any amount of time it can be favorable to pattern them as their passing through.

That being said an ideal parcel will have bedding areas nearby that keep the deer close. Locating these and setting up accordingly could pay big dividends.

Keeping in that in mind, a hunter needs to identify the terrain features that sprinkle the landscape. Okay, so how do we do that?

1.) Scout from an observation stand

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You might have to get creative with this one depending on the layout of your property. Take ample time to observe how the deer utilize the contours of the land to get from point A to point B. One of the small parcels I hunt took me nearly three years to figure out how the deer moved throughout it. Now, that might have been one year too long. I didn’t rigorously hunt this property the first year I had permission to hunt.

This leads me to my next point.

2.) Only hunt optimal conditions

I cannot stress this enough. If you hunt too much or when the wind isn’t in your favor it could mess up your whole season. Deer notice when someone is in their bedroom or trekking through their territory. The last thing you want is to force your only one or two mature bucks to go nocturnal or to shift their core areas.

3.) Enable good entrance and exit routes

Entering and exiting your stand is of the utmost importance. I’m still learning this. If you bump deer going into your stand good luck trying to make amends the rest of the season. Even worse if a mature buck sees AND smells your presence you might as well do one of two things. Hunt only the rut or find a different hunting property. Access is that important and might be the difference in a successful or unsuccessful season.

4.) Identify prime treestand sites

Because you’re hunting a small parcel your stand sites are limited. You have to consider the aforementioned access routes and wind tendencies. Placing a stand in the correct spot will change the game on small acreage. Try to get as a high as possible in your set, yet still staying safe. You might have to go up a hill or climb 5 to 10 more feet vertically. This will give you a better chance of getting above any air current that might be swirling where you are hunting.

Here’s the kicker. A majority of the time in order to be successful on small parcels all of these previously mentioned points must be put into action.

Good luck and good hunting!

Like what you see here? You can read more awesome hunting articles by Nathan Unger at the Bulldawg Outdoors blog. Follow him on Twitter @Bulldawgoutdoor, Instagram @Bulldawgoutdoors and subscribe on YouTube @Bulldawgoutdoors.

Bulldawg Outdoors is brought to you by:

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Receive 10% off your purchase when you use promo code “BULL10” at checkout.

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Five Do’s And Don’ts Before Deer Season

Summer can be very busy, but summertime can also be very productive if you set your mind to it. The months of June, July and August are the three months every hunter should be thinking about October, November and December and for some even September. Here are five do’s and don’ts of summer that will help you identify what needs to be accomplished before the season opener.

…But first, if you have not SUBSCRIBED yet to our social media please take a few seconds do so as we are constantly putting out content for our audience.

Do: Check all your gear

This always comes back to bite me every year, because there’s that one item I didn’t think about replacing or buying a new one before the season opened, and I find myself scrambling for the funds to purchase it after I’ve already purchased deer stands, arrows, broadheads, food plot blend, etc. Whether it’s bug spray, new socks or a scent eliminator be sure to check every item before the season begins. Then, check one more time and you won’t regret it.

Do: Spend time with the family

I can’t stress this enough. Don’t spend all summer at your hunting property. Pick a day or two to get things done and don’t go back until September unless you have to. You are going to be gone all of October and November, and the best thing you can do for your family over the summer is give them the time they deserve, especially if you’re taking a week or two for your rut vacation.

Don’t: Give too much credence to summer scouting

Bucks with velvet act a lot different after they rub their velvet clean off. They shift their core areas, they break out of their bachelor groups and some will hardly move anymore during the daylight hours. The average hunter cannot form too much of a game plan in July or August of where to hunt the hit-list buck because when the velvet comes off that buck’s testosterone level increases, and he essentially becomes a new man. If you’re using trail cameras take note of the pictures your getting but don’t get too excited just yet.

Do: Clean out the freezer

Unless you have four or five deep freezers it’s time to start cooking burgers, grilling steaks and marinating back strap. After you harvest your first deer you’re going to need room in the freezer. This will also be a good excuse not to go out to eat, in turn, saving you money for more important items like arrows and new camouflage before the season.

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Using a water hole can be a deadly setup, especially during the early season when it’s hot and there has been little rain.

Don’t: Get behind on preparation

This is huge. When archery season begins you don’t want to find yourself playing catch up. Shoot your bow, set up your tree stands, check your release, set up your blind and the list goes on and on. I’ve found out over the years that the more prepared I am the more success I have in the deer woods. Waterholes, like the one shown above can be deadly. Make sure to freshen up the water as often as possible so the deer won’t be harmed by bacteria growing in the heat.

The more scouting I do beforehand the better my odds when I’m making a move on that big, mature buck. If I get my food plot planted, fertilized and watered with enough time the better chance I have of drawing deer within shooting range.

Like what you see here? You can read more awesome hunting articles by Nathan Unger at the Bulldawg Outdoors blog. Follow him on Twitter @Bulldawgoutdoor, Instagram @Bulldawgoutdoors and subscribe on YouTube @Bulldawgoutdoors.

Bulldawg Outdoors is brought to you by:

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Summer Prep: Poor Man’s Plot, Trail Cameras and Mineral Sites.

Have you started preparing for fall hunting season yet? Here’s how you can create a poor man’s food plot on a small budget.

Yes, it’s time already to begin your summer preparation for the fall whitetail season. Food plots, trail camera surveys and mineral sites are just a few items on the list that will lead to a higher success rate when hunting this fall.

It seems no matter how hard I try to stay ahead of the game there’s always something I should have done already to prepare for next season. Deer hunting can definitely be a year-round process even if you don’t work in the industry for a living.

In this webisode we’ll show you how we are preparing our ‘poor man’s’ plot by spraying the weeds and privet to create more room for our food plot to grow and to cut down on the invasive species.

If you haven’t already you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with what we’re doing during the off season as well as watch videos from turkey season.

We finished spraying the weeds and privet with a weed killer we bought from our local hardware store. You might also be wondering why I am wearing goggles. Especially when it’s windy, the spray can irritate your eyes, so be sure to be equipped with the proper safety precautions.

Additionally, ticks are bad this time of year. Make sure to spray down with bug spray to prevent ticks and tick bites as this could later hamper your hunting season.

Be sure to stay tuned as we check back in a couple of weeks to begin tilling and planting for the summer and/or fall.

Like what you see here? You can read more awesome hunting articles by Nathan Unger at the Bulldawg Outdoors blog. Follow him on Twitter @Bulldawgoutdoor, Instagram @Bulldawgoutdoors and subscribe on YouTube @Bulldawgoutdoors.

Bulldawg Outdoors is brought to you by:

Mangle Broadheads

Receive 10% off your purchase when you use promo code “BULL10” at checkout.

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3 Tactics to Late Season Scouting

These 3 late season scouting tactics will get you ready for next season.

As deer season nears to a close several hunters are packing it in for the winter months. They might try harvesting one or two more does for the freezer or try for that elusive giant that seems to be skirting daylight hours. Whatever the case may be, there are late season scouting tactics that could prove helpful for next year’s season.

Seek Out Bedding

A tactic that could make the entire difference in your deer season next year is locating bedding areas. Because much of the flora has lost its spring density deer are more limited to where they can bed – unless you created several bedding areas by hinge cutting in the off season.  However, knowing where these bedding areas are could be dynamite for the rut, especially doe bedding areas. Additionally, this knowledge of bedding areas will provide a head start for locating buck movement during the late season next year.

Know the Food

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Depending on the crop year depends on where whitetails congregate throughout the season. If orchards are present on your land then that might be the early season food of choice. If you planted clover then deer might prefer that throughout the summer and early fall. There are so many options it really takes knowing what your deer herd prefers. Also identifying what’s naturally growing on your hunting parcel will you give an idea of what deer eat on a day-to-day basis.

This year in southern Virginia we had a large white oak acorn crop. Deer, especially mature bucks, did not need to move as much because the acorns were literally feet from their bed. The hard part was figuring out which bed they were in. The catch 22 was that a neighboring property timbered several acres three years ago, and just this year the secondary succession was perfect for deer bedding. Needless to say it was quite the chess match.

However, if you don’t have a bumper acorn crop where are the deer focusing their feeding movements? Is it a cut corn field? Could it be alfalfa or brassica? It could be any or all of these. What’s pertinent is that you find what the deer are feeding on in your region. Up until this point this season, deer still are not feeding on the brassica which they have enjoyed in the past three years. It might just take another month or so before they shift to this. Unfortunately, it might be a month too late. Know what your deer feed on when, and it could be the difference of harvesting or not harvesting a mature buck this winter.

Find the Travel Routes

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Late season can be tough because many deer become nocturnal and wait in staging areas until it gets dark. Find these staging areas, hang a stand, make sure the wind is in your favor and wait. I’ve witnessed deer hold up right inside a wood line until dark. I’m sure many of you have witnessed this as well. The reason is because deer have been pressured by hunters all year and are more wary of predators.

Simultaneously, you can begin looking at these funnels and pinch points for clues to next year’s season. Observe where these deer are moving and ask yourself, “why are the deer being funneled this way?” Is there a terrain feature? Is it the wind? Are there drainages that are impossible for the deer to cross? Search these out and take advantage of where it forces the deer. Sometimes in the winter it can be easier to identify these funnels, drainages and crossings because the leaves have fallen and line of sight is clearer.

Whatever your goals are for late season hunting, make sure to take every advantage to scout for the next year as well.It could be the difference.

Like what you see here? You can read more awesome hunting articles by Nathan Unger at the Bulldawg Outdoors Facebook page. Follow him on Twitter @Bulldawgoutdoor and on Instagram @Bulldawgoutdoors.

NEXT:3 Keys to Late Season Success