The Manchester Enterprise: Outdoors

Stop, Look and Listen After the Shot

We all put a lot of preparation into having our equipment sighted in and ready. As a community, hunters have done a great job of educating one another about the importance of making a good, clean shot. Many of us in the outdoors media have been so focused on that issue that we’ve forgotten the second part of each successful deer hunting story: what happens after the shot.
While your heart might be pumping and your adrenaline roaring through your body, try to keep focused on what happens right after you shoot. Bow or gun, use your eyes. What did the deer do when you shot? Did it stumble or jump? Was it running crouched low or bounding upright? How about the tail: high and flagging or low and tucked?
Next, take careful note of the deer’s path. Watch it as long as you can and pick out a tree or rock where you last saw it to use as a marker. Remember when you climb down from your stand the lay of the land will look a lot different. The marker will serve as a starting place to begin tracking.
I always begin my tracking slow and quiet. Making sure to mark each drop of blood with a piece of tissue or paper towel. If you have a faint blood trail you can always go back to the last place you spotted blood to re-look for sign you might have missed earlier. The small white pieces of marker paper will usually remain on the ground if it gets dark or if it is raining to refer back to if you don’ t find your deer.
For bowhunters especially: Listen. Many deer given up for lost are found following a hunter saying, “Well, I thought I heard some crashing over there, but it wasn’t the way the deer was headed so I didn’t think much of it.” You can often tell if a deer falls down just by listening.
Good preparation and practice is extremely important to a successful hunt, but it is only half the job. Don’t forget to focus on what happens after the shot.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 14:45

 

Salato Center seasonal closing wraps up programs before the holidays

The Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort will host two more programs before its seasonal winter closing next month. The center, operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, promotes wildlife conservation education through displays, programs and workshops.

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 15:40

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Late Season Buck Strategy

If you have an unfilled tag as the season winds down, you’ re going to have to hunt harder and smarter to find a trophy buck. The food and doe concentrations of early autumn are gone; the rut is over; and the bucks are educated to the ways of men in orange. Where should you go and what should you do? Think deeper and thicker.
The bucks will stick close to their core refuge areas as winter diminishes cover. Look for out-of-the-way nooks and crannies of heavy cover.
Also think about the late rut and how it might affect your deer. Some younger does come into estrus a month after the adult does. The action won’ t be as fast and furious, but bucks will be on the lookout for these second-rut mating opportunities.
Also watch for developing winter food sources that could concentrate hungry deer. Winter cover crops are particularly good bets in northern states in the late season.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 14:43

 

Venison Care and Preperation

Clean, cool and quick are the watchwords of good venison care. A clean shot, clean field-dressing and quick cooling of the carcass are the key steps to good-tasting venison. Immediate field dressing is best, as this starts the all-important cooling process. Postpone field dressing only if the carcass must be dragged through dirt, leaves or swamp water.


If it was a clean kill and a clean field-dressing job, do not wash the carcass with water. Water promotes harmful bacteria growth. If the animal was gut-shot or contaminated by dragging, wash and butcher quickly. “Hanging” or aging venison for extended periods causes considerable weight loss by drying. However, the carcass should be thoroughly chilled at 35 to 40 degrees and go through rigor mortis on the bone before final butchering. Otherwise, the venison will be tough.
A fat deer is generally a good-tasting deer. However, much of the “wild” taste is in fat and bone. Boneless, lean meat has a milder flavor. To rid your venison of the “wild taste” trim as much fat as you can from your deer meat.


Another way to make venison better tasting is when preparing your deer use this little trick. Go to the local meat shop at the grocery store and ask if he has any extra beef fat he would sell you. Most butchers will be more than glad to sell you his trimmed fat at a good price.


Mix the fat with your trimmed deer meat of about 1 pound of fat to 5 pounds of lean deer meat. The results are a burger that will be not only great tasting but also, good for you.


Another way to prepare some of the lean meat is to buy pork fat trimmings from the butcher. Mix the trimmings at about 1 pound of fat to 4 pounds of lean. Season with a sausage mix sold at most stores or make your own. Here is a mix that will season about 10 pounds of meat.


2 or 3 rounded tablespoons of sage (Season to your taste), 2 rounded tablespoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (If you like it hot, add more), 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1⁄2 teaspoon of ginger.


Mix well and sprinkle entire mix on cubed, boneless meat before grinding. You won’t believe how good deer sausage is.


Note: This seasoning mix will work on your butchered hog also. It was my Daddy’s favorite mix.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 November 2010 16:22

 

Driving Deer Well

Deer drives can be an effective tool for a coordinated group of hunters to take deer during midday and other low-movement periods. Driving also helps root out “islands” of heavy cover where bucks seem to vanish during daylight hours. Safety and coordination are critical. Both drivers and standers should wear hunter orange. Drivers must push through the cover in a coordinated fashion and at a uniform speed. They shouldn’t get too far apart or move too fast, because wise old bucks are prone to simply hunker down in heavy cover and let the drivers pass on by. As mush as possible, all members of a drive should know where other members are at all times — and, for safety, assume that somebody isn’t where they’re supposed to be. Drives are most effective in sectioned woodlots and open land with strips of cover. Deer will almost always react to a drive the same way from year to year, using escape routes based on that day’s wind direction. So if you know where they headed last year with an east wind, you should expect them to do the same thing during an east wind this season. Different groups have different methods, some preferring the drivers to make noise, whooping and hollering; others instructing drivers to sneak along quietly. There’s no right or wrong technique, as each has its advantages. The loud approach can cause deer to move quickly, often sending them running by standers. But it’s safer and likely moves more deer. The quiet approach often leads to deer attempting to “sneak” by the standers for easier shots, and it also gives the pushers a better chance to take a deer if that is the goal. Laws governing deer drives vary, so be sure you know the rules. And always remember safety first.
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 November 2010 16:20

 

Page 14 of 15

e-Edition A-Section 10-16-14

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e-Edition B-Section 10-16-14

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