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Top 10 Things Hunters should know Items 3-4

Top 10 Things Hunters should know


Items 3-4


Last installment covered the top two things all hunters should know regardless of the game pursued. This installment will cover items 3-4; knowing the anatomy of your game and Understanding the wind respectively.

Part 3: Knowing the Anatomy of the Game Pursued.

While this may seem obvious, it really isn’t. Hunters who are single species are more aware of the animals they pursue. Deer hunters know the best most lethal shot placement is mid body right behind the shoulder. Since this is where most of the vitals are. However, if you make that shot at a turkey with a shotgun, you will often end up with a pile of feathers while your bird fly’s away. So when hunting game, its imperative to have a good working knowledge of the anatomy of the game pursued so you can make a quick, clean humane kill.

All hunters know that killing is part of what we do. We also know that many who do not share our passion for the hunt may not understand the killing aspect of what we do. However, ethical hunters want to do this part of the hunt as quickly and humanely as possible. Fortunately target manufactures have bought in to this mindset and now there are targets available for gun hunters and archers that show in detail the vital organs of game to teach hunters where to aim. As a rule of thumb, the larger the animals body size the lower the heart and bigger the lungs. Moose for example have a heart located very low in the chest cavity, understanding this will help hunters adjust their aiming point and give them a great shot.

Turkey hunters know that the best most lethal shot on a gobbler is a head shot. Aiming at the point where the feathers stop on the neck, will fill the head with shot and end the hunt quickly and the turkey dead on the spot. The same is true with most game. Many hog hunters prefer a brain shot to put the animal down quickly. Hogs are notorious for taking a lot of lead and leaving a poor blood trail due to their thick grizzled plate in their shoulders. Some hog hunters also like neck shots for the same reason. However, if you are a bow hunter, knowing the anatomy of hogs is essential. Those who hunt hogs a lot with archery equipment know that a quartering away shot is the only shot ethically taken. This puts the arrow behind the front grizzled plate and through the lungs making a quick kill with a better blood trail.

Small game and upland hunters aren’t as concerned since much of this is done with shotguns, and while goose hunters prefer a front chest/head shot, its often not possible. This is where heavy loads will penetrate the feathers and get the job done.

All hunters should take the time to learn the anatomy of the game they are pursuing so they can perform the most important part of the hunt as ethically as possible.


Part 4: Understanding the Wind

Hunters of birds such as turkeys, waterfowl, and upland hunters see the wind a more of a hindrance than a deal breaker. The same can be said of small game hunters; wind will often just frustrate hunters but not blow the hunt. Big game hunters, specifically deer, hog, elk, etc. know that understanding the wind will make or break your hunt.

In today’s technologically advanced world, many hunters buy into the marketing campaigns of some of the garment companies who advertise “Ignore the wind – Just hunt” or something similar. But all successful big game hunters know this is myth. Those who ignore the wind come home empty handed. With expensive tags left unfilled. Knowing the wind, how the wind works and using it to your advantage will help fill tags and make a more enjoyable hunt.

First and foremost for tree stand hunters. The number one mistake hunters make is choosing the stand to hunt based on desire instead of allowing the conditions, weather, wind etc to dictate where they hunt. A method used by Chad Simpson of Hendersonville, NC is that he records the proper winds for each stand when the stand is hung. By using a compass, he will take readings of the best winds and acceptable winds for each stand then record this in a master book. He will then check the conditions, and let the wind choose the stand for him that day. “when I get to the property, I check the winds and then look in the book. Each stand is marked for best winds. If I have a south wind, I know I can hunt one of three stands – depending on the other conditions. If it’s a north-east wind, then I have these other stands I can hunt based on other conditions.” He says. Other conditions will be food sources, travel routes, bedding areas etc.

Other conditions to consider are; how the wind will move throughout the day. For example, if a high pressure is present, the wind will move in a clockwise direction throughout the day. It may begin out of the north, but throughout the day move to a NW, W and SW as the day progresses. If this is the case, you will want to adjust accordingly.

Nothing sets deer down like hard blowing wind. They are skittish, can’t smell danger well, can’t hear and all movement is confusing to them. This will keep them close to bedding areas all day. Knowing this can help you choose a stand close to the bedding areas.

If a hunter learns nothing else about the environment he or she is hunting, learn the prevailing winds of your area and set stands accordingly. Write it down and allow the wind to determine which stands you are going to hunt.