June 10, 2015
By David Draper
Some hunting tactics transcend time. Regardless of how superior new hunting technology may be, there are some tactics that should be in the bag of every hunter that takes to the field.
Following are seven tactics every hunter should master:
Track a Deer With a Stick
When trying to track a wounded animal, the best tool a hunter can have is a stride stick. Find a sapling four to five feet long, and trim it of branches.
Measure the distance between two known tracks and mark a notch into the stick. When tracking becomes difficult over tough terrain, put the notch in the last known track and swipe the point of the stick in an arc to pick up the next track, or slight soil disturbance, before moving forward to find the next spot.
This technique can save the day and help you find that buck.
Drink From a Stream
Many hunters carry bottled water or water in a spare bladder. At six pounds a gallon, this is not your best option for deep excursions into the wilderness.
While drinking right out of a stream is courting giardia and other parasites, carrying an empty water bottle and purification tablets weighs next to nothing and used correctly kills 99.9 percent of
Kill a Predator With Your Hand
This is an old technique that still works fantastic today.
Place the palm of your hand against your mouth while pursing your lips. Suck air between lips and hand to make a mouse squeak or draw it out for a rabbit in distress sound.
Many a coyote has met its demise to this field-expedient call, which can be heard over several hundred yards on a still day.
Get Out of The Woods
If you are lost in the woods, often if you can travel in a straight direction long enough you will come to a road, river, or other man-made feature, such as a powerline cut. The trick is knowing direction and maintaining a true course.
To establish direction during daylight, look for the sun's path; on overcast days, a compass can be made with a magnetized needle on a leaf floating in water.
At night, look for Polaris, the North Star, to get a north bearing, and in the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross for a south bearing. Once direction is determined, set a course using landmarks and start walking.
Make a Survival Kit
A micro survival kit is something every hunter should have in his pocket in case he gets separated from his pack. An Altoids tin makes a fine container for the pocket kit.
Keep it simple, but complete: dry tinder, waterproof matches, signalling mirror, fish hooks, line, sinkers, aluminum foil, cord, scalpel blade, and whistle. Tape the lid closed with electrical tape, which waterproofs it and can be reused later for multiple tasks.
Sight a Rifle in Two Shots
This is so simple it should be in every hunter's bag of tricks. All that is needed is a large piece of cardboard or newspaper on a target stand.
Three feet square is about right, depending upon how far the rifle is off. Pace off 100 yards. Put aiming mark in center, rest rifle in solid gun-type vise, and fire one shot. Through scope (assuming you can see the bullet hole), with rifle rested still in a solid rest (a gun vise is preferable but sandbags will work), put crosshairs back on the aiming dot, without moving rifle, adjust crosshairs to the actual bullet hole.
Fire one more shot to confirm sight settings.
Start a Fire With a Beer
This is actually relatively simple as long as you have sun and dry tinder. Polish the bottom of a beer (or soda) can with steel wool, canvas material, or even fine streamside sand.
Once mirror-shiny, concentrate the sun's rays onto dry, fine tinder — much like starting a fire with a magnifying glass. When it starts to smoke, blow lightly until it bursts into flame. Have dry sticks ready to build fire.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.