Bullseye Camera System-See Your Shot

11 10 2013

bullseye camera system logo

If you are anything like me, sighting in your rifle includes multiple, time-consuming trips back and forth to the target. This isn’t a problem when you are working with 20, 50 or even a hundred yards; yardages beyond that, I would often times use a quad to run back and forth. No more! I will be using the Bullseye Camera System; unique system that accurately reflects your shot on the actual target emitting a photo of the target to a program on your computer right from the place you executed the shot…in a matter of mere seconds.

Bullseye Camera Systems, LLC offers 2 different models to help you see the shot you take. I field tested the 1000-yard camera system recently which includes a weatherproof camera with night vision, two 5-hour rechargeable battery packs, router, antenna, tripod, connectors, carrying case and the Bullseye Target Manager Software. The Bullseye Target Manager Software is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8.

Setting up the system is quick and easy. The camera is set-up on the tripod near and facing the intended target. The kit contains 2 rechargeable battery packs; one to power the camera and the other to power the wireless router. A couple of cords finishes off the physical set-up of the system at the target. The software will need to be loaded onto a laptop from the supplied flash drive containing the entire program. Once the software is executed you can define your target and then go into the shooting mode.

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Here is the system set up and ready to work near the target. Photo: Diane Hassinger

Now the fun begins! Once you shoot, simply press the space bar, and the picture will be transmitted to your lap top. You can easily see right where you hit the target. Mark the shot and then shoot again–that is it! You have the ability to keep track of your efforts and you can even note the shooter, the target range, caliber of weapon and ammo used. This system also works with shotguns and bows. You could even have fun with it with pies in a face if you so desired—just kidding, but it would work.

bullseye camera system gnome marked

We had some fun with these evil trolls! This is an actual screen print from the computer. Photo: Diane Hassinger

We recently hosted a retired Veterans’ hunt in Alabama where the attendees were able to shoot an M-1 Garand/50 Caliber Barrett. We shot at 600-yards and I cannot tell you how much effort this system saved. We still doubled-checked some shots by riding a motorized vehicle out to the target.That wasn’t necessary because what the computer showed was accurate in revealing what the target reflected.

It was extremely easy to note the size difference of the various calibers used on the targets by what was revealed on the computer screen. There were well over 500 rounds shot, which this system not only saved us from a lot of time consuming trips back and forth to the target, but we also had the proof and a lot of pictures to show the accuracy of each shooter’s shots.

As I prepared for my South African trip, shooting at 100-yards, the Bullseye Camera System made the most fun I have ever had while “working”. The really nice part is that I had solid corroboration of my shot placement which to me is important to be confident with my shooting ability.

Ladies in Camo recently hosted an Archery Day with Chris Brackett where the Bullseye Camera System was used in an 82-yard shooting contest. We also used it with a foam disc thrower which Chris Brackett brought. The system caught some amazing shots. Before long, everyone was putting faith in what I was seeing on the computer and I was instantly able to show them exactly where they hit the target.

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The long distance shoot at the zombie. This system made it easy to declare the winner! Photo: Bullseye Camera System at Archery Day

bullseye arrow hit

An impressive archery shot connecting with a flying disc caught accurately on the Bullseye Camera System. Photo: Bullseye Camera System at Archery Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1000-yard Edition Bullseye Camera System is available for purchase at https://www.bullseyecamera.com/purchase.html.  With a MSRP of $549.00, the system is an affordable and fun way to practice your perfect shots where you can actually “see your shot” instantly and save time at the range. Bullseye Camera Systems, LLC also offers a 500-yard Edition at the MSRP of $449. Soon there will be smart phone app available making it even easier to see your shot instantly.

Bullseye Camera System. LLC Logo is the sole property of it’s rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.

Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

This post was originally published on Ladies in Camo’s website at http://ladiesincamo.com/licpr/2013/09/22/see-your-shot-with-bullseye-camera-system-diane-hassinger/

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Cass Creek Nomad Wild Boar Electronic Game Call

7 03 2013

This product review originally published on http://ladiesincamo.com/licpr/2013/03/06/cass-creek-nomad-wild-boar-electronic-game-calldiane/

Cass Creek Outdoors makes one of the few wild boar calls I have been able to find.  Their Nomad Wild Boar Call with Moving Sound Remote gives you a wide selection of hog calls designed to help you bring home the bacon!!

cass creek hog callI

was hunting hogs in Alabama, and had a lot of opportunity to try out this unique call.  We set the receiver up near our position.  There are no wires, and the receiver is very light to carry into the fields. I attached a lanyard to the remote so I would not have to search for it, while the speaker/receiver can be clipped onto your pack or belt.  For this hunt, I attached the receiver to a young sapling about 20 yards from our shooting house.  There is a swamp immediately behind, and woods on all sides, a green field is also nearby, an ideal set up to start with!

turkey hunt 004

We started calling just after lunch, and it didn’t take long before we were seeing results.  The various series of calls sound very realistic, and the volume control adjusted in a clear concise sound. I played with the volume control to make it sound like the pigs were moving away from the area, and then in reverse of that to make it appear they were coming closer.  Many other times I had wild hogs grunting or squealing in response just following my playing one of the calls.  I was also able to utilize this call when I was stalking hogs.  I clipped it right onto my binocular strap, and played the calls periodically while I was walking, using it as you would a hand held call. There is also the ability to set up 3 receivers with one Transmitter Remote Control.  This makes it possible to not only direct the hogs into a better position or make it sound like it is true moving sound.

There are 5 distinct series of calls programmed into the receiver;

  1.  Feeding Frenzy – Excited grunts and squeals as hogs greedily compete to feed.
  2. Contented Feeding – Sounds of feeding hogs at newly located food source which draws others to join.
  3. Social Grunts – individual hogs communicate greetings within the herd.
  4. Fighting Boar – Aggressive rival males battling for herd dominance.
  5. Feeding Piglets – Confident sow grunts and feeding piglets signal safety, luring in hogs from dense cover.

My favorite combination was the Social Grunts with the Contented Feeding.  I have been in situations where the wild hogs that I was near, used grunts and squeals that sounded very similar to this.  I also used the Feeding Piglets as a stand alone call, since I have witnessed the larger hogs eating in relative quiet, while the young piglets are making lots of, well, pig noises!

I will be using my Nomad Wild Boar Call on many hunts coming up, and I will keep you updated on my results!

The Nomad Wild Boar Call is available for purchase at Amazon.com, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, various other sporting goods shops or at www.casscreek.com. The MSRP is $79.99. They also offer these calls in Predator, and Moose.

Stock Photo Credit:  Cass Creek

Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger





The Important Stuff

22 10 2012
This post originally appeared in Ladies in Camo Field Journal  http://ladiesincamo.com/fieldjournal.html
21 Oct

Some of the important stuff in my life!

Some of the important stuff in my life!

I have spent the last 2 weeks on the road hunting in Georgia and Alabama.  During that time I have made many great lasting memories and made some new friends.  This morning I was stalking hogs with my husband Dale along with Terry and Dillon from Racknine Outdoors.  I was really enjoying our time, the weather was beautiful and we were finding lots of fresh hog sign.

Should have been a perfect day, but it wasn’t.  Maybe I got homesick, I don’t know.  But we were walking along one minute with me thinking how I really love hog hunting, and the next minute my son popped into my head.  I started thinking how Matt would have really loved this, but he will never get the chance to experience it.  You see he died in a boating accident 16 years ago at the age of 16.  His death has changed our family forever.

That got me thinking (and crying) about how we need to focus on the important stuff.  Family, God, friends and health. The rest of it really doesn’t matter.  Get your kids and grandkids out in the woods, take them hunting, fishing, hiking or bird watching if that is what your are into.  Spend quality time with them, bonding over the simple things in life. Teach them about the outdoors so they in turn can teach their children.  Make sure they know your love, don’t let a day go by without telling them.  You really don’t know how long you will have them for.  Help them create wonderful memories that will comfort them in the future.  Life is a double edged knife, any of us could be gone tomorrow.

So enough said.  Next weekend Dale and I are taking our family and going camping and fishing in New York.  We will laugh, play, fish and have memories to sustain us.  I am going to help untangle lines and unhook fish for my grandchildren, take lots of pictures and ingrain every minute into my heart and brain.

“Love the Life you Live, Live the Life you Love” – Bob Marley





Unforgettable!!

5 09 2012

This post originally appeared in the Ladies In Camo Field Journal.  http://ladiesincamo.com/fieldjournal.html

Unforgettable!  That is definitely how you would describe our family vacation.  Dale and I were joined by our daughter Shannon and her 2 children; Sarah 9 and Ryan 7, and good friends Mike and Vicki.  Both of our grandchildren have been involved with hunting since they could walk.  Each of them has taken deer and turkey on the Pennsylvania Mentored Hunt Program, Sarah took her last turkey with a crossbow.  This trip would be different; they would be hunting in Alabama and Florida for wild hogs and alligators!  We are blessed that we have 3 generations that enjoy all the outdoors has to offer.  Even more so, we have 3 generations of Lady hunters, 3 generations of Ladies in Camo!

Our 3 generations of Ladies in Camo; Shannon, Sarah and Diane

We started our trip at Racknine Outdoors in Clio, Alabama.  Sarah was spot and stalking with me, while Ryan sat in a blind with Shannon.  Sarah was a real trooper.  While we were trying to get on the trail of the hogs, we worked on skills; picking up trails, identifying tracks, identifying different sounds and plants. Several times we were able to get close enough to hogs that we could hear and smell them, but never got close enough for a shot.  I had her lead us out of one area at dark, following the ribbon trail, and we found the boat no problem.  Later Terry told us that he has had to find several men in that area that couldn’t find their way out.  She has a great internal compass that is right on the money!  The one morning we did sit in a box blind, and had a buck come close enough that I could have tripped it, and a doe grazed within a few feet of us.  She took many pictures that day, just thrilled to be in the woods.

Moving onto Florida created a unique set of adventures for us.  Our first night, as we anticipated alligator hunting, we had a storm front move in and dump a huge amount of rain on us.  So instead of hunting, we became well acquainted with the local restaurants.  The next day, the sun was shining and the gators spent the day sunning themselves.  Capt. Billy Henderson, of Deep South Outfitters, went over crossbow operation and safety with everyone, and we took turns shooting at a water bottle cap.  The kids popped it up in the air while Dale and I pinned it to the ground.  The crossbow bolt is attached to a float, so everyone needs to be aware of where the rope is located in relationship to your feet.  The harpoon and also the bang stick were explained, and Shannon and the kids practiced the motions needed to use them.  We went through a few scenarios of how the gators might present themselves, and where to place the corresponding shots.  Being as all of our hunting is done at night, Billy explained how the eyes would reflect the spot light, and how they should come into the call.  Once everyone felt confident, we were off to the river.

We hunted the Kissimmee River that night and Ryan was up first.  The entire evening we had heat lightning lighting up the sky.  Occasional we could hear the rumble of thunder resonating across the flat ground, still to far off to be a threat.  Several gators were spotted, and halfheartedly responded to Billy’s call.  They would hang up at about 20 feet and go down, never to be seen again.  Finally a healthy 7 footer came in and presented a good shot.  Ryan wasted no time, and spined the alligator and ended his hunt.  A perfect shot!  He helped with the taping of the jaws and feet, then clicked his tag into the tail.

Ryan with his new buddy! His 7′ alligator.

Next up was Shannon, who was also on her first gator hunt.  Again several responded to the call, but would drop out of sight before a shot could be taken.  Eventually a good size gator came in, and after a lengthy battle, she managed to land herself a good solid ten footer!  By this time, we were getting short on time to get Ryan’s into a cooler or lose the meat, so we called it a night and high tailed it for the processors.

Shannon with her 10′ gator

The next evening we were once again hunting the Kissimmee River, but this time they were letting water out of the dams to prepare for Hurricane Isaac, which was anticipated to drop massive amounts of rain on this area.  Where we had seen well over a hundred of gators the night before, this night they were few and far between.  Sarah was on the front of the boat; Dale was with her to help with the lines.  They had a gator come close to the boat, then quickly duck into the brush near the bank.  To everyone’s surprise Sarah was able to place a fantastic shot through the branches and soon she was bang sticking her own 9 footer!

Sarah’s 9′ alligator

The pressure was now really on me.  We went for over an hour without having any gator come anywhere close to us.  Near the end of the night, with a storm front bearing down on us, I had a good gator start to come in.  At 30 feet away he started to hang-up and took a deep breath, indicating to me that he was ready to dive.  I took a chance and fired, hitting just behind the skull right before he sank into the depths.  He immediately went into death rolls and tangled the line up tight around him.  I managed to harpoon him after 2 failed attempts, being as he was still rolling.  After a quick shot out of the bang stick, I was taping his mouth and hind feet.  We took off toward the dock, and made it to the truck just second before the sky opened up and started dumping a tremendous amount of rain on us.

Diane’s 9′ gator

The next day we tried hunting wild hogs with dogs, something none of us had ever done before.  While we took our rifles with us, we ended up using the spear that the guide provided.  We pursued them riding in a swamp buggy with the dogs racing in front of us.  The dogs really worked together tracking the wild hogs, then a 3rd dog was released to help grab them by the ears.  Once the dogs had control of the hog, we would move in to spear the animal.  This allowed us the opportunity to harvest 5 good meat hogs, and have some really great memories!  While I love eating wild hog, the ability to help get a few of these destructive animals out of the swamps really makes it worthwhile.  Filling the freezer with fresh sausage is an added bonus!

Sarah, Vicki, Diane, Ryan, Mike and Shannon after a successful day of wild hog hunting!

That evening the tails of Hurricane Isaac hit us, so instead of hunting, we spent the evening in the hotel lobby in an impromptu Hurricane Party.  The power kept going out, so it was still an early evening.  The wind howled all night, and the rain flooded all low areas.  We were under tornado warning most of the night, and police brought several families to the hotel because of flooding to their homes.  By morning the hotel, that had been almost empty the day before, was filled with people seeking refuge from the storm.  The next day was no better, winds were high and the rain continued.  Bowling for the kids, and gambling for the adults helped fill the time.  Surprisingly Dale won enough at slots to spring for dinner for everyone.

The next day was still bad, but we only had 2 nights’ left and still had 4 tags to fill.  We were hunting Lake Okeechobee that night, and there was a heavy chop on the water complicating things even more.  We started our hunt under a double rainbow, which left us with lots of hope that a big gator would be our pot of gold!  After a few sightings of gator eyes, one came in within a few feet of the boat, and Mike let his bolt fly.  The bolt hit solidly, and the gator took off with the float trailing behind.  We caught up with it in a bed of hydrilla.  With Billy holding the line, Mike poised with the harpoon, Dale started quickly pulling the mounds of hydrilla that was wrapped around the line.  As soon as he opened up a clear area, Mike stuck the gator with the harpoon, and we were able to get control of the situation.  Hit with the bang stick, wrap the mouth and legs and the 9’ gator was tagged.  We tried for another, but conditions were deteriorating quickly, again.

Mike with his 9′ alligator

Our final day to hunt, the sun was shining and the wind died down some.  It seemed we would finally have a good day to go out.  WRONG!  Shortly before we were to leave, the skies opened up and the winds once more started to blow.  We still had to go.  We headed south to a dock on Lake Okeechobee and kept our finger crossed that maybe, just maybe we could get out on the water.  The water was still really high, and cotton mouth snakes were in the parking lots.  We killed one, and saw several more that other people had dispatched before we got there.  I hate the idea of being around poisonous snakes in the dark!  I would much rather face an alligator than a cotton mouth!

Vicki did not have long to wait at all, the boat was barely launched when she got on an 8 footer.  She managed to get her shot made before the rains started, but we still had to harpoon the gator, shoot it with the bang stick and get it in the boat during a pouring rain.  By the time this gator was in the boat, everyone was soaking wet and covered with mosquito bites.  We retreated to the truck, and hoped for a break in the weather.

Vicki and her 8′ gator

After what seemed like an eternity, all of the food and drink in the truck was consumed, and the weather finally gave us a break.  We searched for a long time to even find an alligator; the weather was pushing them deeper into the water.  We caught a glimpse of good size eyes a very long way off, but we had to try.  Slowly we crept up using only the trolling motor.  I think this gator was confused as to why anyone in their right mind would be out on a night like tonight.  Confused or not, he presented a shot that Dale could not refuse, and our 7th alligator was tagged for the week.  Whew!  We had to work hard for all of the gators we took this week.  We still have one tag left that hopefully we can make it down after September 12th to use.  Our tags were for the 2nd week of the season, but after September 12th any unfilled tags may be used again.

Dale’s 9′ alligator

We are passing on our love of the outdoors to our kids and grandchildren, teaching them skills that are not taught in our schools.  Good or bad, this trip was what memories are made of.  We had a lot of wonderful experiences that we got to share with our family and friends, we got to laugh and cheer each other on.  Three generations of our family got to enjoy the hunting, fishing and fun that this trip had to offer!  We harvested 5 wild hogs and 7 alligators, and filled our freezers for the upcoming year.  How can you go wrong with that!

www.racknineoutdoors.com

http://www.dsooutdoors.com





2011, A Very Good Year

30 04 2012

This post was originally posted on Audacious Women.  http://andreamain.com/2011-a-very-good-year/

2011 marked my come back to hunting, following my recovery from a bilateral mastectomy due to breast cancer.  I felt like I had 2 years to make up for, so I wanted to hunt everything, everywhere!  Rifle hunting was fairly easy to pick back up, but archery eluded me for this year at least.  Thank goodness for cross bows!

I started the year off hunting for whitetail deer on Anticosti Island in Canada.  My husband and I hunted with Safari Anticosti, and enjoyed every minute of it.  The first day, my husband spotted a really nice buck as I was being dropped off where I was to hunt.  He told me to make sure I got him, I told him I would.  I positioned myself on a steep bank overlooking the river, and waited.  Eventually 2 doe come out to feed on the river banks, so I was hopeful that a buck would follow.  They fed for a long time before I finally spotted the buck from earlier.  I had to wait for him to cross the river, and come near the does, before I could get a good shot.  I squeezed off my shot and watched him disappear into the tall grass.  After waiting what seemed like forever, I went to track him.  I found the blood trail easy enough that is until it he crossed the river.  It took a few minutes of searching both sides before I found the trail again.  When I finally walked up to him, I could not see his head.  Any part of it!  He must have died in mid leap, and took a header into the soft muck surrounding the river.  I couldn’t move him, so I started to dig him out.  Finally I could see his antlers, and excitement really settled in.  I had to wait for my husband and guide to show up after dark to get him drug out.  He was a huge bodied buck.  When he was hung in the meat shed, his head was to the ceiling and he was almost sitting on the ground.  By the end of the week, I knew I had the biggest buck in camp.   When we got to the airport, it became obvious that I also had the biggest buck from the island!  I had also taken a doe on the last day, to fill my tag with some good eating.

Safari Anticosti Buck

Our next hunt was for alligators with Deep South Outfitters in Florida.  The temperature was only in the 40’s, not at all what you would want for gators.  We went on a short boat ride before Billy started to call.  Instantly we had a gator rushing toward the boat.  In no time it was within a couple of yards of where I was standing, with the crossbow.  I shot, and there was no splashing or action of any kind.  While I feared I had missed, Kenny realized I had spined it.  This was the most adrenaline packed hunt I think I have ever been on!

Florida Alligator

Immediately after getting home from Florida, I drove to Illinois with my daughter Shannon.  We joined a Ladies Archery Hunt at Eagle Lakes Outfitters.  Vicki Cianciarulo was trying to get to film footage for The Choice hunting show. I was using a crossbow with a handicapped designation, which I was not happy at all about.  Hunting was really slow for the first couple of days, to hot, to windy.  Finally I had a nice buck start down toward me, but a doe stomped her foot and snorted at him, so I place my bolt into her.  She ran only 20 yards or so, but right into the lane that I would be picked up on.  My kind of tracking and dragging!  Eventually 3 doe were shot for the group, 1 was also lost to coyotes, and I had a buck that we could not locate the blood trail on.

I finally got to hunt at home, and took my granddaughters out in the stand with me.  Sarah has been hunting for a couple of years, but this was Ginger’s first exposure to it.  On the evening of the first day of rifle season, Ginger was with me when I took a doe.  She was so excited; she is now intent on taking her hunter safety certifications so she can hunt with me next fall.

I happened upon a Ladies in Camo hunt at Racknine Outdoors in Alabama, at the last minute.  I flew down for a buck, doe, hog, coyote hunt.  My first morning, I was able to take a nice 8 point buck that was feeding about 80 yards out.  He had come into the clearing and made a scrape right in front of me.  I also had 2 young buck sparring and playing.  After I shot, the young buck continued their play for another 15 minutes or so.  I have never hunted anywhere that a gunshot didn’t clear the area of all deer.  The blood trail on the 8 point was almost no existent, but we did locate him about 75 yards from where he was shot.  The next day I was stalking hogs, when I located a group in the pines, they were about 75 yards out.  I had a large sow cross an opening that I had, that was about the size of a coffee can.   I took the shot, and watched as she only went 2 or 3 feet before she dropped.  I tried to get on the hogs again, but they joined a group totaling over a hundred, and even with that many hogs, I could not get a clear shot at any others.

Alabama Buck

I know I title this 2011, but I am including the first half of 2012 also, since it all is part of the same license year.  I joined another Ladies in Camo hunt at Mountain View Plantation in Alabama, in January.  This was a tough hunt.  Only one buck was shot, and that was by my cousin Eva.  She is a new hunter, and I had taken her along to help her get experience.  We also hunted quail, which is always a good time, and shot the 5 station they have.

Racknine Hog

February had me back at Racknine (My favorite place to hunt!).  This time was a couple’s hunt for hogs and coyotes.  What a wonderful group of people we had at this hunt.  Alabama had had some severe weather, including tornados shortly before we arrived, and the hogs had made themselves scarce.   By then end of the weekend only 1 hog was shot.  We really had to work hard at this hunt.

Osceola Turkey

Turkey season finally arrived, and we were off to Florida, to hunt with Deep South Outfitters again.  I filled my 2 tags with Osceolas.  The birds were not responding to calls, so I sat in wait near a well-used trail to a feeding area.  Finally I had 3 toms come into view, and when my guide said they were shooters, I shot!  This was my first Osceola ever!!  I took another jake before I was done, but then I got to hog hunt while my husband tried to fill his tags.  I had crept into a tree stand before light, listening to hogs not more than 30 feet away!  By the time I could make out dark shadows, I had a dozen hogs in front of me.  It was nerve racking to know the hogs were right there, and it was not light enough to shoot yet!  I don’t think I waited more than a minute once the sun came up.  I picked a big red sow with black spots.  She was almost underneath my tree stand, not exactly the shot I would like to take.  While the angle was extreme, she only went about 30 yards, before she piled up under the palmettos.  What a great trip!!

Florida Hog

The weather completely turned against us after that, so we headed to Racknine again for some more hog hunting!  Ladies in Camo was having a couples hunt so we joined them.  Dale and I were spot and stalking when I had a hog grunting and squealing, just as the hog was coming into view, Dale shot.  I thought he had shot the hog, but he was facing the wrong direction when I turned to him.  My first thought was that he was screwing around, until he showed me the dead coyote.  From my angle I could not see the coyote approaching.  Later that morning, we joined 2 other hunters to go after hogs in the palmettos.  We had gone a couple of hundred yards into the woods, when you could hear hogs grunting and squealing.  I climbed onto a leaning tree (about the only way I can climb a tree!) and scanned the area for the hogs.  I could see for about 20 yards, and we now knew the hogs were further than that.  We slowly made our way toward the herd and positioned ourselves to take a shot.  Jeanne was trying to get a clear shot on a nice gray hog, but it never presented a good shot.  Meanwhile I had a small black hog that I was going to shoot, when a much bigger hog crossed in front of it.  I told everyone I had a shot, and took it.  The hog dropped in her tracks!  That was the easy part.  We now had to drag that hog back to the HuntVe through swampy muck.  We all worked hard to get it out.  Dale and I were the only ones left to hunt the next morning, and Dale was able to take a big boar.  This group of 5 hunters, at Racknine, had managed to take; 1 turkey, 1 coyote and 3 hogs.

Racknine Hog

Each hunt I am finding that I am getting stronger, and more like myself.  I keep pushing myself to build back the muscle that was lost.  This upcoming hunting year is pretty well filled already, I have 5 hunts scheduled, with hopes of more.  My next hunting season starts in June when we are going bear hunting in Saskatchewan, and this fall I will be going on my first archery hunt with my compound bow since my surgery.  I am already pulling 40 pounds on my bow, I would like to be built up to 45 lbs. before archery season begins.  With work, I will be there!  Sometime I feel like the 6 million dollar woman, I am getting faster, stronger, better!





Hog Hunting Basics

25 04 2012

Originally posted on Ladies in Camo Articles.  http://ladiesincamo.com/hoghuntingbasics.html

Since Ladies in Camo is giving away a 4 day hog hunt to one very lucky person, I thought a few basics on hog hunting would be in order.

Feral pigs are known by many different names; wild hogs, wild boars, Russian boars or even razor backs.  They are hooved animals that range in size from 75 pounds to a high of around 440 pounds for a large boar.  They look a lot like the domestic pig, only with longer coarser hair, with the adults sporting a mane that has thick coarse bristles.  They range in color from the blacks, grays, reds, browns, to pale tans.  They may also have belting or spotting in these colors.  Black is the predominate color.  Their snouts, which are long, flexible and rugged, are used for the never ending rooting.  They will eat most anything they come in contact with, which can include any type of grains, nuts, acorns, roots, mushrooms and even dead animals.  Their feet are cloven, similar to a deer’s hooves, but more rounded and flat tipped. The boars can have tusks that can be 3 to 5 inches in length.  They use these to establish dominance, and because of this, they have developed a shield comprised of cartilage, scar tissue and callus which becomes thicker and stronger as they age.

Piglets of all colors

Feral hogs have a very keen sense of smell, and a good sense of hearing.  Their eyesight is thought to be poor and nearsighted.  They are quick runners and swimmers, able to run up to 30 mph.

The sows can breed as young as 6 months of age, with gestation of around 115 days.  They can have litters ranging from 4 to 12 piglets each time.  Estimates are that a single sow can produce over 1000 offspring in a 5 year period.  That in itself is how hog populations can quickly get out of control, and can cause serious damage to crops and vegetation.

In Alabama you will need a small game hunting license to hunt for hogs.  These licenses can be bought for a few day hunt or for the entire year.  While you do not need to have the license displayed, you must have it on yourself, and have identification with you.  Licensed hunters can shoot pigs year round and there is no bag limit on the hogs.  You can purchase your license online at  https://www.alabamainteractive.org/dcnr_hf_license/welcome.action.

Hogs often will appear in food plots, hardwood bottoms, or pine woods.  You can determine when they have been in an area based on the rooting that may cover a large area.  I have been in areas that resemble a rototilled garden, the rooting was that extensive.  You may also see trees that the hogs have been rubbing on to scratch an itch, remove the dried mud or even parasites from their skin.  These trees may have mud several foot up the trunk, and there may be pieces of hair stuck in the bark.  Wallows will be present in wet soils, basically an indentation holding mud or water.  Feral hogs feed most heavily in the early morning and late evening, spending the rest of their time sleeping or relaxing in their mud wallows.  Since wild hogs do not have sweat glands they use the wallows to cool down and to also rid themselves of fleas or ticks.  You may even be able to smell a sweetness like maple syrup when you are near a group of hogs.  Keep in mind the hogs frequent some of the same areas as cottonmouth, rattlesnake and copper head snakes.  You will probably want snake chaps or boots to protect yourself.

The hunting of wild hogs is done several ways; tree stands, blinds, still hunting, with dogs or spot and stalk.  Most all weapons have been used to take hogs, from bowie knives to high power rifles.  Typically compound bows, cross bows and rifles are the weapons of choice.  Feral hogs tend not to be aggressive toward hunters, but they will charge if they are cornered, injured or if their young are threatened.

From the tree stands and blinds, you will need patience.  The stands are typically positioned to ambush the hogs either on their way to or from food plots, bedding areas or water.  This method is the most common, and great success can be had hunting this way.  I recently had 15 hogs around the tree stand I was in.  I was able to take my time, pick the hog I wanted, and make a great shot.  You also will have the advantage of being up high enough to see where your hog goes after he is shot.

Spot and stalk is done on foot, going to where hogs are known to frequent.  While stalking, you can get away with rustling leaves, but try to refrain from snapping twigs and branches.  You can usually hear hogs squealing and grunting from 40 yards away or more.   If you walk slowly, stop and listen often, and keep the wind in your favor; you may be able to get within shooting range.  Do not expect the hogs to stand still for you though,  they are in a constant state of motion.  Recently 4 of us stalked to within 20 yards of a herd of hogs, and watched for several moments, undetected.  Only one good shot was presented and taken.

Still hunting involves the slow deliberate movements, looking for tracks, listening for sounds, watching for signs.  The accepted method of still hunting covers a mere 100 yards in an hour.

Once you have located your hogs, shot placement is of the utmost importance.  Like any animal, hogs will perish quickly with a well-placed shot.  Their thick hides, shields and thick fat create a tough barrier for broad heads or bullets.  A broadside shot should be placed in the shoulder area, lower is preferred.  A broken shoulder will put the hog down, and give you time for a follow up shot if needed.  When quartering away, place the shot to penetrate the vitals between the shoulders.  A neck shot works well for a rifle.  Some employ the head shot, but if you are not confident of this shot, go for one of the larger body targets.  If you are hunting for meat, take a smaller hog or two.  The larger boars, while impressive, are tougher and less tasty.

I tracked a group of hogs that easily numbered around 100, in every size imaginable.  They were making enough noise to cover any sound I was making.  I had several groups on 3 sides of me; this was a pure adrenaline rush!   Don’t let yourself become distracted by the numbers of hogs, still shoot at a spot on one hog, not just at a group of them.

Shot Placement on Hogs

Yearly, feral hogs do nearly $90 million in damage to crops in Alabama alone, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. This problem isn’t just isolated to Alabama. Feral pigs are in 44 states and at least 4 of the Canadian provinces.  They do about $1.5 billion in damage to farm crops nationally each year.  This is all the encouragement I need to hunt hogs as often as possible!  Whether you are in a tree stand or on the ground, there is nothing quite like hog hunting.  Watch out though, it becomes an addiction!

Shot Placement Image;  http://www.texashuntfish.com/app/view/Post/10379/Shot-placement-on-hogs





Rack Nine Outdoors

7 02 2012

Diane's 8 point buck

This is a reprint from a blog that originally appeared in “Shenanigans from the field”.

I happened to see a post on Shenanigans from the Field about a Ladies in CamoLadies Only Hunt at Rack Nine Outdoors in Clio, Alabama.  What caught my eye was that it was a buck, doe, coyote, hog and bobcat hunt.  This was just too much to ask for.  I had found this post only 2 ½ weeks prior to the hunt, so a lot had to fall into place for this to happen.  I am a firm believer in fate and it would work out if it was meant to be.  Well things fell into place perfectly and on December 7th I flew into Montgomery Airport to catch a ride with Richard and Nancy to the camp.

Pulling into the camp I immediately felt at ease and knew this had been a good choice.  The lodge felt like home, and the few huntresses and guides that were there felt like family from the start. While everyone pigged out on pizza, we made our plans for morning.  There would be 3 of us hunting, while the rest were to come in staggered over the next 2 days.  Four a.m. came early the next morning, with temperatures below freezing, and having not brought all of my cold weather gear, freezing is what I did too!   Terry put me in a tree stand overlooking a food plot.  It wasn’t long before the show began and I forgot all about being cold.  I had a nice 8 point bucks  with 2 girlfriends come thru, just pausing long enough for me to know I could not get a shot off at him.  What a tease!  Shortly after that another 8 point entered my view, and took his good old time about entering the food plot.  He was joined by 2 spike buck that entertained me for almost an hour with their sparring and play.  Meanwhile my 8 point was raking the trees nearby and making a scrape right in front of me.  After 15 minutes of wonderful memories, I decided that if I would shoot this guy on the last day, the first day was a good day too.  Almost right on cue the buck turned broadside then quartered away just slightly.

As I pulled the trigger, I was thankful I was able to be here at this time.  You see 2 ½ years ago I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, and underwent a bilateral mastectomy.  They also removed some lymph nodes to check for the spread of cancer.  Following my surgery, no one could answer whether I would ever be able to fish, bow hunt, or shoot shotguns and rifles again.   No one had ever asked these questions of my doctors, I was the first!  Well I am delighted to prove to everyone, that not only is it possible, but you can still be successful as well!

My buck tucked his tail and hunched up telling me I had hit him good.  I sent a text to Terry and continued watching the two spikes play.  They never even flinched when I shot, and I videotaped them for the next 15 minutes.  Unreal!  In Pennsylvania I would have chased off every deer for a half mile with that one shot.  When Terry and Doug arrived, we started looking for a blood trail, and panic started to set in.  I knew I had hit him good, but there was no blood to speak of.  We finally found 1 drop 10-15 feet from where he was shot and then 1 drop at a time, at 5-10 feet intervals, for about 70 yards.  I was just about heartbroken when Doug said “there he is”.  He had only gone 75 yards and was piled up under a pine tree.  He was nice high 8 point, and I was thrilled.

The next evening I was placed in a ground blind, in a tract of woods near a food plot.  Both Terry and Doug had said to feel free to spot and stalk hogs, so that was my goal.  Coyotes were howling nearby as I slowly hiked about ¼ mile down a logging trail from the blind.  Before long it sounded like a football team racing thru the woods.  Slowly and quietly I inched into a position to see the hogs.  It did not take long to find a big sow, and with a lot of luck she walked into the one sight window that I had that was big enough to shoot thru, about the size of a coffee can.  Holding my breath I took the 75 yard shot, and was rewarded with watching her drop not 3 feet from where I shot her.  I continued to look for my next shooter, but this group turned tail and ran.  After texting Terry that I had a hog down, and that I was going to continue looking for her friends, I marked her location and started tracking the whole herd.  It did not take long to locate them across the logging road.  I had to go into the cramped quarters of the paper mills pine forest.  At one point I had 3 groups pretty much surrounding me, easily 100 wild pigs, all squealing and rooting and paying no attention to me at all.  As much as I tried to, I could not down another pig, but what a rush to have that many wild pigs around you!

I am already planning my next trip to Rack Nine with my husband this time.  I hope he gets to experience situations like I had here.  And I will be excited to be here to share it with him.  I am proud to not only say I am a cancer survivor, but I am enjoying life!  Everyone should get out and do what they love every opportunity they can.  “Love the Life you Live, Live the Life you Love” (Bob Marley)