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Hunter’s Handbook is the official student “how-to” information pipeline of the International Hunter Education Association. As the experts in teaching safe, ethical and successful hunting, we are here to provide tips, tools, and great video content as well as offer you a place that you can learn more about your love and favorite past-time—hunting.  Spend some time with us.  New content is added monthly, and we are excited to share our expertise with you.  We wish you a lifetime of safe and memorable experiences in the outdoors.

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Hunt Prep

Whether you're trying to plan your next hunt or how to clean your harvested animal, hunt preparation is important. The articles below will help you every step of the way - beginning to end. 

Whether you're trying to plan your next hunt or how to clean your harvested animal, hunt preparation is important. The articles below will help you every step of the way - beginning to end. 

CHOOSING A GUN SAFE - BROUGHT TO YOU BY SHOTLOCK  After making the important decision to become a gun owner, one of the first things you should do before even purchasing a gun is to consider your guns safety options. Owning a gun comes with great responsibility, a responsibility to keep yourself and others from unintended harm due to careless storage of your firearm. Luckily there are plenty of options on the market, but knowing which one best suits your needs can be difficult.

CHOOSING A GUN SAFE - BROUGHT TO YOU BY SHOTLOCK

 After making the important decision to become a gun owner, one of the first things you should do before even purchasing a gun is to consider your guns safety options. Owning a gun comes with great responsibility, a responsibility to keep yourself and others from unintended harm due to careless storage of your firearm. Luckily there are plenty of options on the market, but knowing which one best suits your needs can be difficult.

BUCK KNIVES' NEW BOW TOOL AND BOW TRX Bow hunters have a long list of items that they must carry with them each time they head afield, from releases and knives to extra clothing, tags and licenses and rangefinders. But one item that absolutely no archer should be without is a tool to safely adjust their bow in the field. Any experienced archery hunter will tell you that a bow malfunction means a wasted day unless you have the right repair equipment on hand.

BUCK KNIVES' NEW BOW TOOL AND BOW TRX

Bow hunters have a long list of items that they must carry with them each time they head afield, from releases and knives to extra clothing, tags and licenses and rangefinders. But one item that absolutely no archer should be without is a tool to safely adjust their bow in the field. Any experienced archery hunter will tell you that a bow malfunction means a wasted day unless you have the right repair equipment on hand.

THERMACELL: BATTLING MOSQUITOES Judging by the number of people they kill every year, mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control.Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, encephalitis, yellow fever, West Nile virus and Zika virus—the latest to make headlines—cause an estimated 725,000 deaths worldwide every year.

THERMACELL: BATTLING MOSQUITOES

Judging by the number of people they kill every year, mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control.Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, encephalitis, yellow fever, West Nile virus and Zika virus—the latest to make headlines—cause an estimated 725,000 deaths worldwide every year.

SHOTLOCK: KEEP YOUR FIREARM CLOSE, SECURE AND READY As a firearms owner, you are excited about hunting, and probably own more than one shotgun, and maybe even a handgun or two. Shooting is something you love to do, and each firearm you own has a specific purpose, and a place.

SHOTLOCK: KEEP YOUR FIREARM CLOSE, SECURE AND READY

As a firearms owner, you are excited about hunting, and probably own more than one shotgun, and maybe even a handgun or two. Shooting is something you love to do, and each firearm you own has a specific purpose, and a place.

THE BENEFITS OF A PRESCRIBED BURN What is a prescribed burn and why is it so important to do? A prescribed burn is a controlled application of fire to a specific area of land. This burn helps keep the forest and wildlife healthy. To avoid a potential devastating forest fire, there are many things to remember before starting your burn. 

THE BENEFITS OF A PRESCRIBED BURN

What is a prescribed burn and why is it so important to do? A prescribed burn is a controlled application of fire to a specific area of land. This burn helps keep the forest and wildlife healthy. To avoid a potential devastating forest fire, there are many things to remember before starting your burn. 

KNOW WHERE YOU STAND Years ago, I found myself on a hunt listening to the horrifying sound of bullets flying over my head. I was in the middle of a big parcel of private land in Wyoming. There should have been NO ONE there, yet as I searched for the source, I found a couple of hunters below working on an antelope in between us. Thinking that they were on BLM land, they made a pretty grave mistake.

KNOW WHERE YOU STAND

Years ago, I found myself on a hunt listening to the horrifying sound of bullets flying over my head. I was in the middle of a big parcel of private land in Wyoming. There should have been NO ONE there, yet as I searched for the source, I found a couple of hunters below working on an antelope in between us. Thinking that they were on BLM land, they made a pretty grave mistake.

RULES FOR A HAPPY LANDING WHEN HUNTERS FLY Imagine that you and your buddies have been planning a hunting and fishing trip to Alaska all year. You imagine the tents pitched by the lake and sitting by the fire in the cool evenings after a day of hunting moose and fishing for Pacific salmon in the Tikchik Lakes. But now it’s time to finish getting the gear packed for an early morning flight to Anchorage. Everything is loaded into the car except a small carry-on bag – and, oh yeah, a sixteen ounce can of black powder, a sixteen ounce propane camp stove cylinder and a box of wooden matches.

RULES FOR A HAPPY LANDING WHEN HUNTERS FLY

Imagine that you and your buddies have been planning a hunting and fishing trip to Alaska all year. You imagine the tents pitched by the lake and sitting by the fire in the cool evenings after a day of hunting moose and fishing for Pacific salmon in the Tikchik Lakes. But now it’s time to finish getting the gear packed for an early morning flight to Anchorage. Everything is loaded into the car except a small carry-on bag – and, oh yeah, a sixteen ounce can of black powder, a sixteen ounce propane camp stove cylinder and a box of wooden matches.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT KNIFE One of those pure essentials to any hunting trip is a dependable knife. Whether you have a successful hunt or not, knives play many key roles in any outdoor experience.When determining the right type of hunting knife, first identify the type of animals you plan to hunt and any other limiting circumstances your particular hunt may dictate to you. Will you be deep into the field where skinning and quartering will be necessary before transporting your game, or will you have road access right to your kill?

CHOOSING THE RIGHT KNIFE

One of those pure essentials to any hunting trip is a dependable knife. Whether you have a successful hunt or not, knives play many key roles in any outdoor experience.When determining the right type of hunting knife, first identify the type of animals you plan to hunt and any other limiting circumstances your particular hunt may dictate to you. Will you be deep into the field where skinning and quartering will be necessary before transporting your game, or will you have road access right to your kill?

AVOID FIVE COMMON GAME CAMERA MISTAKES At this very moment, there’s a buck in your hunting area enjoying the bounty of summer.  He’s fattening up, growing antlers, sleeping in the shade.  Seems unbelievable in just weeks, he may be standing broadside in front of your stand while you draw your bow.  Of course, that’s only if you do your homework. As you deploy your trail cameras to pattern that bruiser, consider these common mistakes  and avoid them.

AVOID FIVE COMMON GAME CAMERA MISTAKES

At this very moment, there’s a buck in your hunting area enjoying the bounty of summer.  He’s fattening up, growing antlers, sleeping in the shade.  Seems unbelievable in just weeks, he may be standing broadside in front of your stand while you draw your bow.  Of course, that’s only if you do your homework. As you deploy your trail cameras to pattern that bruiser, consider these common mistakes  and avoid them.

TREESTAND HANGING TOOL KIT In July and August, treestand hanging is hot, sweaty, buggy work.  You do not want to fight the elements to reach a “perfect” location only to discover you don’t have the gear you need.  It’s infuriating and means another disruptive trip in and out. To avoid retracing your steps, here’s a quick checklist.

TREESTAND HANGING TOOL KIT

In July and August, treestand hanging is hot, sweaty, buggy work.  You do not want to fight the elements to reach a “perfect” location only to discover you don’t have the gear you need.  It’s infuriating and means another disruptive trip in and out. To avoid retracing your steps, here’s a quick checklist.

REMAIN ACTIVE AFTER HUNTING SEASON ENDS Whether you hunt deer, elk, pheasants, ducks or other species, when most hunting seasons end, many hunters normally hang up their gun or bow—and hibernate. It doesn’t have to be like that.Why wait another nine months or more before you can use your favorite rifle or bow and go hunting?

REMAIN ACTIVE AFTER HUNTING SEASON ENDS

Whether you hunt deer, elk, pheasants, ducks or other species, when most hunting seasons end, many hunters normally hang up their gun or bow—and hibernate. It doesn’t have to be like that.Why wait another nine months or more before you can use your favorite rifle or bow and go hunting?

 STAYTIGHTSLING ADDS SAFETY, HANDS-FREE CARRY FOR HUNTERS StayTightSling provides an important measure of safety—and convenience—when carrying a firearm on your shoulder by a sling. Hunters have long struggled with keeping a slinged firearm on their shoulder, and often resort to holding the sling in place with one hand or the other. StayTightSling solves that problem and allows you to keep both hands free for climbing, stalking, carrying other items, using binoculars or any other task.

 STAYTIGHTSLING ADDS SAFETY, HANDS-FREE CARRY FOR HUNTERS

StayTightSling provides an important measure of safety—and convenience—when carrying a firearm on your shoulder by a sling. Hunters have long struggled with keeping a slinged firearm on their shoulder, and often resort to holding the sling in place with one hand or the other. StayTightSling solves that problem and allows you to keep both hands free for climbing, stalking, carrying other items, using binoculars or any other task.

BINOCULAR BUYING TIPS A little understanding goes a long way toward making shopping for a binocular not nearly as complicated as it may seem when faced with the variety of brands, models, styles, sizes, magnifications and prices available today. First, understand you are choosing a binocular—that is the correct term, not binoculars nor pair of binoculars. The “bi” refers to the twin barrels that make up the single unit of a binocular.

BINOCULAR BUYING TIPS

A little understanding goes a long way toward making shopping for a binocular not nearly as complicated as it may seem when faced with the variety of brands, models, styles, sizes, magnifications and prices available today. First, understand you are choosing a binocular—that is the correct term, not binoculars nor pair of binoculars. The “bi” refers to the twin barrels that make up the single unit of a binocular.

BUCK 550 SELECTOR 2.0 Having the right tool makes any job easier, and this is especially true when it comes to field care of wild game, a task oftentimes made more difficult by the elements. You don’t have to hunt very often before you find yourself in the dark taking care of a downed animal, and rain, snow, heat and bugs can make the task more difficult still. Plus, the more time you spend cleaning game, the more likely it is that contamination will occur. Proper field care of meat requires efficiency.

BUCK 550 SELECTOR 2.0

Having the right tool makes any job easier, and this is especially true when it comes to field care of wild game, a task oftentimes made more difficult by the elements. You don’t have to hunt very often before you find yourself in the dark taking care of a downed animal, and rain, snow, heat and bugs can make the task more difficult still. Plus, the more time you spend cleaning game, the more likely it is that contamination will occur. Proper field care of meat requires efficiency.

THREE CAST AND BLAST HUNT FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY Like to hunt? Like to fish? Why not do both in the same trip! Here are three great cast-and-blast hunts from around the country. I enjoy hunting and fishing, and I really enjoy a trip that allows me to do both things in one spot. Cast-and-blast hunts are a great way to get the most out of your field experience, and you’ll pack your freezer with delicious wild game and nutritious fish fillets all at once. Here are three great cast-and-blast trips that everyone can enjoy.

THREE CAST AND BLAST HUNT FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY

Like to hunt? Like to fish? Why not do both in the same trip! Here are three great cast-and-blast hunts from around the country. I enjoy hunting and fishing, and I really enjoy a trip that allows me to do both things in one spot. Cast-and-blast hunts are a great way to get the most out of your field experience, and you’ll pack your freezer with delicious wild game and nutritious fish fillets all at once. Here are three great cast-and-blast trips that everyone can enjoy.

MAKE YOUR TAXIDERMIST HAPPY; YOU'LL BE HAPPY TOO In the world of writing computer code, the acronym GIGO is universally understood. It stands for “garbage in, garbage out.” In hunting, GIGO applies to taxidermy. Though your favored taxidermist may be the Rembrandt of fur and antlers, his work can only be as good as what you bring him. You deliver properly cared for trophies and pay a fair price, you’ll get great art in return; deliver garbage, you’ll get garbage.

MAKE YOUR TAXIDERMIST HAPPY; YOU'LL BE HAPPY TOO

In the world of writing computer code, the acronym GIGO is universally understood. It stands for “garbage in, garbage out.” In hunting, GIGO applies to taxidermy. Though your favored taxidermist may be the Rembrandt of fur and antlers, his work can only be as good as what you bring him. You deliver properly cared for trophies and pay a fair price, you’ll get great art in return; deliver garbage, you’ll get garbage.

MAPS FOR SCOUTING AND A WHOLE LOT MORE Good maps are essential to hunters. More than simply keeping us from getting lost or wandering onto the wrong property, maps are primary scouting tools. It would be nice if we could put boots on the ground to scout at every location we planned to hunt, but often that’s not possible. Distances are too great and time is too short. But with the quality of maps and satellite imagery available online today, 90 percent of scouting can be accomplished at your computer, on your smartphone, or with GPS in hand.

MAPS FOR SCOUTING AND A WHOLE LOT MORE

Good maps are essential to hunters. More than simply keeping us from getting lost or wandering onto the wrong property, maps are primary scouting tools. It would be nice if we could put boots on the ground to scout at every location we planned to hunt, but often that’s not possible. Distances are too great and time is too short. But with the quality of maps and satellite imagery available online today, 90 percent of scouting can be accomplished at your computer, on your smartphone, or with GPS in hand.

GAME WARDEN APPROVED: ONXMAPS SOLVES CONFUSION IN THE FIELD As a Colorado Game warden I am expected to know my district inside and out. This includes 4WD roads and foot trails as well as property boundaries, access points and the layout of the land in the remote areas in between. I have spent many days in the field over the past 11 years marching property lines in order to provide insight to hunters before they make a serious mistake. It also means I know when people are lying to me about how they accessed certain areas.

GAME WARDEN APPROVED: ONXMAPS SOLVES CONFUSION IN THE FIELD

As a Colorado Game warden I am expected to know my district inside and out. This includes 4WD roads and foot trails as well as property boundaries, access points and the layout of the land in the remote areas in between. I have spent many days in the field over the past 11 years marching property lines in order to provide insight to hunters before they make a serious mistake. It also means I know when people are lying to me about how they accessed certain areas.

SECURE SOLUTIONS FOR FIREARM, BOW STORAGE The motto for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project Child Safe is “Own it? Respect it. Secure it.” For both firearms and bows that makes a ton of sense.  Not only does securely locking up guns and bows prevent needless tragedy, proper secure storage prevents damage to expensive equipment. Locking up a bow?  Yes! Why? The most common damage archery techs see in modern bows is caused by dry firing. 

SECURE SOLUTIONS FOR FIREARM, BOW STORAGE

The motto for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project Child Safe is “Own it? Respect it. Secure it.” For both firearms and bows that makes a ton of sense.  Not only does securely locking up guns and bows prevent needless tragedy, proper secure storage prevents damage to expensive equipment. Locking up a bow?  Yes! Why? The most common damage archery techs see in modern bows is caused by dry firing. 

HOW TO HUNT ALL YEAR ROUND If you enjoy hunting, there’s always a season open on something. While deer and most big game seasons are closed or winding down, midwinter is when coyote hunting comes to a peak. There are also snow geese seasons, rabbits to pursue, wild boar to chase, and crows to kill.

HOW TO HUNT ALL YEAR ROUND

If you enjoy hunting, there’s always a season open on something. While deer and most big game seasons are closed or winding down, midwinter is when coyote hunting comes to a peak. There are also snow geese seasons, rabbits to pursue, wild boar to chase, and crows to kill.

IS THERE A DROP CAMP IN YOUR FUTURE? It’s hard to think of the end of the hunting seasons already, but especially if you live in the North Country most of the big game seasons are already in the history books. We can stay occupied with bow hunting or muzzleloading and some small game hunting for another month or so, but then it’s done for the year. But midwinter is the perfect time to be planning adventures for the spring and next fall.

IS THERE A DROP CAMP IN YOUR FUTURE?

It’s hard to think of the end of the hunting seasons already, but especially if you live in the North Country most of the big game seasons are already in the history books. We can stay occupied with bow hunting or muzzleloading and some small game hunting for another month or so, but then it’s done for the year. But midwinter is the perfect time to be planning adventures for the spring and next fall.

NEW YEARS RESOLUTION TO UP YOUR HUNTING GAME What were your greatest successes during the hunting season past? Trophies? Unforgettable moments shared with family and friends? What are the reasons you hunt and keep coming back? Did you have some failures, disappointments, or shortcomings, too? Probably. Most of us do. This is the stuff that memories are made of.

NEW YEARS RESOLUTION TO UP YOUR HUNTING GAME

What were your greatest successes during the hunting season past? Trophies? Unforgettable moments shared with family and friends? What are the reasons you hunt and keep coming back? Did you have some failures, disappointments, or shortcomings, too? Probably. Most of us do. This is the stuff that memories are made of.