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Methods for Packing Out Big Game Animals

Harvesting a trophy buck is an exciting moment in your hunting expedition. But do you know about packing out big game animals?

The adventure doesn’t stop when you successfully pull the trigger. No, in fact, the work is just beginning! Rarely are the best hunting locations close to trails, roads, parking lots, most civilizations, or any convenient spot. While less convenient, these special hunting areas allow you to enjoy the quiet open-air and the opportunity to harvest big game animals. So, packing out your harvest is more than likely required.

Learn more about this process below.

Methods for Packing Out After Hunting

There are several methods you can use to pack out your harvest after a successful hunt:

Horses or Mules — When you picture a hunter tending to deer or elk, you likely imagine some sort of pack animal carrying the load. Pack animals, such as horses or mules, are efficient beasts, as they can carry close to 20% of their body weight. While these animals can be helpful, they can also be intimidating creatures that require skill to handle. Both hunters and animals will need proper training before taking care of your harvest.

Off-Road Vehicles — Off-road vehicles, such as UTVs or ATVs, are great options when hauling your harvest off the mountain. They do the heavy lifting and work for you, carry a large amount of meat, and many hunters already have one. While a popular choice among hunters, they do come with some drawbacks. UTV and other off-road vehicles are noisy and take away your ability to surprise or sneak up on your prey. Moreover, some hunting areas do not allow these vehicles on the land.

Man Power — The most common and least expensive method to pack out meat is on foot. This method requires physical strength and ability. Because of this, year-round fitness training may be necessary. Thankfully, today’s market offers many backpack options specifically designed for packing out meat. In addition to the financial savings, many hunters today prefer to pack out on foot because of the sense of accomplishment it gives. Just make sure to invest in a comfortable pair of boots.

Other Methods — Some remote locations like Canada or Alaska will require you to pack out your harvest in another method, such as a plane or boat because they lack nearby roads or highways. Boats, planes, and any other unconventional method allows you to hunt in otherwise un-huntable areas. Of course, these methods require additional funds and accommodations.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Packing out your harvest is a small price to pay for months and months of tasty, healthy, and organic meat in your freezer. As your season comes to a close and you’ve packed out your harvest this season, it’s time to think about next year! Book an exciting Rocky Mountain hunting adventure with the experts at R & K Hunting Company. Let us take the headaches and hassles of planning and prepping so that you can focus on landing your next harvest. Contact us today!

Tips For Setting Up A Trail Camera

Thanks to modern-day technology, like the trail camera, scouting wild animals from afar is possible. Not only is it possible, but it is also fun!

One of the best ways to prepare for your hunt is to go scouting. While scouting is a great hunting tactic, it is not always possible because of everyday responsibilities and obligations.

Learn more about setting up trail cameras below.

What is a Trail Camera?

If you are new to hunting, you may not be familiar with trail cameras. A trail cam is a modern hunting tool that uses motion sensors to take photos when animals walk by. They boast excellent battery life and, depending on the storage capabilities of your SD card, can store thousands of pictures. You can easily upload the images to your computer or, if your camera can, send photos via cellular network.

Where to Set up a Camera

Location, location, location. Like real estate, location is everything. A camera is best set up near a food source or mineral site. A well-placed cam will allow you to survey animals from afar while giving you a decent idea on the herd’s size, age class, and surrounding area.

PRO TIP: An exceptionally ideal place to set up your trail cam is at an intersection of several trails. Setting up here will allow you to obtain valuable information regarding animal movement patterns as they move from bedding to feeding areas and back.

Camera Placement and Settings

Most trail cams have different settings or “modes.” Find a setting that best suits your needs and select that mode. A common choice among hunters is a single shot with 10-15 seconds between each picture. However, if you find a place to set up your camera next to a food source, you may want to extend the time between photos to avoid filling your memory card with duplicate images.

Mount your camera at about waist height. This puts the sensor at just the right height for deer and will give you the best pictures. However, if you are on public land, you may want to place your camera well above eye level, pointing downwards to avoid unwanted attention from other hunters.

PRO TIP: For better images, make sure you do not set up your cam directly facing the rising or setting sun. You will get higher quality images with a north-facing camera since your pictures will not be as overexposed.

Checking Your Camera

Checking the images on your camera is nearly as exciting as Christmas morning for outdoorsmen. However, it is essential to practice self-control. The more you check it, the more disruption you will cause. Too much disturbance and human activity can cause deer to change their habits and travel patterns.

PRO TIP: The best time to check your camera is midday since deer are most active during the morning and evening. Even better, check it on a rainy day so your scent washes away sooner.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Using a trail camera is a great way to scout from afar and is a great hunting tactic that all hunters should use. Another useful tactic is to book your next hunt with a professional guide from R & K Hunting Company. Our knowledgeable and skilled guides have years of experience in Utah and Wyoming and are trusted by hunters everywhere. Book your next hunt with us today and learn why hunters come back season after season.

How to Prep Your Deer for Taxidermy

As the hunting season approaches, it’s important to refresh yourself on how to prep your deer for taxidermy.

The goal is to end your season with an exciting trophy animal, and proper field care is necessary so that you can admire your harvest for years to come. What you do in the field just after your harvest is crucial when preserving your trophy for mounting.

Scroll on for more information on prepping your animal for this process.

How to Prep Your Deer for Taxidermy

Every season, taxidermists are given capes that are unusable. Whether they are cut too short, or the harvested animal has been left above freezing for too long and the hair begins to slip, the cape is unusable. It’s essential not to make mistakes in the field that will ruin your mount. Here are a few pro tips for prepping your deer for this process:

Field Dress ASAP

— It’s important to field dress your trophy as soon as it’s down. As you finish the belly incision, make sure you don’t cut into the chest or brisket area. You’ll need to reach into the chest cavity to retrieve the heart, but it’s crucial to stop as soon as you reach the rib cage. Do your best to keep blood, dirt, and debris off of your animal’s fur.

Carefully Pack Out Your Animal

— Make sure to pack out your trophy carefully. Deer fur can easily become damaged and is prone to breakage because it’s hollow. While this is ideal for insulating the animal, it’s not ideal when removing it from the woods or mountainside. Use a tarp to wrap up the deer to keep from damaging the fur with dirt, rocks, and brush. Cautiously removing the deer will protect the hide and keep it in mounting-worthy shape.

Quickly Cool Your Harvest

— The sooner you can cool your deer, the better. Rapidly cooling your harvest will prevent the meat from spoiling and the fur from slipping. Drop off your deer to your meat processor promptly and let them know you have caped it for taxidermy. If you plan to do it yourself, remove the hide and cape it as soon as possible to avoid trapping heat.

Freeze the Cape

— Once you remove the cape, get it in a freezer or cooler, but don’t let it get damp. Wet fur can grow bacteria and is then susceptible to slippage. Try double bagging the cape with trash bags to ensure it stays dry.

Hire Help if Necessary

— There are many videos and diagrams available online on how to remove hide and capes. However, if you’re unsure or don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, call your taxidermist. They can talk you through the process or can be hired to do it for you.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

The best looking mounts and taxidermy start with the best-looking animals. Find your trophy animal with the expert guides at R & K Hunting Company. Our professionals have years of experience and are Utah and Wyoming’s trusted guide experts. Book your Rocky Mountain hunting adventure today!

5 Helpful Hunting Apps Every Avid Hunter Needs

Avid hunters can benefit from our high-tech world and the helpful hunting apps within it. You don’t have to be a tech-enthusiast to take advantage. 

Technology at your fingertips has made getting important hunting-related information easier than ever. Next time you head out on an outdoor excursion, make sure your phone is equipped with the following must-have hunting apps.

OnX Hunt

OnX might be the most popular hunting app on the web. More and more hunters choose to use OnX Hunt because it turns your smartphone into a full-fledged GPS. For less than $30 each year, hunters can select one state and gain access to features like layers, points of interest, recording trails, property boundaries, dropping pins, and more! A favorite feature for public land hunters is the app’s ability to locate land boundaries, which helps you know whose land you are on at all times — the last thing you’ll want during your hunt is to run into trouble for trespassing. Additionally, OnX Hunt has an offline feature that allows you to access saved maps when you’re out of service.

Huntstand

Huntstand is every hunter’s dream app that has many helpful functions and tools. It’s a mapping app that allows you to measure any distance or area; browse land or parcels for sale; log sightings and kills; calculate flight directions and landing sites for waterfowl; and watch your scent spread for deer and other big game animals—all of these benefits for less than $25 per year.

Any Weather App

There are many weather apps available on the market, and they should be one of the first apps a hunter downloads. It does not matter which one you download, as long as it has features like wind directions, temperature, sunrise and sunset times, and extended weather forecasts. You’ll use this app when packing for your trip and while you are on your hunt.

Powderhook

One of the most helpful hunting apps that both beginner and advanced hunters should have is Powderhook. Powderhook is the social media app that connects hunters together. Find friends, mentors, new locations, and places to hunt, tips and tricks, and more. Join the Powderhook community for free and gain a wealth of knowledge!

SAS Survival Guide

Whether you are a hunter or not, everyone needs the SAS Survival Guide app. You never know when you will run into trouble, and the SAS Survival Guide can help! It has videos covering several important topics, including illustrated guides on animal tracks, knot tying, edible vs. poisonous plants, and first aid guides. Additionally, you can find a survival checklist, morse code, and a search function to quickly find whatever you need.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Technology comes with plenty of drawbacks; however, these helpful hunting apps and the information they supply are not one of them. Be sure to have these apps downloaded before your next hunt with R & K Hunting Company. Enjoy these useful tools on your Rocky Mountain adventure with our expert guides. Contact us today to book your next hunt.

5 Tips For Hunting The Wind

Every seasoned hunter knows that hunting the wind is the key to success. However, hunting the wind isn’t as easy as it sounds. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you stink. Not to us — but to the deer, you are hunting!

Deer heavily rely on their keen sense of smell to sniff out predators and, if the conditions are just right, they can detect you up to 300 yards away. But a deer can’t smell your stink if the wind can’t carry your scent to their nose. Meaning, a deer can’t blow your cover if you are downwind of them. Paying close attention to the wind and knowing which way the wind is blowing throughout your hunt will get you closer to tagging a deer.

Learn more about hunting the wind and using it to your advantage below.

TIP #1 — Hills vs. Plateaus

Generally speaking, hilly areas are much more challenging to hunt than plateaus. The wind is fickle in the hills, whereas the wind in flat areas is much more predictable. Not to say you shouldn’t hunt the hills, but given a choice, flatter areas prove to be more successful.

TIP #2 — Know Your Thermals

In addition to hunting the wind, you need to hunt thermals while in hilly areas. As you know, warm air rises and cold air falls. A thermal is a column of warm air rising. It’s crucial to keep thermals in mind as you hunt because if a buck is above you and the sun hits the hill you’re on, the air that rises will carry your scent, blowing your cover.

TIP #3 — Use an App

Always know which way the wind is blowing with a weather app. Type in your location and get hourly updates and forecasts right to your phone, including which way the wind is blowing. Remember, a “west wind” begins in the west and blows to the east. What about a “south wind?” It starts in the south and blows to the north. Bonus tip: bring a compass to ensure you know your directions (it can get confusing in a wooded area!).

TIP #4 — Conduct a Crosscheck

Apps are great and undoubtedly convenient; however, they are not always 100% correct. Trees, hills, valleys, and many other natural factors can play into the direction of the wind. Because of this variable, it’s not bad to double-check which way the wind is blowing.

TIP #5 — Don’t Rely on Scent Eliminators

It’s hard to say how effective scent eliminators actually are. Products containing pine or acorn scents seem to be better at hiding your scent. However, don’t count on them completely covering up your smell. Use scent eliminators as a safety net and always hunt the wind.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Once you master hunting the wind, your chances of harvesting that trophy buck significantly improve. To increase your chances of a successful season even further, book your hunt with the professionals at R & K Hunting Company. Our team of skilled and knowledgeable guides have decades of experience and are eager to share their insider tips with you. Contact R & K Hunting Company today!

3 Pro Tips For Setting Up Your Deer Hunting Blind

If hunting from a tree stand isn’t for you, consider using a deer hunting blind instead. Deer blinds are a great way to conceal yourself while pursuing a trophy buck. These small structures give you plenty of coverage to hide in plain sight, allowing you to harvest an amazing deer this season. But setting up your deer hunting blind isn’t always easy. Today we’re talking about setting up your hunting blind and some insider tips to help you succeed. 

Find out three pro tips for setting up your deer hunting blind below.

Blend in with Ample Coverage

One major key to setting up your ground blind, which is often overlooked, is to ensure you have plenty of coverage surrounding it. You’ll want to have enough background cover to help break up the silhouette and outline of your blind, which will help it be more inconspicuous. In addition to background cover, you’ll want to find a place to set up that has overhanging tree limbs and branches—these further help break up your blind’s profile, blending it into the landscape more.

BONUS PRO TIP — Keep in mind, as the seasons change, so do the leaves on the trees. What looks like decent coverage in July or August can look completely different (and bare!) a few months later. Locate a spot to set up your blind that will let you blend in, even when the leaves begin to fall.

Set Up in Advance

Setting up a ground blind can spook the surrounding animals. Between the smell, the sounds, and a new structure in the middle of the woods, deer will need some recovery time and a chance to get used to your hunting hut. A blind is likely an unfamiliar object to a deer, which is reason enough to avoid traveling in that area. Deer and other animals need time to get used to it, so set it up well before the season begins — three to six weeks should be ample time. 

BONUS PRO TIP — Before you can set up early, you’ll need to do some research and scouting. You probably won’t find a trophy buck in an open field or meadow. You’ll need to pinpoint their travel paths and habits. Moreover, putting in a little scouting time will allow you to learn their eating and sleeping patterns, helping you decide where to place your blind.

Give Yourself Options

Make sure you set up your blind in an area that gives you plenty of options. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into low visibility and one shooting lane. It is hard to predict deer and other big game animals, so you’ll want to have as many shoot lanes and sightlines as possible. Besides, deer move quickly. You’ll want to ensure you have enough time to set your weapon into position before it’s too late.

BONUS PRO TIP — A great place to set up your blind is near a feeding location since it attracts does, thus attracting bucks. Or set up along a travel path near the bottom of a valley. Setting up in either of these locations should give you a decent idea of where the animals will walk or hang out. This should lengthen when you have to get your gun or bow into place, get your aim just right, and pull the trigger.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

A well-concealed blind can be the difference in coming home with that trophy buck or not. These helpful tips, along with an expert guide from R & K Hunting Company, will increase the likelihood of a successful trip. Season after season, hunters come back to R & K Hunting Company because they are Utah and Wyoming’s trusted hunting guide experts for harvesting large North American big game. Contact our experienced and knowledgeable team to schedule your next hunting adventure in the Rocky Mountains.

5 Tips for Finding the Best Tree Stand Location

Before the hunting season even begins, a successful hunt starts with finding the best location for your tree stand. There are several factors to keep in mind as you search for the perfect spot.

Today we’re talking about scouting out and selecting an ideal tree in a prime location for your stand to ensure you put a tag on your trophy animal.

Continue scrolling to learn how you can find the best tree stand location for your hunt.

Wind Patterns

Before selecting the tree where you’ll place your stand, you must think about the wind patterns. Because animals have a keen sense of smell, it is essential to set up your tree stand so you can hunt the wind. Not only should you think about the direction the wind is blowing as you hunt, but also think about which way it’s blowing as you enter and exit your stand. Being on the wrong end of the wind could ruin your chances of a successful hunt.

Stay Silent

In addition to a sharp sense of smell, many of the animals you hunt from tree stands, heavily rely on their hearing to be aware of their surroundings. Finding a tree that allows you to climb up and down quietly is necessary. Remaining undetected will give you an edge and retain that element of surprise you need to be successful.

Safety First

Safety should always be your number one priority and at the front of your mind while hunting — the same goes for selecting the perfect tree for your stand. When selecting a tree, make sure it is alive, healthy, and strong enough to hold you and your stand. Healthy trees won’t have peeling bark or any dead or partially colored leaves. Additionally, you’ll want to clear the area of any dead branches.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm — Err Deer

Increase your odds of a successful hunt this season by setting up your stand early. Your scent and the noise you’ll make setting up your stand will surely scare away nearby animals. Setting up your tree stand before the season begins will allow the animals to settle and get used to your tree stand. But keep in mind as you search for a spot in the summer, the trees will be mostly bare come hunting season, and the foliage will be gone. You won’t want to set up your stand out in the open where you’ll have a difficult time blending in.

Clear Your View

Ideally, you’ll find a tree with a large open portion. However, it isn’t likely you’ll find a tree with the perfect view. Once you’ve found the best spot, don’t be afraid to give the tree a little trim in your shooting lanes. Do your best not to be heavy-handed when cutting branches, only remove what needs to be removed, and preserve nature.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Finding the best tree stand location can takes dedication and determination. Using these insider tips will help you hone in on that perfect spot for an exciting and successful hunt. For more pro tips, book your next hunt with R & K Hunting Company. Our knowledgeable guides are expert hunters and have decades of experience. It’s no wonder why hunters come back to us season after season. Book your Rocky Mountain hunting adventure with R & K Hunting Company today!

Choosing the Right Camouflage Based on the Species You Are Hunting

Camouflage is a beneficial tool many hunters utilize. Camouflage helps hunters stalk animals while hiding in plain sight and going undetected. But not all camo is created equally. There are many different patterns, colors, and styles from which to choose. In addition to blending into the background, it’s essential to think about the animal species you are hunting when selecting the camouflage you will wear. What works when hunting one type of animal may not necessarily work when hunting another kind.

Read more about how to choose your camo based on which animals you are hunting below.

Species of Animals and Camouflage

A great way to choose the camouflage you’ll be wearing on your hunt is based on the type of animal you are hunting. Different animals have differing senses, especially when it comes to their sense of sight.

Waterfowl — Ducks and other birds can easily see colors. This makes wearing camouflage essential! Make sure you wear a camo that blends well into the tall and lightly colored grass, cattails, and reeds. Wearing hunter orange or blaze orange or pink is not required when hunting waterfowl.

Deer and Other Big Game — Generally speaking, deer and other big game animals have difficulty picking out specific colors. Colors with longer wavelengths like orange, yellow, red, and pink go virtually undetected. However, their sight is good enough to see your outline and the texture of your clothing. So, you’ll want to find a camo that breaks up your silhouette and helps you blend into the surrounding scenery. It is crucial and required to wear blaze orange when big game hunting.

Coyotes and Other Predators — When hunting coyotes or other predators, it is ideal to have a good blind or covering. If the covering is limited or you do not have a decent blind and plan to be stationary, wearing a 3D camo suit, like a Ghillie suit, might be your best bet. Just be sure to take proper safety precautions when wearing this type of camouflage.

Turkey — Like waterfowl, turkeys have incredible eyesight. Stick to camouflage patterns that have plenty of green colors and shadows. You will be most successful when you are completely hidden, so make sure to remember to conceal your hands and face. Most states require blaze orange when turkey hunting.

Surrounding Flora and Camouflage

Of course, it is essential to think about the area in which you’ll be hunting. Is it full of leaves, branches, and trees? Is everything covered in snow, or is the vegetation green and lush? Learn more about selecting camo based on what the land looks like here.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Regardless of which animal species you are hunting, it is good to break up your outline and blend in with the surrounding environment. Give yourself an additional edge by booking your hunt with R & K Hunting Company. Our guides have decades of experience and are trusted by many hunters who come back season after season. Enjoy a headache and hassle-free Rocky Mountain hunting adventure by contacting R & K Hunting Company today.

5 Hunting Trail Camera Tips and Tricks

It’s no secret that trail cameras are an incredibly helpful and effective tool. But, to get the best results, they must be used properly. Better images equal better information, which, in turn, gives you a better chance of being successful this coming season and coming home with a trophy animal.

Below you will find five trail camera tips and tricks that will up your hunting game.

1. North Facing is Best

As a child, you were probably advised to never look at the sun. The same rule goes for trail cams. While the consequence isn’t nearly as damaging, east or west-facing trail cameras won’t give you a great picture because of the sun. Moreover, because trail cameras are sensitive to movement (wind blowing through trees and bushes) and heat (blaring sun rays), it might become triggered. Valuable memory card space is now full of images of the forest with sun rays peaking through instead of deer. While these pictures are beautiful, they aren’t what you’re looking for or helpful. Avoid these issues by facing your trail camera north as often as possible.

2. Buy Better Batteries

When it comes to batteries for your trail camera, it’s best to splurge on higher quality, longer-lasting ones. Skip using the cheap, alkaline batteries and buy the lithium batteries. Because lithium batteries tend to last twice (or thrice!) as long, you’ll save money in the long run.

3. Set It and Leave It

A big mistake many hunters make is checking their trail camera too often. We understand it’s almost better than Christmas morning, looking at all the images on your memory card. However, it is important to leave it alone as not to scare off the wildlife in the area. The less you visit your camera’s location, the better results you’ll get.

4. Find an Ideal Location

Whether you’re buying a new home or finding a spot to set up your trail cam, location is everything. Even if you have the best trail camera money can, if your cam isn’t in a good place, your images won’t amount to much. Always think about where the animals are looking for food and water, trails and pathways were they’ll walk, and where they will rest for the night. Find a place to put your camera near one of these areas, and you’re sure to find the action.

5. Protect Your Property

Unfortunately, we live in a world where if things aren’t securely fastened, they can quickly disappear. To ensure your trail cam remains put, consider putting your camera in a lockbox. Or you can always put it somewhere out of sight or up high where it’s difficult to reach.

Contact The R & K Hunting Company

Trail cams can be a hunter’s best friend. With a little planning and forethought, you can improve your skill tremendously with a well-placed trail camera. To further ensure your hunt is successful, contact the professional guides at The R & K Hunting Company. We have years of hunting outfitter experience and want to help you make the most of your Rocky Mountain hunting adventure. Contact us today to book your next hunt.

Items Every Hunting First Aid Kit Needs

While hunting is a fun and exciting sport, it can also be incredibly dangerous. Every outdoorsman must take proper safety precautions when hunting. Many injuries can result from hunting, sharpening a knife and cutting yourself, a twisted ankle from hiking, a fall from a tree stand, and, most seriously, a gunshot wound. Unfortunately, taking proper safety measures doesn’t always ensure everybody’s safety. In the event of an emergency or accident, it is good to prepare a well-stocked first aid kit.

Learn more about the items every first aid kit needs below.

The Bare Essentials

Every first aid kit you bring along needs to be equipped with the bare essentials. These items may come in handy for something as simple as a sliver or headache or as serious as a broken arm or cut. A basic kit should include items such as:

  • Bandaids and other bandages like butterfly and ace bandages
  • Moleskin
  • Gloves
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Medication for pain relief like ibuprofen and allergies
  • A splint
  • Tourniquet (complete with instructions)
  • Tweezers
  • An emergency blanket
  • Gauze in a roll and pads
  • Medical tape
  • and more

Other Important Items

In addition to the basics, you’ll want to bring along many other important items:

  • Hemostatic Agents — To quickly stop bleeding, you’ll need a hemostatic agent like QuikClot or Celox. These dressings will accelerate the natural clotting process three times faster and are necessary until you can get professional medical care.
  • CPR Mask — In the event, you need to perform CPR, you’ll want to protect yourself from infectious disease and the victim’s bodily fluids with a CPR mask. Brush up on your CPR skills and get certified with a CPR class.
  • Chest Seal — Chest seals are used to treat punctured lungs, traumatic abdominal injuries, and cuts to major veins or arteries. One side of the seal is covered in a strong adhesive that can stick to a person, even when covered in blood, sweat, hair, etc. The seal creates an air and watertight seal over the wound to keep it clean and prevent further damage until you reach medical care.
  • Trauma Shears — If you need quick access to an injury, trauma shears will be beneficial. They easily cut through clothing, belts, and even seatbelts. They will also prove to be useful when cutting gauze or tape.
  • Emergency Food and Water — Bring along a couple of energy bars, snacks, and water bottles. If bringing bottled water isn’t an option, at the very least, bring water treatment tablets.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Bringing along all the life-saving gear, you might need, is one of the smartest things you can do when heading out on your excursion. Safe hunting experience is our number one priority at R & K Hunting Company. We work tirelessly to ensure the safety of the hunters we guide. For a safe and exciting Rocky Mountain hunting adventure, contact the experienced guides at R & K Hunting Company today to book your hunt.