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How to Take the Perfect Hunting Photo

A whole lot of time and energy is invested into preparing for your hunt: perfecting your aim, practicing your shot, hiking to the ideal location, scouting your game, and then successfully making the kill. This is an exhilarating experience you will want to remember and talk about for years to come. Before you haul your harvest down the mountainside, take some time to capture this exciting moment and take a photo or two. 

To learn how to get the perfect hunting photo, continue reading.

Use a Camera and Your Smart Phone

Make sure you bring your smartphone and a digital camera along. Today, high-quality cameras are more accessible than ever and boast features like stabilization and will automatically adjust to the current lighting conditions (which is essential when outdoors). Use the timer feature on your camera or phone if necessary.

PRO TIP: When using your smartphone to capture your trophy, avoid using the forward-facing camera. While the forward-facing camera allows for convenient selfies, the resolution is not as ideal as your other camera.

Use a Tripod

Using a tripod will ensure your camera is safe, and your photos are not blurry. They will help you get a killer shot of your killer shot, even when the terrain is uneven thanks to the multi-angle leg features that most tripods offer.

PRO TIP: Even if you are not hunting alone, bring a tripod for your camera or phone. Chances are, in addition to a solo shot, you will want a group picture.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Perfecting your pose, getting the right angle, and finding the ideal location is key to getting an excellent picture. Switch up your pose often to ensure you get a photo you are happy with. Smile in some, do a serious face in others. Get on one side of the animal and then the other. Take pictures from many different angles, including shots from above and below. Lower angles typically showcase the animal best. Don’t be shy and take as many pictures as you want or need — hundreds, even — and take your time.

PRO TIP: It’s important to pay attention to the lighting. You will have the best lighting in the early morning or early evening hours. Make sure the light is in front of you and not behind you unless you are using the sunrise or sunset as a backdrop.

Include Your Gear

Your hunting gear is a big part of the hunting experience, so leave it in the shot (or at least some of them). Leave your camo on, face paint, and any other gear you used to get your game successfully.

PRO TIP: Be sure to include your firearm or bow in the photos safely! 

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Use your time to perfect your skill to ensure a successful shot and let R & K Hunting Company handle the rest. Our professional and skillful guides will provide you with an unparalleled Rocky Mountain hunting adventure. Book your next hunt with R & K Hunting Company by contacting us today.

The Pros and Cons of Hunting With Your UTV or ATV

Hunting is an exciting sport for many people. It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend quality time with yourself or your friends and family. A few decades ago, the hunting game changed dramatically when ATVs and UTVs came on the market. Bringing your UTV or ATV on your hunt comes with many advantages as well as a few disadvantages. 

You can find out the pros and cons of bringing your UTV or ATV on your hunt below.

Advantages of Bringing Your UTV or ATV on Your Hunt

Getting From Place to Place — Many hunting sites are not easily accessible by large-sized, let alone standard-sized vehicles. Using your UTV or ATV allows you to zip from place to place more quickly and with a lot more ease, leaving you with more time to focus on getting that successful shot. Regardless of the weather or terrain, your UTV or ATV can handle pretty much anything you face on your hunt.

Hauling Your Equipment — Hunting requires plenty of gear. In addition to you and any other hunters you bring along, your weapons, ammunition, food, and water, and your pack, you will need a lot more equipment to set up a comfortable camp. Packing all of this in by foot can be exhausting. Instead, save your energy for the hunt and pack in your necessities with your UTV or ATV.

Pack Out Animals with Ease — Packing out a large animal on foot is exhausting, and packing a dead animal down the mountain with a horse does not always go as planned. Horses can be stubborn or become spooked by the scent. A well-working UTV or ATV will not give you any grief when it comes to heading home with a trophy animal. On top of that, a UTV or ATV will get you back much faster.

Disadvantages of Hunting with a UTV or ATV

Noise and Smell — The sound of a roaring engine and the smell of exhaust is more than enough to spook wildlife. Not only does it potentially scare the animals you are stalking, but it can be disruptive to other hunters and campers in the area.

Environmental Footprint — Using a UTV or ATV to hunt brings up environmental concerns. It affects air quality, plant life, trails, and wildlife. Because of these impacts, UTVs and ATVs in some areas are illegal. Before your hunt, make sure that it is legal to use your UTV or ATV on the property or forest area. Failure to do so can result in fines and license suspension that can ruin current and future seasons.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Whether you are utilizing a UTV or ATV or not, hunting is an exhilarating sport. If you are ready for your next hunting adventure, contact the expert outfitters at R & K Hunting Company.

When booking your trip with us, you are signing up for a thrilling experience that will bring you back season after season. Contact us today to schedule your next trip.

What is Your Hunting Plan?

A lot goes into planning a hunt. It involves plenty of research, scouting, and stalking. For your safety, every one of your outings should include a hunt plan. A hunting plan contains details on where you’ll be, when you’ll be there, and how long you intend to be gone. You can’t predict when you’ll get lost or hurt on the mountainside, so being prepared can save your life. A hunting plan left with another person can help bring you safely home. 

Not sure what your hunting plan should include? Continue reading to find out.

Your Location

Hunters are often secretive or protective of their favorite hunting locations. If you tell too many people about them, they can become over-hunted. However, you should find one or two people you trust to disclose your hunting hotspots.

Things to include:

  • Your specific locations and, if you can, include GPS Coordinates
  • Where you plan to park your car and set up camp
  • The route you plan to take in and out and any alternative routes

Time

Your hunting plan lets people know when to expect to hear from you or have you home. If you don’t return on time, it will alert people that something might be wrong. Of course, it can be challenging to determine the exact time you’ll be calling or walking in the door, so allow yourself a small grace period.

If you become delayed for one reason or another, do your best to communicate with your point-person. Unfortunately, cell service tends to be spotty in most hunting areas. So, come up with a time your point-person should call for help if they haven’t heard from you.

Contact Information

Every hunter should leave at least one point-person a way to contact them. 

Hunting Partner — If you’re hunting with a friend, give your point-person their name, phone number, and any other relevant information. Additionally, before you head out on your hunt, swap point-person contact information with each other. With the convenience of cells, few people memorize phone numbers these days. If your phone dies and you become delayed, your hunting partner can notify your point-person.

Outfitter or Guide — Many hunters use an outfitter or guide (like R & K Hunting Company) to plan their hunts. If you’re using one, make sure to include their contact information with your point-person.

Things to Remember or Consider

  • Weather plays a large roll in hunting and can cause significant delays, especially if you’re using an air taxi to fly into a remote area.
  • Include your vehicle information in your plan, even your rental car. Make, model, license plate number, color, etc.
  • In an emergency, it can be hard for people to remember details like spouse’s phone numbers, so include your phone number in your hunt plan, even if they already know your number.
  • With unreliable phone service, you may want to bring a satellite phone.
  • Include any necessary medical information in your plan.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

As simple as it is, a hunting plan can keep you in touch and even save your life. R & K Hunting Company wants to be a part of your hunting plan. For an exciting hunting adventure, contact us today.

What You May Not Knowing About Hunting For Beginners

There’s a lot to learn and understand when it comes to hunting. So much so, that it’s easy for beginner hunters to feel overwhelmed. Even veteran hunters find themselves learning new things season after season. If you’re new to hunting, be patient with yourself, and enjoy the ride. 

Keep scrolling to find out what beginner hunters may not know about hunting.

Invest in the Best Gear

It may be tempting to buy a lot of lesser expensive items and get more for your buck. But like many things in life, it’s better and worth it to invest in some pieces. Instead of buying cheaper, lesser quality items that won’t last more than a season — which will cost you more dollars in the long run — spend a little bit more money on one item that will last for years and years.

Here are some hunting items worth investing in that will pass the test of time: 

  • Binoculars
  • Boots
  • Knife
  • Scope
  • Weapon of choice (rifle, bow, etc.).

Break-in Your Gear

While we’re on the topic of gear, make sure whatever you do buy you break-in before your hunt. The last thing you want on your hike up or down the mountain is a new blister forming on your foot because of your new boots.

Similarly, you’ll want to make sure your gear is ready for your excursion. While you won’t need to actually “break-in” some of your equipment like your boots, you’ll want to make sure it’s all ready to go. Make sure items like your range finder, GPS, and two-way radios have batteries, your first aid kit is fully stocked, and your UTV has plenty of gas.

Blend Into Your Surroundings

Of course, as a hunter, you’ll need to stock up on camouflage clothing. However, not all camo is the same. As you familiarize yourself with the territory in which you’ll be hunting, take notice of the scenery. Just because something is camouflage does not mean it blends in. Make sure you are wearing the right pattern of camouflage.

Additionally, make sure your scent blends in with the outdoors. Animals’ sense of smell is one of their best defenses against predators. They can easily detect your scented body soap, deodorant, and laundry detergent. Make sure you use a cover scent and stay upwind of the animals. Use the wind to your advantage. As the wind shifts, so should your position.

Get Fit Before the Season

Hunting requires a lot more strength, agility, and endurance than one might think. Before you hit the hills on your first outing of the season, make sure you are physically ready for the hikes your adventure will bring.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

If you’re new to hunting, you may not have all the experience of an avid hunter. No sweat! For your next hunt, hire a guide who knows the ins and outs and all the tricks like the professionals at R & K Hunting Company. We have years of experience guiding trips and want to share some of what we’ve learned along the way. Contact us to schedule your hunting trip today.

Three Types of Deer Calls

For many years, hunters have used calls to lure game into range. It is one of the most effective hunting tactics used among hunters. Hunters use deer calls to imitate the noises deer make in hopes of piquing their interest and bring them closer or make them turn just enough to get the shot. There are many types of deer calls, and knowing which one to use is half the battle. 

Today, we’re doing a deep dive into the different types of deer calls, when and how to use them, along with a few tips and tricks. Continue scrolling to learn more!

Buck Grunt Call

If you’re a veteran deer hunter, chances are, you already have this call in your repertoire. Bucks typically use grunts to communicate with other deer, especially when challenging another buck. For short grunts, take a deep breath and push all the air rapidly through the call. Shut your jaw as you push the air out. For a long grunt, imagine your mouth is full of water with your jaw down. Now imagine sending a stream of water out of your mouth as far as you can. Now push all of the water out quickly and end with your tongue between your lips. 

Doe Bleat Call

While does mostly grunt, they sometimes bleat. It is a whiny, moaning sound that only lasts for a few seconds. Does can use bleats to communicate to bucks that they are ready for a mate. Use this sound to bring in the bucks or other does. If you’re not getting responses or reactions to a grunt, try a bleat. Keep your doe bleats higher pitched and short. 

Fawn Bleat Call

A fawn in distress, lost, hungry, or wants mom’s attention will bleat. Fawn bleats are high-pitched and attract more than 80% of does (mother’s instinct, we suppose). Fawn bleat calls are relatively easy to use. Fawn bleats can also come in handy if you’re after an early-season doe use a fawn bleat call. If you’re trying to alter the tone or volume of your call, regulate the amount and force of the air you are blowing into the tube.

Helpful Deer Calling Tips

  • Begin Softly — Many hunters will start blind, calling as loudly as they can. Start softly and slowly crank up the volume.
  • Mix it Up — Don’t rely on just one call in your arsenal. As the season changes, so should the call you select. 
  • Don’t Get Too Comfortable — Make sure you are ready to take your shot. You can’t always know when a buck is going to come into range. Have your weapon of choice ready to go (safety measures taken, of course!) just before you start your deer calling sequence.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

If you are still unsure or aren’t confident in your deer calling abilities, don’t fret — the pros at R & K Hunting Company have your back and have every deer call you’ll need down. Schedule your next deer hunt with R & K Hunting Company for an exciting, stress-free adventure today.

Springtime Hunting: Turkeys

Spring turkey season is an exciting way to spend time in the great outdoors. If you are new to turkey hunting, you may not know that turkeys are a challenging bird to hunt because of their extraordinary eyesight and hearing. Turkey hunting is a thrilling, highly addictive sport, and we’re here to tell you all about it.

Spring Turkey Hunting 101 is now in session — explore more below.

Take Time to Scout

In a perfect world, you would be able to set out into the woods the night before your hunt to scout for turkeys. Ideally, you’ll spot them flying into their roost. If you’re unable to scout on the eve of your hunt, don’t worry. You can use a locator call to find the turkeys in the morning. If scouting is unsuccessful and you are unable to get a response with your locator calls, just set up where you think the turkeys are or where you’ve seen them previously.

Setting Up

Because turkeys have exceptional hearing, you need to make sure you are silent when setting up in the morning. Of course, you’ll want to get as close to the roost as possible, but you don’t want to scare the turkeys. The closer you are, the more likely you’ll be able to hit your target. But the closer you get, you run the risk of spooking the birds. Aim to get 100-150 yards away from the roost.

If you are unsure where to set up, try setting up around the edges of a field. Turkeys tend to fly down from their roost into fields if one is around and seemingly enjoys hanging out in sunny patches. Soon after leaving their roost, gobblers will head for the hills. For your second set up, find a ridge, slope, or hill where the turkeys might go, that is, unless you hear or see them elsewhere.

Use a Decoy

A decoy is an essential part of your hunt. We recommend using at least one decoy, as it will increase your odds of a successful hunt. The more realistic your decoys look, the better. So a lure that can move (a bobblehead, swiveling, or pivoting one) will increase your odds even more.

Place your Jake, hen, or Tom decoys in a place that will help you get your shot. If you know where the turkeys are located, place the bait on the other side of your cover. If you do this, the turkeys will have to walk directly in front of you, giving you an unobstructed shot.

Use a Call

Turkeys are typically eager to respond to calls, so make sure you use one! There are many different types of calls available. We say use the one you feel most comfortable using. If this is your first turkey season, try a few different kinds and enjoy the experiment! Turkey calls aren’t too expensive, besides, having a handful of calls will come in handy for future hunts.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

For more exciting hunts, contact R & K Hunting Company to schedule your next hunting expedition in Utah or Wyoming. We take the stress and burden of planning your adventure away. For a once-in-a-lifetime hunting experience, call us to schedule today.

Spring Cleaning: Hunter’s Edition

Hunters are not exempt from the annual tradition of spring cleaning. Hunting is one of the dirtiest sports out there, so hunters everywhere ought to participate in spring cleaning. Cleaning all of your hunting equipment will not only leave your stuff shiny-bright for your next adventure, but it will also help it last much longer than it would otherwise. 

Here’s what you need to be cleaning every spring:

Clean Your Weapons

If you are an avid hunter, you’re probably already in a good routine of cleaning your gun or weapon of choice. Guns, bows, and other weapons work better when they’re clean. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or guide when cleaning and make sure to take every safety precaution seriously.

Don’t forget to give your knives, traps, axes, and other tools a little TLC. Depending on how much you used your knives and axes, you may want to sharpen them. A dull knife is as good as no knife at all and is more dangerous than a sharp one.

Clean Your Camping Gear

After a good fall season, your camping gear probably has seen better days. With constant exposure to the elements, dirt, and mud, and people that have been on the mountain for days without access to a shower, your camping gear will need a little attention. Here are some of the items you’ll want to clean:

  • Tent
  • Bedding and sleeping bags
  • Cots and pads
  • Hammocks

Clean Your Garb

Between sweat, mud, and — if your hunt was successful — animal innards and blood, your clothes will need a good wash! The stench a few days of hunting leaves is quite shocking and typically requires some heavy-duty detergent. In addition to the stink, the stains left behind can have some serious staying power. You may want to try a hunter’s specific detergent to tackle the strong smells and stains.

Other Items Needing Cleaning

Everything you’ve used over the last season will likely need cleaning. Here are a few miscellaneous items you may have overlooked:

  • Butchering tools and supplies (make sure to sanitize them as well)
  • Decoys
  • Game calls
  • Bag and packs (check out our cleaning tips here)
  • Cooking and kitchenware
  • Coolers
  • Packhorse equipment
  • Camp furniture

In addition to cleaning your gear, take this time to replenish anything you’ve used during your hunts. Have you used a bandaid or two from the first aid kit you bring along on your hunts? Replace them. Have you used your rangefinder, GPS, two-way radios, or generator? Fully charge them all. Have you used all of your camouflage face paint? Make sure you have enough for following hunts. You get the point.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

All this cleaning has probably got you thinking about your next hunt, right? Book your next exciting hunt with the professionals at R & K Hunting Company. We will put together the perfect hunt for you, full of memories that will last a lifetime. Contact R & K Hunting Company to book your next hunt today.

Do Hunters Donate Meat?

There are many people, young and old, that go without food every single day across the United States. To help combat the issue of families going hungry, many hunters, nationwide, are donating meat from their successful hunts. If you have had a good season and find yourself with more meat than you and your friends, family, and neighbors can earn or have money to spare, consider donating to a family in need.

Learn more about how and why hunters donate meat from their hunts below.

Wild Game Donations 

Not all donations look the same. Here are a few ways you can help:

Donate Meat — Hunters are always welcome to donate the meat from their deer and other big game. Additionally, farmers are welcome to donate meat from their livestock. Donations of meat are very much appreciated, whether it’s an entire animal or a package or two from the meat you processed for yourself. When donating a whole animal, you can choose to pay for the processing fees as well or donate the animal. If you are unable to cover the cost of fees, monetary contributions made by others will cover these costs.

Donate Money — If you do not have meat to donate, don’t worry. You can still help the cause. Depending on where you have your wild game processed, it can cost between $50-$150 to have a deer and other wild game processed and packaged. Monetary contributions are more than welcome and needed to cover processing fees.

Donate Your Time — Even if you do not have money or meat to donate or prefer to contribute in another way, you can still help! You can give your time and volunteer at organizations like Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry and Hunt. Fish. Feed.

Feeding the Hungry

Venison and similar wild game taste great and are very nutritious. This meat is low in fat, high in protein, and is an excellent source of iron. Wild game donations provide sustenance to those in need. Once the meat is processed and packaged, it is then distributed to agencies like food banks, church pantries and feeding ministries, homes with hungry families, and more.

Helping in Utah

Many Utahns may not even realize the sad facts that there are hungry people in our very own communities. Feeding America reports that there are 373,850 people who are struggling with hunger in Utah. Over 1/3 of those people are children. You can help the hungry people of Utah by donating your deer or other wild game by donating to a participating butcher in your area.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Are you wanting to donate meat but haven’t been on a hunt to do so? You can make a positive difference in many people’s lives when you donate. Let R & K Hunting Company guide your next hunt. With the guidance of R & K, the headache of planning your hunts are gone. We offer an enormous range of hunting options that are tailored to your skill level and hunting goals. Enjoy a stress-free, successful hunt with R & K Hunting Company by booking your next trip today.

The Best Ways to Lure a Buck

If you want to get a buck this coming season, you may have to work to bring them in. Luring in deer is an art form and takes some practice to master. Here are a few tips for bringing in the big bucks:

Use an Attractant

A deer’s sense of smell is about 60 times better than a human’s. They use their noses to find food, a mate, and to protect themselves. However, you can use one of their best defense mechanisms to bait your deer. An excellent attractant will encourage bucks right where you want them. Purchase an attractant online or at a hunting goods store or considering making your own.

Use a Grunt Call

Use a grunt call to lure in bucks within earshot. Every half hour or so, let out two or three medium grunts with your buck call. This call will get their attention and bring them in. For the deer, you can see in the far distance, try a hale grunt to get their attention and lure them in with a handful of tending grunts. 

Be Invisible

Now that you’ve lured your bucks, it’s important not to scare them off. One of the best ways to ensure you don’t frighten them is to be invisible. Of course, being invisible isn’t a viable option, but figuratively speaking, being invisible is your best shot. Here’s how you can become undetectable to a deer’s acute senses:

Camouflage — Easily hide in plain sight with the right camouflage. Did you know that studies have shown that deer are colorblind to colors with longer wavelengths? Deer are unable to distinguish colors like orange and red from green. That’s why hunter’s orange is safe to wear — unseen by the deer, seen by other hunters. When selecting your hunting gear, stick to greens and other colors that match your hunting environment and avoid bluish hues.

Pro Tip: Avoid wearing anything reflective. Deer may not be able to see red or orange, but they can easily see reflections off of metal, plastic, or other shiny materials. 

Scent — Because a deer’s sense of smell is so keen, it is essential to mask your scent when hunting for a buck; otherwise, they’ll know right where you are. Use a cover scent to conceal yourself better.

Pro Tip: Avoid wearing any scents. This includes scented deodorant, laundry detergents, aftershave, and cologne.

Be Still — A deer’s ability to see and detect movement might be their best defense against hunters. Their sharp sense of sight not only picks up on colors (see camouflage above) but also movement.

Pro Tip: Consider using a tree stand to get out of the deer’s typical sightlines. Bonus, a tree stand will give you an elevated point of view, giving you a better shot.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Luring in the big bucks is a learned skill — one the guides at R & K Hunting Company have mastered. Let our knowledgeable and experienced team guide your next hunt and make it a successful one. Book your next hunt with R & K Hunting Company today.

Tips for Cleaning Your Hunting Backpack

One sign of a successful hunt is a dirty backpack. To ready yourself for your next adventure, you’ll want to make sure your bag is clean. In addition to cleaning your pack before and after the hunting season, you want to wash it after each hunt.

Keep your backpack functioning its best by following these cleaning tips found below.

Read Washing Instructions

Before you begin washing your backpack, read up on the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations. Most bags, unless otherwise stated, should not be machine washed, but hand-washed, instead. Besides, you probably don’t want blood and dirt residue left in your washing machine.

Take Your Pack Apart

If your backpack is comprised of different parts, take it apart before you wash it. Remove the belt, straps, and other components so you can thoroughly clean each of them.

Give It a Good Shake

Before wetting your pack, make sure you shake out it well. Dirt, leaves, and other caked-on bits may have found their way in or on your bag. If shaking your backpack isn’t doing the trick, try using your handheld vacuum or the local carwash’s.

Cold Water vs. Hot Water

Cool water is best when trying to remove stains. Ice cold water is best when removing bloodstains. Hot water tends to set the stains in fabrics.

Power Sprayer

Your backpack may require a good spray down if it’s soaked in blood. Lay your pack on your driveway or somewhere you can spray it. Next, use a pressure washer or a power spray attachment on your hose to clean off the first few layers of gunk.

Soak It

If your backpack is saturated in blood, you’ll want to soak it in ice-cold water. Dedicate a plastic tub or bin for cleaning your gear. Fill the plastic bin with water and add a couple of bags of ice. The cold water from your hose won’t be cold enough. Let your pack soak for 30 minutes.

Hand Wash

Because you’ve soaked your backpack, you’ll probably find that you won’t need to scrub your pack with a brush. All you’ll need to do is give it a good hand wash to get the material clean. 

Rinse and Repeat

After your first wash, dump out the dirty water and do it all again. This time, add some detergent. Consider using a detergent that is specifically made for hunting clothes and gear. Massage your pack in the soapy water and let it soak for 20 minutes. Once it’s done soaking and all the stains are out, give your gear a good rinse.

Hang to Dry

Now that you’re done washing your backpack, immediately hang it up to dry. This will help minimize any mildewy smells and keep buckles and zipper in good working condition. 

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Now that your backpack is as good as new, you can start thinking about booking your next hunting expedition with R & K Hunting Company. R & K Hunting Company will take all the stress out of planning the perfect hunt. Find out why more than 90% of our clients come back time and time again, by booking your hunt today.