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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.

What Do You Need To Be A Hunting Guide?

Making a career out of your hobby is a dream for many. Hunting enthusiasts are no different. Experienced and inexperienced hunters alike hire guides to make the most of their hunt. An excellent guide enhances the trip with their knowledge and expertise. You can become a hunting guide and fulfill your dreams. But before you do, you first need to know what exactly is required.

What Do You Need To Be A Hunting Guide?

If you are interested in learning about what you need to do to become a hunting guide, keep scrolling.

State Regulations

Each state has its own set of rules and regulations for hunting guides. If you are interested in 

becoming a hunting guide, you must first consult your state’s regulations set by the wildlife agency. Some states require licensure or certification, while others require becoming a part of an association or completing courses. Whatever the standard, it is crucial to understand what is expected of you by your state.

Job Requirements

In addition to state requirements, a hunting guide is subject to other job requirements as well. A hunting guide must be an expert in several different areas. People typically hire guides because they are the expert. A guide needs to know the ins and outs of the weapons, the area, the wildlife, and anything else hunting related. 

Hunting guides also need a skill set that will be useful on the side of the mountain. They must be in good physical condition to handle the terrain. They should be master hunters themselves. They should also be well versed in first aid, survivalist, and safety skills.

A hunting guide also needs to be personable, outgoing, and good at communicating. Because they will be working with all different types of people, a hunting guide should be able to be adaptable and alter communication methods as necessary. 

Educate Yourself

Not all states require education for being a hunting guide. However, there are many schools out there that can help improve your techniques, skills, and increase your knowledge in the area. The skills and knowledge you acquire in these courses can increase your chances of getting a better job, position, or contract with an outfitter.

Get Out There

You’ll need to decide if you are going to become contracted through an outfitter or if you will start your own business. Most guides are contracted through an established outfitter, though some guides decide to go into business on their own. Making a name for yourself might be the more difficult route. It is not easy to become recognized, accepted or trusted quickly. Some people start out working for an outfitter. Later, once they’ve gotten experience and built a rapport with clients, they’ll venture out on their own.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Guiding hunts is our dream and our passion. The team at R & K Hunting Company has years of experience that have given us the knowledge and skills to take you on the best-guided hunt. We do the work and preparation for you so you can enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. To learn more about our guided hunts or to book your hunt, contact R & K Hunting Company today.

What Every Hunter Needs

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran hunter, there are several items that every hunter needs. Bringing these items along can make you a better hunter by helping you be more prepared, safe, and successful. You may find that some of this gear is best kept at camp or in your car, while others should be kept on your person at all times.

Continue scrolling to learn more about the gear every hunter needs on their hunting excursion.

First Aid Kit

Every hunter should bring along a first aid kit complete with a Trauma Pak with QuikClot (or a similar product). When it comes to emergencies on the mountain, it is best to be prepared. In fact, in extreme cases, it can be the difference between life and death. Whether you need it for minor injuries like a bee sting or more significant injuries like a large cut, you’ll be thankful you brought your first aid kit along.

A Good Knife and Sharpener

A high-quality knife is a must-have when heading for the hills on a hunting adventure. A knife is not only helpful when skinning, gutting, and butchering an animal, but it can also come in handy in other ways. You may find yourself needing to clear a path or in need of further protection. Along with your knife, bring a knife sharpener. A dull knife is as useless as no knife at all. We promise you will use your sharpener more than once on the mountain — especially if you are skinning and butchering game.

Hunting Apparel

In addition to an orange lined vest and hat, you will find yourself requiring camouflage. Camouflage will help conceal and hide you, which is necessary when it comes to hunting. You will likely need several different patterns of camouflage for different hunting locations. Before packing, determine which pattern will be best for that specific location. Because the weather isn’t always predictable and can change in an instant, prepare yourself with layers. Bring along long-sleeved shirts, jackets, coats, hats, pants, and boots. 

Binoculars

Bringing your binoculars along will make spotting animals that are miles away, a piece of cake. Invest in a good set of binoculars that are glare-resistant. Glare-resistant binoculars will help you remain invisible to the game you are hunting. Remember, you should never use the scope on your gun as a sighting device.

Scent Control

It’s nice to smell nice, except on the mountainside. The idea while hunting is to be completely invisible. Not just visibly, but audibly, too. Most animals, especially those you are hunting, have a great sense of smell. Eliminate the odor of you and your clothes with a scent killing spray and detergent.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Now that you’ve gathered all your supplies, gear, and other necessities, it’s time to plan and book your hunt. Let R & K Hunting Company put together the perfect hunt for you! With years of outfitting experience and a passion for hunting, we are dedicated to giving you an unparalleled, once-in-a-lifetime Rocky Mountain hunting adventure. Contact us to learn more about our guided hunts today!

Is There a Bounty on Coyotes in Utah?

Did you know that Utah offers a bounty on coyotes? Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) created the predator-control program to incentivizes hunters to reduce the number of wild coyotes.

There are a few things you need to know before you start your hunt of coyotes to makes sure you qualify. You can learn more about this incentive program by reading below.

Why is There a Bounty on Coyotes?

Coyotes are a significant predator for mule deer fawns. Predator removal can help the mule deer population grow.

What is My Reward?

Those that participate in the predator-control program can receive up to $50 per coyote. The DWR has funding for reimbursements for coyotes. However, if the payments exhaust the funding, the program will be put on hold until more funding becomes available or until the next year. The reimbursement amount may be lowered the following year because of this.

When Can I Hunt for Coyotes?

Because coyotes mate in the winter months, the DWR recommends that coyotes are removed from December through June. This helps in controlling the population of coyotes before they can birth pups. Additionally, these months come before mule deer birth their fawns when they are most vulnerable to coyote predation.

Where Can I Hunt for Coyotes?

The DWR has created a map that shows the areas that should be targeted that will benefit the mule deer most. Coyotes that are removed anywhere in Utah can be submitted for the reward. However, there are specific areas that are ideal and more beneficial than others. Head to the DWR website to view the predator control program map.

Tips For Hunting Coyotes

Coyotes are difficult creatures to hunt. They are smart, their senses are keen, and are they are fast. Here are a few tips that may aid in your success:

  • Blend In: Coyotes are very aware of their surroundings. If you don’t want them to spot you, you must blend in. Wear camouflage (including face paint or a mask), stay as quiet as possible, and avoid wearing strongly scented products (deodorant, perfume/cologne, lotion, etc.).
  • Master the Call: You can mimic the sounds of the coyotes themselves, or you can entice the coyotes by imitating a distress cry of what the coyote may be hunting.
  • Small Groups: Hunt in small groups of two or three. Again, coyotes have keen senses. They rely on their ears for their survival. Hunting in smaller groups will increase your chances of finding a coyote.

Learn More About the Predator-Control Program

If you have additional questions about the predator-control program, you can learn more on Utah’s DWR website. Visit their FAQ page, view the predator-control program map, and find more information on submitting coyotes for compensation.

R & K Hunting Company

Going on a trophy mule deer hunt is an exciting experience for hunters. The guides at R & K Hunting Company have a passion for hunting mule deer and have spent a lifetime developing a specific set of skills that will make hunting with us a dream come true. Book your next mule deer hunt with R & K Hunting Company today.

How To Choose The Best Hunting Guide

You do not need to be a beginner hunter to enjoy the perks of a guided hunt. Even veteran hunters benefit from guided hunts. A guide is likely more experienced and knowledgeable in a particular area or about a specific animal that makes things easier. Additionally, a guide takes the pressure and stress off of you. Letting your guide take responsibility for the planning and preparation allows you to enjoy your hunt to its fullest.

Selecting the right guide can help make your hunt more successful. However, it is not always easy finding the guide for you. To learn more about choosing the best hunting guide, keep on reading.

Research Reviews

If you have found a company you are interested in hiring or booking, take a look at the reviews left by their past clients. These reviews will tell you a lot about people’s interactions with the guides and their overall experience on the hunt. Keep an eye out for negative reviews — a website that only has positive reviews could be tampered with. Check out their website, social media pages, the Better Business Bureau, and any Google reviews as well. You can also read about past hunting experiences with specific guides and companies on hunting websites and forums.

Recommended Outfitters

Reach out to your hunting buddies, family, or friends of friends that can recommend a hunting guide. Use your network to find word-of-mouth referrals. Word-of-mouth referrals are typically a lot more legitimate, especially when it comes from first-hand experience of someone you know and trust. You can also talk to the employees at your local hunting shop for additional recommendations.

Conduct an Interview

Before pulling the trigger on selecting a hunting guide, ask them any questions you might have. If you are not sure what to ask, try asking these:

  • How long have you been in the business?
  • What is your success rate?
  • Are you familiar with the animal? The area?
  • How often do you guide this hunt?
  • Tags and permits — Are they required? Do you help pull them?
  • What is included in the package? (Food? Accommodations? Skinning/hauling? etc.)
  • Will other people be coming along? Guide-to-hunter ratio?
  • What should I expect each day?
  • Is the land public or private?

Understand the Fine Print

Before making your purchase, make sure you fully understand the hunting package you are purchasing and what is included and not included. Make sure you know their tag/licensing policy. Make sure you know what their cancellation policy is and if there is any refund on a deposit if necessary. Find out who your guide will be before heading out.

Choose R & K Hunting Company

R & K Hunting Company is dedicated to giving you the experience of a lifetime. Every hunt of ours is guided by our expert big game hunters who are extremely knowledgeable about the animal herds and the hunting areas. To learn more about our hunts, click the “Guided Hunts” tab on our website or call us today.

How To Prepare For Backpack Hunting

There’s nothing like getting off the grid for a hunting trip. The fresh mountain air, the enjoyable scenery, and the peaceful sounds make for an ideal getaway. But being unprepared in the wilderness can change all of that in the blink of an eye. You can never know 100% what to expect when heading out on a backpack hunting trip. All you can do is be prepared.

Keep on reading to learn how to best prepare for a backpack hunting adventure.

Trial Runs

Backcountry living is not for the weak, even if it is just for a couple of days. It is important to prepare your body for these adventures. Before your big hunt, carve out time to ready yourself for the physical and mental efforts you will be experiencing. Begin exercising a month or two prior to your first outing. In addition to preparing you physically, verify that the gear you plan to bring along will hold up well enough on your expedition. A trial run will show you just how ready (or not) you and your things are.

Packing Your Gear

The first thing you’ll want to do when packing your gear is to find the best pack. Backpacks come in a variety of sizes, so make sure to find the right size for you. Since you’ll likely be wearing your backpack for long periods, make sure it is comfortable.

Once you’ve selected your pack, you’ll need to determine what goes in it. Make sure the clothing you take is appropriate for the forecasted weather and is moisture-wicking. Verify the sleeping bag you bring along will keep you warm enough throughout the night. Do your best to keep these items to essentials and necessities.

Take as much food and water as you’ll need to get by plus a bit more in the event of an emergency. It may come in handy to find natural water sources in the surrounding area. Bring along a filtration system, iodine tablets, or something similar to make the water drinkable.

Lastly, you’ll need to pack any of your hunting gear. Tripod, ammunition, binoculars, and any other equipment you will require for your hunting excursion.

Safety First

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Being ready for anything, and everything could be the difference between life and death. While that may be a bit extreme, you never know when you’ll find yourself in trouble.

Wilderness wandering is best in groups. It’s not ideal for traveling alone in rural areas, so if you must hunt alone, make sure you communicate where you’ll be when you’ll be there, and how long you’ll be gone to your family or friends. Never head out without your compass, cell phone (if you have service), GPS, map, and first aid kit. Familiarize yourself with these tools and the areas in which you’ll be staying.

In addition to all this, use your best judgment and common sense when hunting.

R & K Hunting Company

Let R & K Hunting Company put together the perfect hunt for you. Find out why R & K Hunting Co. is the best by calling today.