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5 Things Every Hunter Needs To Know

Hunting is an American tradition that is passed down from generation to generation. This activity is a great way to bond with your family, connect with nature, and to meet other like-minded people who are passionate about a big trophy. Before you grab your rifle and head on out, there are several things that every hunter, whether a beginner or professional, needs to know. These tips are designed to ensure that you have a safe and successful hunting trip.

1. Pay Attention to Your Hunter’s Ed Course

When completing your hunter’s education course, make sure that you are fully processing the information that you are learning. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted from the invaluable knowledge you’re gaining. Now is the time to do extensive research about all the hunting questions that you have. Branch out and learn different ways to carry your gun safely. Once you learn a variety of ways to handle your weapon, this will prevent your arms from feeling quickly tired and keep you out of harm’s way. Make sure that you know all the specific details about how your gun works. 

2. Be Comfortable with Your Firearm

This takes precedence, especially if you’re a novice hunter. If you’re focusing too much on how scared your gun is making you, then perhaps hunting isn’t for you. You can’t graduate to other types of hunting, such as bow hunting if you’re not comfortable with guns. 

3. Online Research Isn’t the Same as Real Hunting

Take advantage of all the unlimited hunting resources that you find on the internet, and do absorb all the knowledge you can get, but know that you cannot rely on textbook information entirely. Being on the field is a wholly different experience than sitting in the comfort of your bedroom learning about hunting. Think about research as the beginning first steps to a successful hunt, but the experience of physical work will help build your hunting abilities.

4. Don’t Assume You’re in Perfect Shape

Hunting in the wilderness requires more involved movements than those you make on a typical day. For your survival, it’s necessary to prepare for the unordinary. Expect to walk on tough terrains, up steep hillsides and through streams, and thick brush. Practice movements that engage all your muscles and give you a wide range of motion. Do cardio once a week and consider adding wall sits to your routine to build strength so that you can hold steady and still for long periods. 

5. It’s Okay if You Don’t Score Game

Hunting is a temperamental hobby, and sometimes you will be a victim of inexperience, sometimes it’s extreme weather conditions, and other times it’s the animals moving too quickly. Successful hunting shouldn’t be measured by how big a trophy you bring home, but by going out and enjoying what you do. 

If you’re a beginning hunter, you could benefit from the experience of a professional hunting guide. Contact R & K Hunting today to book your next guided hunt to improve your skills. 

 
 

Where Do You Need A License To Hunt?

Before you can hunt the big trophy game of your dreams, you’ll need to take care of paperwork first. In most cases, to legally hunt in the United States, you’ll need to have a state hunting license from the state you are planning to hunt in. By law, you can’t legally go on a hunt if you’re not complying with your state’s fish and game department requirements associated with the license you have. A hunting license can be attained by purchasing one from any retailer that specializes in sporting goods, or anywhere that sells hunting and fishing equipment. 

Although attaining a hunting license isn’t too tricky, each state has unique hunting licensing requirements and hunting regulations. If you’re hunting on a national wildlife refuge, some also require their permits and user fees. Here’s how some states differ from others when it comes to licensing and hunting. 

Utah

There are some basic but essential discrepancies between a Utah hunting or fishing license and a hunting permit. For starters, if you plan to fish or hunt game animals in Utah, you must have a license. Start by obtaining a basic hunting license, which allows you to hunt small game; this includes most species of waterfowl and upland game. After you’ve got your basic hunting license, you can apply for separate, more specific hunting permits that you need to hunt certain species. These species include big game, cougars, bears, and other animals. There are also combination licenses, which includes all the benefits of a basic license and allows you to fish.

Wyoming

According to Wyoming law, all hunters born after January 1st, 1966, must complete hunter education certification to be able to hunt in Wyoming legally. The only exception is unless they have acquired a Hunter Mentor Program special authorization and plan to hunt with a mentor. Completion of a state agency-approved hunting course is required to be eligible for a hunting license. Said hunting course must be approved by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, as well as IHEA-USA. The benefit of obtaining a Wyoming Hunter Education Card is that any state, province, or country that requires former hunting education will accept your Wyoming hunter education card. 

Idaho

To hunt in Idaho, you’ll need a hunting license, and depending on the species you want to hunt, you’ll need a tag permit. Idaho has both controlled and general season hunts. General season tags are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters are required to apply for controlled hunts, which are issued through a random drawing. According to Idaho law, all hunters born after December 31st, 1974, must complete hunter education certification unless they can provide proof of previously holding a hunting license in Idaho or another state. Said course must be approved by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and IHEA-USA. 

Once you’ve attained your hunting license, contact our hunting guides at R & K Hunting to plan your next hunt at our private lands situated in both Utah and Wyoming. 

Benefits of a Private Hunting Guide

Hunting with a private guide is becoming more popular and for good reason. It is a common misconception that hunting is a cold, isolated sport in which you live off the land. While some hunters prefer having this exhilarating experience alone, there are also hunters who enjoy hunting with a company and benefit from the expertise of professional guided hunters. Guides aren’t just reserved for newcomers, as seasoned hunters also turn to private expert guides to help them maximize their hunting experience. If you’re envisioning a trophy hunt, seeking the assistance of a private guide is a surefire way to target trophy game.

What Makes a Quality Hunting Guide? 

First and foremost, a professional hunting guide should keep all the promises they’ve made you. If your guide tells you that the hunt will be at a certain ranch, then do not settle for less and make sure that you are being taken to the ranch that was promised to you. A quality guide will help you with your hunt every step of the way, and they usually do all the game calling for you. The guide should verify that the game you are hoping to hunt, such as elk, deer, or moose, are roaming around the area. They should be able to locate the game for you, so once you arrive, the animal will be easier for you to spot. Reputable guided hunting companies will offer food and lodging since you need to unwind after your hunt. 

Experienced guides will help you field dress, quarter, and move your animal back to the camping grounds. Since hunting season usually starts in August, the weather will be warm. The expectation is that your guide will help you cool down your meat by refrigerating it after you’ve harvested your animal. Although guides may not be able to help you process your meat, they’ll know a butcher who can take care of that for you. Don’t know what to do with your meat? Don’t worry, your guide will help you decide what you can do with your meat after your successful hunt. 

What Should I Look For in a Lodge? 

The best hunting reserves should offer a luxurious living space that is usually 8,000 square feet big or greater, and there will be multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. You will have your own living space during your stay. Food prepared by professional chefs should also be provided so that you can strictly focus on trophy hunting as opposed to what your next meal will be. Ranches worth their merit offer hot tubs for you to relax in after your hunt. Most resorts even coordinate airport pick-up and drop-off so that you don’t have to stress over transportation. Since these ranches are situated in the wilderness, they are usually next to lakes—which means that you can also go fishing after you are done hunting. 

You can’t go wrong with utilizing the expertise and hospitality of professional hunting guides. At R & K Hunting, our guests always come first. Join us at our pristine private lands that are located throughout Utah and Wyoming. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about hunting and provide you with food, accommodations, and transportation. Book your next hunting trip with us today. 

 

Beginner Hunting 101

Hunting is difficult when you’re just beginning, especially if you don’t have relatives or friends who are hunters. Before you start focusing on all the cool hunting gear you’re going to wear, you’ll have to sift through the not so fun aspects of hunting first. Once you overcome all the initial paperwork and the overwhelming sensation of starting a new hobby, you will be able to focus on mastering your hunting skills. 

Learn the Different Types of Hunting 

There are several types of hunting you can do, ranging from hunting for small game to big game. Some weapons you can legally use for hunting are rifles and crossbows. Animals that can be hunted are known as “game.” Here are different types of animals that hunters usually go for: 

  • Big game hunting: deer, elk, caribou, bear, boar, and bison.
  • Small game hunting: rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, and skunks. 
  • Predator hunting: mountain lions, wolves, and coyotes. 
  • Waterfowl hunting: duck, geese, and swan. 
  • Furbearers hunting: pin marten, bobcat, foxes, and beavers. 

Get Your Hunter Safety Card 

Before you can legally go on a hunt, you’ll need to earn your hunter safety card. To be eligible for this card, you must complete a hunter safety course. This certification is proof that you have successfully completed the course, and it is valid in all states that require a hunter safety card to hunt. Best of all, you can complete the course online and at your own pace. 

Invest in Your Gear

To be the most successful hunter you can be, you’ll have to invest in adequate hunting gear such as a backpack, boots, deer and elk calls, scent killer, binoculars, rangefinders, and your weapon of choice. When selecting a backpack, ensure that your pack is of quality material because you will depend on your backpack for mostly everything. Sturdy backpacks are a must, and make sure that you don’t have to constantly adjust the straps. Invest in a comfortable pair of hunting boots to combat the looming threat of blisters and cold weather. Boots should be the first piece of gear you invest in because they will make or break your hunt. 

Deer and elk calls are of the essence, but it’s not enough to just own them. You’ll have to practice your call to perfection before you go on a hunt. Scent killers are crucial because you must mask your scent as to not scare away prey. Binoculars will help you spot deer that are fields away, and you’ll be able to scope out terrain if you are at a high altitude. Rangefinders determine the distance of your target. Although you probably have a weapon of preference in mind, stick to rifle hunting because it is easier to grasp than bow hunting when you’re a beginner. 

Practice Makes Perfect

It’s unrealistic to expect a perfect hunt on your first try. The first months or even years of hunting are dependent on your observations. Give yourself time to observe the animal you are trying to hunt and to get to know the terrain you are interested in hunting in. Experienced hunters will tell you that each hunt is different and that many of your hunts will be misses. There will be mistakes that you can’t always account for, so cut yourself some slack. 

If you’re a beginner who needs the assistance of seasoned hunters, contact R & K Hunting today to book your first hunting trip. 

When Is Big Game Season in Utah?

Big game season is every hunter’s dream. After all, it only comes once a year. Although you think you’re prepared for the big hunt, there are state regulations you must comply with to legally be able to hunt for large game. By law, you can’t go around hunting any animal at any time of year. This is a part of ethical hunting, where animals are given consideration first. 

Big game hunts refer to the harvesting of any animal that is considered large game such as mule deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, caribou, bears, among several other big animals. These animals are preferred by hunters either for their meat or byproducts such as horns, bones, fat, or oil for either trophy hunting or sport. Big game season refers to the time of year when it is acceptable for hunters to harvest large game, starting from “opening day” to “closing day.” These dates are artificial constructs established by your state’s Department of Natural Resources. They are put into place because your state wants to conserve animal populations at ideal numbers. An ideal animal population is the number of animals a habitat can support based on the food resources and space available. This is beneficial to the hunters and the animals. For the animals, it means that they will be protected from overhunting. For the hunters, it means that there will not be a dwindling animal population and that their hunting goals will not be interfered with. 

Utah’s Hunting Season

Big game hunting season is complex. It’s already confusing enough because there aren’t a set of national general hunting dates, but it’s also dependent on the type of animals you plan on hunting as well as your weapon of choice. For example, the hunting season for deer using archery is from late August to early September. In contrast, the hunting season for deer by using a muzzleloader is from late September to early October. The general hunting season for deer is in mid-October. Utah’s elk season is even more difficult to grasp, as it is dependent on the specific type of elk you wish to hunt. To hunt for bull elk using archery, the time is from late August to early September. If you are planning on hunting spike elk, the hunting dates are like those for hunting bull elk, except it ends a few days earlier. The general elk hunting season for using a muzzleloader is from late October to early November. 

Utah’s Requirements for Big Game Hunting

If you’re ready to participate in this year’s big game hunting, you’ll have to meet the age requirements, complete a hunter education course, and obtain your license and hunting permit. Your child must be at least 12 years old to participate, and you must always be with them. You’ll have to pass the online hunter’s education course that covers hunting ethics. To prove that you’ve completed the course, you’ll need a blue card that is sent to you by mail six weeks after you successfully passed the course. Additionally, you’ll need a permit specifically for hunting big game. In order to be eligible for this permit, you’ll need your hunting license first. 

As big game hunting season is approaching, make sure that you have met all the hunting requirements first before you apply for the big game hunting permit. If you need help planning your big game hunt, R & K Hunting can help you make sure that your following Utah’s hunting regulations. 

What To Pack For Your Next Hunting Trip

Have you ever ventured hours away from home for your hunting trip, when suddenly you realize that you’ve forgotten one of your essential items? When preparing for a hunting trip, you need to ensure that your hunting pack is full of the essentials in order to maximize your experience. Given Utah and Wyoming’s volatile ranges and climate, you’ll need to be prepared for any scenario. Pack all survival items, but also be careful to not overpack. You don’t want to wear out your body within the first few hours of your trip. Here are some items that every hunting pack needs. 

Water

The most important and easily attainable hunting necessity is water. Save the most space in your backpack for large amounts of water. Store your water in a hydration pack to carry large amounts of water. Hydration packs will also leave your backpack with ample storage room. Keeping hydrated is a must during your hunting trip, so keep track of your water intake. Drink water in small intervals, even if you are not thirsty. Avoid gulping water all at once. Not only will dehydration decrease your energy and hunting capabilities, but it is also a safety hazard. You lose fluids while hiking, so replenishment should be your main priority.  

First Aid Kit

During your hunting trip, you might fall victim to a severe bug bite. Perhaps you ran into an invasive plant that is poisonous. You can never be too prepared for your hunting trip. You’ll need to take a full first aid kit that you can keep in your car and a small first aid kit that can go inside your backpack. The first aid kits should include band-aids of all sizes, antibacterial cream, anti-itch cream, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, and any medications you’re taking. 

Food

The average deer and elk hunter burns anywhere between 6,000 to 9,000 calories on an active hunting day. Eat foods high in caloric value during your hunt. Burning a high number of calories is inevitable, as you will be walking, climbing, and hauling animals; this exerts copious amounts of energy. To avoid becoming fatigued, do not let your energy levels drop. Beef jerky is one of the best foods you can pack into your backpack. Jerky can be packed in large amounts, as it is slim. Every piece of jerky is high in both protein and calories, which will supply you with energy throughout the day. Another snack essential for your backpack is trail mix. A hearty trail mix should consist of different types of nuts and fruits, as these are high in nutrients and caloric value. This is also an easy way of getting your Omega-3 intake. If you have a sweet tooth, a fun way to make sure you’re getting a dose of sugar is by eating chocolate that has peanuts in it. Granola bars are also an excellent option because they are high in fats and complex carbohydrates. 

Firestarter and Lighter

Every hunting pack should have a lighter in case of an emergency, but this may not be enough. Dry leaves and dead grass serve as effective fire starters, but you can never go wrong with packing a household item that’s flammable. Some small household items that you can throw into your backpack that are fire starters are duct tape, chapstick, egg cartons, and paper. 

Hunting License  

You need to carry your hunting license during every hunt because a game warden can interrogate you at any time. Having your license at hand can prevent you from losing your hunting privileges. Carry your hunting license in a plastic bag to protect it from nature’s elements. The last thing you want is a soggy license that got wet from the rain. 

If you’re a resident of Utah or Wyoming, contact R&K Hunting today to get started on planning your next hunting adventure. 

4 Reasons To Hire a Private Hunting Guide

When it comes to your hunt, you probably have things figured out. You might have your favorite spots, favorite weapons, favorite prey, favorite gear, and favorite companions. Hunting is a traditional activity, so often we encounter hunters that have stuck to their traditions… for decades. While tradition can be an incredible thing, it can also keep you from discovering what more the world has to offer.

Hunting opportunities have changed greatly since your grandfather first took your father hunting, so why not explore what hunting can mean for you today? 

R & K Hunting is a private hunting firm that specializes in providing you a unique and tailored hunting experience. From private hunting guides to exclusive hunting habitats to general advice and consulting, we have the expertise that can transform your hunting game, if you’ll break out of tradition long enough to explore the options. 

4 Reasons To Hire a Private Hunting Guide

  1. Trophy Hunts. The number one reason we get new clients is that they’re eager to finally bag that trophy kill. After years or even decades of trying, they are ready to mount that giant trophy on their wall to display proudly. We can help you achieve that goal, and customize any hunt to meet your trophy needs. 
  2. Exclusive Habitats. Are you tired of overcrowded, sparsely supplied hunting grounds? That’s what you’ll get if you’re using public grounds year after year. Instead, we encourage you to research the benefits of our private hunting habitats, accessible only to those who are our clients. Our habitats are rich in animal life, and much safer since you won’t be sharing with hundreds of other hunters. 
  3. Education. If you hunt with the exact same group every year, using the same gear and hitting the same targets, you aren’t unlocking your full potential. Instead, hunting with a private hunting guide can completely change the way you hunt. Our private hunting guides are experts who can teach you new techniques and tried-and-true strategies that you’ve never learned before. A private hunting guide can make you a better hunter, and our hunters love to hone their craft. 
  4. Ease. Hunting with a private hunting guide is simply a better experience. While hunting is always hard work, you have to work a lot harder when you find your own areas, haul your own gear and kills, and camp or travel all the way home. A private hunting guide, on the other hand, smooths the entire process to maximize hunt time and minimize personal strain. It’s simply easier and more fun to have a successful hunt when you use a private hunting guide. 

Begin planning your next big hunt now, and consider it a private hunting guide might be right for you this year. Are you in need of something new? Do you have goals to up your hunting game? Are you tired of the same locations and game? Then it’s time to call R & K Hunting. 

 
 
 

Why Do Hunters Need Permits & Licenses?

Hunting has been an American pastime since, well, forever. Evolving from hunter-gatherers, hunting has become more sport and recreation than a survival tactic, but there are still plenty of people who hunt to provide a livelihood for their families. Hunting can be an indication of self-sufficiency, coming-of-age, belonging, and even connection with nature. But in modern days, hunting requires much more oversight and regulation. 

No matter where you live, you likely fall under some umbrella of hunting regulation. Purchasing and owning a weapon, for example, is highly regulated. The types of weapons you can hunt with is also regulated. Each state will have different geographical boundaries for hunting, and even specific species that are cleared for pursuit. Restrictions on age, timeframes, total kills, and other elements of hunting will vary depending on where you live. But why? At R & K Hunting we understand hunting permits, licenses, and regulations and exactly why they’re in place.

Why Do Hunters Need Permits & Licenses? 

  • Public Safety. Hunting and gun-owning licenses prevent dangerous individuals from easily acquiring deadly force weapons. Permits and hunting boundaries can prevent hunters from getting too close to public areas, or shooting other hunters. 
  • Conservation. Regulations on what animals you can hunt, and how many you can kill, are all about the conservation of natural resources and protecting the delicate ecosystems of our wilderness. Deforestation, pollution, forest fires, and population decline are all consequences of over-hunting that isn’t carefully regulated with permits and licensing. 
  • Revenue. Another big reason behind governing the hunt is the collection of tax revenue from hunters when they apply for permits, licenses, hunter education classes, tags, and other regulations with a price tag. This can be a major source of revenue in states with extensive public lands, such as Utah. 
  • Personal Safety. Those permits and licenses are in place to help you. Did you know that at various times the animals you hunt could expose you to Lyme disease and other harmful strains of infection? Young hunters are required to take hunter safety classes so they don’t accidentally injure themselves or others due to their lack of experience. 
  • To Protect the Hunt. The hunting we know and enjoy would cease to exist if hunting were completely unregulated. Your favorite hunting spot would become overcrowded, scaring away and killing off all the prey, and even exposing you to more danger. Although at times it can seem inconvenient, the reality is that these hunting regulations such as permits and licenses allow you to continue to enjoy hunting for decades to come. 

It’s important to understand and respect the hunting regulations in your state and nation because they’re there to protect you, others, and the future of hunting altogether. R & K Hunting knows exactly how to maximize your hunting experience to keep you well within the regulations set by your hunting permit and license so that you have a safe and successful hunt this year. Let us help you plan the very best hunt ever. 

 
 
 

How To Break in Your Hunting Boots

Your hunting gear can make a huge impact on the success and comfort of your hunting trip. If you don’t have enough practical hunting gear, you can find yourself working twice as hard. If you have lots of great hunting gear but don’t know how to use it, you will feel frustrated and maybe even injure yourself. It’s a delicate balance of having the right amount of hunting gear, the right type of hunting gear, and the right expertise to use that hunting gear. 

Having the ideal hunting gear situation may be a lifetime in the making, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get started today.

R & K Hunting is very passionate about creating the best possible hunting experience for hunters of all types and levels, so today we’re starting with a very crucial piece of hunting gear that can make your hunt more effective and comfortable: hunting boots.

  1. Purchase Well. Buy the very best hunting boots you can afford, and be sure to try a couple of different sizes and styles to see which meets your needs. Remember that you usually wear thick socks, so don’t buy hunting boots that are tight on your everyday dress socks. 
  2. Read Manufacturer Recommendations. Often the manufacturer will have guidelines and recommendations for wearing and breaking in your new boots. You may also want to check the return policy. 
  3. Start at Home. You want to start slow and small. Try wearing your boots around your house in the evenings after work. Be sure to wear the socks and insoles you would normally wear while hunting. Eventually up the time to wear your boots around the house for a whole Saturday. 
  4. Move Outside. Take a few laps around the block to see how it feels to walk in the hunting boots for an extended period of time. Make note of pinching or blisters. 
  5. Hike! The last step to fully break in your hunting boots is to take them for a spin on a trail. Load up a small pack and head for the hills. Ideally, you will take several hikes, increasing time, mileage, and incline to full break in the boots. 

Don’t skip these steps – they will make your feet happier and healthier so you can get the most out of your next hunting trip. 

 
 

5 Things The Best Hunters Use

Hunting can be an incredibly personal and customized experience. Some people like to camp, others like to make it a day trip. Hunters prefer different weapons, different habitats, and different game. The ways to hunt are as varied as each individual hunter. How will you know what you prefer? How will you know what’s necessary and what’s just personal taste?

One of the best ways to figure out your own personal hunting style is to go with an expert hunter or to hunt with a variety of different hunters to try out the way others hunt. You can do extensive research online and take frequent trips to your outdoor warehouse to pore over the huge range of options for hunting gear.

At R & K Hunting we love everything to do with hunting, so we’ll start you out by sharing our 5 basic tools that every hunter should use. You can get creative and flexible with the style, shape, size, brand, and model of each, but the essentials are critical.

  1. A Good Hunting Knife. You may think you’ll never need it, or that it’s an awkward or dangerous thing to carry. A knife can help with cutting, sawing, opening, loosening, freeing, and even self-defense. We suggest a fixed, Bowie-style knife, but an everyday carry knife with other attachments can also be useful.
  2. Binoculars. Quality binoculars can completely up to your hunting game. You can see farther, clearer, and with more confidence. There are good binoculars at every price point so find something you like and begin using them.
  3. GPS & Map. You can’t rely on your smartphone for your hunts in the wilderness. Combine a map with a GPS device so that you can always know where you are. Some modern GPS units have capabilities to chart trails and plot your campgrounds.
  4. Camouflage. This is a very wide range of products, but every hunter uses them in some form. You may start with clothing, then work your way up to skin paint, and even to portable hunting blind that you can set up to shoot out of for maximum camouflage.
  5. Boots. Your footwear makes an enormous difference in your performance and general comfort level. Well-fitting, gripping boots will help you go harder, faster, and longer than a weaker boot that will give you blisters and even a sprained ankle. Invest in good boots and spend time breaking them in long before your hunt.

If you’re serious about hunting, you should begin with these 5 key hunting pieces. You can assemble them slowly and upgrade as necessary, but you should focus on these for your hunting foundation.

Ask your hunting friends or the experts at R & K Hunting if you’re in need of recommendations for starting points, such as their favorite hunting knife or where they go to try on and purchase hunting boots. We hope you find all the necessary tools to make your hunting trip a success!