Deer Hunting

5 Things to Do After Shooting a Deer

Many hunters put in countless hours of preparation into shooting a deer, but what happens after you’ve successfully pulled the trigger?

It is common for hunters to put a lot of time and effort into planning, prepping, and practicing to get ready for their hunt. But when it comes to what they’ll do after they’ve actually shot a deer, most hunters are not nearly as prepared as they need to be. An important part of preparing for your hunt is to have a plan in place on what to do after you pull the trigger. 

Continue reading to learn five things every hunter needs to do after they’ve shot a deer.

5 Things Every Hunter Should Do After Shooting a Deer

You’ve shot your deer! Great! Now what? Here’s what you should do right after you shoot your deer.

  1. Stop and Wait — Before climbing down from your treestand or leaving your blind, wait for a while, at least 30 minutes after shooting your deer. If your bullet didn’t cause immediate death, waiting for a half-hour can help prevent your wounded animal from being scared and further pushed into the woods. During this time, take a moment to gather your thoughts and soak in what happened. Also, use this time to pinpoint landmarks along the deer’s path so you can quickly establish the blood trail.
  2. Get Your Picture — This is an exciting moment in your life that you’ll never want to forget, so make sure to get your picture! Before you haul your deer down the mountain, take a little bit of time to capture this incredibly exciting moment. Here are some tips that will get you the perfect photo.
  3. Field Dressing — This is an essential step in the process. Field dressing needs to happen as soon as possible. Removing the deer’s internal organs allows the carcass to begin cooling, which slows bacterial growth. This step is necessary to preserve the meat and significantly affects the quality of the venison. Make sure you do not puncture any of its organs and try to minimize any fur, dirt, and any other debris from getting in the animal. The sooner this all happens, the better.
  4. Get It Down the Mountain — The best way to get your deer down the mountain would be to load it into the back of a trailer or side-by-side, but that’s not always possible, thanks to your location or the surrounding terrain. Many hunters must drop their deer out of the field or woods. Always use a tarp under the deer to avoid contact with the ground and do whatever you can to minimize the amount of debris from entering the deer.
  5. Hang Your Deer — Once you get your deer to your destination, make sure to hang it up right away. This keeps the deer off the ground and allows any remaining blood to drain out of its system. Now you can get your deer to the butcher or do the work yourself.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Shooting a deer is an exciting part of your hunt, but it is certainly not the end of the adventure! For more tips and tricks on what to do after you’ve shot your deer, book your hunt with the experts at R & K Hunting Company! Our professionals have decades of experience and knowledge on what to do before, during, and after you pull the trigger. Contact us to book your next hunt in the scenic Rocky Mountains of Utah and Wyoming today.

5 Tips for Using a Decoy Deer

Using a decoy deer during your hunt can be an effective tactic for landing that trophy buck and coming home successfully.

A well-placed decoy that is used in the right way can help influence a deer’s behavior and help bring them into range so you can take your shot. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you use a decoy. That’s why, today, we’re giving you five easy tips for using a decoy deer that will help increase your chances of ending your hunt with a trophy in your hands.

Read more about how to use a deer decoy below successfully.

TIP #1 — Use Your Decoy Pre-Rut and Rut

Timing is everything and the best time to use your decoy is pre-rut and rut. A few weeks before peak breeding is an ideal time. During this time, bucks start to leave their group of single friends and establish their home ranges, using a decoy most effective. During the pre-rut and rut, bucks experience a huge increase in testosterone, making them more dominant and aggressive. Therefore more likely to come near your decoy.

TIP #2 — Use a Buck Decoy

Many hunters opt to use a doe decoy, which can be effective. However, what seems to be more effective is taking advantage of bucks’ surge in testosterone and aggressiveness and using a buck decoy. Like we said above, bucks are naturally dominant during this time and will come forward to remove another buck who seems to be intruding on his territory, giving you a perfect, clear shot.

TIP #3 — Odor and Scent Control

Deer have an acute sense of smell and can detect scents over a quarter-mile away. This makes scent control an essential part of your hunt. Make sure to always set up your decor upwind from where your prey will come — NEVER downwind, or else he’ll smell you.

TIP #4 — Good Decoy Placement

A critical variable when using a decoy is how you place it. Make sure to set up your decoy well within range. Are you right-handed or left-handed? How are you using your gun? Think about these things as you set up your blind and your decoy. Another thing to think about is how a buck will approach your decoy. It likely will not come head-on. Instead, it will feel out the situation and determine what a threat this buck (decoy) is and will likely circle and come in from the side. 

TIP #5 — Visibility is Essential

In addition to the position in which you set up your decoy, you need to think about its visibility. Your decoy is virtually useless unless your prey can see it. As you set up, consider the terrain and look for places where deer travel, such as feeding areas or travel corridors.

Book Your Hunt with R & K Hunting Company

Using a decoy deer can significantly increase your chances of a successful hunt. 

Increase the likelihood of landing a trophy buck even further by booking your next exciting hunt with R & K Hunting Company. Our team of knowledgeable guides and outfitters have years of experience and can help facilitate a once in a lifetime Rocky Mountain hunting adventure in Wyoming and Utah. Our skilled professionals have countless tips and tricks (like that above) that will bring you back year after year, season after season. Contact R & K Hunting Company to book your next hunt today.

Deer Hunting: 6 Methods To Determine Wind Direction

Hunters can use the wind to their advantage and evade a deer’s keen sense of smell, but before you can do that, you must determine wind direction.

Hunting the wind is an essential part of hunting that can make or break the success of your trip. To make this task easier, we’ve gathered a few methods to better track the wind’s direction.

Continue reading for six easy to follow methods for determining which way the wind is blowing.

How to Determine Wind Direction

Commercial Wind Detectors — Available online and at most outdoor retailers, commercial wind detectors are a fan favorite for checking which way the wind is blowing. These helpful tools are made up of a small, pliable plastic bottles with a hole near the top filled with fine, scent-free powder. When you give the bottle a squeeze, a little puff of powder comes out for the wind to pick up, allowing you to get a good read.

Milkweeds or Other Weeds — If you want to keep things natural, look around for weeds with seeds that can be carried in the wind, such as dried milkweed pods or dandelions. These almost-lighter-than-air seeds will soar in the slightest of breezes helping you determine the wind’s direction. Many hunters prefer this method to a commercial wind indicator tool because it gives a longer read, and it shows slight changes in direction.

Smoke Bombs — Smoke bombs are a great way to get a good reading on the wind. However, smoke bombs should only be used during the offseason. Hunters love using these because they cover a large area and stick around long enough to get a good read.

Lighters — A tool you likely already have in your pack is a lighter. Did you know it can double as a wind detector? It won’t give you the best reading ever, but it gives you an idea of the wind that immediately surrounds you. Simply light it and watch which way the flame blows out. Just make sure to use it cautiously as not to start any fires.

Check a Weather App — Every good hunter needs a weather app on their smartphone. Many weather apps have features like sunrise and sunset times, temperature, and the all-important wind direction. Open up your app whenever you need to know which way the wind is blowing.

Wet Finger — This method doesn’t require any tools or gadgets. All you’ll need is your finger and some spit. Remove your glove, lick your finger of choice, and put it to the wind. The cold side tells you which direction the wind is coming from.

Contact R & K Hunting Company

Mastering wind direction can be tricky, but it can be the difference between coming home empty-handed or with a trophy buck. Be sure to try out these effective methods for determining wind direction on your next hunt with the professional hunting guides at R & K Hunting Company. Our knowledgeable guides have years of experience that bring hunters back season after season. Contact our hunting experts and book your next Rocky Mountain hunting adventure in Utah or Wyoming today.

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!

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.