All posts by Randy Hynes

Christ follower, husband, father and founder of 365 Whitetail. Randy is the former Online Editorial Director for Petersen's Bowhunting, Petersen's Hunting, North American Whitetailand Bowhunter Magazine. His passions include fly fishing, photography and exploring wild places.

Simple Steps For A Scent Free Trail Camera

No matter what our individual regimen’s for scent reduction might look like, as whitetail hunters we understand the importance of scent control.
From scent free soaps, scented dryer sheets, chlorophyll pills, or scent elimination sprays, there are a host of opinions as to what works and why. The non-debatable issue is – it’s tough to fool a whitetail’s nose. So shouldn’t scent control begin with a scent free trail camera?
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Whitetail enthusiasts spend millions each year trying to avoid detection. While there is no such thing as a magic potion, there are benefits to going the extra mile when attempting to reduce human odor. And limiting the impact you have on any given area you hunt, will undoubtedly increase the odds of success this hunting season.
Whitetails survive day after day by being acutely aware of their surroundings. When a hunter positions a trail camera in the living room of a trophy whitetail, precaution should be taken in order to avoid ‘tipping off’ your quarry. From the bolts, bungee strap, or security box that holds the camera, to the camera itself, taking the time to eliminate as much odor as possible will only work to your advantage.
Here are some simple tips that will help you hang a scent free trail camera.

  • Before setting up your camera make sure it is clean and free of any foreign odors. This also applies to all hardware used to mount the camera.


  • When setting up your camera, use a pair of surgical gloves. This will limit the amount of human odor left on the camera during mounting and setup.


  • Bring along a clean rag, stored in a zip lock bag and a small bottle of scent elimination spray. Spray the camera and all hardware and use the clean rag to wipe the camera lens of any residue.


  • When retrieving your SD card or changing batteries, wear surgical gloves. Before leaving, clean the camera with a scent elimination spray of your choice.


  • Rainy days are the preferred time to check trail cameras. The rain naturally eliminates human odors.


  • Last but not least, always wear ‘clean’ rubber boots when checking your cameras. Odor control is especially important when entering and exiting any area you plan on hunting.

We hope these simple tips not only help Mr. Talltines to pose for your camera, but you’ll have a chance to see him in season as well.

If you have any additional tips for a scent free trail camera, please feel free to share those with us!


Scent Free Trail Camera Tips


Interview: Jeff Simpson / Fencepost Films – [The Short Season] 111° West

Jeff Simpson is known throughout the outdoor industry as a man of many talents. As a Sitka Gear athlete, entrepreneur, Midwest Sales Manager for Sitka Gear accomplished photographer, father and family man, his roster is packed with noteworthy accomplishments.
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Not only is he predominately known for his passionate pursuit of trophy Whitetail, but Jeff is widely recognized as the owner/operator of Fencepost Films. Under Jeff’s leadership Fencepost Films has introduced it’s revolutionary approach to the world of hunting media. With unparalleled style, Fencepost Films brings the viewer on an unforgettable outdoor experience. The cliche seen one – seen them all will not be attached to any production that makes it out of F2’s editing room.


It was a real privilege to spend some time talking to Jeff about his latest production, [The Short Season] – 111° West. Set in the heart of the Rocky Mountains this film encapsulates Jeff’s own adventure as he pursues Montana’s allusive Elk. Documenting his daily quest for a trophy bull, this film is another example of Jeff’s vast array of abilities. We are excited to bring to you this interview and trust you will visit Fencepost Films for more info.


365: Hi Jeff… hows it going? It’s a real privilege to finally get to meet you.

JS: Great meeting you as well.


365: I would like to congratulate you and your wife. The ‘little guy’ definitely looks like a keeper.

JS: Thanks, he has been awesome.  Now we just have to let him know that sleeping in later than 4am is perfectly acceptable.


365: (Laugh) You have a beautiful family. I am sure they are a great inspiration for your work.

JS: For sure! They are the reason I work as hard as I do.



365: Great YETI Coolers ad by the way. How many miles did it take to shoot that compilation?

JS: Oh, I have no idea… It took a full year to shoot.  I basically rigged up a tripod and camera in the back of my truck.  My older son, Brady, was not happy with it.  I more less kicked him out of the truck for a year.  I was scared he would kick the tripod and move it, so we used my wife’s vehicle… but he’s like me and prefers being in the truck.


365: Having lived in the West for the last several years, our family really enjoyed the 111° West kickoff. It so encapsulates the entire experience of hunting in the Rocky Mountains. So tell me what inspired you to produce The Short Season 111° West?

JS: First, Thanks. The inspiration for 111° West was really just another step in this journey I have going on filming hunts. The Short Season (TS2) is really the project that I’ve wanted to execute on for years now. The project is taking a HUGE step forward this season for a couple different reasons. First, I’ve added some ridiculous talent here at F2 and am excited to show what we are capturing this year… its plain sick! And Second, we have identified some really great outdoorsmen/athletes to follow this year. Its going to be a lot of fun introducing the world to them and telling their stories.


365: What is the one thing that you enjoy most about Elk hunting?

JS: Eating elk. (laugh)  I really want Sage and Brady to be raised primarily on elk meat, so thats a big motivation… but I’m sure you are asking about hunting them as well. In the field, I love the majestic nature of a huge bull. With mature whitetails being number one… mature bull elk are a close second for me.


365: What have you come to believe is the key element for being a successful Elk hunter?

JS: Physical fitness, understanding the wind and the ability to effectively bivy in and stay out in the wilderness are all key.


365: Whether in philosophy or practice – what is the one thing you brought back with you from this Montana experience?

JS: As I said in the film, it was just another chapter. This time we dealt with elk that had more predator pressure than any herd I’ve ever hunted, so I learned a lot. I feel like I could go in that same spot and do MUCH better this year. Its just learning all the different things that influence the elk’s behavior and piecing the puzzle together on each hunt. History is a great source of knowledge.


365: Where is your next Elk hunt planned?

JS: Southern Colorado here in a couple weeks… cant wait for this hunt!!!!


365: We can’t tell all the secrets, but you have some exciting new venues to shoot. Do you care to elaborate?

JS: We will have cameras in Utah, CO, Canada, KS, SD, OR, MO, NE and Argentina/Chile this year. Big year!


365: We can’t wait to see what you will produce from this season. Thanks so much Jeff for taking the time for the interview. It was great to get to spend this time together and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Any parting words for the aspiring Elk hunter?

JS: Thank you!  Parting words… one foot in front of the other and respect/enjoy the beauty and nature you are in while out there! Safe and Happy hunting!


The Short Season Jeff Simpson


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ALL Photographs contained within this blog post are Copyright Fencepost Films and can not be used without prior written permission.


Hawke Optics: Frontier ED 10×43 Binoculars

Glassing day in and day will earn you a degree in the fact that all optics are not created equal. The unforgiving backcountry demands details that few optic companies can deliver. Functionality and dependability are not just added luxuries – they are a necessity!

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With that said its no secret that most high-end optics cost a bundle. Expect to pay a couple thousand dollars for a pair of high-end binoculars. As a glass fanatic I will admit to having owned models from all three companies. Until recently introduced to Hawke Optics Frontier binoculars, I was unconvinced that vision and value could be delivered in the same optics package.

Introducing the Hawke Frontier ED 10×43 Binocular


Having owned the Swarovski EL 10×42 Series binocular, my first hands on impression of the Hawke Frontier ED binoculars was “feels like the Swarovski EL.” With its ‘open hinge’ and rubber armored coating the ergonomic design is flawless. The Hawke Frontier ED is also engineered with a magnesium body, this not only gives extreme strength but reduces weight for long periods of glassing. Overall, the fit and feel of this binocular is pleasingly comfortable.


The biggest surprise that awaited us was the clarity of the ED glass. Having had opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison with several other binoculars, the extra-low dispersion glass truly delivered. Images through the Hawke Frontier ED multi-coated lenses are sharp and extremely bright. With almost all other binoculars in this price range there is definite “chromatic aberration.” Hawke’s proprietary technology keeps edges sharp and colors true. Through the entire field of view images were high-resolution and contrast remained consistent. Eye fatigue was little to none, which could not be said for some other optics we compared. Considering the price of the Hawke Frontier ED, its overall optical quality is down right astounding.


The center focus knob on the Frontier ED is very user friendly. Its ambidextrous location makes it easy to use either hand for operation. Adjustment is slow and smooth with just enough tension to retain your desired focus. The Hawke Frontier ED’s ability to focus on objects as close as 6 feet away was a definite and pleasant surprise.


The diopter adjustment is located on the right ocular. You will notice immediately that Hawke has incorporated more than enough adjustment in the diopter to suit a broad range of users. The diopter adjustment also has definite ‘clicks’ to secure the diopter ring in the desired position. The Frontier ED also features very comfortable, three position, twist-up eye cups. I found a full field of view was possible with the cups in any given position. As with binoculars costing a whole lot more, the functionality of the ED is flawless.


Weighing in at just 26oz qualifies the Hawke Frontier ED for any backcountry or treestand hunt. To prevent the lenses from fogging in nasty weather, the Frontier ED is Nitrogen purged. Guaranteed to be water-proof and fog-proof are definitely features that qualify these bino’s for any environment. Given their life-time warranty I would not have a problem taking these bino’s anywhere.


Another nifty feature of Hawke Frontier binoculars is hidden under the front hinge cap. Unscrew the hinge-cap and you will find the Frontier ED’s are threaded for a binocular tri-pod adapter. This is a great asset when glassing on all day excursions. The integrated lens covers are another though-out feature of the Frontier ED. No more lost lens covers in the woods or weeds. If you have a color preference; the Frontier ED is available in green or black. Hawke Optics also include a neoprene neck strap, micro-fiber cloth, lens covers and soft case upon purchase.


Having owned binoculars that cost significantly more, I suggest that for the money, you will be dollars ahead with Hawke. The Hawke Frontier ED 10×43 binoculars which cost 60-80% less than some premier optics, is the obvious antidote for “if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.” After spending time comparing the Hawke Frontier binoculars I am thoroughly impressed. I am now convinced that Hawke has met the demand for vision and value … and I’m not just seeing things. Visit your nearest Hawke Optics dealer today.


hawke sport optics frontier


Real Avid: The Bowsmith – Designed by Murphy’s Law

If you’re a bowhunter, Ole’ Murphy has smiled as he broke a string loop or loosened that allen screw he knew you didn’t have the tool for. Admit it, we are no match for Murphy and how many times has it been said in an emergency, “If I only had a … !” Thanks to Real Avid they have taken some notes from Ole’ Murphy. Though, they have not disclosed what they paid him, rumor has it, Murphy’s Law actually invented the Real Avid Bowsmith.

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Real Avid is all about “rugged” and their Bowsmith bow tool is all that and more. Torx™ fasteners secure the entire Bowsmith tool system and all the implements are made of stainless steel. The anodized aluminum side plates combined with the ergonomic design allow it to fit the hand and feel comfortable. If Murphy helped with design he was definitely concerned with quality.


This tool was born with the bowhunter in mind. It is a micro toolbox for those who enjoy the challenge of a stick and string. Somehow Real Avid packed twenty-eight tools  into this hand held multi-tool.


Just maybe having this tool within reach will make Mr. Murphy stay away and we’ll never have to use some of these handy tools.

Here is the rundown.


  • Needle nose pliers with cutters
  • Nock spreader
  • Nock crimp
  • D-Loop Set tool
  • 14 Allen bits
  • Integrated 1/4″ hex driver
  • Ceramic file for sharpening a broadhead
  • Steel file for sharpening whatever
  • Arrow insert extractor tool
  • Fletching stripper
  • Broadhead wrench
  • String separator
  • Tree step starter
  • Knife (of course)



real avid bowsmith review


Packed into a durable Cordura® case the Bowsmith is a convenient tool that will definitely be on the gear list for the next bowhunt. Having this emergency advantage in a convenient package is true innovation. It has been said, “If you can’t beat ’em … join ’em” and somewhere Real Avid and Murphy’s Law must have had a come to Jesus meeting.

“… he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.” Psalm 7:12


Visit today!


Button Buck Kids Clothing – for those passionate about an outdoor lifestyle

Ralph Waldo Emerson penned, “Passion, though a bad regulator,  is a powerful spring.” It was this very spring that catapulted Brad and Lauren Christian to start a clothing line, a kids clothing line that would reflect a passion for the outdoors. With a serious commitment to pass on a heritage – Button Buck was born.

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The Christian’s eye for detail has helped to make Button Buck clothing a nonpareil brand. From their unique logo to the unrivaled quality of every garment, Button Buck has created a classy niche when it comes to kids clothing. Combining extraordinary style with flawless function ranks them among the notable makers of kids outerwear.


button buck kids huntingUntil now, finding kids clothing that reflected an outdoor passion was difficult. Thanks to Button Buck, selective shoppers now have an option. Whether your kids are into fishing, archery, deer hunting or just cool clothes, Button Buck is sure to excite them about what they wear. Having this option is a great asset for any parent whose children enjoy the outdoors. Considering Button Bucks distinct style even makes mom a happy camper.


With its distinct pizzazz your kids are sure to get noticed in Button Buck. Neatly adorned with subtle sayings, Button Buck is designed to blend in with today’s retro look. Tailored with taste, it’s easy to see why Button Buck is loved by both kids and parents.


Visit today. Pass on a passion – preserve a heritage.

Turkey Hunting

Family – the best part of turkey season

The tires sang their boring melody as we drove across the miles. Like the ever changing southern Indiana landscape, so were our subjects of conversation. From deer hunting, turkey hunting, school, work, God, prayer and most of all – character, the topics spanned from shallow to deep.

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Questions that only a child could ask we attempted to answer. Expressions that only a child can give left us filled with laughter. Little did I know that this moment would be the best part of turkey season.


A new job and busy schedule left us with only a few days to pursue the allusive Eastern turkey. Wanting my boys to share in the joy of filling a turkey tag, we resigned our place in the hardwoods so they could have the opportunity. We had some close calls and great times, unfortunately, “if” and “buts” are the summary of this years turkey season.


A few years ago we would have felt a sense of failure if we ended the season empty handed. Maybe it’s age or a new sense of appreciation for the big picture, but this was the best turkey season ever. Laughing and sharing with our boys made this season more fulfilling than any other. Listening to them share life experiences and how they are applying the lessons they learn made this season extremely rewarding. The conversations that surrounded the trip, the laughing together and the sharing of tears and triumphs, has given us a new definition of success.


Success is often defined by the bragging rights associated with a harvested animal. How easy it is to feed the ego and forget the value of the entire experience. No photos can be taken of time spent discussing the things that matter most. It’s hard to share with friends the heart-felt satisfaction that comes from being a recipient of your child’s hug. Few people give slaps on the back for smiles shared in cherished moments. How easy it is to forget the things that really matter. Ultimately, it was the quality time spent sharing that made this season a success.


As a dad, I have no beard to display or spurs to show. Our satisfaction is hidden in the recesses of a fathers heart. A heart that is full of the moments shared with boys who made my day by sharing their heart and soul. When your children share what they are learning in life and how they are applying it to be a person of character – can anything be more satisfying?


Food Plots – No tractor, Few tools, No problem

If a lack of equipment has keep you from planting a food plot – think again. Bill Winke of Midwest Whitetail, a true authority on food plots and big whitetail, has put together some helpful videos for the no tractor and few tools, whitetail hunter. Watch as Bill gives tips on how  to make the best food plot using simple hand tools without a tractor.

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Watch as Bill gives tips on how  to make the best food plot using simple hand tools.
Bill Winke – Poor Mans Plots – Video


Bill Winke – Poor Man Plots – Part 2 – Video 


Although you might fall into the no tractor category, you may have some of the tools shown. If not, these tools can be rented for a minimal amount at your local tool rental. Fall will be here before you know it – time to get some seed in the ground – with or without a tractor.

Havalon Piranta Edge Review

Havalon Piranta EDGE Knife Review

Havalon knives has once again established itself as a leader in innovation with the Havalon Piranta EDGE. Designed to follow up that special moment when your hands tremble, your heart beats, the arrow flies and a trophy falls, the Havalon Piranta is a must have for the serious hunter.
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In the circle of sustenance ethical hunters understand the proper respect due a harvested animal. This set of ethics demands a prompt and professional field dressing to assure there is no wanton waste of game. To make this task easier and more proficient, Havalon has manufactured an innovative product that will give you an edge – the Havalon Piranta EDGE.


The Story Behind Havalon Knives


For over 30 years Havalon’s parent company, Havel’s has been supplying the medical industry with superior products. Starting in the 1980’s, their worldwide reputation of quality and dependability made their scalpels the choice of taxidermists. Due to Havel’s proprietary blend of steel, their surgical blade has gained notoriety for its efficiency when skinning or fleshing big game. Stronger and sharper than other blades, Havel’s gained an undisputed reputation in the taxidermy industry.


When Patrick Carrothers, Havel’s current president & CEO, had the idea to integrate a replaceable scalpel blade into a folding hunting knife, Havalon Knives was born. This new company quickly earned a reputation for quality products, excellent prices and outstanding customer service. What started as a revolutionary idea has now become a favorite knife among demanding outdoorsman.


The Havalon Piranta EDGE


It’s easy to see why the Havalon Piranta EDGE has become a best-seller among hunting enthusiast. When field dressing or skinning your animal, the Havalon Piranta has a surgically-sharp blade which aids in speed and finesse. Its ergonomically molded handle and easy-grip black rubber inlay design allow for proper fit and comfort, and its size makes it perfect for the backcountry hunter.


The Havalon Piranta EDGE was also designed with a proprietary liner-lock design. This feature has been engineered to add rigidity and assure the user of many seasons of use. A bright blaze orange handle makes it easy-to-find should you lay it down in the woods or weeds. And the Havalon Piranta also comes with a convenient pocket clip giving an added option should you decide not to carry it in its sheath.

Weighing in at just over 2-ounces the Havalon Piranta is perfect for the weight conscience hunter. With an overall length of 7.25-inches, the Havalon Piranta is the perfect size for packing and for the delicate job of caping your trophy animal.


What makes the Havalon Piranta unique is its ability to replace the surgical blade. Excuse the pun when we say, the ability of quick and easy blade change gives this knife a cutting-edge. With the unprecedented ability to change blades, you will never be without a razor-sharp knife again.


100% Satisfaction Guarantee


The Havalon Piranta EDGE is not only packaged with 12 additional stainless blades and a cordura sheath, but comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee as well. A guarantee backed by Havalon Knives indisputable reputation of quality and customer service. Assuredly Havalon Knives believes, “Our Piranta may not be the only knife you’ll need for a successful hunt, but we guarantee it’ll be your favorite knife for the tough work of skinning big game.”


Visit Havalon Knives® today

Havalon Piranta

Real Avid Fini Choke Tube Wrench

Real Avid: FINI – Choke Tube Wrench

Their mission statement is simple … “Solve real problems for real hunters and shooters by giving them hard-working products that are inventive, highly capable and totally unique in the market.”


I would have to say Real Avid has accomplished their mission. This company represents the merging of non-traditional, revolutionary and cutting edge. There are many companies making better mousetraps the only problem is, I don’t hunt with a mousetrap. Only once did I wish we had a better mousetrap, that was on a sheep hunt being overrun with mice in our wall tent. Thats a whole ‘nother story.
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Lets start with the Real Avid FINI Choke Wrench. If you have more than one shotgun or gauge of ‘lead spreader’ you will want to own a FINI. Compact in size and weighing in at under 2oz. the FINI is the premier all-in-one choke tube wrench. Designed to fit six different gauges, .410, 28, 20, 16, 12, and 10 makes it a tool you don’t want to be without. With its anodized aluminum surround, Torx™ fasteners and stainless steel wrench, its built to withstand the harshness of any environment.

A cam style lock that secures the wrench at 90° and 180° makes it tough enough to exceed 50 lbs of torque for the choke that is a tad stubborn. Thats not all, Real Avid thought of you … remember the last time you were trying to adjust the windage and elevation on your scope using a penny or dime. Integrated into the end of the wrench is a neat little adjustment tool so you can keep your change. What will they think of next?



Retails for just $9.99. Visit today.

Avoiding dehydration

Avoiding Dehydration While Hunting

Keeping a keen edge on our mental focus is one of the keys to being a successful hunter. As the predator, lightning quick reflexes and the ability to make nanosecond decisions are to our advantage. There is no substitute for being mentally razor sharp. A simple assistant to acuteness that cannot be overlooked is – water.

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The human brain fires neurons which enable us to make sharp and snappy decisions. Given that your body is around 70% water and the brain is about 80% water, hydration is of the utmost importance. Daniel G. Amen, M.D. a clinical neuroscientist and medical director of the Amen Clinic for Behavioral Medicine in California says “Your brain is 80 percent water and if it’s not hydrated, your neurons can’t perform properly.”


Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., EatingWell Nutrition Editor writes, “Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. When you’re well-hydrated, you can also think through a problem more easily. Researchers hypothesize that not having enough water could reduce oxygen flow to the brain or temporarily shrink neurons — or being thirsty could simply distract you.”


Researchers such as Dr. Amen recommend you drink at least 84 ounces of water a day. “It is best to have your liquids unpolluted with artificial sweeteners, sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. You can use herbal, non-caffeinated tea bags, such as raspberry or strawberry flavored, and make unsweetened iced tea. Green tea is also good for brain function as it contains chemicals that enhance mental relaxation and alertness.”


“But one size doesn’t fit all,” says Leslie Bonci, R.D., C.S.S.D., director of sports nutrition at the Center for Sports Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers. “Your size and activity level affect your fluid requirements. Simply put, the larger and more active you are, the more you’ll need.”


“The easiest thing that anybody could do on a daily basis is monitor their urine color,” says Douglas Casa, Ph.D., A.T.C., who studies hydration at the University of Connecticut. “Lighter urine color – like lemonade – means you’re generally well-hydrated. If it’s darker, like apple juice, you are most likely dehydrated.”


Dehydration can began to occur in just a few hours. If your thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Whether chasing turkey, elk or sitting in a tree stand, stay on top of the game by committing to systematic hydration. “Depending on the season, the heat index, the strenuousness of the hike, and other factors that increase your body’s perspiration, you may want to remind yourself of this additional rule of thumb: you will sweat around 1/2 to 1 quart of fluid for every hour that you walk in the heat. If you purchase a 2- or 3- liter hydration bladder, that should contain the minimum amount of fluid needed to get you through a 3 to 6 hour hike in the heat. Depending on the circumstances, this still may not be enough.”


Regardless of the season that you’re planning on hunting – plan on hydrating. Maintaining your body’s proper fluid balance may mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful hunt.