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.
Tips For Calling Coyotes

Six Simple Tips For Calling Coyotes

Calling coyotes not only provides the opportunity to keep predator numbers in check, it also offers exciting and unforgettable experiences.
Few predator hunters will forget the moment they called in their very first coyote. I will never forget mine. My boys were young but I took them along anyway—knowing all the while I’d just reduced my chances of seeing anything by at least 50%. Sitting still was not on their agenda, but if I could pull off a successful coyote hunt with three boys in tow, it would be the ultimate challenge.
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The grain hopper of an abandoned combine made for an ideal stand. The wind was perfect, I could see close to 400-yards in any direction and the outside ledge of the harvester’s hopper allowed a solid rest for my bipod.
Leaving my three munchkins tucked beside the rear tire of the combine, they were somewhat hidden. And as long as the coyote remained outside of 50-yards, my boys would be out of sight.
Taking my cottontail in distress mouth call I proceeded to sound like a tortured rabbit in the jaws of a Tyrannosaurus rex. While I was impressed at my novice calling ability, I was also hearing laughter from three ornery boys as they mocked my horrid sounds.

Six Simple Tips For Calling Coyotes

What those three boys didn’t know was a beautiful male coyote was running straight for them—all it heard was a dinner bell.
At 80-yards the 52-grain .22 caliber bullet found its mark, and dad got the last laugh. For at the sound of the shot those three boys jumped out of their skin. No, I did not warn them beforehand—on purpose.
After all these years my boys and I still talk about the memories we made on our very first coyote hunt together, and of course that coyote hide is among the ‘trophies’ scattered throughout our home.

Tip 1: Don’t Overthink It

So how can a novice go out with a mouth call and call in a coyote his very fist time? It’s because the coyote didn’t know it was my first time, neither did it know I didn’t have years of experience under my belt.
The opportunistic coyote I called in had heard something that sounded as if it was dying and decided to see if whatever was making the racket might make-do for dinner.
When calling coyotes don’t get hung up on what you don’t know. There are no set rules when it comes to calling coyotes with a distress call. Simply do your best to fluctuate the tones and pitches along with putting plenty of emotion into the call.
Some guys prefer to call for 10 minutes and then pause. Their logic is based upon the thought that a rabbit does not die for 30-minutes, so they attempt to make it sound ‘real.’ The only problem is, a coyote doesn’t have human logic—it lives on instinct.
How To Calling Coyotes

2. Change It Up

Personally, I call for a solid 30-minutes at each set, sometimes longer depending on the circumstances. But I will change the sound as I am calling. When I primarily used mouth calls, I would simply vary the tone, pitch and length of air burst over the duration of the calling sequence. Now that I predominately use an e-caller, I will vary the sounds every 10 to 15 minutes.
For example, if I start out with a cottontail in distress I may change to a baby cottontail after 10 minutes, then to a jackrabbit, and then a mouse. A coyote doesn’t care what you place on the dinner plate, they just have to be in the mood for what ever sound you offer.
Sometimes a cottontail in distress will work, other times coyotes may prefer what seems like an odd choice of sounds, such as a red squirrel in distress. One day a coyote may come to a higher pitch sound, other days to a lower. You can’t predict what sound will peak their interest, so just be ready to offer plenty of options on the menu.
The one thing I always do is end my calling sequence with the sound of a pup in distress. If there is a coyote hung up just out of sight, the pup in distress will usually bring them in close enough that I can get a shot.
Sound variation is one of the reasons I like to use an electronic caller. An e-caller provides a variety of sounds at your disposal and allows you to change the sounds at the touch of a button.

3. Be Flexible

Coyotes can’t tell time. They don’t care if you call for 10, 12, 14 or 20 minutes before changing to a different sound. What they can tell is if that sound sets off their territorial, paternal, reproductive or survival instincts.
When calling coyotes don’t get stuck on exact times and set sounds. Just because I call for 10 minutes before changing the sound doesn’t mean you have to. Feel free to experiment and see what works for you.
Remaining flexible will make predator hunting much more enjoyable and allow you to be yourself. Yes, there are patterns you can follow, but few rules. Coyotes are a wild animal and will always remain unpredictable—and there’s no reason a hunter can’t mimic that behavioral trait.
Once on stand I simply follow my gut instinct when in a calling sequence. If I get a ‘wild hair’ to change up and add a female howl in the middle of a distress sequence, I do it.
As long as I am staying within the boundaries of speaking to a coyote’s territorial, paternal, reproductive or survival instincts—I consider the sound fair game.

4. Learn Non-Threatening Howls

Coyotes have a definite language, and if wanting to increase your chances of killing more coyotes, learning how to mimic coyote vocalizations will dramatically increase your odds.
Both male and female vocalizations are unique. Both sexes offer distinct sounds that communicate a vast amount of information. So much so, that some biologists claim man will never decipher the intricate details contained in the coyote’s howl.
From mid-January through mid-March I like to use a significant amount of non-threatening female vocalizations during a calling sequence. Not only am I hoping a love-crazed male will come in to check out what lonely lady might be nearby, but by combining a distress and coyote howl, I hope to also give an open dinner invitation to nearby coyotes of any gender.
Rarely will I use a threatening howl, such as the ‘challenge howl,’ when on stand. Because coyotes are territorial in nature, the last thing I want to do is intimidate when the idea of my calling is to invite.
While an in-depth look at coyote vocalizations will be addressed in an upcoming article, you can learn a lot by simply searching the Internet and listening to the various coyote vocalizations. Coyote howls will work, are not hard to learn, and should be in your repertoire.
Calling Coyotes Six Tips

5. Give it Time

There are a handful of really patient people in the world. Some can sit for hours and be content in the process—I’m not one of them. So, I have to make myself stay on stand and call for at least 30-minutes.
When I first started calling coyotes if something didn’t show up within 15-minutes I was packing up and heading down the road. In time I’ve learned that 30-minutes isn’t that long. Besides, would I rather be doing something else?
When calling coyotes, I can’t overstress the importance of being patient. Whatever mind games you have to play in order to sit still and keep your eyes peeled, do it. Remember, coyotes can show up any second and out of nowhere.
If you know there are coyotes in the area, such as if you had a visual or saw fresh tracks, don’t give up after 30-minutes. I’ve heard of hunters staying put for 45-minutes to an hour before a coyote finally responded.
They say patience is a virtue, but it’s also a quality that makes for a good coyote caller—I’m still working on it.

6. Let It Rest

How long before you should go back and hunt the same stand again? It depends. Did you get in and out without leaving an abundance of human scent? Did you miss the shot and educate the coyote(s) in that area?
There are many variables when it comes to how much time has to expire before you can return to a particular area. One thing is for sure, letting a stand rest for a few weeks will only prolong its hunting quality.
When you do go back into an area, try to use a different call and calling sequence. Change the pitch of your call and even the sound(s). If you previously used a cottontail in distress, try a woodpecker. Or don’t use a distress at all and just use non-threatening howls.
By being careful not over pressure your hunting areas, your coyote hunting can remain both fun and productive.


The subject of calling coyotes can never be exhausted, so please feel free to share your tips and suggestions with us. I don’t know it all and am always learning from other predator hunters. If you have additional tips for calling coyotes, please share them with us in the comments below and good luck calling!
For more coyote hunting tips be sure and check out Coyote Hunting: How To Set Up.

Stand Set Up For Coyotes

Coyote Hunting: How To Set Up

Whether it’s coyote hunting or whitetail hunting, learning an animal’s characteristic behavior is part of the overall experience. And for the new coyote hunter, chasing predators is an exciting way to expand one’s knowledge of another wildlife species.
Much like whitetail hunting, to be a successful coyote hunter means taking time to carefully consider how the wind and the lay of land will impact a coyote’s movements. Once understood how these two elements play a vital role in the hunt, setting up for coyotes will become second nature.
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As we mentioned in A Beginners Guide To Coyote Hunting, knowing where coyotes are is the main ingredient to a successful hunt, but once you gain permission to hunt prime coyote habitat, making the right stand setup is key.

Coyote Hunting: How To Set Up

Much like picking the perfect tree in which to hang a treestand, choosing where to set up and call is never done at random—the location is chosen for a reason.

Wind Direction

When determining a stand location, wind direction is the first item to take into consideration. Before making a stand draw a mental picture of how you’ll need to set up in order to insure the wind is in your favor.
The wind plays several factors when coyote hunting: First, it determines which direction your scent is going. Second, it influences where a coyote is likely to come from. Third, it controls how loud you need to call. Fourth, it dictates how quiet you have to be when entering an area.
Remember when setting up to call that coyotes have an incredible sense of smell. Whatever you do, don’t think your location is ‘good enough’ if the wind is carrying your scent in the direction a coyote is most likely to approach from.
Coyotes can smell human scent for several hundred yards, so make sure your stand site is not sending scent signals and educating a coyote as to what and where you are before it’s within shooting range.
Considering wind direction is not only important for scent control, wind can also mask the sound of your call. The windier it is, the louder you may have to call within a given area.
Here in the Midwest we predominantly hunt areas that are heavily wooded. Unlike the open terrain of the West, sound does not carry as far through dense stands of timber. Thick timber combined with heavy winds often means prolonged and loud calling in order to get a coyote to respond.
Wind also determines the most probable direction a coyote will come from. Coyotes like to smell what they’re coming to, especially if it’s the sound of an animal in distress, so it’s important make sure you have good visibility, and can shoot towards the downwind side of your stand.
On windy days I know my approach into an area does not have to be as stealthy. The wind will mask the sound of my approach even when walking in noisy corn stubble. But on still days when sound can carry a greater distance—a more stealthy entrance and setup will be required. Just remember, no matter the circumstances, wind direction and wind speed are paramount when making a stand.
Setting up to call in coyotes

Hunt A Crosswind

While the hunter should strive to remain ‘downwind’ of an approaching coyote, this does not mean you always have to set up with the wind directly in your face.
‘Keep the wind in your face,’ is an idiom used to suggest the coyote hunter not allow their scent cone to reach an approaching coyote. It does not mean you literally hunt with the wind directly in your face at each stand.
My personal preference is to set up using a crosswind. This means the wind is blowing from right-to-left or left-to-right in front of my stand. Hunting a crosswind helps guarantee if a coyote does try to circle downwind, I can easily get a shot off before it reaches my scent cone. A crosswind can also be used to your advantage if wanting to extend the reach of your call, a crosswind will assist in carrying the sound for a considerable distance.
Illustrated below are a few of our recent stands. Here in Indiana we predominantly hunt farms with small patches of timber and open fields. Here you can see how we set up using a crosswind and how the coyotes have actually responded.
The first thing you will recognize in these illustrations is you can’t say ‘always’ when hunting coyotes. Coyotes don’t ‘always’ come in from the leeward side and they don’t ‘always’ come from the direction you might expect. For this reason we usually position our FoxPro caller (as illustrated below) around 75-yards in front of the shooters.
In figure #1 the red X represents the shooters. The yellow X represents our FoxPro electronic caller, FoxPro motion decoy and full body coyote decoy.
The red line is the path the coyote took towards the call. At this stand, we had only called around 5-minutes when the coyote responded to the call. As you can see, the coyote came off a ridge to the west of the shooters, crossed a creek and into the field edge—the rest is history.
Setting Up To Call Coyotes
In figure #2 the red X represents the shooters. The yellow X represents the FoxPro electronic caller, FoxPro motion decoy and full body coyote decoy. As in figure #1 the red line is the path the predator took towards the caller.
At this particular stand we have called in three coyotes and a beautiful red fox. None of which came from directly down wind. This is an example of how terrain will impact the way a predator will approach the call.
How To Set Up For Coyotes
In Figure #3 the red X represents the shooters. The yellow X represents our FoxPro electronic caller, motion decoy and full body coyote decoy. Again, the red line is the path the coyote took when approaching the call.
Initially we had made a stand around 200-yards to the east of what is pictured and the sound of our calling should have reached the peripheral of this area. After setting up at this secondary location for almost 25-minutes a nice male coyote responded to the call.
I knew when setting up there was a road that exits into the inside corner of the field. This was the ideal place for a coyote to show up—sure enough—it came right down the road and into the field as anticipated.
Coyote Stand
Some may look at these illustrations and wonder why we set up as we did. First and foremost was due to the wind direction and second of all because of the terrain. Looking at the photos it would seem there are more ‘ideal’ places to set up, but our setups need to allow for good visibility of an approaching coyote. The ground is not flat as it may look, therefore if you can’t see the coyote approach, there’s no need to set up there. The terrain can make all the difference when trying to get a shot off—so you have to do what you can to make the landscape work for you.

Know The Terrain

Here in Indiana, we predominantly hunt field edges off of thick timber. Before making a stand I use the OnXMaps mobile app to check both topographical and satellite imagery. This app makes quick work of figuring out the terrain surrounding my stand. Taking the time to look at the lay of the land will allow you to know how a coyote will most likely approach your stand.
Referring to the illustrations above, we always try to use terrain to our advantage. Behind the shooter in figure #2 is a 30-foot drop off. The field in front of the shooter is not flat but includes rolling terrain. The entire field edge, to the south of the shooter, also drops off steeply. The terrain requires any predator to come up a steep embankment before it can see the motion decoy. Usually when coyotes climb an embankment of any kind and reach a field edge they will stop, which allows the shooter an opportunity to take the shot.
In figure #1 the shooters and decoys are at the bottom of a large bowl. This bowl runs north and south and extends into the timber. The bowl funnels the sound of the call directly into the timber and provides a safe shooting zone since there are houses in the area. Here we called in two coyotes within 5-minutes. The female came in first and the male hung up, but at least we got one out of the two.
When preparing to make a stand always try to pinpoint the path of least resistance. If you’re hunting in pasture land a coyote will often follow the cattle trails when coming to the call. If hunting field edges a coyote may come down a fence row or funnel through some other natural corridor. Again, each location will need to be hunted based upon its terrain and how you believe a coyote may try to access the location of your call.
Setting up for coyotes is not difficult, it simply requires you to take in your surroundings and draw the best possible conclusion. And good news is, the more you hunt the more you’ll learn. So get out there and enjoy hunting coyotes!
For additional coyote hunting tips check out Six Simple Tips For Calling Coyotes.

Coyote Hunting For Beginners

A Beginner’s Guide To Coyote Hunting

Coyote hunting and quality deer management go hand in hand, and while it’s easy to focus on food plots, hinge cutting and timber stand improvement this time of year, now is also the time to check predator control off your post-season to-do list.
Adequately managing the coyote population within a given area has been proven to dramatically increase whitetail fawn recruitment. So if you want to preserve the life of a few whitetail fawns, you can do so by coyote hunting.
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A Beginner’s Guide To Coyote Hunting

So what does coyote hunting require? Do you need an electronic call or a mouth call? Should you use a motion decoy? How long should I call at each stand? Hopefully we can help answer these and other questions by providing some tips and strategies over the next few weeks. For now let’s look at the basics when pursuing Mr. Coyote.

Keep It Simple

For the beginner who wanders into the big-box sporting goods store in search of the perfect predator call, he or she can expect to be overwhelmed. The shelves will be lined with a variety of calls in different brands, styles and sounds. But before you get lost in the number of calls on the shelves, let me offer a suggestion—keep coyote hunting as simple as possible.
In reality you only need a few calls to effectively call coyotes. Over the years I’ve experimented with several different calls and usually end up using three. That’s right—just three—a howler, a pup in distress and a cottontail in distress.
Calls such as the Micro Cottontail Distress or Adjustable Coyote/Distress by Duel Game Calls are easy to use and can cover a broad range of sounds. If money is an issue, choose a call maker such as Duel, that offers a single call that can make multiple sounds—there’s nothing wrong with saving yourself some dough.
When choosing between a closed reed or open reed coyote call, the beginner may find a closed reed call easier to use. Whatever coyote call allows you to call effectively at your current skill level, use it.
If you have the extra money to spend, I would strongly suggest investing in an electronic caller. I personally use a FoxPro electronic caller and would highly recommend FoxPro products. I would also suggest when buying an electronic call to look for one that features dual amplified speakers. This feature will provide a wider range of volume resulting in additional opportunities when hunting on windy days or in more open terrain.
One of the biggest advantages of using an electronic call is it can be controlled remotely, therefore the call can be set up some distance from the shooter. The distance between the electronic call and the shooter allows the coyote to come to the call rather than you the caller. This diversion gives the shooter a greater advantage due to the coyote being focused on the location of the call and not on the location of the caller/shooter. An electronic call will also offer a variety of animal sounds, which can be changed instantly by a simple press of a button.
A Beginners Guide To Coyote Hunting

Hunt Where They Are

Did you have any coyotes on your trail cameras last year? Did you see any coyote tracks while shed hunting? What about those tracks you saw in the fresh snow, were they coyote tracks? What about the scat you saw while walking to your treestand? Paying attention to these small details will help you know where to set up to call coyotes.
Not every farm we deer hunt on has an abundance of coyotes—others do. If I’ve never heard or seen any sign of a coyote on a given piece of property, I probably won’t waste my time setting up there.
Another way to locate coyotes is to ask farmers and ranchers. Even if a farmer or rancher won’t let you deer hunt, they will most likely allow you to shoot coyotes. Knocking on doors isn’t always easy, but it is one sure way to find new and non-pressured locations to hunt predators.

Avoid Education

Serious whitetail hunters understand how important it is to hunt the correct wind. So it is when coyote hunting. Besides their tendency to avoid human scent, coyotes will normally approach a call from a downwind vantage point—this is crucial to remember when making a stand.
Before you set up to call, be sure you’re not making a stand where a coyote could possible catch a whiff of your scent. The importance of making sure you remain downwind of an approaching coyote or can get a shot off before it gets directly downwind of your stand cannot be overemphasized.
Coyotes will often hang around field edges while looking for rabbits and mice. Always take this into consideration when heading into an area to call. I even try to park my vehicle a considerable distance from where I walk into an area. The point is to avoid making your presence known in any way. A coyote has an acute sense of hearing and could be just about anywhere, so try not to educate them.
I also try to think about how I’m leaving a scent trail when approaching a stand site. If a coyote crosses my scent trail, it most likely will not come to my call. This might mean a longer walk to make a stand, but I guarantee the attention to detail will pay off. Plus, being careful how you enter and exit the area you hunt, may allow multiple opportunities to coyote hunt that same area.
One of the strategies I have used repeatedly is to work from the outside in. In other words, if I have a prime spot I want to make a stand, and know it has a high chance of yielding a coyote kill, I may initially set up 200-300 yards away from the ideal stand site. After a calling sequence I will move the 200-300 yards to the prime calling location. This strategy allows the sound of my first stand to reach the peripheral of the area I want to hunt and insures I’m not blowing a coyote out of the area before reaching where I want to make my ideal set. Obviously some areas do not allow for a ‘double-stand’ option, but if the area is large enough, working from the outside in will insure you have covered the entire area with the sound of your call.

Watch Your Back

For the most part, the age-old adage, “Keep the wind in your face and the sun at your back,” directly applies when setting up to call coyotes. If you follow this rule of thumb, you’re can up your score in the predator hunting game.
When setting up to call be sure you blend in with the surroundings. A heavily shadowed or dark background is best and will help break up your silhouette. Avoid setting up where you will be sky-lined or be left sitting in direct sunlight. On early morning hunts remember how fast the light can change, be sure to consider how your backdrop will be lit at the end of your calling sequence and not just how it looks at the time of set up.
A Beginners Guide To Coyote Hunting Tips

Make It Real

When using a mouth call, put plenty of emotion into your calling sequence. If you were a rabbit and about to become a predator’s dinner, you’d no doubt be a little emotional. Fluctuating between the sounds of fighting for your life, being mortally wounded and almost dead, will add realism.
Personally, I like to use a FoxPro Black Jack decoy when calling. By using a motion decoy you not only add realism to the set, but also provide further distraction from the shooter. Remember when using any type of decoy to position it to where you have a clear shot on its downwind side.
I also like to use a full size coyote decoy when calling coyotes. By placing a motion decoy a couple feet in front of the full-bodied coyote decoy, you are creating a real life scenario. Knock on wood, but I’ve never had a coyote spook or be hesitant to come in to the call when using the coyote decoy and motion decoy combination.
When using an electronic caller or motion decoy I always cover any plastic with corn stubble, leaves or grass so it does not glare in the sunlight. Again, all these details might not be necessary, but they have worked for me so I’m simply passing on the information.
With that said, you don’t need decoys to kill coyotes. I’ve killed coyotes by using a closed reed cottontail in distress—that was it. But the decoys have helped bring wary coyotes into shooting distance that would not have come in otherwise. To use or not to use a decoy is personal preference.

Be Patient

Having hunted coyotes in both the West and Midwest, my personal opinion is coyotes in the Midwest are much slower to respond to a call. In the West there have been many times a coyote would show up within 5-minutes of beginning a calling sequence. Here in the Midwest it’s not unusual to wait 30-minutes before a coyote shows up.
While the temptation may be to move on after 10-minutes of calling—don’t. Sit tight and have faith in your stand. Some callers make it a practice to end their calling sequence with a howl and wait an additional 10-minutes before moving. This type of tactic insures the caller that he or she has given plenty of time for a slowpoke yote to show up.
If a coyote is approaching your setup don’t rush it. You may be tempted to shoot while it’s still coming, but be patient. Once it’s in shooting range and offers a shot, then take it.


Over the next few weeks we will be sharing additional coyote hunting tips and strategies with you. While there will always be a learning curve when beginning to hunt any animal, don’t stress about what you don’t know. For now, focus on the basics and learn as you go. There is no substitute for experience—so go have fun.

For more tips and tactics check out Coyote Hunting: How To Set Up and Six Simple Tips For Calling Coyotes.

Shed Hunting With Kaden

Kaden Schlipf’s Shed Hunting Tips

He may only be 13-years-old, but Kaden Schlipf has a growing reputation. Kaden’s notoriety doesn’t come from being the son of Jared Schlipf, president of Lone Wolf Treestands, but because he possesses a unique ability to find whitetail sheds.
Unlike most boys his age, who would rather spend time playing video games, Kaden is a shed hunter. Spending approximately 40-50 days each year in search of bone, this young man not only enjoys shed hunting—he knows how to find sheds.
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Kaden volunteered to join us for a question and answer session and share some valuable tips for those new to shed hunting. What he had to say was spot on, and he has the sheds to prove his shed hunting tactics work.
365: Hello, Kaden! Thanks for allowing us to do this interview.
Kaden: Thanks for having me, and allowing me to share my experiences in the outdoors with you.
365: To kick things off, tell us a little about yourself, your hobbies and what sparked your interest in shed hunting?
Kaden: I started hunting with my dad when I was 5-years-old. If it’s in season I like to hunt it. My passion is deer hunting and deer management. I also enjoy trapping, which really helps me sharpen my hunting skills. I would have to say trapping coyotes is my favorite.
How To Shed Hunt
365: That’s awesome, Kaden! The main reason I wanted you to do this interview with us is to help encourage other youth to get in the outdoors.
Let’s start from the beginning.
For the young person or older person who’s never shed hunted and wants to get started, how would you suggest they begin?
Kaden: I would say if you don’t have your own property, you need to ask some of the local landowners, or farmers in your area for permission to shed hunt.
We hunt our private ground, but we have found that neighboring farmers are very willing to let you shed hunt because the sheds can cause some serious damage to their tractor tires.
365: Great advice!
Shed Hunting Tactics
Let’s create a scenario where you are getting ready to shed hunt a property for the very first time. Give us a simple step-by-step outline of how you shed hunt a piece of property.
Kaden: I like to start by walking the grassy field edges first, checking any grass waterways as I go. I have been very successful in these locations as the deer are actually bedding there at night and staying close to feed this time of year.
If the field is short bean stubble I try to scan the whole field from the high spots. If it’s corn stalks, I like to use an ATV and work it in a grid pattern to cover all the rows. It can sometimes be very difficult to see sheds in the corn stubble so you need to work slow.
Secondly, I always cover the fence rows and creek beds on a piece of property. A lot of times as a deer jumps, the impact can make the sheds drop here.
After covering these key locations, I try to locate daytime bedding areas, and staging areas in the woods. Many times I find a matching side to one I found in the previous locations we discussed.
I think that after a buck loses one antler it feels awkward to them. I believe they try to work the other side free by rubbing on the ground, and on trees in their beds, or in the staging areas. The staging areas are often close to the field edges as deer hang out here as daylight fades.
365: Perfect! That’s clear, concise and solid information.
So give us a little insight into your most memorable shed hunt and tell us about the highest scoring set of sheds you’ve found?
Kaden: I would say every successful shed hunt is memorable to me, and I remember where I found every shed from years past. The first matching set I have found this year maybe one of my best sets yet. It is a buck that we have no history with but goes over 170 inches. I now have gained some knowledge of where he is hanging out, I can’t wait to build more history with him. My best shed to date we scored at 85 inches with over 27 inch main beams.
Shed Hunting Tips
365: That’s a great story along with some great sheds. Congrats on finding a great set of sheds already this year!
Kaden: Yes, as I was saying he has been a ghost so far, but again this is one reason I enjoy shed hunting so much. I now know that he exists on one of our farms and I have a starting point.
365: Last question for you: I love to shed hunt with my boys, do you think shed hunting is a great way to spend time as a family?
Kaden: I think shed hunting is a great way to spend time as a family. Shed hunting is also one of the best ways for us to help target bucks in our area, to make us more successful the following season. Oh, and it’s great exercise!
365: Thank you, Kaden! I really appreciate you taking the time to share this valuable information with us. Good luck finding sheds this year!
Kaden: Thanks, I have learned a lot about shed hunting every time I go out, but luck is always welcome.
Shed Hunting Whitetail

Review Vortex Ranger 1000

Vortex Ranger 1000 Rangefinder Review

The reason I chose the Vortex Ranger 1000 rangefinder was based upon the willingness of Vortex to understand and accommodate hunters. Hunters are a unique breed of individuals who have a reputation for placing extreme demands on their gear—the Vortex Ranger 1000 rangefinder has met those demands.
While some might expect this review to simply say the Vortex Ranger 1000 is the best rangefinder on the market—it wont. What this review will say is judging yardage is critical for any successful hunt and an accurate and dependable rangefinder, such as the Vortex Ranger 1000, can make an ethical harvest all that more possible.
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For some time now I’ve been trying to find an optics company that ‘got it.’ What I mean by ‘got it’ is this: So what if a company offers the clearest glass in the universe if the design and features are for birdwatchers. A birdwatcher I’m not, but a hunter I am. So the gear I use must live up to the rigors of hunting and perform without compromise in a variety of hunting situations.
Just this year I sent back a piece of gear that I could not conscientiously do a review on. What the piece of gear claimed to do and how it actually performed were vastly different. Yes, I could have made the manufacturer happy by writing a positive review, but what about all the bowhunters I would have falsely influenced? Not to mention that uncommon word called—integrity. No thanks, item returned!
With that said, let’s take an honest look at the Vortex Ranger 1000 laser rangefinder.

Vortex Ranger 1000 Rangefinder

Having worked in the outdoor retailer space has provided me with the opportunity to use a considerable number of high-end optics. From binoculars, spotting scopes to rangefinders, I’ve had the opportunity to demo a variety of optics in both the timbered Midwest to the more open hillsides of the West.
Comparing the Vortex Ranger 1000 to other quality rangefinders, I would say it ranks at the top the list. And while I believe there are other quality rangefinders on the market, the Ranger 1000’s overall performance has been beyond stellar.


When it comes to rangefinders, the first and foremost item of importance is reliability. I’ve heard several horror stories stemming from a rangefinder that failed to perform at a critical moment. To each his own, but for me personally, owning inferior gear is not an option. When hunting pressured whitetails a single opportunity cannot be forfeited due to a malfunctioning rangefinder.
Since using the Vortex Ranger 1000 rangefinder I’ve not had a single issue. From lowlight conditions, cold weather, wet days and fresh snow, the Ranger 1000 has always been reliable.
The Vortex Ranger 1000 claims to be waterproof and is said to be designed with o-ring seals that prevent any moisture from penetrating the armored body or around the multi-coated lenses.
After hunting several days in the rain, I can say the Vortex Ranger 1000 lives up to its claims and is indeed 100% waterproof. Unlike another high-end rangefinder I’ve used, which allowed moisture to get passed its rubber seals, the Ranger 1000 performed beyond expectation. I have to say; compared to other reputable laser rangefinders, the Vortex Ranger 1000 is the epitome of reliability.
Vortex Ranger 1000 review


Every bowhunter knows a rangefinder must be consistent in its yardage readings. A false reading of a few yards can result in a total miss of an animal.
Having put the Vortex Ranger 1000 to the test, it has been dead on, no matter the weather conditions. The yardage readings are always accurate and unless hunting in a torrential downpour, there has never been a day the Vortex Ranger 1000 hasn’t been precise in its yardage readings.


Having spent a considerable amount if time behind a variety of high-end rangefinders, I’ve seen some of the most expensive rangefinders fail during light rain or fog. Any environmental factors that can disperse the rangefinder’s light beam, such as rain, fog or snow normally affect yardage readings and make a rangefinder virtually useless.
One of the most impressive aspects of the Vortex 1000 Ranger is how it has performed in a light mist/drizzle. The Ranger 1000 has ranged up to 330-yards in a constant light drizzle. And while ‘light drizzle’ is subjective, the Ranger 1000 outperformed other rangefinders I have used in the same weather conditions.
Another impressive aspect of the Vortex Ranger 1000 is its ranging ability. The farthest range achieved with the Ranger 1000 is 995-yards. I was impressed to say the least. Now I’m really excited to test the Ranger’s limits while doing some late winter predator hunting.
vortex ranger review


The one thing I did notice about the Vortex Ranger 1000 was its readings were not processed as fast as some other rangefinders I have used. Again, ‘not as fast’ is subjective and we are talking about less than a second.
Less than a second for a yardage reading at almost 1000 yards is still well within reason. I’m just being honest about our experience with the Vortex Ranger 1000 and informing the potential buyer of what to expect should they purchase the Ranger.


The Vortex Ranger 1000 provides more than adequate features for both the bowhunter and long-range shooter. As someone who prefers a red LED instead of the a black LCD, the Vortex offers not only a ‘bright’ red LED but it is fully adjustable should the user prefer to adjust the light to a dimmer setting.
It’s Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) mode offers treestand hunters or those who hunt in steep terrain, angle compensated ranges for either uphill or downhill shots. The Ranger 100 also features a scan mode that allows ‘tracking’ of a moving animal by simply holding down on the ‘measure’ button.
The Vortex Ranger 1000 also comes with a reversible/removable attachment clip, CR2 battery, lanyard and can be attached to a tripod. I can’t think of another feature that I would need or want on the Vortex Ranger 1000. For my style of hunting, the Ranger 100 has it all.
vortex ranger 1000


The setup of the Vortex Ranger 1000 was simple and its menu easily accessible. Changing between Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) and Line of Sight (LOS) modes is quick and not at all difficult.
To use the Ranger 1000 requires a simple press of the measure button to turn on the unit and a second press to acquire the yardage.
The Ranger’s 6×22 objective lens offers sharp and bright images and an adjustable diopter provides a crisp image focus.


The Vortex Ranger 1000 comes with the Vortex VIP warranty. VIP stands for Very Important Promise. This means Vortex will repair or replace your rangefinder in the event it becomes damaged or defective.
There’s more.
The VIP warranty means there is no warranty card to fill out, nor receipt to hang on to. This warranty is also lifetime, unlimited and unconditional. Plus it’s fully transferable.
How can you go wrong with a deal like that?

Vortex Ranger 1000 Specs:


  • Waterproof O-ring seals prevent moisture from getting inside for withstanding harsh weather conditions.
  • Rugged Design – Built to handle tough situations. Compact and lightweight.
  • Rubber Armor – Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
  • Diopter – Adjusts for precise focus.
  • Utility Clip – Provides quick, convenient access.
  • Tripod Adaptable – Compatible with a tripod adapter, allowing use on a tripod or car window mount.

    Detailed Features


  • HCD Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) mode for angle compensated ranging.
  • LOS Line of Sight (LOS) mode displays actual line of sight range.
  • Scan Feature displays continual distance readings when tracking a moving animal.
  • Easy-to-use Menu – Intuitive, easy-to-use menus feature a simple, clean illuminated display.
  • Ranging Format – Range in yards or meters.
  • Range Reflective 11-1000 yards
  • Range Deer 11-500 yards
  • Accuracy + / – 3 yards @ 1000 yards
  • Max Angle Reading +/- 60 degrees (INC 50)
  • Magnification 6 x
  • Objective Lens Diameter 22 mm
  • Linear Field of View 315 feet/1000 yards
  • Angular Field of View 6 degrees
  • Eye Relief 17 mm
  • Length 3.9 inches
  • Width 3 inches
  • Weight 7.7 ounces
    For more information check out the Vortex Ranger 1000 here..
    Ranger 1000 rangefinder review

    bowhunters post season to do list

    A Bowhunter’s Post-Season To Do List

    Let’s face it, this time of year bowhunters are susceptible to a strange ailment. A lack of treestand time combined with inadequate adrenaline levels is all that’s needed to catch a bad case of this post-season crud.
    A diagnosis is simple. If symptoms include counting the days until October 1st you’ve probably caught the post-season virus. If you’re unhappy and want to vegetate until next hunting season, you should seek treatment immediately. And if you find yourself trying to cope by continuously talking about last year’s hunting season—consider yourself on the sick list.
    Avoid prolonging this dreaded illness, and the spreading of this contagious disease to your hunting partners, by making a post-season to-do list and getting prepared for the 2015 hunting season.
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    To make the 2015 season the best ever, now is the time to make a to-do list of what needs initiated, mended or slightly altered. A good way to move beyond any post-season infirmity is to organize yourself, your strategy and your equipment.

    1. Buck Inventory

    Late winter is the perfect time to find out what bucks survived the previous season. To locate the survivors, place a few trail cameras over fresh food and mineral. These food sites will also provide post rut bucks with additional nutrition and it sure can’t hurt to give these bucks a boost in their winter diet.
    When supplementing food, it’s best to offer some form of protein. Deer will undoubtedly devour shelled corn, but they’ll receive greater benefit by offering a balance of corn, protein and minerals.
    After you’ve put out your preferred food, add a powdered attractant with a strong odor. Spending a few extra dollars to add the smell of apple, chestnuts, or acorns will help the deer find the food site much faster and can draw deer from a considerable distance.
    To save money, check your local big box stores for discounted pricing on both attractants and food supplements. Many stores clearance out their hunting products this time of year and a little shopping can provide significant savings for an already thin post-season wallet.
    bowhunting to do list

    2. Treestand Maintenance

    One of the most important items on every bowhunter’s to-do list is treestand maintenance. Is your life worth more than a $15.00 nylon strap? Of course it is.
    Treestand straps don’t last forever. They wear out and need replacing every couple of years. Don’t risk it! Once those straps have been exposed to the elements for a of couple years, they should be replaced.
    It doesn’t matter if your buddy never replaces his straps and leaves his stands out 365 days a year, there’s no need for you to risk your own life over something so trivial! It may sound like boring safety rhetoric, but you only have one life. Replace those straps and be safe. Post-season is maintenance time and that includes maintaining your treestand.

    3. Bow Maintenance

    Hunting in rain and snow can take its toll on a bow. Post-season provides the time to clean off the dirt and debris, remove any surface rust off your bow’s accessories, oil all friction points and wax your bow’s string and cables. It’s also a good idea to make sure your bow is properly tuned and ready for the upcoming 3D archery season.
    (Ideally its best to oil key areas of your bow all through the season, the oil helps prevent significant oxidation on non-stainless steel parts if hunting in wet weather.)

    4. Boot Storage

    To preserve your rubber hunting boots, make sure they are 100% dry before putting them away. To prevent any possible moisture retention, be sure and remove the insoles when drying.
    Before storing your boots in a scent proof container, powder both the inside of the boot and under the insole with Dead Down Wind Boot and Storage Powder. A little post-season prevention will insure you’ll have a good-as-new pair of boots come next hunting season.

    5. Post-season Scouting

    On a recent post-season scouting trip, we located several scrapes, made during the secondary rut, just inside some field edges that we might not have seen if we waited until later in the year to begin scouting. Snow, rain and wind can quickly disguise these key pieces to next seasons puzzle, so time is of the essence.
    While I prefer to wait until late February before I go deeper in the timber, this is a great time of year to scout field edges while looking for a shed antlers. And why you might ask, doesn’t he scout deep this time of year?
    Waiting until late February or March before going into areas that serve as a sanctuary or bedding area will increase your chances of finding sheds. If you pressure an already pressured buck, it’s likely to head across the fence and relocate on property you don’t have permission to shed hunt on.
    bowhunters post season list

    6. Storage Container Cleaning

    As careful as I may try to be, it seems dirt and debris are always getting into the scent proof container where I store my hunting clothes. While it may seem trite, talking the time to clean out your scent free storage container will insure you’ll have the best possible place to store your hunting clothes during the off-season.
    I personally use Dead Down Wind’s Evolve Spray and thoroughly wipe out the container before storing my hunting clothes. You can also sprinkle some activated carbon in the bottom of the container, which will also help to adsorb any unwanted odors.

    7. Wash All Outerwear

    Before you store those hunting clothes, be sure and give them a good bath. If you need to remove any blood from your clothing, try using hydrogen peroxide before washing.
    Again, I use Dead Down Wind Laundry Detergent to wash base layers, mid-layers and outerwear before storing.

    8. Restock Hunting Supplies

    Hunting as a family can be very expensive. Over the years I’ve learned to look for after season sales on everything from Dead Down Wind, AA batteries, deer feed, to hand warmers. These savings can be very significant and help to make each dollar go a little further.
    My wife even knows to watch Walmart for discounted Dead Down Wind deodorant. A dollar is a dollar, so save it when you can.
    If you’re in need of replacing a treestand or climbing sticks, now is the time to get a jump on your gear for next year. Not only will it prevent you from procrastinating until the last minute, this is the time to find a good deal since most companies are offering specials on last years gear.

    9. Communicate With Property Owners

    If hunting private property it’s important to nurture strong relationships with property owners. You’ll be surprised how simply stopping by, shaking a hand and saying thank you can help insure you have a place to hunt next year.
    If it fits into your budget buy the property owner something. Whether it’s a gift card to a restaurant, a quality ham or a fruit basket, offering the property owner a gesture of kindness is a must for any post-season to-do list.

    10. Quality Deer Management

    The bowhunter’s post-season to-do list should also include a strategy for quality deer management. To help you get ready for the 2015 season, Cody Altizer will be covering the topic of QDM in his upcoming articles.

    Most of all, be sure your list includes spending time with the ones that matter the most, and no matter what time of the year it is—make sure you have fun.

    steve flores welcome to

    365 Whitetail Welcomes Steve Flores

    Steve Flores is known throughout the whitetail world for possesses an unswerving drive to do whatever is necessary to harvest a mature whitetail—Flores is the epitome of a die-hard bowhunter.
    As a true whitetail aficionado Flores brings a unique personality to 365 Whitetail. As a experienced writer Flores has a gift for presenting helpful information to those seeking to know more about this passion we share.
    We consider it a real honor to have Steve Flores on the 365 Whitetail team.
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    Steve Flores is a passionate hunter who enjoys chasing “mountain” whitetails in his native southern West Virginia. Steve credits his love of hunting to his Dad who took the time to introduce him to what has become a life-long obsession—whitetail deer.
    Today, Steve shares his knowledge of ‘mountain’ whitetail bowhunting through the pages of major outdoor magazines such as Bow and Arrow Hunting, Bowhunting World, and Deer and Deer Hunting. His insightful and helpful tips can also be found on various websites throughout the Internet. In addition, he serves as a Pro-Staff member for Mathews and uses Under Amour gear exclusively for all of his hunts.
    steve flores outdoor writer
    When he is not writing or chasing whitetails, Steve can be found spending time in the outdoors with his wife and three children. He also enjoys weight training and a variety of outdoor activities.
    steve flores welcome
    His advice for any newcomers to whitetail hunting is to simply have fun, enjoy God’s gift that is the great outdoors and forget about the ‘trophy’ aspect of the hunt. He feels that animal’s taken and number of points won’t really matter when all is said and done. What will matter is your time spent with loved ones, memories made in the field, and ultimately—your relationship with God.
    We believe Steve Flores will be a great addition to the 365 Whitetail team. Feel free to comment below and give Steve a warm welcome.
    steve flores bowhunting

    Film Review: Salt Of The Earth

    An author’s words have an uncanny ability to either capture us or offend us. A single phrase can motivate us to turn the page or close the book. Beyond the letters and words woven into sentences, a story must contain some form of tangible emotion, something we connect with, something we feel.
    A good story can take our minds on a journey. A great story can move our hearts. But a successful story changes our will.
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    Salt of the Earth is a story, yet it’s much more. Each turn of the page is met with the revelation we are walking on holy ground. Each frame makes us aware these stirring images are tied to the very soul of the man who shared them with us.
    To describe this work as art would inadvertently put a price tag on the priceless. To say it is another short film centered on hunting whitetail would rob it of its worth. For it would be disrespectful to Cody Altizer if we tried to measure the immensity of his heart, his life, his very being.

    “…mainly because no matter how insignificant it may seem I believe that every hunt,
    and especially every animal, deserves a genuine appreciation and sincere respect.
    Whether it’s through a photo, a video or the written word, it’s important to me
    that they live on long after they die.“

    Salt of the Earth has a depth that is unseen in outdoor television. The voice that speaks tells all we need to know—Altizer is genuine.
    No charades, no games, and no masks are what makes Salt of the Earth speak to the viewer. Beyond a collection of tasteful videography is a heart—one that cares deeply for the animals it pursues. Salt of the Earth is nothing more and nothing less than a young man who possesses an authentic appreciation for hunting telling us his story, his why.

    In less than 20-minutes you will be left with a challenge, a decision to be as the film is entitled—Salt of the Earth.
    To be released Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 10am EST. Find the film here – Salt of the Earth.
    Salt of the Earth Cody Altizer Film Review

    Prevent Nakedness: Pick The Perfect Tree

    A bowhunter should never feel ‘naked as a jaybird’ when sitting in his or her treestand. Now that post-season has arrived, it’s time to prevent nakedness by picking the perfect tree.
    During the late summer and early fall, foliage can seem to offer substantial and lasting cover. While the leaves are green and the canopy is thick, it’s easy to think your stand is located in an ideal tree.
    It’s easy to forget what your treestand will look like from the ground once the leaves fall off. And if your tree doesn’t provide some form of cover, you’re likely to stick out like a sore thumb, which can result in those wary whitetail rubbernecking your setup.
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    While there are several ways to prevent being silhouetted or sky-lined, the most important is to pick the right tree. Now that trees are bare and hunting season is over, it’s the ideal time to see what trees offer the best cover when hunting later in the season.

    Take Some Pictures

    Especially for those bowhunters who hunt field edges, post season is an excellent time to pick what tree will offer the best cover. And there’s no better way to put this puzzle together than by taking a few pictures.
    By simply kneeling in the food plot or food source, in order to keep the camera angle low, point the camera in the direction you are considering placing your stand.
    By analyzing the photos, you’ll immediately see what trees offer the most cover. By showing the darkest and densest places within the timber, the photos will help identify the most ideal places to hang a stand.
    You’ll be surprised how a few photos will highlight both the sparse and dense areas within a group of trees. This simple process will give you an idea of what deer see when approaching your setup.
    Photos can also be used to pick the perfect tree if hunting deeper in the timber. After you’ve located the general location for your setup, walk down the main game trail that heads past the prospective tree. Stop periodically to take a few pictures of the sky-line. Keep the camera low, angle it upward and make sure you capture a variety of trees throughout the process.
    As crazy as it sounds, these photos will present a detailed blueprint of the best place to hang your stand.
    picking the perfect bowhunting tree

    Look For Limbs

    My personal preference is to find two trees with just enough space in between them to hang a stand. (Especially, if either of the two trees has large branches below the 20-foot mark.) These additional branches will break up my silhouette, and offer additional cover during early fall. Given I have a 20-30 yard shot to a main travel route, these two-tree setups are ideal.
    If a two-tree setup isn’t possible, a single tree with large limbs stretching out under my stand will also be a preferred choice. The large limbs underneath the setup will break up my silhouette and allow plenty of cover.
    When analyzing photos as mentioned in the first tip, look closely to see how large overhanging limbs break up the vertical pattern of the hardwoods. Hanging a treestand behind or above these vertical/horizontal intersections will offer a 3D affect, which helps break up the hunter’s silhouette.
    picking the perfect tree for a treestand

    Tree Before Travel

    If you can’t find the perfect tree within reasonable shooting distance of a travel route or game trail, don’t panic. Post season is unique in that it provides several months for deer to get accustomed to change.
    If you locate the ideal tree and can change the deer’s travel route, than focus on the tree first. Deer are constantly making slight changes to their travel routes, due to fallen trees or natural debris. Deer will also take the path of least resistance even if it’s man made.
    Making a ‘new’ game trail by manipulating brush, limbs and/or logs is a great way to get deer to travel closer to your setup while being able to stay concealed in the ‘perfect’ tree.
    While every area does not offer an absolute perfect tree, spending a little time strategizing how to best avoid being sky-lined will pay big dividends next season.

    Cody Altizer Outdoor Writer

    365 Whitetail Welcomes Cody Altizer

    Cody Altizer is no stranger to the ways of the whitetail. His inordinate passion for quality deer management has qualified him to be a perfect addition to the 365 Whitetail team.
    In considering persons who could help us fulfill the vision of 365 Whitetail, Cody Altizer was chosen to help us accomplish the goal of providing quality content that both educates and encourages. And we couldn’t be happier that Cody has agreed to share his vast knowledge of whitetails with us.
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    Cody Altizer is a passionate 25-year-old bowhunter that hails from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Having shot his first deer at 6 years old, Cody brings 20 years of whitetail experience to 365 Whitetail. His articles have been featured in the The Quality Deer Management Association’s Quality Whitetails, Pure Hunting Journal, Whitetail Institute of North America’s Whitetail News, and the Whitetail Times. On the World Wide Web, Cody’s work can be found at,, and
    Cody Altizer Jim Shockey
    In addition to writing about the way of the whitetail, Cody is a freelance outdoor photographer and filmmaker, working primarily with outdoor industry juggernaut Jim Shockey. Cody has filmed for Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures, The Outfit, and Uncharted TV shows.
    Cody Altizer Outdoor Writer Welcome
    From Cody you can expect comprehensive and practical posts regarding Quality Deer Management (QDM), habitat manipulation and enhancement, and how to tie it all together to help you more successfully hunt the mature bucks living on your property.
    We are certainly excited to have Cody on the team and know you will be too. Feel free to comment below and give Cody a warm welcome.
    Cody Altizer QDMA