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  • I am turkey hunting for the first time and my neighbor wants to videotape it. Would this be a good idea?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    I think it would be a great idea! If you get one you will always have it to watch back and show others. I wish I had my first bird on video because I always remember that first one. Keep a couple things in mind when filming your turkey hunt. Make sure that your cameraman and camera is totally camouflaged and work out the shoot signal before the hunt starts. Look for a good filming set-up so you can see what is happening and use decoys so that the birds are not focused on the caller or camera. Good luck!

  • I've always had pretty good success at finding elk, but with bad weather conditions and heavy hunting pressure, they have become very call shy and much less predictable. What do you suggest for getting close?
    Answer:

    J.R. Keller's reply:

    I have found that when elk are pressured they have a tendency to go to lower elevations. If the elk haven't moved to lower elevations and are really call shy, I like to tone my calling down. You will find that elk will still be very receptive to calls but may come in silent and not screaming their guts out so try to be patient and I think you will be successful.
    Some calling techniques I have found that work well are soft cow calls on a diaphragm call. When I use this tactic I will try to sound like several elk and have had great luck with this approach.

  • How do I find a good bull elk right before the rut, and get close enough with the bow?
    Answer:

    J.R. Keller's reply:

    On a year like this one with the weather being pretty hot I would look for water. The elk are going to be using water holes and wallows the first part of the season. I have found that bugles will work good the first part of the season because the elk are gathering up their herd at this time. As the rut progresses your cow calls will be more effective.

  • I followed your advice about switching to cow calling and harvested a nice 5 x 5. Now I have another question about using scent. I tried using scent to make things happen, by spraying cow estrus all over the top ridge. Is that a good tactic?
    Answer:

    J.R. Keller's reply:

    I do use quite a lot of our cow elk urine in liquid form. I use this when I am set up on a bull. I spray it in the cover around me and will continually mist it when the bull is approaching in case the wind changes, which we all know the wind out west only blows one way and that would be the wrong way.
    One other item you should look into is our scent wafers. We have them in several flavors, so to speak. The main scent wafers I like to use while hunting elk are fresh earth, natural pine and for lower elevations, western sage, but the best one of all is the cow elk urine wafer. I hope this will help you out and good luck.

  • My dad and I are planning on rifle hunting elk next year in Montana in either October or November. I was just wondering if you guys know any good places or guide services that you would recomend to us. Also can you please give us some tips?
    Answer:

    J.R. Keller's reply:

    I was fortunate enough to draw a tag this year and would have to say it was one of the best elk hunts I have ever been a part of. If you hunt public land it takes about 2 yrs to draw a tag but if you hunt with an outfitter you are guaranteed a license on a yearly basis. I hunted public land and a awesome hunt. I would suggest contacting the fish and game and they will be able to point you in the right direction of some good public hunting areas. You can also look up outfitters in Montana on the internet. I haven't worked with any of the outfitters so to make sure you are getting a good hunt ask for references.

  • What is a bull bark (elk)?
    Answer:

    J.R. Keller's reply:

    A bark of a bull elk usually simulates danger. Cow elk will do this as well to let the rest of the herd know that something is not right. When in a hunting situation and this happens I will often bark back at the cow or bull to try and calm them down. This is to try and reassure them that whatever they were barking at was really nothing! More often than not it works.

  • I am going to Idaho for the first time for an Elk hunt in October and am not sure what cover scent to use. I currently have my gear in my scent safe travel bag with the fresh earth wafers. Which scent wafer should I use to scent my camo?
    Answer:

    J.R. Keller's reply:

    Using our fresh earth wafers is a great start. For one reason dirt smells like dirt all across the country. One of my favorite cover scents for hunting elk out west is our cow elk urine wafer. These wafers are as close to the real thing as you can get.
    Two others I might suggest are our natural pine and western sage wafers. These are the main wafers I use out west but I will always carry a bottle of our liquid cow elk estrus to mist while I have elk approaching me.
    You might also look into purchasing one of our windicators for your trip. My favorite saying is "the wind only blows one way out west, THE WRONG WAY!"
    Good Luck and Good Hunting!

  • I live in Nebraska and the early teal season is coming up very quick. I was wondering would I call teal the same way I would call mallards or should I purchase a teal call?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    The mallard is the most common duck in the wild so most species will respond some to mallard calling. Your best bet is to mix in some peeps and whistles with your mallard calling. Hunter's Specialties sells a call called the 6-in-1 that will do exactly what you need and is very easy to learn.

  • I was wondering what kind of decoy setups are good if I only have three dozen mallards (I hunt on water, not dry land).
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    There are two set-ups that I'd recommend. The first is to make a J or an L pattern. On the straight end of the spread keep them thin and as you get towards the bend thicken the decoys up. Mallards tend to decoys to the edges of concentrations.
    The other spread is simple, just put out two bunches leaving a gap in the middle for a landing area. In either situation make sure the approach area coming in to the spread isn't blocked by anything. In other words, don't have decoys bunched up downwind of the landing area.

  • I love to waterfowl hunt. I have 2 dozen duck decoys and 9 goose decoys, 4 of which are full body decoys. What would be the best set up to attract both ducks/geese. I hunt on a pond will a grass area the whole way around it.
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    If you are hunting a pond the full bodies won't do you much good, so let's get to the floaters... What I would do is to set up with the wind coming over your shoulder, not straight away and not sideways but somewhere in between. Start off by putting out the duck decoys. Keep them in close to the bank out to about 15 yards. Now for the goose... If the wind is over your right shoulder put the geese on the right side if it's over your left, obviously put them on the left side. Place them right where your duck decoys end and run them out to about 30 yards. What you are trying to create is an L with the ducks being the long end. The birds should decoy right where the ducks and geese meet.

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