Archive for Brian Cote

Year-Round Trail Camera Tactics

Posted in Hunting Tips with tags , , , , , on July 10, 2013 by krugerfarms.com

Pro-staff Contributor: Brian Cote

The evolution of trail cameras has been an incredible thing to witness over the last decade or so.  I can remember looking through hunting magazines and looking at all the advertisements for the old Cam Trakker trail cameras.  When they first came out, everyone wanted one just to see what might be roaming on their hunting properties.  Because the pictures were produced on 35mm film, you needed to check the cameras on a regular basis and then rush to the store to get them developed.

Trail Cam Tactics

The digital age has helped take our scouting methods to a whole new level.  You can see how much has changed just by looking back at the pictures from the 35mm film and comparing them to the pictures you get today.  Merely having the ability to leave your camera out longer gives you more benefits than the original 35mm models. And the options are abundant—today we have options such as the Moultrie Panoramic 150 Game Camera that can take pictures that span 150 degrees in one burst.  This can help when watching a food plot, or to capture a picture of a buck trailing a doe.

Pre-Season

The placement of your cameras will change throughout the year.  During the long days of summer, when bucks antlers are in their developmental stage, placing your camera near a mineral mix is a great idea.  Using minerals will not only draw deer to your camera but will also help in their antler growth.  Joe Dirt’s Chunky Buck Mix is a great choice that brings the deer in and allows you to get the most pictures possible.  During this time, use your trail cam to discover the home territories of the bucks you plan to put on your hit list.

Early Season

When the season kicks off some of the best places to have cameras are food plots/fields and heavily used trails that travel from bedding to feeding areas.  Deer are very easy to pattern this time of year because the only thing on their mind is sleeping and feeding.  Use your trail cam to learn when deer are getting on their feet to head out and grab some food—this information will help you punch more tags.

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The Rut

Once the temps start to drop and rut activity starts, scrapes can be one of the best places to have a camera.  Finding the correct types of scrapes will help you be more successful.  You want to target  primary scrapes that are on the interior of the woods.  Wood line scrapes, also known as secondary scrapes, are more than likely being used and checked at night which will limit your chances of catching the bucks on camera.  Primary scrapes will see the most traffic throughout the day and will also get many different bucks patrolling the area to see who is coming around their territories.  This is the time of year when you want to try and check your cameras as often as possible to know if a big buck has been cruising your area as soon as possible.

Overall

Trail cameras have come such a long way in the last 10-15 years. They scout for us in places we can only visit once or twice a month.  Having these advancements has truly helped avid hunters put more deer in the back of their trucks.  So get to the woods and get some pictures that will make your buddies jealous! If you catch anything cool on your camera, be sure to submit it to the krugerfarms.com Facebook page Trail Cam Contest—a new winner each month gets a free Wildview TK30!

Brian Cote is a website administrator at krugerfarms.com and a devoted outdoorsman.  He’s eager to take up any opportunity to hunt waterfowl, deer and turkeys in the Midwest region. You can follow him on Twitter (@BrianJr22) and find him on Facebook (facebook.com/brian.cote.148).

Trail Cams

Krugerfarms.com Hosts 3rd Annual KF 100 3-D Archery Shoot

Posted in The Farm with tags , , , , on June 10, 2013 by krugerfarms.com

Pro-staff Contributor: Brian Cote

Target 2 KF100If you are a serious archery hunter like me, you know that the summer months can be tough.  I’ve spent hours sitting at home watching hunting shows and DVDs, trying to pass the time until the fall rolls around and I can take to the woods in search of game.  When it’s finally opening day, I want to be on my way to the stand knowing that my bow is sighted in and I can make any shot that presents itself.  This is why I jump at the chance to participate in 3-D archery shoots in order to stay accurate and confident for the fall.

Outdoor Shoots

Outdoor 3-D archery shoots are one of the most fun and rewarding activities to pick up for the summer months.   They help drastically improve and fine tune your archery skills and are a great way to meet new people.  My suggestion is to search the web for local shoots, which in some areas happen every weekend.

In order to ensure a good time, get a few of your buddies together and head to these shoots.  A little friendly competition is always fun!  Also, the other members of your group can help watch you while you shoot to see if they notice any slight changes that you could try throughout the course.

Another fun aspect of outdoor shoots is that most have unmarked distances and will not allow the use of rangefinders.  It can be a fun challenge to try to guesstimate the yardage before executing your shot.  It’s also a handy skill to perfect, because you never know when you will only have a split-second to decide to shoot when the animal that you are targeting shows up in range.

Equipment

Kids KF100There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to shooting outdoor 3-D targets.  Some people like to deck out a bow and use it just for 3-D purposes.  These are usually longer axel-to-axel bows and outfitted with stabilizers, scopes and 3-D-specific arrows.  I myself use my hunting set up—including a Bowtech Insanity CPXL, Victory VAP arrows and a Tru-Fire Hardcore release.   I have the mindset that if I can make these shots with my hunting bow, then any shot in the field should be a piece of cake. That is, without adding in the buck fever effect.

KF100

Over the last two years at krugerfarms.com, we have hosted the KF100 3-D Archery Shoot at the farm in Starbuck, MN.  This year will be the 3rd annual installment to this tradition and it is going to be another fun shoot!  Along with providing a way to perfect your archery skills, there will be some fun novelty shoots to gather crowds and test whether participants can perform when prizes are on the line.  Plus, those who come in top of each class will earn great bragging rights. If you’re local—be sure to join us on Saturday!

Brian Cote is a website administrator at krugerfarms.com and a devoted outdoorsman.  He’s eager to take up any opportunity to hunt waterfowl, deer and turkeys in the Midwest region. You can follow him on Twitter (@BrianJr22) and find him on Facebook (facebook.com/brian.cote.148).

Spring Turkey Hunting: Is it Easy to Punch Your Tag?

Posted in Hunting Tips with tags , , , , , , on May 6, 2013 by krugerfarms.com

Pro-staff Contributor: Brian Cote

Whenever I have conversations with others about turkey hunting, they constantly say, “How hard could it be? Turkeys are dumb.” In some cases this holds true, but in reality many pieces of the puzzle have to fall into place to make it seem as though turkeys require little-to-no effort to punch your tag.  I myself don’t believe in a “dumb” turkey. While hunting the Midwest region, I’ve learned that many gobblers will do things you’ve never heard of before.

Two weeks ago, we targeted an area in Wisconsin that had not been hunted for many years—the scouting reports looked great. When getting set up under the cover of darkness, multiple toms broke the morning silence and let us know they were awake. Turkey DashWe were set up no more than 100 yards from their roost and I was optimistic. As the day became brighter and many more critters were making their presence known, the birds continued to gobble and the hens began yelping and clucking. But even though the gobblers were responding quite often to our calls, around an hour after daybreak, it was quiet throughout the woods. We made a game plan to get mobile and try to find them again.

After some searching we heard the birds gobble once more and eased closer. Then to our amazement, we spotted the group of birds walking across a bog, headed towards some thick tamarack swamp area. My good friend and I stood and stared at each other in awe trying to figure out why they were there.  What would cause them to cross a creek and head towards some of the thickest swamp around? We couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t go to open timber or nearby cornfields. As we headed back to the truck we talked about our game plan for the next day.

Day two started off a lot quieter than day one. As we were trying to decide where to set up, I noticed a big black object in the top of a Tamarack tree, out in the middle of the bog. I thought to myself, “Could that be a turkey?” Then the object began to move and a thunderous gobble lit up the swamp. Again, this bird threw us for a loop. Why was this tom all by himself in the middle of a bog? Could it be he knew that most of the predators that prey on him would not be able to reach him there? Did he know that he was being pressured by us? For birds that are rumored to be an easy kill—this flock was putting up a challenge!

DecoyWith this odd behavior, we were unsure of where we should set, so we decided it’d be safe to set up near the place we saw the birds on the previous day.  We set out our Avian X LCD Jake Quarter Strut along with the Avian X LCD Lookout Hen to try to pull a gobbler into shooting range. As the morning went on, the sounds of distant gobblers kept us optimistic. Then I glanced to the left of our set and noticed a bird working our way. It was a tom, and he came in without making a sound. I let my buddy know and he called softly and the bird let out a gobble that shook the woods. I was ready for the shot when the bird started walking out of range. He snuck away to some private property just as quietly as he came!

Unfortunately, we concluded the weekend without success.  But we did take home a few lessons.  I learned that swamp turkeys are very unpredictable and by far the hardest type of birds I have ever tried to bag.  Even when you think you know their roost patterns, they can change overnight.  I also learned to always scan the woods for silent birds that may sneak in under your radar.  No matter what anyone says about turkey hunting I think that every bird has its own personality and will react differently from another. For that reason, I don’t think any turkey is dumb, just unique.

Brian Cote is a website administrator at krugerfarms.com and a devoted outdoorsman.  He’s eager to take up any opportunity to hunt waterfowl, deer and turkeys in the Midwest region. You can follow him on Twitter (@BrianJr22) and find him on Facebook (facebook.com/brian.cote.148).

Brian Aiming