Tomorrow is a new adventure!

Hello peoples! So tomorrow I’m off on another adventure. Dad is taking me to a gun show.  Gun shows are really good places to get  quality guns for a great price – if you know what you’re doing. They can be a little intimidating, because I mean, total immersion…but then again, what better place to learn!? billgoodman

So today I did some prepping for the show. First thing first on the priority list: what to wear? (No shame! I know that deep down each of you would probably worry about this too.) So I’m still not sure what I’m going to wind up walking out of the house in tomorrow, but the current plan is a pair of cute, soft brown business pants, and a warm red sweater. I’m in a dilemma about shoes. It’s a lot of walking, and while I’m no stranger to walking literal miles in heels (I do WWII reenacting, and have walked over 10 miles in heels before), I do think that something less painful might be better. I did learn a trick about taping your two middle toes together, it’s supposed to be less painful to wear heels if you do that….yeah not completely convinced… Anywho! I don’t mind wearing flats, in fact I almost prefer it…but it’s supposed to be cold out and flats aren’t the warmest shoes ever. And tall hunter boots don’t really go with business….anyways, you’ll see what I wind up wearing when I do my final post tomorrow night! I promise to tell you all about it.anigif_mobile_9adb5d549545c3651eb7f69fe550ad4d-11

So next thing on the priority list, which by far should have been at the top, is business cards. Something besides me scrawling my info on a scrap of paper. So I thought, eh, we’ll start small and just do plain card stock. My absolutely AMAZING best friend Rachel, designed a cute, official-looking (I mean really legit) business card and sent it to me. We chatted over the phone for a while as we tweaked and perfected it. Did I tell you that she’s awesome? ‘Cause she’s like, the coolest person ever. She puts up with all my drama and so far I haven’t driven her insane. But then again, it’s mutual…yeah, we’re a blast.el-and-i

Ah, yes. This is us. No we aren’t scheming, why do you ask!? *wink*

So then I had a major drama session where I was driving all over town (to all of the two stores) to get the card stock and then with about 15 min left until closing time, I raced to the library to get them printed (only color printing in town and we had just run out of color toner at home. How convenient.) So I ran in, signed in, and then frantically wracked my brain for the password to my email account to get the files for the graphics, then try to organize it all onto Microsoft word in a business card format and then it wasn’t working and my parents needed the car to go out on a date…long story short, I spent the rest of the evening getting the cards just right and printing them out (in black and white) and then cutting them just right, because of all things, I’m a perfectionist. Oh, and I ate lasagna which is heavenly, by the way. Makes the most stressful of days that much better.

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This is the business card, except the real thing is just grey-scale/black and white.

Well now I have stacks of dishes to tend to. I’ll tell you alllllllll about my adventure as soon as I can tomorrow. 🙂

Follow me on Facebook to get stay up to date with all the cool stuff on there. I’m also going to be posting some videos there, as well as handy hints, cool pictures and videos and stuff. Stay in touch! I’d love to hear from you, you input, criticism, stories etc. just email me or comment below!

Much love 

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All good things

Happy Monday y’all!

So I’m flat on my back after being outside in the cold and wind all day Saturday at an art fest with my sister who paints signs. (It was worth it. She’s so talented and it was good to see people praise her for her work.) img_4356

So after that little escapade which easily rings in an 8 in the craziness level, my little cold compounded into a full-fledged cough and fever. Oh well. I’ve been drowning myself in hot teas, vitamins, and Christmas music. Also sleeping a lot. There is no shame. XD It’s been awesome. And I’ve been doing some research, and I found this sort of Facebook for the gun world, that I thought I’d let you all know about. It’s really hard to navigate, but looks quite promising. It’s called Gun District and they have all kinds of groups and discussions and you can also buy and sell guns on there. Ya know, I’ve never had as much of a struggle, nor have I ever hit as many stone walls exploring a ‘world’ as I have in the gun world. I mean, it’s amazing how much goes undocumented. Most stuff happens off-line and in person/face-to-face. Networking seems to mostly happen in a whole other realm that I still don’t understand yet. I’m going to figure it out though. I will! I must! All good things come to those that perservere. 😉

Well folks, I’m going to try to get some studying done. Stay out of the cold if you’re sick and make sure to check out Gun District. Here’s something I just saw on there and it made me laugh so I thought I’d share the LOLs.

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The Weaponed Woman is now on Facebook so be sure to follow us on there and stay up to date on the adventures! 😉

All the best and have an awesome Monday. 😀

The Weaponed Woman’s Blooper Reel

Right off the bat I’m going to tell you that since this isn’t an ‘official’ info post, I’m going to use ‘Y’all’ since I use that in real life. This is me. I live in rural small town southern America. And yes, there is such a place. Believe me, I live there. We’ve got three whole stop lights and are very proud of them. We’ve also got a high school so we’re practically Chicago. *wink* The sarcasm is real, folks.

Anywho. (Yes that is a word, I’m sorry if you grammar nazis don’t like it). I’m just going to start on today since sufficient to the day is craziness therein.

Today is the day after Thanksgiving which means that we stayed up late partying last night and woke up groggy and fat this morning. I ate toast for breakfast, so today was starting off on the right foot or mouth or stomach or whatever. Then I got on FB and determined to try to get some (successful) networking done, maybe write a post or two, and then work on some school. Of course you all know how FB or any social media for that matter, works. Basically it doesn’t. Unless you are a super disciplined super woman. In which case you probably shouldn’t be reading this. Anywho, I looked at pictures of all the food my friends ate for Thanksgiving, talked to a friend or two, and finally got somewhere when I got in contact with a really neat couple who teach some classes for women, down in Macon GA. (For you super cool people who live in GA, look them up: M&S Shooting Solutions). I’m planning to [try] to go to GA at the end of April to go to the big NRA convention and then maybe train a day or three with them. At least that’s the current pipe dream. *wink*

My next thing was trying to find some women’s concealed carry holsters to try out for a holiday fashion post I’m going to do soon. Thing is, I’m not exactly Donald Trump, if you know what I mean, and those things be expensive!!! Some people have all the right connections and get free gear to use in return for marketing for the companies, but I’m not quite there yet. But I thought I could at least ask people what they like to carry and maybe do some reviews and possibly find a couple to try out via my friends and see what happens! I guess you’ll know how successful I am based on whether or not you see a holiday fashion post or not. XD

Then I did some school, polishing up a civics test and working on finishing off Constitution studies. The rest of the day (what 3 hours remained of it) were rather uneventful. The fam watched a movie and I called my best friend to chat for a while.

Over all, on the craziness scale, today was a low 2 out of 10.

Hope y’all have an amazing Thanksgiving Weekend!!!!!

 

Firearms and Holiday Travel

Hello Ladies!!!!

The holidays are upon us and this often means that we will be traveling!

Sadly, the holidays aren’t always happy times. Some twisted individuals take advantage of people’s merry oblivion and as a result, crime rates tend to go up during this season. The most common crime that happens at this time is theft.* There are also ususally bombing threats, although these rarely seem to materialize. Also, as terrorist activities have increased a bit this year, it is best to be extra alert and prepared when going out to crowded malls, or other densely populated places, as these seem to be prime targets. If you are old enough to carry your personal firearm, I would strongly suggest you get your concealed carry permit, if you don’t have one already, and start practicing carrying and drawing from winter clothing. Cold weather makes it super easy to conceal carry effectively without printing, but it can also prove challenging drawing from it.  Carry it when you go out. A gun is all well and good, as is a concealed carry permit, so long as you actually carry when you’re out. I’m going to do a post about conceal carry fashions during the party season, very soon!

Back to our topic: travel. have-gun-will-travel-lovesound-pic

Travelling with a gun is not illegal (in the USA). You can even fly with one! There are just a few (haha) guidelines and precautions you should check on before you hit the road or soar the skies.

Road trips~

travel2When driving through multiple states check the following for each state you are traveling through:

US State-by-State Gun Laws

Check and see which states will honor your state issued license.

Make sure your license is up to date/valid and make copies of it. Carry a copy and the actual one with you, just in case.

Get any additional permits that may be required in the state you are going to, if applicable.

I strongly suggest that you research your state’s stand on the Castle Doctrine. Some states extend the castle doctrine to a person’s vehicle and workplace. This means that your car and place of work are considered an extension of your “home and private property.”**

Also, if you’re not really sure about the states you’re traveling through, it is best to keep your handgun unloaded, separate from ammunition, in a locked case in the trunk or some other place out of your access.

Note: In the United States you have constitutional protections both against unreasonable searches and seizures and against compelled self-incrimination. Although the authorities may search anywhere within your reach without a search warrant after a valid stop, they may not open and search closed luggage without probable cause to believe evidence of a crime will be found, particularly when it is in a locked storage area or trunk of a vehicle, unless you consent. You have a right not to consent. Furthermore, although you may be required to identify yourself and produce a driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of automobile insurance, you have a right to remain silent. If you do not want your vehicle searched, all you have to say is “I do not consent to this search.” 1b913d8

 

Air Travel~

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has established specific requirements for transporting firearms and ammunition in checked baggage on commercial aircraft, including the following:

All firearms or ammunition must be checked with the air carrier as luggage or inside checked luggage. Firearms, firearms parts, and ammunition are prohibited from carry-on baggage. Firearm parts include barrels, magazines, frames, and other internal parts of a firearm.

santas_elves_help_break_dad_out_of_prison_!!! Gun owners are strongly encouraged to double-check all baggage, even when not traveling with firearms.  This is particularly important if bags also serve as range bags or are used to transport firearms and/or ammunition at other times. Inadvertently leaving ammunition or a firearm in a carry on bag will result in serious delays at security points and potential civil or criminal penalties. (This is SO important. A friend of ours actually went to jail for a while and faced enormous charges for accidentally trying to board with a carry-on that usually serves as his range bag and he had forgotten to take a loaded pistol out of the side pocket.) !!!

All firearms and/or ammunition must be declared orally or in writing in accordance with the air carrier’s procedures. Civil and criminal penalties may be applied for failure to declare a firearm in checked baggage.

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All firearms must be unloaded.

The firearm must be carried in a hard-sided container. The container must be locked and only the passenger may retain the key or combination.travel4

All checked baggage is subject to inspection. If during the inspection process it is necessary to open the container, the air carrier is required to locate the passenger and the passenger must unlock the container for further inspection. The firearm may not be transported if the passenger cannot be located to unlock the container. If you are traveling with a firearm, pay close attention to airport pages and announcements. If requested, provide the cooperation necessary to inspect your firearm.

Ammunition is prohibited from carry-on luggage. Ammunition must be transported in the manufacturer’s packaging or other packaging suitable for transport. Consult your air carrier to determine quantity limitations and whether the ammunition must be packed separately from the firearm. Because the level of training among airline personnel varies widely, passengers would be well advised to bring printed copies of firearms rules from both TSA and the particular airline being used. For further information, visit www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition

Finally, the United States Department of Justice has issued a written opinion that federal law protects airline travelers with firearms, assuming: (1) the person is traveling from somewhere he or she may lawfully possess and carry a firearm; (2) en route to the airport the firearm is unloaded and inaccessible from the passenger compartment of the person’s vehicle; (3) the person transports the firearm directly from his vehicle to the airline check-in desk without any interruption in the transportation, and (4) the firearm is carried to the check-in desk unloaded and in a locked container. DoJ Opinion Letter

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Otherwise, travelers should strictly comply with FOPA and with airline and TSA policies regarding firearms transportation, avoid any unnecessary deviations on the way to checking in their baggage, be well acquainted with the firearms laws of the jurisdictions between which they are traveling, have any necessary permits or licenses ready for inspection, and have copies of relevant provisions of current law or reciprocity information printed from official sources.

Special advisory for New York & New Jersey airports: Despite federal law that protects travelers, authorities at JFK, La Guardia, Newark, and Albany airports have been known to enforce state and local firearm laws against airline travelers who are passing through their jurisdictions. In some cases, even persons traveling in full compliance with federal law have been arrested or threatened with arrest. FOPA’s protections have been substantially narrowed by court decisions in certain parts of the country, particularly in the Northeast. Persons traveling through New York and New Jersey airports may want to consider shipping their firearms to their final destinations rather than bringing them through airports in these jurisdictions. ***

The resources listed under ‘Road trip’ are also applicable (as far as laws and state guidelines go) to air travel.

 

Conclusion~ 

Don’t let big words and impressive legal formalities scare you away from carrying this holiday season. You have the right to carry and there is no reason to be bullied into being vulnerable away from home because of a few imperious guidelines. It isn’t that hard to do a bit of research and get the necessary documentation. And seriously, in the end, it is always possible that it may save your life.

Enjoy yourself and your travels. This is a time of rejoicing and celebration. However you should never let your guard down. Always be alert and in tune with your surroundings.

One last note: perpetrators don’t abide by laws. Don’t expect an assailant to play fair, or be legal.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season!

http://www.crimeinamerica.net/2010/12/15/do-robberies-increase-in-december-violent-crimes-by-month/

** https://www.gunlaws101.com/ (search ‘castle doctrine’ by your state.)

*** https://www.nraila.org/articles/20150101/guide-to-the-interstate-transportation

The Psychological Side of Self Defense

Self-defense is not the only reason a person should carry a firearm. It should also be stated that a firearm is not the only means of self-defense, nor is it, necessarily the best. In this post I’m simply covering some of the basic mental and psychological principles of self defense. It applies to a woman packing a gun just as well as the mother in her home and extends even to the individual caught in a burning building or a smashed car. It is the Will to Survive.

One last note before I begin: This is for women. Women are wired much differently than men. So for the men reading this, it may not make sense, it may not be ‘true’, but that’s because it’s not the way you think. Each sex is uniquely wired so that they can fulfill their respective roles.

Okay, so we are going to start with something James Yeager, told me once when I was interviewing him. We were talking about self-defense and he started talking about ‘harnessing the mama instincts’.  I still remember him saying that and the bewildered look on my face. But since then, I have become better acquainted with those mama instincts. Although I have never been in a life-or-death situation where I needed to protect, I have felt that ‘mama’ edging to the surface at times of tension. I have seen it detailed in the faces of other women as they describe to me dire situations that they have been through. My favorite example is a woman who was telling me about how she was once robbed in a parking lot. She’s so sweet and petite and just the nicest lady ever. But while she was talking, when she came to the point where the she was telling about the predator, this look came into her eyes, the likes of which I hadn’t seen in her before. An intense, challenging, defying, dangerous look. A glint. Her mama instincts.

So what are these ‘Mama instincts’ and how do we harness them?

Well, like most of us ladies, you should feel a small stir deep inside even having read this far. There is something however deeply ingrained in us to protect, to nurture, to shelter, even at the risk of our own lives. It is what gives us the ability to be mothers. qqqIt’s that drive, that strength, that unexplainable force inside of us that gives us the ability to wake up night after night to nurse a newborn, to tend to a child when they’re sick, to fight for them when they are threatened. It is truly found in all of the female species. It is evident in the mother duck chasing a stray dog away from her ducklings, the mama bear chasing away another bear, the mother cat going again and again into a burning building to retrieve all of her kittens from the flames, despite being severely burned, herself. It is truly a force. A force to be reckoned with.

 

 

 

 

So how do we harness this? What if we’re single ladies? What if we have never experienced this before? Guess what!? It’s still in you, and trust me, if the time comes, it will surface and may God help the person that tries to tangle with you!

How to use this to your best advantage….

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Most women don’t relish the thought of gouging someone’s eyeballs out. Deep down we ladies don’t really like fighting, inflicting pain on someone, or even thinking ill intent towards another being . This is the second half of the Mama Instinct – the more prevalent half. This quote has a twofold meaning. In a situation where you must choose between life and death/submitting to the wishes of a hurt-monger. You must have the courage to be ruthless and overcome your naturally peaceful nature and get dangerous.  The other and subsequent side of this quote means that when the moment comes, all other means have been exhausted, and you are in a fight, in the forefront of your mind must be: I AM GOING HOME TONIGHT. Come hell or high water, I will fight, I will be ruthless, I will tear you limb from limb with my bare hands if that is what I must do to go home to my loved ones tonight. This is the attitude of a survivor. There is no surrender.

I define courage as being scared to death but taking a step of faith and giving it your best swing anyway. qqqqq

I suggest all of you read the slim little volume entitled ‘Principles of Self-Defense’ by Jeff Cooper, which elaborates more on this topic.

Two last things that I’d like to finish off with.

First, you will probably get hurt. Thankfully our bodies were designed to produce this special ‘magic formula’ called adrenaline to help us. It’s been known to dull pain, increase strength and give mega amounts of fight-or-flee energy. It works a little different with different people’s bodies. There is a warning here though, as with any ‘magic potion’ from the movies, it has a downside. Most people tend to get extreme tunnel vision focus. Your peripheral vision gets almost completely eliminated for a short span of time. You probably won’t even notice until afterwards. Knowledge is power and with this information, you can train accordingly. The fairy godmother didn’t let Cinderella go to the ball without  first warning her of the downside to the charms. So be forewarned! Train for reduced situational awareness.

And know that the impossible can be possible. You are going home tonight.

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My final point for this evening:

Use this information to train yourself now! It will be too late when the time comes and you need this information. You have to prepare and train NOW. You have to start making yourself think outside of the box. In a life-or-death situation you fall back on your lowest level of training. Unless thinking outside the box and looking at the bigger picture is at the forefront of your training, it’ll go out the window the minute you need it. How to start applying this? 

  1. When you go out, look around you and start noticing things. Notice where the exit signs are. Notice things you can hide behind if you needed to dodge bullets. Notice potential weapons (i.e. anything with a potential to be a blade, sharp point, or stopping power.)
  2. Notice people. Who here looks suspicious? You know how when you’re walking through a parking lot, or into a store, or in the park and you just get this red flag by looking at some people? Well take note of that! I’m not saying get hyper paranoid. I’m saying take note. What I like to do is pretend that I’m going to have to fill out a police report on all the suspicious people I see, when I get home. Maybe it’s over the top, but it works for me.
  3. Force yourself to imagine the worst in a situation. If you see someone suspicious coming toward you on the dark street, automatically assume that there are two or three. Act accordingly. (Why are you walking down a dark street alone anyway!?) This can not only help you prevent your getting in a bad situation, it can also help you be more prepared if you do find yourself in one.

Practice makes perfect. Practice what you want to perfect.

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Concealed Carry: Passerby Saves Deputy by Shooting Attacker…

I think it’s encouraging to hear stories like this. We carry not in vain. There are times when your weapon may save an innocent life. Read it and be encouraged because 1) The man who saved the police officer was armed (he not only owned a gun, he also carried it). 2) He knew how to use his gun effectively (he shot the assailant, who was on the police officer, but avoided harming the officer). 3) He had the guts to act. He saw the problem, knew the solution and applied it without a thought to his own safety. THIS is what we aim for as weaponed civilians.

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Good Guy with a Gun…

A driver who attacked a Florida sheriff’s deputy Monday morning was shot and killed by a bystander who warned him to stop beating the officer, according to a report.

The incident began at around 9:30 a.m. when the Lee County deputy tried to make a traffic stop on Interstate 75 in Estero. Instead of complying, witnesses said the driver took off, reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

The deputy chased the suspect onto an exit ramp, where a witness said the suspect got out of his car and assaulted his pursuer.

Shanta Holditch told WZVN that the suspect pulled the deputy out of his car and “just kept beating him and beating him … throwing him to the ground and punching him in all different directions.”

At that point, WINK reported, another driver got out of his car and ran to the scene. He told the…

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Veterans Day

Just want to do a #shoutout to the brave men and women who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. Thank you for the freedoms you have won and defended for our nation and her people. May we never forget your sacrifices.

A Few Words…

A Soldier is a mentality. It is a person who is willing to give up their creature comforts, their homes, family, personal goals, dreams and desires whether for a few minutes or for a lifetime, to fight selflessly for another person or people’s well being. It is a determination to stand strong when looking in the face of death. To walk into the very gates of hell, even though you’re terrified. Why? For a cause, something intangible and yet essential. An abstract necessity. For thousands of years, men have fought for causes, sometimes good, sometimes evil. But each soldier fights because he believes that what he fights for is right. He is willing to lay down his life for his people. Today we celebrate the men and women who have fought, bled and died for freedom, for America. This celebration is not just for those who wear the uniform and fight under a branch. There are so many that have laid down their lives, never having donned a uniform, to protect our freedom. So to our veterans, our soldiers, our protectors I say, may God bless you, keep you, lead your attacks and protect your flanks. May He keep you alert through the darkest hours and give you the peace to sleep at night, when you are safely home. May every effort you make be blessed and every casualty suffered be mourned. From those that you have so faithfully fought to defend: Happy Veterans Day and Thank You!

May America bless God and constantly seek his guidance for our nation.

Semper memoria tenere.

Buying a Personal Firearm

Happy election day!

Today we’re just going to look at purchasing a personal firearm.

Buying a personal firearm is a big decision and you should be the one to do it. You need to love the way it feels in your hands (or at least be comfortable with it), the way it shoots, the look, and be comfortable with carrying it.girls_guns_women_firearms_shopping_gun_store If you don’t like it, you won’t carry it and it won’t be any good to you. Just a waste of money. So don’t let others choose for you. Don’t just go with the crowd and shoot what everyone else thinks you should shoot. You make the choice yourself and stick with it. Don’t worry about the haters, you’ll always have one or two. If you didn’t I’d be worried about you.

First: Figure out what you’re looking for. If you are wanting a self-defense weapon, what kind? In-home or to carry on your person? Will you need to conceal carry? Are you more worried about personal comfort or are you looking for an effective punch in your pocket? Write down a list of what is important to you in a firearm. All of this determines where you should start looking.

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Once you know what you are wanting your firearm to accomplish for you, take your list and head to the nearest gun shop. Try to find a place that stocks experts behind the counter, not just snotty nosed college kids. Show them what you are looking for in a gun and see what they suggest. Try out the ones they recommend. Make sure that they pay attention to what you’re looking for and don’t try to sell you what they want you to have.aaawomanimages I can’t say it enough. You’ve got to like what you’re buying, if you don’t, it’s a no-go. So get out there, visit a bunch of gun shops, gun shows, Walmart, Sporting Goods stores, etc. look over a large selection. Handle them, take them apart and put them back together, try out the trigger pull, wrack them, make sure they fit your hands. It’s good if you can find someone knowledgeable who can help you, but remember, it’s got to be your decision.  Once you figure out the one for you, I would suggest doing some price comparisons and getting the best bang for your buck, literally. Heaven knows you’re going to need the extra cash for practice ammo. Make sure you shoot a gun before shelling out money for it.

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Once you get the gun you’ve been looking for, use it! And I don’t mean just going out once in a blue moon and plinking at a target for a few minutes. I mean when you get it home, have someone help you take it apart, clean it, put it together again. Shoot it like crazy. Every chance you get. Carry it. Practice getting it out of different places (different types of concealment). Get it dirty. Clean it up. Know that gun like the back of your hand. Or better. You should get so familiar with it that it should feel like an extension of your body. A part of you. sccy_pink_gun

Have fun and good luck!

Preparing for the Hunt – Part 2

Okay, so you know where you’re going hunting and you’ve pulled your permits, know the laws and have the right rifle. Now what?

Well, there are a couple ways to hunt. There is stand hunting, driving, still hunting and stalking.

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Stand hunting is not for those that are the least bit nervous of heights. I’ve only been stand hunting a few times. Mostly, because my dad’s stand is a one-man stand. Basically, it works well because deer rarely look up when suspicious. You can also see a lot better and get a better shot, without worrying about underbrush. And (this is important to us girls) you don’t get as dirty as you do when you’re tramping through the woods, collecting all sorts of sticky seedpods and ticks and other creepy crawlies. The key to using one of these is to set it up in the right location. Generally near the edge of a corn field, or right off of a deer path, salt lick or watering hole. Also, you need to be VERY careful when setting the stand up. Accidents with these are generally very unpleasant.

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Driving  requires multiple people generally spreading out along on opposite ridges and driving the deer down into the valley. I’ve never done this, but sometimes the guys around here will all get together towards the end of the season and do a drive. There are a few things you have to be careful of. Primarily, accidentally shooting one of your buddies. So make sure everyone is wearing very good reflective and neon markers (generally vests, hats, chaps, etc.). Also, it is most successful if everyone is experienced hunters and excellent marksmen and understand the basics of driving.

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Still hunting is what I’ve done the most. And it’s easy. Find a place to sit (similar places to where you’d put a stand (see above) and find a chair and sit! We sometimes make a little ‘hole’ behind a downed tree or in a little hollow of ground and we surround it with branches and other natural camouflage. Sometimes we just haul a porch chair out into the woods and let it sit for a few weeks before hunting season so the wildlife gets used to its presence and so it starts taking on the smell of the outdoors. Then you go out there and wait.

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Stalking is probably the most fun, especially if you have a lot of pretty land and don’t mind walking. Basically you get suited up and grab your gun and walk until you see something. Then you get withing range, which sometimes means trying to head it off or chase it into a ravine. With stalking, you need to perfect the art of walking almost silently, hiding your noise under the noises of nature, being very, very still and making quick mental estimations. The deer will almost certainly see you before you see it since their senses are so much better than ours. However, as the saying goes ‘curiosity killed the cat’ and they are definitely one of the most curious creatures ever. They generally won’t run far before stopping to try and make out what you are.

Okay so a few facts* about deer that are important to take into consideration.

  •  They have an amazing sense of smell. Their sense of smell is between 500 and 1000 times that of a human. They can smell you up to a half mile away. Sooo, you need to not eat anything that will give you gas, before you go out. You shouldn’t use strong smelling shampoos, soaps or deodorants before going out. DON’T wear perfumes. And it’s good to hang up your clothes outside so they take on a natural smell before going into the woods. Also, Dad suggests washing with baking soda instead of normal soaps,  using baking soda deodorants** (recipe at the bottom of the page)  and not drinking beer or coffee and brushing your teeth really well. If you’re a die-hard and you’re stalking or sitting, you can roll around on the ground and get kind of dirty and earthy smelling. And if you’re really a die hard….well, bucks are attracted to the…er….scent of Does, so there are nasty scents you can get and dab on. (I don’t do this. It’s gross.)
  • Deer don’t see like we do, but don’t let this fool you. Their eyesight is 5 times better than ours, according to Dr. Karl Miller and his cohorts at the University of Georgia. They can see yellows and blues, but have trouble seeing reds and greens. They can also spot movement with amazing speed. “Get rid of the blue and anything shiny, and make sure movement is minimized,” Dr. Miller says. “It doesn’t matter that you’re sitting out in the open as long as you’re not moving.” That’s one reason camo is important. It breaks up your shape and helps you to blend into your surroundings. I’m not going to say there is any specific type of camouflage you should wear, it really just depends on what you want and can afford.
  • Just as the other senses we’ve discussed, a deer’s sense of hearing is incredibly sharp. The two ways to ways to defeat a deer’s hearing is to be silent, or to be loud. To be silent, you can use flannel to pad your hideout and dull the sounds you make and to learn how to walk like the Indians. This is possible. It just takes a lot of practice. Or you can ‘be loud’. This means that you make nature noises. If you go out in the woods and listen, you’ll find that it is actually quite loud. And you can ‘hide’ your noise under that blanket of sound. You can add to this by getting a pair of antlers and ‘rattling’ them. There are also buck calls you can get and blow occasionally. (I suggest watching a few YouTube videos on how to use both of these things.) Also pawing, stirring up leaves and basically making it sound like there are a couple of bucks fighting over a doe. This calls in more bucks. There are also doe calls that work much the same way.

Some tips regarding your rifle.

When you’re hunting, it’s easy for your firearm to get wet and dirty. Even if it isn’t actually wet outside, if it’s cold and then you come inside, the gun will condensate. Make sure that after the gun is room temperature, you wipe it down thoroughly. It is also important to clean your rifle after you shoot it. (We’ll cover cleaning in another post.) When you go out hunting, make sure you bring several rounds of ammo, just in case. Also, and this is very important, make sure your aim is good. The worst thing ever is shooting a deer and just wounding it. We aren’t out to maim deer, but to kill them. Killing means they should go down pretty fast which = as little pain as possible. So practice, practice, practice!

…And here comes the deer you’ve been waiting for…..Shot placement.

Okay, so here is a picture of a deer’s insides with your take-down placements marked.

deeranatomy

So where you shoot, depends on how the deer is standing and whether it is a buck or a doe. If it’s a buck, and you want to keep the head to mount, the optimal place to shoot it is in the heart and/or lungs. If it’s a doe or a buck who’s head you don’t care about keeping, you should shoot it through the brain, which means aim for the eye. However, missing the head (their heads move around a lot) is kind of tricky, but is sure to drop the deer immediately and painlessly. Other than that, the heart and lungs are best. 2011_01_shot-placement_800x400This is what it looks like for real. Don’t shoot the deer anywhere past the front shoulders, because there’s a greater chance of just wounding it and it running and your having to track it, possibly for miles. It will also be an a lot of pain. Be a responsible huntress. If you’re going to shoot at it, be sure you’re going to kill it.

Hunting is kind of an art. It takes a little time, but it isn’t too hard to master, if you have the patience and just keep trying. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

 

*http://www.realtree.com/deer-hunting/articles/busted-five-things-you-don-t-know-about-deer-senses

**Natural deodorant:  2 Tbsp. baking soda, 1 Tbsp. arrowroot or corn starch, 3 Tbsp. coconut oil. Mix together until it’s the consistency of sour cream. Smear a little dab under your arms and go! 🙂

If you have any questions, post them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them. Thank you and happy hunting!

Preparing for the Hunt – Part 1

Hunting season has begun, in most states, and it is high time we dedicated a post to that subject and to rifles. I am most familiar with hunting white tailed dear, so that’s what I’ll be primarily focusing on. I’ll cover turkey hunting soon.

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Hunting is a lot of fun….for some people. It really just depends on the type of girl that you are. Do you like being in nature? Do you like the challenge of stalking an animal over the river and through the woods? Do you mind being in extreme temperatures? Does camo appeal to you? Do you mind getting your hands dirty (and bloody)? If you think this is for you, let’s get started on learning how to hunt like a pro (or at least get started on the right track).

The basics.

North America is home to Whitetail deer, Mule deer, Elk, Moose and some Caribou. There are also some Coastal Black Tailed deer which are a sort of variation of Mule deer.

A female deer is called a ‘Doe’. The male deer is called a ‘Buck’. For Elk and Moose, the male is a ‘Bull’ and the female is a ‘Cow’.

Mating season is in autumn and each doe goes into ‘heat’ only once during the fall. Bucks loose their antlers in the spring, but grow them back in the fall. As their antlers mature the bucks go into ‘rut’ i.e. they become obsessed with chasing down the females. They also start scraping the velvety covering off their antlers (you can look for scrapes on trees as a sign that a buck has been there). When a buck in in ‘full rut’ his neck will be swollen from the extra testosterone and the meat may be rather gamy. Bucks have territory that they will walk and mark every day. If you can find their trails and marking spots, you can stay there and wait for them to come along.

To go hunting you’re going to need 3 major things.

  1. A place to go hunting. Property. There are a few options if you don’t own land, one is to go on a guided hunt. This is probably best for someone who is new to all of this. Another option is to hunt on rented land or a friend’s land. There is also the option on going in on the purchase of some land with a few friends.
  2. A license and permit. Depending on the state in which you are hunting, you will need to get a license and probably pull a permit. I would say that it is ESSENTIAL to look over the laws and restriction for the area you are hunting in. Thankfully there’s a pretty convenient little booklet with all the info you need for any kind of hunting and fishing for your area. It’s called (originally enough) the Hunting and Trapping Guide for …. [enter your state here]. You should be able to get these anywhere that sells hunting or fishing supplies.
  3. A rifle. The type of rifle sort of depends on the state you live in. It also depends on what you’re hunting and what season you’re hunting*. twrahuntingguide2016-2017

*In Tennessee, ‘whitetail hunting season’ is actually three different seasons – Bow, Muzzle loader, and Rifle. There are also a few youth hunt weekends in there. During each season, you hunt with whatever is ‘in season’.

If you need more info on this topic, check out this website.

 

I was raised hunting whitetail. My daddy first took me hunting with him when I was 7 years old. If I remember correctly, I scared away a nice sized buck that time – he couldn’t get me to quit talking. I’ve gotten better at the whole “being quiet” thing since then. I never have, to the date of this writing, actually killed a deer. (Maybe this year!) Usually I didn’t have a gun, or dad sees the deer first so he gets to shoot it. Etc. However, I have helped him field dress, drag out and then process more deer than I can count. I always loved the challenge. Getting all wrapped up and going out in the freezing cold, just dad and I. Walking super quietly, so as to not scare anything away. There’s nothing quite like it. You see nature at it’s best. My favorite time to go out is early morning (4 or 5 am depending on the hike). It’s generally coldest right before the sun comes up. There’s frost in the air and sometimes snow on the ground. Experiencing the sun come up, seeing the first fingers of light shift through the trees, watching a deer walk through the peaceful morning mists. It’s really awesome. deer-hunting-15-large-10-2012Rather addicting, actually.

Just to make one thing clear.

Killing deer isn’t bad. Death is a natural part of life. However. If you are just hunting for the trophy, then I have a bone to pick with you. God gave us dominion over the ‘beast of the field’. We are to be good stewards of what He has given us. This means that if we are going to kill something, we need to use as much of it as we can (the exception to this is if the buck is in heavy rut, because the only thing not gamy tasting will be the back straps). Many will disagree with me on this, but this is my stance. That said, killing a deer is not bad, because in all honesty, there is an abundance of deer and, unchecked, it can become an overpopulation which causes serious problems. In our area the biggest problems are deer crossing the roads and causing accidents, and deer devouring gardens. In the 13 years that we have lived in TN, we have hit 10 deer.Twice, they totaled our car. It’s not because we aren’t careful drivers, it simply because there are so many!

For those with delicate hands and no intention of getting blood under their nails:

Either bring a guy along to gut your catch for you or get some gloves. As soon as you bring the deer down, it needs to be field dressed. This means cutting it open and de-gutting it. (See why you need a guy along, now?) After you get it back home/to camp you can butcher it out or, depending on the temperature outside, ‘hang it’ to keep the meat till you can get around to processing it. If you don’t want to do the butchering (it is a lot of work) you can bring your trophy to a processing place and they will do it for you. A word of caution, here though, if you plan on eating the meat, be very careful where you take it to get processed. A reputable place might be a bit more expensive, but it’ll be worth it. You don’t want to get sick from tainted meat.

Venison is considered a delicacy by most people, but where I live, it’s a staple that takes the place of beef at the table until spring comes around and people have to hang up their guns. Most good processing plants have options for you to choose how you like your meat, whether in special cuts, ground, sausage or jerky. You can also do it all at home, although I’d suggest getting ‘The Complete Venison Cookbook’ by Harold W. Webster. It shows all the special cuts and has some amazing recipes.

Stay tuned for part 2!