Introduction By the end of this course you should understand the important role of hunting in wildlife management and conservation You will also understand the importance of the wise and safe use of firearms and respect of others property. I hope that you become a hunter but it is more important that you understand the role of hunting in our province.
Introduction Hunting is an important tool for wildlife management. Money from hunting licenses helps support wildlife. Hunting is one of the safest forms of outdoor recreation. You need to pass this course in order to hunt.
Hunting Ethics Just like in all other aspects of our lives we are judged by our actions. As a hunter we need to be aware of how our behaviour affects how people view our sport as well as ourselves. Good hunters need to live by the rules and expectations that are set by the government and our peers.
Definition of Ethics and Laws Ethics are standards of behavior or conduct which are considered to be morally right. Each individual must make a personal judgment about what is right or wrong. For example, If you believe that it is morally right to shoot birds on the ground then it is if you do not then it is not. You should hunt with people who have the same ethics as you. Laws are not up for interpretation. Breaking laws is always unethical.
Personal code of ethics These are often similar to the laws. They are different for each person. What would your personal code of ethics be? Journal them right now.
What would you do? You find a elk which has two broken legs and cannot move not far from the road. It is still alive and suffering. What do you do? Five minutes before legal shooting time on opening day of archery season your quarry steps out into your shooting lane. You can see it well enough identify it and to shoot it. What do you do?
Ethics change As you become a more experienced hunter you will undergo some changes in your ethics. Most people go through a pattern that looks like this Shooting everything all the time Limiting out. Trophy hunting Technique. How its done is the most important Mellowed out. The experience is the most important thing. For success.
Standard ethics to consider. Land owner relations are important. Respect other people’s property and if you are not given permission be graceful and polite. Ask to hunt as often as possible before the season and don’t wake the land owner up to ask permission. Don’t invite along hoards of people to hunt his land. Remember how you would feel if people just walked over your lawn and through your flower beds.
Land owner relations cont. Don’t harass livestock and keep your dog under control. Leave fences as you find them. Take your garbage with you. Stay out of a farmers crops unless he gives you permission to drive in his fields. Don’t block an access to a field by parking on an approach. Remember the land owner after the hunt or season with a card or memento.
Other users/ Public Lands If you are sharing the land with other users respect their right to be there. Show the same respect for the land as you would on private property. Don’t drink or use drugs Don’t offend by displaying your kill or leaving parts of your kill where it can offend others. Be respectful of any private belongings you come across. i.e. trappers cabins.
Other Hunters Be considerate of your companions. Its not a competition. Be safe. Be aware of equal opportunities for shots. The rule of first blood.
Self Respect You are your own responsibility in the outdoors. Don’t exceed your abilities. Don’t risk your life or the lives of your companions . Notify people you trust of where you are going and when you will be back. Inform people of changes to the plan if any. Learn basic outdoor safety and survival skills
Respect for wildlife. Enjoy all of the outdoors not just the animal that you are pursuing. Hunt using fair chase. Define fair chase in your journal. Discuss. Practice with your weapon so you know your limitations then don’t exceed those limitations. Make sure you only shoot when you can be sure of a clean humane kill. Use all of the meat. Know your weapons and use the right one for your task.
Firearms and Archery Ethics Use a rifle that is big enough for the job. How do you know this and what is the smallest caliber for each situation? Journal Shot size. What is appropriate for what game? Journal Archery. How is this measured and what kind of point do you use in what size? Journal
Respect all laws and officers. Follow all laws and provide the information that is asked for by all officers. If you disagree with a law lobby for changing it before the season by going to the proper authorities.
Public Image Ethics are important because if all hunters properly follow good ethical behaviour we will all look good to non-hunting public. Don’t be a slob hunter. Encourage and teach people to be ethical hunters.
Ethics Assessment I can see how my behavior affects how others see me and people like me. Create a circle map that shows how a hunters belief leads to a negative or positive action that affects how people see him/her or hunters in general. I can define ethics. Write a short paragraph that states your interpretation of ethics.
Ethics assessment I can identify what I see as ethical. Pick three different things that could happen when hunting. Describe the correct course of action as you see it and describe why these would be ethical. I can describe the ethical treatment of wildlife. Make a bubble map that describes the ethical treatment of wildlife.
Role of the Hunter Hunters have long been concerned for the welfare of wildlife. Pollution and its effects on wildlife Habitat loss and abuse Helping to focus public attention on endangered species.
Hunters have been responsible for… Wildlife laws and enforcement Wildlife research and management The Audubon Society The American Ornithonlogists Union Ducks Unlimited Wildlife federations Establishment of parks and preserves.
Buck for Wildlife Through the purchase of licenses hunters contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of wildlife habitat.
Wildlife management Introduction. The Managing of all wildlife huntable or not. Furbearers are animals used for their fur and are managed differently. Predators prey on other animals for food Exotic species are species introduced to Alberta Wildlife is a Valuable, renewable, living, natural resource that is used in different ways. What ways can you think of that we use wildlife? Consumptive and Non consumptive.
Ecology The living organisms or communities and the non-living environment functioning together and interacting as an ecological system or ecosystem.
Habitat This is the home that the wildlife live in and it must provide everything it needs to survive. Food, shelter(cover), water, space and arrangement. If any component of habitat is in short supply it limits the number of wildlife in the area. This is called the limiting factor.
Habitat Change Habitat is always changing. Dramatic change is a forest fire or housing development. Subtle is the gradual growing in or changing of a ecosystem. Bare burn, grass, shrubs and short trees, tall trees and shrubs, Tall trees and few grasses. Changing habitat changes the species that can live in it.
Wildlife and Plant Succession Each species has unique habitat needs. Therefore as the plants change the animals that live in the habitat change as well. Elk like open grassy area, shrubs attract moose, conifers attract fisher, marten and squirrels, and old spruce forests are good caribou habitat. Cleared out by fire or man they start over again.
Edge Effect The edges or borders of habitat contain the most animals because of the large variety of habitat found in these areas. Where a woods runs up against a grassy pasture or brushy area
Carrying Capacity Is the ability of a given habitat to support or carry a number of a particular wildlife species. It changes from year to year, season to season, and place to place. As carrying capacity decreases animals need to move or die.
Limiting Factors Habitat Food Cover (Shelter) Water Space Arrangement Predation Weather Disease/parasites and Elements Human activity
Limiting Factors continued
Habitat loss affecting pintails in Texas. Texas Gulf Coast: Pintails in Peril - YouTube
Population dynamics The change of a wildlife population over time. Either a particular species or wildlife in general. Major Factor that affect this is Birth Rate Death Rate
Birth Rate Smaller species have a larger birth rate Affected by the age the breeding begins, number of births per year, number of young born per litter.
Death Rate Smaller the species the higher the death rate. Factors affecting the death rate is, availability of habitat, predation, weather, human activities, disease and parasites.
Inversity and Compensation As the Survival of the breeding populations increase the Survival of their offspring decreases to meet carrying capacity. Many Old Animals Many Young Animals
Seasonal Changes Populations shift and change through out the year. Young are born in the spring and the population booms. Habitat is sufficient to provide for all. They die off all year long especially in the winter when habitat changes and they starve or freeze. You Cannot Stockpile wildlife.
Game Management and Conservation Wildlife is a valuable renewable resource that can be drawn upon when it is needed. Wildlife managers manage this resource
Game Management Wildlife is managed much the same way that a rancher manages his livestock. He must remove cattle to keep the number of animals below the carrying capacity. Game managers control wildlife in much the same way. They keep a stable breeding population and harvest the excess. They “farm” the wildlife. They also manage the habitat to produce the maximum number of animals.
Why Manage Game? To Maintain game species in sufficient numbers and variety to meet the present and future needs of the people of Alberta
Wildlife Management system Components and techniques
Biological Research The need to be able to accurately estimate numbers of wildlife species in a given area as well as how many males and females there are of each species. They also need to know how far the species move and where they move. They do this through tagging, radio collaring or banding the species and observing its movements and recording where it is harvested.
Biological research continued They also need to know about the lifestyles and basic needs of the wildlife so they cal best determine the habitat requirements and the carrying capacity that is needed as well.
Inventory –How much do we have do we have? Habitat and animals. Counting is the most accurate and most costly. Only used on a few species such as goat, sheep, and whooping crane. Aerial surveys- when trained observers count and classify animals by species, sex and age. You then take the number of animals seen and divide by the total area covered to determine how many animals per square mile. Then you multiply that by the total area covered.
Inventory Spring drumming or calling counts. Count the number of grouse or pheasants that you hear and determine the population by that. Also counting tracks or scat gives the biologist an idea of the number of animals. One year is not very accurate but many years data combined gives an accurate estimate.
Inventory They then take the numbers of animals and look at the carrying capacity of the habitat to determine how many animals will survive. Habitat assessment must take place in every place that the animals are spending time. For waterfowl this mean throughout their flyway.
Habitat Manipulation Habitat is changed and manipulated by both man and nature. Winter changes the habitat and lowers the carrying capacity of the area Man can also negatively alter the habitat sometimes in irreversible ways. Man can also manage the habitat to raise the carrying capacity. This calls for cooperation between private and public organizations to protect and use different habitat. Journal. Where do we use or change habitat both good and bad?
Habitat Manipulation Habitat cannot be preserved in its current state. It is always changing, maturing, and new plants are entering the ecosystem. Each change in habitat means that a different species will be more successful in that habitat. Once the wildlife manager knows what they have they decide how and if to alter the habitat. This is done through logging, burning, blasting, damming, building nesting structures or other means.
Habitat Manipulation This is paid for by the province, fees on hunting licenses, conservation organizations.
Wildlife Population Manipulation This is done through setting bag limits and seasons in order to alter the abundance and distribution of game animals.
Predators and Problem Wildlife In the past problem wildlife was killed. Today this option is used but as a last resort. Today we have programs in place to pay compensation to the farmer, trap and remove predators, and bait stations to lure animals away. Hunting is also occasionally used to kill or scaring off problem wildlife through extended bag limits and seasons.
Wildlife Rearing and Stocking Some animals are introduced into the province from other parts of the world. The pheasant and Hungarian partridge are examples of this. Pheasants are raised to be released in Alberta every year. Other species are trapped and released elsewhere to improve populations. This can come from within the province and outside.
Sport Hunting Hunting is used as a tool of wildlife managers. Hunters only take part of the surplus animals. Regulated hunting occurs when animals are at there highest number of surplus and because of this the same number should survive the winter. Controlled through bag limits, seasons, draws, and species and sexual identification
Wildlife Identification The ability to recognize and accurately identify Alberta’s wildlife is extremely important to Alberta’s hunters. Law requires you to accurately identify your quarry. You are expected to shoot the species and proper sex of that species that your license allows of you. There are times when you are ethically expected to be able to identify species as well. Not shooting hen mallards would be an example.
Four Main Categories of Game Species. Ungulates or cloven hoofed animals. Carnivores Upland Birds Waterfowl
Practice Makes Perfect Practice your identification with an experienced hunter. Check out field guides on wildlife and practice identifying game. Use binoculars to make positive identification. Rifle scopes are only to be used on things that you want to shoot. Keep them off unidentified game.
Habitat Knowledge Knowing the types of species that will be present in each habitat will make identification easier. You will have an idea of what to expect and what not to expect. Make sure that you still make a positive identification though. Animals can be found in strange places. Also make sure that your target is a safe one.
Ungulates Cloven or split hoofed. Cud chewers. Either browsers or grazers. Alberta’s ungulates are split into two groups. Horned animals: sheep, goats, and antelope. Antlered animals: deer, elk, moose, etcetera.
Horned Ungulates Horns grow bigger and bigger every year. They are made of a hard fibrous material. They are never shed on goats and sheep. Antelope are unique because they have horns but they are shed every year and regrown.
Antlered animals Antlers are bone structures that grow up from short stubs on an animals head. During growth they are covered in velvet, a fleshy richly supplied covering. Antlers mature and become hard. The velvet is removed by rubbing against trees. The antlers are shed by late December through February. Only the males ungulates grow antlers, with the exception of Caribou.
Antler growth early summer
Antler growth just before losing velvet.
Identifying Features Mule Deer and Whitetail deer. Antlers Whitetail- Points branch off of a main beam. Mule Deer Points make forks. Whitetail small ears Mule Deer Big Ears Whitetail large flag like white tail Mule Deer White bum small black tail Whitetail Metatarsal gland low on back leg. Mule deer metatarsal gland higher up.
Mule Deer and Whitetail
What is it?
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Horned or Antlered Ungulates Animal has horns curling back in a spiral. Females thinner and backward curling. Big Horn Sheep.
Horned Ungulates Horns black with slight backwards curve. Mountain Goat
Horned Ungulates Horns black erect tips curved in with single wide forward prong. Pronghorn Antelope
Antlered Ungluate Antlers are palmated. Wide, flat, heavy and spread horizontally. Moose
Antlered Ungulate Antlers prominent heavy wide and branching off of the main beam up and toward the rear. Elk
Antlerless Ungulates Animal large, dark brown to black, large head, broad swollen muzzle, long legs, shoulder hump higher than rump, hanging bell of skin and hair at the throat region.
Antlerless Ungulate Generally brownish, long legs, shaggy neck mane, light straw-colored rump patch. Cow Elk
Mountain Goat Habits Stay on small home ranges high above the timber line even in the winter. Nannies and kids stay together. Mature billies are seen alone or in small bands. The eat grasses, forbs, bushes. Dwarf willow is its favorite food. Attracted to salt and mineral licks.
Big Horn Sheep Habitat Roam the high meadows and rock outcroppings of the mountains. They are usually seen in herds separated by sex and age. Sheep feed on mountain grasses, forbs, and small bushes such as dwarf willow. They are attracted to salt and mineral licks. In the fall the rams fight each other by bashing heads with each other. During the winter they move to windswept slopes or lower foothills.
Big Horn Sheep Fighting Bighorn Sheep Go Head To Head - YouTube
Antelope Habits Capable of speeds of 80km per hour. May move up to 100 miles to escape a severe winter. Eat rough browse and forbs such as sage. Live on ranch lands and prairies. Very good eyesight. Curious. Can be approached by hiding behind a decoy. Can be lured in by a white flag.
Moose Habits Found in Forests. Browse for food and eat mostly new growth bushes and trees. Winter time moose gather in river valleys. Most of the time they are solitary. During the rut bulls grunt and bellow. Cows moan and groan.
Moose calling Video http://www.moosecaller.ca/index.php?option=com_largevideo&ItemID=58&id=13
Mule Deer Habits Browse on bushes and trees. Early stages of forest growth. Cut blocks are good places to look. Travel far and wide. In dry climates they are found along rivers and in coulees. Curious. They will often stop and look back when running.
Whitetail habits. Browsers who also eat grasses and herbs. Generally solitary. They yard up in the winter. Bucks form bachelor groups in the summer. Rut occurs in November. Bucks are susceptible during this time to calling, scents, rattling, and more daytime movement.
Rattling Video Rattling Video
Elk Habits Found in Mountains and Foothills traditionally found on the prairies as well. Grazers or grass eaters. Will browse in the winter when food is scarce. Mate in early fall. Bulls gather the cows together in a harem. Other bulls will challenge with a high pitched bugle. You can bugle in elk. They live high up in the summer and fall and move down into lower altitudes in the fall.
Calling Elk Video Calling in Elk
Caribou Found in Mature Forests. Feed on lichen and ground mosses. Logging, forest fire and the removal of old growth forests have decreased the number of animals.
Big Game Carnivores Dog Like Cat like Bear like
Cougar- Cat like Large 100- 200 lbs. Long tail. Tawny in color. Found mainly in the mountains, and foothills. Seldom seen. Usually solitary occupying ranges of 100-130 square km. Mostly active at night and feed on elk or deer. Hunted with dogs most effectively. Can be called with a predator call.
Grizzly bear Can not be hunted. May weigh up to 500lbs. Usually brown but can be blonde to black. Pronounced shoulder hump, massive head and dished face. Large claws. Usually found in mountains and foothills. Live on roots, berries, grasses as well as small animals. They also will eat large ungulates. Young grizzlies can climb trees. In active in winter. Hibernating from December to march.
Black Bear Usually black. Can vary in color from cinnamon to brown to black. Males 300 lbs. No shoulder hump. Straight face. Found throughout forests and foothills. Feed on roots berries and other vegetation as well as insects fish small mammals and large mammals. Good swimmers and climbers. Usually solitary. Can be baited, spot and stalked, and called.
Wolf Large dog like animal. Color ranges from white to black. They are usually a pale ash or creamy white overlaid with shades of brown or grey. 100lb plus. Found in forested areas feed on deer elk and moose. Travel and hunt in packs. Summer time they pair up and raise their pups. They are hunted by calling, and luck.
Coyote Weighs 30 -60 lbs. Looks like a dog. Smaller than a wolf with pointier nose. Tawny grey in color. It is found everywhere and it eats everything from deer to insects. Hunted by calling.
Predator Calling Predator Calling
Upland Birds All upland birds in Alberta are chicken like. We have two types of upland birds in Alberta, Native and non-native. Native birds are grouse and ptarmigan. Non-native are turkey, Hungarian Partridge, and Pheasant. You can only hunt turkeys through special draw areas in southern Alberta.
Hungarian Partridge Bare, un-feathered feet. Brownish Grey colored bird with short brown tail feathers. Weight is 14 oz. or slightly less than a pound. They are delicious. They were introduced in 1908 and 09 need Calgary. They have been hunted since 1931. They are found in coveys of 6-20 birds in farming country. Hunt abandoned farmsteads and shelter belts. They feed on grain grass seeds and vegetation. They borrow into snow banks for survival.
Ring-Necked Pheasant Brilliant coloring, Red eye patch on a iridescent purple head. Long tapering tail may reach 36 inches. Males have pointed spurs used for fighting on scaly un-feathered legs. Hens are tan brown in color. Males weigh 3 lbs, hens 2 lbs. They are an introduced species. They live in agricultural lands. You hunt them in grassy brushy areas adjacent to grain fields. They feed on insects and seeds. The need thick cover to survive the winter.
Pheasant Pheasants can be located by their cackle. You can buy calls to entice them to crow. When hunting them at dusk listen for their crow and move to them. They are explosive flushers and males are the only legal target.
Pheasant videos pheasant Video
Willow Ptarmigan Winter Plumage is white with a black beak, eyes and tail. Summer time male is brown, summer time female is yellowish brown. White wings in the summer for identification. Small population in Jasper National Park. Migrate into Alberta in the winter. Difficult to find. Feed on buds of willow, birch, alder and flowers of plants.
White Tailed Ptarmigan Completely white in the winter. Mottled brown with patches of black and white in summer. Found in the higher mountain regions of Alberta. Diet is flowers, berries, buds and twigs.
White tailed Ptarmigan
Ruffed Grouse Grey or Reddish brown birds. Black Ruff on the side of its neck. Male has a black band on its tail that is unbroken. The hens tail band is broken. They Drum in the spring to attract females. Usually found in aspen and willow cover. Summer and fall they eat green plants like clover. In the winter they eat buds.
Sharp-tailed Grouse Pale Brown speckled with black and white. Mature birds weigh less than two pounds. Make has a yellow comb over the eyes. They get their name from their tail feathers. The live throughout the province except in high mountain areas. They prefer brushy areas near grain fields. The flush making a clucking sound. Although they look similar to the hen pheasant they fly totally differently.
Sharp tailed Grouse
Spruce Grouse Males have a black breast with white spots on the side. Hens are a dark rusty brown. Both have black and white bars on their chest and white tipped tails. They weigh about a pound and a half. They are found throughout the coniferous forests of Alberta. They eat insects, berries, and leaves. In the fall and winter they eat coniferous needles. Often called Fool Hens.
Blue Grouse Slate grey in colored with a solid black tail and large size, about 3.5 pounds. Found only in the mountains and foothills. Found during the hunting season high near the timberline. When flushed they often fly down hill.
Sage Grouse Now endangered in Alberta. They are not huntable any more. Large birds weighing up to 7 lbs Backs and wings are a brownish grey and their undersides are lighter in color. They live in the sage brush plains of south eastern Alberta. They eat sage leaves and buds as well as other plants and insects. They often try to run through the sage.
Spring time Dancing and Drumming Grouse
Dancing Sharptail Dancing Sharptail
Dancing Sage Grouse Dancing Sage Grouse
Drumming Ruffed Grouse Drumming Ruffed Grouse
Waterfowl Legal Waterfowl to hunt in Alberta are ducks, geese, coots, snipe and rails Protected waterfowl are swans, loons, grebes, cranes, and other shore birds that don’t fit into the legal species.
Waterfowl Continued All Waterfowl are found in areas that contain water. Geese and puddle ducks also feed in grain fields. Ducks are divided into two different categories. Divers and puddlers.
Puddle Ducks Puddle Ducks usually have a slower wing beat than divers, they also usually fly in a looser formation. Puddle ducks feet are situated in a similar location to upland game birds. They have no trouble walking and feeding on land. You Usually find puddle ducks in small ponds and sloughs. They prefer shallow water where they can dip and feed. They can be found roosting on large open water though.
Puddle Ducks Mallards are large and blocky. Hen mallards Quack. Drakes whistle Pintails are larger and slender. Whistle. Shovelers are large and blocky with a large bill. Slow wing beat. Coarse quack Teal are small and fast. They have a swerving flight pattern. Small coarse quack.
Eclipse Plumage In the spring ducks are dressed in their best. They have the nicest coloration during this time. During the summer they molt, or loose their feathers and grow new ones. During the early part of the season young of the year and last years adults will be in various stages of plumage. Many ducks at this time can easily be confused for hens. Young of the year birds will have notched tips on their tail feathers. Adults will be pointed.
Puddle Ducks Spring into the air to fly Legs near the center of the body. Tip up to feed. Swim with their tail higher off of the water. Small hind foot Metallic Speculum.
Diving Ducks Their legs are situated farther back to aid them in swimming and diving. They prefer larger water and need more room to get off the water when flying. Speculum is not bright. They dive completely under water to feed and escape predators Swim with tail close to the water.
Mallards Large birds. 2.5-3lbs. Commonly known as Greenheads. Iridescent blue wing speculum.
Mallard Calling Duck Calling is almost always associated with the calls of the Mallard. They call of the mallard can and will attract all species of ducks. Duck Calling 101 with Kelly Haydel - YouTube
Pintail You can only shoot four of these in Alberta. Long pointy tail feathers. 2-2.5 lbs. Long neck.
Green Winged Teal Smallest of Alberta Ducks. 12oz. Erratic twisting flight and small size. Green Wing speculum. Rarely seen in winter plumage in Alberta
Green Winged Teal
Blue Winged Teal Similar in flight to the green wing. Blue wing speculum. Early migrant. Winter as far south as South America.
Blue Winged Teal
Shoveler Medium size bird. 1.5 lbs. Large spoon shaped bill. Feed on snails and invertebrates. Not a good table duck. Slow steady flight.
Gadwall AKA Grey Duck. Often confused with hen mallards. Smaller beak in flight and white wing speculum. Medium size duck.
Widgeon AKA Baldpate. Medium size duck. Bluish bill and feet. Green eye patch, grey head, white belly.
Bufflehead Small Bird. Up to a pound. Nests in holes in trees. They are hardy late fall migrants. You will find them at all temperatures as long as you have open water.
Red Head Similar to the canvasback but smaller. If flight it looks similar to the scaup. But it is larger than the scaup. It has a rounded shaped head. The hen is often confused for the hen scaup but it lacks the yellow eye and the white wing speculum.
Canvasback Large diving duck with a red head and a large sloped head. They have long necks. They are found around deep reservoirs in east central Alberta. Hens are brownish grey. They are one of the best ducks to eat.
Canvasback and Redhead Compare
Lesser Scaup AKA Bluebill Medium size ducks up to two pounds. Drakes have a blue black head, white belly with a blue black breast and a grey back. Hens are brown on the back breast and head with a white ring of feathers around their bill. They have a white wing speculum for both males and females.
Scaup. Blue bills.
Ring-Necked Duck Similar to the scaup. White band on the bill. No white on the speculum.
Ring Necked duck compared to Scaup
Ring necked duck scaup compare continued
Common Goldeneye Two and a half to three pounds. Their wings make a whistling sound when they fly. They nest in holes in trees. They are found in deep water and have a high tolerance to cold. They are mostly white with black on their backs and greenish black heads with a white spot. Hens have a brown head and a grey body.
Geese Geese are waterfowl that are larger than ducks and the males and females look alike. Geese mate for life and have no eclipse plumage.
Canada Goose There are several different varieties of Canada Geese ranging in size from three pounds up to twelve. They all look alike though other than their size. They all have a black head and neck with a white cheek patch. They have a grey body with brown wings. They have a very distinctive honk. The smaller geese have a higher pitched faster honk. They feed in grain fields twice a day in the fall. They can be patterned and hunted by setting up between their roosting and feeding site. They can also be hunted with decoys at their feeding site. They will use the same field until all of the grain is gone or they are scared away from it.
Canada Goose Calling
Richardson to Greater Comparison
White Fronted Goose Medium size goose weighing six pounds. Adults have a white band at the base of the beak. They have irregular back markings over their bellies. They are also called speckle bellies. High pitched cackling honking. Feeding habits are similar to the Canada geese.
White Front Goose
White Fronted Goose
Snow Goose Snow Geese are all white with black wing tips. They weigh about six pounds. Blue geese are a color variation of snow geese. They fly together.
Snow Geese and Blue Geese
Snow Goose Calling
Ross’s Goose Similar to a snow goose but smaller. About 4 lbs compared to a snows 6 lbs. Also the beak is missing the “grinning patch” or strainers on the side of the beak.
Duck Identification Duck ID DU ID Delta Waterfowl Quizes
Equipment Make sure you plan before you hunt what you will take. What you need changes depending on what you are hunting, where you will hunt, what the weather is forecasted to be, and how long you plan to be gone.
Clothing You need to wear clothing that will keep you warm enough without getting wet from moisture or sweat. Wet clothes are cold clothes. Clothes should be loose enough for comfort. You should dress in layers. A base layer of synthetic long underwear, like Under Armour, which is made of Nylon, polyester, and elastine, is great for cold weather hunts and is nice to have even on warmer weather hunts because you need to wear fewer layers. Follow this with a layer of wool.
Clothing continued Your next layer should be a medium weight shirt, and your next a sweater, your next a vest, then a jacket. This way as you get hot you can take off a layer and put it in your pack. Wool is always warm even when wet so it is a great material to use. Down is light and easily packable but it looses its insulating qualities when wet. It is good to use but be careful with it.
Clothing Continued. Any sturdy pants work well for hunting. You can layer here again with snow pants or wool pants to stay warmer. Don’t over dress.
Boots Good quality, strong leather boots with aggressive soles. Make sure they fit and are broken in. Tie them snuggly around the foot and looser around the ankle. Loose boots or boots that are not broken in to the feet cause blisters and can ruin your day and your hunt. Wear two layers of socks. One thin wicking layer and one layer of good wool.
Water boots Duck hunters need chest waders and hip boots to keep them dry. These are made of rubber or Neoprene. Hunters who are concerned about sent control also wear rubber boots that are knee length. However these are not good boots for long distance walking.
Gloves and Mits Gloves do more than keep your hands warm. They protect your hands from nicks, cuts, burns and abrasions. Warm weather gloves should be light and close fitting so you can easily handle your gun or bow. Cold weather hunters should have either open finger mitts or gloves inside of over sized mittens. Mittens are warmer because they collect the heat of all of the fingers as well as the hand, not just the finger.
Hunting Coats As the weather gets colder you need heavier jackets. Your choice of Jacket also is affected by the type of hunting you are doing. You need a heavier Jacket if you are sitting than if you are walking. Buy the best rain gear that you can afford because it can keep you comfortable and save your life. Upland hunters have coats that have shell holders and large pouches for carrying birds.
Head Gear You should have a hat. The colder it is the warmer the hat should be. A ball cap is nice in warmer weather for keeping the sun out of the hunters eyes. Much of you body heat is lost through your head.
Extra Gear If the hunter is camping for several days they should have a change of clothes. Extra clothes should even be part of a day pack in case you get wet.
Bedding Sleeping bag. Make sure it is rated for the temp. you are expecting. Down compresses and packs well but is difficult to dry and not warm when wet. Down is the best sleeping bag material. Pillow should be small. Can be made of extra clothes and sleeping bag cover. Mattress. Depending on your situation your mattress could be a cot or a air mattress. Light packable mattresses are available for purchase at most outdoor or mountaineering stores.
Tents Wall Tent is a large tent that will shelter a group of hunters comfortably. It is usually made out of canvas and is heated with a wood burning stove. The Chimney of the stove must be at least a foot above the ridge of the tent to keep sparks from blowing onto and burning the canvas. You also need a fire resistant collar around the chimney to keep the canvas from burning.
Foresters Tent The basic design is a sloped roof wedge tent with the front of the tent wider than the rear. The front is seven feet wide, six feet tall and open, while the rear is three feet wide, three feet tall, with a solid triangular wall. The length is about eight feet. One open end. Two poles in the front forming a V and one ridge pole running to the rear. You build your fire in front of it.
Mountaineer’s Tent Small light packable tent. Used on backpacking hunts.
Lean-to tent Tarp is pulled to a 40% angle from a structure of poles at the front of the tent. No sides are needed for this tent.
Tent Care Treat your tent with a waterproofing solution. You can repair rips and tears by gluing waterproof material over the top of the rip. Clean and dry tents before storing.
Tent setup Pitch tent in a level area away from natural funnels and depressions. You want to stay dry.
Knives and Axes It’s nice to carry a pocket and a sheath knife when hunting. A sheath Knife should be no longer than 4 inches long for hunting. (10 cm) It should remain in the sheath until it is needed. A pocket knife should have two strong blades between 2 ½ to 3 inches long. 6-8 cm. Pocket knives should be kept folded when not in use. Axes and Knives must be sharp to be safe.
Sharpening a knife Pocket knives may be sharpened on a medium or fine grade sharpening stone with a few drops of oil spread on the surface. Hold the handle of the knife in one hand and place the blade across the stone. Press down with the fingers of the other hand and stroke the blade following a circular motion as shown in figure 1-105. After several strokes, reverse the blade and stroke the opposite side, following the same type of motion. Use a light even pressure. A thin blade overheats quickly and can lose its temper. The wire edge or burr that may be left on a knife blade after whetting may be removed by stropping both sides on a soft wood block, canvas or leather.
Sharpening a knife
Sharpening a Knife 30 Degree angle. Use a sweeping or rotating motion. Knife sharpening Video
Axes An axe is an outdoorsman’s most important tool. It can be used for felling trees, chopping wood, dressing and skinning game, and with a piece of flint it can be use to start a fire. The best material for an axe handle is hickory. If your axe head is loose you should tighten it with steel or wooden wedges before using it. Always use a chopping block when chopping. Be careful when chopping that you stay away from people and gear.
The Ideal Camp Axe The ideal camp axe should have a 20-28 inch handle and a 2 ½ pound head.
Sharpening an axe. Use a stone or a file in a downward stroke. Axe sharpening
Compass and Map You should always carry a map and a compass when hunting and hiking in unfamiliar country. A compass needle points to Magnetic North. A pocket compass shows helps you find north, south, east and west. A compass dial is divided into 360 degrees. Hold the compass horizontally and flat and keep it away from metal like a watch or gun barrel. It will throw off your compass.
Compass and Map Use the compass in conjunction with a map to help you find your way around. Point the map due north using your compass and look for obvious landmarks on the map and in the country to get your bearings. Landmarks like rivers, lakes, mountains and roads will help you orient yourself on the map and in the country. Make sure your map is the right size for your use.
Setting the Declination Your map will have a set declination for your region. Use it to adjust your compass’s declination, or angle formed between true north and magnetic north, by following the directions that come with your compass. To travel in a straight line use your compass to set a degree of travel from true north and find a landmark in the distance that relates to that degree of travel. Walk to the landmark and start over again checking it against your degree along the way.
Survival Kit This is the most important extra item that a hunter can carry when going into the forest for the day. The kit should be small and light and be with you at all times. The heavier you make it the less likely you will take it along.
Survival Kit Contents. A Small metal container with a lid to hold your kit. Matches, flint and steel and fire starting materials like a petroleum jelly soaked cotton ball. Small knife. Fishing gear. Small and light. Snare wire. Safety pins, needle and thread Signal mirror. Pencil and paper Tea bags, bullion cubes. Tape and first aid kit.
Survival kit Practice with the items in your kit so you are confident you can use them.
First Aid Kit First Aid Handbook Band-Aids 6-12, 4x4 inch sterile bandages. Roll of Gauze, a roll of tape, petroleum jelly. Anti-Septic Razorblade Small scissors Tweezers Small mirror Pain pills
Backpacking The maximum weight a person should carry is 1/3 of their body weight. The pack sack should be evenly supported by your back, shoulders and legs. Heavier items should be packed close to the back and higher up on the pack. Backpacking trips need to be meticulously planned. You should practice carrying your pack and packing it before hand.
Backpacking When putting on your pack: lift it to your thigh, put your arm through the strap, lift the frame high and to the left, slide your left arm through. For a very heavy pack put it on the ground and then roll over on to your knees and then get up keeping as much weight as possible on your legs. If it is too heavy to swing off you should sit down lean against a tree or rock and slip out of you pack.
Firearms History At first all firearms were muzzle loading black powder firearms. They had a priming pan which held black powder and a spark or a match lit the powder and that threw sparks into the chamber which held more black powder and that set off the gun. Percussion cap firearms sent the flame directly down the chamber to the powder and they were much more reliable.
Firearms The First thing that you do when picking up a firearm is assume it is loaded and point it in a safe direction If you are hunting with a group of friends and they are not being safe you should advise them to be safe and then refuse to hunt with them until they change. Never take a fire arm in to a vehicle or building unless it is unloaded.
Matchlock The Matchlock was the first deisgn. It was loaded like any other muzzleloader and set off by a slow burning fuse which would fall onto the priming pan when the trigger was loaded.
Wheel-Lock This was replaced by the wheel-lock which was similar in design to a modern day cigarette lighter. The wheel was wound and when it went off it rubbed against a piece of flint. This sent sparks into the pan of powder which set off the gun.
Flintlock A piece of flint was held in a vise on a hammer, this was sent into a piece of steel called a frizzen which caused sparks to fall into the pan setting off the explosion.
Percussion Cap They developed a powder that would explode when struck. This was put on a metal nipple which when struck sent an explosion into the chamber setting off the gun.
Modern Firearms Now we have firearms where the charge and the primer are all contained in a single package. Rifle cartridges are composed of a casing, a primer, powder, and bullet. Shotgun shells are composed of a casing, a primer, powder, a wad, and a charge of shot or a slug.
Firearm Characteristics Butt Plate, comb, grip, trigger guard, trigger, bolt handle, safety, magazine, bolt, receiver, rear sight, front sight, barrel, stock, and for-end. Are all parts of a firearm. The three main parts of all firearms are the lock (action), stock, and barrel.
Rifling Rifling is the grooves that are cut into the barrel to give the bullet its spin. A bullet that spins remains stable in flight giving the bullet greater accuracy. It works much like a football thrown in a spiral works. The caliber of the rifle is measured in millimeters or hundredths of an inch between the rifling lands.
Shotgun Gauge Shotgun barrels are determined by gauge instead of caliber, other than the .410. Gauge is determined by the number of lead balls the size of the barrel that will equal a pound. A 12 gauge shotgun is such because it takes 12 lead balls the size of the barrel to make a pound.
Common Gauges 10, 12, 16, 20, 28, and.410. The smaller the number the larger the gauge. The smaller the gauge the less shot it holds and the shorter the effective range. The 12 gauge is the most common gauge and most effective overall gauge. The other gauges are specialty gauges and will each lend itself to different purposes.
Shotgun Choke The choke is the constriction that is found in the last several inches of the shotgun barrel. The tighter the choke the tighter the pattern of pellets that the gun throws and the longer the range. Four main types of chokes. Full, modified, improved cylinder, and cylinder. Full is the tightest and cylinder is the lack of any choke. Think of it as a garden hose the more pressure you put at the end the tighter and farther the spray will go
Chokes and Ranges
Shotgun Shells Many times these are color coded. Grey is 10 gauge Red is 12 gauge Purple is 16 gauge Yellow is 20 gauge Red is 28 and .410 Don’t carry different gauge shells when hunting or shooting. A 16 or 20 gauge shell put in a 12 gauge gun will leave enough room for another 12 gauge shell and your gun will blow up if you fire it.
Safety Mechanism These should always be on right up until the instant before you fire. You should practice shouldering your gun, unloaded, and taking the safety off as it is on the way to your shoulder. Then lower your gun and practice putting the safety back on. Your safety is only a mechanism and can and will fail. Do not depend on it. Depend on safe gun handling. The safety is usually located near the trigger guard or on the top tang of the firearm.
Dominate Eye Your Dominate eye is the eye that you use to focus on and see every thing. You need to shoot using this eye even if you do not right using that hand. Left eye dominate you are a left hand shooter.
Sights A sight is used to aim the firearm. There are three basic sights: Open, aperture, and scope.
Open Sight Most factory issued rifles and handguns are equipped with open sights. Rear open sight and a front bead or blade sight. The front sight must be lined up with the rear sight to aim.
Aperture Sight AKA “Peep Sight” Bead or post front sight like open sights and a small circle with a hole in it for the back sight. Very accurate and quick.
Sight picture peep sight
Scope Sight Mini Telescope mounted on the rifle. Comes in different magnifications. Fixed and variable. Variable can be changed. You should hunt with it set on the lowest power and turn it up if you need more magnification at longer ranges.
Actions Firearms are classified by their actions. There are five basic different types of actions Bolt Pump Lever Hinge Semi-automatic
Bolt action A bolt action firearms operated on a lift, pull, and push sequence similar to a door bolt. It can be a single shot or a repeater. It is one of the strongest and most accurate actions. Most common on rifles, though there are bolt action shotguns as well.
Pump Action The for-end of the stock is pumped back and forth to operate the action. Most common in a shotgun, also used in the rifle.
Lever action A lever action has a metal handle which is located just behind the trigger. You pull it down and away from the stock and then pull it up to close the action. It is most common in rifles.
Hinge Action The hinge action opens or breaks in the center of the action similar to the door hinge. The release switch is pushed or swung and the action opens. It locks when closed. It is probably the safest action because you can see through the barrels and see that they are clear. Can be single or multi-barrel. Most common are single shots, over under double barrels, and side by side double barrels.
Semi-Automatic Action Put in ammunition. It fires every time you pull the trigger. Most models stay open when empty. Operated by either recoil or gasses escaping from the fired shell.
Action Release Most firearm actions have some type of button slide to release the action.
Other action types Revolving Action- Single action and double action. Double action the cylinder swings out. Single action the loading gate opens and rounds are fed into the cylinder. Full Automatic Action- loaded like the semi-auto but when fired it keeps firing until you stop pressing the trigger.
Ammunition Rifle and handgun ammunition is made up of 4 different components. Primer, powder, bullet and case. Shotguns are made up of 5. Primer, wad, powder, bullet and case.
Bullets Bullets are not the cartridge! They are the projectile. Bullets and shot come in different types and sizes. Hunting bullets are designed to expand and penetrate and cause great tissue damage for the animal they are designed to kill. Target bullets are not designed to expand.
Shot Shotguns shoot different types of shot, or pellets. These range in size from very large to very tiny. Alphabet loads are large loads found in steel shot. They range from F which is the largest to B which is the smallest. The sizes are F, TT, T, BBB, BB and B. The next sizes run from 1-12. This shot size designation is the same for steel and lead. Buckshot is traditionally used for deer hunting in some areas. The smallest buckshot is 4 buck and the largest is 000 buck.
Shot Steel vs. lead. Steel weighs less than lead so it needs a greater velocity to kill at a distance than lead. It also needs to be larger to be lethal at normal hunting ranges. Lead is heavier and you can get great performance out of smaller shot. The smaller the shot the more pellets are available to hit and kill the target. Steel does not allow for this so the guns have gotten bigger. Now most people who hunt with steel shoot 3” or 3 1/2” shells so they can have more pellets.
Other non-toxic. Bismuth, nice shot, tungsten, hevi-shot, and alloys of these shot are also legal for waterfowl hunting. Their density is greater than steel and some times greater than lead. You are able to use smaller shot and kill cleanly and humanely at greater distances. However, they are extremely expensive loads.
Case The case, or shell, is the container that holds the powder, bullet and primer. The case is made of brass, copper, steel, paper or plastic.
Primer The primer contains a chemical mixture that explodes when it is hit. It sets off the powder charge.
Powder This is a chemical mixture that when burned forms gases which propel the bullet or shot down the barrel.
Wad In a shotgun shell there is a fifth component called the wad. Its job is to separate the powder from the shot and create a seal for the gasses to push against.
Impact energy of Bullets The killing power of bullets is measured in foot pounds. This is determined by the bullet weight in grains and the velocity the bullet is traveling in feet per second. If the weight or the velocity goes up the killing power goes up as well. The farther away the animal is the slower the velocity and the larger the bullet has to be. Know the effective killing range of your rifle and bullet combination and don’t shoot beyond in order to have clean humane kills.
Firearms Safety and Care Guns are not toys. They are tools that need to be respected. You should learn proper gun handling from someone who is qualified to teach you, like an experienced hunter. You should clean your firearm when it has been stored uncovered for a long time; when it has been exposed to sand, mud, rain, or snow; or when moisture forms on the metal parts.
General Rules for Firearms Saftey Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Even if you think it is not. Keep the action of the firearm open except when you are ready to shoot. Use and carry only the right type of ammo for your firearm.
General Safety Rules Be sure of your target and beyond it. Never mix firearms and drugs or alcohol If you are tired stop hunting or shooting and go home. Keep your firearm unloaded until you are actually using it.
Firearms safety when hunting Practice with your firearm so you are comfortable and competent. When traveling make sure your gun is cased, unloaded, and securely positioned. If you are traveling public transportation make sure you abide by the regulations set by the carrier. While hunting carry the gun safely with the muzzle pointed away from yourself and others, keep the safety on, and keep your finger outside the trigger guard.
Safe Carrying positions Different situations call for different carrying positions for your firearm.
Two handed carry Two-hand (ready) carry—the firearm is carried with the muzzle end up and across the body. This is one of the safest carry positions, offering good muzzle control while allowing you to get into shooting position quickly. Use this carry when others are in front of or behind you. Never use it when someone is on the same side that the muzzle is pointed.
Two handed carry
Cradle carry Cradle carry—one hand is on or near the grip while the fore end of the firearm is cradled in the crook of your elbow. It's a comfortable way to carry a firearm, but this position is not as secure as a two-hand carry. Use it when others are behind or in front of you, but never to the side where the muzzle is pointing.
Elbow (side) carry Elbow (side) carry—firearm is tucked under the armpit and over the arm in front of the elbow. A safe method when walking in open terrain, but in brush, branches tend to catch the gun. Use it when others are behind or to your side, but not when they are in front of you.
Elbow (side) carry
Trail carry Trail carry—the firearm is gripped firmly with one hand at the balance point. This carry offers poor control of your firearm should you fall. Use it when hunting alone or when others are behind you or to your side. Never use this carry when someone is walking ahead of you.
Sling carry Sling carry—the firearm is hung from the shoulder by a sling with the muzzle pointing upwards. When standing, this carry method frees up your hands for things such as scanning terrain with binoculars. When walking, one hand should grasp the sling to keep the firearm from slipping off the shoulder. This is a poor method when walking on difficult terrain or in heavy brush.
Shoulder carry Shoulder carry—one hand grasps the firearm at the grip while the firearm rests across the top of the shoulder. This is the least safe of all carries as you have little control over the firearm should you fall. Never use it when someone is behind you or while walking on rough terrain.
Zones of Fire When hunting with others, your zone of fire will also be determined by the location of others in your group. During such hunts, it is crucial that each person knows exactly where they may shoot without putting others in danger. It is also safer if there are no more than two or three hunters in the group.
Zones of Fire
Crossing fences. Unload your gun. Slide your gun under the fence and lay it on the ground. Do not stand it up on the fence. Make sure if you are hunting with a dog you lay it down with the safety facing down. Cross the fence and continue hunting. If you are hunting with a partners you can have them hold the guns while you cross and then you can hold the guns while they cross.
Hunting in Boats Gun of the front hunter faces the front. Back hunter to the back. Never stand up to shoot in a boat. It is unstable and if your partner doesn't stand up he could blow your head off.
Other Safety tips Be positive of your targets identity before shooting. If you fall try to control your muzzle. If your gun is set down or you fall check the barrel to make sure it is not obstructed. Not even a little. Unload your gun before climbing or in difficult terrain. Carry a small rope to pull your gun, unloaded, or bow up if hunting out of a tree stand. Don’t use your scope as a substitute for binoculars.
Care and Maintenance Regularly clean your gun to keep it safe and in good working order. If your gun gets wet or dirty wipe it down and then wipe it with a lightly oiled cloth. Clean your gun from the breech if possible. Use a cleaning rod, patches, and powder solvent to wipe away powder residue. Don’t over oil. This will attract dirt and gum up your firearm. Use light oil. Teflon or silicon based is best.
Cleaning a rifle Rifle cleaning
Rifle Shooting Use your dominate eye. Use proper sight alignment Squeeze the trigger. Don’t yank it or slap it. Breath in breath half way out. Stop. Make your shot. Follow through after the shot. Make sure you keep holding still.
Sight adjustment Move the rear sight in the direction you want the bullet to move. Scopes and aperture sights have directions on their adjustments that tell you what to do. If you want to move the bullet right you move the dial right as indicated on the sight.
Shooting positions Different shooting positions lend themselves to different situations. Always use a rest if you can. If not different positions are more stable than others.
Sitting and Kneeling Sitting position- Sit down place your elbows on you knees. Kneeling- Place your supporting elbow on your knee. Very stable shooting platforms.
Prone Most stable.
Shotgun Shooting You point a shotgun you aim a rifle. Feet shoulder with apart Your body pivots or swings on your front leg. You swing or shoot with your whole body. Keep both eyes open and one the target. Slap the trigger. Follow through. This is the most important. Keep moving your barrel.
Lead You are shooting at a moving target so you are going to have to shoot in front of your target. This is called leading the target. Three different types, swing through, snap shooting, and sustained lead.
Swing through lead. Start behind your target, swing through your target, as you reach the correct distance in front of the target pull the trigger.
Swing through lead
Sustained lead Start your swing in front of the target start swinging and pull the trigger.
Snap Shooting Point in front of the target and pull the trigger. This is the least effective. I do not recommend this at all. Only real use would be hunting in heavy cover.
Handgun Shooting It is not legal to hunt with handguns in Canada. You can in other places however. One and two handed grip. Sight the same as a rifle. Follow through like a rifle and breath like a rifle. Handguns are harder to shoot accurately because of their small barrel. They are also not as powerful as their rifle counterparts using the same ammo. They can be used to effectively take game where legal if the user limits their range and practices until they are competent.
Black Powder and Muzzleloading Safest black powder guns to use are reproductions. You can use black powder muzzleloaders that are rifles, shotguns, pistols and muskets. You also can have black powder cartridge guns. If a gun has Damascus or twist barrels it is only safe for black powder. It is best not to use it until it is checked out by a gunsmith.
Muzzleloaders Percussion cap Flintlock You only use black powder or a black powder substitute like pyrodex. If you use smokeless powder you can and will blow up the gun. You need at least a .44 cal muzzleloader to hunt in Alberta. They fire patched round balls, conical bullets, or sabot bullets.
Muzzeloaders Four types of black powder Fg-used in muskets with large bores FFG- Used in shotguns and .54-69 cal rifles and pistols FFFG-Most common in .36-.54 cal rifles and pistols, FFFFG- only used to prime flintlocks. Burns fast and can produce unsafe pressures.
Muzzle loading Accessories Patching material with lube Powder horn or flask Powder measure Starter- short and long starter combined in one. Used to start ball so ramrod can finish it. Ramrod and accessories, worm, ball screw. Cap holder Possibles bag
Muzzle loading Projectiles
Loading a muzzle loader Place on half cock, pour a measured amount of black powder down the barrel, place patched ball conical or sabot in the barrel and push down into the muzzle with your finger or the short starter, move it further down the barrel with the long starter, push it in one smooth motion snugly against the powder with the ram rod, put on your cap or prime your frizzen, cock and fire.
Loading a muzzle loader
Muzzle loader Saftey Only use black powder or a proper substitute Never pour directly from a horn or flask into your barrel. Hold the muzzle away from you while loading. Be certain the ball is pushed firmly in place. Wipe the bore with a damp patch after firing. Mark a loaded mark on your ramrod to prevent double loading.
Shooting sports These help provide the practice needed to be successful in the field. Skeet is most like the shooting that bird hunters will experience.
Range Procedure Range officer calls “first relay”- First group of shooters goes to the firing line Range officer calls “ Is the line ready?” If you are not you say your not ready. Then inform him when you are. Range officer will call “the line is ready” Range officer will command “load” Range officer will say “Ready on the firing line” Then “Commence Firing” When everyone is done he will call. “Cease Firing” If things don’t seem right or you have a problem call the range officer.
Definitions Trajectory is the path the bullet takes from the muzzle to the target. Extractor- is the hook like device that pulls the cartridge from the firearm chamber. Sight alignment is lining up the front and rear sights. Caliber is the inside diameter of the barrel between the tops of the lands or before the rifling is cut.
Bow Hunting See Power point for Bow hunting
Field Techniques Vital Target Areas of Big Game- Aim Behind the front shoulder
Vital Area of Big Game
Game Birds Aim for the front of the bird where the vitals are located. If you wound a bird try to recover it as quickly as possible. If it is swimming away shoot it again aiming for the head with the smallest shot you have. Once you capture the bird kill it immediately by wringing its neck.
Field Dressing Big Game Field Dress the animal as soon as possible after death. You will need a sharp knife. It is also nice to have rubber gloves, a saw or axe, game bag, and nylon twine. If you are going to mount the animal follow different steps.
Field dressing steps Carefully, without cutting the intestines, cut from under the breast bone to the anus. Carefully cut around the anus. With animals that are to be quartered leave the evidence of sex on one of the quarters. Slice down to the pelvic bone, split this with a knife or ax or saw. Slice through the breast bone to the neck, cut the windpipe and the connecting tissues holding the lungs and heart pull the animals insides out being careful not to get urine, feces, or open intestines on the meat.
Field Dressing If it is a smaller animal, like a deer, you can now haul it out to your vehicle. If it is a larger animal you will have to quarter it. Skin the animal out, cut off the front quarters and bag them, slice off the rear quarters starting near the pelvic bone cutting to the ball joint and cutting off the quarter. Slice between the second and third rib to remove the tender lion and the lower back strap. Bag and carry out all six pieces.
Field Dressing Cuts
Trophy Field Dressing For trophy animals you do not cut beyond the breast bone on the under side. Reach up into the animal to pull free the windpipe and then cut it inside the animal. Slice around the animals ribcage and make a cut up the back of the head staying in the middle until you reach the antlers. Go around each antler and carefully skin out the head taking special care around the eyes, ears and lips. Leave the head on and bring to a taxidermist if possible. It might not be because of spoilage. Keep your hide from spoiling with salt.
Tag your animal right away Tag a deer around tendon of the back leg or the bone of the back leg. Make a cut between the tendon and the bone to do this. Sheep tag through the nostrils of the nose. Bear or cougar tag through the hide. Any ungulate that you quarter should be tagged the same as a deer but on the quarter that keeps the evidence of the sex. Use a red or orange flag on your animal when transporting it out of the woods for saftey.
Bears, Wolves, Coyotes, Cougars Cut from the tail to about three inches below the lower lip, cut from the center of the chest to the front paws on each side. Cut from the tail cut to the hind paws. Cut off the paws and skin the animal. It is illegal to waste the skin of a fur bearing animal in Alberta
Care at home or camp Hang the meat to facilitate cooling. If it is warm remove the hide to help the cooling. If it is really warm cut the quarters open to help cooling and butcher right away. Use salt to preserve the hide.
Game Birds Field dress the bird as soon as possible. This includes plucking the bird and removing the entrails. You must keep one fully feathered wing intact. You should store the dead birds above the ground and far apart to keep them from spoiling. You can also skin your birds.
Survival Survival is the ability to cope with emergency conditions that occur when in the outdoors. You should practice your emergency survival techniques. A survival situation usually only lasts 72 hours and seldom longer than 5 days. Stay put and wait for help. Signal for help if at all possible.
Pain This is natures way of telling you that something is wrong. Attend to your injuries immediately. Keep your mind busy and off the pain.
Cold This is a serious threat to survival. A victim of cold loses their ability to think clearly and function normally. Cold can lead to hypothermia. Even in moderate temperatures. Stay dry, build a fire, and construct a shelter.
Thirst Keep your mind off of thirst. You can survive for several days without water. Locate water or collect it from rain or snow.
Hunger You will be uncomfortable but you will live. You can survive 30 days without food.
Fatigue Try to rest as much as possible. Make a good shelter to sleep comfortably. Being tired makes it difficult to think and function.
Boredom and loneliness Don’t let them make you act irrationally. Keep yourself busy. Keep calm and avoid panic.
Fear Fear is normal. Keep yourself calm. Stay in one place and make a plan to survive.
Survival Preparation Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. If you change your plans let someone know or leave a note. Choose clothing which is suitable for the weather and weather changes. Take a compass and map. Know how to use them. GPS is OK but they break or run out of batteries. Carry a personal survival kit and first aid kit. Practice basic survival techniques.
Fire Building Fire is a basic need for survival. With a fire you can warm yourself, dry your cloths, signal for assistance, cook a meal and enjoy a warm comfortable night. Fire also makes you feel comfortable and secure emotionally.
Fire Building Long wooden strike anywhere matches are the best for fire starting. They are the most practical. Get a waterproof match safe to keep them in. Pack a cotton ball onto the top of the container, store the matches half up and half down, and coat them in paraffin wax to keep them from lighting inside the container.
Flint and steel This is a reliable method but you need to practice it. It is not affected by weather. Hold flint so the bottom corner rests on a log, position tinder at the bottom of the flint, extend a finger to keep tinder from spreading, hold saw tooth edge on the flint and strike down having the sparks land on the tinder.
Fire building Before attempting to build a fire make sure you have your fire supplies ready at hand. Have an assortment of tinder available from the small and flammable to the large and flammable. Make a tinder bundle nest, transfer your burning tinder to the nest, use the nest to start the dry spruce twigs gathered from under spruce trees, use this to start the fire.
Matches fire building Use dry spruce twigs, a bundle, use two matches at once. Strike matches hold onto the tinder bundle so the fire burns up. Move bundle around until it is really burning. Use to start the fire.
Fuel and tinder Kindling is small branches and sticks from the forest. Have a good supply for starting a fire. Natural tinder can be found in the dry dead twigs from the lower limbs of standing trees. Other material such as shredded birch bark, dry grass, fur balls from the nests of mice and birds, shavings, dry leaves hornet nests, and lint from your clothes or pocket.
Fuel Larger logs are needed for maintaining your fire. Large old tree stumps are ideal for an all night fire.
Fire location Be careful to build your fire in a location where you won’t spread your fire or put it out. Construct a platform of green logs or stones.
Shelter building The best material for building a shelter or a bed is spruce boughs. When building a lean-to shelter you place the spruce boughs upward. Choose a spot that is naturally protected, like a rock overhang, a fallen tree or a large uprooted stump.
Shelter building Snow cave- Don’t build it unless you have no other option. You can get wet and therefore cold. Leave an air vent and don’t build it in snow so big that you can’t just stand up out of the snow if a cave in occurs. Make a sleeping shelf and cover it with spruce boughs.
Survival site survival
Rescue Signals International emergency distress signal is three of anything. Three whistle blasts, three shots etc. Flare Signals- Flare cartridges for your rifle or shotgun, Pen flares can be included in your survival kit. Fire Signals are effective because fire partrols are always looking for fires. I bright fire during the night or a smoky one during the day can attract attention.
Rescue Signals Mirror signals- Flashing a plane or helicopter to attract attention. Sound signals- Shooting in groups of three. Whistle blasts in groups of three. Best time to use these is dusk and during the night. Information signals- Arrow for direction, Large X tramped in the snow or made out of spruce bows, SOS, Help etc.
Shotgun Shell Flare
Water You can survive several days without water. Purify water before drinking if possible. Boiling is the safest- You can also carry purification tablets or drops. Melt ice or snow before drinking. Don’t melt it in your mouth. Drink hot instead of cold when ever possible. You need 2-3 liters a day even in cold weather. Drink your water when you have it. Don’t conserve it for later.
Food Food isn’t an immediate concern. You can survive for 30 days without food. Three types of poisonous plants in Alberta are: Water hemlock, Bane Berry, Death Cap Mushroom.
Water Hemlock Most poisonous plant in North America. Height: 3-6 feet tall Flowers: Small white flowers in a flat or rounded umbel (an umbrella-shaped cluster) 2-5" wide. Individual flowers about 1/8" wide, have 5 petals and 5 stamens. Leaves: Alternate compound leaves with lance-shaped leaflets, pointed, with numerous teeth. Note the sometimes multiples of leaves giving rise to a somewhat haphazard arrangement of leaves along the leaf stem. Sometimes doubly compound or lobed. Sometimes tinged with red. Up to about 4" long, 1.5" wide. The veins on the leaflets end at the notches between the teeth (this is unusual in plants). Stem: Branching, smooth & stout, often mottled or solid purple. Hollow. Lower part of stem chambered. Roots have fat tuberlike branches. Habitat: Wet open areas such as marshes, along shores, and sometimes open swamps.
Water Hemlock Website for Water Helmlock
Baneberry Baneberry is a bushy perennial two or three feet tall. It has small white flowers in short thick clusters at the top of the stem. Red or white berries resemble dolls eyes. Avoid all berries growing in clusters.
Death Cap Mushroom Don’t eat mushrooms.
Animals All animals are edible and will provide excellent nourishment. They should be boiled and eaten as a stew to get all of the nutrients. You can get them by snaring, clubbing, shooting, spearing, trapping, or hooking them. Snares or traps work for you 24 hours a day.
Ojibway bird snare
Snap Up Rabbit Snare
Rabbit Snare More
Set Lines for fishing Find a log across a stream or anchor one in to a river. Tie fishing lines to the log and let them swing in the current.
Pronged Fish Spear
Hypothermia Hypothermia occurs when the inner body temperature drops more than two degrees C. It affects the ability to think and act rationally. It causes death. It is caused by exposure to cool air or water. It is made worse by wet or damp clothing, wind, exhaustion, or sudden contact with cold water.
Signs of Hypothermia Uncontrollable shivering. Slurred speech, statements that don’t make sense. Memory starts failing. Fumbling hands, stumbling, lurching. Drowsiness Exhaustion, inability to get up after rest.
Treatment of Hypothermia Treat it as soon as symptoms appear Get in a shelter and get as warm as possible. Remove wet clothes Apply heat to the head, neck chest and groin. Use warm moist towels, hot water bottles, or heated blankets Sleeping bag. You may need to add your body heat. Warm drinks. No Alcohol ever!!!
Prevention of Hypothermia Look out for signs of hypothermia in others. Choose clothing that will keep you dry and warm. Check Weather conditions before you go. Prepare and pack a survival kit.
Falling in Water If you fall in climb out as quickly as possible and get to a shelter and or fire. If you are in a boat get in or on top of the boat. If you cannot get out of the water get into the HELP position. This is the fetal position in the water. It stands for Heat Escape Lessening Posture.
Thin Ice Stay off thin ice. If you fall through get your arms out on the ice, kick your feet to the surface and squirm wriggle and swim onto the ice. Roll away from the hole. Get to shore and build a fire to warm yourself and dry your clothing. Or get to shelter.
First Aid First aid is the immediate assistance given to someone who is hurt or suddenly ill. The basic objectives are: To preserve life To minimize the effects of the injury To relieve pain and suffering.
Quick Examination Make sure they are breathing and have a pulse. Locate all wounds and stop all bleeding Check for lumps on the head Ask where they hurt and what happened Check head, neck and spine. If ok check arms and legs Have them take a deep breath to check for chest injuries Ask to pull in stomach and push it out to check for internal injuries.
General Proceedures If they seem to be seriously injured don’t try to move them. Keep them lying down with their head level. Stay calm. If they are in a potentially dangerous situation remove them. Don’t endanger yourself.
Artificial Respiration Take a CPR First aide course and become certified. Something is better than nothing if they are not breathing and they have no pulse. The steps are: Tilt the victims head back open their mouth and check for airway blockage. Do a mouth sweep. Roll them on their side if there is vomit that need to be cleared. Close their nostrils, breath into their mouth twice watching their chest lift each time. Perform chest compressions two finger widths above their sternum.
Emergency breathing 12 Breaths per minute adult 20 breaths per minute child.
Bleeding The best way to stop a wound from breathing is apply pressure to the would and elevate above the heart if possible. Use a sterile pad if you have it. If not any clothing will work. If it is spurting it can cause death quickly. Apply pressure to the wound and to the artery above the wound. A tourniquet should only be used when the life is endangered. They can lose the limb. Once the bleeding has stopped clean the wound with clean water
Shock A person is shock is pale, sweating, and feel faint. His or her pulse will be fast and the skin will feel cold and damp. You can die from shock even if your wound is non-life threatening. To treat a person in shock lay them down, elevate their feet and keep them warm.
Fracture Simple fracture is a cracked or broken bone. Compound Fracture is a broken bone that has cut through the skin. Fractures of the spine are very serious and the person should not be moved. Call for help. Upper Arm Fractures should be treated with splints and a sling. Elbow Fracture. Don’t move it. Splint it in the position it is in after the break.
Fractures Forearm fracture. Splint the entire forearm. Wrist Fracture- Splint and keep elevated. Ankle Fracture- Don’t change the position of the bone. Splint with a tightly rolled pillow or blanket. Hip, Pelvis, thigh, and lower leg fractures. Don’t move the person, get help. Jaw Fracture- Loosely wrap a bandage under the chin and over the top of the head. Ribs- Could puncture the lung. If they have come through the skin they could interfere with breathing and should be covered with a thick bandage.
Sprains A severely sprained wrist or ankle should be splinted, elevated, and treated with cold compresses. Treat it as a fracture.
Concussion A concussion is the swelling of the brain tissue following a sever blow to the head. A person with a head injury should be kept still and encouraged to rest quietly. Immediate medical attention is needed if the victim is bleeding from the ears or mouth or if there is a clear watery fluid coming out of the nose or ears. Treat for shock
Burns Do not ignore a burn even a minor one. If someone is badly burned treat for pain and shock. Shock is the most dangerous after a sever burn. Clean the area and immerse in cold water. Do not break the blister if one forms.
Blisters Don’t pop them. Treat red spots with tape to prevent abrasion. Carry blister bandages for treatment.
Frostbite. This is the freezing of the skin. Usually the nose, ears, cheeks, fingers, or toes. Have a partner check for frost bite. You look as well on him/her. Frostbite appears as a shiny white or grayish yellow. Do not rub it. Place it against your warm body. Cup a hand over it and let your body heat warm it. Warm in lukewarm water when you are home. Do not allow it to refreeze this will kill the tissue. A hunter who has frozen feet is better to walk on them to help instead of thawing them and refreezing them.
Animal Bites Wash with soap and water. Stop bleeding. Cleanse to prevent infection. Get to a doctor
Vision and Physical Fitness Make sure you are fit enough for the activity that you are performing. Being out of shape can be dangerous because you can get yourself into situations that you cannot get out of easily. Visit an eye doctor to get any corrective lenses that you may need. Practice trying to see things at a distance to improve your eyesight.
Legal Responisbilites It is your legal responsibility to know all of the laws concerning your activities in the outdoors at all times. You can find a free publication of a summary of these rules at your license vendor. Ask your local fish and game department if you have any specific questions. In Alberta the wildlife act governs wildlife and wildlife hunting.
Laws to protect life and property It is unlawful to shoot a gun within 200 yards of an occupied building, or to cause a bullet to pass within 200 yards of the building. No person shall have a loaded firearm in or on a motor vehicle. No person is allowed to shoot along, across or off a highway. No one shall hunt while impaired by drugs or alcohol. It is unlawful to hunt waterfowl using a single ball projectile.
Laws to protect and conserve wildlife Hunting seasons and bag limits. You shall not shoot or harass swimming big game. You may not hunt in a wildlife or bird sanctuary with0ut a permit. You can’t use a aircraft to hunt. You may not buy or sell wildlife or keep wildlife in captivity without a special permit. You may not release any exotic wildlife into the wild. You may only hunt one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset. Some animals must be registered with fish and game for management purposes.
Other Laws A firearm is considered loaded when a cartridge is in the breech, chamber, or magazine. It is legal to hunt on Sunday only in the area known as the Green Zone. Caribou are protected year round in Alberta You must register Elk, Trophy Sheep, goat, grizzly bear, cougar, mule deer taken with a landowner license, or wolf in WMU’s 300-316. and 400-414 To take meat out of the province you need a provincial export permit or a hunting liscence.
Laws for hunter behaviour Following the concept of fair chase you may not hunt using Poison or drugs A night light Any fully automatic firearm Snares, traps, or nets Vehicles to chase game Live decoys Recorded calls A dog for big game (except cougar)
Laws for hunter behaviour No person shall shoot within 50 yards of a vehicle while hunting antelope. No person shall hunt occupied land without landowner permission.
Creating or changing laws If you disagree with a law follow the proper steps to change or create it. Obey the law but lobby for its change.
Enforcing laws All laws, not just game and fish laws, are enforced by fish and wildlife, RCMP and others.
Hunter Responsibilites Report law breaking. If you accidentally break the rules report the mistake and the officer will determine if you should be charged or not. Provide biological data. Report bands, fill out hunter surveys etc.
Interpretation of Trespass Laws You may not hunt or discharge firearms across occupied lands without landowner permission. Occupied lands are lands are lands that are farmed, fenced, or lived on or near. Lands 1.6 km from a residence. This also includes lands that the farmer or rancher has the right to possess or occupy. If someone else owns it you need permission to be there. You may not hunt, take or trap in a way that is dangerous to people, property, livestock, or crops.
Access to Public and Private Lands for Hunting All unsettled land is public. Settled land is a mixture of public and private. Contact county or municipal governments for maps that detail public and private land. Private Land requires permission. Public Land Rights. Most public land is open to hunting. However, mineral leases, and grazing leases can restrict access and you will need to get permission. Provincial parks, military reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries are closed to hunting without a special permit.
Access to Public and Private lands Continued. You may not shoot from or across or along any public road All beds and shores of rivers, streams, lakes, and water courses are public land
Legal Firearms use You may own or possess firearms if you are 18 or older and have a PAL. You get the form from the internet. All people can use firearms if they are under the direct supervision of an adult. If you have your minors license you can acquire ammunition and possess a firearm. Youth Firearms requlations Conditions may be placed on the minors license. For example, some supervision may be required when they use a firearm.
Firearm Use and Storage You may not shoot in any city or town unless you are at an authorized shooting range. Some people are scared by shooting and we should be aware of this and be careful of where and when we shoot. You must store your firearm unloaded and locked with a trigger lock or gun safe.
Regulations for firearms use according to the Wildlife Act You can shoot fr0m a motor vehicle. You may not have a live cartridge in the breech chamber or magazine in a vehicle. You cannot shoot from, along or across a highway. You may not hunt with a restricted firearm. You may not use a shotgun larger than a 10 gauge for hunting. You may not hunt with a shotgun that has a magazine capable of holding more than two shot shells.
Regulations for firearms use according to the Wildlife Act You may not hunt with a center fire auto-loading rifle that has a magazine capable of holding more than 5 rounds. You may not hunt big game using ammunition which is less than .23 caliber, or which has a case length of less than 1.75 inches. (4.3 cm) You must use expanding bullets. You may not hunt big game with a shotgun that is .410 or smaller. You may not hunt big game with a muzzle loading firearm of less than .44 caliber.
Prohibited Weapon Nobody can privately own these weapons in Canada. A weapon with a silencer Switchblade knife A shotgun or rifle with a barrel length of less than 18 inchesor overall length of 26 inches Any other weapon declared prohibited
Restricted weapon Not only do you need to register these weapons and be properly licensed but you need a permit to transport them. Handguns Semi-automatic weapons with a barrel less than 18 inches that use center fire ammo. A firearm with an over all length of 26 inches. Any firearm declared to be restricted
Report a Poacher
Report a poacher Help stop poachers by watching for these illegal activities Hunting or fishing out of season or without a license Night hunting Hunting on private land without permission (Use Respect – Ask First) Exceeding bag limits Selling wildlife or fish illegally Hunting in manners hazardous to the public: while intoxicated, too close to occupied buildings or shooting off main highways Using illegal hunting / fishing devices or baits Poaching is a crime with severe penalties. If convicted, poachers may be fined up to $100,000 and / or be sentenced to six months in jail.