Iowa Deer Hunting: Blood Tracking Dog Bill Moves Forward, but with a Catch

Using a LEASHED dog to find dead or wounded deer is rapidly becoming more desirable to Iowa hunters and legislation is moving forward to make this practice a reality.  However, while moving through The House Natural Resources Committee, committee members tacked on an amendment to Bill HF657 that left many supporters of the bill frustrated.  This new amendment would require all Iowa blood tracking dogs and their handlers to be “certified” in blood tracking.

The actual certification process is uncertain and leaving many supporters of the bill wondering what the true intentions of the sudden and new amendment is.  Certifying dogs and handlers is costly, not only does it require hunters to pay a large monetary sum, but it takes a lot of time to accomplish. Certification could be done by a private group or by the state of Iowa.  Many states that require certification allow blood tracking dogs and their handlers to track WITHOUT a leash, which will NOT be allowed under the Bill HF657.

Currently, 37 states allow LEASHED blood tracking dogs to find wounded or dead deer because of the various benefits the practice provides towards conservation.  Here are a few of those benefits: 

The Benefits of Blood Tracking Dogs
  • Less game wasted. Many dog breeds were specifically bred by humans for tracking purposes.
  • Wounded deer are found quickly and efficiently.
  • Less grid walking of large groups on public and private lands. Grid walking disturbs hunters, flora, fauna, and archaeological sites.
  • The accuracy of the annual Iowa deer count would increase.
  • Lead poisoning of animals feeding on unfound deer carcasses would lessen, including avian wildlife like bald eagles.
  • Over 189,000 Iowa deer tags were bought by Iowa hunters during the 2016 season. With a large hunting community in Iowa and thousands of dogs left to live out their days in animal shelters, a lift in these regulations could give abandoned dogs new opportunities in life and a new home.
  • Hunters with physical limitations would benefit with a tracking companion.

To learn more about Blood Tracking Dogs in Iowa visit the Iowa Blood Trackers Facebook page.

To give your input on HF657, click here to find your legislator.

Follow White Buffalo Outdoors on Facebook.

Justin J. Lind

March 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Why We Fish

We fish for one reason, a reason we can’t explain because we’re always thinking about fishing.

The intellectuals say we fish to escape life’s problems.  We reply, “Have you ever had a snag and lost a $7 hook?”

Some even think deeper and say, “They go fishing to live life, not escape it.”  We elaborate further, “There was a $3 sinker with that $7 hook.”

Don’t worry, fishermen’s personalities don’t run that dry.  We enjoy organizing tackle boxes and working on reels, every Saturday night.

Yes, we are like the rest of humankind.  We work 40 hours a week and work for “that” boss.  The only difference, our “that” boss thinks we are sick when we call in sick. 

Again, we are like the rest of human kind and tell the occasional lie, except when it comes to fishing. 

Alright, we exaggerate a little when explaining the length of the fish that got away.  One thing we can’t exaggerate are the pictures we take. 

The proof is there, right on our phones for the world to see!  Here come the critics. 

They say, “You’re holding the fish close to the phone to make it look bigger.”  We respond with dry personality, “You’re holding your head to close to my phone.”

In our community of fishermen, we have those few, the few who attempt to explain why we are different from all others.  The reality, we’re not. 

We are always recruiting new people to our world. The ones in training, always convert not because of force, but because of the personalities surrounding them while fishing. 

I will go out on a limb and try to explain why we fish.

We fish for one reason, a reason we can’t explain because we’re always thinking about fishing.

Justin J. Lind

January 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Broaden Your Outdoor Knowledge: Trap Using Snares

Are you an outdoorsman looking to change your routine during hunting and trapping season? Try your hand at snares. This primitive and cheap way of trapping is guaranteed to put furs on your wall and teach you more about the fur bearing animals lurking around you.

I started snare trapping 9 years ago and to be honest I had no idea what I was doing. Hunting, fishing, and trapping my whole life, I started looking for alternative options to harvest fur bearing animals. Sitting in my tree stand bow hunting, I would observe foxes and coyotes moving through the woods like ghosts, making little to no noise. Overtime, I became fixated on harvesting these elusive creatures in the most primitive way possible.

Gathering a few friends, we decided to trap using snares on local farm ground. On our first day, we set only 15 snares. Checking them the following day, we were overjoyed to find 2 coyotes awaiting our arrival.

Here are a few things I learned through my experience snaring:

1. Buy Online

A simple Google search can save you a lot of time, money, and energy.

My trapping group and I contemplated making our own snares or buying them online. After extensive research we concluded buying online would meet all our needs. It costs less than $1 to buy each snare online. It would cost you much more to purchase the materials and make them ourselves. The traps were put together by professionals who made the snares legal to meet state regulations. Not to mention, being built by professionals means they are built to last.

Important! Ensure the snares you are buying have deer stops on them. Deer stops do not allow your snares to tighten completely, allowing deer hooves to pass through. It is also a violation of the law in most states to not have deer stops.

Another tip, buy your identification tags online. Tags, by law, must be on each trap you own displaying your name and address. Simply Google search “trap tags copper” and pick your business of choice to purchase from.

2. Prepare

With our snares and identification tags in hand, we now had to decide which kind of stakes we wanted to use that hold our snares to the ground. My trapping group and I decided to build the stakes ourselves. To do this, simply weld a large washer on top of a 26″ piece of rebar. Once the washer is welded, wrap a 23″ piece of 9 gage wire at the base of the washer and weld that on the rebar.

If you do not know how to weld, you can buy the stakes online or have a local welding shop do the work at a low price.

Trapping with snares does not require stakes. Snares can be nailed to solid objects including fence posts, trees, and deadwood laying on the ground.

3. Find Your Game Trails

If you have time, setup a trail camera and see what kind of fur bearing animals are utilizing your trapping area. When trapping coyotes and foxes, set snares on obvious and heavily used game trails in grasslands and woodlands. Like us humans, fur bearing animals will take the path of least resistance when headed out to their favorite hunting spot.

If you have no game trails and are trapping on private land, simply create your own by pushing down grass with your feet or vehicle tires.

4. Don’t Give Up and Don’t Be Intimidated

You will NOT harvest an animal everyday you trap. This is a reality for even the most experienced trappers in the world. Continue what you are doing and do not give up!  The size of a coyote’s home range depends on the food and cover available, but it generally averages between 8 and 12 square miles.  The home range of a coyote is a great example of the distance one fur bearing animal will travel looking for food and catching it in a small 8″ snare takes patience and luck!

Overtime, trapping with snares will teach you wildlife management, identification of animal prints, and other skills that will transition into your other outdoor sports like hunting.

Broaden your outdoor knowledge and try trapping using snares.

Justin J. Lind

September 2017
White Buffalo Outdoors

6 Words Describing the White Buffalo Outdoors Store

At the White Buffalo Outdoors store we strive to provide a style of life that you can customize. You will find several different outdoor designs and merchandise to pick from. Simply, take one of our designs and place it on your preferred product. Merchandise includes clothing, coffee mugs, cell phone cases, and so much more!

Here are 6 simple words that describe what you can expect when visiting the White Buffalo Outdoors store:

1. Unique

These great outdoor designs will not be found anywhere else! All designs found at the White Buffalo Outdoors store are created and owned by White Buffalo Outdoors. White Buffalo Outdoors posts new designs weekly so you will always have something new to choose from.

2. Positive

We pride ourselves on designing products that represent our outdoor culture in a positive way. The positive designs allow you to wear or display our merchandise almost anywhere.

3. Modern

When designing our merchandise, we aim for clean and simple designs that look good in today’s world.

4. Multi Generational

Our inventory is full of merchandise for the entire family. From adults to infants, you will find it all for your outdoor family.

5. Customizable

Do you like one of our short sleeve deer hunting shirts, but not the color? That is a simple fix. Click the Customize button and change the color to your liking. You also have the ability to move the design to other clothing like hoodies, long sleeves, cut-off shirts, and much more.

6. Affordable

Almost every day you visit the White Buffalo Outdoors store you will find daily discounts on different merchandise, saving you more money.

Visit the White Buffalo Outdoors store and customize your outdoor style today!

Justin J. Lind

January 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

One Item You Must Pack for Duck Hunting

Duck hunters across the United States will soon brave the cold weather to chase ducks across our waters. Many of these hunters will be walking and running in chest waders, with some taking one wrong step and falling in the water.

Do not let your hunting partners get hypothermia and bring old clothing from your closet. This clothing does not need to be fancy camouflage or outrageously priced outdoor gear. Take that clothing you were going to throw out or bring to the second-hand store! Make sure you pack a few thinly layered shirts followed by a hoodie, sweat pants, hat, and socks.

Hypothermia accelerates 25 times faster when an individual is in cold water. Within seconds you can have a life and death situation on your hands.

Symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow breathing
  • Clumsiness and confusion

If any of your fellow duck hunters have these symptoms after falling in the water, immediately dial 911 and have an ambulance waiting at the boat ramp. After you get off the phone, take ALL the wet clothes off the hypothermic hunter and put on the layers of old clothing. If you have several hunters with you, have the other hunters press their bodies against the hypothermic hunter as you drive towards the boat ramp.

Watching your buddy fill his waders in cold water might be entertaining at first but can quickly turn into a serious situation.

Take a few minutes before hunting season and pack those old clothes, they could save a life!

Justin J. Lind

September 2018
White Buffalo Outdoors

5 Snapchat Tips for Fishermen

First, there were simple stories nobody believed. The old fishermen of the past would tell stories with arms as wide as they would stretch, as people around them rolled their eyes. As years passed, bulky cameras found their way into boats, providing proof of success all the while keeping certain details a secret.  Today, we use Snapchat.

Snapchat is a great tool to broadcast your awesome fishing pictures instantly to a long list of friends and fellow fishermen. However, if not used correctly, certain details you did not want others to know might show due to the app and the Snapchat user.

Here are your 5 tips to show your fish off, not your secrets.

5. Block Co-Workers!

Yes, it is true, the fishing community has a dirty secret–We sometimes call in sick and go fishing.

We also like to brag about our fish, especially on our Snapchat storyline for all our friends to see while they are hard at work. However, we sometimes forget details too, like those co-workers we added so long ago.

These co-workers might seem nice to your face, but they want that promotion just as bad as you do.

To block your co-workers from seeing your storyline follow these simple steps.

1. Click on your story in the top left corner and touch the 3 dots next to it. A window will appear.

2. Hit custom.

3. Scroll to your friends list and hit the names of the co-workers you want blocked.

 

You now can show your fish off in peace. The best part, Snapchat does not notify anyone that they have been blocked, eliminating possible tension in the workplace. These custom settings will now be permanently saved for any other “sick days” that might pop up in the future, eliminating worry.

4. Zoom In, a Lot!

Now that the co-workers are duped, it is time to dupe our fellow fishermen who may find themselves slightly jealous as they watch from work.

Your most productive fishing holes are productive because you have kept them a secret. A Snapchat picture showing landscape features in the background will give your favorite fishing hole away to any man or woman who knows the water, as well as you do.

Zoom in, and zoom in a lot! Have your amateur photographer/friend take the picture so that only water or a few trees are in the background.

Another benefit of zooming in is it makes your fish look bigger! But, do not forget to…

3. Take That Lure Out!

If prowling fishermen are onto your game because of your Snapchat, the last thing you want them to know is what you are catching those big fish with. Take that lure out and keep them guessing. Plus, it is safer to handle that floppy fish with no lure attached!

2. Turn Off Snap Map

If you really want to keep your fishing holes a secret, turn off your Snap Map.

Snap Map is a location-sharing feature where your Snapchat friends can see a cartoon figure of you on a topographic map. This feature is surprisingly accurate and the more your friends zoom in, the more accurate your location becomes. Snap Map will update every time you open the app and when you are taking Snapchats.

To turn off Snap Map follow these simple steps.

1. Launch the app and pinch the screen. Snap Map will open.

2. Hit the gear icon in the top right corner.

3. Select “Ghost Mode.”

Another concerning quality of Snap Map is how well the feature drains your battery life, which is essential for any emergency situation that may arise.

1. Smile Big

Most importantly, smile big! Show your Snapchat friends and fellow fishermen that you are the boss of the water!

Justin J. Lind

August 2018
White Buffalo Outdoors

About the White Buffalo Outdoors Logo

White Buffalo Outdoors loves its country and designed its logo to honor the United States and conservation.

In May of 2016, President Barack Obama signed into the law the National Bison Legacy Act, designating the bison “American buffalo” the official mammal of the United States.

We have put a circle around our American buffalo to bring attention to its story. The American buffalo once roamed our Great Plains by the millions. With western settlement and unethical practices, the American buffalo nearly became extinct with only 1,000 left. Through conservation efforts these numbers are now exceeding 500,000.

Not only does the American buffalo have a history of vigor, it is also known as a symbol of potential. The Lakota American Indians believe the birth of a sacred white buffalo is a sign of hope and of good times to come.

The American buffalo embodies the American spirit with its resilience and strength. Thank you to all outdoorsmen who continue to fund and support conservation movements. Your continued contributions are making a difference in preserving the American outdoors.

Justin J. Lind

January 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

3 Mistakes I Made Bow Hunting in a Ground Blind

It was wet, hot, and the bugs were as thick as the humidity. With rain looming, I came up with a brilliant idea–deer hunting. I called my hunting partner Victor and we hit the road towards a small patch of public land. Once we reached our destination, we set out climbing the hills with our equipment to find the “perfect” spot. 15 minutes later it was mission completed. Unfortunately, by that time, Victor and I were covered in sweat and tasked to erect our blind as we fought off mosquitoes and thoughts of ‘why did we do this?’.

Once we got settled, we planned to focus on just shooting does so we could save our buck tags for the next month’s rut. 6 days into the seasons, we were confident we were not going to see a big buck–we were wrong.  It was not 2 hours later, I stood up to stretch my back and found myself in a staring contest with not only a great 10-point buck but also 3 does and a spike buck, 15 yards away from me. Needless to say, our plans suddenly changed–forget does, we wanted the buck.

Now, I have hunted my entire life and I have made many mistakes over the years. On this day, the mistakes I made let this buck see another day. Here are the 3 mistakes I made:

1.      The Terrain

When setting up the ground blind, we picked a spot in thick shrubs on a hillside. The ground blind was facing down towards a woodland area full of large oak trees. The slope of the blind, coupled with Victor and I sitting in the back, resulted in low visibility. The problem was the windows were too high for us to see through while sitting, so we were forced to stand up every few minutes just to look out them.

It may not surprise many when I say I became aware of my mistake almost immediately. Unfortunately, by that time, I had to just make the best of our set-up.

It can become easy in your excitement for hunting to overlook many details, especially during set-up. However, planning is a crucial part of hunting that can determine whether your day is met with success. Make sure to become familiar with the land you use and how it impacts your set-up. Remember you can have the best equipment in the world, but it will not do you any good if it is ill-used.

Had I not overlooked the impact a sloped terrain had on our blind, I would have set-up on a level surface, where all the windows would be eye level while sitting.  This would improve my visibility and allow me to shoot the bow sitting, reducing movement the deer may see.

2. The Ground Under Our Feet

Hunting in ground blinds throughout my life, one of the first things I do is remove the dead leaves from under the ground blind so the deer cannot hear my steps. Under normal conditions, this preparation would have worked in my favor. Unfortunately, doing this after a heavy rainfall was a major mistake. Having hard rains for a week straight, the ground was very slick. Every time we stood up, we would slip and slide, making it nearly impossible to shoot a bow accurately.

When the ground is wet, do not remove the dead leaves from under the ground blind. The leaves are not loud when wet and act as a natural barrier by increasing friction between your boots and the mud, reducing slippage.

3. Hesitation

With the buck at 15 yards, Victor and I discussed the idea of shooting the deer. This cost time and made noise. In under a minute, we decided to go forward and shoot the deer. Our hesitation, in addition to our other mistakes, proved to be our undoing.

When all was said and done, we concluded the largest mistake we made was not discussing the feasibility of harvesting a big buck, if the opportunity arose. When the buck did appear, we hesitated, allowing this great public land buck to see another day!

The best hunters make every attempt to make sure their kill is not wasted. One way this is achieved is by making sure you are capable of bringing home your buck before you even shoot.

Be aware of your limitations, decide what you are capable of before you get settled in your blind, and do your best to stick to a plan. This will ultimately save you in the long run and bring you success on your next hunt.

The above picture is the actual deer.  I was able to get a picture as he was moving away from the ground blind.  

Justin J. Lind

September 2018
White Buffalo Outdoors

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