The Quest for the Ultimate Jerky – By Ryan Degethoff

If most hunters are anything like me, they are constantly on the look out for the ultimate jerky, or jerky recipes. I have been a huge jerky fan from a very early age and over the years have tried my hand at making a few batches but have always went back to buying the pre made or store bought jerky.
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^A finished batch of homemade Jerky
For Christmas this year I received an incredible gift: the gift of being able to make my own jerky. My sister in law bought me a dehydrator, so for the last three month I have been searching the internet and trying to master the ultimate jerky recipe. Now, I know everyone’s tastes are different, but this one is a winner and I thought I would share it with the readers. By no means did I think this recipe up all on my own, but I have blended a few I have found online to make what I think is really good, well rounded jerky.
I have used this recipe on beef, deer and elk and have had great success. For best results, slice the selected meat into large thin slices.
Ingredients:
  • 2-3 lbs of desired meat sliced (deer,Elk Moose,Beef)
  • mix following ingredients in a large bowl
  • 1/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey (sweeter 1/3 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 Tablespoons red pepper flake (To desired heat)
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of jerky dust (Not Needed) But Awesome
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Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well until all ingredients are well blended. Place the sliced meat in the bowl and mix to ensure all meat has been thoroughly coated with jerky mix and then cover. Place the bowl in the fridge and let stand over night or 10 -12 hours.
Take the sliced meat out of the fridge and place meat flat, in a single layer, on the dehydrator racks. Once the meat has all been laid out, turn the dehydrator to 170 degree F. Let the meat dehydrate for 8-10 hours Check frequently for desired dryness, as the thinner pieces will finish first. Once the jerky is to your desired dryness remove from the rack and enjoy.
What is your favourite jerky recipe? We would love for you to share it with us! Post it in the comments or send it to us via email.

Archery Practice and Setup Tips for the Amateur Bowhunter – By Stephen Casey

Growing up in Alaska, I was surrounded by rifle and shotgun hunters. We lived an almost completely subsistence lifestyle, fishing the rivers and ocean, and harvesting big game every season. My passion for big game hunting started to become more of an obsession in my teen years, but it wasn’t until my mid-20’s that I borrowed an old Martin Phantom compound from a good friend and began to practice. I started out shooting in my backyard, losing a few arrows in the process (they are definitely be in someone else’s backyard!) with a goal of harvesting a Northern California Columbia Blacktail with a bow. Four years later, I now shoot a 2014 Hoyt Faktor Turbo and would confidently shoot just about any big game I can get in range of with my bow, rather than a rifle! I wanted to take a moment to share a few tips I’ve learned or discovered that have helped me to hone my craft and skills along the way. I hope these benefit you, and please feel free to reach out to me on any @CaseyWildAdventures social media with any questions you might have!

 

  1. Practice MORE than you think you need to!

 

I have friends or acquaintances who may or may not even shoot one arrow before heading out during hunting season. Some get away with it. Most don’t! If you want to be successful, confident, know your limits, know what you can hit, and what you can’t….you must practice. As a riflehunter, I took a lot of big game animals without too much practice and with single-shot kills. I knew I could shoot and I knew my gun, so I’d check that it was sighted-in, and then go hunting. Bowhunting is different. Every factor that goes into a clean and ethical harvest or successful shot on the range is amplified by at least 10 when you pick up a bow. It is because of this amplification that I encourage you to practice more than you think you need to, and personally, I honestly find it to be such an enjoyable recreation and decompressor! “Practice” makes it sound like a chore, but really it’s such an enjoyable pasttime, and will really prepare you for that big moment!

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  1. Practice at varying angles and shooting positions!

 

I always find it shocking how much can change out on the 3D range when shooting 40 yards downhill as apposed to horizontal. You’re standing with your feet planted firmly about shoulder width apart, stance slightly open. Your dream trophy elk is paused just off your front shoulder – perfect. You bring your bow to face the target, not “drawing up or down” and settle your pin…. You and I both know that there is about a 1 percent chance that you’ll get a shot like that in the field! This is bowhunting, NOT target archery! Like  most backcountry bowhunters, I like to practice with the target at varying inclines and declines, at uneven yardages, and from a kneeling, sitting, or other position. A great 3D range with a course that enables this kind of shooting is a great place to become a member. I’ll also add here that I like to consistently push myself to be accurate and consistent at farther distances, so that 40 or 50 yards feels like a breeze.

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  1. Get a release with an adjustable trigger.

 

Just like a rifle or handgun, the last thing you need is a sticky trigger. This will dramatically affect your accuracy, especially at farther distances. You should be able to find your aiming sequence, find your target, and squeeze off that almost imperceptible “applied pressure” rather than “pulling” the trigger. Go to a bow shop with your bow and try multiple releases to find this. Personally, I like an “open jaw” hook and light, adjustable trigger with zero travel, and have landed for now on the Spot-Hogg Wiseguy.

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  1. Go to a bow pro shop (like The Bow Rack or other) and get a 30 minute lesson or two.

The best way to break bad shooting habits or form is never to have them in the first place! It’s way easier to learn good form before you trying to figure it out on your own. A good instructor will move your body around, make adjustments to your form, and build your draw/release cycle. Your body and muscles will feel all of the right form and motions, and you’ll develop from there. I’ll also say here that a great way to work on form is to take photos and videos of yourself as you shoot to review later. I like to watch shooters who are at the best in the business, and then compare and make adjustments to my own form. You can’t do this if you can’t watch yourself. I like video because you can actually watch your pre-draw setup, your draw cycle, your release, and your drop-away. These are all crucial parts to consistent shooting and success at the moment of truth on that $5,000.00 hunt!

 

  1. I’m going to combine two tips here on the last one, just to keep it at five 🙂

 

Number one: Every once in awhile, go to the sight-in range where there’s a big target and backdrop. Close your eyes and come to full draw, settling in as if you’re going to release. Now open your eyes and check your form. Most importantly, are you lined up with your peep and sight? This is a huge indicator if something is off and you just always adjust to it because your eyes are open! Did you find your anchor point? You can actually practice releasing a few arrows with your eyes closed, and I recommend it! Just PLEASE be sure you’re in a completely safe environment, at 10-20 yards from a large target with an even larger backdrop!

 

Number two: I discovered that the biggest thing I really needed to work on as I developed with my bow was eliminating hand torque. Hand torque comes from an improper hand positioning or grip and results in two things: the string being off the centerline of the cam and the sight being “off-center”. The result is erratic and inconsistent patterns. You need to be sure your hand is relaxed on the grip and that your hand is positioned so as not to torque your bow one direction or the other. The easiest place to start with this is to “make a stop sign” with your hand.

Picture a police officer directing traffic putting his hand out to say “Stop!” Do this with your hand! Your thumb should be at 1 or 2 o’clock and your fingers should be between 10 and 11 o’clock. I used to do this all the time as my muscles and brain developed ‘memory’. I still occasionally throw my hand out in a stop sign, or picture it in my head as I set up to draw. This is a great place to start with proper bow-hand form.

Secondly, I occasionally glance up at my upper cam to see if my string is tracking on center, or leaning to either side. If you are torqueing your bow to either side, your string will be off-center. This is a great way to do a check while you’re at full draw. If you look closely, you can see in the photo below that my eyes are glancing up at my upper cam 🙂

 

Even though only a small number of the many factors in successful backcountry bowhunting, I hope you’ve enjoyed these few tips! As I mentioned before, you’re welcome to hit me with any questions regarding gear or shooting on Facebook or Instagram – @CaseyWildAdventures.

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Here is a short youtube video to get you pumped: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1lbkXc4Vh0&feature=youtu.be

#PracticeWithPurpose – Stephen

Cold Weather Layering

A women’s hunting apparel guide for when the temps start to plummet! All of the apparel listed here is what works for me when I’m sitting in my deer stand for long hours at a time and what I recommend for long, non-active hunts during the winter months. -Andrea Haas

1.) Prois Sherpa Beanie

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* I love the fit of this beanie. It’s long enough to cover my ears perfectly and doesn’t allow cold air/wind in.

* Available at www.EvoOutdoors.com and www.ProisHunting.com

2.) Prois Sherpa Fleece Neck Gaitor

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* This is great for extra warmth or added camo coverage. I carry this piece into my spring turkey hunting season as well for the added camo coverage.

* Available at www.ProisHunting.com

3.) Base Layers

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* The key to staying warm in cold temps starts with your base layers. You want your base layers to help wick moisture, that way if you sweat while walking to your stand, you won’t freeze later on when it starts to evaporate. Merino Wool is great for wicking moisture and isn’t itchy.

* I recommend The Women’s Expedition Crew top and Bottoms by Minus33, available at www.EvoOutdoors.com

4.) Mid Layers

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* The Turas Long Sleeve Shirt by Prois is one of my favorite shirts to keep in my hunting gear bag year round. I add this top over my base layer for some extra warmth that’s not bulky at all and is extremely easy to move in. It’s available at www.ProisHunting.com

* In extremely cold temps, I like to add a fleece mid-layer as well and have found this is a really great way to add some extra warmth; and if you find the right layers, you won’t add bulkiness along with it.

* Polartec fleece is my favorite, available at www.cabelas.com

5.) Prois Extreme Pants and Jacket

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* I absolutely love the Prois Etreme Pants and Jacket for cold weather hunting. The wind stops here, ladies! They do an excellent job at stopping the wind and also helps to keep you dry while hunting in rain, snow, sleet and drizzle. Plus, the jacket has an added “duck tail” feature to extend the length and help keep you even dryer.

* Available at www.EvoOutdoors and www.ProisHunting.com

6.) Gloves

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* For bow hunting my personal favorite are the Women’s Bow Ranger by Manzella. They are fleece with a 4-way stretch fabric for a great fit, which also makes them easy to get on and off. They also have a bow-release collar, making them a great choice for bow hunting.

* Available at www.EvoOutdoors.com

7.) Socks

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* A good pair of moisture wicking socks is imperative in order to keep your feet dry and warm. When walking to the stand my feet often start to sweat, which is a bad thing once the sweat starts to evaporate. Merino Wool is known for its moisture-wicking abilities and helps keep my feet dry and warm.

* The Day Hiker Sock by Minus33 are my favorite. Available at www.EvoOutdoors.com

8.) ThermaCELL Heated Insoles

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* If my feet do start to get cold in the stand, I love these rechargable heated insoles by ThermaCELL. Just replace the insole to your boots with these (you can also cut these to make them fit better). You can adjust the temperature to high or medium with a small remote that easily fits in your pocket.

* Available at www.BassPro.com

9.) Women’s Muck Woody Max Boots

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* These have a 100% waterproof rubber outsole, and are fleece lined on the inside. These fit close to your fit to keep cold air from getting in.

* Available at www.cabelas.com

Scouting New Land

EvoOutdoors ProStaff Team member Dale Evans shares tips on how to figure out and scout a new area:

 

In late May, I made the decision to move out West to Wyoming from Florida after separating from the Air Force. Without a Tag in my pocket for the state of Wyoming, I knew it was going to be a difficult year in the hunting woods. Being the avid hunter that I am, I knew I couldn’t take a fall off from hunting, so it was time to start looking into whatever tags were leftover. Luckily, I was able to find a few elk tags available close to where I live for. Knowing absolutely nothing about these areas, I knew I was going to have to do my homework in order to have success in these tougher units. That these areas were going to be particularly difficult I had no doubt, since that was why there were so many leftover tags.

 

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First things first, I ordered OnX Map software for the state of Wyoming. I’ve never used this software before, but was amazed at its’ ease of use. I set it up with the Google Earth software already installed on my computer and began doing my research. With the OnX Maps, you are able to clearly see Unit Boundaries for each major species within the state (i.e. Elk, Deer, Antelope), see the different land ownership around the whole state, and the landowner information for each parcel. Having this Overlay system at home helped so that I could have a game plan in place before ever leaving my house. Scouting a new area can be very intimidating, especially when you are looking at a large piece of land and have no idea where to start. OnX Maps has a lot of useful information and makes the task a lot less daunting.

After I familiarized myself with the boundaries of the specific unit, and somewhat familiarized myself with the Public and Private land, my next stop was to go and talk with the local Game and Fish Warden and State Biologist. These professionals are a wealth of knowledge, and I found the folks I spoke with to be extremely helpful. They helped with leading me down the right path of where to start scouting, when to expect the animals to be in a certain area, and what places I should stay away from. They also highly recommended having a good GPS with the OnX software, to help ensure I wouldn’t be trespassing and that I would have the necessary landowner information should I decide to request permission.

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The next step I recommend is to get yourself a good handheld GPS unit. I personally own a Garmin Oregon 600t, and have the OnX Wyoming chip installed. This is a great GPS that won’t break the bank, and I have found it to be very accurate. When you’ve made your game plan of places to go and scout in a new area, make sure to use your GPS. I like to have a few places already in mind that I want to check out and give a closer look when I’m heading into a new area. I’ll put waypoints into my GPS prior to going out to make it easier. Like I said before, a new area can be large and seem intimidating, so having a game plan is crucial: Have your predetermined points picked out, use the GPS to get to them, and have fun with your scouting. Unfortunately, sometimes the place that looks like a mecca on Google Earth, won’t be worth the time it took for you to get there. But, sometimes just walking around a bit will open your eyes to something you might have overlooked, or a little honey hole that couldn’t be seen with a computer program. Scouting is all about checking out places that you’ve never seen before, and finding where you will harvest your next trophy.

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Dale recommends the Garmin Oregon 600T

Figuring out new land can sometimes be very simple, and other times it is incredibly difficult. It can be anything from a small 20-acre parcel that you receive access to from the local farmer, or maybe you find yourself scouting out a vast wilderness area. Doing your homework definitely helps to eliminate obvious places, so you can use your time wisely and make the most of it. You also need to understand that scouting and figuring out the land is an ever evolving art. The animals may change their patterns from year to year so you should also be constantly looking for fresh signs and new places to be. Using these small tips will definitely help to shorten your learning curve, but a skilled hunter must be flexible and willing to change at the drop of a hat.