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Capture Better Hunting Photos with Your Phone

In today’s world, most everyone has a phone that they use to take pictures. Where you may have to search for a camera, our phones are almost always with us and the cameras in many of  these phones can shoot some amazing images. We’re capturing split seconds of time we cherish later, sometimes years later, and love to relive the memories. As time passes, photos and video are all we have to look back on special times that meant something to us. Whether it is a beautiful sunrise, an antler you found glistening in the sun, or a photo to show your friends the deer you were chasing and finally caught up to this past fall, it’s always great to have a camera at your fingertips. Cell phone technology has improved so much within the past few years; it allows you to have access to an excellent camera wherever you go.

The roots of my job as a photographer began just like that, walking around with a phone looking for anything that caught my eye. Looking back at those pictures, there were several things I wish I had known then that I know now. One quick way to make your photos stand out is to try different angles of the subject. This allows the audience to see your subject in a different perspective and maybe in a way they never have before. A slightly different angle can bring in more or less light and might compose a unique and different scene.

One thing I always ask myself when I’m photographing something is “how does everyone else do it?” Usually I try to go the opposite direction of that or add some sort of a twist to make it more exciting and stand out. The next thing I wish I had learned was to use the focus for your benefit. Using the focus in creative ways can add depth of field or make your subject stand out more than the [Read more…]

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Preventing Snake Bites

Of all the dangers we face in the outdoors, there are few that instill more pure dread and abject fear than the limbless serpents. Fortunately, the odds of encountering one are as slim as the reptiles themselves, and the chances of being bitten are slimmer still. However, it’s always a good idea to hedge your bets by becoming more familiar with snakes, learning how to avoid them and what to do should the unthinkable happen.

There are four groups of venomous snakes in the U.S.: rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths/water moccasins and coral snakes. First let’s learn a little bit about them.

Rattlesnakes

Rattlesnakes are the largest and the largest group of venomous snakes, comprised of approximately 14 species. They also have the widest distribution, ranging from coast to coast and nearly border to border, though individual species have smaller ranges.

They belong to a subfamily known as pit vipers, referring to a set of heat-sensing organs or “pits” on their faces that are used to sense heat radiation and locate prey. Their most redeeming quality, from which their name is derived, is a set of rattles at the tip of their tail, which they sometimes, though not always, use as a warning when threatened.

It’s a warning that should be heeded. Rattlesnakes can accurately strike at a distance up to one-third their body length. The venom of all rattlesnakes contains a hemotoxin that destroys tissue and causes swelling, internal bleeding and intense pain. The venom of some species, like the tiger and the Mojave rattlesnake also contains a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis and other damage to the nervous system.

Most rattlers tend to avoid interactions with large mammals, including humans, as it wastes valuable energy expending toxins on non-prey species. However, some like the prairie and eastern diamondback have a reputation for being fairly aggressive. Regardless, it’s best just to avoid all species. [Read more…]

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4 Steps For A Successful Spring Food Plot

The spring and summer months are critical when it comes to herd health. By providing a consistent, high-protein food source, whitetails will have their best chance for reaching their full genetic potential. Below are 4 key steps to help you grow a successful spring food plot this year. 

Step 1: Know Your Dirt
If you haven’t recently taken a soil test to know where your pH level is or if you are in need of soil nutrients, get it done. Knowing the characteristics of the soil not only helps determine the most productive species to plant but gives land managers the information needed to properly amend the soil ensuring a successful , nutritious food plot. Soil tests through the BioLogic lab are fast, simple, and inexpensive. Choose the crop you are planning to plant, and you will receive fertilizer recommendations specific to that crop and your soil.

STEP 2: Determining the Right Seed Blend
Where you live can help you determine what you need to plant. For the North/Midwest perennials and annuals can both be planted in the spring. If you have plots you want to plant with cool season annuals late in the summer, choose an annual to plant this spring. If you would like a perennial crop like clover, alfalfa, or chicory you can get them started this spring. Non-Typical Clover is one of our top producing perennials. For the South, warm season annuals are the ideal spring planting, Lablab or one of the new Protein Pea blends are perfect for providing attraction and nutrition through the growing months. To help you choose the best seed for your area search BioLogic’s Planting Guide.

STEP 3: Controlling Food Plot Weeds
Food plots overtaken with weeds is one of the top reasons for crop failure. Many of these blends can be sprayed with specific herbicides with great results. Weeds and grasses need to be identified early in the growing cycle and sprayed with the appropriate herbicide for best results. Weed Reaper grass herbicide can be used to eliminate grasses from all clover, warm season legumes, and chicory. Imazamox is a great broadleaf weed herbicide for use in legumes and pre-emergent herbicides. Also utilizing metolachlor works great on many common warm season blends like Protein Pea Plus that contains peas, beans, sunflowers and sorghum. [Read more…]

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The Importance Of Pollinators

Do you know where your food comes from? It’s said that pollinators, like honey bees, are directly responsible for over 1/3 of the world’s food production, and they are linked to the other 2/3! Few realize how important pollinators are to our food plot crops, let alone the food “colony collapse disorder” that has been devastating North America’s honey bee population since 2006. It is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a honey bee colony suddenly disappear! 

Attracting Pollinators With Wildflowers [Read more…]

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4 Reasons To Start Planting Trees

Tree planting has played an important role in improving wildlife habitat for ages. As GameKeepers, we know how effective “tree plots” and reforestation can be for attracting wildlife to a property, but let’s take a look at some of the other great reasons to go out and plant some trees!

Reliable Food Source

Everyone loves fresh fruit! Planting fruit bearing trees for wildlife can become a “hot spot” for game traffic when the trees are producing. These same trees can also offer up a tasty snack while in the field or at the home.

Improve The Environment

Trees improve the environment by preventing and controlling erosion and help to clean the air and water. Trees in urban areas provide shade and block cold winds, which in turn keeps heating and cooling costs down. The benefits of trees far outweigh the costs, making them a wise investment for the future.

Create Lasting  Habitats

All trees are beneficial to wildlife in some form or fashion. Food, cover and water are the pillars of necessity for all walks of wildlife, and trees can provide both food and cover. Acorns from oaks and leaves and fruits of mulberries are favorite foods by many, and a long row of mixed trees in a barren landscape of the Midwest can provide enough cover to provide safe travels to feeding areas. Advanced tree planting techniques and superior stock means nuts and fruits can mature in a hurry. [Read more…]