Quick Tips for Goose Hunters

Here are a few tips from experienced goose hunters for newbies.

Note: The Geese Stay in the Middle of the Field *

 

Hunting in a Field

Geese are wily adversaries;  they live by their wits.  If they make a mistake, they become your supper!  Thus, they are wary.

If you are aiming to take home your limit of geese, knowing a few things about these fowl will help you choose a good hiding spot.

How Geese Feed in a Field

Watch geese as they land in a field to feed.  They do not land or feed near any obstruction, patch of brush or a fence row.   They prefer to stay in open areas, generally near the center of a field.

When You Set Up for Goose Hunting

Don’t bother to set a blind near an obstruction, such as a line of trees or a hedge.  Instead, choose the highest spot in the field, staying as close to the center of the field as possible.

The Worst Time to Hunt Geese

Geese use the light of a full moon to do serious night-time noshing.  Then, in the morning, they return to hiding spots to rest — and stay away from hunters.

The Best Time to Hunt Geese

Look for cold, windy days — with a storm front on its way — to hunt for geese.  Other good days are ones when there is plenty of fog or mist.

Under these conditions, geese will be moving all day!

When to Shoot

On the days mentioned above (cold, windy, foggy or misting), it is often hard to estimate how close the geese are flying.

Experienced hunters say they wait until they can clearly see the geese’s feet or eyes.   (I’ll bet you thought I was going to say:  Wait until you see the ‘whites of their eyes.’   Gotcha!)

~

Golden Bounty‘ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 10:20 pm  Comments Off on Quick Tips for Goose Hunters  
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Tips on Blood Signs While Hunting

Recently, I wrote an article about finding a wounded animal, Finding Your Wounded Deer.  There are so many facets to this problem that I want to attack it from a different angle.

 

Blood Spatters are Important Indicators of the Length of Your Search for a Wounded Animal!

 

Blood Signs While Trailing an Animal

Understanding what you are seeing on the trail may help you in finding a wounded animal.  Wild animals are not going to help you; it is up to you to decipher the blood spatters.

The experts I’ve consulted suggest starting where the animal was hit.  They recommend using squares of toilet tissue to mark the trail. Alternately, use plastic flags (and remove them later).

Recognizing the exact location the deer/elk/whatever was hit might not be very easy.  Before leaving your shooting location, find some landmarks to help you find the correct spot.

Knowing where the animal was shot can be a good indicator as to the distance you will need to travel to find the deer or other animal.

Blood Signs

You might need to get down on all fours to search the area.  Sometimes, blood and hair strands cling to the sides of grass stems and other foliage.

  • Blood that is frothy — with bubbles — is probably a lung shot.
  • Conversely, blood with bubbles may be a hit in the neck, with the bullet or arrow opening arteries and windpipe.
  • Blood that is very dark, may show a liver or kidney injury.
  • Blood mixed with vegetation (often greenish in color), usually means a ‘gut’ shot.
  • Blood in a spattered pattern can show an animal that is moving fast or that major blood vessels were severed.
  • The height of the blood sign often tells you the location of the wound.
  • Blood spattered on both sides of a trail usually indicates a pass-through wound.  However, this same sign can indicate that an animal doubled back on his trail with a one-hole wound.

Blood Signs and Length of the Chase

Generally, knowing what a blood spatter means will tell you how long it will take to find the animal.

For example, that frothy blood sign that indicates a lung shot, will probably be a short search.

Blood with bits of undigested food (a stomach or intestines wound),will usually take a much longer time.

However, bright blood — indicating a muscle shot or heart shot  — could be either! (A heart shot won’t take long, but a muscle shot could lead you on for miles!)

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Do you know someone who might find this article useful?

Please pass it on!

Thank you!

~

‘Elk’ is a Rear Window Graphic used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

~*~

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 11:22 am  Comments Off on Tips on Blood Signs While Hunting  
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A Great Hunting Forum: TalkHunting.com **

 

 

Although I’ve followed TalkHunting.com through their tweets, I recently spent time on the site and like what I see.   If you are into hunting – this is a very friendly place.

With All the Tips & Hints Flying Around on TalkHunting.com, These Turkeys Should Be Shaking in their Shoes!

TalkHunting.com

I’m not sure 400 words is enough room to explain this site!  A year ago, they decided to collect wild game recipes for a cookbook and recipes started to arrive.  Are you familiar with “Canned Venison/Elk?”  I wasn’t.

At the bottom of page one, Captain Dale offers the recipe as a pdf file.   Put raw slices of meat with some condiments in canning jars. By the time the pressure cooker has done its job, the meat is cooked and processed.

Forums for Various Types of Hunting

Although there are areas of general interest (Announcements & Events; Free Classified Ads, etc.), there are separate forums for specific hunting interests:  Deer, Turkey, Big Game,  Water Fowl & Game Birds, Other Critters (hogs, predators, etc.), and Hunting with Kids.

The thing that impressed me most was hunters helping hunters – with tips and suggestions.  An example in the “Turkey Hunter > New Turkey Hunter” Forum:  Someone new to hunting turkey asked how to get started. Seasoned hunters welcomed the newcomer and shared useful advice.

Free Hunting Products Given Away Monthly

An interesting aside to this site is the fact that hunting product sponsors offer a variety of items to be given away each month!  TalkHunting.com has devised a great way to distribute those prizes.

Members (yes, you must be a registered member to qualify) must promote the quality of the forum by participating in discussions.  You need to offer a minimum number of posts for your name to be added to the pot for the drawings.  Additional posts by members mean more chances of winning!

Why I Like This Site

I’m a native Houstonian and our family moved a great deal during my early years. Chatting with a stranger has never come naturally to me.  In fact, the entire concept of “social media” leaves me cold.

However, I’ve really enjoyed lurking (reading, but not commenting)* on this site.  I’ve learned quite a bit in the time I’ve spent there.

If you are looking for friendly folks, lots of support, interesting stories and photos, this is a great spot.   Say … lets lurk together!

On the site, I’m “marylouise22.”

~~~

* Lurking is common for newcomers; you learn how things work, how to comment, etc.  Of course, the expectation is that before long, you will want to participate.  This is a easy site to get started.

~

‘Proud Crowd’ is used by permission of ClearVue Graphics!

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

Guess What? Your Mama Was Your First Hunting Instructor!

 

Mom Finally Gets Some Credit!

 

Most hunters do not realize that “dear ol’ Mom” was their first trainer in the fine skill of hunting.  Dads came along later, to take the semi-trained youngster to the woods for further instruction.

Let me show you what I mean.

Mom’s Hunting Tips

Your mother cautioned you ‘not to make a spectacle of yourself’ – an important hunting tip.  Great hunters stay in the shadows – out of direct sunlight. There’s only one word for hunters who walk along the tops of hills with the sun behind them – busted!

Mama was right when she cautioned you to ‘quit wiggling.’ No matter how well you’ve camouflaged yourself, too much movement will give you away.

The Importance of Smell in Hunting

Most large game have an acute sense of smell. So, when your Mama told you to take a bath because you smelled, she was offering good advice.

This is not a time to bathe with your new bar of “Obsession” soap. Neutral, non-scented soap is the best idea.

Hunters planning on stalking in pine areas sometimes store their ghillie wear in plastic bags, along with pine leaves.  Those hunting in dense woods often put a variety of leaves with their ghillie suits – so they will smell more natural.

How Deer & Ducks Use Light

Your mother provided excellent hunting training when she chased you to the bus, waving your mittens. Sweet thing that she was, Mama worried you’d catch cold.

Illness is the least of a hunter’s concerns. However, having one’s hands & face (and any other exposed surface) covered is critical because your body reflects light.

When a duck is looking down at a marsh and sees a flash of light, he continues on to a safer place. Deer also have an uncanny knack for seeing a single flash and knowing it’s time to move elsewhere.

Ghillie Wear as Concealment

If the hunter is relying on his camo and ghillie wear for concealment, he needs to remember Mom’s thoughts on this issue: “Child, go back to your room and take off that ratty shirt.”

She was really explaining that worn or faded camo does you little good. When the contrast (lights vs. shadows) is gone, so is your protection! If your image isn’t broken up by the lights and shadows, you will be seen.

“Don’t be a show-off,”  was just your mother’s way of reminding you that shiny objects are seen objects!

Like your face – a thermos, rifle scope, watch – has reflective properties. These items should be removed or concealed – either with contact paper or matte tape or whatever. Remember: Your solution must be matte (flat, no reflection) or it’s no good.

Sound Camouflage

When your mother queried you about “Are you ready?” and said, “Keep quiet when the visitors come,” she was doing her best to explain the importance of preparation for hunting. She was also trying to remind you to check your ‘noise factor.’

To be successful in hunting, preparation is critical. Realizing you need to travel back 100 miles to civilization to buy a can opener is a real bummer.

Oiling squeaks, gathering hunting supplies and food, checking your weapons – all calls for planning.  Game relies on noise and movement to save them from your dinner table.

When Mama asked you to look at something “from a different point of view,” she was offering another excellent hunting tip. Hunters are more successful when they are not at eye-level with their quarry.

Be up in a tree (10 -12 feet up), or sitting on the ground with your back to a tree. You want to see the “whites of his eyes” before your target sees yours! Be where he doesn’t expect you.

I could go on, but I think I’ve proven my point that your Mom was your first hunting teacher!

It just goes along with my other hypothesis: Your Mother is Always Right.

— (Signed) Mama

© 2009 by Marylouise of GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on December 10, 2009 at 1:30 pm  Comments Off on Guess What? Your Mama Was Your First Hunting Instructor!  
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Using Hunting Blinds to Increase Your Success in Duck, Goose Hunting

The Importance of Concealment

 

Concealment is an Important Part of Bird Hunting!

 

It is a known fact that concealment is an important factor in duck & goose hunting success.  But is camouflage – camo clothing – enough?  No, not really.  Remember that with a goose or duck’s life on the line, he/she tends to watch for hunters rather carefully.

However, to ensure success in hunting ducks and geese, you must control your movement!  One of the best way to hide your movements is to use a blind.

Blinds Come in a Variety of Shapes & Sizes

There are lots of low-cost solutions to the problem of hiding from duck and geese.  You just need to look around you and adapt your idea to your surroundings.

For instance, if you plan to  hunt in a cornfield, use corn stalks as your blind.  If you find yourself in rushes — make your blind of rushes!

It is important to use natural materials that fit into the environment where you are hunting.  Ducks and geese aren’t dumb … and they aren’t about to give up their lives to a dumb stunt like sitting out in a field, hoping the birds won’t notice you.

If you find yourself in a hayfield, gather up the grass into mounds and crawl into the center.  If you hunt  in the same place each year (lucky you), it helps to prepare your blind early and set it  in place, so the ducks get used to seeing it.

Duck & Goose Hunting from a Boat

Your boat should be camo’d for two reasons.  First, birds recognize boats as objects of the enemy.

Second, allowing the sun to glint off any part of your boat is a dead give-away of your presence.

Talking about glinting objects: Is your gun totally matte black?  If not,  you should acquire some camo patterned matte vinyl material to your gun stock to disguise it from the birds.

Movement

No matter how creative or  expensive your blind, your movements will scare birds away.  All the decoys in the world won’t entice game to come down … if they see a moving figure!

If you can’t sit still, you won’t be a success in bagging your limit of birds.

~

Full Disclosure: Although I sell blind materials, I will not mention them in this article.  My mission in this blog is to share information.

~~~

This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on December 8, 2009 at 3:52 am  Comments Off on Using Hunting Blinds to Increase Your Success in Duck, Goose Hunting  
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Adding Decoys to your Goose & Duck Hunting

Duck/Goose Decoys

 

Decoys Tell Ducks Flying Overhead, "Yum, there's plenty to eat here."

 

Even if your budget is tight, a few decoys are important to any duck or goose hunter.  MDH,*  in the early days, had a few realistic decoys for the edges — and filled in the center of his hunting area with newspaper or folded diapers!

My husband encouraged both of our kids graduate to underwear ASAP so he could have their diapers for decoys! When Richard started hunting, painting your own decoys was the standard!

Selecting Duck/Goose Decoys

I consider the 3 most important things to learn about the decoys you are considering are:

  1. How much do they weigh?
  2. How heavy are the decoys? … and
  3. Will you be able to carry them where you need them freezing rain?

Most people look at price and the decoy’s looks without considering how easy the decoys are to carry and/or move around. This is a mistake.  You will have plenty of time to kick yourself for a poor choice (of heavy, odd-shaped, ineffective decoys)!

Getting the Drop on Decoys

Before dropping a wad of money in your sporting goods store, ask around.  What types do others feel are worth the money?  Is there any place these decoys are ineffective? Must you have a lot of them to have a convincing stand of decoys?

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More Soon: I’m flying today and hope to write more tomorrow!

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This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

Published in: on December 4, 2009 at 10:22 am  Comments Off on Adding Decoys to your Goose & Duck Hunting  
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Recipe: Stuffed Wild Goose

 

Stuffed Wild Goose, On the Wing!

Stuffed Wild Goose, On the Wing!

 

For best taste, field dress a goose immediately.  There’s a super site that demonstrates the best way to clean a variety of fowl.

I suggest you try this: Delta President Rob Olson Demonstrates Techniques to Prepare Ducks for the Table.

Getting Ready to Cook

Young goose is a rare delicacy, with a minimum of waste. The meat is: dark, lean, and oh-so-rich.

Before your hunter leaves for the day, put your order in for a YOUNG goose. Old birds don’t take to most tenderizing methods.

The Marinade

Ducks or geese can be marinated in vinegar, wine or buttermilk. A quick way to get buttermilk is – just add a teaspoon vinegar to each cup of milk, stir and use.

Another marinate: add 1 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. vinegar per quart cold water. Immerse the fowl in this solution (in the refrigerator) for 4 – 12 hours, to improve flavor and tenderize.

STUFFED WILD GOOSE

1 young goose, 6-8 months, ready to cook (already marinated)

juice of one lemon

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped tart apple

1 cup chopped dried apricots

3 cups soft bread crumbs

4 to 6 slices bacon

Melted bacon fat

Sprinkle goose inside and out with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Melt butter or margarine in a saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in apple, apricots, bread crumbs, salt & pepper.

Spoon stuffing lightly into cavity. Truss bird. Cover breast with bacon slices and cheesecloth soaked in melted bacon fat.

Place goose, breast side up, on rack in roasting pan. Roast @ 325 degrees (20 to 25 minutes/pound), or until tender, basting frequently with bacon fat and drippings in pan.

If age of goose is uncertain, add 1 cup water into pan and cover last hour of cooking. (I’d suggest you ask a goose’s age before shooting him/her.)   😉

Remove cheesecloth, skewers and string. Serves 6 to 8.

A word about the cheesecloth: Wild goose has very little fat. Bacon fat and basting — are two things that moisturize the meat, and keep it from drying out.

To that end, cheesecloth is a convenient way to keep a layer of fat on the bird during cooking.

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Do you TWITTER?   I do!    Go to: http://twitter.com/marylouise22.com, click on ‘home’ and  come-follow-me!

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Come back tomorrow and vote in my poll: What do you want to read about on my blog?

Getting the “Gamy” Taste out of Wild Ducks, Fowl, Etc. (3 of 3)

 

 

Avoiding Gamy Taste in Ducks and other Fowl! *

Re-reading the two posts regarding “gamy taste” in wild game, the tone of the pieces seem to be focused on venison.  Perhaps a few words on wild ducks, wild geese, wild turkey, wild fowl, would be appropriate.

Why Wild Duck Tastes Different

In truth, wild duck, goose, turkey, etc., have a different taste than domesticated (the ones you can buy in the frozen meat cases). Wild game has not been ‘fattened up’ for the market, nor has it been fed special foods  – and diet truly does affect a bird’s taste.

A Step on the Dry Side

The ‘wild ones’ symbolize “what-you-see-is-what-you-get.”  And that is the beauty of wild game – no hormones were added – it is just natural food.  Because wild game has not been fed a diet of fats and things you cannot pronounce, it tastes dry.

Tips With Quail

Before freezing, quail may be skinned or plucked. For more moisture and flavor, pluck, rather than skin. Quail can be kept in the freezer (at 0 degrees) for 9 – 10 months – if placed in vapor/moisture proof containers or wrapping.

Fried Quail

4 quail, 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper

After dredging quail in flour mixture, fry in hot fat. Brown on both sides. Cover skillet and reduce heat. Cook slowly until tender, ~ 20 minutes, turning once to brown evenly. Serves 4.

Ideas for Marinating Ducks & Birds

If your ducks are fish-eating animals, it is best to marinate in wine, buttermilk or vinegar. If the game is an older goose or duck, marinating your animal in the refrigerator for 4 to 12 hours will improve flavor.

These older birds respond well to 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. vinegar per quart of water. This mixture will improve flavor and tenderize the flesh.

Dining on Duck

Wild duck, which is a dark meat, is most flavorful when served rare. I’ve found that roasting a duck in a closed pan – after adding a few strips of bacon (across the carcass) – really makes a difference with large and less-tender birds.

The only way I cook ducks is with bacon (strips) and/or in gravy.  They need the moisture provided by these, plus a closed pan.

Wild Goose

Young wild goose  is wonderful: little waste, the meat is rich, dark and lean. Unfortunately, older geese don’t seem to get better in moist heat.  Given a choice, tell your hunter to aim for the youngster. 😉

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One thing I forgot to  include with the venison info: Venison does not freeze until it cools down below 28 degrees.

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* Reflections of Autumn used with permission of Vantage Point Graphics

 

This series includes:

#1 of 3: Can You Take the Wild Taste Out of Venison?

# 2 of 3: Removing the “Gamy” from Wild Game!

# 3 of 3: Getting the “Gamy” Taste out of Wild Ducks, Fowl, Etc.

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This is a companion to my website: EasyOnlineOrdering.com

Removing the “Gamy” from Wild Game! (2 of 3)

 

tn_an03860_

Reduce 'Gamy Taste' with These Tips!

 

Where Does ‘Gamy’ Come From?

Generally, experts agree that that “gamy” taste is a by-product of improper handling of the game, after bringing the game down OR before cooking.

What are some examples?

  • Leaving an animal in the snow (dusk shot), to field dress in am
  • Not field dressing animal ASAP
  • Not completely removing entrails
  • Not rinsing cavity with clean water, soon after field dressing
  • Not getting animal on ice as quickly as possible
  • Not processing the animal within a day or two of harvest
  • Not rinsing carcass after skinning; hair, etc., creates off-flavors
  • Your deer’s diet – from wooded acreage, probably has more gamy taste
  • Deer on agricultural & suburban areas – better diet = better taste
  • Hauling game home exposed – in/on the truck/vehicle

Dave Adds

As an experienced deer processor, Dave (of  http://www.best-venison.com) has seen it all and has the photos to prove it. Look around his site for other info on reducing gamy taste.

  • Dave indicates that leaving bone-in the venison contributes to the gamy taste.
  • He believes “aging” deer can add gamy taste. See his suggestions.
  • He also indicates anything less than “double wrapping venison” for the freezer is a bad idea.

The Big Question

Essentially, the real question you should always be asking yourself is, “If this were beef from the grocers, how would I handle this piece of meat?”

Taming “Gamy” Before Cooking

Check out this site:  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07333/837468-34.stm Steve Loder, author of 3 wild game cookbooks, gives an interesting explanation of venison’s fat being the source of much of it’s ‘gaminess.’

His theory and solutions are too lengthy to cover here, but he has the credentials to know his subject and give great advice.

Methods to Reduce Gaminess

There are many ways to remove the wild taste. At eHow, http://www.ehow.com/how_2067752_get-wild-taste-out-of-deer.html -check out the  idea there.

To Tenderize & Remove the Wild Taste

  • Before we fry the backstrap of the deer, we marinate the meat in milk for ~24 hours.
  • Cut up a pineapple – mix pressed pineapple slices, pulp, juice with meat chunks (or slices), cover, place in refrigerator for a couple of days, then use. If you are using a large piece of meat, increase the amount of fresh pineapple.
  • Buttermilk is another popular marinating liquid

Try venison in tomato-based dishes, such as meatballs and spaghetti sauce, lasagna, chili, etc. The tomato masks (or removes, I’m not sure which) the wild taste.

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

More Tips About Ghillie or Camo Wear

What Will You be Hunting?

To me, the factor that seems to affect concealment most is the type of game you are going to hunt. Deer, elk and turkey bow hunting calls for more sophisticated concealment than most other game.

Generally, deer, elk and turkey have more experience with hunters – outsmarting them  requires a more thoughtful approach. Some hunters have gone to the next generation of ghillie suits

  • with ‘scent-lok,’
  • suits that look more like leaves and
  • making sure their suits don’t make noise!

Scent Lok

Garments made with Scent-Lok fabric promise to keep your scent out of the wind for up to 40 field hours before it needs to be reactivated (in a dryer). These are useful with game (especially deer and elk) that rely on their sense of smell to avoid detection.

Lurking on the ‘Net

Besides buying garments with ScentLok, it can be purchased individually to spray on clothing.  While following a forum discussion on the HuntingNet (www.HuntingNet.com), I noticed the hunters with experience were telling the newbies that they didn’t buy it or use it.

Briefly, the attitude seemed to be “I’ve never used it and I get my deer limit every year.” Who can argue with success? A similar attitude is: “Before camo and ghillie suits, people used to hunt game — and did just fine.”

 

Click for More Info!

This Ghillie Wear only Covers the Head & Torso!

 

If you want the natural fabric — jute or burlap, choose one with fire  retardant (some kits include sprays, so you can renew the retardant qualities of your suit).

More About Material vs. Climate

Where will you be wearing these suits? Real burlap suits are better  suited for areas with colder weather. Some burlap/jute garments have  been reconfigured so they are cooler to wear (Netting and suit  information tags will notify you if the garment has this quality)·

Ghillie garments with FAUXLIAGE,™ offer a durable fabric that breaks up  the human outline without the bulk or noise.  This product  – and ones like it – offer soft leaves to break up the hunter’s image (see the lower right image).   Some of the  advantages of the synthetics are: rot-resistance, washablity, light weight, quiet and they come in a variety of colors.

 

Face Veil

Face Veil

Noise and Ghillie WearMovement and noise are criticial ways larger game are able to avoid being some hunter’s trophy. If your ghillie wear rustles (think about the ‘swish’ of nylon pants), you have problems.

Some ghillie suits have nylon and/or plastic. These are the fabrics that seem most likely to make noise when they are rubbed together.  Check yours!

Finally

In the past few years, new fabrics and finishes have changed the idea of concealment – Hunters have more choices than ever before! 

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com