Hunting Safety

How To: Hunting Safety

Hunting is something that no matter which approach you take, it is simply fun. However, with that fun comes a set of rules that hunters must follow. These rules are set in place by states to make sure everyone hunting is doing it efficiently and ethically. Hunting safety is extremely important and one of the first things someone should learn before taking their first shot.

Regulation for Safe Hunting Practices

Hunting is a highly regulated pastime. Meaning that in order to hunt wild game you need a license. Before you obtain a hunting license, you need to pass a hunter education class. The rules change depending on the state that you are in. For some, you only need an official hunters education if your date of birth is after a certain date. For the other, every hunter needs a valid and updated certificate of hunting education.

You can find the specific rules of your state here:

Hunting Safety Course

Regardless of the official requirements from your state, a hunting safety course is always a smart choice. They teach a variety of safety practices including:

–              Safe Firearm handling

–              Ethical Shot placement

–              Individual state regulations

–              Wildlife Management & conservation

If the courses are in person, you will actually have the chance to ask real life questions. Experienced hunters will be able to fill you in on insider secrets and hunting safety tips. As well as just get to know you and help ease you into the community if you are new.

Learn Hunting with an Experienced Hunter

Outside of hunter education programs, you can also learn first hand from an experienced hunter. Of course that is easier said than done. That route requires you to first locate an experienced hunter. Social media has assisted ion this process with various Facebook pages and websites dedicated to setting up new hunters with experience. After finding a hunter, you will need to purchase and apprentice a hunting license. Allowing you to legally hunt and harvest, while accompanied by a licensed hunter. They are not available in every state.

If you already know a hunter willing  to take you out, then simply tag along! The act of killing the animal has to be done by the licensed hunter, but the value of learning first hand is priceless! It will also be a great chance to see if hunting is worth it to you! Hunting safety may seem like a boring process, but for the safety of you and the animals, it is important.

Coyote Hunting

Coyote Hunting: Hunt the Hunter

Coyotes are here, and they are everywhere. While most hunters did not grow up with coyotes on their list on animals that they hunt, they are now present in 49 states. Which means hunters from all across the country are diving head first into the world of coyote hunting. If you’re new to hunting coyotes, own land where they are becoming a problem, or are simply interested in the future consequences of this species, then this blog is for you.

Why Hunt Coyotes

Population Control

The first and most pressing problems with coyotes is there lack of natural predators, causing their population to grow every year. They are usually unaffected by things that would destroy a different animals population. For example, if a food source has been depleted a coyote is willing to migrate to where the food now is. For a coyote food could mean anything from food waste to a full size buck, making them extremely resilient. The lifespan of a coyote is also 10 years, with mating being possible after the first 2 years. Which just adds to the ever growing population that is costing land owners and hunters some serious coin.


One of the most serious and wide spread danger of coyotes is the diseases that the animal is often associated with. Canine hepatitis and canine distemper are the most popular disease carried by coyotes. These are dangerous things to have spread around because they greatly effect domestic dogs, distemper has even been shown to be fatal. They also have the normal wild animal diseases like rabies that can be spread to both other animals and humans. Overall the entire species is prone to disease. They are actively spreading it to all surrounding wildlife through feces and urine. Making them extremely dangerous to animal populations as a whole.

More Hunting!

Outside of the fact that coyotes are a nuisance to wildlife, hunting these things is just fun! Many states have year round coyote seasons, and those that aren’t have multiple legal seasons. Making this a viable option to scratch your hunting itch during the off seasons. Going out in the off seasons for other species is also a bonus when it comes to scouting. Giving you a different look at how the animals are acting which will make them easier to predict later on.

Future of Coyote Hunting

Hunting Coyotes is something that is both a fun challenge and completely necessary for the healthy survival of wildlife. Their population numbers growing annually. So  you can expect the trend of coyote hunting to continue on for years to come. If you are a farmer or landowner, especially in the Midwest, there are specific tactics that you can use to keep coyotes off of your land. Which can stop them from cutting into your profits.

Deer scouting in early season

Deer Scouting: Why Early is Best

Deer season has been over across the country for weeks now. Leaving  hunters either satisfied with last years season or disappointed and eager to get back to the woods. Whether 2020 was full of big bucks or more empty truck beds then you would like to admit, lets make deer season 2021 even better with deer scouting early!

Seeing that is early February, some people may question why right now is such an optimal time to start there deer scouting. There are a few things that make February such a great time to scout deer including:

Combating Laziness

When you start planning for your season this far out, it gives you far more time to do all of your planning. You can avoid the fall rush of deer season and get an early jump by starting in February.


With it being mid march, the trees are still bare. Making it much easier to see things like deer travel patterns, bedding and feeding areas are clear.  Great time to scout for the following year.

Rut Signs

This is arguably the best time of the year to locate rut signs. Searching at this point in the year is great because any signs from the fall will show. Since deer are creatures of habit, what they did last year should be a great indicator for what they will do this year. Signs like scrapes will be visible now, get out early before the green returns to the trees for easier locating. Rub lines can help lead you to either a food source or a doe bedding area, both great finds.

Geographical Features for Deer Scouting

March is also the perfect time to search for a number of land features that may be hard to spot in the spring and fall. Bottlenecks and pinch points are two of the most obvious and useful things to look for. Again, playing into how deer are creatures of habits if you can locate a natural funnel it is highly possible a deer has used that and will use it again. Pinch points are similar, with deer using them to get from one piece of timber to the next. Without them having to leave the security of the woods. Pay attention to these things now and have them remembered when it comes time to set up blinds and stands.

Buck trails will also be easier to find. Use this time to find the worn down paths that have been used for years and will be used again. The trails you find out in the open will typically be used by younger bucks and does, while the buck trails tend to be in more covered areas.

Shed Hunting

While it is almost always a good idea to look for shed antlers, this point in march is a great time. Shed hunting is a huge part of wildlife management in general and especially important is early season deer scouting. It gives the hunter a general idea of any bucks that they may have missed and which bucks survived the season and are still alive. As always, an antler found on your property should give you a scope of what size the bucks where you are hunting are.  Both of which should be things you are paying attention too during your scouting.

Early year deer scouting is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of taking home a big buck this year. The earlier you get started, the better chance you will have everything perfect for this years deer season. So get out there, follow these tips on how to do it right, and happy scouting! Here’s to your best season yet!

A Tribute to a Good Tennessee Man


Congratulations to our COO Nathan Mrnak who enjoyed success on his newly acquired farm by taking his first buck from the property, and his first in the state since moving to Indiana! However there were other circumstances involved that made this harvest incredibly more meaningful. Please take a moment to watch this fantastic tribute.



Landownership is Special

When you can take a new hunter out on your land for their first hunt, it is always a special feeling. It proves our statement: “More Than Just Dirt, It’s A Lifestyle”.

Find your own piece of land by contacting an agent using the form below.


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Living The Lifestyle: Youth Turkey hunt 2


At Base Camp Country, we believe that “It’s more than just dirt, it’s a lifestyle” and we live our motto every day. We believe that in order to grow the tradition and leave behind a lasting legacy, teaching the youth of America to hunt in a responsible, safe, and ethical manner is important.



Living The Lifestyle: Youth Turkey Hunt

At Base Camp Country, we believe that “It’s more than just dirt, it’s a lifestyle” and we live our motto every day. We believe that in order to grow the tradition and leave behind a lasting legacy, teaching the youth of America to hunt in a responsible, safe, and ethical manner is important.

Follow COO, Nathan Mrnak as he takes his daughter on her first Turkey hunt.

If you’re looking to have your own piece of land to live the outdoor lifestyle, contact our agents below!

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Base Camp Country Turkey Season Preview

Are you ready for Turkey season this year? Get pumped with a preview from Connor and Tom on their season!

Improve Your Shooting in the Off-season With These Archery Tips

By Curt Myers – Western Illinois Recreational and Farm Land Professional

As an archery pro shop owner and avid hunter, I feel hunters simply do not practice enough, myself included. If you’re reading this article thinking it is going to be another one of “Dad’s Lectures” regarding how you should shoot your bow more, you’re right, and wrong. With some constructive criticism, I would like to give everyone some tips, pointers, tricks as well as things to try this off season to help you become a better shot. This may ultimately help to avoid the gut-wrenching agony of wounding or missing your target next fall.

For starters I would like to say there are no excuses as to why we cannot shoot more (i.e. I don’t have time, I’m too busy, It’s too late). In my opinion there is always time, we just have to make a point to put in the work. Although it may not be in the cards for all of us, practicing at home if available is the easiest. If shooting at home is an option, take 10 minutes to make 10 great shots. I would rather see a person take a dozen shots that feel good while hitting their mark over an individual who find themselves twenty shots in causing the loss of strength from spraying arrows. Doing so is not only devastating for your muscle memory it can ultimately cause you to create bad habits (i.e., poor form and shot placement) plummeting your confidence into the dirt.

If shooting at home is not an option, try joining a league at your local pro shop this winter. For years, the highlight of my week was going to Crooked Creek Outdoors (here in my hometown of Macomb, IL.) to shoot with my buddies! The comradery, the razzing, the fellowship that is involved in joining a league is something I miss doing and hope to get back into this year. I am admitting my own faults here, but also have targets at my house to shoot. If you are one of those people that say you aren’t a “paper puncher,” I would like to hear your reasons as to why. Maybe you don’t like shooting paper targets because you fear the outcome.  Perhaps, shooting paper exposes some target panic, or other minute flaws that you have. If any of these are the reasons, embrace them and learn from them! Shoot in a league this winter and get over that target panic or fix slapping the trigger. Not only can you work on your shooting it also keeps you mindful of the proper care and upkeep of your equipment.  Just remember complacency will come back to haunt you.  You do not want to find as hunting season approaches the excitement quickly fading because your bow string has mysteriously broken.  Had you been practicing and properly maintaining your equipment, more than likely, this would not have occurred.

Off- season shooting keeps us in tune with our equipment and techniques.  If you pick up your bow next September and your group is eight inches high and four inches right, you’re not doing something that you were doing last year. Immediately you start to wonder what is wrong, which is not a confidence booster. This winter I encourage you to take that leap and committing to your passion. I don’t know about everyone, but I know I personally put a lot of time and effort into hunting. Shooting is something that a lot of people take for granted. It takes the smallest effort and the least amount of effort. Yet can cause you the biggest heartache of your life. Don’t get me wrong, don’t think that shooting year around will solve all your problems. If you hunt with a bow long enough, things will happen, you will miss, you will wound a deer. It’s the nature of the beast. As an archery hunter we owe it to not only ourselves but to the animals we are hunting to make a quick, clean, ethical harvest.

In closing I would like to give some tips that I have found useful over my years of shooting. Comfort is the biggest thing. If the bow is not the right draw length, you are sacrificing accuracy. If you feel a little scrunched and find yourself “leaning to your string” your draw length could need extended. If you feel a little over extended or have to lean your head back to get your anchor, your draw length could be too long. A good tip for proper draw length is to grab a buddy and have them stand behind you while drawing your bow. If your rear arm is not in a straight line with the string coming off the top cam, you could potentially have a draw length issue. If you experience this, take it to your local shop and have them take a look at it. After comfort comes mechanics. If you have poor mechanics, there is no way to get consistent impact on the target.  Slapping the trigger, target panic, inconsistent anchor and sight alignment are all intricate parts of your form. If they are not consistently executed, they can throw your shot placement off by six inches or more. Any multitude of the above mistakes while you’re at full draw on your target buck, could possibly make your worst nightmare become reality.

Practicing all year around keeps you in tune, your mechanics fresh, and always striving for perfection to be a great shot. Muscle memory is also key in archery. We all have a checklist we go through when drawing our bow. My personal list is as follows: “Anchor, knuckle right behind the jawbone with the kisser button in the corner of the mouth. Concentrate on peep alignment with the sight housing, check the level while finding the correct pin for yardage. Next, settle the pin on a spot, when the pin settles squeeze until the shot goes off.” Make your own checklist and go through it every time you pull the bow back. Burn it into your brain, take hundreds of shots while executing your checklist. Say it out loud in the beginning if you need to. Shoot everyday if you can, it will only benefit you. When the weather gets nice, round up some buddies and go hit a 3D shoot. Be competitive, be confident. As the sun’s setting, you’re the only person to blame when the shot hits where the pin wasn’t!


Thanks, and don’t forget to support your local archery/pro shops!!!


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Venison Chili: Providing for The Family

By: Kyle Nickel – Base Camp Country Real Estate South-East Indiana

I don’t have a proper recipe for venison chili. Not much stays the same from one batch of chili to the next. Making deer chili in our house is often a spontaneous event when my wife has to be gone for the evening and left me, unprepared, to nourish our darling heathens.

If there is a white onion in the crisper, it will go into the frying pan with the ground venison. I’m not driving to town just for a red onion, though it’s what I prefer. I like a tomato sauce base, but bloody mary mix and V8 juice have got the job done in a pinch. Things become really unpredictable when I open up the spice cabinet. Lots of chili powder, of course, but garlic or no garlic? Generous with cinnamon or just a dash? Will the youngest complain that it’s too spicy if I use cayenne pepper? Will she abandon the meat, beans, and diced tomatoes and only eat noodles if I add pasta?

The answers to these questions are always found at some intersection of creative inspiration and the practicality of what’s in the cupboard. The result is always a hearty pot of satisfaction. Each batch, my son declares, is the best chili he’s ever eaten-and his joy speaks to the one thing that does remain a constant, batch after batch.

Every time my kids compliment my chili, ask for summer sausage in their lunch box, or stand impatiently by the grill while a backstrap fills the air with its rich scent, a pride that has been around as long as fathers have had children fills me up. It is one thing to take your paycheck to the grocery store to provide for your children-and that’s a fine thing too, but to fill their bellies with the cold hours before dawn, the stiff hips of a long sit, and the back ache of being hunched over a table trimming silver skin and tendons-that is a different kind of pride, an ancient satisfaction.

When I was a kid, nothing excited me more than finding an arrowhead in the creek. They were glimpses into a world I longed to be a part of. Living in the woods, hunting and fishing without threat of homework or bedtime is a common fantasy of many boys, I think. If I’m lucky enough to stumble across a piece of knapped flint now, it’s not an idealized version of primitive living that comes to mind, but that a man, a specific man with mouths to feed hunted this creek bottom just like me.

Five or six thousand years later I can hand my credit card through a drive through window and get back more food than the kids in the back seat can eat, but sometimes we sit at the kitchen table and look out the patio door to the woods from which our dinner came and that, I think, is something wonderful.


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