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Questions and answers

8/15/2002

Do you have a hunting question for Tom Miranda? Click here to Email it to Tom. Every other week Tom will be answering a selection of your questions in this space. Here are this week's answers.

Northern scouting

Q: I hunt whitetails here in northern Minnesota. When is the best time to scout in this part of the country?

A: When the snow melts in the spring, look for sheds. In August, watch green fields, glassing in the evenings. Hopefully, you'll spot a big buck — that will give you an area in which to concentrate your scouting. Set your stands at midday, a day or two before the hunt. If the area requires a lot of trimming for shooting lanes, set the stands a week before the hunt. The less you disturb the area, the better.

Quality deer management

Q: How can I get our hunting partners to start a trophy herd on the land we hunt?

A: Trophy deer management is a landowner and hunter commitment. If your pals are shooting basket-racked bucks, then you need another place to hunt. If you can set up deer food and mineral supplements and avoid shooting small bucks, then eventually you'll get some good deer started.

Archery workout

Q: Do you have any suggestions on how to strengthen my shooting arm while I attend college? I work out on a regular basis to stay in shape. Are there any lifts that can pinpoint and strengthen my draw arm?

A: Cabela's sells a rubber band unit that exercises the same muscles you use to drawa bow — it's in their archery catalog. Tricep, bicep and the lats are the muscles you need to strengthen.

Tipping etiquette

Q: I'm going on an elk hunt and I need to know the amount of money I should budget for the guide's tip.

A: Ten percent of the hunt price is a good tip. If it's a $5000 elk hunt, then figure $500 for the guide's tip.

Ballistics

Q: How important is it to sight-in my rifle with the same bullets I use hunting?

A: There can be a several-inch difference in the groupings of different bullets, especially at the longer yardages. Invest in an extra box of your hunting ammo to be sure you're hitting where you're aiming.

July through September Advantage Adventures with Tom Miranda airs at 8 a.m. ET Saturday's on ESPN2.