Talk the talk… You might hear one of these expressions or words when hunting with seasoned hunters and wish you knew what they were talking about:

you know.. things like knowing that a shell is what you use with your shotgun and a bullet is what you shoot with your rifle. Shot are the pellets inside the shell.   Believe it or not, you can get all tangled up with hunt speak, so here are some helpful words to know.


Deer Hunting:

The Rut: This is the time of year when buck are at their peak for mating. They are looking for wiling does most of the day so you are more likely to see one during this time frame. It varies per region  butXDENpG1 typically in SC it peaks in October.

Rattling: When bucks compete for does, they fight using their antlers. Many hunters use fake antlers to create a rattling sound that brings in competitive bucks looking for action.

Brown and Down: If you are hunting at a hunt club, many times, the guide will say brown and down… this means that you can shoot a doe or a buck.

Blaze. Orange color worn to let other hunters know you are in the area.

Button Buck: A young  buck who is just starting to grow antlers. Many times confused with a doe and shot mistakenly.

Tags: You need to secure tags when you hunt. You can do that when you apply for your license.

Scope Eye: If you do not have your rifle secure at your shoulder with a firm grip, the recoil of the gun can cause the scope to smack you back in the eye causing a nice shiner. Most people do it at least once.

Outfitter: An organization or individual who organizes professional hunts


Hog Hunting:

Sow- female

Boar- Male


Turkey Hunting:

Beard. The beard looks like a tassel and hangs from the breast of the turkey. Male turkeys have beards (some hens do as well-yes, hens that that hair problem too, ha ha).  Bearded hens are not legal to shoot in SC.  Big Toms have beards that are 8 inches plus!

Run and Gun: This is a method of turkey hunting where you position yourself in the woods and call the gobbler. You move around instead of sitting in a blind.

Elevated Blinds. Not allowed in turkey hunting. You must shoot from a ground blind (tent) no stands.

Gobbler. -Male turkey that literally says gobble gobble. Another name is Tom.  Only adult  male turkeys are legal to hunt.

Strut– When a Tom is trying to get the attention of a hen,  he will fan his tail feathers and literally strut to signal that he is ready and willing to take care of their needs.

Jake– Young male turkey.  You need to be able to distinguish between a Jake and a Tom and the length of their beard is one way to do that.  A one year old Jake will have about a 4 to  5 inch beard. Another way to distinguish between a Jake and a Tom is to look at the fanned tail feathers… the Jake will have 6 or 7 tail feathers that stand higher than the rest of the fan.    A mature Tom will strut with perfectly fanned tail feathers.

Turkey calls: Box call, slate call, mouth call are the most common

Patterning: In order to kill a turkey cleanly, your shotgun needs to be able to consistently put a minimum of three or more pellets into the turkey’s head or neck.   Patterning is the process you use to ensure your gun can do just that.


Duck Hunting:

Jerkcord- Cord you attach to decoys in order to make them more lifelike and can be operated from your blind.



Dove Hunting:

Low Bird– Never shoot a bird that is low. You may end up spraying shot on another hunter. Go after birds that are flying high enough to avoid that.

Mark– Often heard being shouted by a fellow hunter to let you know that a bird is in your range.


Quail Hunting:

Put and take– That means you go to a hunt club and you order the number of birds you want to hunt. They put the quail in little coveys in a wide field with some trees. The take you to the area where they have placed the birds and they pretty much kick up the bird and when it flies, you shoot it.