Archive for the ‘Archery’ Category

Steve Felix
Most hunters get cagey when asked where they got their trophy elk, but Steve Felix doesn’t balk.
“This was killed on public land,” said the potential owner of the newest world record for typical American elk taken by archery. “It’s a testament to great habitat and great management and the importance of public lands.”
To be a little more specific, Felix brought down the 7×8-point bull in Powder River County, in the southeast corner of Montana. The Boone and Crockett Club has confirmed its rack scores 430 inches, making it the largest elk taken in the state and the fourth-largest ever recorded in the club’s records. No. 1 scored 442 5/8ths, and No. 2 and No. 3 were both taken before 1900 – all with rifles. The current world-record archery kill scored 412 1/8, taken in 2005 in Arizona.
“History was made right here in Montana,” said Justin Spring, records director at Missoula-based Boone and Crockett. “It’s a milestone in the success of our commitment to this iconic species. Animals of this size do not happen by chance. It takes the combined commitment of wildlife managers and biologists, landowners, sportsmen and above all else, it takes the best habitats we can set aside for elk in elk country.”
Felix, who lives near Seeley Lake, made the eight-hour drive to his hunting area solo in September when his regular hunting partner couldn’t get away for the weekend. He spotted the bull early in the morning, and spent about an hour stalking it to get a shooting position.
A single arrow at 61 yards brought the elk down 30 seconds after he shot it. Approaching, Felix said he knew he had bagged the biggest animal he’d ever pursued. But he wasn’t sure how big.
It took five backpack loads over two days to bring out the meat. At first, Felix hoped to bring out the antlers and skin in a single load.
“I got about 60 yards and said this is not going to work,” he said. “It was just too heavy.”
He stopped at the Cabela’s store in Billings to compare his bull to some of the trophies hanging there.
“They had a rack that scored 400 there, so I took a quick look,” he said. “Then I went back out to my truck and went, ‘Oh, boy.’”
Realizing he had a contender on his hands, Felix next stopped at John Berger’s taxidermy shop in Bozeman. After a preliminary measurement hinted the bull was in striking distance of a world record, they called Fred King, an expert trophy grader in the Gallatin Valley. In its fresh, “green” state, the antlers scored 440 inches. Montana’s existing record was 412 inches.
Antlers shrink a bit as they dry. After 60 days, the final measurement totaled a net 430 inches. A final, official score for Pope and Young Club World’s Record status will occur before a panel scored by a group of highly qualified P&Y and B&C measurers just prior to Pope and Young Club’s Biennial Convention and Big Game Awards Ceremony April 5-8, 2017, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Felix said the hunting district doesn’t have a trophy restriction like the popular Missouri Breaks or Elkhorn Mountain regions of Montana. But it did have great grass, healthy wildlife and public opportunity.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in that country,” Felix said. “The first eight days I was there, I never saw an elk. That was the first arrow either my partner or I have ever shot there for elk.”

Event will follow schedule of PATCONS before and will be updated as events/speakers/classes/sponsors/raffle items are added. (See below)

Southern Manners Are Expected From all.  As my mother would say, if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.  Thank you. 🙂


 Under 7, free

7-12, $14

13 and up, $25
Includes world famous East Carolina *Pig Pickin’ on Saturday!   
*Pulled pork, Southern fried chicken, black eyed peas, string beans, potato salad, hush puppies, tea, water and banana pudding.
If you are planning to attend the June PATCON,  please remit your fees ASAP, but NLT 20 May.  Please send check to Cape Carteret address below.  I do not deposit checks until the week before and I would appreciate all remit funds now.  Thank you.


Brock Townsend
319 Holly Lane
Cape Carteret, NC 28584


The funds will be used for seating, tables, porta potties, Eastern North Carolina Barbecue with all the trimmings, equipment and tent. We would like to encourage company sponsors to donate money for this event. Any company donating $50 or more will be listed as a sponsor on the website and at the PATCON.


Camping available Wednesday – Sunday.

No animals, please, as my Peacock is more than sufficient to annoy all but us.:)

More details/info @ Free North Carolina




Now’s the Time to Hunt Every Day

Posted: October 18, 2014 by gamegetterII in Archery, hunting
Tags: , , , ,

Where I live in NE Ohio,the rut is fast approaching,and generally peaks somewhere around the first full week of November.

Bucks are all done sparring,they are no longer in bachelor groups,they are by themselves,seeking the first hot does.

Rattling is effective now,as are doe bleats. I do not start using grunt tubes a lot until the last week of Oct.

Pay attention to the rutting activity in your area,because the peak will repeat in 28 days,then again in 28 more days. The first rut peak is the most intense,the second rut peak still has a lot of activity,and is well worth your time to hunt,the third rut peak is even less intense,and may not even be noticeable in your area.

Most does are bred during the peak of the first,main rut. Those that are not bred go into estrous again 28 days later-if your wife or girlfriend happen to have their “estrous” around the same time-it’s a great time to be in the woods-then you miss most of the fun of her unstable behavior at that time of the month.

The few does that are not bred by the second rut-usually young does born in early spring-usually come into estrous end of Dec,first week of Jan. (in NE Ohio anyhow).

The two secondary rut peaks are well worth your time to hunt,doe bleats and grunt tubes work during these secondary ruts,rattling is not very effective during these periods,as the bucks are tired,run down from chasing does during the peak,when they did not eat enough food for the energy they expended,so they are usually not interested in running to the sound of antlers crashing.

I have had bucks come to grunt tubes in early Jan. that’s when Ohio has the muzzleoader season,there are fewer hunters in the woods than during the deer gun season,and the early part of archery season.

I’ve noticed the past few years that there are very few bowhunters in the woods after gun season ends-at least on public lands.

So,if you have to hunt public lands,the weeks after shotgun or rifle season ends is a god time to bowhunt,one the season ends and there are not so many people in the woods,the deer go back to their normal patterns.

It’s the same as early season and rut hunting then-find the food source,water source,and bedding areas,place your stand on a trail near one of the three,and you should be able to take a deer.

I would be out with my bow today,but the wind is from the wrong direction-no way I can get to any of my local stands. Seems to be calming down a bit-I may head out in a half hour or so,and see what happens. Cold (for Oct) and rainy today,so the deer should be up and moving long before dark.

More Deer Hunting Tips

Posted: September 12, 2014 by gamegetterII in Archery, hunting
Tags: , ,

What a buck’s tail can tell you about his behavior-from F&S magazine.

Another deer hunting tip from F&S…

Avoid wearing blues and solid green clothing.

“Basically, whitetails are sensitive to blues and greens, and less so to reds and oranges.”

Hunting the Whitetail Rut and Pre-Rut

Posted: September 11, 2014 by gamegetterII in Archery, hunting
Tags: , , ,

As the days get shorter,and nights start getting colder,deer start getting ready for breeding-otherwise known as the rut.
There are some very effective ways you can hunt during the rut,and the weeks leading up to it.

The NE Ohio whitetail rut usually peaks the first or second  week of November.

The pre-rut activity starts about mid-October. The first week of October,there is something you can do to attract bucks to your hunting area.

Find a field/woods edge,or the edge of different types of cover that has some small trees,with branches that are about 4-6′ off the ground.

Make your own scrape line by raking an area about 3-4′ in diameter clear of all leaves,twigs and debris-you want to have bare ground. Make one of these every 50′ or so. Do not use any doe in estrous urine,doe urine,or dominant buck urine yet-use your own-just piss in the areas you just cleared.

Make these scrape lines near all of your stand/blind locations,but make sure they are near one of the main deer trails.

I start using doe in estrous scents the last week of Oct. put several drops in each of your fake scrapes,I also take some green cotton balls,and put some doe in estrous scent on them,put them in a zip-loc bag,and drop one every 100 yards or so along the deer trails that lead to my fake scrape lines.

As the peak rut approaches,add more doe in estrous urine to the fake scrapes,add some dominant buck urine,and start using some of the scent dispensers that you hang from branches. I use two types,the scent wicks that are dipped in the  bottle of estrous doe urine,and the type that you fill with the estrous urine,and as you get ready to hang on branch,the wick extends from the bottle-then when you leave-the wick retracts,and you re-cap the bottle for another use.

I pick up all of both types,and take them home in zip-locs.

Pay attention to wind direction,so deer can not catch your scent,and place your stand/blind,and doe in estrous scent wicks so the scent wicks send their scent in direction of the buck’s likely approach route.Place you stand/blind up-wind from the buck’s approach route.

In states where any type of scents or attractants are not legal-hunt the fake scrape lines you made-bucks looking for hot does are going to check the scrapes,dominant bucks looking to run younger bucks out of their territory are going to check out your fake scrapes as well-so hunt your scrape lines,go ahead and piss in ’em-as far as I can tell-there’s no laws against taking a whiz in the woods.

Pay attention to where the does are entering the areas your stands/blinds are set up-if you have to-move your stand/blind 10 yards or so away from where the does enter-does will bust a hunter far more often than a lone buck will,and many times,the buck (s) will be a few yards from the does-still in cover as the does enter an area-watch closely,and many times,you will spot a buck either behind the does,or a few yards to either side of where the does entered your area.

Hunt the scrape lines in early mornings,and again late afternoon ’till dark.

Hunt near water sources in mid-morning to early afternoon.

During the peak days of the rut,I will hang a few scent wicks-the kind with the bottle of scent-around a small tree,and hang a strip of white cloth from a branch at the height of a deer. Often,bucks will catch the scent,see the white cloth,and think it’s a hot doe-they just ain’t thinking clearly during the rut-kinda like when us guys think with the wrong head.

I’ve used this technique in the past,and had quite a few bucks walk right up to the tree with the white cloth-when they get to the tree-they still stand there sniffing the scent bottles.

This technique only works when there’s a breeze to cause the cloth to move-like a deer’s tail.

Bucks are more concerned with breeding during the rut-so don’t focus on food sources-focus on the scrapes you made-or scrapes you’ve found that a buck has made-and as I said water sources in mid-morning to early afternoon.

More on hunting the rut soon,using grunt tubes,and doe bleats and on hunting the secondary rut.

*** I know people are reading these posts-I can see the number of views and visitors in the site’s stats-come on-sombody make a couple of comments !****




Do more PT !

Choosing the Right Broadhead

Posted: September 7, 2014 by gamegetterII in Archery, hunting, survival
Tags: , , ,

There is a plethora of broadheads on the market,fixed blade and mechanical, 2 blade or 3,even 4. They come in various weights and sizes. Most states have a minimum size for broadheads.

Here are Ohio’s regs-

Longbow: minimum draw weight 40 lbs., includes compound and recurve bows. The arrow tip shall have a minimum of two cutting edges, which may be exposed or unexposed minimum 3/4 inch width. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal. Poisoned or explosive arrows are illegal.

(damn-and I wanted to hunt coyotes and groundhogs with explosive arrows)

Crossbow: draw weight no less than 75 lbs. The arrow tip shall have a minimum of two cutting edges which, may be exposed or unexposed minimum 3/4 inch width. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal. Poisoned or explosive arrows are illegal.


The broadhead you use should be one that shoots well,and will have enough energy for clean kills from your bow’s draw weight,and the arrows you use.

When I’m using my compound bow-a mid1980’s Hoyt-Easton Gamegetter II- that I have set at a 68# draw weight,I use Easton’s XX75 Gamegetter  aluminum arrows,with a spine-or stiffness- of 340. Look on the box when you are shopping for arrows,there’s a chart on the box that shows what arrows are best for what draw weight bow,weight of your broadhead, and the arrow length you are using.

I’ve been bowhunting since the early 80’s,after lots of experimentation with arrow/broadhead combos,and I do mean a lot-I probably spent enough $$$ on broadheads to buy a new truck-

What I settled on is the  NAP 125 grain Thunderhead. The NAP stands for New Archery Products.

This is the broadhead…


The mechanical broadheads work great with the newer high speed compound bows,as do many of the new fixed blades.

One of the keys is to practice with the same weight target tips as your broadheads,then go to the plastic practice broadheads,and when it’s real close to hunting season,use the broadheads you are gonna hunt with.

It takes a bit of research to make an informed choice when selecting your broadheads,read archery mags,talk to knowledgeable archery techs in your local archery shop-if you’re stuck with a Gander Mountain,Cabelas,Bass Pro Shops-good luck finding any sales staff that has even the slightest clue what the hell they’re talking about. If all that’s in your area is a Wally World-you’re out of luck as far as knowledgeable sales staff.

If you are shooting a newer,high-speed bow,or a crossbow,you can use the 80-100 grain mechanical broadheads,or use fixed blade-I don’t use the mechanicals as they have parts that can fail-if the blades decide not to open,or not to open fully-then you are gonna be tracking a wounded deer for many,many hours.

I know quite a few guys-and ladies who hunt only with the Rage mechanical broadheads,and most have never had one of the Rage mechanicals fail on them-but every once in a while-one fails-you could hunt for years,kill your limit of deer every year,and never have a failure-it’s just my personal preference.

There are advantages to the expandable broadheads-they are more aerodynamic,so more accurate,increases your chances for a clean kill.

There are also 4 blade broadheads,and broadheads with serrated blades. I would consider the serrated blades if hunting elk,moose,caribou,bear,or bison-or if I was hunting African plains game.

Here’s what the serrated blades look like…

The fixed blade broadheads I am referring to are those like the NAP Thunderhead-which have replaceable blades.

There are also fixed blade broadheads that do not have replaceable blades,like this…

Here’s an example of a 4 blade broadhead…

Muzzy broadheads are my second choice,if the Thunderheads are not available,and I need new ones because my son-in-law lost them in the woods when I loaned him my bow.

That’s never a good idea-I no longer loan my bows to anyone-the kid also put a nice long scratch in my muzzleloader’s stock,and a couple new ones on the barrel-that is no longer loaned out either…

One last type of broadhead is the old ones that look kinda like the old native American flint arrowheads,with a small insert that makes them a 4 blade broadhead-here’s a pic of those…

Great source for broadheads…

The best advice I can give anyone,after nearly 35 years of serious bowhunting is to talk to the guys/ladies at the archery shop where you buy your bow,or research your bow online by reading reviews on sites of places like Cabela’s,etc,archery forums, bowhunting forums to find out the recommended arrow types,then match whichever type of broadhead you choose to the type of arrow you choose. I would try at least 3 different broadheads and see which one shoots better for you-some broadheads shoot better for some people than they do for others.

Don’t fall for all the hype and buy every new broadhead that comes on the market-been there,done that,got the t-shirts and hats to prove it.

Once you have decided on a broadhead,stick with it,shoot only the same weight target tips.

Weigh each broadhead when you buy them-the weights can vary significantly,most manufacturers will accept returns on the ones that are way off. Also weigh your target tips-same thing-weights can vary-a lot. Not really worth wasting your time returning the ones that are way off-the postage would cost you more than buying another dozen.

Brands that I’ve used that I would recommend are NAP,Muzzy,Wasp,Rage,and Swacker,stick with brands that have been around a while and proven themselves,the newest,coolest looking stuff usually don’t last long-the companies pop up like ‘shrooms after a rain,and disappear just as fast.

I use some of the blue Loc-tite on my broadheads,so that I don’t have to worry about loose ones,as the vibration from carrying your bow in your truck,and even from you hiking with the arrows in the quiver attached to your bow can loosen the broadhead from the arrow shaft-this is real bad for accuracy,and arrow penetration on game.

One of the reasons I use the Thunderheads is that after I find my arrow,all I have to do is replace the blades,and I can keep using the broadheads,never had anything break or bend on the tips,just had blades break.

Something to consider for the preppers/survivalists-there are steel 2 and 3 blade broadheads available that do not have any of the razor blade type inserts-they are just one piece of  steel,machined or forged,and are reusable and easy to re-sharpen.

Hope this helps someone not have to go through all the shit I went through picking a broadhead-find one that you can shoot accurately,and stick with it-ignore all the hype that goes with every minor change in styles-stick with what works.





Do More PT !





Those who live in states where the use of bait is permitted should start putting out corn now.

Use some shell corn,and some cob corn,spread the shell corn around,do not just dump it in a pile-as this can lead to the spread of disease from deer to deer.

I go to my local feed store and buy a block of what I call sweet feed-it’s a mix of grains,with molasses added for sweetness.

Since it’s compressed into a block,it keeps the deer at your feeding location longer,as does the cob corn.

The blocks are kinda heavy,but so what,it’s good exercise.

I also place some extra mineral blocks along the trails leading to and from the place I put the corn out,this also keeps deer in the area longer. Mix up the “flavors” of the blocks,around here,I use apple,acorn,stockman’s mineral blocks,and plain salt blocks. I buy a big salt block,then cut it up with a sawzall,using a pruning blade,I cut a 50# block into 6 pieces,which makes the salt blocks much more manageable to carry.

As soon as acorns start dropping,I’ll rake up piles of them from my yard,and scatter them among the corn and salt/mineral blocks.

Those who live where baiting deer is not legal just have to keep scouting your hunting areas,find out what the main food source is,main water source is,the bedding areas,and the trails the deer use to get from one place to the other. (you already did that back in early August,right?) Watch for acorns to start dropping,as deer will eat acorns over any other food source once they start dropping in significant numbers.

You should place your stand/blind along the deer’s route to the stand of oaks that are dropping the most acorns,just at the edge of the stand of oaks,as deer will hang back in the cover at the edges of the stand of oaks before entering them,as there’s more open space among stands of mature oaks than there is at the edges of the stand,where there is a mix of trees,and most likely some brush.

In either scenario,look for faint trails that do not show signs of heavy use if you are hunting for a mature buck. The main,heavily traveled trails are made by does and fawns,the older  bucks will walk their own trail,parallel to the main trail,usually no more than 10-15 yards back from it.

Pick your spot for your stand/blind,and hang a trail camera along the trail,then you will know what bucks are using the trail. If trail cameras are not legal in your state,take a small garden claw type tool with you,and clear all leaves,branches, sticks and other debris from several areas along the trail,if the ground is hard,pour some water into the cleared area to soften up the ground. Check the spots you cleared for tracks,keep adding water as needed,so the deer leave good tracks. Using this method,you can judge the size of the deer,and how often he travels the trail.

Yes,all this takes time,and effort,that’s why it’s called hunting-besides-the exercise is good for you!


I’ll post some rut hunting tips/techniques soon.



Do more PT !

We’re getting closer to the start of archery seasons in many states now,about 6 weeks or so to go.

Now is the time to check to be sure you have clear shooting lines from your stand (s) and/or ground blind (s).

Hike to your stand,carrying a folding saw,and hand pruners in your daypack.

Sit where you will be sitting while hunting.

Look for any branches or brush that would be in the way of you making a clear shot.

Trim all branches and brush back more than they will grow in the next month or so,you should be able to tell how much they have grown from when you set up your stand/blind a month or so ago. Trim them back at least 6″ more than you think they will grow-you want this to be the last time you trim stuff near your blind.Once you start trimming,place all the branches and brush you have cut in a pile,when done trimming,use the stuff from the pile to “brush in” your blind-you can also do the same to your tree stand,using some green or brown garden twine.

The idea is to break up the profile of your stand/blind,do it is not as visible to the deer.

The reason for setting up the stands/blinds a month or so back was so that the deer got used to them being there,and didn’t associate them with danger.

Now that they are used to them,go ahead and camouflage them up better using the trimmings from cutting your shooting lanes. If that’s not enough,trim off more twigs and branches from surrounding trees and shrubs.

The object is not to make your blind/stand to look like something-it’s to make it look like nothing-same idea with your personal camo.

Good explanation of camouflage here…


Camo is a concept (i.e., how to blend into one’s environment), not a pattern.”

While the above is for personal camo- many of the same things apply to your stand/blind.

The thing you are trying to do is to make your blind/stand appear to be just a part of the forest,field,swamp-wherever it’s located.

You don’t want to try and make it look like a tree or shrub-you want to try to make it look like it’s a part many trees/shrubs-not a blob that’s got some branches sticking out of it.

It’s not an easy thing to explain-camo is a concept,it’s not any one pattern for your clothing,or your blind/stand-you want to blend into your surroundings,look like just a normal part of the field/swamp/forest when someone-or some animal-looks at the location you want them to see a part of the surroundings-not something that does not blend in.

I’ll post some pics soon-I’m just not all that great at taking cell phone pics-then getting them onto the computer-then finding them again to post.

I may have to seek the help of the kids.

Once you have your blind/stand brushed in,and it blends in with it’s surroundings,start putting out corn if it’s legal where you live. I do not use feeders here in Ohio,I just  spread some shelled corn on the ground-not in a pile-spread it around about a 6′ diameter circle,add some cob corn to the area as well. Not putting the corn in a pile not only keeps the deer in one place longer,it helps to prevent the spread of disease between deer.

Check your mineral blocks-if they have been mostly licked down to the halfway point or more-put new ones out. I’ll add some regular salt blocks now too-I buy the stockman’s blocks with added minerals when they’re on sale,and use some of both regular salt block,and salt+ minerals.

Remember,you are putting them out not only to attract the deer,but to help keep the local deer herd  healthy,and to insure the bucks have the nutrients they need to grow big racks.

I buy a large block at the feed store,or Tractor Supply,then I cut it up into blocks about the size of the mineral blocks. Cut them at least 2-2 1/2″ thick,3-4″ wide,and 8-12″ long.

I use a pruning blade on a sawzall to cut up the big block-goes through it like it’s cutting butter.

Remember to visit each stand/blind at times when deer are least likely to be in the area.

Since you’re in the woods-be sure to check the deer trails to see what their main food source is,then figure out when they will go from that to acorns,and plan your hunts accordingly.

Check your trail tacks or surveyors tape to make sure all your trails are still clearly marked.

That’s it for this one-more coming soon.




Do more PT !

By now,you already know the deer’s movements,where his bedding area is,where his main food and water sources are,and the trails he follows to get to and from each.

Starting around the 3rd week of October-or just prior to start of rut where you live-find a field edge that has small trees along it-no more than 3-4″ in diameter.

Place you stand/blind so you have a clear shot in the close vicinity of the multiple fake scrapes I’m going to tell you how to make…

Make a your own fake scrape line,pick trees that have at least one branch that’s in reach of a deer-as the bucks use it as a licking branch.

You want your scrapes to be no closer together than 10 yards,any place where woods meet field edges works, a place where a brush field meets an agricultural field is  better,a place where a tree line meets an ag field is the best.

Using a rake,and/or garden claw,scrape away all the leaves,twigs,rocks,and debris from an area about 3′ in diameter-doesn’t have to be exact-3-4′ is fine,use the garden claw,make long marks in the dirt,so it looks like the antlers from a buck made the marks,go front to back,and side to side. It should look sorta like an oval tic-tac toe game.

Since bucks piss in the scrapes when they make them-be sure you drink a lot of water before you head out to make your fake scrape line-once you have made the scrape-“mark your territory” by pissing in each scrape.

As it gets closer to the rut-late Oct/early November here in NE Ohio-start putting 8-10 drops of doe in heat urine in your fake scrapes,as it gets closer to the peak of the rut-increase the amount of doe in heat urine you put in the scrapes,and add a few drops of buck urine to them.

Adding the buck urine will piss off the dominant buck -(pun intended)-the dominant buck is the one you want to shoot,he’s biggest,strongest,healthiest buck in the area. The younger ones will all be challenging him in pre-rut,and the early part of the rut.

From pre-rut,up until the rut starts is the best time to rattle- using real antlers is more effective than using any of the fake products/ methods.

This is also when you should be using a grunt tube-use it sparingly-deer aint like elk-they don’t bugle to challenge each other. There’s a plethora of You Tube videos on how to rattle and use a grunt tube-watch as many of them as you have time for-you’ll see many different techniques,find what works best for you-and use it.

Pay close attention to when the peak rut is in your location-because 28 days later-all the does not bred during the main rut go into estrous again-the bucks will be following them just like during the main,and first rut.

Again-pay close attention-as in another 28 days-there’s another,much less active rut.

These are the times of the hunting season when you have the best chance at getting a really big buck.

There’s a lot of people who could care less about antler size-I’m one of them-I’ll shoot a doe-it’s meat in the freezer.

Tips and techniques on how to harvest does will be in a future post.



Do more PT !

More getting ready for hunting season

Posted: August 4, 2014 by gamegetterII in Archery, firearms, hunting, shooting, survival

It’s now August 4th,bucks antlers are almost fully grown,covered in velvet.

Soon,they will start making rubs-they scrape the velvet off of their antlers beginning late summer/early fall.

You need to find these rubs-as they rub their antlers on small trees/shrubs,usually well hidden from human eyes-they are showing you their territory,there’s usually a lot of rubs in the same area.

Once you’ve found some rubs-set some trail cameras near them-(if they are legal in your state)-

Follow the tracks-you can follow them this time of year-it just takes some time,and a little work in the woods/fields.

You should be able to determine the direction the deer is coming from,and the direction he is going to.

This is going to lead you to 3 things-his bedding area,his water source,and his food source.

First follow the tracks in one direction,if you lose the trail,keep heading in the direction the deer was heading,remember,deer use the same trails for many hundreds of thousands of years. They follow the contours of the land,and every time they move,they are looking for one of those three things,bed,food,or water.

Make a few 10-20 yard circles from the last place you saw tracks keeping the direction of travel as your center line,you will find the deer’s tracks before long.

Don’t go more than a couple hundred yards in each direction at first-mark the last place you found his tracks with some surveyors tape-so you can see it in daylight.

When bucks make rubs,it’s usually late in the day,often after dark,so chances are he’s heading towards his bed from the rub. Since you are going to be looking for his tracks in the daytime,follow his tracks backward-you want to know where he’s been-you know where he’s going.

You need to backtrack him until you find where his food source is,and where the water source is between his food and the rubs. Finding the food source is more important at this point. Once you have found his food source,you already know two of the three things you need to find-most of the time a buck will move in sort of a circle-he gets up,wanders along slowly,eating a little bit as he goes,the first place he goes is to his main water source.

From there,he may hit more than one food source,but his main food source will be the one closest to his rubs.

What you have to do is head into the woods in mid to late afternoon,go to his rubs,then try to backtrack him to his bedding area-because he’s not gonna be in it in the afternoon-he’s already up and moving for the day.

He’s gonna bed down in a place where he has a view in almost every direction,often it’s just down from a ridge,on the south facing side of a hill. ( the south-facing hill side is not as important to him in the warmer months). Once you have backtracked him to an area where he can lay down on a hillside with a view,start looking for deer beads-they are just a depression in the leaves or grass,it may take you a few hours,or it may take you a few days.

Just be sure to go nowhere near the rubs late in the day-try to do most of your scouting in mid-afternoon.

When you’ve found his bedding area,start following him away from it-in a direction not towards the rubs. Most bucks will have more than one area where they make rubs-the bigger areas are the ones done late in the day-just before dark-the smaller ones are the ones he makes in the mornings.

Only go a couple hundred yards at first,keep doing the same thing in both directions-before too long,you will have his whole daily travel route figured out,you will end up with a route that is sort of a circle-maybe more of an oval-but it will start at his bedding area,and end at his bedding area.

Since you’re figuring out the deers movements now-it’s not going to matter if you kick him up as he’s resting in the afternoon,or if you get too close to his morning or afternoon water source,or even if you walk too close to the bean field,or corn field that he’s feeding from because deer are used to hikers in the woods in the warm months-they don’t see people as all that big of a threat-later in the fall-they start getting more high-strung and jumpy for two reasons-one is that bowhunters are shooing arrows at them-the other is that they know the rut is coming soon,so they’re gonna finally get laid.

This is why you figure out the movements of a few of the bucks in the places you hunt.

You will have an advantage over other hunters in both bow season,and rifle or shotgun season which also carries over to the late muzzleloader season.

Quite a lot of them will be home grilling steaks,ribs,burgers and hot dogs,washing them down with copious amounts of beer while you’re out in the woods patterning deer movements.

You should have at least one sand or blind near the buck’s bedding area,one on his trail between his main food source,and his main area of rubs,and one on the other side of his bedding area. The last two stands would be better if they are near a water source.

Even if you don’t get a deer during archery season-having a stand on either side of his bedding area will work to your advantage in gun season-use the one that’s along the trail he uses after he gets up in the morning in the mornings-but you have to be in your stand or blind long before legal shooting light. (you have your trails cleared before bow season-remember part 1?)

Because you are in your stand in the dark-the other hunters will spook the buck-and he’ll walk right past your stand.

Use the stand on the opposite of his bedding area for afternoon hunts-except when acorns are dropping-then you want your stand/blind to be near a stand of mature oaks.

I’ll continue with getting ready for hunting season articles up ’till hunting season stars-then I’ll be out hunting myself…



Do more PT.