Archive for the ‘deer hunting’ Category

Via Field& Stream Here

by Dave Hurteau

Hunting, Deer Hunting, Whitetails, Trophy Buck, Velvet Buck, 200-inch Buck, Dave Hurteau

If you’re following the Rut Reporter posts, you know that I’m hunting the opening week of bow season with Cabela’s Outdoor Andventures at Whitetail Heaven Outfitters in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Last night, I climbed out of my stand when I saw my driver approaching the field in his truck. He was barreling through the alfalfa, crazy fast, and hardly slowed down when he reached me. Owner Tevis McCauley stuck his head out the window and yelled: “Hang tight. We’ve got a 200-incher on the ground!”

Later back at camp, 40-some hunters and family members and guides and cooks gathered in the driveway, watching the Ram 2500 pull up in the pitch dark, honking its horn the whole way. Hunter Buddy Deville, from Denham Springs, Louisiana, stepped out of the truck grinning, dropped the tailgate, and showed us all this colossal velvet buck. He jumped up into the bed, like it was a stage, and told us all about it.

Buddy hunted the same stand for four days, and never even picked up his bow last night when a 150-inch 10-pointer came in. It was a good call; this giant taped out at 202-1/4. (The buck in the background was no slouch—a 147-inch 9-pointer that Daniel Wilson of Tennessee 10-ringed at 50 yards. John Draper with the NRA also brought in a old, big-bodied buck with very cool nontypical rack.)

We’ll have much more about this great buck, including video, on the Rut Reporters page soon. For now, I figured you might want a look.

(The photo above is courtesy of Whitetail Heaven guide J.C. Hall, who by the way has arrowed three 200-inchers himself.)

I know it’s only early August,but it’s time to hit the woods,scout the local deer,pick stand/blind locations,and cut shooting lanes.

Save the cut branches to start brushing in your blind or stand.

Be sure you go with a friend,one of your kids,whoever,just have another person go with you,and have them stand in the areas deer will approach from,then cut your shooting lanes.

Now’s the time to put fresh mineral blocks out-(if legal in your state)-I always put a few of the reddish colored stockmans blocks from Tractor Supply out for mineral blocks.

Same minerals as the much,much more costly blocks made by several companies as “specially formulated for deer” mineral blocks. I keep them out year ’round,along with regular salt blocks.

Now’s also the time to start getting fall/winter food plots ready-at least in most of the east and NE.

Scouting now,finding trails if you’re hunting a new area,hanging trail cameras if you use them,and figuring out the best stands/blinds to use if you want to get a big buck.

Pay attention to the angle of the sun in early morning and late evening,then guesstimate what the angle will be during early bow season and choose your stands/blinds accordingly. You don’t want to be facing into the sun in am or pm,you want the sun at your back.

As you find the deer trails-look about 5-10 yards to either side for trails made by a single deer-that is often  the trail of the dominant buck in the area,it’s a buck trail for sure,may not be the big one-but you’ll know from trail cam pics,or the size of the tracks,and size and number of scrapes during pre-rut.

More hunting tips/tactics coming soon.

Here’s a good article from Outdoor Life…

How to Scout for Summer Whitetails

Another from Field&Stream…

Early Season Whitetail Tactics

By Dave Golowenski For The Columbus Dispatch

The regulatory screw on Ohio’s deer hunters likely will get a little tighter next season, though opportunities would change significantly.

Pending approval, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s deer-hunting proposals for next season eliminate the use of antlerless permits in all but 10 urban counties, reduce bag limits in most counties, and cut the statewide bag limit from nine whitetails to six.

Changes also are in order for muzzleloader and shotgun hunters, as well as for those participating in the youth gun season.

Madison, Pickaway and Fairfield in central Ohio would join a large number of counties in southeastern and west-central Ohio where antlerless permits would not be available and only two deer could be taken. Two-deer counties include whitetail strongholds such as Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Harrison, Guernsey, Noble, Athens, Perry, Vinton, Hocking, Morrow and Meigs.

Years of liberal bag limits and heavy whitetail kills led to the proposals, which are designed to curtail the harvest in many traditional deer-heavy counties at least for one season, said wildlife biologist John “Clint” McCoy, a deer specialist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

“Most of those counties are basically where we want them to be in terms of population,” and further paring risks deer densities that are too low to satisfy hunters, he said.

Based on previous results, the elimination of antlerless permits is expected to have a “ significant impact” on reducing the harvest in the affected 78 counties in 2015-16, McCoy said.

Also in the works is the suspension of the October antlerless-only muzzleloader hunt. Moving into that weekend slot would be the statewide youth gun season, which previously was held on a weekend one week before the start of gun week. Harvests declined during the past two youth weekends in November.

“We’re trying to get youths in the woods at a time when they can enjoy a little more comfortable weather,” McCoy said.

An additional two-day gun season has been proposed to take place Dec. 26-27, when many hunters are on break from work. The statewide muzzleloader hunt would be held Jan. 2-5 under the proposals, which were announced last week.

“That’s a short window between the gun weekend and the muzzleloader hunt, but that’s only because it worked out that way this year,” McCoy said. “A year from now, the start of the muzzleloader hunt would fall on Jan. 8.”

One other proposed change is the addition of the .450 Marlin to the list of rifles using straight-walled ammunition that are legal during the statewide gun seasons, including the youth weekend.

Franklin and Delaware counties would be among six urban counties in which four deer permits can be used. One of the four may be an antlerless permit. The other four-permit counties are Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Lucas and Summit.

Antlerless permits would be legal in the

10 urban counties from the start of the archery season, Sept. 26, through the day before gun week, Nov. 29.

Three-deer counties include Licking, Union and Knox in central Ohio. As usual, only one buck may be taken each hunting year.

The wildlife division proposed that small-game hunting seasons should continue during the Dec. 26-27 gun weekend.

The proposals must be approved by the Ohio Wildlife Council. Open houses, which give the public an opportunity to offer comments about hunting, trapping and fishing regulations and wildlife issues, are scheduled on March 7 at wildlife district offices in Columbus, Akron, Findlay and Athens. Comments are accepted at the website through March 8.

A statewide hearing on the proposals is scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 19 at the wildlife District One office, 1500 Dublin Rd.

Coyotes and Low Deer Numbers

Posted: January 25, 2015 by gamegetterII in deer hunting
Tags: , ,

The whitetail harvest is down in multiple states and a big part of the reason why is coyote predation.

In areas with high ‘yote populations,fawn predation can be as high as 70%.

Think about that for a minute-say the area you hunt has an average deer population of 1,000 deer. A 70% predation rate means that 700 out of every 1,000 fawns get eaten by ‘yotes.

Combine the ‘yote predation with the EHD outbreaks a lot of midwestern and Appalachian states have seen in the past few years,and you now know what happened to all the deer.

When I started seriously deer hunting in the early 70’s as a kid,there were very few deer,then as the ‘burbs expanded,developers were forced to add “green space to new housing and industrial projects,cities increased the number of parks,and farming changed from small family farms to the big ag co-ops and corporations we see today,the combination provided plenty of food and shelter for deer.

In the late 70’s/early 80’s the Ohio deer population exploded,it peaked in the mid-to late90’s-we are now well past the peak,with deer numbers dropping due to a combination of DNR allowing overharvest of does for too many years,increasing EHD outbreaks,’yote predation,and in some states-CWD-the deer version of mad cow disease.

Many wildlife biologists have predicted a crash of the whitetail population. We are starting to see exactly that now.

There’s nothing we can do about EHD outbreaks,it’s hard to get state wildlife agencies to reduce doe harvest,due to farmers complaining about deer damaging crops,and insurance companies lobbying for even more does to be harvested-so they have to pay fewer claims from cars hitting deer.State wildlife agencies appear to be doing a decent job of slowing the spread of CWD-so that leaves the ‘yote problem.

Deer seasons are over or winding down just about everywhere now,’yotes breed in Feb. in NE Ohio,and Jan/Feb in most of the midwest and northern Appalachian states.

That means now’s the time to start huntin ‘yotes.

I keep posting about the ‘yote problem,because if we don’t lower the number of ‘yotes,we can all kiss deer hunting goodbye,it will be like it was in the 70’s when you hunted the week of gun season,and most people never saw a deer.

I know I like venison,and I know I can’t afford to buy the 150-200# of meat I get from deer hunting at the grocery store,so I want as many people as possible to shoot the ‘yotes.

It’s going to take a concerted effort from all deer hunters to lower the ‘yote numbers,so that the deer numbers go back up-if you do nothing-there will be very,very few deer within 2-3 years.

If you think you’ve been seeing fewer deer this year-wait ’till next year if no one is killing ‘yotes.

So get out there and start killing ’em.




Do More PT !

2014 Deer Kills in West Virginia Down 31 Percent

Posted: January 21, 2015 by gamegetterII in deer hunting

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The number of deer killed during West Virginia’s various seasons fell 31 percent last year compared with 2013.

The Division of Natural Resources says hunters killed 104,223 deer during the bucks-only, antlerless, muzzleloader, archery and youth/Class Q and Class XS deer seasons.

That’s down from 150,268 in 2013 and 23 percent below the five-year average of 136,168.

Last year’s deer total includes 37,766 killed during the buck firearm season, 39,514 during all antlerless firearm hunting opportunities, 21,653 deer during archery season and 5,290 deer during muzzleloader season.

Preston County had the most kills at 4,625, followed by Randolph County at 3,640, Mason County at 3,310, Lewis County at 3,147 and Upshur County at 2,959.

White-tailed deer fawns, by their youth and size, are an easy target for most coyotes.

Georgia researchers are taking part in a two-year study on coyotes in the Southeast.

Researchers in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina hope to figure out how to protect the fawn, to some extent, by studying coyote behavior.

“We would potentially try to see if we could make alterations to the environment to change how coyotes are behaving thereby influencing the probability that they will prey on fawns,” says Dr. Michael Chamberlain, a professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Georgia.

COLUMBUS, OH – Hunting is the best and most effective management tool for maintaining Ohio’s healthy deer population. Hunters harvested 13,726 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s 2015 muzzleloader season, Jan. 2-5, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Hunters harvested 16,464 deer during the 2014 deer-muzzleloader season.

Breakdown of the 2014 and 2015 deer harvest by county…

A list of white-tailed deer checked by hunters during the 2015 muzzleloader hunting season, Jan. 2-5, is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2015, and the 2014 numbers are in parentheses.

Adams: 277 (296); Allen: 57 (46); Ashland: 253 (283); Ashtabula: 323 (313); Athens: 335 (485); Auglaize: 38 (41); Belmont: 393 (561); Brown: 245 (233); Butler: 85 (104); Carroll: 341 (458); Champaign: 85 (83); Clark: 33 (55); Clermont: 168 (153); Clinton: 64 (52); Columbiana: 206 (379); Coshocton: 553 (630); Crawford: 59 (53); Cuyahoga: 3 (1); Darke: 28 (22); Defiance: 97 (74); Delaware: 53 (101); Erie: 37 (27); Fairfield: 141 (192); Fayette: 20 (27); Franklin: 29 (31); Fulton: 23 (30); Gallia: 281 (283); Geauga: 94 (96); Greene: 48 (58); Guernsey: 395 (652); Hamilton: 40 (60); Hancock: 63 (42); Hardin: 99 (80); Harrison: 321 (513); Henry: 32 (16); Highland: 243 (254); Hocking: 284 (362); Holmes: 264 (336); Huron: 147 (150); Jackson: 249 (265); Jefferson: 266 (472); Knox: 311 (391); Lake: 30 (20); Lawrence: 173 (229); Licking: 390 (511); Logan: 128 (130); Lorain: 126 (142); Lucas: 23 (16); Madison: 31 (27); Mahoning: 141 (162); Marion: 45 (42); Medina: 114 (137); Meigs: 404 (425); Mercer: 29 (28); Miami: 37 (45); Monroe: 244 (278); Montgomery: 33 (24); Morgan: 316 (361); Morrow: 88 (90); Muskingum: 445 (593); Noble: 272 (341); Ottawa: 24 (17); Paulding: 62 (51); Perry: 229 (294); Pickaway: 77 (47); Pike: 180 (187); Portage: 81 (109); Preble: 55 (100); Putnam: 26 (22); Richland: 241 (227); Ross: 301 (287); Sandusky: 51 (43); Scioto: 199 (196); Seneca: 122 (98); Shelby: 60 (82); Stark: 167 (202); Summit: 30 (48); Trumbull: 234 (222); Tuscarawas: 363 (592); Union: 41 (57); Van Wert: 22 (25); Vinton: 243 (392); Warren: 65 (91); Washington: 340 (402); Wayne: 137 (140); Williams: 86 (69); Wood: 47 (34) and Wyandot: 91 (69). Total: 13,726 (16,464).

Get out there and start shooting coyotes-every ‘yote you take gives a fawn a better chance of surviving it’s first year-the fawn that survives the 2015 fawn drop could be the 12 point hanging on your wall in 3 years.

Hunting ‘yotes makes you a better hunter,they are smart,sneaky,can see,hear,and smell you from a long way off-the better you get at shooting ‘yotes,the better deer hunter you become. Hunting ‘yotes lets you practice more than just shooting skills,it lets you practice your camo and concealment,your scent control,your noise discipline,and your stand/blind placement.

Remember-fewer ‘yotes mean more deer live to the 3-31/2 years it takes to produce a deer with good body weight,which means more meat per deer-and it’s the time it takes for bucks to develop a trophy rack.

Don’t forget,you can save the pelts,sell the fur,and cover your ammo,gas,and gear expenses.




Do More PT !

Totals for all Ohio deer hunting seasons,including archery up to 1/14/2015 are-

2013-14    186,347

2014-15   169,179

That’s a 9.21% drop.

Some of the well known counties that have had a 5,000 deer or so harvest saw drops of 15% or so.

Too many does being harvested,too much coyote predation,along with several localized EHD outbreaks in 2011,2012 and 2013.

Rumor has it that ODNR is going to change the county by county bag limits to WMU’s.

Not sure what good going to wildlife management units will do,the problems are just what I stated-

1) Too many does being harvested for too many years.

2) Coyote predation.

3) EHD outbreaks.

Unless you want to see a double digit reduction in the deer harvest-get out there and start shooting ‘yotes. The wildlife biologists all agree that concentrated efforts at reducing local ‘yote numbers is effective.

What this means is that you and all your friends who hunt deer need to get out and shoot as many ‘yotes as you can, from now until after fawns have been dropped and are up and able to run.

the ‘yotes will still get fawns-but if there’s less ‘yotes-that means they kill less fawns.

Fur prices make it worth it to skin,salt and save ‘yote hides-at least you can cover your ammo cost,along with the cost of gas to go to your hunting area and back home. You might even have enough left over to pay for next year’s hunting license and deer tags. Besides that-it’s good exercise,and keeps your shooting skills sharp. Also tests your skill at camo and concealment.

We put a hurtin on the ‘yote population in the county we mainly hunt in last winter and spring,as did a lot of other guys in the county-we only saw a 1.32% drop in deer harvest totals-and we still have until Feb. 1st to get deer with bow and arrow/crossbow.

There’s nothing we can do about EHD outbreaks,or the number of doe tags/number of does harvested,but we can do something about coyote predation-unless you want to see even less deer next fall/winter-get out there and start whackin’ as many ‘yotes as you can. Every ‘yote you kill improves fawn survival rates-go get as many as you can-they’re smart,they’re sneaky,and they can both see and smell humans from a long ways off. Use your muzzleloader for a challenge-use your bow or crossbow for an even bigger challenge.

It takes some effort and some skill to take ‘yotes,look at it as training,the better you get at taking ‘yotes-the better deer hunter you become-and the higher the rate of fawn survival.

We’re still deer hunting-as soon as bow season’s over,we’re gonna start whackin ‘yotes-you should do the same. If us deer hunters make a concentrated effort-we can bring the deer population back up in 2 seasons or less-if we don’t make an effort-we will continue to see drops in deer harvest totals-drops of 15-20% a year.

Go kill some ‘yotes !

This is why everyone who hunts deer needs to hunt coyotes. This past summer,in late June/early July, I found 3 fawns in one week that were hiding behind condos,two of them were behind the A-C units,since the people who live there,and the township cops ain’t too fond of gunshots in the condo complex-I called them to come and shoot the fawns to end their suffering. two of them had huge chunks missing from their hindquarters,and the wounds were infected-complete with maggots.The township cops told me that they had to shoot an average of 6 fawns a week that had been attacked by ‘yotes in May and June. Not sure how many they had to shoot the rest of the summer,as I was not working much in the area,and didn’t find any more wounded fawns behind homes.

In NE Ohiuo,between fawn and adult deer predation by ‘yotes,the EHD that hit hard in 2012,and last winters extended brutal cold-deer numbers are way down.

The only way to get the population to increase again is to take out as many ‘yotes as possible. Wildlife biologists say that ‘yotes can not be controlled state wide by hunting them-but they can be controlled in local areas,if enough of them are taken.

Whatever your favorite deer hunting area is-get as many guys and gals as you can to start hunting ‘yotes-no bag limit-no closed season. Makes for good target practice too. Another plus is in Ohio,you can hunt ‘yotes with rifles-not just the straight-walled rifle cartridges legal for deer hunting-any rifle caliber is legal for hunting ‘yotes.

I’m going to hunt them with my muzzleloader,then with my crossbow,then with my compound,then with my recurve. My youngest daughter is going to hunt them with a 30-30 to practice for deer hunting in W.Va next year,with her 20 gauge using deer slugs,and with a borrowed 45-70 since that’s legal for deer in Ohio.

Hopefully,we put enough of a hurtin’ on the ‘yote population to improve fawn survival rates by slowing ‘yote predation on the fawns and pregnant does.

If everyone does the same thing in their favorite hunting area-the deer population will rebound quickly-most of those wall-hanger bucks are only 3-3 1/2 years old.

We should all stop taking does,or at least only take one-not the 9 deer total bag limit-1 buck and 8 does- currently in effect for the state-that will help the deer population rebound faster,and cause ‘yote predation to have less of an effect on deer population.

Ohio Muzzleloader Season Starts-1/2/14-1/5/14

Posted: January 2, 2015 by gamegetterII in deer hunting

Since Muzzleloader season starts a half hour before sunrise,ends a half hour after sunset,and we’ve got an hour and 15 minute drive each way…posting will be light until Mon 1/5/14.

I may have time to do a couple posts in the evenings,or if I get another deer,I’m done for the year,as our freezer is filled to max capacity.

If my brother doesn’t get a deer,and I do,I’ll give him the venison from the one I get,if he does get one-I may just donate the doe I’m gonna shoot tomorrow or Sat. Ohio has a bunch of programs where you can donate venison,doesn’t cost you anything,you just have to drop the deer off at a processor.

We usually donate at least one deer to one of the programs,all the venison goes to help those who can’t buy groceries for whatever reason.

Donating venison also helps people have a better perception of hunters-every little bit helps because the anti-hunters never stop,now we have HSUS funding campaigns to get anti-hunting shit on the ballot. These people spend billions trying to get all hunting banned. Wayne Pacelle-prez of HSUS stated in public that his goals are to ban all hunting,and require everyone to become vegan.

HSUS gets billions in donations by scamming clueless people. They air ads on TV that make it appear that HSUS operates animal shelters-the fact is HSUS does not operate a single shelter-not one.

They just show pictures of mistreated and/or injured,starving pets-and poof-the $$$ rolls in.

After collecting the billions,they then try to get anti-hunting crap on the ballot with lies,half-truths and obfuscation-and the low info voters gladly vote for the garbage. Pacelle stated they are starting in Ca,then moving on to the rest of the states.

They never stop,they sneak shit into petitions,get the issues on the ballot-then bam-we can’t hunt mountain lions or bears with dogs,they’re trying to get hunting fox,raccoons and rabbits with dogs.

Once they get one thing banned-they just keep going,taking hunting rights away a little at a time.

What these clueless dolts do not comprehend is that the fewer hunting licenses and tags sold-the less money for wildlife conservation. Hunters fund over 90% of all wildlife conservation efforts in the USA. paid for every wildlife refuge in the refuge system,by buying duck stamps, both state and fed.

Remember this as you’re sitting in a treestand or a blind as this hunting season winds down.

Think about joining or donating to Ducks Unlimited,Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation,National Wild Turkey Federation,Ruffed Grouse Society,Pheasants Forever-there’s a bunch more,along with lots of local and state groups/orgs.

Anyone who likes to hunt,and wants to pass the tradition on to their kids should be donating $$ or labor to one of these groups/orgs-it helps balance out the horsepucky spread by HSUS,PETA,Center for Biological Diversity,World Wildlife Fund,Wild Earth Guardians,Defender of Wildlife,and on and on and on.

Good luck to anyone hunting the Ohio muzzleloader season !




Do More PT !

Since most of us ate way too much,and drank way too much over the holidays-do some extra PT !