Posts Tagged ‘bowhunting’

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.”
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Here in N.E. Ohio,the whitetail rut usually peaks right around November 15th.

There’s probably more deer killed on November 15th than any other day of the deer hunting season.

But that’s quantity,that’s not what you want-you want quality-as in the biggest,baddest buck in the area you hunt-you want the dominant buck.

There will be a few challengers around the dominant buck the last two weeks of Oct.

Now is the time to find those few biggest,baddest bucks in the area,as they’ll be fighting and settling which of the big boys is going to be the dominant buck during this year’s rut.

You should know what the food source is in your area,corn and soybeans are being harvested,so try not to focus too much on ag fields-unless they’ve been harvested recently.

Modern farming equipment leaves quite a bit of food for the critters in the fields. Deer will feed in a recently harvested field for at least a week-there’s always some stray ears of corn or some soybeans laying in the fields. There’s enough to keep them coming to the field every evening for at least a few days-usually a week to ten days.

Around here,once acorns start to drop-deer will eat acorns above all other food sources,as they are high in proteins and fats,and winter is fast approaching.

There’s one problem with that in a lot of N.E. Ohio-the cicadas caused a lot of the ends of oak branches to fall off the trees,as the female lays her eggs under the bark,the larvae feed on the wood,then the branch ends turn brown and drop to the ground.The ends of oak branches are where the acorns come from,so…there’s not going to be many acorns in a large part of N.E. Ohio.Yeah,it only affects those of us who live here-but pretty much all of the eastern U.S. gets the cicadas every 7 or 17 years-or both.

Something to think about in the future for those of you who don’t live in N.E. Ohio.

So,if there’s not many acorns-what are the deer going to eat? They’ll hit ag fields hard,then they’ll go for crabapples,apples,any decent greenery that’s not all fiber and no proteins or fats. Deer naturally eat some grasses,weeds,small trees,evergreen trees,and fruits,like apples,pears,blackberries,and grapes-deer love grapes,anyone who’s from or been to N.E. Ohio knows there’s tons of grapevines in our woods.

I’ve already seen plenty of signs of the deer hitting grapevines hard,not 100% sure,but I think they pull on the vines to try and shake some grapes loose. Deer also eat greenbriar,and young maple,dogwood,and sassafrass trees,they’ll eat chestnuts over acorns when both are available-but there’s not many chestnut trees around here. We do have buckeye trees,and I’ve seen deer eat the buckeyes. I don’t know if they wait until the very sharp,prickly outer husk falls off the buckeyes,or if they step on them to get the buckeyes out.

If you aren’t sure what the main food sources are in the area you hunt-contact a wildlife biologist from your state fish and game agency-O.D.N.R. in Ohio-and they’ll be happy to help you out.

Once you have the current food sources located-something you should already know-figure out the nearest bedding areas,and the nearest water sources-something else you should already kow.

Pick several stand locations,so you’ll be able to hunt no matter which way the wind is blowing.

Remember,this time of year,deer are starting to become mostly nocturnal,so you need to hunt mostly at dawn and dusk-except when the rut kicks off-deer are somewhat unpredictable during the rut,but still move mostly at dawn and dusk.

That’s why a some of your stand/blind sites should be between a bedding area and a food or water source,that the deer will be either going to the bedding area-(morning hunts)-or coming from the bedding area-(evening hunts).

Around mid October,bucks start making scrapes. Finding the scrapes will let you find out which bucks are making them-set up a stand or blind along a field edge that has plenty of young trees along it,that’s where they’ll make scrapes,and that’s how you’ll find the big guys.

Around Oct 21st,you can increase your chances of seeing and taking a big buck by making a fake scrape line-I wrote about the techniques Here and Here and Here

It works-plus your fake scrape line will get the attention of the dominant buck,and a couple of the up and coming younger bucks that are right behind the dominant buck in the deer “pecking order”. Deer,especially bucks as the rut approaches-want to know “who” the deer is that made your fake scrape line-and they’ll be checking it out at dawn and dusk.

Starting the last week of Oct.-(for N.E. Ohio)-I start using a grunt tube and estrous bleat can. The calls work-just don’t overdo it early in the season,once November 1st rolls around-use them every 10-15 minutes. I’ll use the grunt tube,then wait 5 minutes,and use the bleat can. Then,after a half hour or so,I’ll repeat the calls.

Last week of October is also the time to rattle,rattling works best from late October,until mid November.

I stopped using real antlers,I just use either the fake antlers,or the pieces of wood that come in a bag-both sound damn near like the real thing. Rattle loudly,and really crack the antlers-or the pieces of wood together-remember,when two bucks fight-you’ve got 150-200+ pound of deer cracking antlers with another 150-200 pound plus deer-they are loud. That’s why you want to really make some noise when you rattle.

I hope this helps someone out-you can look up deer hunting under the categories to the left of the page-click on deer hunting,and there are quite a few posts I did about deer hunting. I’ve been hunting since I was about 10 years old-started out going with my dad-at 16 I was hunting by myself-I was 16 in the 70’s-I’ve got a lot of years in the woods whackin’ deer. Well over 40 years-pushing 50 years hunting deer. That’s counting from when I was 10.

Scouting the area you hunt,finding the food and water sources, knowing what the main food source is at what time of year,and picking good stand/blind locations is at least 90% of what leads to a successful deer hunting season. Sure,there’s guys and ladies who by pure luck and chance get a big buck-but for them,it’s probably the only big buck they’ll ever get. Those of us who consistently whack a deer every year get the deer every year because we put in the time and effort to have the right blind/stand in the right place,at the right time of year.

I don’t use trail cameras-they only tell you where the deer were-not where they are,or are going to be. To successfully use trail cameras-you need at least a dozen of ’em,and I ain’t spending that kind of $$$ on trail cameras-that’s a new bow,a new archery target,a couple pairs of new boots-etc,etc.

I also no longer use tree stand-deer are so used to them that they now look up as they’re walking through the woods. Deer never looked up in the 70’s and 80’s,all it took was enough missed shots,and the deer knew there were guys in the trees in the fall,so while they’re looking up in the trees-I’m behind some camo burlap sitting on a hunting stool. I’ve had does and young bucks walk by the blind and they were less than 10 yards away.

Get out in the woods-get your blinds/stands set up-get a couple spots picked out for your fake scrape lines-make the scrape lines the last week of Oct. and chances are,you’ll get that big buck long before gun season gets here and scatters the deer all over the place for half of December.

*One last tip-figure out the date the rut peaked in your area-then 28 days later the does that did not get bred come into estrous again-so there’s a second,less intense rut,but grunt tubes and bleat cans work well during the second rut.*

Read. Learn.

Train.

Do more PT !

This is a re-post of something I wrote last year…

I wrote about this last year Here and Here and Here
*since I wrote those posts last year,I’ve seen 8-10 bucks raking antlers on branches above their scrapes-was too busy hunting to write up a new post on the subject during last year’s rut.*
I’m putting lots of hunting info up long before deer season gets underway.
It’s now September 12th-Ohio’s archery season for deer starts on September 26th-that’s two weeks away people-get out there and get set up,only a month or so away from the time to be making fake scrape lines-so read up on it…
Via Field & Stream Here
Minnesota whitetail nut Billy Jerowski is a fair-minded, modern husband—one whose manhood isn’t threatened by doing dishes or hanging laundry. But he never imagined his domestic experience would improve his deer hunting. That is until after he’d been watching numerous bucks work scrapes, when it dawned on him that the licking branch doesn’t have to be parallel to the ground. “I realized that bucks love getting their antlers up into anything—a deadfall or a vine—whether it hangs vertically or horizontally,” he says. “That got me to thinking.”
The Scrape Line
Always ready to experiment, Jerowski drove to his hunting area and strung a wire tightly between two trees, like a clothesline. To this wire, he hung short lengths of rope, a green tree branch, even a section of grapevine. “I roughed up some dirt below the wire to start the scrape,” he says. “But I doubt I needed to. The bucks just hammered those overhanging ‘branches.’ When I came back to check my experiment, the little scrapes I started under each had been hit so many times they’d melded into one giant scrape.”
Jerowski feels his technique trumps the standard mock scrape for several reasons. “First, I can put it wherever I need it—no need to find the right tree, with the perfect overhanging branch,” he says. Second, hanging several different “branch” materials seems to ensure that a buck will become interested in at least one. “Bucks are curious, and once one starts getting his antlers up into one branch and pawing the ground, it isn’t long before other bucks are in on the action, and hitting all of them.”
Hang Tight
When it comes to constructing this mock scrape line, the keys are “tight and strong,” says Jerowski. Bucks can pull down a light line easily, so use strong wire, cable, or a stout rope. Stretch it tightly between two trees, and tie it securely. “To attach the hanging vines or branches, I use zip-ties and I make sure they’re cinched down tight or bucks will pull them off,” he says. “You can scrape up the ground to get bucks started, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Once they start working those hanging ‘branches,’ the scraping comes naturally. In a couple of weeks you’ll have a super scrape right where you need it to be.”

Sit Tight

Where you hang your “scrape line” should be determined by the best possible stand location. Start by picking a tree that offers a good combination of cover and shooting lanes. Then look for another similarly good stand tree nearby that will allow you to hunt a totally different wind. If you position your mock scrape line so you can shoot to it from either tree, you’ll have a buck magnet you can hunt in almost any breeze, and one that’ll stay hot right through the start of the rut.
Read.
Learn.
Train.
Do more PT !

First-
Now’s the time to step up your target practice.
I go from my 18-36 arrows a day all summer,to shooting 36 arrows twice a day,morning and close to last  legal shooting light,which is one half hour after sunset here in Ohio.
You have to go by the ODNR’s sunrise-sunset tables-not other sources,their tables are the legal hunting times,if you use the times in the newspaper,or online sources,then you may be off by several minutes.
That could lead to large fines and/or suspension of hunting license/right to hunt.
Plus,if your hunting privileges are suspended in Ohio-they are also suspended in the rest of the U.S. except for two states-New Jersey and Nebrasaka- due to the Interstate Wildlife Violater Compact
Your blind or stand should be already set up if you hunt private land,shooting lanes cut,and blind/stand “brushed in” using the branches you trimmed for your shooting lanes.
Now is also the time to start putting out corn if you feed the deer where you hunt.
You should have had mineral blocks out since early spring,as it helps with antler growth,and provides deer nutrients that are lacking in the natural foods available.
I keep blocks out all year,in spring I put out one of the “rack rock” type blocks made for antler growth. In fall,I put out apple,sugar beet, and acorn scented blocks. Once the rut is over,I add blocks as needed,but switch to stockman’s blocks available at your local feed store-or farm supply,Tractor Supply,etc. This helps provide the newly pregnant does with a boost in nutrients.
If you put out corn,and don’t use a feeder,spread it out,rather than make one big pile,as it will help prevent deer from passing diseases to other deer when spread out. If you just dump corn in a big pile,the deer can transmit diseases to other deer.
I hunt a 70 acre or so private property,and we do mange the deer as much as possible,which is why we put out food and mineral blocks. Over the years,there have been some monster sized deer taken there,both in body size,and antler size. There’s only 4 people who regularly hunt the property,and another 4 guys we let hunt gun season. Usually it’s no more than 4 people hunting on any given day of the season.
The property is surrounded by ag fields-most years it’s about half corn,half soybeans-this year for some reason,it’s all soybeans.
That’s good for us-the beans will be off the fields before the rut kicks in,and there will be no standing corn during gun season.
I also put out apples from the time they start dropping of the trees,up until the end of muzzleloader season in Jan. since I get them for free from a neighbor. If you have local apple orchards,ask the owners,they’ll usually give you extra or bruised,wormy,,etc apples for free or a really reduced price.
I freeze a bunch for us later in the season,the deer still eat them,and when there’s snow on the ground,some apples spread around 30 yards or so from your blind will draw hungry deer in from all over the area.
I hunt a lot on public land,where you can’t put out any kind of bait,no corn,no apples,no mineral blocks.
No big deal,deer travel the same trails all the time,the key to finding deer on public land is to find the major trails,then find the bedding areas,the water sources,and the food sources. Deer have to drink water at least twice a day,usually soon after they move from their beds,and again after feeding.
When you find the trails,anywhere from 5-15 yards from the main trails-you will find smaller,less used trails.
These are the older buck’s trails,yearling bucks usually still travel with the does up until the rut begins.
Find a spot near a water source,a food source,or on the trail the deer use to get to the bedding areas.
Deer feed all night during hunting season,if you set up near a bedding area,and are trying to get a deer heading to bed-you have to be able to get to your blind long before first light,and do it without spooking deer.
I usually use the opposite approach-I set up far enough away from the bedding area that I can get to me blind any time during the day,and try to get the deer as they move out of the bedding area.
If you find the food source,pick a spot that’s either still back in the woods a little,or right at the edge of a field.
When there’s a lot of acorns on the ground,deer aren’t going to eat much of anything else,so concentrate on water sources and trails to and from bedding areas.
The single most important thing you can do is get out in the woods,and see what the deer are doing where you hunt,there’s no substitute for scouting-none.
I don’t use trail cameras,because unless you own a huge farm/property,and have dozens of cameras,all you’ll find out is where the deer were,not where they are,where they’re going,what they’re eating,where they’re bedding-which are the things you need to know to be where the deer will be after you get in your stand/blind.
You have to pay close attention to wind direction-and have more than one stand or blind set up so you have another choice if the wind is not blowing towards your stand or blind. I have 4 locations,so I’m covered every day I hunt. The public land that I hunt-I also hunt different spots when the wind is from different directions. The best public land was hit with a severe EHD outbreak in 2012,we didn’t see a single deer hunting that gun season at the Ladue public hunting area,and we hunted it for 5 days. This year should be good there,as the 2013 fawns will be 3 1/2 now,2014 fawns 2 1/2. Next year will probably be better at Ladue,as there should be plenty of 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year old bucks.
I’ll probably hunt there at least 2 days of gun season this year,just to see what the deer numbers are like.
Deer can smell you from a long ways off,unless you are hunting in an area where they are used to people-like the suburbs-they aren’t going to come within bow range if they smell you.
Use the wind to your advantage,I also will take a trash bag into the wods with me a couple weeks before hunting season,and pack it full of leaves and twigs from the area I’m going to hunt.
Then I put the leaves into paper bags,and put them in plastic bins with all my hunting gear.
I’ve been doing this for years-it works,I’ve had deer walk right by me when I’m in an ground blind and the wind shifted so it was blowing at my back-and they still didn’t smell me.
I don’t use the scent control clothing or products-my method has worked just fine for over 40 years-why change it now?
I would rather spend the $$$ I save by not paying extra for scent control clothing and products on new broadheads,arrows,and crossbow bolts.
Wear camo that matches your surroundings-wearing solid earth tone colors is better than wearing something like woodland camo in Ohio in November.
Either wear some kind of face mask,or use camo face paint-deer recognize the shape of a human face-so hide your face.
Don’t hike around the woods during the day once deer season starts-stay put. As long as you picked a good location,the deer will come to you. If you are hunting public land,there’s enough people moving in and out of the woods  to push deer right to you,another reason to sit still,stay in your blind.
Pack enough snacks plus a lunch,bring plenty of water,and if you’re like me-pack a thermos of coffee.
Make sure you have some surgical gloves,hand soap-I use an empty one of the 99 cents at the qucikie mart hand sanitizer bottles filed with Dial antibacterial hand soap-plus hand sanitizer,and a towel/washcloth to wash your hands after to field dress your deer.
Either buy a deer drag,or make your own-I just use an 18″ piece of 3/4″ oak dowel rod that I tie my rope to,makes it much easier to drag the deer.

Ohio deer hunting regs/info…

White-tailed Deer Hunting

Species Opening Date Closing Date Daily Bag Limit
Archery September 24, 2016 February 5, 2017 The statewide bag limit is six deer. Only one may be antlered. You cannot exceed an individual county bag limit .

Refer to the Deer Hunting Section for details on zone and bag limits.

Deer Youth Gun November 19, 2016 November 20, 2016
Gun November 28, 2016 December 4, 2016
December 17, 2016 December 18, 2016
Muzzleloader January 7, 2017 January 10, 2017

The statewide bag limit is six deer. Only one may be antlered. You cannot exceed an individual county bag limit.
No more than two deer may be taken from a two deer county during the 2016-2017 deer hunting season. Both deer need to be tagged with an either-sex permit. The antlerless permit is not valid in a two deer county.
No more than three deer may be taken from a three deer county during the 2016-2017 deer hunting season. The antlerless permit is not valid in most three deer counties. Check the antlerless permit map on this page to determine if the antlerless permit is valid in the county where you hunt. One deer may be tagged with an antlerless permit in specific three deer counties, and two deer may be tagged with either-sex permits. The antlerless permit is not valid in specific counties after Nov. 27, 2016. Three deer may be tagged with either-sex permits if the antlerless permit is not valid or not used.
No more than four deer may be taken from a four deer county during the 2016-2017 deer hunting season. One deer may be tagged with an antlerless permit and three deer may be tagged with an either-sex permit. The antlerless permit is not valid in specific counties after Nov. 27, 2016. Four deer may be tagged with either-sex permits if the antlerless permit is not used.

Two Deer County Three Deer County Three Deer County Four Deer County
A hunter may kill no more than two deer in a two deer county during the 2016-2017 season. A hunter may kill no more than three deer in a three deer county during the 2016-2017 season. A hunter may kill no more than three deer in a three deer county during the 2016-2017 season. A hunter may kill no more than four deer in a four deer county during the 2016-2017 season.
Up to two either-sex permits. Up to three either-sex permits. Up to two either-sex permits and one antlerless permit.
– OR –
Up to three either-sex permits.
Up to three either-sex permits and one antlerless permit.
– OR –
Up to four either-sex permits. 
Antlerless permits are NOT valid. Antlerless permits are NOT valid.


I’ll do a post on stand/blind site selection in the next day or two.
If you haven’t been out in the woods yet,get out there,boot leather in the woods and fields equals venison in the freezer.

Ladue should have decent deer hunting this year for those of you around here…

LaDue Public Hunting Area

More info on Ladue here

The increase came even as the state lowered bag limits

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio wildlife officials say good weather and other factors led to an increase in the number of deer killed by hunters this past season.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says hunters checked 188,335 white-tailed deer dating back to the opening of archery season in the fall. That’s up from the 175,745 deer checked during the 2014-2015 season.
The increase came even as the state lowered bag limits and eliminated antlerless permit use in most counties. Coshocton and Licking counties produced the most tagged deer.
The state says that until recently deer populations in nearly all of Ohio’s counties were well above the wildlife agency’s goal. In the last few years, the population in most counties has been brought down to near the goals.

Why Was this Bow Hunter Threatened for Teaching Kids How to Hunt?

The anti-hunting crowd has once again proven that they are far more violent than the hunters they seem to hate so much.

Jen “The Archer” Cordaro, a prominent, female bow hunter from California revealed in a recent interview that she has received death threats after teaching children how to hunt.

“The initial reaction to the ‘Bring a Kid’ campaign actually was all positive,” said Cordaro on The Palin Update with Kevin Scholla. “I have more letters from kids than I can keep up with.”

However, it wasn’t long before the anti-hunting crowd found out about the campaign and the usual violent, hate filled threats followed shortly thereafter.

“People want to murder my first born child,” Cordaro said. “I don’t have any kids, but that’s pretty scary to think about.”

“What I really haven’t talked to the media about at all is the things that are happening at my home and my place of employment,” said Cordaro. “So the death threats and the harassment and vandalism has gone beyond social media at this point. I’m dealing with it every day in my mailbox, at my house, on my car, at my work. Because they’re very close to home the proper authorities are involved at this point … I’m not stopping. There’s no reason for me to stop. If I stop they win.”

Source

*** This was written in Feb. 2015,and I had saved to post last year,but just now found it again.

It’s still relevant,as it points out the evil sh*t anti-hunting zealots do.

 

 

Ohio Deer Harvest

Posted: December 27, 2015 by gamegetterII in deer hunting, hunting
Tags: , , , , ,

According to the ODNR,the 2015-2016 deer season harvest is up slightly…
Up by 3,742 over last year,however,the deer season was changed,there was no
Oct. doe only muzzleloader season
plus there’s an extra two days of gun season,tomorrow and Tues.
The muzzleloader season is a week later than last year as well.
Jan. 9th-12th is this year’s muzzleloader season.
We hunted 5 of the 7 days of gun season,and never saw a deer in gun range.
We hunt in Ashland county,the harvest there is almost the same as last year,
there’s an eight deer difference.
The ODNR apparently listened to us hunters at the meetings they held last year,
when we said there were way too many does being harvested,and deer numbers
were way down from the year before,and have been dropping for the years-as
antlerless permits were only sold in ten counties.

2015/16 Deer Harvest Totals

The 2013/14 and 2014/15 deer harvest totals here

There’s still plenty of time to get a deer,and get some venison in your freezer,
we have the 2 days of gun season,the four days of muzzeloader season,
and the archery season is open ’till Feb 7th.
What’s important to deer now is food and cover,they need more food because
it’s colder,and the bucks are still recovering from the rut.
For morning hunts,set up so you can catch the deer coming back to the
bedding area,for evening hunts,set up so you catch them going from
bedding area to food source. If there’s a water source  between the bedding
area and the food source-that’s the perfect spot to set up-as the deer will
drink water on their way to the food source and on their way back to the bedding area.

Read.

Learn.

Train.

Do more PT.

Sportsmen often quote Theodore Roosevelt’s comments on hunting and conservation, but his views on sporting life went far beyond his spoken words. Through his writings and actions, Roosevelt laid down fundamental guidelines that every hunter can learn from, if not totally agree with.

TR's Rules to Hunt By

In The Wilderness Hunter and Hunting Trips of a Ranchman, Roosevelt expressed his opinions on hunting big game across North America. In African Game Trails, he visited the Dark Continent and blended local opinions with his views from the American West. Though some of his viewpoints were colored by his time period, many are timeless lessons that every hunter can draw wisdom from.

The Cardinal Sin

“On this day I got rather tired, and committed one of the blunders of which no hunter ought ever to be guilty; that is, I fired at small game while on ground where I might expect large.”

— T. Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman

Roosevelt was after bighorn sheep when three jackrabbits crossed his path. He had previously written about the wariness a hunter needed to pursue sheep, but not seeing game for some time had left his trigger finger itching badly.

He wrote that one rabbit practically begged to be shot, being “perched on a bush, and with its neck stretched up.”

He knelt, fired, missed, and instantly regretted his hasty decision—off in the distance an animal stirred and disappeared without Roosevelt or his companion ever learning if it was a sheep or not.

When you target a species to hunt, stick to that animal.

Never Give Up

“I fired into the bull’s shoulder, inflicting a mortal wound; but he went off, and I raced after him at top speed, firing twice into his flank; then he stopped, very sick, and I broke his neck with a fourth bullet.” 

— T. Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter

Elk are infamous for absorbing lead like a sponge and offering no visible reaction in return. In this 21st Century age of one-shot kills and long-range shooting, many hunting guides are frustrated by their clients’ refusal to anchor elk with follow-up shots. The first shot hits perfectly behind the shoulder and the shooter takes a victory lap, leaving the guide to watch as the bull races off to parts unknown.

Roosevelt had poor eyesight and sometimes reached beyond his effective shooting range, but if he had cartridges left and the animal was still in sight he never stopped firing till the animal was secured.

There’s always hope as long as there’s lead in the air.

Measure Distances Accurately

“Distances are deceptive on the bare plains under the African sunlight. I saw a fine Grant[‘s gazelle], and stalked him in a rain squall; but the bullets from the little Springfield fell short as he raced away to safety; I had underestimated the range.”

— T. Roosevelt, African Game Trails

Theodore Roosevelt didn’t have mil-dots, rangefinders, or computerized scopes, but if he had he might have chosen to use them. Some hunters disdain technology and feel it has no place in the grand tradition of hunting, but within reason it can a blessing and not a curse. Make small changes to your equipment list, like a rangefinder, and see if the accuracy is worth the electronic convenience.

Hunting with or without modern devices is a personal choice. However, don’t let nostalgia rob you of the chance at more, and more ethical, shots.

Don’t Play The Numbers Game

“The mere size of the bag indicates little as to a man’s prowess as a hunter, and almost nothing as to the interest or value of his achievement.”

— T. Roosevelt, African Game Trails

Roosevelt and his son Kermit kept only a dozen or so of the 512 African animals they killed while on safari. The vast majority of the animals went to museums as exhibit specimens or were used for meat. He wrote that the two had not killed even a hundredth of the animals they could have if they had been willing.

As a foreign dignitary and arguably the most popular man in the world at the time, the only bag limit imposed on him in colonial Africa was the one within his own conscience. Roosevelt knew a full bag limit doesn’t necessarily mean a full day.

Judge your days afield on the memories made, not the shots fired.

Be Sure of Your Target

“The cowboy’s chapfallen face was a study; he had seen, in the dim light, the two ponies going down with their heads held near the ground, and had mistaken them for bears … He knew only too well the merciless chaff to which he would be henceforth exposed; and a foretaste of which he at once received from my companion.”

— T. Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman

– See more at: http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/2015-1/article/trs-rules-to-hunt-by#sthash.eqpmF2S0.dpuf

Ohio’s archery season starts in two weeks.

That means you’ve only got two weeks left to target shoot.

You should be shooting at first and last light as much as possible,and wearing the clothes you will wear hunting.

Get out in the woods,check your stand/blind set-ups-you picked your stand/blind locations and cut shooting lanes back in August right?

You already cleared debris and sticks/branches from the trails to your blind/stands right?

You already know the distances to the most likely areas the deer will approach from right?

You can already put all 6 arrows into 6″ or less from those distances,right?

You already know where all the food and water sources and bedding areas are in relation to your stands/blinds,right?

You know what stands/blinds to hunt depending on wind direction right?

You know which stands/blinds you can NOT hunt in early morning or late evening because the sun will be in your eyes,right?

Where it’s legal,you already have salt/mineral blocks out right?

Where it’s legal,you have corn in feeders already setup and filled,right?

You already planted fall/winter food plots with a variety of grains and brassicas right?

You already washed all your hunting clothing and let them hang outside for a day,right?

Then you put said clothing in a clean plastic bin(s) with some pine cones,and pine,oak, or cedar branches in several small paper bags spread out among the clothes in the bin(s),right?

Your early-season hunting boots are in the same bin,right? Already waterproofed and aired out for a few days,right?

Your day pack is in the same bin(s) too,right?And your rain gear?

Got a map of the area you plan to hunt,a compass,fire starting kit,first aid kit, etc. in your day pack right?

Along with all the stuff I wrote about last year in this post,right?

If for whatever reason,you made a bad shot on a deer,you do know how to track a wounded deer,right? If not,read this I wrote that last year also.

You know how to process your deer like I wrote about Here, and Here ,right?

Get out in the woods-scout your hunting area,find all the deer trails,water and food sources,bedding areas,and the trails between bedding area and water source,food source and water source,food source,water source and bedding areas. Pay attention to what the deer eat at what time of year,plant winter food plots where legal-and you’ll have a shot at a late season buck as his body is seriously nutrient depleted  from the rut,and he’ll be drawn to high quality food after the rut has ended. The same food plot will attract does as well,so you have no excuse for not filling your freezer with venison this year !

If you want the local deer herd to remain at optimum numbers of deer-shoot every coyote you see during deer season-shoot enough of them,and the furs will cover your hunting costs for the year!

Fewer ‘yotes mean more deer,studies have shown coyote predation can kill up to 90% of whitetail fawns in areas with a lot of ‘yotes-eastern coyotes are an invasive species,as such,they need to be extirpated.

If there are feral hogs in your area-shoot every one of those you see as well-they eat many of the same foods deer eat.

Feral hogs are an invasive species as well-extirpate them-look at them as bacon on the hoof !

Get out in the woods,get your blinds/stands ready,clear debris from trails you use to and from your blinds/stands-shoot arrows every day,make sure your broadheads are razor sharp,use a safety harness if you hunt from a treestand!

Hunt safely,hunt smart,know your quarry’s habits-if you want to take a big buck,you have to get out in the woods and work for it-it ain’t like the hunting shows on the tee-vee!

Read.

Learn.

Train.

Do more PT!

I wrote about this last year Here and Here and Here

*since I wrote those posts last year,I’ve seen 8-10 bucks raking antlers on branches above their scrapes-was too busy hunting to write up a new post on the subject during last year’s rut.*

I’m putting lots of hunting info up long before deer season gets underway.

It’s now September 12th-Ohio’s archery season for deer starts on September 26th-that’s two weeks away people-get out there and get set up,only a month or so away from the time to be making fake scrape lines-so read up on it…

Via Field & Stream Here

Minnesota whitetail nut Billy Jerowski is a fair-minded, modern husband—one whose manhood isn’t threatened by doing dishes or hanging laundry. But he never imagined his domestic experience would improve his deer hunting. That is until after he’d been watching numerous bucks work scrapes, when it dawned on him that the licking branch doesn’t have to be parallel to the ground. “I realized that bucks love getting their antlers up into anything—a deadfall or a vine—whether it hangs vertically or horizontally,” he says. “That got me to thinking.”

The Scrape Line
Always ready to experiment, Jerowski drove to his hunting area and strung a wire tightly between two trees, like a clothesline. To this wire, he hung short lengths of rope, a green tree branch, even a section of grapevine. “I roughed up some dirt below the wire to start the scrape,” he says. “But I doubt I needed to. The bucks just hammered those overhanging ‘branches.’ When I came back to check my experiment, the little scrapes I started under each had been hit so many times they’d melded into one giant scrape.”

Jerowski feels his technique trumps the standard mock scrape for several reasons. “First, I can put it wherever I need it—no need to find the right tree, with the perfect overhanging branch,” he says. Second, hanging several different “branch” materials seems to ensure that a buck will become interested in at least one. “Bucks are curious, and once one starts getting his antlers up into one branch and pawing the ground, it isn’t long before other bucks are in on the action, and hitting all of them.”

Hang Tight
When it comes to constructing this mock scrape line, the keys are “tight and strong,” says Jerowski. Bucks can pull down a light line easily, so use strong wire, cable, or a stout rope. Stretch it tightly between two trees, and tie it securely. “To attach the hanging vines or branches, I use zip-ties and I make sure they’re cinched down tight or bucks will pull them off,” he says. “You can scrape up the ground to get bucks started, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Once they start working those hanging ‘branches,’ the scraping comes naturally. In a couple of weeks you’ll have a super scrape right where you need it to be.”

Sit Tight

Where you hang your “scrape line” should be determined by the best possible stand location. Start by picking a tree that offers a good combination of cover and shooting lanes. Then look for another similarly good stand tree nearby that will allow you to hunt a totally different wind. If you position your mock scrape line so you can shoot to it from either tree, you’ll have a buck magnet you can hunt in almost any breeze, and one that’ll stay hot right through the start of the rut.

Read.

Learn.

Train.

Do more PT !