Posts Tagged ‘bowhunting’

Via Outdoor Life

Photograph by Ron Spomer

The proliferation of rifles and scopes that make a 1,000-yard shot a genuine possibility in a hunting scenario suggests to me that many hunters have given up on the very thing that separates hunting from target shooting: the stalk.

The range at which you stop stalking and start shooting is determined by your confidence and your desire for a rush of adrenaline. Getting close to game produces a buzz akin to that of skydiving or your first kiss. Stalking close can be the biggest thrill of the hunt, so why deny yourself? Here are the keys to getting closer to game:

1) Work the wind 
Scent will always give you away, but that doesn’t mean you must work straight into the wind. Crosswinds are fine, and quartering winds are okay if they’resteady enough. Pay attention to landforms that block and funnel currents. Cold breezes hug the ground and drift down draws and around ridges. Hot air rises. Hills and cliffs block wind and redirect it. Pay attention to moving grasses, leaves, plant down, and spiderwebs riding the currents. Don’t start a stalk if the wind isn’t in your favor.

2) Note what your quarry is doing
Sleeping? Time is on your side. Feeding? It’s at least momentarily distracted. Walking? It could soon be out of range, so move quickly.

3) Plan your approach
Study the lay of the land. You might find that if you backtrack a mile to get behind a ridge, it might then cover you to within spitting distance. Or you might be able to to crawl behind a series of rocks and shrubs, one leading safely to the next.

Read the rest @ Outdoor Life

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.)

Here in Ohio,bow season starts Sept.29th,other states have similar starting dates,most by mid Oct. at the latest.

Ohio deer  seasons-

White-tailed Deer Hunting

Species Opening Date Closing Date Daily Bag Limit
Archery September 26, 2015 February 7, 2016 Refer to the Deer Hunting Section for details on zone and bag limits.
Gun
November 30, 2015 December 6, 2015
December 28, 2015 December 29, 2015
Muzzleloader
January 9, 2016 January12,2016

More info @  http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/hunting-trapping-and-shooting-sports/hunting-trapping-regulations/deer-hunting-regulations

W. Va deer seasons-

Archery-Sept 26th-Dec 31st

More info-

Click to access Deer_Season.pdf

Pa deer seasons-

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 19- Nov. 28 and Dec. 26-Jan. 23, 2016. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. One antlered deer per hunting license year.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Oct. 3-Nov. 14 and Dec. 26-Jan. 9. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

More info @ http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=576240&mode=2

  • don’t forget-Pa has elk hunting!

Michigan deer seasons-

*Archery: Oct. 1 – Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 – Jan. 1

More info @ http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10363-312005–,00.html

Kentucky deer seasons-

More info @ http://fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Pages/Deer-Hunting-Zones-and-Seasons.aspx

Indiana deer seasons-

Archery Season – Oct. 1, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016

2 antlerless deer OR 1 antlered and 1 antlerless deer (AND bonus antlerless county quota)

More info @ http://www.eregulations.com/indiana/hunting/deer-seasons-licenses-equipment/

That covers Ohio and surrounding states. The rest of the country has similar hunting seasons-some start earlier,some start later-but they all start in the fall.

You should have your blind/stand locations scouted out,shooting lanes cut,and your trail in and out raked clear of leaves,sticks,branches,etc. with any overhanging branches trimmed,along with any low branches from small trees,and briars and berry bushes that protrude onto the trail cut off at ground level.

Save all that stuff you trim to brush in your blind or stand. If it’s legal in your state-put out fresh mineral blocks and salt blocks now.

Increase the number of arrows you shoot each day,because as the season starts,you’ll be in the woods,and not practicing as much. I shoot a minimum of 6 groups of 6 arrows a day now,and at least 3 days a week,I shoot 12 groups of 6 arrows-6 in the morning,6 in the evening. At least 2 days a week,I shoot my 6 groups of arrows at last legal shooting light-(half hour after sunset here) Everyone needs to do this-because if there’s any issues with your sights – it’s better to find out now,and have time to fix the problem than it is to find out when you draw your bow on that big buck-and you can’t see shit.

If you hunt private land,and can get your stand/blind set up now-set it up-that way the deer get used to it,and don’t see it as a threat.

If you use trail cameras-you should have had them up in July. If you don’t have them up-get ’em up now.

I know I bring this up a lot-but until more deer hunters get it-the deer herds will continue to shrink many areas-

Shoot every coyote you see-more ‘yotes= fewer deer,in some areas,fawn predation is as high as 90%. That means the ‘yotes are killing 9 out of every 10 fawns born. Shoot the damn things-they’re not native to the eastern U.S.-they are an invasive species-plus eastern ‘yotes have a considerable amount of wolf DNA that they picked upon their way east in Minnesota,Wisconsin,the U.P.of Michigan,and parts of Ontario.

The second problem animal affecting whitetail deer are feral hogs-they eat the same foods as the deer,and while deer can have twins,even triplets,hogs can have 3 litters of 6-8 piglets-(sometimes up to 10 per litter)- per year,sometimes 4. The only way to remove a feral hog family-called a sounder-is to kill or trap every single one of them.If you leave just two,a boar and a sow-within a year,there will be 60-100 hogs in the same area,as the piglets from the first litter will be able to breed and have piglets within 6 months.

The sounders are territorial,so if you take one out-it will be at least a year before another moves in.

Feral hogs have been around from the Carolinas  to Florida,and Florida to Texas along the gulf coast since the Spanish explorers in the 1500’s released pigs in every new place they came to,because the pigs could fend for themselves,and be hunted for food when needed.

It’s impossible to eliminate feral hogs from the southeast,but it is possible to remove them from the surrounding states where they are a problem. The best the southeast can hope for is to limit the billions in crop damage by removing individual sounders.

Unless you want to see the deer herd in your area crash-start killin ‘yotes and feral hogs-remember-you gotta get the whole sounder-all of ’em- to get rid of the hogs.

Get out in the woods.

Read.

Learn.

Train.

Do more PT !

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

DROPPING DEER NUMBERS

2009-10 DEER KILL

261,000

2014-15 DEER KILL

175,000 (estimated)

 

Years of liberal bag limits, fostered by the sale of discounted antlerless permits starting in about 2007, definitely knocked down the herd, wildlife officials acknowledge. But the build-up over decades in the number of Ohio’s whitetails, considered among the most robust and trophy-worthy in the country, clearly showed the strains of food competition. Ohio deer in recent years have taken longer to mature, to grow in body size and antler dimensions, and to produce young.

A smaller, better-fed herd should begin to reverse some of the physiological impacts, said biologist Mike Tonkovich, deer project leader for the wildlife division. In terms of managing the herd size, the acceptable number of deer on the landscape must fit what the human population — read: farmers — can tolerate.

Some hunters believe the herd has passed the point of going in the wrong direction.

“Our hunters are hanging on by a thread,” Dennis Malloy, one of two Ohio field representatives for the national group Whitetails Unlimited, said after the summit.

The future of deer hunting in Ohio might be more in flux than in doubt, but the numbers suggest the recent golden age of sorts has passed.

Hunters killed more than 261,000 deer during the 2009-10 season after tagging about 252,000 the season before. The kill has dropped annually since, from 239,400 in 2010-11 to 191,400 in 2013-14.

Through last weekend, this season’s whitetail harvest totaled 173,096, down 8.4 percent from the same point last year. When the season closes today, the final numbers likely will be around 175,000 — lower than any season since 2001-02.

The gun harvest has experienced a similar decline, having fallen every year since 2008. Hunters checked nearly 117,000 whitetails that year, and only 65,485 in the most recent gun week, in December.”

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2015/02/01/hunters-say-that-now-theres-not-enough-deer-in-ohio.html

Notice that Mr. Tonkovich did not even mention coyotes as one of the reasons for the decline in deer herd numbers.

I’ve had e-mail discussions with Mike Tonkovich in the past,he’s always responded to questions,and I’ll be the first to admit the guy does know what he’s doing-for the most part. The recent increase in the ‘yote population isn’t something the ODNR people seem to have noticed. Most don’t spend all that much time in the field,including the wildlife officers.

ODNR needs to start listening to those of us who spend more than a few days out in the fields and woods of Ohio.

I know that ODNR is pressured by both farmers-due to crop damage caused by deer,and by insurance companies,due to cars hitting deer, to reduce the deer population. As the article states,ODNR instituted low-cost doe tags,created urban zones where the doe tags were valid all season,not just until the day before gun season. Until this year,hunters were allowed to harvest 18-24 deer statewide by harvesting the max number in each zone.

Years of these policies,combined with the explosive growth of the coyote population,have reduced the deer population far too much. The recent changes made by ODNR are to little,too late. It’s going to take years for the deer population to recover-and it’s never going to recover unless the coyote problem is addressed.

Fawn predation by the ‘yotes is only going to increase,because not enough people hunt them. Unless the ‘yote population is knocked down by at least half-the size of the deer herd is going to decrease to the point there are very,very few deer-it will be like deer hunting was in Ohio during the 1970’s-when you could hunt the entire week of gun season and not see a single deer.

This year,Ohio harvest to a county by county bag limit,and limited hunters to a total of 6 deer statewide,as before,only one buck may be taken no matter where in the state it’s taken you can only take one,the rest must be does.

That’s still too many does,ODNR should limit the harvest to two deer per hunter so the herd can increase in population again.

ODNR’s claim that there is not enough food for more deer is pure bullshit-the only way there would not be enough food is if farmers stopped planting corn and soybeans.This fall,Ohio is going to institute WMU’s-(Wildlife Management Units)

Western states have been using this method for decades,most have had success using WMU’s.

I’m all for Ohio going to WMU’s,although it will make the hunting regs more confusing,it will allow wildlife biologists to manage game populations more effectively,because they can manage each area for the optimum deer population.

WMU’s are better because the bag limits can be adjusted for each unit,meaning higher bag limits in some,lower bag limits in others. This will allow the statewide deer herd to be healthier,and if managed correctly, we should see more big  bodied deer,and bucks with heavier antlers,and bigger racks.

The change to WMU’s will help the deer herd,as long as ODNR starts urging hunters to kill ‘yotes.

Fur prices are reasonable this year,so hunting ‘yotes funds itself,skin ’em out,salt and dry the hides,sell the hides,and you can even turn a profit.

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.

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.

Back From Successful Deer Hunting Trip

Posted: December 8, 2014 by gamegetterII in deer hunting
Tags: ,

Decided to shoot this guy-not much in the way of antlers-but he’s a big deer-right around 200# as he’s hanging in garage,after field dressing.

It was about a 40 yard shot,used a 240 grain Hornady XTP bullet,a .45 caliber bullet with a .50 caliber sabot,with 2 50 grain pyrodex pellets for a 100 grain charge.

The load develops around 1750-1780 fps,as chronographed.

Depending on where I’m hunting,I’ll use the above load for close/medium range shots,for longer range shots-anything from 100yards out to 250 yards,I use 100 grains of triple 7 FFFG powder instead of pellets.

That load gets 1900-1930 fps, depending on whether I use a .44 caliber bullet w .50 caliber sabot,or a .45 caliber bullet w .50 caliber sabot.

At 250 yards,either load still has over 1000 ft lbs of energy remaining,for deer,anything over 900ft lbs is plenty of energy to make a quick,clean,humane kill.

The 40 yard shot I made pretty much liquified the lungs,as the bullet went through both lungs,and got part of the heart.

The inconsiderate prick still ran about 60 yards,then dropped dead in a creek-a really deep creek.

Fortunately,his back legs were still in shallow water,so I was able to drag him out without getting soaked.

I shot him from a blind I made using camo burlap,the 2 pieces I used cost a total of $28.00,also used a few zip ties,4 six foot wooden stakes,and some jute twine,making the total cost under $35.00 I had some leftover green and black spray paint laying around,so I made a camo design on the wooden stakes.

Blind is big enough for 2 people to hunt from comfortably,youngest daughter and I hunted out of it,the days she had to hunt were lousy days for hunting,15-20 mph wind out of NW kept the deer bedded down during daylight hours.

I had 6 scent wicks with estrous doe urine hanging just off the 3 main trails,used a grunt tube and estrous bleat can call,there were a few freshly made scrapes,so I enlarged them,and made a few fake ones on Thurs. and added scent on Fri. and Sat am’s.

The rut peaked here the second week of Nov. I started seeing lots of signs of the rut starting the first week of Nov.

The does that were not bred in Nov. cycle back into estrous 28 days later-so that’s the first two weeks of Dec.

Any late cycling does that still are not bred in Dec. will cycle back into estrous the first two weeks of Jan. Ohio’s muzzleloader season is 1/2-1/5 2015,so it coincides with the last does cycling back into estrous. Estrous scent wicks,grunt tubes,and estrous doe bleat cans will work in the first two weeks of Jan. just like they did in Nov. and Dec.

The deer I shot was partially behind some brush,couldn’t see the head clearly at all,saw enough of the shoulder to make the shot-I thought I was shooting a doe.

I had already reloaded before I walked to the creek,as I thought I may have needed a second shot.

As I said,the 240 gr JHP XTP passed through the deer,got both lungs,there was very little left of them-and the heart had a hole all the way through it.

Hell of an adrenaline dump for him to run 60 yards with no blood pressure,and no oxygen being inhaled.

The weather is perfect for letting the deer hang to age the meat.

I’ll let him hang ’till Fri. or Sat,then butcher him on the weekend.

I’m going to grind a lot of the meat,I’ll keep the 2 good shoulder roasts from the front,two good roasts from the hindquarters,cut the backstraps-(loins)- into steaks,smoke the tenderloins,slice the other 4 roasts-2 from shoulders,2 from hindquarters for jerky,the rest will be ground with some beef fat,with 1/3 being made into burger,1/3 into Italian sausage,the last 1/3 into country style/breakfast sausage.

One of my good friends also got a deer-he got a really nice 8 point-has an 18″ antler spread with a perfectly symmetrical rack-it’s not a big deer though-it’s about 140-160# hanging weight.

We’re going to cut his up Wed or Thurs,as he got his last Thurs. That one will be processed the same way as mine.

I still have another tag,so I’ll continue to bowhunt until end of Dec,hunt the 4 day Jan muzzleloader season,then go back to bowhunting the rest of Jan.

I’ll try to help the daughter get a deer,and my brother get his.

The $24.00 for an either sex deer tag is well worth it for the 100# or so of meat I’ll get from the deer I just got,another $24.00 for another 100# or so of meat.

Where else can you get 200# of organic,free range meat for $48.00?

IMG_0342[1]IMG_0341[1]

Read.

Learn.

Train.

Do More PT !

Make a New Years Resolution to do More PT !!

  • grizzlyGPS.jpg

    Wildlife officials put GPS tracking devices on eight bears in the Grand Teton National Forest. (USGS)

This GPS system is a real bear.

Eight Montana grizzly bears have been outfitted with GPS trackers in an ongoing study that could bring some unnerving news to hunters.