Posts Tagged ‘hunting’

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.”

Via Field & Stream here

By JR Sullivan

coyote conservation

Rumors of coyotes began circulating through the Southeast in the mid-20th century. Over the next several decades, the rumors became newspaper reports, and then roadside sightings. Still, coyotes remained mostly a curiosity. But in the 1990s, everything seemed to change.

“Suddenly, people were seeing coyotes in Georgia and North Carolina, and all over the Atlantic Coast,” recalls Michael Chamberlain, a dedicated deer hunter and professor at the University of Georgia (UGA). “Those were places coyotes weren’t supposed to be.”

Dog Days

Like many biologists in the Southeast, Chamberlain took notice of the coyote issue around the turn of the millennium. The Western predator was expanding beyond its strongholds, quietly scattering across the South. At the time, the greatest threat to deer in that region was their own overabundance, so the coyote sightings didn’t garner much attention. But in the early 2000s, the number of tagged deer began slipping in some Southern states; South Carolina saw a 23 percent decline between 2002 and 2005. Georgia’s deer take is thought to have dipped by 28 percent from 2001 to 2005, and Alabama’s annual yield dropped by more than 48 percent between 2004 and 2011.

Disease and more restrictive regulations no doubt played a significant role in the declines, but coyotes were also killing deer—more than many people realized. In one South Carolina study, coyotes accounted for 37 to 80 percent of all whitetail fawn mortalities. In 2007, a study of a herd near Auburn, Ala., showed a 67 percent fawn mortality rate, with coyotes accounting for 42 to 63 percent of the toll. In response to the problem, states loosened regulations on killing coyotes, and South Carolina even rolled out extensive trapping efforts, only to find them largely ineffective and costly.

In 2009, as wildlife managers and biologists grappled with the problem, Chamberlain began a five-county study in North Carolina, in which he and his team affixed tracking collars to 41 coyotes. Over time, they discovered that there are essentially two types of coyotes: residents, which make up about 70 percent of the population; and transients, which compose the remainder. Resident coyotes, Chamberlain observed, have relatively small home ranges of 2 to 25 miles. Transients, on the other hand, may roam 150 miles, presumably looking for a home range to open up. Once a resident coyote dies, a transient will settle in and claim the territory within a matter of weeks. This helps explain why trapping efforts weren’t working. “For every 10 coyotes you remove, three were just passing through,” Chamberlain says. “And if you’re removing transients, you’re not really having any effect.” Shooting the occasional coyote really makes no difference in what happens to the deer herd.

Spring to the Defense

Now Chamberlain is leading a team that’s tracking coyotes on a larger scale. They’re monitoring nearly 200 animals with transmitter collars across three states (Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina); it’s the most ambitious study of its kind. The goal is to learn more about how these predators use habitat, and how land management practices can manipulate coyotes’ effect on other species. And Chamberlain’s findings may just change how sportsmen manage the beasts.

So far, Chamberlain and his team have observed that coyotes concentrate in areas that also seem prime for deer. Though they haven’t determined how to discourage coyotes’ use of these areas, they have picked up ways to curb fawn predation in them. A leading approach, Chamberlain says, is to trap coyotes in late spring, just before the fawning season, so that fawns have time to mature before transient coyotes move in. “If you trap at any other time of year,” he says, “you’re essentially removing animals that will have their space filled before fawns ever hit the ground.”

Kip Adams, director of education and outreach for the Quality Deer Management Association, agrees, adding that the timing of coyote removal is likely more important than the number of coyotes removed. Most hunters trap and shoot coyotes in winter, when pelts are at their prime. But if improving fawn survival is a goal, shifting those efforts to April or May makes sense. Adams notes that the management of good fawning cover can also encourage fawn recruitment. In severe cases, where coyotes are jeopardizing herd numbers, hunters may need to shoot fewer antlerless animals, too. That runs counter to the message of aggressive doe management many have embraced in the past decade, but deer management is an evolving science.

No matter the outcome of Chamberlain’s study, hunters will have to deal with coyotes for the foreseeable future. The reality is that coyotes, with an ample food supply and quality habitat, show no signs of loosening their hold on the eastern United States. “They are here to stay,” Chamberlain says. But he believes that deer will adapt over time and improve their abilities to stave off coyote predation, and herds will resemble those that have dealt with the canines forever. “This predator is still fairly novel to them,” he says. “Talk to a deer manager in Texas, where coyotes have been present for many years. The problem isn’t really that high on the radar screen.”

GEAR TIP: Here’s the Catch

coyote trap

Minnesota Trapline

The MB-550.

Should you decide that you need to trap coyotes in spring, Chip Sharpe, South Carolina director of the National Trappers Association, recommends using a Minnesota Trapline MB-550 two-coil leg trap, paired with a PIT-19 cushion spring. This combo prevents a coyote from breaking a leg once ensnared, and minimizes the animal’s pain and the odds of it working itself free. —J.R.S.


This topic has been discussed on several sites recently,and in comments on other posts on several other sites.

Those who have been responding that yes,you can “easily” live off the land are missing the point.

***The subject/topic /point is…

Can you walk into the woods with just a rifle,whatever ammo you’re carrying with you,and whatever gear you have in your “bug out bag”-and live off the land?***

The answer is-for well over 95%-more like over 98%-99% of people the answer is no.

Here’s why…

You would have only what you brought with you in your pack,only the ammo you carried,only the food,gear,and supplies in your pack.

No cabin in the woods,no endless number of caches,no supply of traps,snare wire,snares,fishing gear,tools,medical supplies,etc. just the shit in your pack.


Caches are great-you should have a lot of them,and have at least two that have the same supplies in them-in case something happens to one.I have three of each.
Caches get dug up by animals,washed away in rainstorms,found by other people,weren’t sealed properly and the contents get ruined,lots of things can and do happen to caches. If you think every cache you hide away is going to be exactly as you left it-you are misinformed. Even when “properly sealed”,shit happens-rodents chew through whatever you buried your stuff in,and it gets eaten or ruined,once a hole is in the cache-insects get in,water gets in,and your stash of gear/supplies is gone-no good.
That would be reality-should you be forced to “bug out” it ain’t gonna happen at a time when you’re already home and ready to go,you ain’t gonna have advance warning,and you probably wouldn’t be going to where your caches of supplies are anyhow. Any number of things could prevent that-snow storms,forest fires,roadblocks,floods,landslides,tornadoes,ice storms that take down so many trees you can’t get through the woods-saw that happen in Tucker county W.Va back in the late ’70’s. There were so many trees down,we could not get to the areas we usually hunt deer. Five of us spent 6 weeks the next summer with chainsaws,axes and machetes clearing a trail. Had to go back in Sept. for another 2 weeks,because part of the trail is national forest land,and we had to get permission and a permit to clear the dead trees.
Lots of things can make it impossible to get to your caches.
There are a very,very few who have the knowledge and skills to live off the land,even fewer who could do so with only what they have in their pack.
Yes,it is possible,yes it can be done -if you have the gear,if you have food cached,if you know the native plant and animal life in the area,if you know how to use traps and snares,if you know how to butcher wild game,if you know how to preserve wild game and fish,if you have more than basic first aid skills…


You would also require access to a wide variety of tools-your latest greatest survival multitool or your 245 tool Swiss Army knife just ain’t gonna cut it,you must have a means to purify/filter water,you would need sewing needles,thread,a Quick Stitch,Awl for All or similar tool for making repairs to packs,tents,leather belts,etc., medical supplies,ammo,spare firearms parts,shelter from rain/snow/sleet/freezing rain/wind/cold/heat/hot sun.

Quick stitch etc…

quick stitch

speedy stitcher

Awl for All

In cold climates-you need a way to keep warm.

You need soap,toothbrushes,tweezers,nail clippers,etc. for personal hygiene,you need clean clothes-especially socks and underwear.

People have commented that you could just tan animal hides and make your own clothes…

You are not going to just start tanning animal hides and making clothing out of them if you’ve never done it before-it will take a whole lot of trial and error,and a whole lot of wasted animal hides.

Then there’s the fact that several different types of knives will be needed-

Think you’re going to butcher rabbits and squirrels with your “survival knife”? Or filet fish with it?

You might be able to hack up a squirrel,rabbit,or fish,and get yourself a meal out of it with your 12″ “survival knife”, but you’ll waste more meat than you use if you’re processing fish and game with your “survival knife”.


Brain tanning ain’t gonna cut it-try it for yourself if you think that’s how you’re going to tan hides to make your fringed buckskins so you look like you’re a mountain man-or whatever-if you have never tried the method,you  have no clue the amount of time,labor-and skill- involved.

The fact is that no,it’s not going to happen for north of 98% of the guys-and ladies out there-there are many reasons why bugging out to the woods and living off the land is not a viable plan.

Not many people have the skills or knowledge to be able to get enough food by hunting ,fishing and trapping to survive. 

Then there’s all the vitamin and mineral deficiencies you will develop in a very short time without access to fresh fruits and veggies.

A few people have made the claim that wild plants contain more nutrients-this is not the case. The plants you find growing wild are often found growing in poor soil,with poor sunlight,inadequate rainfall,and there are many other plants competing for the limited nutrients available.

If you grow your own veggies in your own garden-then those veggies have far more nutritional value than any wild plant. That’s a big part of why us humans starting growing our own plants,rather than foraging for wild plants.

A lot of the veggies and fruits you buy at the grocery store have been bred for looks-not nutritional content-which is why the veggies you grow taste so much better,and have way more nutritional value.

Despite the plethora of claims to the contrary-there are currently zero veggies or fruits grown for human consumption that are “GMO” foods. The only “approved for human consumption GM food is a type of apple-this apple is not currently being produced by any orchard in the U.S.-or Canada.

 The genetically modified  crops that are grown in the U.S.are only used as animal feed,or making ethanol,no vegetable you buy in the grocery store is “GMO”,no packet of seeds you buy to plant in your garden contains genetically modified seeds.

Some facts from unbiased sources on “GMO’s”

Biology Fortified

genetic literacy project

1)  Why foraging for wild plants to provide the nutrients needed from veggies ain’t gonna work.

Growing enough food to survive is very difficult to do now-when we have access to chemical fertilizers-(or if you’re like me,lots and lots of compost and composted manure)-mechanical means of soil preparation,and pressurized water for irrigation.

Go to Kenny’s site-(Knuckledraggin my Life Away)-look at the right of the page,and click on the “Foodgrower” tab. The guy has been growing his own food for his family for a whole lot of years-not just fruits and veggies-all of it-and he was kind enough to share the knowledge he has acquired by growing his own food.

That’s what it takes to grow enough food to feed yourself-and you think you’re going to be just fine by foraging for wild plants?

2) Why you’re not going to be able to harvest enough game to survive by hunting.

Hunting means hunting-not trapping,not using snares-it means shooting critters to eat – for the sake of this discussion.

Please read ALL of the following about game before trying to tell me I’m wrong-and I’m not wrong-think about what I wrote.

The sudden influx of people into the woods will immediately disrupt game patterns-big game like elk,moose and bear will be spooked and skittish,and be seen very rarely. The harvest of these animals will drop to below current hunting season harvests. (Those who have local populations of big game animals are likely far enough away from “civilization” that few people will be in the woods in their areas anyhow,so little will change in those areas.)

Medium sized game like whitetail deer and feral hogs will be spooked as well,both will turn into primarily nocturnal animals.  Unless you have night vision,or lights,very few of these critters will be taken. You may be able to snare a few hogs-problem is they’re very intelligent critters-and will learn to avoid snares as soon as they see one of their fellow hogs get caught in a snare.

As with the big game animals-those who live far enough away from the big cities will not see much change,and would still be able to take deer and feral hogs as needed-at first. It would only be a matter of weeks before people started making their way to those areas.

Small game-squirrels will be least affected by people moving around in the woods,the people moving around will cause rabbits to move,leading to a plentiful harvest of rabbits-and a sudden and drastic reduction in the rabbit population.

Animals like raccoons often carry diseases,and the meat can be unsafe to eat. Same with ‘possums,same with armadillos. Woodchucks/groundhogs would still be semi- plentiful as a lot of people simply refuse to eat them. They aren’t bad,I’ve eaten them,a little greasy,kind of a gamey flavor,but edible-even moreso when you’re starving. Only a matter of time until others figure that out-then there goes the groundhog population.

So,for most of the population,in most of the U.S.,there will simply be very few big and medium sized game animals around to shoot,small game like rabbit numbers will quickly plummet,before long so will squirrels-and birds like grouse,pheasant,doves,quail,and eventually waterfowl.

What will happen in a matter of weeks is that there will be more and more people competing for fewer and fewer game animals.

The only reason big game,medium sized game,small game,and waterfowl are somewhat plentiful now-even overpopulated in many areas-is due to the populations being managed by wildlife biologists from state fish and game agencies,along with the efforts of sportsmans/wildlife conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited,Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation,Pheasants Forever,National Wild Turkey Federation,QDMA,Trout Unlimited,and many,many more national,state,and local sportsman’s/wildlife conservation groups.

For most people,in most of the U.S. people will simply not be able to just head for the hills with a rifle and whatever gear is in the “bug out bag”and live off the land. In a matter of weeks,there won’t be enough game,and there is no longer enough undeveloped land to be able to forage for wild plants successfully-with a very few exceptions.

There’s a reason there are hunting seasons,and limits on how many animals you can legally harvest-it’s to insure that a stable,healthy population of animals exists that allows a sustainable harvest of animals each season by hunters.

Prior to game laws/hunting seasons/bag limits being introduced-initiated by hunters-NOT by government-we were well on the way to having zero bison-(buffalo),Canada geese,ducks,wild turkeys,whitetailed deer,bighorn sheep,antelope,mule deer,elk,moose…

Once these season dates and bag limits are gone-so are a large part of  the animals populations-I’m old enough to remember when almost no one got a deer during the Ohio,Pa and W.Va deer gun seasons,and to remember when seeing a Canada goose or a wild turkey was very rare in Ohio,W.Va,Pa.

The same thing would be the case after a single year-or less – of unregulated hunting. How many people know what the maximum number of deer is that can be harvested from your local deer herd without affecting the population for the next year?

I’ve seen with my own eyes what happens when over 50% of a deer herd is wiped out-it was closer to 75% in one Ohio county due to an outbreak of EHD-(epizootic hemmoragic disease)-we counted 30 dead deer along a 1 mile stretch of riverbank in late summer/early fall of that year. (Deer dying of EHD seek out water just before they die.)

I discussed the outbreak and the effect on the deer population with 2 wildlife biologists,and our local game warden.  For the next 3 years,no does were allowed to be harvested in the areas affected. In theory,that would allow more fawns to be born the next 3 years,and the population to recover quickly. The problem was they didn’t consider the coyote problem-more fawns= more ‘yotes trying to eat them.

Even with that no does restriction-5 years later,and the population of deer is still not fully recovered-it’s getting close to where it was,we hunted that area for a few days this deer season.

Take that example,and use it as a reasonable equivalent for the number of deer taken when a bunch of guys who think they’re gonna live off the land hit the woods.

Will the deer population recover? no,unless no one is killing them for food. Since people would still shoot every deer they could-it would only be a matter of months before the numbers were so low,they would never recover.

So-once all the live off the land guys head for the woods-there won’t be anyone living off of deer,or elk,or moose,or bear meat the following year-because there won’t be enough fawns/calves/cubs born to replace the ones that were killed for food.

Fishing is a great way to get food,it’s like game though,it won’t be long before all the accessible places have no fish left. Unless you live on the coast somewhere and have an ocean to fish in nearby. The great lakes will have fish for quite a while,but anyplace easy to get to will have few fish left in a very short time.

The bigger river systems will have fish for a while,but areas near cities/towns will be fished out quickly.

It’s simple-too many people-not enough fish and game to feed them.

There’s a reason many native American tribes didn’t have permanent settlements and moved around. They followed the fish and game-they fished or hunted for certain things in certain areas-but they didn’t stay until the fish were gone,or there was no game left. They left for another area. Some tribes fished for steelhead in the great lakes-and other fish-at certain times of the year. They stayed until they had caught and preserved enough to last them for a while,then moved on to hunt deer,or bison,or whatever animal.

The people currently planning on bugging out to the woods have no plans to insure that there will be deer for them to eat the next year,or rabbits,or squirrels,or fish for them to catch,they will decimate the fish and game populations very quickly. Same thing with edible plants-there won’t be any the following year,because those eating them picked all of whatever plant and left none for the next growing season.

Quite a few people stated that people lived off the land in the past-which is true-there were also a hell of a lot less people,and a hell of a lot more game animals. There was a lot more forest/woodlands,and very little land cleared for cities and agriculture.

It ain’t the 1800’s,it ain’t the 1920’s,it ain’t the same as when you grew up-there’s a lot more people,and there is not enough wild game to support a large number of people.

So-the hit the woods and live off the land plan-it simply ain’t gonna happen-all the people who have bugging out to the woods to live off the land as their primary bug out plan are in for a very rude awakening.

The only way “bugging out” to the woods make any sense is if you have a house or cabin,or enough property to set up a long term camp on.

What does make sense is to stay put when things go sideways. If you live somewhere where roving gangs of thugs and gang-bangers will be an issue-move. Do whatever it takes-but get out of any area like that ASAP. If you live in a shitty area and have another place to go in case things go sideways-have multiple plans on how to get here-because chances are you aren’t going to just be able to drive out. If you’ll be walking out-plan your route-and actually walk it-with your family/friends,whoever is going with you-so you’ll know if it’s a good route. If it’s not-pick another way to go.

Stay where your food storage is,stay where you have heat-(if you live where it gets cold)-shelter,  a source of drinking water,your first aid/medical supplies,your personal hygiene stuff,your tools,all of your firearms,your ammo supply,seeds for a garden,your canning equipment-and you even get to sleep in your own bed.

In any long term SHTF situation,the first few weeks are the worst-we don’t plan on going anywhere for at least a month to six weeks.

It makes a whole lot more sense to stay put for those first few weeks,because as someone else said-once you’re out of supplies-and a place to live-you’re a refugee.

Heading for the woods and trying to live off the land is still going to make you a refugee-probably a lot sooner than you think.

Living off the land is a whole lot harder than most people think it is,and it would be even harder with more people in the woods trying to do the same thing.

Bugging out to the woods to live off the land is a fantasy-it’s as removed from reality as all the guys who think they’ll instantly turn into some kind of high speed low drag elite forces ninja sniper when SHTF when the only “training” they do is go to an indoor range once a month and shoot a couple boxes of ammo at no more than 100 yards,then go eat pizza and drink beer afterwards while talking about what a great shot they are.

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.


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.
Do more PT !

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


Via Field&Stream

(be sure to read the linked article on firelapping at bottom of post-and RTWT)

Follow these tips to eke out optimum ­accuracy from your in-line muzzleloader.

1. Fire It Smooth

The barrel is the most important component of a tack-driving smokepole. Any imperfections in the bore will hurt accuracy. So get a fire-lapping kit for muzzleloaders ($50; ­bear tooth ­ and shoot 15 to 20 of the provided soft-lead bullets as directed. These have various grit compounds that will polish smooth any defects.

2. Mount It Right

Once you’ve perfected the barrel, do the same with your scope rings, using a kit like the Wheeler Engineering Scope Ring Alignment and Lapping Kit ($45–$62; This will take off any residual manufacturing marks that could allow the scope to shift after a shot. Most kits provide leveling bars that will ensure the scope runs perfectly parallel to the bore.

3. Get Loose

Granulated powders can be measured and fine-tuned more precisely than preformed pellets, yielding better shot-to-shot consistency. “Like a hand­loader developing recipes, a muzzle­loader shooter can adjust a loose-powder charge to perfectly match a specific bullet-and-gun combination,” says Chris Hodgdon of Hodgdon Powders (

4. Find Your Bullet

Pick a few bullets from the top manufacturers, like Barnes, Hornady, Power­Belt, and Thompson/Center, in a variety of weights for the game you’re after. For whitetails, stay in the 250- to 300-grain zone. Shoot each combination of brand, weight, and powder until you hit your smallest groups. Be systematic and clean the barrel after each shot. You may just squeeze MOA accuracy out of that smokepole yet.

***Related very long,but very imp0rtant article on firelapping muzzleloaders to greatly improve accuracy,and greatly lessen barrel fouling.***

Be sure to RTWT…

firelapping muzzleloaders

Firelapping can improve accuracy by as much as 50%,so it’s well worth the time and minimal investment.

Pay close attention to the process-and take note-you have to use real black powder-no Pyrodex,no Triple7, and no pellets-good old Goex blackpowder must be used-or whatever other brand you prefer.

The reason is the way black powder burns vs Pyrodex,etc. The Pyrodex,etc. does not reach full pressure until the bullet is well on it’s way down the barrel,so a good part of your barrel will not be lapped unless you use real black powder.

I’m going to firelap my sidelock and my inline in the next month or so,I’ll post before and after targets from 50,75,and 100 yds.

My brother in law firelapped his old CVA sidelock muzzeloader,and went from 6-8 inch groups at 100 yds to 3-4 inch groups at 100 yds. He’s also used the process on a couple centerfire bolt actions-a .243 and a .308 and got even better results.

He’s 100% sold on the process,and he’s a gunsmith,certified armorer,etc,etc.

They also have no kids-so he’s got way more time and $$$ to spend on shooting/firearms.

Read more.

Learn more.

Train more.

Do more PT.

You don’t have enough ammo.




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.”


*** 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.



Pay close attention to this issue-when the public comment period starts-get as many people as you can to comment in favor of hunting grizzlies,or the animal “rights” whackos and enviro-nazis will flood the comments in opposition to hunting grizzlies.

Time to beat ’em at their own game-they’ve been using the comment period on any proposed changes of any wildlife management issue to oppose hunting of any animal. Look what they did with the wolf “re-introduction” fiasco-they flooded every public comments forum,and filed a blizzard of legal paperwork to oppose any wolf hunting or trapping,and the elk herds suffered,many have been decimated by unchecked wolf numbers.

Time to get the animal “rights”whackos and enviro-nazis out of our government’s agencies such as USFS,USFWS,BLM,EPA,etc.

Don’t let these nutcases dictate policy any longer-their goal is to ban ALL hunting and trapping on PUBLIC land-hunters ARE a huge part of the public,and it is hunters who fund well over 90% of ALL wildlife conservation in the U.S. It’s time hunters get a voice in policy making,not just the animal “rights” and enviro whackos.

Via Field & Stream

After 40 years of federal protection, grizzly bears may become fair game for hunters, as a handful of Western states push for the responsibility of managing the animals.

The Associated Press reports that a plan drafted by wildlife officials from the greater Yellowstone states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana estimates how many grizzly bears could be harvested while still maintaining viable populations if the species were no longer protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Though the proposal doesn’t specify the number of bears each state would permit to be harvested, it does specify a 19,300-square-mile management zone that includes the wilderness and national forests near the Yellowstone National Park. Further, the proposal allocates a 58-percent share of the permitted harvests to Wyoming—likely because it’s home to most of the region’s grizzlies—while Montana would get 34 percent and Idaho 8 percent.

Officials estimate that there are more than 700 grizzlies in the defined management zone, though biologists say that there are likely more living outside the borders, as the bears have expanded their range as their populations have grown.

In a December 4, 2015, joint letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe, the states’ wildlife directors urged the federal government to retract the bear’s threatened status. “It is critically important that we capitalize on our tremendous progress and momentum. . . by proceeding with a long overdue delisting,” the letter stated.

The last legal grizzly hunt in the Lower 48 was in the early 1970s, and a total of 58 bears were harvested in the five years leading to the species’ being listed as threatened, in 1975, as the AP notes. Since that time, the bear’s numbers have rebounded. Opponents to the proposal, however, argue that it’s too soon to consider hunting as a management tool because grizzly populations are still too low.

Quentin Kujala, chief of wildlife management for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, says that the harvest quotas will likely be modest and on a sliding scale to help maintain viable bear populations and to avoid any chance of the species reverting back to federal protection. Hunting will be allowed if there were more than 675 bears, and it will be barred if the number drops to fewer than 600, Kujala said. Likewise, Wyoming Game and Fish spokesman Renny MacKay told the AP: “We’re definitely not talking about a large number. We’re not talking hundreds or anywhere near that.”

The Christian Science Monitor points out that tourism is a $1-billion industry in the greater Yellowstone area, and that, according to research, the park could lose $10 million without the potential of spotting bear near the roadside.

If the FWS removes grizzlies from federal protection and the states proceed with the plan, the proposition will need to undergo a public-comment period. The FWS is expected to make a decision on whether to release grizzlies from federal protection early this year, but barring any court challenges, it could take up to a year for any rule changes to go into effect.

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.




Do more PT.