If anything hinders deer hunters, it is using the same tactics all season long. Deer habits change significantly over the course of the hunting season and this episode I talk about how to adjust your strategy to give you the best chances for latest season success.

Take Aways

  • The hunting season is a marathon, not a sprint. Learning how to hunt every phase of season both improves your odds but also enables you to hunt the phases you enjoy most.
  • Everything changes between summer and winter. Food, cover, bedding, habits, patterns, etc. It all changes. So the hunter must change also.
  • The late season can be a great time to hunt deer, but not the same way you hunted any other time of the season.
  • A big factor people miss is that there are now fewer hours of daylight and more hours of darkness, which means deer can more easily wait out the day to move under the safety of night.
  • To hunt late season deer you need to understand how they act in your area during the late season.
  • Early morning hunts become less and less productive and evening food sources because the best places to locate deer.
  • Listen to the episode to hear about the 5 tips.

So you are hunting and seeing way more does thank bucks. Should you try to reduce the doe population to better balance the herd? On this episode I share some basic deer management principles along with some of the biggest misconceptions.

Take Aways

  • Ideal doe to buck ratios are somewhere between 1 to 1 and 2 to 1.  A 1 to 1 ratio is so idealistic it is almost unrealistic. But a 2 to 1 ratio is certainly a reasonable goal.
  • Statistically speaking, the ratio can almost never get more lopsided than 5 to 1 prior to the hunting season due to birth rates.
  • Whitetail deer births are about 50% does and 50% bucks. So even if every buck in the woods was killed off last year, you would still end up with about 4 to 1 ratios depending on your area and survival rates.
  • Public land hunts where many does are seen without any bucks are more often the result of not hunting proper buck habitat or movement areas, or heavy hunting pressure.
  • If total deer numbers are low, it is best to take no does in order to build the herd
  • If deer numbers are high but ratios are heavily lopsided, it may be a result of habitat being skewed toward does.
  • Habitat is the number 1 factor impacting deer numbers and ratios, assuming the deer are not over hunted.
  • Before you begin harvesting surplus does, make sure you have a sound plan so none of the meat goes to waste. Often the meat can be used to help the less fortunate via donation programs like Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. 
  • Do not just use the number of deer management tags you receive and assume you should take that many does. That could decimate your herd.
  • Listen to the episode to learn much more.


There are many different ways to field dress a deer and a lot of equipment you could use. On this episode I talk about the knives and tools that are really needed for the new or cost consciences hunter.

Top Tools

  • A Sharp Knife – Any sharp knife that is approximately the width of your hand will work great.
  • Should Length Plastic Gloves – Cheap and works great to keep you and the rest of your gear clean.
  • Nitrile or Latex Hand Gloves – Cheap and keeps your hands both protected and nimble.
  • Two Zip Ties – One to close the Butt and one to tie your tag on.
  • A Plastic Bag – To put everything in once you are done.
  • A Pen – To fill out your deer tag

Items You Do Not Need To Start

  • A Fancy Knife – It just has to be sharp, a fancy knife can come later.
  • A Back Pack – You don’t need enough gear to require a backpack to start.
  • A Set of Knives – One small sharp knife is all you need for deer and elk.
  • A Saw Of Any Kind – Cutting through or breaking the pelvis is only helpful in rare circumstances, usually you are better off on multiple levels by not doing so.
  • A Deer Butt Out Tool – They are cheap, but a knife and zip tie do the job just as well and you have one less thing to clean.
  • A Field Dressing Kit – Kits are usually overpriced and filled with things you do not really need. Either way, you don’t need one to start.

How To Field Dress A Deer – New Hunters Guide
Listen to the episode to hear more and to get the explanations and details.

Seeing a big deer walk into range after weeks or months of anticipation can cause a major adrenaline response that makes it hard to concentrate or take precision action. On this episode I talk about how to keep your cool when big game walks out and what you can do year-round to prepare for these moments and avoid common hunt ruining problems many people experience.

Take Aways

  • When we are extremely excited or pushed out of our comfort zone, our body often reacts by dumping adrenaline into our blood stream to prepare us for a flight or fight response.
  • Staying calm, still, and focused in these moments can be very difficult without practice and experience. Performing complex or unfamiliar actions can be very difficult.
  • Many hunters, even experienced ones, have missed easy shots, to the point where they fired at the antlers instead of the body of the deer and did not even know that they did it.
  • Fortunately, you do not necessarily need to practice this only while hunting to improve in this area. There are many other things that can benefit a hunter outside of the woods.
  • From public speaking to sports to working with deadlines, there are many activities you can use to sharpen your skills for dealing with pressure and adrenaline.
  • The more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more comfortable you become outside of your comfort zone.
  • Listen to the episode to learn more.

Different tactics work better for hunting different types of deer. Hunting whitetails is not a one size fits all proposition, much depends upon the area, age, and gender of the deer. On this episode I cover how big buck strategies differ from doe hunting strategies and how hunting young bucks is also different.

Take Aways

  • Does care more about food than almost anything else.
  • Big bucks care more about safety than almost anything else, except during the rut.
  • Great doe hunting advice may not be great buck hunting advice and visa-versa.
  • Great advice for hunting in one region may also not be great advice for hunting in other regions.
  • The definition of a mature buck varies based upon the average age structures in the region of the country you are in.
  • In some places a 2.5 year old is one of the oldest deer in the woods and will assume the privilege’s and best spots that come to a big deer.
  • In other areas where deer are less hunted and bucks are able to get older, there is more deer competition and a buck may not be able to carve out their own place until they get older, bigger, and stronger.
  • Listen to the episode to learn more about the best strategies for different types of deer hunting in different regions. 

One of the top complaints deer hunters have is that they went out and didn’t see any whitetails. That will happen to everyone from time to time, but it should not be the norm. On this episode I talk about how hunting deer sign instead of speculation can drastically improve your chances of seeing game.

What is deer hunting speculation?

  • This looks like a great place for deer.
  • If I were a deer I would go here.
  • This spot is close to food.
  • That area looks like it would be a great bedding area.
  • Deer should love this cover.
  • Whitetails probably love all this open space.
  • I can see from really far here.
  • There is a great field of view here.
  • Deer should be here.

What is deer hunting sign?

  • Deer tracks in real dirt.
  • Deer droppings.
  • Fresh buck rubs on small trees.
  • Recently used scrapes and licking branches.
  • Personal deer sightings.
  • Trail camera photos and videos.
  • Recently used deer trails.
  • Recently used deer beds.
  • Hearing deer grunts, bleats, or other sounds in the area.

Every time you sit down in the woods it should be because of deer sign, not speculation. Speculation is what prompts you to look for sign, not what gives you sufficient evidence to invest time sitting there.

Listen to the episode to hear how to multiply your odds of seeing deer.

Scent control plays a crucial role in almost every deer hunt. But how far should you go to cover up your scent? How far is too far? On this episode I talk about serious but realistic and practical ways to control your scent without spending much money or doing things that are crazy.

Take Aways

  • Think about the obvious first, the more a person smells the further away you can smell them. The same is true with deer, they can just smell us from much further away.
  • If we can reduce the odor of our bodies and gear we produce less scent and can be less alarming to deer, especially at further range.
  • You CANNOT eliminate all human scent, it is not possible. Do not try to chase that idea. If you breathe, you will be putting scent into the air endlessly.
  • Scent control needs to be practical and reasonable. If you can easily and cheaply reduce your scent, that is a benefit.
  • All scent control attempts pale in comparison to hunting the wind well. Nothing matters more than the wind, and there is no close second.
  • There are 2 main types of scent you leave in the woods, scent where you have been and scent where you are. Whitetails respond to each differently and both need to be controlled.
  • If you can reduce or eliminate your scent trail, you will spook far fewer deer and exert less hunting pressure on the land.
  • If you can play the wind right, you can effectively eliminate the scent of where you are in the woods.
  • Everything we do other than the wind is only to help improve our odds when the wind behaves unpredictably or things do not go according to plan.
  • Plan A is the wind. Plan B is everything else.
  • Listen to the episode to hear the 5 serious but reasonable tips for scent control.

There are many great personal reasons to hunt deer, but hunting can also help others, particularly families in need. On this episode I talk with Josh Wilson, the Executive Director of Farmers and Hunters Feeding The Hungry (FHFH). He shares his story and talks about ways that hunters can help feed those in need without spending a penny.

Take Aways

  • A single deer can provide up to 200 meals.
  • 1 in 7 children in the U.S. do not know where their next meal is coming from. Roughly 11% of American households are food insecure.
  • Many families, especially recently, have lost large portions of their income and may appear fine from the outside but cannot afford utilities, food, or medicine.
  • Food banks often lack meat and high nutrition items due to cost and scarcity.
  • Hunters are able to take a deer to a local FHFH processor, or one that participates in a similar program and donate it. FHFH picks up the bill to pay the butcher. The meat is then delivered to a local food bank in need.
  • Established in 1997, FHFH is a ministry that enables hunters and farmers in states nationwide to provide nutritious meat to feed the hungry of their communities.
  • There are several other organization doing similar and outstanding work as FHFH, if one is close to you, support them.
  • FHFH is unique because it is a Christ centered ministry helping hunters to feed the hungry.
  • Again and again children who watch their parents donate venison make the decision on their own to donate their first deer to help other children in need. It is a beautiful example and tradition of giving back that every hunter can embrace.
  • There are 3 ways to get involved with Farmers and Hunters Feeding The Hungry
    1. Donate a deer.
    2. Donate money to fund deer processing.
    3. Start a local chapter by becoming a volunteer coordinator.


Almost nothing about deer hunting has been studied longer than the effects of the moon. And yet with hundreds of years of tradition, culture, and some significant observational research, modern technology has completely changed our understanding of this phenomenon. On this episode I talk about how the moon really impacts deer movement and the whitetail rut.

How this was studied historically:

  • Native American Tradition – The rutting moon was long seen as the sign that the prime of hunting season was at hand.
  • Anecdotal Observation – People went into the woods, saw deer and concluded it was the moon.
  • Descriptive Observational Research – Many notes and observations were compiled and correlated with moon phase to create guidelines. 

How it is studied now.

  • Trail Cameras – We can see when deer are active, day or night, and objectively quantify their activity.. 
  • Doe Gestational Research – Thousands of roadkill does are studied across multiple years and the average point of conception is compared with the timing of the rutting moon.
  • Electronic Deer Tagging – Deer are tagged and tracked day and night to determine if the moon impacts their movement and rutting behavior. 

Listen to the episode to learn about how the moon impacts whitetail deer activity.

There are 3 main reasons why you want to have more than a single deer hunting spot. On this episode I talk about the factors that motivate whitetail hunters to have multiple hunting locations be them tree stands, ground blinds, or any number of simple no cost setups so you can find the right number of spots for you and how you hunt.

Of course you only NEED 1 spot to take deer, but having multiple spots can increase your chances of success and your ability to hunt when it is convenient for you to be in the woods.

Major Factors For Multiple Deer Spots

  1. Different winds. Few to no stands can be used for all winds. It is ideal to have a hunting spot for each major wind direction that you typically see in your area.
  2. Shifts In deer behavior. Some locations are good one year and not the next, or are good one week and not the next. Having options helps you when a spot goes cold.
  3. How much you plan to hunt. Hunting pressure has a huge impact on deer habits, and the more you hunt a specific spot in a short amount of time, the more you will effect deer patterns and movement.

Listen to the episode to help determine out how many spots you need for your hunting style and situation.