Show Notes:

Few things are more exciting than taking a buck after a lot of hard work and weeks of expectation. What you do next with that trophy should be something you have already considered and planned out, not something you jump into with while overcome with emotion. On this episode I dig into what you need to think about and plan for so that when you do take a great deer your next steps can be informed, thoughtful, and hopefully not a huge waste of money.

Take Aways

  • Mounting the head and neck of a deer is expensive, takes up a lot of space, and is a process. It is not a decision to make spur of the moment.
  • If you wait until you have a deer on the ground before considering these things you will very likely do something you regret later. Adrenaline, excitement, and fatigue can prompt you to do all kinds of things.
  • There are many easier and simpler ways to turn your buck into a trophy that you can be thrilled with for decades to come.
  • Most new hunters would be served best with a whitetail or turkey mount that is easy and inexpensive like these:


 

Show Notes:

A lot of people think food plots are beyond what they can achieve or afford. But there are great options out there you can start with, such as white clover that can be planted with no equipment, needs minimal space, and grows back every year. On this episode I dig into the details of getting started on cheap, fast, and easy clover plots.

Take Aways

  • The best times of the year to plant clover are early spring and late summer, either of which can help impact your whitetail deer or turkey hunting success.
  • You do not need to till the ground to plant clover, in fact there are good reasons not to till.
  • You can plant a half acre or less plot with the best white clover seed on planet earth for less than $30.
  • Clover is roughly 30% protein and is loved by deer and turkey. Bonus fact, it can double as a survival food for humans if you boil it before eating.
  • Clover grows back every year, which means once you get the plot established, all you need to do is maintain it and it can last for years and years.
  • Planting can be fun, it can even become its own off season side hobby like hunting for antler sheds.
  • Listen to the episode to hear the full story! 

 

Show Notes:

The mock scrape and trail camera combination may be the single most powerful reconnaissance strategy for hunting whitetails that there is, at least for new hunters. On this episode I talk about the best time of year to get out there and setup mock scrapes and trail cameras, both for archery and rifle season.

Take Aways

  • Mock scrapes are great because they focus deer movement for a variety of reasons and they are essentially free.
    • For the cost of some string you can increase your chances of seeing whitetails on camera and in front of your hunting setup.
  • The best way to make good use of a trail camera is to assume it is terrible and will only get photos of what is directly in front of it.
    • If you have a better detection cone then great, but don’t count on it.
  • Setting up scrapes and cameras and checking them, going through the photos, and being outside in the summer can be almost as much fun as hunting. Enjoy every aspect of the hunt.
  • Remember deer often change their habits and locations between summer and late fall.
    • As the cover and food sources change, so do their travel and bedding areas.
    • Do not rely on scouting or camera data that is months old to determine where you hunt.
    • Regularly check trail cameras between August 1 and when you plan to hunt. I recommend every 2 weeks.
  • Stay out of the woods a couple weeks before hunting season starts, let the woods rest from human scent and interference.
  • Listen to this episode to find the best time of year to setup mock scrapes and trail cameras for whitetail deer hunting.

 

Show Notes:

There are seven things every hunter needs to know about how to locate, assess, and improve deer habitat to have consistent success in the woods. On this episode I talk about what you can do right now to understand whitetail habitat, find it in the woods, and make adjustments to it to better your chances of success.

Take Aways

  • When deer move they move for a purpose, the more you understand those purposes the better you can hunt.
  • Every deer needs certain things, you need to find or provide them to have good deer movement.
  • People’s intuition is often different from a deer’s intuition. You need to learn how they think.
  • It does not take alot of time or money to improve deer habitat, there is alot you can do at little to no cost.
  • Listen to this episode to hear the 7 basics.

 

Show Notes:

Both sectional density and ballistic coefficient are bullet specifications that matter for hunters but one matters a lot more for new hunters. On this episode I break down the need to know fundamentals of each so you can make better ammunition decisions.

Sectional Density:

  • Is one of the most obscure pieces of information printed on a box of ammo.
  • Is a complicated math calculation that you will likely never need to preform.
  • Is something you can understand quickly and easily and can help you from today onward.
  • Is a very important number for telling the ideal use of a bullet if you want to make decisions based on more than marketing.
  • To best understand the meaning of sectional density you need to understand what makes bullets effective on whitetail deer, elk, moose, and other big game.
  • All of this and more is covered in the episode.

Ballistic Coefficient:

  • Is one of the more popular peieces of bullet marketing.
  • Involves more math than is even worth mentioning.
  • Matters a lot for a small number of hunters.
  • Is easy to understand but less easy to apply.
  • Can make the difference between a terrible bullet and a great bullet at certain ranges.
  • All of this and more is covered in the episode.

 

Show Notes:

Are AR style rifles good for hunting? Should you hunt with one? Should new hunters use one? This is a hotly debated topic where opinions tend to overshadow facts. On this episode I talk about the pros and the cons without ranting or raving about either position.

Take Aways:

  • I cover both AR-15 rifles and AR-10 rifles because they are the most common.
  • I am familiar with the term “modern sporting rifle” but I’ve opted not to use it in this episode. It is not because I dislike the term but only a percentage of listeners would be familiar with it, so I’ve gone with the more familiar terms. No hate mail please.
  • Are there good reasons to hunt with an AR? Yes.
  • Are there good reason not to hunt with an AR? Yes.
  • Should you hunt with one? Maybe. You need to examine the pros and cons and YOUR situation to answer that question for yourself.
  • The answer an experienced hunter comes to and the answer a beginner comes to may be different however.
  • This episode is not politically motivated or charged. It is motivated by a hunter who wants to help other hunters navigate these questions logically and responsibly.
  • An AR-15 can be used effectively for coyotes, foxes, raccoons, woodchucks, and other small to mid size game, even turkeys with the right load.
  • AR-15s can be used to hunt deer under certain conditions I discuss in this episode but an AR-10 would be a better choice for hunting deer, elk, moose, and other large game.
  • I did not cover recoil in this episode. Mostly because I forgot, but also because it is not that big of a variable for most people. I have a bolt action 223 WIN that has less recoil than most AR-15 rifles that I’ve shot. It is really a non issue until you get to AR-10 platform.
    • In this case, the AR-10 would typically have a little less recoil than a manual action 308 WIN rifle of the same weight. But since most AR-10’s tend to weigh more than a conventional bolt action rife, the felt recoil is even more significantly reduced.
    • This is a benefit to those who are small framed, injured, or physically disabled in a way that they could not comfortably fire a traditional rifle due to recoil but could use an AR-10.
    • Reduced recoil could be a reason someone opts to use an AR-15 for deer hunting.

Show Notes:

Hunting for deer antler sheds is fun and rewarding and it can be enjoyed by the whole family. On this episode I talk about five reasons to get out and make the most of this great past time. I also cover some of the basics of how antlers grow and what we can learn from them.

Take Aways:

    • Antlers have intrinsic value but they also have cultural value. Throughout history they have been sought after.
    • Deer antlers have a lot of uses, perhaps more today than ever before.
    • Make sure to review your local laws about whether it is legal to buy, sell, or trade antlers. 
    • Finding sheds gives you very helpful and unique hunting intelligence that cannot be learned otherwise in most cases.
    • In some areas antler sheds can be devoured by squirrels and other animals within days, while in other habitats they may survive for months or longer. So periodic scouting throughout the prime season is ideal.
    • In most parts of the country, prime antler shed season for deer is mid January to mid March.
    • Antler sheds give you a great picture of the diversity of buck ages in a given area.
    • It is best to scout for sheds when there is no snow on the ground unless the snow has been there for a long time and fresh sheds may be laying on top of it.

 

Show Notes:

There can be excellent opportunities to turn a deer hunt into a coyote hunt if you think outside of the box and take some basic principles into consideration. On this episode I talk about 3 ways to maximize your time and effort in the woods.

Take Aways:

  • If coyotes are in the area or menacing an area you can convert any deer hunt to a coyote hunt.
  • Be mindful of your hunting plans, converting a deer hunt to a coyote hunt is best done if you do not plan to hunt deer in that area again in the near future. 
  • There is one tactic you can use to literally draw in deer and coyotes at the same time, and take whoever shows up first.
  • Always be mindful of your blaze orange regulations, many places require you to wear orange to hunt coyotes if it is during a particular deer season.

Show Notes:

If you hunt long enough you will find or may be a person who does not like the taste of some or all game. On this episode I talk about the top four reasons people do not like the taste of game and what you can do to change that.

Take Aways:

  • Venison may be the most common game meat available so more people will have tried it and formed an opinion, but these principles apply to all types of game.
  • Nothing says people need to like game, but I’ve found it can be something that enriches the lives of those who appreciate it.
  • There are good reasons why someone may not like the taste of game, some are very valid, and all but one can be changed.
  • Many people had a bad first impression and have never had a second impression. Or they have formed an opinion with no experience. In both cases there is hope.
  • Most of the time people’s opinion is based on poor quality meat or poor cooking. Here are two previous episodes that can make all the difference in these departments.
  • You must remember that most children left to themselves will grow up unwilling to eat anything other than pizza, chicken nuggets, and mac & cheese. 
    • It shouldn’t be surprising when adults become so used to a small rotation of food options that they find something different undesirable. But even that does not mean they actually do not like game. They may just have some growing to do before they can appreciate it.

 

Show Notes:

Once the rut is over deer behavior begins to change and so do hunting conditions. On this episode I talk about what tactics you can use to be successful at late season deer hunting.

Take Aways:

  • After the rut, bucks go back to their home range and does settle down.
  • Fewer hunters are in the woods when winter begins so hunting pressure begins to diminish.
  • The woods have less food, less cover, and less water for deer.
  • Deer are taking less chances and covering less ground.
  • All day sits are not necessary in winter and can actually be counter productive.
  • When you take all of these and more factors into account, there are some great strategies for late season hunting. Listen to this episode to hear them.