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.

Arrow weight plays a major role in archery hunting, it impacts your range, aiming, and effect on the deer. On this episode I talk about how to sift through all the information out there to make a good decision on how heavy YOUR arrows should be.

Key Points:

  • Arrow Weight (which is really the mass) is measured in grains, just like bullets.
  • Arrow Velocity is measured in feet per second, (MPH = FPS X 0.68)
  • Arrow Energy is measured in foot pounds
  • Arrow Momentum is measure in slugs per feet per second.
  • Arrow Drop is measured in inches at a given distance, often compared to a previously established benchmark.

Assuming a bow has a fixed amount of energy it can put into an arrow, the lighter the arrow the faster a bow will propel it. The faster the arrow the flatter the trajectory the slower it will drop and the easier it will be to aim and take longer shots.

Heavier arrows travel slower, drop faster and are more difficult to aim because even small differences in estimated vs. actual difference can affect your ability to hit a target. However, they carry more energy to a point, and carry significantly more momentum which makes them more effective on a whitetail deer.

There is no best arrow weight, period. There may be a weight that is best for you, depending on how you hunt and where you hunt.

Listen to the episode to hear my recommendation on arrow weight for new hunters.

Many deer hunters walk into the woods lacking one of the most important things possible. Today it is possible to not just protect your hearing but boost it back to the level it should be, enjoy the sounds of the hunt, all while amplifying the unique sounds that deer make in the woods. On this episode I talk with Bill Dickinson, a life-long hunter, doctor, and co-founder of an amazing outdoor company that is changing hunters lives.

Take Aways

  • The Tetra’s do 3 main things
    1. Enable you to hear perfectly normal while instantly protecting your hearing whenever you take a shot.
    2. Amplify the hearing of those who have damaged hearing.
    3. Boost the sounds that deer make in the woods so you can hear them louder, clearer, and from further away.
  • Even archery hunters benefit from the Tetra’s. If they have damaged hearing they can once again hunt hearing everything. And both those with damaged and perfect hearing gain the ability to hear deer specific sounds louder and from further away.
  • Gun hunters gain even more benefit from instant hearing protection whenever a shot is taken, plus the Tetra’s boost the sound of deer footfalls in the leaves on the forest floor, giving even more advantage for hearing deer from further away.
  • The Tetra’s draw from cutting edge hearing aid technology with proprietary capabilities to boost game specific sound patterns while filtering out sounds you do not want to hear, like wind. They can be programmed for deer, turkey, waterfowl, elk, and more.
  • Those with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can apply those funds towards the purchase of Tetra devices.
  • Hearing loss is cumulative over time. Every shot taken potentially harms your hearing a little, for some it causes more harm.
    • Research shows that some people’s hearing can take more of a beating while other people lose their hearing faster. But sometimes even those with robust hearing are unexpectedly just one gunshot away from partial deafness
  • Bill, who is a doctor of audiology, co-founded a company called Tetra Hearing with the express goal of not just protecting people’s hearing, not just preserving the experience and sounds of the hunt, but also enhancing your ability to hunt better.
  • Every device is tuned to match your personal hearing levels and ranges.

You can learn more about Bill’s work and company by visiting TetraHearing.com and you can take a free hearing test to help assess your current condition. 

(Disclaimer, there are no affiliate links, no commissions or kick backs, I do not make a dollar if you purchase anything. I genuinely and strongly believe in the work Bill is doing)

The early deer season can be the best time of the year for hunting certain areas but it requires a unique set of strategies that is different from the rest of the year. On this episode I share the story of my early season whitetail buck and the tactics that helped me bring him home on opening day.

Take Aways

  • Before the whitetail shift occurs, usually around the first frost, deer are often still in their summer habits and areas.
  • Your normal deer hunting strategies for temperature, weather, and time of day do not carry as much weight in the early-early archery deer season.
  • In the early season deer may be more used to human activity in areas closer to homes, farms, parks, etc. because more people are spending more time outside.
  • The number one principle of early season hunting is scouting, in person or by camera.
  • Deer movement patterns in the early season usually change greatly by the time of the rut, so if there is favorable activity then capitalize on it right away.
  • If your hunting area has been soft on deer activity during the early season, do not lose heart, that may be the place the deer go once the shift occurs.
  • Listen to the episode to hear about the early season strategies that helped get my 2021 buck.

The best time of day to hunt bucks changes as the season goes on. It is true that you can take a buck at any time of day and on any day of the whitetail deer season, but there are times when the odds are better. On this episode I talk about the best time of day to hunt bucks in the early season, pre-rut, rut, late season and everything in between.

Take Aways

  • Deer movement tendencies will differ by region, landscape, micro-climate, and local food sources and cover. This episode provides broad recommendations that must be measured against what happens in your local area.
  • There is no better way to determine the best time to hunt than by real data from your hunting spot. Trail cams provide the best objective measurements of when bucks are moving.
  • Consider reviewing last years trail camera data for the time you plan to hunt this year to get a sense of how deer typically use the land.
  • Early Season – Deer may still be in their summer habits and habitat and may be less skittish and more forgiving until hunting pressure pushes them to moving less during the daylight.
  • Pre-Rut – Bucks are up and covering ground looking for does, they are active much more during daylight.
  • Rut – Bucks are active around the clock, chasing does, fighting, and looking for the next moment of excitement, until they putter out and enter a rest phase.
  • Late Season – Bucks are still interested in breeding but begin to return to their regular habits, specifically eating and looking for thick cover.
  • Listen to the episode to hear about the best time of day to hunt bucks in each phase of the deer season.