Show Notes:

There is no doubt that ATVs can make deer hunting more convenient, but do they have a negative effect on deer? On this episode I talk about the impact of all-terrain-vehicle use on deer hunting and when the best time to use off road vehicles is. 

Pros:

  • ATVs are a great way to get deep into the woods quickly.
  • ATV’s can be enable hunters with physical disabilities/limitations to overcome barriers to whitetail hunting.
  • ATVs are an amazing asset to help recover game from the woods.
  • ATVs can help you get lots of gear deep into the woods with ease.
  • ATVs can be used in certain scenarios with no impact on deer.

Cons:

  • ATVs make a lot of noise.
  • ATVs make vehicle noises in places that deer are not used to them.
  • ATVs can spook deer, particularly mature bucks.
  • ATV use can contribute to lazy hunting habits and poor woodsmanship over time. 
  • ATVs provide a false sense of security because the deer can flee long before you are close enough to ever see them.

Show Notes:

The truth is, there is a best day of the year for whitetail deer hunting. But that day is not the same every year. On this episode I give you the tools to help you discern the best day of the  year to hunt whitetails in your area.

Take Aways

  • The rut happens at the same exact time every year, no matter what.
  • The moon does not determine the rut, the days getting shorter does.
  • The moon can play a small part, but the weather plays a much larger part.
  • Bucks are going to breed does every day and night during the peak of the rut. But there are days where they will move more during the daylight.
  • Here is Pennsylvania’s data on when does breed during the peak rut. I misspoke on the show, it is based on 6,000 does studied
  • The effect of weather and temperature is relative. There is no magic temperature or conditions. It is all about how the weather is compared to how it has been.
  • Listen to the episode to find out the best day of the  year for you to hunt deer.

Show Notes:

Many people discount the early season when it comes to hunting whitetail deer, but that can be a big mistake. On this episode I talk about the 5 big strategies that helped me land my early season buck and how you can find great success long before the rut draws close.

The Story

So I took the largest buck I’ve harvested so far. Thanks be to God! This deer was part of a two year long journey on the small property I am blessed to be able to hunt.

I spent dozens of days cutting trails, installing habitat improvements, planting 1/10th of an acre of clover with no more equipment than a weed wacker, and setting up stands and trail cameras to hunt and monitor the most likely locations for deer movement.

I spent even more time learning, studying, planning, plotting, and just thinking about the above journey. Before this year I had never seen or had a trail camera photo of a buck on this property during the hunting season. That is 5 straight years with not a single buck sighting or photo during the season!

This year I had identified and named somewhere around 6 bucks that were legal, some much larger than this one, and they are around fairly regularly. I’ve had over 500% more trail camera images of deer this year vs last year, from the same camera, in the same spot, over the same dates (and counting!)

It has been a great adventure in learning about deer, deer habitat, how to create predictable deer movement patterns, how to attract and hold more deer with minimal dollar investment, and of course how to hunt deer more effectively.

More important than all of that, it has been fun! And today I was able to reap some of the fruit of all that work.

The hunt today was simple. I got to the blind around 3:45pm. Watched some fawns graze and run away, and then sat uneventfully for two more hours. At 5:45 I saw a head with antlers appear straight ahead of me, slowly exiting the woods into the clover patch 30 yards away. Within two seconds I know it was a keeper, I drew my bow and fired without hesitation, second thought, or even a second look at the antlers. The shot was true. And my adrenaline kicked in fast.

It was my 4th hunt of the season, and the first legal buck that came within range. Though I could have taken many does, (and probably should have.) This deer was actually coming from semi down wind of me, which is not supposed to happen. So I was not watching that part of field as intently as others. I took great precautions to control scent, and they seemed to have made a difference.

It was a great moment. I wish it had been in the morning when I prefer to hunt so I could have savored it longer without wrestling with the fleeting daylight. But the bucks have been moving here almost exclusively in the evening during this part of the season, so I had to adapt my style some. That is another thing I learned, and it payed off.

I am so thankful to everyone who has had a part in helping me along in my hunting adventures, big or small, such as my family, friends, and coworkers. I especially want to thank my in-laws who have given me great latitude to work on their property with the intention of improving the hunting conditions. Not even I thought my work would have helped this much.

And I am most thankful to God, who set this beautiful creation in order for us to see, experience, and enjoy. He has given me the ability, the health, the strength and the opportunity to do all these things.

Show Notes:

The first day you walk into the woods to hunt ducks is a big and exciting day! On this episode we hear from my friend and duck hunting expert Riley Hendrixson about what to know and do on your first ever duck hunt!

In addition to being an avid and experienced duck hunter, Riley Hendrixson is the host of The Hoosier Outdoorsmen Podcast and the owner of Ryloh Game Calls.

Here are some photos of Riley’s work:

Show Notes:

Trying to break into duck hunting can be a big task. But every journey begins with a first step, and this is it! On this episode my friend and duck hunting expert Riley Hendrixson is going to talk about how to get ready for your first hunt!

In addition to being an avid and experienced duck hunter, Riley Hendrixson is the host of The Hoosier Outdoorsmen Podcast and the owner of Ryloh Game Calls.

Here are some photos of Riley’s work:

Show Notes:

Every year October comes and many hunters begrudgingly suffer poor hunt after poor hunt at the hands of the mysterious “October lull”. On this episode I  shine some light on the mystery  and provide some strategic insight to help you be successful all month long.

Facts:

  • The October lull is a thing.
  • It is NOT what most hunters claim it to be.
  • It is 100% understandable and controllable.
  • Three big things happen in October that impact whitetail deer habits and patterns.
    • Lots of hunters are going into the woods.
    • There is a seasonal habitat shift.
    • Deer begin to get their winter coats.
  • You can have great hunts in October.
  • Even still, October may not be the month you want to focus all of your energies.
  • Listen to the episode to hear the full story.

Show Notes:

The question comes up again and again every whitetail deer hunting season, you saw a doe with fawns and are not sure if you should take a shot. Or worse, you did harvest the doe and then noticed the fawns, will they survive the winter? On this episode I answer this questions with more than just opinions and feelings, I dig down to the real facts.

Facts:

  • Almost all fawns are completely weened by September 1st.
  • Bear cubs will not usually survive the winter without their mother because bears are primarily predators.
  • Deer fawns do not rely on their mother to hunt or teach them hunting strategy.
  • Fawns are fully equipped to join the heard by the end of August.
  • Fawns will be easily assimilated into the heard upon loosing their mother, if they haven’t been already.
  • Does may still be wet in late December, but that does NOT mean fawns are dependent on them.
  • The game commission times the seasons to make sure fawns are not still dependent on their mothers.
  • It is the mother deer that kick their sons out of the heard once they are old enough to breed. They do not remain a family unit for long.

Show Notes:

In many traditions doe hunting has been frowned upon, but the reasons for that simply do not hold up under scrutiny. On this episode I examine and debunk several of the core issues that have held people back from the fun and benefits of hunting whitetail does.

Take Aways

When many people think about deer hunting they think about hunting bucks. Generations of tradition have ingrained this thinking but it is based on several flawed premises:

  • There are not enough whitetail deer in the woods so we need to save the herd by saving the does – False
  • If it wasn’t for people, there would be more deer in the woods – False
  • There are not enough bucks or not enough big bucks, if we pass on does then there will be more bucks – False
  • When they allocate doe tags, the game commission is telling us how many does the herd can survive without – False
  • Does are too easy to hunt and they are not sporting game – False
  • Does do not have enough meat on them to be worth taking – False
  • Does are not fun to hunt – False
  • Does are not trophies – False

Listen to the episode to hear how many of these anti-doe hunting myths are easily debunked.

 

Show Notes:

A trail camera is more than a tool, it is a hobby, a pursuit, and one of the most fun parts of hunting during the off season. On this episode I talk about the best things trail cameras can do for you to improve your deer hunt and your overall experience as an outdoorsman.

Take Aways

  • There are two major categories of benefits for game cameras, enjoyment and intelligence. You are using the camera to improve your hunt or to have fun, or both.
  • Game cameras do cost money, but they are the only peace of hunting gear you can enjoy year-round.
  • When it comes to trail cameras there are two most important features. No-glow or low-glow nighttime bulbs and warrantee.
  • An infra-red flash or white light nighttime flash will spook game and cause problems. Avoid these cheaper camera types.
  • The number one issue with trail cameras is that they break, deteriorate, and just don’t last more than a couple years. Having a good warrantee both assures that the camera will perform for a minimum amount of time and that the overall function of the camera will be good.
  • Companies do not put good warrantees on junk cameras. If the warrantee is good, you can assume the technical specs of the camera will be good enough as well.

Show Notes:

You do not need to have hundreds of acres to have a great hunt. In fact you can hunt whitetail deer very successfully on small properties, even those with as few as just a couple acres. On this episode I talk about how to amplify your deer hunting success when you have limited amounts of land available.

Take Aways

  • An acre is about 208′ x 208′ that is all the space you need to hunt with a bow or a rifle, IF you can get the deer into that space.
  • Contrary to popular belief, anything under about 1,500 acres is a “small” property because it does not encompass the 24 hours a day, 365 days a year life of a deer. So if you have less land than that, you need some to have some small parcel strategies in play.
  • A property does not need to contain everything deer need to survive and thrive, in fact, you only need one thing, a reason for them to walk across your land.
  • Do not focus on what you lack, focus on what you have or can affect.
  • Do not worry about what your neighbors have, in fact use what your neighbors have to your advantage.
  • Only about 5% of whitetail deer properties are managed well enough to be a day time buck herd influencer.
  • You can be smarter than most of the people around you, even if they have better land and more resources.