Show Notes:

Anything that is made can be made wrong. But much of the time people think their gun is a lemon, it is actually a situation that is caused by or can be fixed by the user. On this episode I talk about common issues that are mistaken for firearm defects and then what to do if you really get a gun that is a lemon.

Poor accuracy can be caused by a great many things such as:

  • Loose action screws
  • Loose scope mounts
  • Loose scope rings
  • Loose scopes
  • Poor scopes
  • Defective scopes
  • Poor ammo
  • Dirty ammo
  • Ammo that the gun doesn’t favor
  • Poor shooting position
  • A poor shooting rest
  • And many other things other than a defect

Failures to feed right can also be caused by lots of things:

  • Not cleaning a new gun before using it
  • Dirt or gunk building up in the gas system or the action
  • Too much oil in a gun
  • Underpowered ammo
  • Ammo that the gun doesn’t favor
  • Dirty ammo
  • Ammo that the gun is not setup for
  • A magazine that is not in all the way
  • Loose screws
  • A grip that isn’t firm enough
  • Shooting position that isn’t firm enough
  • And lots of other things

But there are still times when a firearm is truly defective and the solution is often easy. Return it to the manufacturer to be repaired or replaced. This is not that difficult to do or that expensive. If you have verified that none of the above issues are the cause of your problem and can document that on paper with your return, it helps make sure you are only sending the gun back for a real problem.

Most firearm manufactures will repair or replace guns that are truly defective without cost or question. No need to fret. You may also have the gun warrantied through the dealer your purchased it through, giving you two options to get it fixed.

Listen to the full episode to learn more about what to look for and what to do. 


Show Notes:

Calling predators takes a measure of skill and discipline no matter what tool you use. Electronic calls can be an easier path to success but manual calls do have some benefits that are exclusive to them. On this episode I talk about not just picking the best type of call but how you can up your game when it comes to calling coyotes, foxes, and more.

Electronic Calls:

  • Are way easier to start with
  • Are fast and easy to use
  • Save your lungs and energy
  • Have a massive variety of sounds you can use
  • Are more expensive
  • Require batteries
  • Are only semi-weather resistant

Manual Calls:

  • Are harder to learn
  • Take time and practice to master
  • Require much more energy and focus to use
  • Are small and easy to transport
  • Have no batteries or electronics to mess up
  • Are dynamic and flexible
  • Add realistic variation to your calling


Show Notes:

It doesn’t take rocket science to improve the ability of your land to draw and hold more deer. On this episode I talk about the cheap three-step process that I used to increase the number of deer on the small property that I hunt by over 660% from one year to the next.

Take Aways

  • I measured the increase of deer activity using the same camera, pointed at the same spot, during the same exact time period from last year to this year.  And no, this camera was not over new food or bait, it was a trail.
  • Assuming you have or could borrow a week-wacker, swing blade, sheers, a hand saw, and a spreader, you could do everything I did for a total budget of less than $100. You might even be able to do it for less than $50.
  • I did three main things starting in March:
    1. Improved deer’s ability to move around the property in a strategic way.
    2. Added focus points to define deer movement.
    3. Planted a super cheap and small staging plot of perianal forage.
  • Listen to the episode for all the details and to hear about the even more impressive increase in bucks and mature bucks.

Show Notes:

The best time to scout for whitetail deer hunting locations is usually right after the season you plan to hunt them. On this episode I talk about why post season scouting is ideal and how you can make the most of your scouting to improve your chances for success next year.

Take Aways

  • Deer patterns shift seasonally as cover, bedding, and food sources change.
  • When scouting you need to ask the question “where will the deer be when I plan to hunt them” instead of just trying to find where they are today.
  • Early winter scouting helps you identify deer habits and habitat as they were during the hunting season.
  • Pre-season and or mid season scouting can spook deer and push them to other hunters.
  • If possible, you want to make your hunting area a haven for deer after you have finished hunting, so they have a safe place to survive the rest of the season


Show Notes:

There are a lot of great things about eating venison; the thrill of the hunt, knowing where your meat comes from, the satisfaction of besting a deer in its element to provide for your family, and more. The flavor and quality of the food you put on your table can and should be near the top of that list. On this episode I talk about how to tenderize venison and share some of the preparation and cooking methods that can also help improve tenderness. 

Take Aways

  • Venison is not beef. Do not cook it like beef. do not treat it like beef. Do not try to turn it into beef.
  • Do not compare tough cuts of venison with tender cuts of beef. Each animal has its tender cuts and its tough cuts, and each cut can be prepared well.
  • Tenderness is a factor of field care, butcher care, freezer to fridge care, meal prep, cooking method, and doneness.
  • Do all of those just half decently and your will be impressed with what is possible.
  • Popular meal prep tenderization methods include; soaking meat in milk, buttermilk, olive oil and wine, vinegar, and similar fluids.
  • These methods take the most time and produce the smallest results.
  • Listen to the episode for the top tenderization techniques and tips to get the most out of your venison. 

Show Notes:

For those who hunt the same areas year-after-year, it is common for the number and quality of deer in the area to diminish over time. On this episode I talk about why this is a normal occurrence and what you can do to reverse it!

Take Aways

  • Great whitetail habitat will do one thing if left untouched for decades, become bad whitetail habitat.
  • Most of the time it is not the fault of the game commission, too many hunters, too many tags, etc.
  • There are more whitetails in America today than there were 50 years ago, 100 years ago, or the day Columbus stumbled upon the continent.
  • The number of hunters also generally decreases year after year.
  • Deer do not leave an area without reason and they are not attracted to a new area without reason.
  • Deer are creatures of edge. They need food, cover, and bedding.
  • Thick cover will eventually become open forest, young forests will become old forests. All of this is bad news for deer.
  • The number one simplest way to improve failing whitetail habitat is to get sunshine onto the forest floor. This creates cover and food.

Show Notes:

For many, hunting is a seasonal pleasure. But it has the potential to be a year-round pursuit, even when you are not in the woods chasing game. On this episode I talk about cultivating the joy of the year-round hunt.

Simple ways to enjoy whitetail deer hunting even during the off season:

  • Scouting and checking trail cameras to see what deer survived the hunting season.
  • Watching movement and feeding patterns in winter when cover is sparse in the woods.
  • Looking for new tree stand locations during the winter when cover better resembles its fall state.
  • Checking trail cameras to see what deer survived the winter.
  • Hunting for antler sheds.
  • Planting clover or other food plots.
  • Watching anthers grow via trail cameras over the spring and summer.
  • Creating habitat improvements.
  • Studying summer and fall movement patterns to help direct hunting locations.
  • Shopping for gear on Black Friday and after Christmas when deals abound.
  • Mounting antlers, tails, or your trophies of choice.
  • Talking about hunting and sharing stories.
  • Thinking about past hunts and anticipating new ones.
  • Practicing with your rifle and/or bow.
  • The list goes on and on!

Show Notes:

Every hunter will face opportunities to get discouraged with what seems like a poor hunt. But the very nature of hunting makes it a pursuit were success can happen in an unexpected instant. On this episode I talk about how quickly things can turn around and how you can take advantage of those unanticipated opportunities.

How to have more turn around moments:

  1. Always be ready – If you are not ready and able to take a shot within two seconds you may miss turn around moments.
  2. Pay careful attention – Whitetails, turkeys, and many other animals can appear unannounced, silent and seemingly from nowhere.
  3. Assume there is always a deer close by – Don’t get lax or sloppy because you assume no animals are around. Your quarry really could be feet away from you and you not realize it.
  4. Stay positive – You hunt better when you believe it matters. You can always have a good day in the woods, no matter what the animals do.
  5. Never give up – Everyone has a time they need to leave the woods but realize success can come even at the last minute you are out there.

Listen to the episode for more!

Show Notes:

Everyone wants to take a buck with big antlers, but why? On this episode I talk about why the quest solely for big antlers is folly, while being honest about the nature of whitetail deer and what really makes a mature buck a true trophy.

In many ways antlers do not matter at all.

  • The hunt matters.
  • The skill, effort, and planning of the hunter matters.
  • Matching wits against wary quarry on its home turf matters.
  • Having fun matters.
  • For many the meat matters.
  • And taking a trophy that means something to you matters.

However there are reasons why the antlers do matter.

  • Mature bucks (relative to your area) are the most experienced and strongest deer in the woods.
  • These bucks are the hardest to find, hardest to get a glimpse of in daylight, and hardest to kill.
  • Taking mature bucks with any consistency takes a lot of skill, patience, woodsmanship, and planning.
  • Mature bucks usually have bigger antlers.
  • These antlers (no matter how big) are a trophy that represents the accomplishment of the hunter.

The importance of antlers rests solely with the hunter.

  • Antler size is relative to the area. In some areas a 3 year old buck is a mature deer. In other place a mature whitetail is 5 or 6 years old or older.
  • In some states a moderate 8 point is the king of the forest. In other states, hunters pass on large 8 points all day long looking for something more impressive.
  • When you know your area, you know when a deer is a personal accomplishment to you and that deer means something to you.
  • If you chase the approval of others you will always be empty and without joy.
  • Even a 2 point spike can be a trophy, if it is a trophy to you.
  • Antlers are more than just bone, they mean something, if they mean something to you.
  • We get into all kinds of trouble when we try to make antlers mean something to someone else. 

Listen to the episode for more.


Show Notes:

While prevailing wisdom says sitting in trees or on the ground is the most effective way to hunt whitetails, it is certainly not the only effective way to hunt. On this episode I talk about the strategies and ideal circumstances that can help make still hunting an effective tool in your deer hunting toolbox.

There are several situations when still hunting is the best way for you to hunt, such as:

  • When there are no trees or good locations for blinds.
  • You are exploring new territory.
  • You just hate sitting to hunt.
  • You get tired of sitting.
  • You get cold, sore, hungry or impatient sitting.
  • You are moving from a morning hunting area to an evening area.
  • It’s fun. Even if your chances of success are a little lower, what good is a miserable hunt with better odds?

To maximize your chances of success still hunting you should:

  • Always walk into the wind, either directly or at an angle.
  • Be as quiet as possible. You do not need to be 100% silent, but you cannot make more noise than a deer walking.
  • Always be ready. Always have your weapon in your hand so you can shoulder it and fire without delay, movement, or noise.

Listen to the episode for more.