DeerBlaster blasts

300+ inches 2 bucks! Hefty typical 8-point, Insane locked antler set!

Today’s Top 5

1 hunter, 2 bucks, 363 1/8 mass-tastic inches!

IA is known for bruisers and Brady Snyder sure knows how to find ’em! Not only that, but he’s got some luck when it comes to drawing tags — he got one for the 2019 Des Moines urban bowhunt, known for giving up some huge suburban bucks.

That tag in hand, Brady arrowed this 173″ on Sept 19:

But his season was just getting started — he moved his setup to private land to hunt “Buster,” a big, broken-racked deer he’d seen on his trailcams in ’18.

After weeks with no sign of Buster (including trailcam malfunctions), he decided to change locations on a day a farmer was combining nearby. As he moved, he discovered a new deer trail. Realtree has the lowdown from there:

> “I realized Buster had traveled that same trail in my last photo of him. My heart started pumping harder because I felt like it was going to happen.”

> …doe stepped out near where the others [does] had emerged. When she turned and started walking, he saw Buster’s left antler coming out of the woods…. Buster came 15 yards closer and raked brush for 5 minutes. [!!] Then he made a scrape.

> Snyder snort-wheezed a third time, and the buck snapped to attention before raking more brush.

> “About 15 seconds later, he walked right to me. At 22 yards, I started drawing back and my arrow rest squeaked. I almost stopped because I thought something might be wrong, but the buck didn’t skip a beat. I finished drawing and grunted to stop him. He looked up and I let my arrow fly. The hit sounded good.”

It was! The buck measured a truly massive 190 1/8″:

So both deer combined, he now has 363 1/8″ at the taxidermist right now.

Majestic MO deer a decade in the making.

That’s “Havalon,” a 180-class buck that’s the largest typ 8-point ever taken with a bow in MO. He’s called Havalon because his main beams are bladed, like a knife.

Here’s the story of how Skyler Wirsig, video dude for Heartland Bowhunter, took Havalon down, from NA Whitetail. It started with finding a good spot/trail a decade area and then in 2017 he began seeing some pics of a big (but young) 8-point:

> [In 2018] he was bigger than I’d ever imagined he would be. His frame was incredible, and the mass carried to the end of each tine. I thought he was big enough to flirt with the magical number of 170″ as just an 8-pointer.

> I scanned through trail camera photos from the year before and noticed Havalon had walked by on the morning of Nov 8. What if he does it all over again 1 year later? I immediately thought…how cool would that be?

Sure enough, Havalon showed himself at the end of the day after a long, cold sit. Skyler’s arrow got it done.

One lesson here: If you find a good deer funnel, use it for multiple years and keep your rear in the stand!

INSANE locked set from WI!

Tough to top this! According to the shedaddictions FB page, this pair of deadheads — found in Rock County, WI — is a 250-class deer locked up with a 160!

Shame they had to go that way, but great they were found before the mice got ’em too bad.

Country star tags deer, then got ‘yote eating his whitetail.

Must be some hungry songdogs in TX! Country star @dustinlynchmusic made a nice shot on this whitetail, then that’s where the story got a little weird — from @druryoutdoors:

> Dustin made a great shot on a big, mature 11-point with his @psebows Evoke…dad, Chuck Lynch, right next to him! 10-15 minutes after watching the buck fall and celebrating in the blind, they climbed down to find a coyote standing over AND eating away on his buck.

> With no hesitation, Chuck slipped back to the @muddyoutdoorsofficial blind to grab the rifle then shoots his first ever coyote which fell ON TOP of Dustin’s buck!!! Talk about an unforgettable story + hunt to remember.

Unforgettable for sure! Hopefully Wile E. saved some backstraps for ya!

Meme of the week lol!

You know it’s true guys hahaha!

News

1. IL: Archery harvest almost as big as gun season.

Mostly because of x-bow use and lousy weather during gun season:

> Archery harvest jumped to 67,696 deer during the 2019-20 season from 61,096 in ’18-19, while harvest during the tradition firearms seasons fell to 75,349…from 80,957 in ’18.

2. NC may loosen ban on Sunday public land hunting.

The DNR is holding public hearings on it right now — here’s the schedule (pdf).

3. PA: Legislature holding another hearing on Saturday opener.

> Ever since the PGC changed to a Saturday deer season opener last fall, opinions have been split on the issue and debate has continued. Now the discussion on opening day will head to the legislature when the House Game and Fisheries Committee holds a public hearing on the matter on Feb 20.

4. OK says ‘forget it’ to longer gun season.

Proposal would’ve extended rifle season for a week but:

> Instead, the agency wants to increase bag limits on does during the rifle and muzzleloader seasons in certain areas of the state and add more hunting days to the holiday antlerless season.

[Can’t link it — at oklahoman.com]

5. MD considering new primitive weapon season.

> Legal hunting devices for this proposed new season would include longbows, recurve bows, flintlock pistols and rifles, and percussion side-lock pistols and rifles. No telescopic scopes or modern optics will be permitted on any hunting device for this season.

You can comment on the proposed regs thru Feb 24.

6. MA deer tally is 2nd highest ever.

> Almost 14,000 deer taken during the shotgun, archery, black powder, youth and paraplegic hunting seasons.

7. ID: Higher non-rez hunting fees will hit the state hard.

But ID resident hunters want it:

> …fewer nonresident hunters. Estimates put the loss at $5.4 million and $9 million a year.

8. WY: Bill would severely limit non-rez tags.

> Most species will see greater than a 50% cut in nonresident tags.

9. MO: Landowners will now register online to hunt own land.

Used to be on the honor system.

10. GA: 6K new acres now open to hunting.

11. NE: Senator wants more ag folks on game commission.

12. OH: Son introduces dad to deer hunting.

Cool story about a guy whose father-in-law taught him and his daughter how to deer hunt. Turns out his dad got curious about it and now he’s a deer nerd too:

> “I had been thinking about trying hunting for a long time, but what tipped the scale for me was seeing my granddaughter do so well on a bowhunt…so after that, I had to give it a try.”

13. 2018-19 season had record-low yearling buck harvest.

> “The fact that less than 1 in 3 antlered bucks shot today is 1.5 yrs old is amazing. The result is that deer populations are more socially balanced, and of course hunters are seeing and harvesting more adult bucks. The average percentage of the buck harvest that was 3.5 yrs old or older was 37% in 2018, which is by far the highest percentage ever reported.”

14. CA: Man fined $20K for baiting/killing deer out of season.

> A 70-yr-old Sacramento County man will pay a $20,000 fine after pleading no contest this week to shooting a trophy buck out of season on property he owns in rural El Dorado County.

> The hefty fine is one of the first under a law passed in 2017 that allowed judges to slap poachers with bigger penalties if they’re convicted of illegally killing deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and wild turkey with certain characteristics such as big antlers that classify them as trophy animals.

> In CA, it’s illegal for a hunter to lure deer and other game animals using bait in feeders….

15. Trump Jr anti-hunting outrage helps raise $340K for SCI.

High probability all the animal rights “fake outrage” (lol!) over an AK deer and duck hunt with Donald Trump Jr helped jack up the winning bid!

> Once the bidding started, the price rose dramatically, topping out at $190,000.

> In a surprise move, Mr. Trump announced that the outfitter was offering another slot on the hunt and bidding began again, topping out at $150,000 and bringing a grand total of $340,000 for the first auction item alone.

Pretty sure that’s more than the antis have EVER contributed to conservation??

16. CO woman gets fined for luring deer into her house…

…to feed them:

17. UK freaks over deer cull.

A Brit TV show profiled a rural family who responsibly culled deer from their own property — only to receive heat from the show’s host and antis (animal rights started in the UK). Couple lines from the interview:

> Interviewer: “Why shoot them at all? Because here we are, I mean we’re in the middle of nowhere, they could just be couldn’t they?”

> Landowner: “Humans got rid of all the natural predators. We have to be that balancing factor.”

> Interviewer: “What you’re selling though, really, is the experience of killing this beautiful iconic animal. Isn’t that odd?”

> Landowner: “But we don’t take trophies on this estate. We don’t take the huge big stags with the big, big heads. What we try and do is cull the old, the sick animals on the hill, to improve the actual deer herd themselves.”

Guess we would mention that tabloids and agenda “journalism” started in the UK too….

Deer Disease News

> Hunters reported harvesting nearly 94,000 deer during IA’s 2019-20 hunting seasons, which is a decline from 2018-19, when hunters reported nearly 108,000 deer.

> Wildlife experts say while there are a number of factors that likely contributed to the decline, the most prominent is the outbreak of hemorrhagic disease that killed thousands of deer…. It was the 2nd largest outbreak of hemorrhagic disease in IA, behind only the 2012-13 outbreak, and the reduced harvest is consistent with that following the 2013 outbreak.

> A male whitetail deer from both Butte and Corson had CWD; and 2 male mule deer from Haakon County reportedly had CWD.

Will use hunters to cull deer in CWD zones, and employ sharpshooters if quotas aren’t met.

142 animals tested positive.

New Stuff

1. New Stryka S5 binos hitting stores.

> All lens surfaces are coated multiple times utilizing the company’s proprietary SXL-MAX anti-reflective flat broadband coatings for maximum brightness and optimal color, sharpness and image contrast while maximizing transmission across the entire visible light spectrum for true-to-nature color representation.

2. Sig Sauer 6mm Creedmoor Elite Copper Hunting ammo.

> …80-gr all-copper bullet…consistent 1.8x diameter expansion…high ballistic coefficient allowing it to push through wind with less drag and drift, increasing accuracy at longer ranges. Muzzle velocity is 3,300 fps and muzzle energy is 1,935 ft-lbs.

[Can’t link it — at theoutdoorwire.com]

3. Delta McKenzie has new 3D targets.

Just in time for the spring target season:

> The new additions to the Pro Series will include an aoudad and wolverine.

[Can’t link it — at theoutdoorwire.com]

4. Lansky has a couple new blade sharpeners.

> The D-Sharp follows in the footsteps of the…pocket sharpeners Lansky has rolled out in the past. It includes four sharpening angles (17o, 20o, 25o and 30o) and a durable metal casing.

> The Lansky Diamond Pen is a 3-sided, 600-grit diamond sharpening rod that retracts into the handle for easy storage. It’s meant for fast, on-the-go reconditioning of small blades….

Gear of the Week

If y’all noticed your boots were starting to show some miles this season, don’t drag your feet on getting a new pair. The closer you get to the new hunting season, the less likely stores will have your size in stock. Plus, hiking in the off-season is a great way to make sure your new kicks are broken in.

Mike Hanback gave the Cabela’s Axis boots a run, from his Big Deer Blog:

> I wore the 8″ Axis boot last deer season, for some 60-plus days, and it might be the best one yet. Comfortable the first time I put them on, no break-in time needed. Lightweight enough (2.7 lbs pair) and substantial soles that permit smooth and sure-footed stalking, and great ankle support.

> The boot uppers are built of nubuck leather with 600-denier nylon. They feature waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex moisture-wicking linings to keep your feet dry and comfortable, and 400 grams Thinsulate insulation.

> Perhaps the best feature of the Axis boot is the soles. Dual-density lugs with ridged perimeter outer lugs provide great traction and soft interior lugs absorb shock. They have rubber toe bumpers for added protection.

He pointed out that at $140 these boots are a good value.

Tip of the Week

Create your own Alpha scrapes.

Real interesting info from Oak Duke, outdoor editor at the Corning (NY) Leader. He created a bunch of ground/tree branch scrapes combo scrapes:

> A few years ago, I launched an experiment to see if I could create not just a mock scrape, but actually initiate what I call an Alpha scrape, one that would be freshened over and over again on a daily and nightly basis throughout the entire span of the rut and beyond.

> The premise was that I would introduce to the resident whitetails at each location by zip-tying a few overhanging branches, complete with saliva from other unknown bucks and does from hot scrapes, causing an even greater amount of deer activity there.

> I was not disappointed…amazed at the number of bucks and does that were brought in…. I did not use any urine-based or attraction lures on those scrapes.

> I was very surprised to see the number of does that visited the scrapes in proportion to bucks, as common scrape lore has it that scrapes are “a buck thing.” However, video cameras don’t lie and while bucks certainly outnumbered does, there was a high ratio of doe to buck visits.

> Both bucks and does licked the overhanging branch, spending 75% more time depositing scent there than smelling the ground where the obvious scrape is located.

> Doe saliva at the scrape is as important as buck saliva, as both sexes exchange pheromones and biochemical messages there, all enabling the rut to synchronize and unfold.

> …we possess a superb deer density, about 5 bucks per sq mile…. But at my 2 Alpha scrape sites I recorded many more than that, especially during the peak of the rut, which was late Oct and early Nov this past season (2019). I think this shows that bucks will travel a long ways to reach an Alpha scrape site.

Whole post is long but worth a full read. What does it all mean? Seems like:

1. Mock scrapes work so they’re worth considering this fall.
2. Mock scrapes are used night and day, meaning deer activity is generally increased in the area.

3. Especially during the rut, mock scrapes pull in bucks and does from further away, which is never a bad thing!

Quote of the Week

“A 6-pack and gym selfies are not required to do well..the biggest factor in how well you do and how much you enjoy a hunt sits between your ears.”

Outdoor Life’s Tyler Freel talkin’ mountain huntin’ but that’s true no matter what kinda huntin’ you do…though you should be in some kinda shape!

He might be referring to the fact that over the last few years there’s been a little explosion around serious gym training for mountain hunts….

Shot of the Week

Valentine’s Day’s around the corner so here’s you an idea guys hahaha!

Doubt they’d help a gal jump barbed wire fences tho…. Or if those aren’t your honey’s thing, you could make this yourself:

What’s the DB and who does it??
The DeerBlaster is a weekly roundup of the best, worst and funniest stuff about whitetail deer hunting culled from around the interwebz. We were kinda doing it already, just not the blastin’ it into your inbox part….
It’s put together by some deer nerds — Ted, Jay, Wade, couple more — from around the country. We excerpt content (and credit EVERYONE!), comment on content, do some original content — it’s an internet thing…. We do it because we can’t get enough deer hunting, hopefully you’re wired the same.
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