> I started an archery-only deer management program on my property about 5 years ago because I was only seeing bucks with little scrubby racks. I started limiting deer hunting access, removed all hunting pressure from any other hunters, and ceased deer harvesting.
> I didn’t find as great of an improvement as I thought I would, so I began thinking that maybe I should bump up the food sources. That late summer and early fall, just prior to the second hunting season, I did a lot of research and trial-and-error trying to find something to plant for the deer that would be year-round and not require constant re-planting due to over-grazing. I also added a couple supplemental feeder troughs. …those little scrawny deer were hungry for the new food sources…
> …second year I decided to begin harvesting only cull bucks and only if the cull buck came in alone….
> On the third year of the management plan I began to see a couple 3.5-year-old bucks that I though may have grown up in my food plots because they weren’t as shy to daylight hours. One particular…buck had a nice 125″ wide rack, but it didn’t quite have the tine length or mass. Luckily the buck made it through…and I watched him grow during the following summer….
> The fourth year of management was the same, and the buck grew to be around 140″. …I’d go sit with my friend in the shooting box stand and listen to my friend tell me I was crazy for not taking him, but I wanted to see if I could get the buck through one more hunting season because he had made so much progress in tine length and mass the past 2 seasons.
> The summer of the fifth management season I watched this buck in velvet, and he appeared to be over 150″ now. …I decided that if I got the chance to take him by bow, then I would take the shot.
> After gross-scoring the rack around 150″…the current record was 143 1/8 set in 1995…I figured we might have a chance depending on the minor deductions…. The official score was 149 6/8 with a net score of 143 5/8. So this is indeed the biggest bow buck in Muscogee County and beat the previous 26-year-old record by 4/8 of an inch.
> It took 5 years of hard work, dedication, sticking to the management plan and patience. I saw many a buck come and go and never saw them again, but in my opinion it was well worth the effort, and luckily the end result paid off.
> This [deer don’t move on windy days] is a long-standing belief many hunters share. But is it true…or is this just a myth that limits many hunters? …I decided to see what deer researchers have to say about the effects of wind speeds on whitetail movements.
> Gabriel Karns believes that dead calm days and high winds (30 mph or more) bring deer movements to a screeching halt. “I tend to see the best movement and activity in 5- to 15-mph conditions.”
> Tomberlin looked at not only how breeding season impacted buck movements, but also climactic factors such as temperature, barometric pressure and wind speed. He found that the wind had little influence on buck travels. “We found no consistent effects of wind speed on deer movements.”
> Webb found no clear relationship between wind speed and whitetail movements for either sex during the study period, although only bucks were monitored during hunting season.
> Surprisingly, all deer (both males and females) moved more during windy days, but less on windy nights. In contrast, calm winds seemed to make deer movements come to a screeching halt. “On calm days, it’s often warmer, so we aren’t really sure if deer didn’t move much when there was little wind because of the wind, or because of higher temperatures.”
> “The discomfort associated with hunting on windy days is probably affecting us more than it does deer. Rainy, windy weather probably isn’t affecting deer movements all that much.”
> “I find that in states like OK and KS, where high winds are common, deer just aren’t affected by high winds,” said Dan Perez, bowhunter and co-owner of Whitetail Properties…. “In states like IL and PA windy weather will reduce deer movements, but less so during the rut. High winds will make deer move less for a day or 2, but after that they get used to it.
> “Heavy winds really shake the trees and make a lot of noise, which spooks deer. So I like to get out in more open areas away from the woods. Deer will move out of the woods earlier because they’re on pins and needles from all the noises they’re hearing.”
Another windy-day hunting strategy:
> If you have a non-bedding area that’s protected from the wind, hunt it on windy days. A low bottomland, the lee side of a ridge and just inside a conifer swamp are all great spots to sit during heavy winds. But…not all deer are going to react to the wind the same way.
New twist: Deer farmers trying to breed deer that are CWD-resistant.
Ironic if the solution to CWD ends up coming from the folks most demonized for it now. From this post:
> Newton has been focusing on research work being done through Christopher Seabury at TX A&M U regarding how genetics play a role on whether a deer is susceptible to CWD.
> “Animals, deer, whitetail deer specifically, have a genetic effect that their genes are able to pass this disease on. Not that the animals pass it on, but genetics susceptibility of the disease is an inherent trait.”
> Newton said deer farmers/breeders are able to breed animals that have a lower susceptibility to the disease. “Today deer farms across PA and the country are working at breakneck speeds to sample their herds, remove the high-susceptibility animals, and keep and breed the low-susceptibility animals. We can’t move fast enough.”
> …TX officials have used the technology to test 206,000 animals with the live test. The sensitivity of the test is to the point…where it’s become an effective tool vs only having postmortem testing.
> “We should continue to allow farm operations to manage their animals intensely like they are, keep doing genetic sampling, keep removing positives from the population. We are going to find way, way more [potential] positives in farm facilities because we are testing more. We have the mechanisms in place to control it.
> “…we’re testing for it and keep making (reproducing) animals that have low susceptibility to the disease.”
Not sure that will solve the problem, but it sure is an interesting possibility. If there’s a genetic connection, wonder if the deer more susceptible to CWD will be selected out over time…?
> True synthetic mock scrape powder, not a pee-infused talcum.
> We are true formulators and understand the chemistry behind the scents and how to create true biological attraction. This includes the proper ingredients that attract the deer, including synthetic pheromones to truly interest the animals.
> This isn’t “pee perfume”, it is true science in a bottle. We have the most effective representations of urine and glandular secretions like tarsal on the market. No one else can do it and we keep our formulas a closely-guarded secret.
> The warty growths are cutaneous fibromas caused by a virus. They are pretty unsightly, but not serious. The deer is walking around fine, eating fresh green-up and acting like a deer. We are letting the deer be for now and will continue to monitor it.
> Most fibromas will eventually regress and heal completely. When we come across these cases, we check on the animals’ mobility and ability to eat and drink. Once the growths are healed, the deer has lifelong resistant to future infections by this virus.
So deer have lifelong immunity to viruses they recover from….
> Deer archery hunting in the CWD surveillance area comprised of Hardin, Marion and Wyandot counties will begin on Saturday, Sept 10. The original proposed start date of Sept 1 was amended following feedback from hunters and landowners.
> “Staff propose(d) to clarify the antlerless deer are deer having no antler point protruding through the skin or a deer that has completely shed its antlers. Buck deer will be defined as deer having antler point protruding through the skin or a deer having antler growth in velvet greater than 1 inch.”
> To curb excessive mule deer buck harvest, the commission approved a proposal extending mule deer antler restrictions in an additional 21 counties in the Panhandle.
> Once all antlerless permits are assigned, any remaining permits available in specific WMDs would become available for $12 each on a first-come, first-served basis. DIF&W proposes that all be limited to 1 additional permit, regardless of success in the lottery.
> That procedure would replace the bonus permit system now in place, which gave hunters access to so-called extra permits to take additional does. Hunters previously could get as many as 3 bonus antlerless tags.
> …of the approximately 11.5 mil licensed hunters in the US, 90% are male and 97% are Caucasian.
> This trajectory and imbalance are problematic because the country’s entire wildlife conservation system is heavily dependent on sportsmen and women for funding. Money generated from license fees and excise taxes provides more than 60% of the funding for state wildlife agencies…. Thus, losing hunters equates to a crisis for all wildlife.
> …detectives with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Department discovered that Wilson was responsible for vandalizing property, burning deer stands and deer camps. Wilson also placed metal spikes on trails to cripple horses and on roads to flatten tires.
> On one occasion, Wilson attempted to lure deputies into a trap by covering an old abandoned water well.
Looks like the story about how this was eventually brought to light is even more mind-blowing. This post says that a Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office investigator had a vendetta against the wrong man.
> The commission also approved changes to what hunters can use to prove a deer’s sex after harvest. Before the change, hunters were required to keep a buck’s head.
> “Staff proposed another option which includes the tail and unskinned skull cap with antlers attached…. This additional proof of sex aids in (Chronic Wasting Disease) CWD management, allowing the hunters to leave the most infectious part of the deer at the site of harvest, so we’re not hauling brain material around to other parts of the state, potentially spreading the disease.”
> A rifle custom-built as part of an entire hunting system, the ClymR is the sort of tool expert hunters reach for when tackling rugged stretches of backcountry. With a carbon-fiber stock and a carbon-wrapped barrel, extra pains are taken to make this gun as lightweight as possible. As light as it is, however, this still takes a back seat to accuracy, which is the true focus of the ClymR system.
> …the reverse-draw Fury 410 is a perfectly balanced crossbow that measures an ultra-compact 29″ long, 9″ wide and shoots up to a lightning fast 410 fps.
> …the effort required to cock the crossbow to just 5 lbs…. The new D-1 Trigger is Wicked Ridge’s smoothest trigger ever. This 2-stage, zero-creep design includes a new DFP (Dry-Fire-Prohibitor) and delivers a consistent, crisp 3.5-lb pull. The simple push of a button moves the trigger to “de-cock” mode and allows the user to safely de-cock the crossbow….
> “The Fury 410 De-Cock packs $2,000 worth of features into a price-point of $1,099.99….”
> When I started working on my property 30 years ago, deer didn’t feel any safer on my farm than they did on others. If I would jump a deer on my place it would run as if being chased by demons, and it wouldn’t stop until it was out of sight. When I jump a deer on my place now, it often runs a short distance without leaving the property.
> Over decades and generations of deer, the local whitetails have learned that my property is hands-down the safest place in the neighborhood. Sure, I still lose some bucks, but if I can get a buck to survive past 3.5 years old, the odds of getting him to 6.5 years old increase.
> This tendency just continues to be more common with the local deer each year. It is as if each new generation of deer becomes more connected to my farm, recognizing it as the safest place in the area. In turn, they are not only becoming more accepting of me and my presence, but they also seem to be more willing to move in daylight, including the mature bucks!
> The Berlin Wall once separated East Germany from Czechoslovakia. In 1989 the wall came down. The red deer from both sides refused to cross the imaginary line that once marked the Iron Curtain. This was despite every animal alive being at least 3 generations removed from those that actually lived when the wall stood!
> If a German red deer knows about a danger that hasn’t existed in generations, is it too far of a stretch to think that a whitetail doe can teach her fawns where they are safe and where they are not? When thinking about my own property, I believe that I have in a sense “trained” the local deer to recognize it as the safest place in the neighborhood.
Quote of the Week
“…you must plant something that peaks during the window these deer typically live there.”
> Another important factor is the shape of the plot. Square, rectangular and circular plots work…[but] these typical shapes do little for influencing natural movement of deer. Other shapes are much more effective at directing deer movement, which is especially important for bowhunters.
> Shapes to consider include U, V, T, L, K, hourglass and turkey…. Each of these has a vertex, or a turning point, where deer must get to before seeing the rest of the food plot. These become pinch points and are perfect treestand locations.
Shot of the Week
Not much of a story to this one, just a real nice Ozarks, MO 25-point – look at those tips! Shot by Tony Kalna III, posted by NA Whitetail:
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