DeerBlaster blasts

Best SHOT Show stuff, Wedding ring hunting advantage? How to skull mount

We’re still worn out from a 4-day bender in Vegas…meaning walking the 630,000 sq ft SHOT Show, the firearms and hunting trade show. This week’s top 5 is a rundown of some of the coolest new stuff we thought you’ll want for the woods next fall. So here we go!

>> If you’re getting the Deer Blaster for the first time it’s because a deer-crazed buddy signed you up!

Today’s Top 5

Winchester builds another legend?  


> …Winchester’s new Legend caliber. Ballistics indicate the new .350 Legend to have significantly more energy than both the .300 Blackout and .30-30 Win, with less recoil than both the .30-30 and .243 Win.

> Its straight-wall case design is of immediate interest to hunters, as a legal caliber in 47 states. Further, Winchester touts the Legend as the fastest straight-wall round on the market.

>The .350 Legend will be available solely on the XPR line of bolt action rifles, but we expect more news soon.

Here’s a quick video on it:

We were told that part of Winchester’s thought process was to build a straight-walled cartridge that’ll work in an AR-style platform, so look for gunmakers to offer .350 Legend black guns before long!

Steyr rocks the Monobloc.

Good writeup at the

> The most significant feature of this rifle is that the barrel and receiver are a one-piece part…the receiver and barrel of Steyr Monobloc are hammer-forged out of the same bar stock of steel, and represent a single part. [Fewer parts = typically better accuracy.]

> The Monobloc rifle also has an ergonomic stock with a modern or maybe a bit futuristic appearance. The stock features an aluminum bedding block and leather inlays. [Gotta admit, those leather inlays were really cushy, and the whole thing had a very ergonomic feel….]

> …first available chambered in .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield. Later the following caliber options will be added: 270 Win., 7×64, 8x57IS.

Only huge red flag is the rifle’s $5,300 price tag. [Huge eyes emoji] But then Steyr has never been a budget brand.

DeathGrip shooting tripod — ’nuff said! 

How ’bout that name! Bummed I didn’t get to see this product in person, but heard from a trusted bud that if you’re looking for a steady shooting rest in a blind or on a spot-and-stalk, this is for you. Here’s the down-low, from

> The DeathGrip lets the hunter be hands-free to glass or call on the hunt with ease…the non-marring over-molded rubber prevents damage to weapons.

> Available in carbon fiber and aluminum tripod…leg angle adjustment for 3 preset angles…20° – Standing Position…45° – Sitting Position…85° – Prone Position.

If you’ve ever used shooting sticks, you know they’re never where you need them…when the booner shows up! I’m told that with these, you can move ’em wherever you want and they’re always gonna be at the same level wherever you place ’em.

Is it a gun? Is it a crossbow? Is it… 

…a solution in search of a problem? Take a look at this:

Description from again:

> Unique has been a word tossed around to describe a number of hunting weapons that find themselves without a particular genre…. Now Traditions…is the first to carve out a new space with the XBR Crackshot, a rimfire rifle that moonlights as an arrow launcher.

> Buyers get a complete Traditions Crackshot rifle in .22LR with a 16.5 inch barrel, and the star of the show, the swappable XBR Upper complete with crossbow bolts.

Lol, just kidding. But seriously if that sounds crazy:

> Traditions is particularly targeting those who may not be physically able to use a crossbow or compound bow….

When I talked to a rep he was a little vague about whether it’s currently legal for ANY deer season, archery or otherwise, so guess we’ll wait and see….

The right wedding ring will help you hunt deer?? 

The cool new trend for hunters — or not only hunters — is the silicone wedding ring. Seemed like everyone was wearing one at SHOT. We were like ?? at first, but then we read this post at Mossy Oak.

> We hear of people suffering [treestand] injuries and even losing a finger because their ring got caught…. If you get in a bad bind, the silicone will break before pulling your finger off.

> Being made of silicone ensures that nothing will stick to it. No matter what you stick your hand in, it won’t stick….

> The deer have no idea you are climbing into the stand until you clang your ring against the ladder…. Being flashy and showing off some bling has its place, but when being stealthy in the woods it is a terrible idea.

If that’s not enough to convince you, Google “Jimmy Fallon wedding ring.”

Gotta add — these rings are WAY cheaper than the sparkly ones…though not sure my wife would’ve been cool with me proposing with one of these….


1. SK: New WR P&Y muley non-typ = 303 0/8!!

> Dennis Bennett’s enormous SK buck has a 5×5 typical frame with 15 abnormal points on each side with a gross score of 303 0/8…. With a final score of 291 1/8″, Dennis’s buck was confirmed as the new P&Y non-typical World Record mule deer.

> …got to within 44 yards when the big non-typical was startled by another smaller buck bedded close by. …not ready for a shot and watched as the bucks bounded away.

> …returned later in the afternoon, giving the buck time to settle down…. The stalk was close to 300 yards, and the wind had changed which allowed Dennis to follow the fenceline along the top of the hill and get within 37 yards… The shot was on a steep angle, and the arrow hit a bit high. The deer dropped in its tracks and rolled down the hill about 50 yards.

Great stalk and great job Dennis, wow!

2. LA: Super blood wolf moon >> super double-drop buck.

> Mon, Jan. 21 a rare phenomenon took place…a Super Blood Wolf Moon…. Shannon Harper probably wasn’t thinking about wolves when he marked his calendar to be on his deer stand 2 days prior….

> “Trailcam photos had been showing this buck coming out right after dark, but I knew that as the full moon approached, his visit to my food plot would be earlier each evening. This is why my calendar had the few days prior to Monday circled…felt my best chance at him would be just before the full moon.

> “When he turned broadside to me, I put the scope on my .35 Whelen on his shoulder, hit the trigger and he dropped.

> The deer was a mainframe 10-point with 2 drop tines and 2 small kickers. The inside spread was 18″…scored as a 14-point measuring 161 1/8″.

3. LA: BASS pro Caleb Sumrall sticks a nice buck.

Bassmaster Elite Series pro, killed that 215-lber (around 125 B&C) with 1 shot:

> “I called him out of the woods, with a little grunt, right after daybreak. It came flying out of the thicket. I had to get his attention one more time. It came flying right to me. I shot him at about 45 yards” with the Carbon Express Maxima arrow released from his BowTech Sanity bow….

> The 31-year-old outdoorsman’s deer hunting season was compressed into a few short months because of his other passion, bass fishing, a sport that he has made his career.

4. WY: Possible regs for shed hunting?

> Two bills are currently moving through the legislature that would give the WY Game and Fish Department more flexibility to manage the collecting of antlers….

> “We get people on both sides. On easier winters, some people want us to open the season earlier and then on harder winters, sometimes it would be nice to keep the antler season closed a little longer into May to prevent further stress on those big game animals.”

> Antler collecting has become more popular in WY since neighboring states began regulating the practice more strictly…people can also sell the brown elk antlers for as much as $13 a lb.

5. OK: Deer-blasters bagged 100K whitetails this season.

> For the second year in a row, OK deer hunters hit 6 digits with their harvest…. OK’s deer herd is in great shape and history says it’s ready to produce for seasons to come.

> Deer hunting in OK has flown under the national radar. The crazy number of really big bucks harvested last season brought overdue notoriety to the state, but local hunters have been very aware of how good the hunting has been for the last 20 years.

> We have had several years of good habitat conditions. Deer have had plenty to eat and plenty of places to hide. It would be easy to think if drought occurred and habitat conditions offered hunters an advantage, we could see a harvest that exceeded 120,000 in the next few years.

6. MO: Nearly 300K deer taken!!

> …more deer than were taken in the 2017-2018 season (284,477 whitetails) but below the record 313,254 deer killed in 2012-2013.

> Of this season’s tally, 136,776 deer were antlered bucks, 30,116 were button bucks and 123,447 were does.

> Preliminary data from MDC showed that hunters checked 54,447 deer during the archery season.

Tip of the Week

We all know good taxidermy ain’t cheap. Ever thought about doing your own European skull mount? I have but never have…for some reason. I might now after this Meat Eater tutorial:

> You may want to skin the head in the woods as part of the field dressing process. If you have a long pack out, you’ll shed a lot of weight by doing this. Also, the hide comes off the skull easily if it’s skinned shortly after death.

> The hardest part is the top of the skull around the antler pedicles where the hide is tough and thick. A flathead screwdriver will help you pry it loose.

> You should also remove the eyes before boiling the skull. This isn’t easy or quick, but it will save you time later.

> The fact of the matter is, if the water is actually “boiling,” it’s way too hot.

> Boiling skulls put out some strong odors that can linger, so avoid the temptation of the kitchen stovetop.

> Hydrogen peroxide is the way to go. The liquid stuff in your medicine cabinet is a very weak solution so you want to get the high-test 40v hydrogen peroxide gel. It’s powerful stuff that’ll peel your skin so wear rubber gloves while you’re using it.

Read the full how-to here at

Quote of the Week

“If we don’t get real proactive we could lose hunting in MS.”

MS politician talkin’ ’bout CWD and a bill that would try to stop its spread in the state:

> …would ban supplemental feeding of deer statewide, require tagging of harvested deer and make other changes for deer hunters in response to the discovery of chronic wasting disease….

> Chronic wasting disease was first confirmed in MS in 2018 after a hunter observed an emaciated buck.

> “It’s not the zombie apocalypse, but it’s something we need to research, manage and keep our hunters informed so they can continue to enjoy their sport and protect their families in terms of the meat they eat.”

Shot of the Week

Barbed wire fences are for keeping people out, not bucks:

Not sure where that shot’s from but we like it!

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The Deer Blaster is a year-round weekly roundup of the best, worst and funniest stuff in deer hunting — curated by a couple diehard deer nuts. Let us know what we can do better and thanks for readin’!
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