DeerBlaster blasts

Big 4x drop tine, Insane matched set, Rub tips and hunting the rain

Today’s Top 5

2 blown chances lead to 7.5-yr-old 4x drop buck.

Aaron Fry of Logan, WV saw the first pic of this buck in 2015 — it was a single drop-tine deer. He had no way of knowing it’d turn into a 4-yr quest for an absolute monster buck.

He hunted the buck hard in 2016, but wound up with an unfilled tag. In 2017, he filled his tag with another nice deer, thinking the drop-tine had died from an EHD outbreak in the area. Then came the next fall:

> …on Sunday evening Fry had his first face-to-face encounter with the buck. It was a broadside shot at close range, but the buck jumped the string and the broadhead skinned his back sending the buck out of the area. “I thought that was it for a 7.5-yr-old deer. I thought I blew it.”

> But he kept hunting. Fry arrived at his stand around 2 pm. He laid his bow at the base of the tree. A mound of dirt stood between his tree and the watering hole, so Fry explained he wanted to take a look before he climbed into the stand. Turned out to be his second big mistake with the buck.

> “I walked up on that mound and there he was at 35 yards, broadside and we were eyeball to eyeball. My bow was 10′ behind me on the ground. He bolted away and I figured the Good Lord had given me 2 good chances and I blew them both.”

But Aaron kept hunting the watering hole, for 4 days straight. That evening, he heard something that spooked a couple of smaller deer.

> “I assumed it was a bear — but when I looked, here he came along the same path as the day I missed him. He walked to about 22 yards and stopped in the shooting lane. He dropped his head to start picking acorns and turned his head away from me.”

Aaron sent an arrow and:

> “He ran off about 40 yards and acted like he wasn’t even hit. He started feeding again. He took about 3 or 4 minutes and then I saw that little tail flicker. Then he started to fall. He over-corrected and fell the other way….”

Deer ended up being a 17-point non-typical that scored 171. What a stud!

INSANE matched set of public-land bone!

Dylan and Dawson Broadbent — @shed_stackerz on the ‘gram — were STOKED to find this set of sheds last weekend:

> …we found this stud last night!! Definitely my biggest buck ever and I’m gonna have a hard time being able to beat it. Public land too [WY]! What do you guys think he’s gonna score?

We’d guess 200-ish? Not out of the question with all the mass, kickers and stickers goin’ on.

“Splinter” goes down in IL.

For sure! A good-lookin’ 5-point on one side, and alllllllll sorts of crazy on the other?? Brad Stricker named this deer “Splinter”:

> I watched his moves all summer and actually put a tag on him Oct 1 within 3 hours on opening day here on my farm in IL in 2018.

> After pursuing him in 2017 as a crazy-looking stud, I am so happy that I caught up to him a year later — he really put on some character in those 12 months.

Wade Middleton’s tips for rain huntin’.

Tip of the Week last week said that active rainfall is one of the best predictors of deer movement. So then what are some things we can do to increase our odds in the rain? Our bud and fellow deer nerd Wade Middleton of Yamaha’s Whitetail Diaries has been wet a time or 2, and has a couple tips for making a rainy hunt less miserable and more successful:

> …if I’m hunting in the bottoms or around a lot of food plots, those deer don’t really like all that mud. They’re just like me…they don’t wanna have their shoes full of mud. But if you can find some ridges or rocky areas, I find a lot of deer moving in those places.

> You need to be properly geared up. Go to one spot that’s covered if you have that option. Rubber boots that keep your feet dry will allow you to sit better. Obviously rain gear. But if you’re bowhunting, make sure it’s quiet rain gear.

> Rain has the deer fidgety and nervous. And that makes sense because there’s sounds they don’t hear all the time. They turn to look in one direction, and then turn to look in another direction. They’re always at alert.

> But you can also use those kinds of movements to your advantage. When that deer is moving around, it gives you a chance to raise your gun to take a shot.

> In my opinion, shot placement is even more important in the rain because your blood trail could be completely wiped out…. Taking a risky shot could result in heartbreak.

Great stuff, thanks Wade!

Ford Fiesta deer-hunting machine??

That “dope” deer-huntin’ ride can be yours for $3,995…unless you’re into haggling. Jay Mallard Ford in LA (where else lol LA peeps!) is selling this tricked-out Ford Fiesta — ran down the mods:

> From the side it’s impossible to ignore the black plastic fender flares and the seemingly gargantuan mud tires. Take a closer look and you’ll find that those ITP Ultracross rollers are indeed intended for an ATV or side-by-side. They did this thing right.

> Pan around to the front and spot the winch, which looks more worn than Warn. Still, it’d come in handy if those knobby tires and front-wheel-drive aren’t enough to pull the Fiesta out of the muck. There’s also a police cruiser spotlight mounted on the driver door, though I wouldn’t suggest hunting with it.

> The inside has been “customized for easy deer loading,” per the ad, with a floor liner draped over the rear seats. Try your best to avoid the light-colored cloth, though — that stuff doesn’t come out without a fight.

> …the fun-per-dollar value here is high — even if it does have 194,173 miles.

Dang they kinda had us til the high mileage! (Definitely hit it with some Sea Foam High Mileage.) And what’s up with no camo??

If you’ve got or seen a unique deer sled, hit us with it!


1. ME wants an all-time deer harvest this fall.

> …biologists…proposed a 61% increase in any-deer permits this fall — to an all-time high of 109,890 — to harvest more does and cull the state’s growing deer herd.

2. AR: South AR reduces deer limit to 5.

Maybe cuz of flooding? Reductions are along the MS River.

3. MN set new deer population goals for some blocks.

Too many to list here, details at the link ^.

4. VT antlerless smokepole lotto on sale now.

Looks like all online — guessin’ no paper applications because of Covid:

> 23,000 antlerless deer permits will be issued for the 2020 Muzzleloader Hunting Season. You are encouraged to apply early.

5. UT: New antlerless apps opening.

> …new hunts for antlerless deer, antlerless elk, doe pronghorn, antlerless moose and ewe bighorn sheep. You’ll be emailed your drawing results on or before Jul 9.

6. DC: Senate will vote on Great American Outdoors Act.

> The legislative package allocates $9.5 bil over 5 years, all revenue from oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters, to address the massive maintenance backlog on public lands. It also guarantees full and permanent funding for the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 mil annually.
9. KS: Guys charged with poaching on artillery range??From the article:

> 3 men have been charged in federal court with illegally hunting whitetail deer in off-limit areas located on Fort Riley where explosives are discharged during training exercises, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

> Investigators found evidence including deer mounts, antlers, phone data and equipment allegedly used to harvest 8 whitetail deer, 3 of which were considered trophy class.

10. QDMA: Pandemic a chance to teach a non-hunter to hunt.

> There’s no better situation for the 95% of society that doesn’t hunt to realize they’re unprepared and may need a lesson in self-reliance….

> I challenge you to ask one person you know who doesn’t hunt if they’d like to give it a try this year.

11. Lyme symptoms could be mistaken for Covid.

And maybe vice versa?

12. LA: Will the marsh be gone in 50 years?

Tulane U scientists say it could happen. Lot of deer there….

13. Win a TX or IL deer hunt.

14. Canadian gun ban also banned a website??…along with 12ga shotguns and a few other not even close to “assault” weapons. Yikes.

Deer Disease News

1. Scent companies lobby states to allow CWD testing.

> A commercial laboratory began testing deer urine [to detect CWD] for the scent companies in 2019, enabling 2 of the industry’s largest manufacturers to test 100% of their natural deer urine products before releasing them to the marketplace.

> Despite the availability of this testing and certification, several states have proposed natural deer scent bans and have told the public that no such testing exists.

2. TX has a few new CWD monitoring zones.

> The rules implement a Containment Zone (CZ) and a Surveillance Zone (SZ) in Val Verde County, a new SZ in Kimble County in response to the discovery of CWD, and slightly expands the current CZ in Medina, Bandera, and Uvalde counties after additional cases of the disease were detected.

3. Natl Deer Alliance supports PA and MT CWD plans.

4. AB: 1,158 CWD cases last season?

Sounds like a huge number?

New Stuff

1. KUIU intros Valo camo pattern.

> Valo is a versatile low-contrast pattern comprised of lighter earth tones. It works effectively across a wide range of vegetation and terrains. With complex colors — including desert tan, prairie-grass yellow, stone grey, coyote brown, olive drab and minimal black — Valo takes on the appearance of its surroundings.

KUIU’s stuff is rad and this pattern looks great…tho one of our guys likes a lot of black….

2. Eberlestock updated its most popular packs.

> Capable of carrying a compound bow and full-length rifle at the same time, the 4th generation X1A3 [pictured below] comes with…an exterior front pocket allows you to stash easy-to-access accessories. Tubular side pockets mean you can retrieve your spotting scope without removing your weapons.

> The X1 Euro is…from our more-minimalist X1 line of hunting packs. The X1E features excellent accessibility to the whole interior of the pack, through both top-loading and lower front-loading zippers.

3. New Riton X5 Primal scope.

Pretty extensive review at American Hunter:

> The X5 Primal line uses HD/ED glass to provide crisp, clear images that magnify light. This Extra Dispersion of light is noticeable across the field of view. The 30mm tube provides durability, and allows for 108 MOA of total adjustment. While the larger tube does add weight, it also provides strength to withstand the rigors of hunting and still hold zero.

4. GoPro Zeus Mini magnetic light.

> …magnetic multipurpose waterproof light…rechargeable Zeus Mini features a robust magnetic swiveling clip and is compatible with GoPro’s full line of camera mounts….

5. New Boss Booster mineral attractant.

Just $10 so maybe worth a try?

> …creates [a]…long-lasting mineral site that deer will frequent all season long! The powerful attractant works fast and lasts for weeks. Open the 7-lb bag, rake a 3′ to 4′ diameter circle, and mix the Boss Booster attractant with the soil.

6. Just in time for summer: Realtree Crocs.

Foot concealment at the beach:

Gear of the Week

Yeeeeeee-haaa! Nothin’ makes a guy feel more like a cowboy than a lever gun…unless you’re packing the Citadel Levtac from last week’s DB….

Add the new Henry Long Ranger 6.5 Creed to the list of non-traditional lever actions. Shooting Sports USA says this Henry keeps its classic styling but uses a modern cartridge:

> The Long Ranger’s receiver and lever have a matte black finish — the bluing on the 22″ barrel is dark and blends well with the aluminum alloy receiver.

> Wood-to-metal fit is superior to most production rifles, with only a bit of proud wood around the lower receiver tang. A minor flaw is with the stamped metal magazine: it fits a bit loosely but happily does not rattle during carry.

> Our 1st clue to the Long Ranger’s potential is the box magazine that permits the use of spitzer-type high-BC bullets… Our 2nd clue, the Henry loaned for test and evaluation here came [without] iron sights as befitting a field rifle intended to reach out there, though the Long Ranger carbine with 20″ barrel does sport barrel-mounted sights.

> Not immediately visible, we see our 3rd clue after removing the fore-end: a fore-end hangar attached to the receiver that free-floats the barrel. Henry didn’t cut corners here with a thin metal strap — the hangar is 5″ of beefy steel to ensure rigidity.

> …trigger breaks super cleanly at 3.75 to 4.0 lbs with zero overtravel, a big help to accurate shooting…no takeup.

> …turned in respectable 1.5″, 100-yard, 3-shot groups with premium factory ammunition from Berger and Hornady…as you might expect, the slim sporter-weight barrel is not conducive to longer shot strings keeping bullet holes close together as the barrel heats up, regardless of the free-floating.

MSRP is about $1,100. Next week, we’ll show you a full auto lever-action:


Tip of the Week

What a deer rub can tell you.

Gotta say it’s always fun to find a deer rubs. Definitely gets the wheels turning…what’s left of ’em anyway lol. Anyhow, Buckmasters had this little tidbit:

> When you find a rub line, look for a pattern regarding which side of the trees is being rubbed. If the west side…you can assume the buck was heading in an easterly direction, etc.

> Knowing the direction of the buck’s travel can help you determine where to set up to ambush him, as well as whether he is entering or exiting a key area as he makes his rubs.

> This can even tell you if the rubs are made in the evenings, mornings, night or day as the buck is traveling to or from his bedding area, feeding area or a transition zone between the two.

Quote of the Week

“The first day I was sitting at my desk and the sales guys came up to me. They asked if I liked to hunt. I said that I would try anything once. Here I am years later and it’s completely changed my life.”

– Heck yeah! That’s Erin Hutchison talkin’ to — she hadn’t hunted at all til she got a job at Danner/LaCrosse boots. Just gotta make the ask folks! A little more from the Outdoor Life post:

> Up until then, no one had ever offered before.

> When I returned home from that first deer camp, I remember grabbing happy hour with some girlfriends and sharing my experience. I will never forget their baffled faces when I recapped my week. They laughed at the thought of me hunting and probably thought I was a little crazy.

Shot of the Week

Check out the neck on this dude! So big it’s not even a neck, just a continuation of his chest! @pabuckmafia pic:

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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