DeerBlaster blasts

Double slingshot deer, NC bucks still strong, Get up real early for bedding bucks

Welcome to the DeerBlaster!

Today’s Top 5

Check out Slingshot!

Hahaha that’s great! Looks like some African exotic rather than a whitetail, but IS one of the coolest 4-points we’ve ever seen. Deer brother named Riley Emory arrowed him on a property run by Luke Carswell of 7 Bar Outfitters in northeastern KY. Here’s how it went down — Riley talkin’:

> Scrolling through pictures Luke posted on Facebook in Jul and Aug, I saw a deer that caught my eye. He wasn’t like the rest. This deer was an old warrior as you could tell right away from the body size. His body wasn’t the coolest part, though — it was the 4 points on his head.

> Hunting in Sep…the good news is that deer are very patternable…the negative is that it’s scorching hot, and the acorns are in full drop.

> I got into the stand and settled in. Time passed…then a doe stepped out to my right. After she’d fed for about 5 minutes, she suddenly snapped her head up and looked to my left. I could hear something moving in the thick cover…there he stood: Slingshot!

> Thwack! I heart-shot him, and blood began to pour out immediately. I know he wouldn’t go far…heard him crash right after he entered the woods to my right.

> We don’t know how old Slingshot was…based on live photos over the years, the feeling Luke and his staff have is that he’s at least 5 1/2 years old. (He was a big 3×3 in 2018 but for whatever reason only grew a huge fork on each antler this year.)

> As for antler score, I’m just now starting to reach out to folks who know how to measure a rack of this configuration. It’s so unusual that few evidently have ever tried to score one.

That’s cuz they’ve never seen one! Very cool Riley, congrats dude!

More BBDs in NC!!

What is it with NC this year?? Mike Hanback’s Big Deer Blog has a great gallery of 4 bigguns, here’s our favorite 2:

> Jonathan Phillips of Pittsboro shot this 9.5-yr-old buck ^ on opening day. …scored 137 5/8″, proof that rack score means little. Anybody who kills a 10-yr-old buck with a bow and arrow has accomplished one of the top feats in the whitetail world.

> Don Hawkins hit the woods in Guilford County on Friday the 13th, hoping to see in person a buck he’d been watching on trail cameras for some time. What a lucky day it was. He arrowed his best buck ever, a 6×5 non-typical whose antlers green-scored 157 5/8″.

Mike added:

> Early bow season in Sept, when bucks are still locked into predictable bed-to-feed patterns, is 2nd only to the rut as the best time to shoot a giant.

Gotta say it again — NC’s the new sleeper state for big-time whitetails.

Long shots: what’s YOUR limit?

Right now long-range hunting is “in,” and there’s been an explosion of new rifles, rounds, scopes and rangefinders to help get it done. But just cuz you CAN shoot a deer at 1,000 yards or more, SHOULD you?

T. Edward Nickens gives his 2c in Field & Stream, and it may make you rethink your max. Few highlights from the post:

> In nearly 40 years of deer hunting, I can only remember 2 deer I shot at that I didn’t bring home. This is not a boastful statement. You might even call me a timid rifleman. But I am a very good shot at the shots I take. I just tend to shoot deer fairly close — inside 150 yards…and in the open. I don’t take chances.

> It’s not that I’m incapable of longer shots, but this isn’t about numbers. I’m not talking about distance, really. My 200-yard stretch might be your 700-yard chip shot. I’m just being super honest with myself about my abilities and experience, and super fair to an animal that could pay a gruesome price for my hubris and carelessness.

> A whitetail buck that’s lived that long, sneaked past that many hunters, and moved like smoke through that many dawns deserves the most carefully considered shot, not some why-the-heck-not-Hail-Mary.

> I want the animal to die as quickly as possible from massive trauma and shock­ — ­a­nd I want to be shocked if that doesn’t happen.

You bet. Channel your inner Alfred:

Nice GA 150-class goes down.

@ga_country_girl said the buck came in 10 minutes after she got settled. She shot him at just 15 yards and he only ran 10 before hitting the ground. Congrats deer sister!

Most of America thinks legal hunting is good!

Sorta surprising with the crazy negativity about everything these days AND the fact that “only about 4% of the American population hunts each year” — but we’ll take it and embrace it:

^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette graphic and props to ’em for doing it.


1. MI: Ted Nugent sounds off about bait ban.

You probly know how Ted rolls so just some links:

Says DNR is ‘stupid’ for ban

Says the ban will spark civil disobedience

Do love the logic:

> “While I’m sitting here, deer are swapping spit. They eat off the same apple. They eat off the same branch.”

He also wrote this column — it’s good.

2. MI: M. Bovis TB found in HUNTERS.

> Between 2002 and 2017, the MI Dept of Health and Human Services identified 3 human cases of tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis that were linked to diseased free-ranging deer….

> All 3 cases occurred in hunters, including two who developed pulmonary disease, possibly as a result of aerosol transmission while they field-dressed deer carcasses, the researchers said.

3. MI issues a “do not eat” advisory.

> The advisory is due to high levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) found in a single deer taken about 2 miles from Clark’s Marsh, which borders the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.

Apparently the chemicals are from firefighting foam used on the base, and may cause all sorta health issues.

4. PA: Sunday hunting held up because…

…hikers don’t want to lose 3 Sundays a year?? If hikers have as much clout as deer hunters in PA, we should all be very worried….

5. AR deer season should be good again…

…because of regs doe and bigger-buck regs:

> Doe kills have exceeded our buck kills for 5 consecutive seasons, partly because liberal bag limits enable a hunter to kill as many as 6 does in a season. As a result, herd sex ratios are beginning to equalize. Seldom do we see 20-30 does in a food plot anymore, but we expect to see mature bucks every year.

> A big reason for that is the 3-point rule…enacted statewide in 1998. It requires a legal buck to have at least 3 points on one antler. This shifted the brunt of the annual deer kill from 1.5-yr-old bucks to at least 2.5-yr-old bucks.

6. Win a hunt with Steven Rinella.

Aka the MeatEater. Hunt will be in MI in 2020. Enter here.

7. NY: Bowhunter deer sighting log updated.

Last year looks pretty standard:

8. OH: Fewer deer being taken.

> The mechanics of decline include fewer hunters, fewer places to hunt, tighter regulations, less time spent in pursuit, and increased selectivity among a segment of the hunting population.

9. NE plans to allow deer hunting on Goat Island.

> Rick Clark, Natl Park Service (NPS): “In 2020, we would allow deer hunting with archery only. There would be licensing by the states of SD and NE. Under the NPS, the seasons would be different.”

10. MN: First-ever statewide youth hunt next month.

> The 4-day season begins Thurs, Oct 17 and concludes Sun, Oct 20. It coincides with statewide teacher workshops, so many MN students don’t have school during the youth season’s first 2 days.

That scheduling = #stout

11. New Barnett HyperGhost x-bows now available.

> The HyperGhost 405 features a new upgraded stock and Barnett’s patented step-through riser. The crossbow kit includes three HyperFlite arrows designed exclusively for use with Hyper Series crossbows. These .204″ small-diameter arrows hammer through deer, hogs, and other large game.

12. Outdoor Life looked at 10 6.5 Creedmoor rounds.

13. New ScentLok BE:1 Voyage jacket and pants.

14. Win this and a TX whitetail hunt.

> Enter for your chance to win the TX Whitetail Hunt Sweepstakes…. Prize includes a fully-guided deer hunt the week of Dec 3-7, 2019, meals and lodging, round-trip airfare, a new Performance Center Model 460XVR revolver and a Yamaha hunting clothing package.

Enter here. On that note American Hunter took a look at top handgun hunting loads.

15. Lyme disease vax may be available soon.

> The vaccine was developed by a French company called Valneva. The company’s vaccine for Lyme disease, VLA15, completed initial trials in 2018 and is currently in phase II of clinical testing…will enter the next phase of testing mid-2020.

Deer Disease News

1. PA wants comments on its proposed CWD plan.

2. MS has 3x as many CWD testing stations this year.

35 total.

3. MO offering free voluntary CWD testing statewide.

> …hunters who harvest deer in any counties of the CWD Management Zone during the opening weekend [of rifle season] are required to take their harvested deer…to one of MDC’s numerous CWD sampling stations throughout the zone.

4. WI CWD testing lab readying to get slammed.

> For about 6 weeks around Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, pathology sciences supervisor Dan Barr, 3 full-time employees, about 10 short-term staff and a rotating team of specialists chip in to keep the lab operating 16 hours a day….

5. OH has a CWD Deer Surveillance Area with special regs.

6. MI: Docs say it’s okay to eat EEE deer.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis:

> The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the US, but it cannot be transmitted person-to-person, horse-to-person or deer-to-person.

7. EHD buck walks through fire and sinks in water (vid).

Crazy and pretty sad video of a nice buck suffering from what Drury Outdoors believes is EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease). Probably the case since the disease causes disorientation, loss of appetite, weakness and fever-like symptoms.

Often EEE deer will seek water to lower their body temp, then die from drowning because they’re so weak. Sad….

Gear of the Week

If you’re already out in a deer stand, you’re swatting bugs. And if you’re swatting bugs, you’re not sitting still…and not punching your tag.

Bet you’ve heard of Thermacell. If you don’t use it, now’s a good time to consider it. They’re reasonably inexpensive, quiet, deer don’t seem to mind them, and most of all, they work. No bugs!! What the Big Game Hunting Blog said about it:

> The results were stunning the first time I took my Thermacell hunting and turned it on: it was as close to a magical way to repel mosquitoes as I’d ever seen…the cloud of mosquitoes that surrounded me at the time completely disappeared.

> …use a heat-activated repellent to create an invisible zone of protection from mosquitoes. …within a few minutes the Thermacell will vaporize the bug repellant, disperse it into the air, and thus repel bugs from the immediate area.

> Some Thermacells…utilize butane fuel while other models use a lithium-ion battery to power an internal heating element. [Both] are DEET-free and use slightly different repellents…but both are very similar to the naturally-occurring insect repellent found in the chrysanthemum flower.

> The butane cartridges will last for about 12 hours…and the repellent pads will work for about 4 hours…. Thermacell advertises that their butane-powered devices produce a 15′ zone of protection.

> …if the deer can smell the Thermacell, it can probably smell you too.

Tip of the Week

Are you there early enough?’s Tony Hansen talkin’ hunting close to bedding areas:

> “If I really want to hunt near a bedding area — especially during the rut — I have to beat the buck into it. Which means an absurdly early wakeup call. When I do it right, I’m sitting in the dark for 90 minutes. Sometimes a bit longer. And that’s in the dark. Pitch dark.

> By doing this, I’m in the area before most deer. And I can’t really even tell you the number of deer I’ve heard walking underneath my stand. The parade usually starts about 60 minutes before first light and ends about 20 minutes prior.”

> Hansen killed a droptine buck in MI a few years ago. Hansen said the buck walked underneath him in the dark, and he could tell it was the buck due to an exceptionally bright moon and a reflection of the deer in some standing water. It was about an hour before daylight…. Hansen killed the buck at 1 p.m. later that same day.

Quote of the Week

“In a certain sense, I search for person’s lost dreams.”

– “Tracker John” Engelken, one of the country’s top wounded deer trackers, talkin’ in a cool post. Also said:

> I once tracked a deer for 4 days before I found it [that’s 4 days WITH a bloodhound!].

> There are so many variables. Everyone might think they made a great shot. But things happen fast. Your eyes play tricks on you. A lot of times I’m tracking deer that are superficially hit.

Shot of the Week

GREAT shot of a “rubbed out” TX buck by @rgbuck84 — wow:

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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