DeerBlaster blasts

First shot giant buck! Good “depth of cover” tip, Make your best food plot

Today’s Top 5

KY hunter shoots 1st buck she sees, and it’s a giant!

Huge congrats to KY’s Lauren Smith! She took that boss buck on the opening morning of rifle season. She and her dad set up in a tower blind, facing opposite directions. A cold front had come through, and since she doesn’t like to be cold she decided to shoot the first thing that came by — Buckmasters with the deets:

> The first thing stepped out of the corn 40 yards in front of them, about 10 minutes after sunrise. It looked like a doe…then portions of the antlers, which had blended in with the stalks, began to take shape.

> Because the deer wasn’t moving, her dad couldn’t see it at all. “Dad was looking too far off. He finally said, ‘Just make sure it’s a buck. We’re not killing any does today.'”

> Feeling the cold and knowing only that she was looking at a buck, Lauren shot it.

> The “little” buck she’d shot mainly to get out of the cold wound up being among the top 10 KY whitetails ever harvested by a woman. Lauren was so surprised that her first words were “Is this my deer?”

14 points and a BTR score of 184″ — nice!

Don’t know why but this story is reminding us of:
Lol!

Brow tine game strong!

Don’t know a lot about that buck other than his G1s are perfect 10s! @DruryOutdoors says he was thwacked in TX. One of the cooler 7-points we’ve seen.

Quick look at some 300+ MONSTERS.

Field & Stream recently put together a list of 10 of the all-time biggest bucks ever, so yep — some amazing deer on that list. All of ’em are here, but these are the ones that were 300+ inches:

> Hole in the Horn buck (328 2/8 B&C) — Found sometime around 1940 by railroad workers in OH, the buck was shoulder-mounted and hung in a local club until 1983.

> MO Monarch buck (333 7/8 B&C) — The biggest non-typical in the B&C record books has reigned for 39 years. …found dead in 1981 by Dave Beckman on the outskirts of St. Louis.

> Tony Lovstuen buck, aka the Albia buck (307 5/8 B&C) — …other hunters were chasing the buck hard, including his family members, 15-yr-old Lovstuen finally killed the monster with a muzzleloader during [IA’s] youth season in 2003.

> Stephen Tucker buck (315 1/8 B&C) — Tucker had numerous trail-cam pics of the [TN] giant, and had even shot at the buck (his muzzleloader misfired) 2 days before…on a property his family had farmed for 40 years.

> Luke Brewster buck (327 7/8 B&C) — “Mustafa,” a huge [IL] non-typ that Brewster’s group and other area hunters had been pursuing for several seasons…Brewster actually headed to a set where he felt least likely to kill Mustafa. The buck had other ideas though, and stopped to work a scrape only 25 yards from Brewster’s stand.

Solar-powered trailcam!

NA Whitetail’s Clint McCoy is one of the dudes who pioneered “soaking” a hunting area in trailcams. That means in the spring and summer you put out as many cams as you can, and wait for months before pulling cards, which means your presence doesn’t mess up deer patterns.

BUT battery life was always a limiting factor — til now. Clint got the rundown on a new solar-powered trailcam from Spypoint:

> …multiple models with solar as their main power source, backed up by batteries. These models include the Link-S and budget-friendly Link-Micro-S-LTE.

> The Link-S has a fully integrated solar panel feeding power to an onboard rechargeable lithium battery pack. You simply charge the pack prior to deploying the unit and add an additional 8 lithium AA batteries for failsafe power backup.

> The Link-S essentially is an “infinity” camera that can be left unattended, and it has a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. This gives the user images with zilch for human intrusion and potentially saves a pile of money on AA batteries over the life of a standard cellular camera.

> This 12MP camera can shoot still photos, time-lapse and HD video. The Link-S also boasts 100′ detection and flash range with an ultra-impressive trigger speed of 0.07 seconds, ensuring minimal blank images.

Sounds like a pretty cool cam…BUT will cost you $500 apiece….

Make sure you factor in “depth of cover.”

Another great vid from Jeff Sturgis at Whitetail Habitat Solutions — simple tricks to figure out where bucks are bedding:

> “Depth of cover” is a phrase I coined years ago to explain the layering effect of does and bucks and where bucks will be. And you can apply this to anywhere that whitetails roam.

> So many times people are going out into the woods to scout and they’re not being very efficient, because they’re looking for buck sign when they haven’t actually [figured out] where bucks are going to live in the first place by using the concept of depth of cover.

> Depth of cover is simple. You have to have food…once you find the main food source in the area, and that could be changing on public land because deer are almost migratory on public land and big areas…and there’s gotta be cover adjacent to that food.

> You find food, you find cover. You find those does within that cover. You still have cover around them, and then you find bucks. That’s that depth I’m talking about.

> Depth of cover means food, does, bucks. There’s a balance on that distance between coverless ag and big, open woods.

> You have to have limited hunting pressure. If you pressure this doe area, which a lot of times is a staging area — a staging area is the last effective form of cover before bucks or does step out into their afternoon food source.

> And if you hunt there, stick your stand there, or pour your scent into there like a lot of people do because it’s full of rubs and scrapes and a lot of deer sign, then you’re destroying that doe bedding area, and you’re pushing those does back, and you’ll eliminate the depth of cover for bucks.

How great is that! Concept is so simple but it can hard to stay outta those places….

News

1. IN might allow airguns for deer hunting.

At in.gov — can’t link it:

> The gun would have to propel a single projectile by means of non-ignited compressed air or other gas charged by an external high compression power source, and have a .40 cal or larger bullet or ball at a single discharge that generates at least 400 ft-lbs of muzzle energy.

2. MS airbow legislation is dead?

> …it was determined that air bows are more like guns and would compromise the integrity of archery season. “This weapon has nothing to do with a bow. It’s more of a gun because there are no limbs or string, so it doesn’t constitute a bow. There is no part of it that is a bow.”

> The decision to allow the bill to die is supported by the Mississippi Bowhunters Association.

3. TTHA, SCI, Buckmasters in a lawsuit.

> The Texas Trophy Hunters Association has filed for a temporary restraining order against 2 rival groups, charging that Safari Club International stole its proprietary membership list and provided it to Buckmasters to solicit new members.

4. WV: 6 state parks will have deer-control hunts this fall.

5. AR will allow some e-bikes on WMAs.

> Class I [with pedals, under 20 mph] electric bicycles may be operated on established, maintained roads, and on trails and areas where regular bicycles are allowed. They may also be used off of established trails.

6. WI: Group suing state to reinstate in-person hunter ed.

> [Hunter Nation Inc.] says the DNR broke the law when it canceled in-person hunter education classes…to slow the spread of Covid-19.

7. B&C likes Senate passage of Great American Outdoors Act.

> “This is good news for all sportsmen and sportswomen concerned about access to places to hunt, fish, target-shoot and recreate on public lands.”

Now the House takes it up.

8. WY gets $7.2m from RMEF for habitat work.

> RMEF CEO: “This is a monumental amount of funding that will help Wyoming’s elk as well as a myriad of other species.”

9. AK tribes still waiting for okay to hunt out of season.

> [Covid] has caused some food supply disruption concerns, and so at least 6 small localities across the state have asked for special permission to hunt out of season.

10. MN: Survey sez most residents want wolves.

87% of all residents surveyed want to maintain a wolf population, with only 41% supporting wolf hunting and only 30% support wolf trapping. Deer hunters:

> Wolf support was a bit lower among deer hunters as a separate group, of which 66.8% expressed support for maintaining the state’s wolf population.

> 80% or more of livestock farmers and deer hunters favoring hunting and trapping seasons on wolves if and when federal protections end.

Gonna be hard to keep the herd in check if you don’t allow hunting!

11. IA offering Field to Fork mentoring program.

> Sessions include skills building at an indoor archery range, classroom instruction and a workshop weekend to instruct on becoming efficient archery hunters.

12. TN wildlife foundation raffling off dream trips.

Chance to win an elk hunt, deer hunt, waterfowl hunt, and SxS package. Says non-rez hunters are welcome to enter.

13. Treestand safety foundation partners with hunter safety groups.

Giving banners to states that say: Always remove and inspect your equipment, Buckle on your full-body harness, Connect to the tree before your feet leave the ground.

14. NSSF and Union Sportsmen team up in mentoring program.

> NSSF awarded…a $20,000 grant to implement a recruitment campaign that motivates labor-union members to introduce 1,000 youth and adults to hunting and shooting.

15. Kyle Tengwall new Smith & Wesson VP of marketing.

16. Will Morgan new marketing director for Outdoor Edge.

17. TX: Study says national anti-tick coordination needed.

Headline of the Week

Deer takes a swim in the Detroit River, safely returns to land

Well ain’t that somethin’. City folks…[eyeroll emoji]

Deer Disease News

1. DC and TX: USDA and others looking into CWD susceptibility.

> USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is looking to genetics for new and innovative ways to reduce the prevalence of this brain-wasting disease….

> Working in collaboration with TX A&M University and TX Parks and Wildlife, APHIS has identified a handful of promising regions in the whitetail deer genome allowing the researchers to distinguish animals highly susceptible to CWD with greater than 80% accuracy.

> While the research is still in an early stage, it’s the first of its kind. The hope is that…may eventually help to breed the disease out of existence or at least significantly reduce its presence.

2. MN: U of MN contributing $250K to CWD research.

> …will partially fund a new research project designed to get a much more precise idea about how the disease spreads.

New Stuff

1. Rage’s new broadheads nix the collar.

> The newly incorporated NC (No Collar) technology utilizes finger-like tabs on the blades’ Slip Cam pivot point to “anchor” the blades in place while in the closed position. This technology completely eliminates the need for a Shock Collar, dental band or O-ring.

2. Hawk Helium treestand is light and affordable.

> Forged out of lightweight aluminum and only weighing 12 lbs…$209.99.

Hawk also has new treestand accessories:

> The lightweight Xtendable Tree Arm [pictured] extends from a trim 8.5″ to 16.5″ in length. Hawk’s famous Auger Tip threads make installation quick and painless. The Tactical Tree Hook weighs just 2.1 oz and can hold up to 60 lbs.

3. Didja know you can order a custom Buck knife?

Pretty cool — here’s one example:

4. New Nomad Barrier wear for walking bowhunters.

> …made with a 100% polyester design and 380 G/M2 barrier softshell fabric that stays quiet when you’re in hardcore spot-and-stalk mode, yet repels moisture and light rain while keeping you warm.

5. Check out the Real Avid gun tool.

3 versions — 1 for 1911s, 1 for general pistol use and 1 for AR-15s:

> Features like specialized carbon scrapers for every bolt carrier group surface, a full array of common [platform]-specific bits and implements, and a fold-out locking bit driver to make on-the-fly adjustments and fixes a snap.

6. Moultrie now has interactive maps in their apps.

7. Get rid of your dog stink?

Nilodor Pet Brands — might work on us too? lol

> …unique essential oil formulation removes bad odors from the air by chemically modifying the structure of the odor molecule so you can’t detect it. True odor neutralization happens with only one drop.

Gear of the Week

Bergara B-14 HMR in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Bergara rifles aren’t a household name in the US, but they have a great rep as accurate and reasonably-priced guns. Rifle Shooter — from England — says the company’s flagship B-14 is a winner:

> The muzzle of the B14 shows a dished crown, capped with an 18×1 thread for a moderator or brake. I shot this rifle ‘naked’ for a change and loved the connection with recoil from the mild 6.5 Creedmoor — in .300 Win Mag, it still shoots really well and shows inherent balance.

> The action is Remington 700 footprint but modernized with encapsulated recoil lug (preventing rotation rather than just sandwiched) and slight coned wings to the twin-lug bolt-face.

> The bolt lifts through 90 degrees with a 103 mm draw out to cycle the ‘short’ action. Excessive force isn’t needed to open the bolt and recock, and there’s plentiful primary extraction and secondary ejection with a nice firm halt when fully rearward.

> Perfectly crisp breaks were delivered by this single stage unit at [1.6 lbs]. The design is 100% Remington 700 compatible, so you can have any aftermarket trigger fitted….

> After several boxes of ammunition and cleaning, the rifle returned to 100m paper targets and improved further with groups closing tantalizingly close around 1/2 MOA….

> After 20 years shooting and 10 years reviewing rifles, I have quite a few personal favorites, yet I can pick at least one fault with any of them, either technical or in terms of their intended purpose…. That must therefore make the B14 HMR the best rifle in the (my) world.

High praise for sure. MSRP for the B-14 HMR is $1,150.

Tip of the Week

How to make your best food plot.

Outdoor Life caught up with Bobby Cole, the ag guy at Mossy Oak BioLogic, to talk food plots. Post is def worth a full read, here’s a few highlights:

> When establishing a new food plot, I would strongly suggest taking a soil sample. This will tell you exactly what’s needed to make the soil perform for you. It will provide your pH and fertility levels. Some of the best tests make available precise recommendations according to the plot you hope to plant.

> …annuals know they only have a short lifespan and will produce as much forage as possible in a 6 to 7-month window. This is perfect for hunting plots. Now with that said, I love some perennials and when I say perennials I am mostly meaning clovers. I love clovers.

> Don’t skimp on cheap seed. You will regret it.

> If you have too many plants per square foot, they will stress competing for moisture and nutrients. Measure the plot, know the size and plant the right amount of seed for the square footage.

> Brassicas are the perfect deer browse. They are extremely nutritious and that makes them highly attractive. You will truly pull deer from miles around. By overwhelming your deer with good groceries, you’ll make them stay close while you’re improving the health of your deer herd.

Quote of the Week

“The arrival of fawns each spring…makes it difficult for us to do long-term damage to deer populations.”

– Great perspective from Lindsay Thomas Jr at the QDMA. Full quote:

> I bring good news to all deer hunters who think they made some “mistake” last season or feel like “disaster” struck: The arrival of fawns each spring is the annual correction that makes it difficult for us to do long-term damage to deer populations.

> Because we are hunters of wild deer, we manage populations. What happens to an individual deer, even if you perceive it as a negative outcome, will not affect the population.

Great post.

Shot of the Week

Lovin’ this @sportsmanchannel sdrone shot of a couple tagged-out and stoked hunters! Just about 3 months before seasons start opening up!!!!!

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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