DeerBlaster blasts

Freaky antlered doe, Judging 150-class racks, Feds CREATED Lyme disease??

Today’s Top 5

Check out this freaky antlered doe! 

Don’t see that every day! If that deer walked by my stand, I’d assume it was a junky buck and unless I had a cull tag, I’d let it pass. But that he is a she….

The doe — with shedding/growing antlers — can be found on public grounds in southwest UT. More from The Salt Lake Tribune:

> “There’s more bucks on that unit…allows hunters to be a little bit more selective…so a deer with antlers that size wouldn’t even be close…what a hunter with a tag for that unit is looking for.”

> DWR staffers first learned of the antlered doe in the late fall of 2017, when they shot a net at her from a helicopter to collar her in order to track and study deer migration patterns.

Here’s what she looked like then:

> Like male deer…this antlered female sheds and regrows her antlers every year. Officials believe she has a rare condition that caused her reproductive organs to develop differently, which led to abnormally high testosterone levels and has apparently triggered the antler shedding and regrowth.

TX appeals court says breeder deer are NOT private property. 

A TX appeals court recently ruled that “breeder deer,” or deer used to spread their genetics — usually in a high-fence operation — are considered public property, not private.

Not gonna get into the high-fence debate right now, but the ruling means these deer are subject to mandatory CWD testing by deer breeders. That (to me anyhow) makes sense. As this disease spreads, we can’t risk exempting part of OUR herd from CWD testing. More on the case:

> …appeal filed by 2 deer breeders claiming that breeder deer are, or became, private property and asking to invalidate TPWD rules requiring breeders to test for chronic wasting disease.

> The [TPWD] had responded that breeder deer are wild animals and therefore “property of the people of this state.” The court’s decision affirmed the district court’s decision in favor of…TPWD and 3 of its officials.

> The suit was filed just a few years ago, but this situation has been smoldering for years.

> CWD…could become a threat to TX’s 4 million whitetail deer and the $2.2 bil TX deer-hunting industry.

2 deer – 1 a P&Y – same stand, same day.

Betting most of us rest a stand for a couple days after drawing blood from it. Guess not for IL’s Dylan McGee! He arrowed a doe in his fave stand one morning, then decided to hunt in again that afternoon. Wise choice!

Here’s the afternoon buck story, from

> “…spotted a big-bodied deer through a gap between some young trees. I immediately began scanning ahead, searching for the route it might take to my stand and where I might have a chance.

> “When the huge buck wasn’t looking, I stood and readied for the shot. To keep from getting nervous, I avoided looking at its antlers.”

> The deer ultimately offered him a 15-yard broadside shot, and the arrow sailed right through the sweet spot. …the giant whitetail spun and ran for 60 yards before center-punching an oak tree….

> The Crawford County 15-pointer has a BTR score of 195 6/8″.

Guess sometimes “conventional wisdom” isn’t always that wise…!

Poached monster muley will be on Wall of Shame.   

Hate to see any animal taken by a poacher, but a 209″ muley is an even bigger bummer. The buck was recovered by TX wardens thanks to social media, and now taxidermist Hayden Harris (above) will mount it for the TX Operation Game Thief’s Wall of Shame trailer. Lone Star Outdoor News says [ — we can’t link it]:

> …was convicted on Jun 19 of poaching a 209″ Yoakum County mule deer on private property without landowner consent. …$4,300 fine, civil restitution in the amount of $11,048, $329 in court costs, forfeiture of the 9mm pistol used [a 9mm?? Come on!]…and license revocation of 3 years.

> The conviction followed a social media post by an accomplice to the crime with a photo showing the blurred-out subject with the mule deer with a distinctive, spiraled drop tine. The subject, although the photo was blurred, was tagged in the post.

> The mule deer’s antlers were so large, Harris had to cape the buck and do the European mount right away. “He wouldn’t fit in the freezer,” he said.

> “I checked his teeth and didn’t think he was over 4.5 years old. I cant imagine what he could have been.”

Did the feds CREATE lyme disease?? 

That’s the implication of this bomb outta the Swamp (DC):

> The US House of Representatives has ordered an investigation into whether the Dept of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects as biological weapons.

> In an amendment passed last week, the House calls for the Defense Dept’s inspector general to look at whether any such experiments were done between the years 1950 and 1975.

> The amendment was introduced by NJ Rep. Chris Smith who said he was inspired to write it by “a number of books and articles suggesting that significant research had been done at US government facilities including Fort Detrick, MD and Plum Island, NY to turn ticks and other insects into bioweapons.”


1. 2019 Outdoor Life national deer forecast is out.

WAY too much for here — click the link for a comprehensive guide to state-by-state deer forecasts and tips nice resource if you’re still thinking about a non-rez hunt somewhere this season.

2. Savage Arms sold.

> Vista Outdoor announced…the sale of Savage Arms, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hunting rifles and shotguns, in a management-led buyout to a group of investors headed by Al Kasper, the president and CEO of Savage.

Official release says:

> …total purchase price of $170 million, comprised of $158 million paid at closing and $12 million to be paid upon maturity of a 5-year seller note issued by the buyer to Vista Outdoor in connection with the transaction.

3. FL has a new deer limit of 5.

Opens Aug 3:

> For the first time…will have an annual harvest limit of 5 deer. Until this year, FL was the only state in the southeast without an annual bag limit.

If a hot FL Aug hunt interests you, check out this F&S post — be prepared for sweltering heat, tons o’ bugs and…panthers!

4. MO: Hunting license costs about to go up.

Non-rez deer hunters will see the biggest increase:

> Hunters and anglers…will pay an extra $2.4 million in license fees next year…. The largest jump in additional revenue will come from people who purchase non-resident deer-hunting licenses. The department estimates 17,128 people will pay $40 more for a license, generating an additional $685,120 for the agency. The current cost of $225 for that license is set to rise to $265.

5. AZ has 1K leftover tags.

> Most of the hunts are for antlered whitetail deer only in Game Management Units in southeast AZ.

6. LA: Deer urine now legal.

> …modified its ban on urine-scented lures used to attract deer, legalizing those that are certified free of the malformed protein that causes CWD and meet a second standard.

7. TX: Public draw hunts are open.

> Close to 7,800 hunting positions will be available for a variety of hunts statewide, with the first draw taking place Aug 1.

> “We will conduct drawn hunts at 31 wildlife management areas this season occupying approximately 416,281 acres.”

8. TX: Longer-term deer outlook is good.

A lot of rain = a lot of vegetation = good for fawns.

9. More SD rifle hunters got their first choice.

> …33,260 residents received their first-choice licenses in the 2019 drawings…a 2.4% increase from 2018.

10. NC airport wants to cull deer.

> Deer wandering onto the runway at Smith Reynolds Airport have the potential to cause “catastrophic damage” to an aircraft….

11. CA has San Francisco-area deer hunting??

> Most of the local hunting opportunities are located on BLM property.

12. MT: Doe has triplets, including albino fawn (video).

Near Miles City. Not the greatest video, which is why we didn’t screen-cap it, but kinda cool.

13. QDMA offering raffle hunt with Team Primos.

> The winner and a friend will get to experience some of the finest whitetail hunting in the South on the famous 10,000-acre “Cottonmouth.” which spans AR, LA and MS.

CWD News

1. MT: Maybe more CWD positive deer in western MT.

> Samples from 3 additional whitetail deer in the Libby area are suspected to be positive for CWD.

2. MI upholds lower-state bait ban to fight CWD.

> State regulators are continuing a ban on baiting and feeding deer in MI’s Lower Peninsula in an effort to prevent spread of CWD.

3. WI will do CWD research at deer farm.

> A former hunting preserve that gained notoriety nearly 20 years ago for having WI’s first captive whitetail deer to test positive for CWD is now being used for CWD research.

> The state DNR bought the 80-acre Buckhorn Flats property, located near Al in southern Portage County, in 2011….

Gear of the Week

Savage Model 110 High Country Rifle

Since Savage Arms was just sold, thought it would be good to highlight the new-for-2019 Model 110 High Country, reviewed not long ago by American Hunter.

If you want a shooter that doesn’t break the bank, this might be it:

> …comes with a TrueTimber Strata camo-covered stock with overmolded grip surfaces and a coyote brown PVD finish on the barreled action.

> Both the sporter-profile barrel and bolt feature stylish spiral fluting, and the barrel is threaded and capped should you opt to add a muzzle device to this rifle.

> The 110 High Country is available in 11 different calibers ranging from .243 Winchester to the .300 WSM and Winchester Magnums, and…several popular western caliber offerings including the .280 Ackley and the flat-shooting 6.5 PRC.

> Like other Model 110 rifles, the new High Country comes equipped with an adjustable bladed AccuTrigger, an AccuStock with a built-in aluminum chassis, and the new AccuFit system that allows the shooter to quickly and easily customize the rifle for length of pull and comb height.

> Barrel lengths range from 22 to 24 inches, and weights vary from 8.1 to 8.5 lbs (depending on chambering), making this a rifle that’s ideally-suited for long-range shots in open country.

> With a price just north of $1,000, it’s hard to call this a “budget” rifle, but based on the Model 110’s proven performance record and a long list of added features, this rifle still offers a lot for the money.

Tip of the Week

How to judge whitetail racks in the field.

I think judging the size of a deer’s rack on the hoof is one of the most challenging parts of deer hunting, especially when you’re doing it in the heat of the hunt. American Hunter spoke with Ted Jaycox, a KS whitetail outfitter, who had some great tips on this:

> Ted has a camp policy of only shooting 150-class deer or bigger. …there is a financial penalty for hunters who harvest a buck scoring less…. When your pride and pocketbook are on the line, could you score a 150-class deer properly and confidently if it walked out in front of you?

> …how can you quickly tell if a buck is a keeper before you squeeze the trigger? Main beam lengths are a huge consideration — they can provide 30% of the overall score for a trophy-class buck. When a buck is viewed in profile, you can tell if it has a long main beam if the tip extends to the end, or past, the deer’s nose.

> A wide spread between antlers also indicates long beams, with a trophy-caliber deer requiring an outside spread of at least 20″. Since the tips of a mature buck’s ears are about 18 inches apart, look for a spread that reaches beyond the ears.

> “When you see a trophy-class buck, you usually know it right away — the antlers will look extremely tall above the ears, with the tines lined up like pickets in a fence.

> The mass of the antlers, which can provide 20-25% of the total score, is often hard to judge. Look for a thick main beam that stands out and catches a lot of light. We’ve all seen photos of deer with good mass — the weight immediately catches your eye.

> “An average buck’s frame — inside spread, main beam length times two, and eight mass measurements — average 90 to 95 inches. So, to be safe, a buck needs to have 60 inches of tine length. I tell hunters that if they can count 30 inches of tine length on one side, and if the buck is fairly symmetrical, then it should make the 150-inch minimum.

> “I also tell them that if the buck has above average mass, width or beam length, then the number of inches of tine length can be reduced.”

Read it all (worth a full read) here.

Shot of the Week

Could you do this with a chainsaw?? @brandonwilson_carver with some skillz:

What’s the DB and who does it??

The Deer Blaster is a year-round weekly roundup

of the best, worst and funniest stuff in deer hunting — put together by a couple diehard deer nuts including Ted Gartner << that’s him right there! Ted’s down in TX but we have other guys all over. All Deer Nerds!

Let us know what we can do better and thanks for readin’!
Sign up another deer nut!

If you’re forwarding the Deer Blaster to other deer crackheads, tx much — or you can email us the addys and we’ll take care of it! We’ll never send spam, sell the list or anything else crazy….

Most Popular

To Top