DeerBlaster blasts

Hoss fooled by doed buck deke? How to judge velvet, Beginner’s lucky boots?

Today’s Top 5

WI hunter fooled gigantic 16-pointer with buck to doe deke!

Luke Polzin knew that massive dude pretty dang well. In Nov 2018 he saw it on a trailcam, and from then on used the pic as his phone’s background — of course he did! Anyhow, he told Buckmasters he looked at that deer every day for a year, til he saw him in person:

> Luke took a buck decoy and some doe pee to the woods, a tactic that has worked for him multiple times. He doesn’t attach the antlers to it. The mercury was falling dramatically as he climbed into place. Bucks were chasing does, and he was pumped.

> It was nearing 5:00 when he spotted an enormous buck rise from its bed on the neighboring property. When it saw the decoy, it came to within 25 yards and stopped. That was close enough for a bow shot, but Luke held off, waiting for it to take one more step.

> That step was quick and in the wrong direction. Fortunately for Luke, however, the beefy whitetail returned and gave him a 20-yard shot.

> “I watched the buck take off, stumble, stagger and go down about 80 yards. That’s when I started to hyperventilate. I couldn’t believe it. The buck that I had looked at on my phone every day for nearly a year was down in front of me!”

The buck had a BTR score of 198 7/8″ — amazing, great job Luke!

Beginner’s lucky boots = huge first buck?

Deer-hunting rookie Cheyanne Huizenga wanted to go deer hunting but her husband Colin wasn’t so sure:

> I was reluctant because it would mean I would have to sit with her, since it was her first time, and that would lessen my opportunity to get a deer. But..the Friday before IN’s opening weekend of gun season, I ended up shooting a nice big 9-point with my bow in IL. After shooting that buck, I was fully content with taking her hunting.

Lol gotta take care of business first! Kidding. Anyhow, here’s her first buck story, from American Hunter:

> She wore all my old hunting gear. Now…she is 5′ tall and I’m 6′ 2″ so she looked a little ridiculous, but it would do for now. We got to a buddy stand that has been very successful for many years — it sits in a treeline looking over 2 farm fields with some woods.

> We were sitting there for about an hour and a half without seeing a thing when my wife happened to look over her shoulder to the right and saw 2 deer. I told her to shoot the closer buck — she did, and it looked good.

> We searched in the woods for another 45 minutes but only found some belly hair in the field. She grazed his stomach and I was confident he wasn’t wounded so we packed up and left….

> Sunday was the last day of the season and the weather didn’t look promising. I could tell she was devastated. By Saturday afternoon the weather forecast looked better, so we decided to go. …she insisted on wearing her rain boots. She claims they are lucky because she found 2 sheds on her first time out while wearing them.

> The buck stepped to the edge of the field…just stood there. He was 90 yards away, and I knew it was out of her range. I told my wife to switch sides with me so she could get a shot. He was quartering to us, and told her where to hold. She used the back of the stand as a rest and took the shot.

> …walked over to where the buck was lying. That was when we saw what she had just shot — the biggest buck ever taken on the property, a 160″ 13-pointer!

Nice! Bet she’ll hunt in those boots every time now lol.

No pic of the lucky boots? These are the only ones we could find, but bet Cheyanne had different ones on:

Check out the SneakyHunter boot lamps…kinda genius.

ID hunter Jim Manroe created SneakyHunter boot lamps after spooking one too many critters with his headlamp. Love it! Kinda a head-slapper idea:

> Eliminate the problem of accidentally spooking game with a headlamp or flashlight, as well as inadvertently temporarily blinding your companions by accidentally shining your light in their eyes.

> The lights operate using 3 AAA batteries and have 3 settings: white for general hiking, red or optional green for hiking with a red or green light that will not spook big-game animals, and violet, which illuminates a blood trail better than conventional lights. [Love that!!]

> The SneakyHunter Bootlamps attach to your boot via an easy-to-use 18″ long 1″ wide elastic cinch strap. The hook-and-loop strap is placed under your instep, and the 2 prongs on the front of the unit are slipped under your boot laces, resulting in a slip-proof attachment.

Made in the USA and $60. Anybody tried ’em, let us know!

What do you think about the P&Y/B&C position on cellular trailcams?

Been a lotta chatter about P&Y’s new statement on cellular trailcams. Their position — which B&C shares — is spelled out in

> While the use of a wireless trailcam is not automatically a violation of the Rules of Fair Chase, using this technology to deliver real-time location data of the animal being hunted, would be a violation.

> For clarification, receiving a wireless image (photo, video, GPS coordinate, etc.) — which elicits an immediate (real-time) response, guiding the hunter to the animal — would be considered a violation of the Rules of Fair Chase. This would prohibit that animal from being eligible for entry into P&Y’s Records Program.

So…if you’re sitting at hunt camp and your phone buzzes with pics of a trophy, it’s not fair chase if you suit up and hustle to a stand near that trailcam. But if you use that cam to provide long-range intel and for leaving your hunting area undisturbed, that’s okay.

Seems reasonable BUT seems like it’ll be pretty much impossible to enforce. We all know that some folks will do just about anything to put their hands on a trophy.

And no offense to P&Y or B&C, but doesn’t seem like getting your name in the record books is as big a deal anymore — because you can get more notoriety on Instagram with a trophy deer than by paying to have your name in a book. And either way everybody knows about it so….

Which would you rather shoot?

Big classic symmetry or gnarly weirdness? Judging from @truebuckhunters post‘s comments, it’s more or less split down the middle. Our deal is: If either one came by our stand we’d pull the trigger hahaha!


1. TX: We lost 3 Parks & Wildlife officers in a helicopter crash.

> “These men were consummate professionals, deeply liked and highly regarded by their peers and partners alike for the immense passion, dedication, and expertise they brought to their important work in wildlife management and veterinary medicine.”

One was Dr. Robert Dittmar, an expert on CWD. God bless them and their families.

2. NY: NSSF real disturbed by state’s efforts to shut down the NRA.

Shoot they’re not the only ones who’re disturbed! If you didn’t hear about it, it’s pretty crazy. It’s almost like the NY governor doesn’t realize that most of his state is rural [eyeroll emoji]:

> NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, is troubled by the politically-driven decision of NY attorney general Letitia James to seek to dissolve the NRA, America’s oldest civil rights organization. The lawsuit filed today by James seeks to punish the over 5 million members of the NRA based on mere allegations of possible wrongdoing by a few individuals.

> NSSF is deeply concerned about the apparent political agenda to silence the strongest voice in support of the Second Amendment ahead of the election in Nov. [Ya think??]

> This lawsuit, and one filed today by the District of Columbia attorney general, should concern all Americans who cherish both the First and Second Amendments to our Constitution regardless of their views on what laws and regulations are appropriate to address the criminal misuse of firearms.

The NRA sued back.

More 2A stuff:

> Anti-gun bill before NH Gov Sununu (R).

> Various “anti” bills in CA. And did you know CA requires a background check for ammo??

3. NM/AK: Testing and quarantine orders jeopardize non-rez hunts.


> As opening days happen in several western states this month and more await next month, in some cases 2020 hunting plans are being scrambled and becoming about as clear as mud.

4. FL deer season is already open!

> The mean breeding date for whitetails throughout south Florida falls between July 22 and Aug 31.

How ’bout some sweat and bugs!

5. TX: Lotta spring rain = good deer season.

> …plentiful spring rains this year that were well-distributed across most of the state. Those rains came just in time to provide plentiful food for wildlife as the state transitioned from winter into spring, which should bode well for both fawn recruitment and antler growth.

On-line drawing is THIS WEEKEND (the 15th).

6. AL offering Zoom course on deer hunting.

Register here:

> A new webinar series designed to ensure a successful deer-hunting season this year for new beginners and veteran deer hunters alike.

7. NE opens draw hunt along Platte River.

Click here to apply:

> 47 hunters will be chosen from a random drawing in early Sept and allowed to hunt deer on designated lands Nov 16-22.

8. NY licenses on sale today!

> “…we have seen renewed interest in hunting and trapping for the quality recreational experiences these activities provide….”

9. ND has a bunch of leftover antlerless tags.

Hit it here to get one.

10. MI looking for input on 2021-22 deer regs already.

11. WV: Should commissioners resign after the buck vote?

Post ^ says that since most hunters wanted a lower buck limit and the commission voted no, the commissioners need to go or at least have term limits.

12. P&Y increased its entry fee by $5.

From $35 to $40. Just $5 hike for the first time since ’08, all good.

13. CA: Zone A blacktail deer season starts Saturday.

> All the deer in Lake County are of the Columbian blacktail species. They are a subspecies of the mule deer, but much smaller. A mature blacktail buck weighs about 130-150 lbs.

14. AK suing Feds over allowing native subsistence hunting…

…out of season this year due to Covid. Sounds like it’s just to set up legal state vs fed boundaries.

BUT this post and others focus on the bullets, even though the study itself said that the number of vehicle kills (532) was 300% higher than bullets (176).

Also bear in mind that those numbers are over 32 YEARS, which equals 5.5 eagles per year died from bullet fragments. Doesn’t sound like much of a reason to get rid of bullets….

You won’t read that in the mass media!

16. AK: Donald Trump Jr. urges President to oppose Pebble Mine.

The area is pristine wilderness and the project has been proposed/opposed for years:

> “The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fisheries are too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”

17. AR: Bass Pro Shops’ Johnny Morris bought a theme park.

35 minutes from Big Cedar Lodge, MO:

> …a 400-acre former theme park in northern AR [formerly called] Dogpatch USA.

> …Bass Pro says that the future development will be an extension of the group’s signature experiences that help families connect with nature.

18. SC: Ticks and Lyme disease moving more south.

19. NY study: Ticks most likely to be found on thighs.

But that was only 16% of ’em so sounds like they can get just about anywhere….

20. Buck Knives online specials!

Deer Disease News

1. PA: Scent companies want state hunters to be aware…

…and help fight the partial scent ban in PA due to CWD fears:

> “Curiously, the [state] plan suggests government biologists need to re-educate hunters to change their minds about using scents altogether. Market research conducted by Arcus Hunting and True North Marketing in April found that 63% of PA hunters use attractants of some kind, and 72%…believe that lures can increase their success.

> Some regulators have suggested that hunter placed scents can congregate deer leading to disease transmission, but no data supports that contention.

> Considering deer densities on the PA landscape of 30 per square mile, each urinating 6 or more times and depositing 40-60 oz of urine a day all year long (over 4,000 gallons a year) — compared to a dozen hunters per square mile placing a few scent wicks dipped in little bottles of scent near their stands for a few days a year — hunter placed scents are literally a drop in the bucket.
All hunters should know that info!

New Stuff

1. New Omega sight ranges and records your hunt.

Interesting concept tho a little clunky-lookin’ maybe:

> Omega integrates a sight and rangefinder with a camera lens, which then projects the targeted image onto an LCD screen for viewing and recording. …fits any shooting device that will accept a scope.

Can’t link it — at

2. Danner’s new hybrid hunting/hiking boot.Not much better than a good boot — hope these are all that:

> The boot has a waterproof upper that keeps you dry while scouting creek bottoms or marshy ground. The high-rebound midsole provides comfortable cushioning for long days in the field.

3. Ol’ Man intros the Assassin treestand.

Weighs 19 lbs, pretty light:

> …designed for hunters on the move who need to be able to get up a tree quickly and quietly, and be comfortable enough to sit for extended periods.

4. Exo Mtn Gear now being offered in Kryptek camo.

> Available in 4 sizes ranging from a streamlined daypack to a 10+ day expedition-style pack. Each pack is lightweight, durable, efficient and made in the USA.

5. New practice target from Sevr.

> …rectangle shape is larger than comparable targets and can be shot horizontally for more stability. The target can also be turned and shot vertically for added confidence at longer distances.

6. Check out Freedom camo from Prym1.

Pic says it all — R, W & B!

Gear of the Week

Quick review of SIG’s new Cross boltie.

Back in January we mentioned SIG Sauer’s new jump into the world of bolt-action guns with its Star Wars-looking “Cross” — designed to borrow some of the better attributes of the AR platform (ergonomics, modularity) and blend them into the inherent accuracy and reliability of a bolt-action gun.

Well this week SIG announced the Cross is shipping, so here’s a hands-on review from Gun University:

> This style of rifle avoids the extra parts, weight, and potential for inconsistent mating of the 2-part chassis and receiver system, and instead makes the receiver into the chassis. This saves weight [and] cost, and removes potential for inconsistencies.

> …skeletonized-design aluminum adjustable folding buttstock. They really executed this well. The length of the buttstock adjusts easily and solidly. Good work. However, the great work is in the adjustable comb (cheekpiece).

> The one-piece receiver/chassis/magwell is lightweight and allows for excellent accuracy. The trigger is awesome! I didn’t like how easily the adjustment screw was moved, but guess what… SIG listened and changed it.

> The handguard is an AR-style…with M-Lok attachments. This is nice to see/use, but it isn’t exactly novel (it is the new standard…or it should be). What is cool is that they have mounting options close to the receiver for mounting to tactical-style tripod mounts.

> The barrel is made by SIG and is a nice blend of accuracy and lightweight enough to carry easily while hunting. I’ll admit, the rifle is so lightweight that it’s sometimes difficult to hold stable for precision work — but it’s not impossible.

And the ultimate endorsement from a reviewer:

> I will be getting one of these for a hunting rifle — I love how light, small and accurate it is.

Sounds like a pretty sweet setup if you’re not a traditionalist. We’ve seen pricing around $1,500, which is pretty reasonable for anything SIG!

Tip of the Week

When are bucks done growing bone?

First, for some inspiration check out this NICE KY velvet buck posted by Americana Outdoors host Wade Middleton:

A velvet buck is on just about every whitetail hunter’s list, but how do you know their antlers are done growing when you send that arrow? Outdoor Life asked a few experts:

> By early Aug, for most bucks, there is little antler left to produce.

> Terry Drury: “Unless they were a late drop, from now on [growth] is rather minimal in comparison to the overall size of the rack. [If] you are still seeing these dark bulbs on the end of their main beams and/or antler tines, they still have growing to do.”

> While bucks can grow an inch of antler per day, Kip Adams [QDMA] says that growth slows by the end of the cycle. Still, deer can add 1/8″ to 1/4″ of antler per day even as they top out. Thus it is possible for bucks to add a few inches of antler score in Aug.

> Velvet has 12 hair filaments per square millimeter, each one measuring 5 mm long. That extra volume makes antlers appear larger in velvet. So, regardless of how much more bone that buck packs on, he might actually look a little smaller…this fall.

Only one thing might be better than a velvet buck for some folks:

That’s right — a velvet Elvis!

Quote of the Week

“…there’s the old saying that good art comes from pain. They come from a lot of pain: Missed shots and broken hooks.”

Tim “Spike” Davis talkin’ ’bout where he gets inspiration for his hunt/fish cartoons. Lotta hunters have seen Tim’s funny stuff, often Christian-themed. Now he’s got a new a book with 338 of ’em — just in time for huntin’ camp!

Can’t get the book on amazon, but you can at his website here.

Shot of the Week

Check out this spooky shot of an incredible buck among headstones posted by @hunting_the_wild IG. Looks like this shot was taken at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in St. Louis, MO. Believe it or not, the place appears to be full of good whitetail genetics! But yep, you can’t hunt there….
God bless our vets and THANK YOU.
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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….
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