DeerBlaster blasts

Huge 204 non-typ! Does scent control really matter… New kind of mount

Today’s Top 4

HUGE KS buck officially scored at 204 non-typ!! 

Big buck brother Mike Hanback recently got an email from James Pope ^ from Lumberton, TX. In the email was that pic of a gigantor buck he arrowed in southeast KS last Nov:

> “…I killed the deer of a lifetime on a small farm in southeast KS. I’ve had my deer officially scored and it was been accepted into the Lifetime Awards of B&C with a net non-typical score of 204 0/8!”

> Earlier in the day I had been working on a “Top 10 Rut Tactics” script for a new episode of Big Deer TV and I wrote: “In any given year Nov 6 through 13, any of those days, is the sweet spot for big bucks in most parts of the country…start planning your hunting vacation for 2019.”

Scent control might not matter? 

Easy now! Buckmasters broke it down, few things stood out:

> Chris McClellan of Sailor’s Creek Outfitters: “I can’t say there’s any difference [between those who care and those who don’t]. If anything, it’s the hunters willing to stay in their stand all day, and those who pay attention to the wind.”

> Buckmasters founder Jackie Bushman says setting up for wind is critical, but he’s a firm believer in scent-controlling products. “No product is 100% foolproof, but scent can be unpredictable in swirling currents or when the wind changes. With 2 people in the stand, we have to have extra protection. We feel the clothing and sprays give us an edge.”

> IL bowhunter Luke Estel: He not only sees more deer, he’s also been killing bigger bucks since he started taking scent-control seriously 4 years ago. …can rattle off countless examples of deer, including some bruiser bucks, that walked directly downwind without a clue they were within bow range of a hunter in a tree.

For me, the jury’s still out. I tend to think scent-control probably help some, but just like the post says: Stay downwind and scent won’t ever be an issue. But don’t have your nose in your phone:

GREAT info on using different maps.

I obsess over Google Earth planning hunting trips, but deer man Josh Honeycutt @ reminded me that there’s more than just Google Earth for finding potential deer-hunting spots:

> While not as common or necessary as other maps on this list, a soil map has its place too. Use this type of map to better understand how the land is in certain areas for growing certain food plots and native plants. It’s also good for learning where big bucks might be located. Bigger racks typically coincide with better soil.

> Mature bucks often live their lives in solitude because they learn to take advantage of these very small water sources that afford them the opportunity to avoid larger sources that hunters focus on. And often, you won’t find these unless you have a detailed water/hydro map to show you where they are.

> I look to the records to see where the biggest and most deer are being harvested. This helps me choose a region and general location based on genetics potential.

> [Aerial] maps are great for choosing specific properties and for gaining necessary information for hunting a given tract of land. Think of this as the focal point for all map scouting. This map can help locate food sources, water sources, bedding areas, travel routes, pinch points, funnels and more.

> Once you’ve studied the aerial, overlay a translucent topo map over it to see how the land lays. When studying the map, the tighter the lines are to one another, the steeper the terrain. This map is especially good for identifying spurs (they’ll have draws on each side), saddles (tight lines are ridges and saddles), ridges, hollows, ridge endings, etc.

Here’s a new kind of mount?  

Intentional by the SD DNR, but not for the wall…from their Facebook:

> Curious to see what mussels can do? Check out this European deer skull mount that was placed in Lewis and Clark Lake last year!

Makes the point about invasive zebra mussels, but kind of a waste of a mount. Throw an old bicycle in there or a wooden spoon or something….


1. MO increases fines for poached game.

> …$1,000-5,000 for a whitetail buck killed illegally….

> …4,731 deer were poached in 2017 and 2018.

Doesn’t that sound like a lot of poached deer in one state??

2. Eastern whitetails more susceptible to CWD?


3. PA: Computer glitch delaying hunting licenses.

> A large number of hunters that purchased their licenses online are experiencing delays in receiving them, which has negatively impacted their ability to apply for an antlerless deer license.

4. CO approves access to 100K acres of state trust land.

> …starting this fall as part of a multi-year plan to eventually open a total of about 1 million acres to sportsmen and women.

5. SC: Antlerless changes for this season.

> A new law [eliminated] the 8 date-specific anterless tags, replacing them with 2 anterless tags that may be used on any day [of the season].

6. FL: You must log/report your deer immediately.

New rule this year, there’s an app for it….

7. WA will pay landowners to allow hunting…

…in 2 counties, partly because of…an endangered butterfly:

It’s all too real…lol….

8. QDMA’s annual online auction is up.

Some pretty great stuff there but not cheap:

> Your bids help support the vital mission of QDMA, ensuring the future of whitetail deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage.

9. WI: Deer Fest is first weekend in Aug.

Sounds like a time [at — can’t link it]:

> “…we’ve got…bows and guns and tree stands…outfitters…things to build log cabins and outfit your hunting camp. We have exclusive expert seminars. Then we also have 2 archery tournaments.”

10. Deer flies more widespread than previously thought.

Just great…. And:

> The researchers also uncovered new records of the neotropical deer ked [fly] from NC, TN and MO, increasing its range further north and east than had previously been reported.

11. Chris Brackett pled guilty to one count.

Host of the former “Fear No Evil” bowhunting show. Article says he will be formally sentenced in Nov, that he won’t be able to hunt for 30 months and that he’ll pay fines.

> Christopher Brackett…admitted to one count of unlawful transportation of wildlife, in violation of the Lacey Act.

> As part of Brackett’s plea, he admitted to killing 2 bucks within minutes of each other in IN while filming an episode of his Outdoor Channel show in Dec 2013. Under IN law, hunters were only permitted to kill one buck in each hunting season.

> Brackett also admitted to transporting the second buck, an 11-point buck which he nicknamed “The Unicorn Buck” for its unique antler formation, across state lines to his IL hometown.

> Prosecutors say he admitted to instructing his cameraman and producer to hide footage of the first deer he killed, a smaller, 8-point buck.

Chris commented on it recently on his Facebook page.

Can’t make this up

1. MI: Deer photobombs proposal.

2. CA: Deer kept family hostage??

> 10:32 a.m. — A caller on Puon Road, near Purdon Road, reported that a deer was keeping her and her family hostage. The deer was staring at them and circling their home.

3. KY: Deer tick on eyeball made popping sound when removed.


4. Job we wouldn’t want: tick counter.

Gear of the Week

2019 First Lite camo

Been a fan of First Lite for several years. First I was skeptical of it – and of all premium camo. But after I bought a few things, I realized the benefits.

For one, it fit better than the Wally World stuff, and had a more functional design — pockets and zippers in the right places. And the materials were more durable, more stretchy and more scent-controlling. Just better.

So I wanted to check out this season’s lineup, covered by GearJunkie:

> …the Solitude Bib is a part of First Lite’s foray into whitetail territory. Designed for midseason treestand sits…pairs as a system with the Solitude Jacket. Both are insulated soft-shell fabric, and the KitLink pass-through side zips on the jacket allow immediate access to the bibs beneath.

> The Brooks Down Sweater is First Lite’s answer to the ultralight, packable down often seen on the alpine side of things. At just under 11 oz, this DWR-treated, 800-fill DownTek jacket is competitive in the market at both price point and warmth-to-weight ratio.

> …wind-breaking outerwear option from the First Lite crew, and this setup is pretty cool. The soft-shell, DWR-treated fabric is sturdy yet forgiving, and I dig the fleece option on the interior.

> Am I allowed to be excited about gigantic mittens made of down for more than glassing? Yeah, I think so. This puffy option for keeping your hands warm while maneuvering binos and scopes on high ridges looks wildly warm. At 3.5 oz for the pair, they’re dang light. And the fact that they’re fleece-lined just sells them even harder.

> The Sawbuck Brush Pant takes on a different type of durability, with an eye towards spending all day in — what else — heavy brush. This pant looks to be a great option for the heavy-duty chukar hunter or the mule-deer stalker in the sagebrush sea.

Just ordered those Sawbucks — check out (sorry, can’t link to it here). Go through brush britches like they’re goin’ outta style!

Tip of the Week

Interesting deer habit/pattern nuggets.

Outdoor Life talked to some whitetail experts who threw down some key nuggets I’ll be thinking about like:

> …50% of mature bucks may spend the spring and summer months at one end of their home range, but then shift to a different area for the fall and winter.

> If you hunt 1,000 acres, no big deal. Most of the bucks that shift will still live in your area — you just need to scout more after Sept 20 to pin down their fall core areas.

> …mature bucks like to bed just over the top of a hill or ridge, usually on the east side.

> …draws and swales with brushy cover and oak trees had twice as many, or more, rubbed trees than more mature woods and bottoms.

> Rutting bucks often use the points as ramps for easy and hidden access from lowlands to hills and ridges, blazing rubs as they come and go.

> The data revealed that while as many as 10 to 13 different bucks of all age classes visited some scrapes, few if any bucks hit other scrapes just a few hundred yards away. The takeaway: If you watch a set of scrapes for several days but don’t see much…scout for different and fresher scrapes to watch, which may be only 200 to 300 yards away.

> …some big 8- and 10-pointers get a wild hair and go on “rut excursions” that carry them 1 to even 4 miles out of their already extended home ranges.

Interesting stuff!

Shot of the Week

This freakin’ GOLIATH was arrowed by Rachelle Hedrick (@rachellehedrick) last fall. Wouldya look at the points, mass, split brow tines, drop tines, kickers, and who knows what else on this dude?? What she said about it:

> A lot of questions about this buck… I started getting him on camera just a few days after we got home from setting stands in IA at the end of July. Aug 2nd was the first pic I received on my @spartan_camera and my heart started pounding out of my chest!!

> I’ve never had a buck of this caliber on camera before, although I knew IA wasn’t called the land of the giants for nothing. We also had him on camera checking scrapes right as we arrived to camp, but I never had any daylight pics of him. I was slightly frustrated because of his nocturnal pattern. I never would have imagined shooting him at 1:00pm in the afternoon.

> I was surprised to see his 3rd drop tine and his 3rd split brow was broke, but still the largest archery buck I may ever harvest in my lifetime.

For sure, congrats!

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