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HUGE Megalodon buck! Same day and stand trophies! Deer scat insights

Today’s Top 5

Will ya look at “Megalodon”!!!

OH hunter Davey Stuckey first saw a deer he named “Megalodon” in 2016. The buck was real nice then — probably a 150-ish at 3.5 yrs old — but Davey had the self control to pass on him…cuz he knew that deer was fixin’ to get huge. F&S with the lowdown:

> “By the fall of 2017, he’d gone from a 150-class dandy to a buck I figured would score in the 180s.” …positively exploded in the summer of 2018, increasing width and mass and adding a bunch of sticker points on his brow tines.

> “My son Gaige was talking about the biggest sharks one day, and mentioned Megalodon. Since this was the biggest deer in the area I hunt, that became his nickname.

> “When the season opened…I felt like I had to get a stand closer to his bedding area. On Oct 15 we had a big storm front come in, so instead of hunting, I used the conditions to sneak in and hang a stand in a pinch point near his bedding area.

> “He was just a monster, with 43 inches of mass measurements, 24 scorable points, and a 26 1/8-inch inside spread. He also had 47 inches of abnormal points.”

That deer ended up grossing 229 3/8″ and netted out 221 4/8! We’re like:

Father-daughter trophies, same stand, same day!

Roger Hansen and his daughter Brooke have been hunting together since she was 11. Last fall, the now-17-yr-old was again next to her dad in a box blind on their central WI property. Bowhunting takes it from there:

> The Hansens settled into their stand around 4 pm on Sept 14, and soon saw deer moving into the field to eat alfalfa and radishes. About 80 minutes later a big 8-point buck stepped from the woods to feed on fallen acorns along the field’s edge.

> The buck gradually fed into range of Brooke’s crossbow, and offered a clear, standing shot at 21 yards. Brooke’s arrow flew true…they watched it fall seconds later….

> After a quiet but excited celebration, they discussed whether to stay in the blind and try for an antlerless deer. Roger: “We really weren’t expecting to see more deer, but then a big buck came out south of us. When it spotted Brooke’s buck lying there, it ran to the east and disappeared.

> “Just when I thought he wasn’t going to come back, a buck came out on Brooke’s side. She said it was big, and leaned back so I could see it.”

> As the buck approached, Hansen pulled his Mathews Halon compound bow to full draw and leaned forward to wait for a good shot. He released his arrow when the buck stood still at 35 yards…piled up 70 yards away.

Amazing!

The original deer guides: Dads!

Sitka asked some of their pro-staffers about how their dads impacted their lives — bet you can relate:

> Sam Averett — Early one morning when I was 8, my dad and I left the house in the dark. My dad had a buck tag for our property, so we crept up a logging road toward the mountain as the sun filtered through the timber. Suddenly, a monster whitetail buck sprang from cover in the creek-bed. My dad shouldered his rifle and I covered my ears. The shot never came, and eventually, the buck turned and walked away. For years I tried to understand why my dad didn’t pull the trigger that day. What he wanted was for me to appreciate hunting without killing. To take in the sights and sounds and critters and feel grateful without notching a tag.

> Brady Brown — My dad hunted bighorn sheep from a raft in one of the most remote areas in the lower 48: the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. He did that well before the internet existed and information was sparse. Think about that for a minute; planning and executing an intense wilderness hunt…no internet, no GPS, no inReach…just bad*ss grit and woodsmanship. His greatest example to me is to get out and go. The weather might suck, the rut isn’t kicked in yet, blah, blah, blah. Don’t make excuses!

Yep hunt when you can! Thanks dads!

What bucks are the best breeders?

Bet you think (or hope!) it’s the ones with the biggest headgear, but deer biologist Stephen Ditchkoff says not necessarily:

> When you factor in body size, antler size, age, that sort of thing…all things being equal, that body size tends to be the most important factor. Although age is also important, along with antler size.

> Age is going to influence breeding in deer in a number of ways. #1, as a deer gets older you’re going to have increased body size and antler size. You’re also getting increased testosterone levels.

Guessin’ that a bigger deer is gonna be able to stand his ground better than a smaller one….

Base as big as a cupholder??

!!! Posted by Austin, TX hunter and chef Mike Reeber. Hard to believe that thing’s from a whitetail!

> Sometimes I just don’t know where to put fresh sheds, so this one landed in the cupholder. …zero trick photography going on here. This shed is seriously a brush country giant and the base barely fits in the cupholder!

Guess you could call that a TALL BOY??

News

1. TN: Senate says no license needed to hunt family property.

Still needs the House bill to match and then the governor’s signature.

2. IA legislature wants more more hunting opportunity.

House passed a bill, then Senate, now needs a signature by the gov’nor:

> …clarifies which cartridges are allowed for use in hunting deer by establishing minimum muzzle energy. This will expand hunting opportunities by allowing hunters to use commonly-owned firearms chambered in modern calibers….

> In addition, HF 716 ensures that hunting with handguns is protected throughout Iowa.

3. MS bill proposes air bows be allowed for deer…

…for folks with disabilities:

> They are configured much like a rifle, but have a piston inside the barrel that slides into the arrow shaft. When the trigger is pulled, a burst of compressed air is released and launches the arrow to its target.

> Air bows fire with more speed and accuracy than x-bows or vertical bows. They can send arrows at speeds around 450 fps and shoot 2″ groups at 50 yards.
Here’s what one looks like:

4. PA licenses go on sale soon!

No cost increase:

> General hunting and furtaker licenses each continue to cost $20.90 for PA residents and $101.90 for non-residents.

5. WY will post rez/non-rez draw winners beginning tomorrow.

6. Wildlife agencies now operating more like businesses.

The way it should be — we are paying customers!

> After decades of considering your participation a given, fish and wildlife agencies are borrowing a page from business and starting to treat you like a customer.

Key reason is LOTS of opportunities:

> Almost 120,000 hunting licenses were purchased in 2019. That’s nearly 15,000 more than in 2010 and close to 35,000 more than in 2005.

8. DC: E-bikes not a slam dunk on public lands.

> Cyclists fear the embrace of electric-assisted pedalers could get all bikes banned from trails. Trail-builders worry about impacts from motorized bikes that can reach more than 50 mph. E-bikers fret their opportunities to explore public lands could be relegated to motorized thoroughfares.

Lot of detail in that post. Who knew there’s 3 classes of e-bikes.

9. DC: Supreme Court snubbed 2nd A cases again.

But it did take the time to legislate…which it’s not supposed to be allowed to do….

10. R3 Symposium rescheduled for next year.

Nat’l Recruitment, Retention & Reactivation meeting, rescheduled to May 2021. Can’t show the link, check: cahss.org

11. HuntStand gets former QDMA CEO.

HuntStand is an app:

> …Brian Murphy…as VP of corporate relations and strategic partnerships.

12. Outdoor Edge knives looking for national sales mgr.

13. .30-30 still gettin’ it done!

> According to Winchester, the light, fast-handling Model 94 has sold more than 7 million copies, and when sales of other rifles chambered in .30-30 are thrown in, it is one of the most successful cartridges ever.

14. Bushnell teams up with Realtree.

> Bushnell optics…exclusive placement across all Realtree television, digital and social channels.

Deer Disease News

1. ND: Are muleys more likely to get CWD?

> …hypothesizes that mule deer bucks, with larger territories and potentially more contact with other animals, are more likely to get infected due to their heightened activity across the landscape.

New Stuff

1. Vortex new x-bow scope kit.

> Red and green illumination allow for confident low-light shooting. The reticle is also built to be zeroed at 40 yards, and accurate out to 100 yards with holdover points.

2. Lookin’ for a new bow sight? Here’s a roundup.

GoHunt features 6 models by Black Gold, Spot Hogg (pictured) and CBE. Most of ’em are slider style.

3. Genesis bow perfect for kids?

> At its maximum draw weight of 20 lbs, the Genesis shoots with the power of a 35-lb recurve. This is a great way for a beginning archer to get into the sport with a reasonably priced, low-maintenance setup.

4. Carry it all with the Eberlestock B3 Hercules duffel.

5. Azyre makes legit camo for women.

> Azyre looked like it would work well in multiple settings… The soft fabric is designed to keep hunters warm as well as cool in the heat due to a moisture-wicking finish…

Gear of the Week

Check out the new Tarus Raging Hunter in .454 Casull.

If you’ve never hunted with a handgun, it’s a trip — a whole lotta power in the palm of your hand for sure! Hunting with a big ol’ hogleg means you gotta get close, and a shorter sight radius and fewer anchor points make handgun hunting a big challenge.

Plus there’s just something COOL about carrying a massive wheelgun in the woods, ya know? American Hunter has the lowdown on Tarus’ latest:

> …bad news up front. The trigger pull is…very heavy. As in 8.5 lbs — in single-action. But here’s the good news: This thing outright shoots! The accuracy, in no uncertain terms, was outstanding.

> A feature I really like is the integral Picatinny rail built into the top of the barrel shroud, making the addition of a scope or red-dot-type sight simple.

> The new Taurus is equipped with a shrouded barrel which allows for a lower overall weight, and it takes heft off the front end of the revolver resulting in much better balance, even when fitted with the longer barrel length.

> An important note is that Taurus revolvers are equipped with transfer-bar safety systems allowing safe loaded carry….

> …I equipped it with a Burris fixed 2X pistol scope. I picked a number of loads that were a good representation of real, full-blown .454 Casull loads. No reduced recoil or glorified .45 Colt loads. All proved extremely accurate.

Sounds like a good deer/hog gun? The longer-barrel model might even be better…which reminds us of this:

Lol!

Tip of the Week

Old deer-huntin’ practical joke ^: Get a bag of Raisinets, go scouting with a bud, when he’s not looking, drop a pile of ’em on the ground. Point to them, get his attention, pick a couple up, sniff ’em, then stick one in your mouth and chew…thoughtfully. Then tell him how they’re probably from a wide-bodied 10 point lol!

Okay Realtree had some dirt on real deer poop:

> The commonly held belief is that large, tubular excrements belong to bucks, and small, pelleted piles belong to does. The bottom line? Unless you see the deer that dropped it, scat shape alone won’t indicate a deer’s sex.

> Male deer can, however, produce more pellets than female deer. When comparing pelleted scat, a buck drops 70 to 80 per session on average, while does generally produce 50 to 60. [Count em up lol!]

> Droppings that are still dark, shiny and wet are likely less than 12 hours old.

> Mounds of firm, pelleted dung suggests woody browse (buds, leaves, twigs), grain (corn, oats, soybeans) and hard mast (acorns and nuts). Long, singular, squishier poop indicates recent consumption of broadleaf plants, forbs [herbs], grasses and soft mast (apples, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, etc.).

Here’s a weird one, but makes sense:

> …does often consume their fawns’ feces…reduces scent and helps protect the fawn from predators.

In case you’re gonna get into it:

> Prions — malformed proteins shed by CWD-positive deer — are commonly found in deer urine, feces and saliva. While it’s currently believed that humans can’t contract this disease, who really wants to become a lab rat? …carry gloves or use a stick.

Quote of the Week

Whitetails just really aren’t that hard to kill, and after many years of chasing them I have come to realize it is about the perfect rifle for me and the way I hunt.”

Deer brother Michael Turnage talkin’ ’bout going back to his his .30-30 Marlin 336, same one he hunted with when he was 12.

Also said:

> “I don’t need anything more powerful for the areas I hunt, where a 150-yard shot is almost unheard of.

> “My old 336 is short, light, maneuverable in the tight places I hunt, and does exactly what it is supposed to do every time with no fuss.”

Shot of the Week

Here’s a weird set — kinda like a kicker’s facemask?? @greatdayincorporated post:

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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