DeerBlaster blasts

Huge velvet bucks! Is CWD being used to hurt hunting? Newest T/C rifle

Today’s Top 4

Check out Chesney Luck’s velvet 9 buck!

Look at this TANK of a buck stuck early last season by Chesney Luck in NC. Been staring at the antlers on this dude, which are amazing…but then we noticed the body on this deer! Looks like the guy didn’t miss too many meals. Chesney tells the story from her @lucks_outdoors Insta:

> Nothing beats the feeling of harvesting your hit list buck, especially still in velvet! I hunted this buck all of my 2018 season here in NC and never had an encounter with him.

> In 2019 I noticed a group of bucks were coming out in a field on the property I hunt about every evening. I hunted every day and saw at least part of the group every time but he never came close enough during daylight.

> Finally towards the end of that week I took my Summit climbing stand and climbed a tree on the opposite side of the field where I felt like he was coming from. It was almost 100 degrees that evening (I was sweating like crazy!) but sure enough there he was.

> Walking out of the woods into the field and at 32 yards I stuck him with an arrow! First kill with my new crossbow and also my biggest buck ever!!!

Nice! 100 degrees, yikes!

Big-velvet trailcam pics starting to roll in!

Lotta hot prospects out there — here’s a look at 4 that caught our eye. Clockwise from top left:

1. Beautiful-lookin’ OH buck at t@midwest_whitetails_1 from @chad_phillips1. By the time this deer hardens up he’s gonna be reeeeeal nice.

2. This wide dude on the Hunters of America FB was captured by Kadin Sanders of MO. Hopefully we’ll see some pics of this guy on the ground.

3. Super-sweet tall-racked 10-pointer from @docwaters1. Don’t bonk those antlers on that feeder bro!

4. Yeah, yeah, farm deer…but “Patches” is just too freaky to not include. From FL’s Whitetail Country Plantation.

Is CWD being used to HURT hunting?

It is kinda suspicious. Deer biologist James Kroll led the recent AR CWD roundtable, and some interesting stuff was brought up like:

> “There are only 2 reasons be concerned about CWD,” Kroll said. “Is it deleterious to the deer population? Is it a health hazard for humans? If the answer is yes, then it is a significant disease. If the answer is no, then it is not.

> “Every agency always puts forward the statement that,’We are science-based.’ It is distressing to me how little science is actually used.”

> With no evidence that an inter-species jump is even possible, Kroll said agencies like the AGFC are irresponsible to insinuate that eating venison can be dangerous.

“If I wanted to kill hunting as a recreational enterprise, I would convince hunters and the general public that venison is an unwholesome thing to eat. I see that happening already.

> “We lost 56,120 young license buyers when CWD hit in WI. Those people are now playing golf, and they’re never coming back to this sport. We have enough problem recruiting hunters without scaring the living daylights out of them.”

How great is that info! Big thanks to James.

Ron Spomer: 5 hunting rifle buying mistakes.

Great post from gun guru Ron Spomer. Even if you’re not in the market for a new shootin’ iron, it’s worth a read cuz it might make you think twice about the gun you plan to carry this fall:

> Getting an overly powerful cartridge is #1 in our 5…mistakes. The bigger and faster the bullet, the more the recoil. And the more expensive the ammo.

> A heavy rifle moderates felt recoil, but at the cost of carrying discomfort. 8 or even 10 lbs might not sound like much, but hang it over your shoulder, climb a few mountains, hike a dozen miles, and let’s talk again.

> While it’s true a heavy barrel should be inherently more accurate than a light one, and a long one will wring more velocity from a cartridge, you can take this too far. Thick barrels add mass. Long ones add mass plus inconvenience.

> Complicated rifles with lots of curves, angles, nuts, bolts, suppressors and adjustable parts are all the rage. These can aid competition shooters, but can be more hindrance than help to an active hunter. A hunting rifle should be like a leopard — sleek, trim and configured for action.

> A riflescope…get it right. The tendency is too big. Too much power, too much tube, too much lens, too many bells and whistles. Too much to go wrong.

Yep! I (Ted) have a lot of centerfires in my safe, but the ones I reach for when it’s time to go hunting are moderate cartridges (7mm-08, .270) and simple setups.


1. IA now allows leashed dogs to track wounded deer.

> This ends the approximate 10-year effort to get this done…7 states left that still won’t allow this practice.

2. TX: Conditions great for the upcoming season.

> Spring rains allowed many regions of the state, including south TX, Edwards Plateau and areas west, to recover from last year’s very dry fall and winter, leading to an abundance of quality forbs and shrubs….

3. DE: Record deer harvest last season.

Nearly 17,000 deer, 10% higher than the previous record from the 2017-18 season.

4. PA tag application process opening up.

5. VT muzzleloader application deadline is Aug 12.

Sounds like they need to harvest a few extra this season:

> “Yearling antler beam diameters, fawn weights and other physical condition measures are declining or are below optimal levels in many areas, indicating that deer have exceeded the level their habitat can support long-term.”

6. UT: Leftover tags are for sale.

> The general-season buck deer permits that remain after the big game drawing will be available beginning at 8 am Tues, July 21…909 permits remaining.

7. IN has a new online license portal.

8. PA: Guy wonders whether PA wants less rifle use.

9. PA: TrophyLine is looking for a product manager.

10. Proceeds from 2A book will help girl with cancer.

Awesome. If you pray, please pray for her.

11. DC: Outdoor biz says support the Great American Outdoor Act.

12. DC: Anti-gun group got federal Covid money??

> “The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence received between $350,000 and $1 mil on Apr 10 to support 41 employees, according to the Small Business Administration.”

13. Mountain Dew offering $100K for hunt/fish licenses.

> …Outdoor Stimulus will reimburse 2020 hunting and fishing permits of those living in the Heartland states of AL, AR, IL, IN, IO, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, ND, OH, OK, SD, TN, and WI.

Enter at — only the first 5,000 entries get it! Maybe they already got it — website wasn’t working for us…?

14. NC: Yuji “Mack” Matsumoto new Sightron president.

> Mack will assume the role previously held by Yoshinobu “Yoshi” Hamada who announced his retirement on June 30.

15. Jake Mersberger new natl accounts mgr for Arcus Hunting.

> Jake will be responsible for the Tink’s, Dead Down Wind, Ramcat, Trophy Taker and Rack One brands as he manages a number of large national accounts and oversees the independent sales force representing Arcus Hunting LLC.

> …joins the company after spending 11 years with Dick’s Sporting Goods and most recently 6 years with YETI.

16. NY: Deer vasectomy plan back on.

Now reinstating a $700K plan to sterilize bucks, even though there’s no evidence it’s working.

17. Bass Pro/Cabela’s hiring 5,000 folks.

Believe they’d laid off a bunch so this is good news:

> The hirings come amid what the retailer calls an ‘unprecedented’ wave of interest by families and individuals in returning to nature, where they can “social distance” on hiking trails, in boats and in blinds.

18. Record # of background checks in June.

> 3,931,607 checks were processed by the FBI, over 200,000 more than the previous record set in March of this year. These checks don’t include checks that were for non-firearm reasons like pistol permit applications. The number also doesn’t include people who have concealed pistol permits that allow buyers to bypass the background check….

19. Giveaways

Win a TenPoint x-bow.

True Timber/Bear Archery bow giveaway.

Deer Disease News

1. KS: CWD found in captive herd.

> The affected premises have been placed under quarantine, and tracing and surveillance are underway on all animals which have moved into or out of this captive cervid herd in the last 5 years.

2. Can CWD be controlled with does?

> Theoretically, because a group of related does control and share an ancestral range, eliminating such a group would leave that range vacant (and CWD-free) for an extended period. [A NY deer researcher] proposed that removal of all related females from an area could result in low deer density in that area for 10 years or more.

New Stuff

1. Barnett Explorer XP 380 a lot of x-bow for the $$.

> The XP380 features a pass-through foregrip, adjustable butt stock and exclusive Strike black camo.

2. Bowtech Guardian honors military and first-responders.

> “Patriotism and supporting our Guardians are part of Bowtech’s heritage, and we are honored to partner with the Heroes and Horses and PTSD USA foundations to offer a custom limited release, high-performing bow with donations going to life saving causes.”

3. New Konus scope aimed at 350 Legend guns.

> The scope comes with fully multi-coated lenses, solid one-piece tubes, fast-focus eye knobs, reset-to-zero stops and an expansive field of view.

4. VIP’s new Combat Veteran is a hybrid broadhead.

> VIP has eliminated the limitations commonly experienced by both fixed and mechanical broadhead users.

5. Covert scouting cameras go wireless.

> …20-mp camera with 1080p video in 16:9 wide screen format, the AW1 transmits the best initial quality images and WVGA videos the market has to offer via the easy-to-use Covert Wireless App and Web Portal.

6. Danner Vital snake boots.

> Vital Snake Boots feature multi-directional lugs on the outsoles for great traction on a variety of terrains, as well as Danner’s Plyolite midsole for comfort and shock absorption. These Vitals were designed for when snakes are most active, so a waterproof lining is also included. included.

7. New Dryshod Southland hunting boot.

> Featuring a DS1 molded outsole with a double Achilles heel, instep reinforcement, and a nylon shank to enhance ankle stability, the Southland allows hunters to tackle the most rugged terrain.

8. Interesting concept from ScrapeStick.

> By using ScrapeStick in combination with a mock scrape, you can virtually create a mock scrape site anywhere to enhance your opportunities for great trailcam pictures and action from your treestand.
9. Good deal on a Delta McKenzie 3D buck target.Target is $10 off at $89.00, and use coupon code DMFREESHIP to get it sent for nuthin’.

Gear of the Week

Thompson/Center Venture II rifle.

Lots o’ deer across the country have fallen to the Thompson Center Venture. For good reason — solid gun at a good price point. Now T/C is rolling out the Venture II, American Hunter had some deets:

> T/C’s original Venture was very much a product of its time when cylindrical actions, minimized ejection ports and full-diameter bolts were becoming popular features on hunting rifles. The original Venture had all 3 of those design elements and came with a composite stock that kept weight and cost to a minimum.

> Good as the original Venture was, a heavy factory trigger limited accuracy potential. Last year, T/C set out to polish the last rough edge off their flagship bolt gun by offering the Venture II with a much-improved trigger.

> …new adjustable trigger that comes set between 3 and 5 lbs. T/C elected to use a bladed trigger design similar in concept to Savage’s AccuTrigger and Mossberg’s LBA.

> The blade blocks the sear from disengaging should the rifle be dropped or jarred, but it remains light and crisp. I found that the trigger on the test rifle had virtually zero take-up and broke cleanly right at 3 lbs.

> Now to the best part — accuracy. As stated, T/C promises that the Venture II will produce sub-MOA groups with premium factory ammunition, but the test rifle exceeded that figure considerably. The best group of the day measured just 0.38″.

> If every Venture II performs the way the test gun did, I think we may be crowning a new king in the budget bolt-gun market.

Good to hear! MSRP is just $525.00.

Tip of the Week

Treat your oaks well, they’ll return the favor.

Never really thought about it, but sometimes the best “food plots” are the natural resources already on our hunting grounds. So…what if we were to spend some time improving that? Like oak trees, which as we know are an important browse source in almost every part of the country. Tony Benoit of the Citrus County (FL) Chronicle has a few tips on how to make your oaks work for you:

> Now that the rains are beginning again as summer rolls along, one of the things I do each year to prep some of my hunting areas is to visit the big oaks with a bag of fertilizer.

> The live oak is my favorite oak to fertilize because its acorn is a favorite food of deer. Live oak acorns have less tannin than those produced by other species of oak.

> Some deer hunters are surprised to learn that many white oaks, as well as other oaks, don’t produce every year. You must spend the time to select live oak trees that you know produce acorns. Once you find a good producer, mark the tree so you can find it again.

> It’s a good idea to have several trees in a variety of settings to fertilize. That allows me to have six good places to hunt without putting too much pressure on any one location.

> Apply your fertilizer, I like 7-7-7, from the edge of the drip line…the outer edge of the furthermost tips of branches, to within 3′ of the trunk of the tree.

> If there are a lot of leaves and limbs on the ground in the fertilized area, rake them away so that the fertilizer comes in contact with the soil quickly. Use a hand seeder/fertilizer spreader to spread out 5-7 lbs of fertilizer to each tree.

How ’bout that head-slapper! Fertilizer’s pretty cheap, and it doesn’t require a lot of machinery or labor. Just make sure to follow the label’s instructions since too much can be worse than not enough.

Quote of the Week

“It sends a powerful message when a person sees themselves reflected in an activity they want to do. “

African-American hunter Eric Morris talkin’ in a real good Outdoor Life post on how the hunting industry can do a better job of attracting black folks to the sport. Definitely worth a read. Here’s the full quote:

> It sends a powerful message when a person sees themselves reflected in an activity they want to do. Unfortunately, it sends an equally powerful message of how reluctant and non-inclusive the hunting industry really can be when Black show producers look for sponsorship and are turned away again and again. Of the handful of outdoor shows produced by Black outdoorsmen, most have hit a brick wall when it comes to getting sponsorship and financial support from the hunting industry. Seeing is believing, and what better way to show diversity and to create inclusion than by showing people of color having fun in the field?

Shot of the Week

Hard to believe it’s only 2 or 3 months til the leaves start falling and we can be back in the tree! @realtreeoutdoors with the killer shot gettin’ our blood flowin’!

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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