DeerBlaster blasts

Secret big buck tips, Cool tracking tips, Best new broadheads

Today’s Top 5

Big-buck tips revealed for the first time ever!  

Good ones too, from Barry Wensel. If you don’t know about him, check these quals:

> In 6 years working as a guide, he and his twin brother Gene helped more than 200 clients kill P&Y-class deer with their bows. Their hunters had a 96% success rate. Barry has killed 4 B&C bucks, all with his recurve at less than 15 yards.

This post says now that he’s almost 75, he just released 2 DVDs with never-before-shared trophy buck hunting tips, such as:

> When first hanging his stand, he takes a garden hoe into the woods with him. He clears the last 50 yards to it of all leaves, taking things down to bare earth. That allows him to approach silently, rather than as if he’s walking “on 6 inches of cornflakes.”

> Even then, when possible, he walks only when some kind of background noise — airplanes, trains, a gust of wind, a stream rushing over rocks — provides background noise. [Okay raise your hand if you do that…didn’t think so!]

> Find an old logging road back in the woods…chances are it runs along a ridge top. That’s because it represented the easiest way for loggers to get equipment into the woods and timber back out. Whitetails find them easy going as well.

> …wise old buck…travel on a parallel track, but one that’s on the downwind side of that ridge.

They can not only smell anything below them, thanks to rising thermals, but also smell anything uphill thanks to the direction of the prevailing wind, he said. And they can do it without skylining themselves. “It’s brilliant. They’re protected.” He looks for that secondary trail, then sets his stand 15 yards downwind of that.

The DVDs are called “Out and About” and can be ordered here.

Behold the Lord of the Flies…rack. 

That’s KS’s biggest-ever free-range buck — what a toad! Believe it or not, this epic rack has a sad story…epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) probably killed it in 2012, during a big breakout throughout the Midwest. Buckmasters has the story:

> Photographed regularly by a trailcamer until late summer 2012, the buck with unfathomable antlers (in velvet at the time) simply disappeared. Clearly, it was either dead or had switched zip codes.

> The deer, in fact, was dead, next to the creek with no holes in it — an almost sure sign that it died from contracting EHD. Even more convincing is that the skull and 55-point rack [!!] weigh almost nothing…having never reached the dense hard-antler state.

> An official BTR score of 315 makes it the largest free-ranging buck ever recorded from KS, 5th-largest in the world, and it’s #3 among the world’s biggest pickups, second only to the Barnacle and Hole in the Horn bucks. Its composite score (with the inside spread) is 330 7/8″.

> …the deer is legit…wasn’t poached…isn’t an escaped breeder buck. The property owner has numerous trailcamer photographs of the animal. The man who found it…has a salvage tag issued by the KS Department of Wildlife and Parks.

> The man’s not interested in notoriety. Neither does he want to draw attention to the family’s ground. But he does recognize that the buck he found on Sept 20 and the state that produced it should get their due.

Deer urine bans make no sense? 

Couple of states (PA and MN) banned using natural deer urine this fall. The reason: It unnaturally concentrates deer in an area, which promotes the spread of CWD.

Lol! Seriously tho — personally I always thought that theory was silly (same goes for feeders). Deer naturally congregate and lick/sniff each another whether a hunter-placed lure or bait is there or not. This post on Sporting Classics agrees:

> While a scent setup can effectively attract the interest of deer nearby for a short period of time to the benefit of a hunter, putting a small amount of deer urine on some wicks is insignificant regarding the overall “congregation of animals” argument. It would cause no more congregation than using a call or decoy and is a natural occurrence of deer already in the area.

> A typical deer releases about 64 oz of urine per day in good weather conditions and 42 oz in bad weather…approximately 150 gallons per year. Deer are naturally urinating exponentially more urine in the general area already vs a hunter using 1 or 2 oz of urine that lasts a few hours…

> The animals do not eat the scent and do not spend long periods of time there interacting with each other like they would at a bait pile. The animals that are attracted live and urinate all around that area already.

> If you made any legitimate argument at all, it would be that you are adding scent locations to the already natural ones. But then…would mean that deer are actually decreasing the amount of congregation because now they are attracted to multiple spots vs just the natural ones….

Outdoor Life’s fave new broadheads.   

If you don’t have your broadheads for this season yet or if you’re like me and can’t stop messing with your setup, Outdoor Life’s Tony Hansen tested 13 of the latest and greatest (fixed, mechanical, and hybrid). He rates them on accuracy, weight consistency, durability and sharpness.Here’s his faves:

Fixed: Wasp Havalon HV

> Wasp’s time-tested, time-proven fixed-blade design hardly needed improvement. But the addition of wicked-sharp Havalon blades should prove popular. My arrows loved these heads, and I shot excellent groups with them…within a 1/4″ of my field point impacts.

> The heads have a cutting diameter of just under 1.25″ and the relatively short blades mean that the head offers less total cutting surface than others tested. A 3-pack sells for $45 and includes 6 replacement blades.

Mechanical: Sevr Titanium 1.5

> Sevr is a new face in the broadhead world…. I found the heads to be highly accurate and very durable. In fact, they were the only mechanical model to fully penetrate the tire, and I could hardly find a mark on them. The heads do cost about $14 each, but they are sold individually so you can choose to fill a 5-arrow quiver without buying two 3-packs.

Hybrid: Rocky Mountain Switchblade

> …pleasant surprise…Rocky Mountain’s entry into the hybrid market is a good one. With a 7/8″ cut-on-contact fixed blade and a pair of over-the-top deploying mechanical blades that measure 2″ across, this head has more than 3″ of cutting surface.

> It was accurate and durable. And at $25 for a 3-pack, it’s a true bargain.

Do you know how high a deer can jump? 

Once when I was hunting in the Midwest I saw 3 does effortlessly glide over a 5′ fence — impressive. I’ve always wondered about how high and fast whitetails can go, and guess I’m not the only one — QDMA just put out a few facts about it:

> In 2010 [scientists]…actually caught wild deer, tested their ability to jump progressively taller fences, and found that the top end they could jump was just under 8′.

Wow. BUT we have heard about deer jumping even higher so maybe fear is a factor?

> According to Leonard Lee Rue III in his 1978 book The Deer of North America, a whitetail’s top speed is just shy of 40 mph.

> …pronghorn antelope (62 mph), mule deer (38 mph), moose (35 mph), and bighorn sheep (30 mph). [They don’t call ’em “speed goats” for nuthin!]


1. We lost Steve Puppe.

TV archery pioneer:

> If you watch any hunting shows on TV and enjoy some of the larger-than-life characters, you can thank…Steve Puppe…was “The Man” before the Michael Waddells, Lee Lakoskys, Pat Reeves and Mark Drurys hit their collective stride on national TV programs.

Rest in peace hunting brother.

2. MN: New deer regs/dates are out.

Couple changes:

> The youth season has been extended so it is now statewide, having previously been confirmed to the southeast, northwest and Twin Cities permit areas. It will run Oct 17-20.

> Dogs may be used to retrieve a wounded deer or bear, provided the dog is on a leash of no longer than 30-feet and has the owner’s name and telephone number on its clothing.

MN dogs wear clothing?? Here are the full regs on the MN DNR site.

3. TX deer season should be strong again.

> “The statewide average B&C score in 2018 was 126.1 for bucks 5.5+ [years old] and 121.2 for 4.5-yr-old bucks.”


4. Lions OL Andrew Donnal loves deer hunting and deer hearts.

Grew up in OH, raised right!

5. IL passes law to allow hunter ed in public schools.

> …participants also learn responsibility and ethics, first aid, wildlife conservation and bowhunting.

Love it!

6. SD sues convicted poacher for $80K.

> SDGFP accused Jesse Russell Atwood of illegally hunting or possessing 38 whitetail deer Oct to Nov 2016 and Oct to Dec 2017…. However, Atwood, who is currently serving time in Lake County jail, only pleaded guilty to 14 counts and was sentenced on criminal cases in each county this year, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

7. MT: Canadians convicted of residency fraud…

…fined and had 50 mounts confiscated, according to the article.

8. NY: Long Island landowners want deer culled.

> More than 3/4 of landowners…with large properties town officials have identified as ideal for deer hunting would open their parcels to help cull the town’s deer overpopulation….

9. IA: Nonambulatory info left out of IA hunting regs.

The printed regs but is correct online:

> …unintentionally omitted the language from a new state law that allows hunters with a nonambulatory deer license to hunt during any open season until the license is filled, using the method of take allowed for that season.

10. DC: New BLM director is privatization advocate.

> William Perry Pendley is the former president and founder of the pro-development law firm Mountain States Legal Foundation. He has written several books advocating the privatization of public lands and has ties to a number of notorious anti-public land groups, including the American Lands Council.

11. IL: Who would steal a deer mount?

This guy:

12. DC: EPA permitting use of cyanide traps again.

For coyotes and such. Can hunters trigger them accidentally? Sounds like they might not be allowed til 2021.

CWD News

1. MO proposes changes in CWD management zone.

> The management zone will be reduced from 48 to 29 of the state’s 114 counties, but new restrictions will be added on moving deer harvested inside the management zones.

2. ID concerned about CWD found in western MT.

> …will likely trigger year-round monitoring efforts in the Idaho Panhandle….

Gear of the Week

QuietKat electric bike — run silent.

25 years ago I hunted public-land whitetails on a huge GA WMA. I went on long scouting hikes, but quickly realized I needed a faster, more-efficient way to get to where the deer were…and the people weren’t. ATVs weren’t allowed (couldn’t afford one anyway) so I outfitted my mountain bike for deer hunting.

Strapped my climbing treestand to my back, rigged my handlebars with a rifle mount, and off I went (how to rig a hunting bike here). Worked pretty well, except on the hills…lol.

Recently I’ve seen a few electric bikes marketed towards hunters, QuietKat being one of the most popular brands. They’re pricey — some over $4K — but if you compare the price to an ATV, it’s maybe a little less painful. AND ATVs can’t get you into deer country completely SILENT.

Anyhow, Bowsite put a QuietKat “e-bike” to the test:

> The first stretch of trail is my steepest (30 degrees) and I was curious to see whether I needed to walk the bike up that incline, or whether I could just let the bike do all the work I’m 200 lbs and the bike is 70 so…bike power alone was not going to cut it. I switched to pedal-assist and raced up that steep hill with almost no effort, I never got out of breath! I was impressed.

> …I did ‘almost’ the entire 6-mile loop without pedal assist. Incredible. During that ride I drove up on 3 Jake turkeys, and cruised by a doe and fawn…. They never heard me coming and didn’t know what to make of me as I cruised quietly by on bike power alone.

> …has a top speed of 19 mph…. The bike sports two 26″ fat tires that absorb the shock and abuse found on off-road trails. I tested this bike in mud, sand, and gravel, and it traversed them easily.

> The bike contains a small gear motor that sits between the pedals. That motor is powered by a 48v Lithium-Ion battery. The power supplied to that motor is adjustable. Using a convenient power switch on the handlebar, you can set the bike power from 1 to 5….

> The marketing specification claim that the Ambush 750 LT can go 20 miles on a full charge…I had gone 18 miles with 3 bars remaining (30%) on the bike console.

> For whitetail hunters, you can move quickly, quietly and effortlessly to that distant treestand without leaving a scent trail.

> What I didn’t expect was how easy it was to use, especially for a middle aged guy who is not in top physical condition.

Check out the video review below. The QuietKat website is here.

Tip of the Week

Few tracking nuggets from

Other than having your one bud on speed-dial who has a knack for blood tracking, here’s a few good ones:

> In the past, I have used only bright flashlights for trailing. Recently I’ve begun using propane and butane lanterns to light the trail. Lantern light illuminates blood much better than a flashlight. In fact, the blood is actually more visible with the lantern in the dark than it is in the daylight. [Wow!]

> I’ve found 3 bucks as the direct result of staying on stand for several hours after the shot. In the 1st case, a doe snorting at the blood odor led me to the buck. In the 2nd case, I actually saw the buck cross a distant field 2 hours after the shot. In the 3rd case, another buck ran the wounded deer out of a thicket and hundreds of yards in the opposite direction well after the shot.

> Inclement weather may tempt you to take up a blood trail before the normal waiting period has expired. Resist this temptation. My friends and I have proven that you are better off letting the animal die close to your stand even without a blood trail than to push it from its first bed, give it a fresh burst of adrenaline and then have the trail wash out anyway.

> I recovered the biggest buck I ever shot after waiting in the dark for coyotes to start yapping. I wasn’t sure of the hit and didn’t want to rush the job, so I decided to wait until the scavengers found him. [Same goes for birds. I found one of my biggest bucks ever by scanning the skies for scavengers.]

> Spend as much time as you can trying to find the blood before giving it up. I’ll look for 2 hours for the next drop of blood before giving up the blood trail and looking for the carcass.

Good stuff — read the whole post here.

Also, I believe a GPS tracklog is super-useful for tracking a wounded deer. Shows you exactly where you’ve been — and more importantly, where you haven’t. Give it a glance when you’re stuck, and it can point you to areas you haven’t scoured.

Shot of the Week

Pre-dawn shot of a couple niiiiiiiiiiiiice IL bucks — @midwest_whitetails_1 shot:

What’s the DB and who does it??
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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!

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