DeerBlaster blasts

Seven-acre freak! Opening day NY brute! How to get a brighter scope

Today’s Top 5


On one hand you hate to come across a deadhead of this caliber, but on the other hand it’s great somebody found it. This insane OH rack was found by Wayne Bolton, who calls himself the “Shed Huntin’ Fool” — love it! From his FB page:

> Meet TALL BOY!!! I found his right shed last Feb 2019 and found him dead this Feb 2020! He’s a world-class typical that I’m pretty positive was only 3.5 yrs old based on my history with him!

3.5 yrs!! Whatcha think he’ll go? Hopefully he’s got a daddy or brother or son out there. Props to TAG 1 Outdoors for sharin’ it.

NY 1st day of gun season BRUTE!

Erika Johnston was all smiles after puttin’ the crosshairs on this big boy on NY’s rifle opener — lookit the bases on this dude!! Post says the deer has 18 scorable points, but no word on how he taped out.

Erika gave a big shout-out to the farmer who let them hunt on his land. For sure — we’d be like:

When “The Freak” got beat.

Unbelievable story of an OH buck known as “The Freak.” Took 4 years til Mike Wise finally had a chance at this remarkable buck, and get this: Mike only had 7 acres to hunt! Told his story to NA Whitetail:

> I always start my hunts with prayer after settling in for the hunt, thanking the good Lord for the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors — in particular, the opportunity to harvest a mature whitetail.

> I immediately recognized The Freak by his split G-2 tines, and my pulse jumped to 1,000. I lost all control of my breathing and started to panic, realizing the wind had recently shifted a bit — and not for the better.

> I asked God for a sense of calmness to come about me so I could make a good shot and then came to full draw again. I settled my 30-yard pin on The Freak and started to feel very relaxed, even though I felt he was going to hear my heart beating like a drum in my chest.

> The shot looked great, and I watched him run over the ridge with my arrow sticking out of his side. At that point I realized my lighted nock hadn’t deployed. Now worried and wondering why I hadn’t achieved a clean pass-through, I began to panic.

> But then…there he was. …I broke down and began to sob like a baby, continuing to thank God for this amazing journey. My shot had hit the deer perfectly, piercing both lungs. The reason for my arrow not having passed through was that it had hit the inside of the opposite shoulder blade.

Wow, love the story and the praise — thanks for sharing Mike!

Quick video of a buck using deer social media.

Cool shot from @browningtrailcams showing a buck licking and scratching his forehead on an overhead branch. Common behavior for deer and doesn’t only happen during the rut. Legendary Whitetails says it’s used for social communication between deer:

> The main activity at the licking branch isn’t the licking, or the chewing, or scraping the ground under it. Nor is it the antler rubs you’re likely to find nearby. The main activity at the licking branch involves contact of the pre-orbital gland area to the branch. The pre-orbital gland is just what it sounds like…a gland located in front of (pre) the eye (orbital).

> Every buck secretes a substance from the pre-orbital gland that carries his unique smell. When he applies it to a licking branch, he announces to other bucks that he’s in the area, and he’ll be in the game when the rut comes.

> When a buck puts his own scent on the licking branch, he simply touches the branch to his pre-orbital area. But to get the scent of another buck he may lick it or bite it, and analyze the scent he picks up. Closer to the rut, he tends to become more aggressive, biting it more and thrashing it with his antlers.

Next time your buddy says deer are smart…

…show him this:



1. NRA lobbies to keep public lands open.

> “Now, perhaps more than ever, families need access to hunting and fishing grounds so they can put food on the table for their families. There is no reason why people should be prohibited from spending time alone in America’s wide-open spaces. At its core, hunting is the original social-distancing.”

2. Ammo demand goes through the ROOF.

Firearms too. Sporting Goods Wholesalers group:

> When we look at year-to-date (YTD) numbers for 2020, ammunition sales are up 49% compared to the 3-yr average, and 188%….

> Firearms shipments were up 67% on the week.

3. Outdoor companies making stuff to battle Covid.

Hunting, shooting and outdoor companies helping out. Not a comprehensive list but Mystery Ranch packs (^), Versacarry holsters, Gokey USA and Radians are all making things to help folks on the front lines. #stout

4. HI axis deer hunt canceled due to Corona.

> The Lana’i deer hunting season is very popular, bringing hundreds of visitors to the island from in-state and out of state. With both domestic and inter-island travel restricted and passengers under mandatory self-quarantine measures, it would be very difficult for hunters to even get to Lana’i.

5. Few states suspending sales of some non-rez licenses.

Including OH and ID, but probably more coming. Designed to stop viral spread, but deer tags for next fall are not on the list…yet.

6. BC: Hunting license sales way up because of Covid.

> The number of hunting licences sold to British Columbians more than doubled in the first 3 months of 2020 compared with the same period in each of the past 3 years, with more than 4,852 already granted.

7. PA: 3 Sundays approved for hunting this fall.

Archery deer hunting will be allowed on Nov 15, bear hunters can take to the woods on Nov 22 and deer hunters using firearms can be out Nov 29.

8. NY hunters took nearly a quarter-million deer.

> “Regulated hunting benefits all New Yorkers by reducing the negative impacts of deer on forests, communities and crop-producers, while also providing more than 10 million lbs of high-quality local protein to families and food pantries around the state every year.”

Dang straight!

9. ND deer season wasn’t “good.”

> Success for white-tailed bucks was 64% and for does 58%. Overall hunter success was 64%. State wildlife officials consider 70% overall success to be indicative of a quality season. Last year’s overall success rate was unchanged from 2018.

10. ID’s new big game regs book is out.

11. Buck Knives blowout sale through 4/17.

ALL hunting knives — utility knives, caping knives, skinning knives…sweet deals to be had!

12. MN wants feedback on more lead ammo bans.

> …seeking feedback on whether to expand bans on lead-based hunting ammo on state-owned lands to reduce lead poisoning in wildlife.

13. OPI bought Big Dog Hunting.

Big Dog Hunting brands = Big Dog Treestands, Big Dog Ground Blinds, LockJawz Treestands, Advanced “Take-Down” Treestands.

14. Smith & Wesson looking for channel marketing manager.

15. Channel your inner artist with Savage Arms.

Love this — print one out, grab the Crayolas and go:

16. CA: Man saw coughing deer, wondered if it was Corona.

Can’t make this stuff up….

Deer Disease News

Good to hear.

> Changes aimed at combatting CWD from spreading further will be in place for the 2020-21 season, which also includes extending archery season deeper into the rut until Friday, Nov 20, and keeping the Saturday after Thanksgiving as the firearms season opener for the 2nd year in a row.

New Stuff

1. Kali Key turns your AR into a boltie.

> The Kali Key lets you quickly and easily build your ideal hunting rifle, lets you build the quietest suppressed rifle, benefits your long-range precision shooting, and allows you to keep the rifle you love in “assault weapon” jurisdictions.

2. New Hypodermic x-bow NC broadhead from Rage.

> The revolutionary Hypodermic Crossbow NC utilizes cutting-edge finger-like tabs on the blades’ Slip Cam pivot point to “anchor” them in place while in the closed position, completely eliminating the need for a Shock Collar, dental band or O-ring, while still providing reliable blade retention. Upon impact, the blades instantly deploy to a 2″ cutting diameter….
Smart move:

> Rifles chambered in 350 Legend and 450 Bushmaster are increasingly popular for hunting, and Styrka Optics now offers 2 affordable, cutting-edge rifle scopes to its S3 line….

4. Delta McKenzie’s new IMP 3D target.

The lil bugger is only 18″ tall/wide, so he could make for some chippy shots at longer distances:

Gear of the Week

Lacrosse “Venom” snake boots.

Snake boots oughta be in your kit. Whether you hunt in timber or out on the prairies, Mr. No Shoulders makes his home there. Hatch Mag has a good review of these new snake boots by LaCrosse:

> As with all leather boots a break-in period is required, but after only 10 or so miles of rocky trails and creek crossings in the 2.5-lb Venoms, they began to feel and act less like a medieval knight’s shin plating and more like a hybrid between trail boots and a super-supportive really high-top basketball shoe.

> Behind the 1,000 Denier nylon (harder to fray than boot-standard 500 Denier nylon) and leather is a combination of what LaCrosse says is “strategically placed leather, rubber and non-woven snake guard material.” What is “snake guard material”? …Snake Guard is a proprietary material in the plastics family….

> So far, the Venom has lived up to its 100% waterproof billing. LaCrosse says that it’s due to their Scent Dry lining, which also offers anti-microbial properties to control foot odor and possibly make the Venoms candidates for my early-season whitetail hunts when snakes are still prowling and my human scent is more stinky.

> LaCrosse’s Low Country outsole offered great traction in the hill country and the bottoms including over snot-slick creek rocks and through clay mud.

> Even with the zippered side, taking the boots off is something of a chore. A heel kick would be an excellent addition to the next model Venom.

Set ya back 200 bones, but that’s a heckuva lot cheaper and easier than a hospital visit.

Tip of the Week

Get enlightened on rifle-scope brightness.

When you’re shopping for optics, you’re always looking for the “brighter” scope, right? But…what does that really mean? Is brighter always better? Outdoor Life’s Ron Spomer is here to clear things up:

> A big objective lens does contribute to scope brightness by letting more light into the instrument. But bigger is not always better because a big window does not stand alone. The image (light) has to pass through the main tube and a bunch of interior lenses, sometimes as many as 10!

> A sharp image at any brightness level looks “brighter” than a softly-focused image. Resolution is a critical ingredient for making images seen through a scope appear brighter.

> As for the wider main tube contributing to brightness, forget it. Doesn’t work that way. Regardless how much light enters the objective “window,” the higher the magnification, the less light that gets out. The amount of light that exits the scope at the eyepiece depends on the power level.

> An easy, inexpensive (actually free!) alternative is to TURN THE POWER DOWN. A 50mm objective at 7X yields a 7.1mm EP [exit pupil, or the amount of light that goes out of the scope and into your eye]. You get all the light your pupils can take in! Of course, you no longer have the magnifying power of 10X, but do you really need it?

> …really makes a difference in riflescope brightness: anti-reflection coatings. These are almost magical because they can nearly double scope brightness without adding bulk or weight.

> One layer of anti-reflective coating can cut this loss in half. Another coating cuts it in half again and so on. The best, multiple layers can reduce reflection loss to as little as 0.02%….

Quote of the Week

“It pays to be cautious. Otherwise you could end up with a case of Corona with Lyme….”

Buckmaster’s Bob Humphrey talkin’ in a post on how hunters can prevent ticks and Lyme disease.

Shot of the Week

Big Buck Registry had this sweet trailcam shot of an (11-point?) stud chasing a doe. Can’t wait for it again this fall:

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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