DeerBlaster blasts

Tall-tined BEAST! Biggest buck you’ve never heard of? Coyotes don’t hurt deer?

Today’s Top 5

X-bow hunter tags a tall-tined BEAST!

Get a loada that ‘Bama toad! That 179 4/8 monstrosity was taken by Brock Creel in Oct with an x-bow. Brock and his dad had been hunting DUCKS (not bucks lol) in a small timber hole but hung a couple cameras and then…Realtree.com with the story:

> …was a calm day, with almost no wind. Temperatures were moderate, around 60-65 degrees. He had chosen to hunt some thick, nasty hardwoods surrounded by swamp. …one open shooting lane, and it was directly in front of his treestand.

> …the deer and the racoons looked at something behind Creel’s treestand. Creel knew something was coming, and he slowly looked over his shoulder.

> “He came trotting in and ran off those deer and racoons. While he was doing that, I checked to make sure my crossbow bolt was placed correctly and that the red dot sight was working. Then I grabbed my rangefinder, hit him at 16 yards, and flipped the safety.

> “I squeezed the trigger too hard and pulled the shot about 4 inches to the right. The bolt entered just to the right of its shoulder blade, in the lower neck.”

Thankfully, the bad shot was still good — the broadhead severed the deer’s jugular, and the buck fell just 15 yards away. Even crazier: His taxidermist aged the deer at just 3.5 years — pretty incredible.

The biggest buck you’ve never heard of?

Ever hear of the monster buck taken in MO by Randy Simonitch in 2000? It’s the #4 all-time P&Y buck but weirdly few hunters have heard about it. NA Whitetail tells why:

> The beast Randy Simonitch shot that day in northeast MO’s Pike County should have received more fanfare than it did. After all, at the time Randy shot him — after a morning stalk in a standing bean field behind a neighbor’s house — only the Del Austin buck from NE was a bigger bow kill. This new MO buck was set to become the all-time #2 whitetail by an archer.

> But something funny happened on the way to the record book. As Randy’s buck was a little over halfway to the end of the end of the 60-day drying period for official P&Y entry, along came another bowhunter.

Betcha have heard of Mike Beatty, or at least the Beatty Buck:

Was shot about a month after Randy’s deer and scored a jaw-dropping 304 6/8 non-typ!! At the time it was the world’s biggest P&Y buck — so it stole Randy’s thunder, even tho Randy’s MO buck scored a huge 269 7/8.

The Beatty Buck was eclipsed last year by Luke Brewster’s mega 327 7/8″ net:

If you’re gettin’ confused, here’s a grid of the top 4 P&Y non-typs:

Sick! Happy for ’em but a little jealous….

Coyotes DON’T hurt deer populations?

Huh. The conclusions of a 30+ year study — “Effects in White-Tailed Deer Following Eastern Coyote Colonization” in the Journal of Wildlife Management — say they don’t. Looked at FL, NJ, NY, NC, OH and SC — chosen because they’ve all had big-time coyote growth in the last half-century. MeatEater had a recap:

> “We did not detect any negative association between colonizing eastern coyotes and whitetail deer population growth rates across 6 eastern states. Instead, we documented a consistent rise in deer abundance simultaneous to coyote colonization across the region.”

> What’s going on? If you’ve got thousands of new predators producing litters of pups to feed, wouldn’t they hammer the deer herds? Nature isn’t that simple.

> Think of a deer herd as a bank account that produces interest. If you spend all the interest and dig into the principal, your account will shrink. But if you don’t spend all the interest (or eat all the fawn crop), the account continues to grow.

They also say coyotes don’t typically mess with full-grown whitetails:

> “Basically, coyotes mostly leave adult females alone and adult females are the most important cohort of the population when it comes to reproduction.”

Interesting…not sure what the case would be in places with less small game maybe?

Any of this change the way you think about song dogs, or they still public enemy #1?

Minerals are for skeletons (not antlers), velvet radar and….

Stuff like antler growth/shedding and why mineral licks are important for deer SKELETON health are on an interesting post from deer brainiac (that’s a compliment!) Mike Hanback. Still a lotta mystery why deer grow and drop antlers every year — Mike has a few interesting tidbits on it:

> Some scientists say bucks shed so they’ll have the potential to replace damaged antlers. If a buck had to live his entire life with snapped tines or a broken beam, he couldn’t fight his rivals or posture for does — so he grows a shiny new set before the breeding season each year.

> A 2nd theory…bucks cast old antlers and grow new ones that may be 10-20″ larger the following year to keep pace with their increasing body weight and girth as they mature to 3.5 years…4.5 and so on.

> Cold weather, snow, altitude and food availability can influence when bucks lose their antlers. If your area had a noticeably early rut the previous fall, bucks’ testosterone will decrease earlier, and some of them might cast their racks 2-4 weeks earlier than normal.

> Antler tissue is the fastest growing tissue known to man. Beams and tines may grow a 1/4″ or more per day….

> Although some of the minerals needed for antler growth are…from food, scientists note that a lot of them are sucked from a buck’s skeleton, which may cause him to develop osteoporosis during the summer. Setting mineral licks for the deer can help.

> Tiny hairs on the velvet stick out and make the antlers look bigger than they are. The hairs act as a radar system so the buck won’t bump into trees, fence posts, etc. and damage his soft antlers.

> Sebum, a semi-liquid secretion, on the hairs gives the velvet a shiny look. Sebum also acts as an insect repellent to keep biting flies off a buck’s rack and face.

Who knew! Lots more stuff in the post.

One way to find a shed?

Lol! From Wade Middleton and the guys over at @whitetail.diaries. If y’all have a weird shed find, send it in!

News

1. Mathews wins lawsuit against Bowtech.

Lots of behind the scenes back/forth for about 8 years, sounds like it’s finished. A letter from Mathews to retailers says in part:

> Bowtech has now admitted that more than 40 of its Bowtech/Diamond branded bows, as well as its Deadlock Lite Octane Quiver, infringe 228 claims of the 24 MCP IP patents at issue in the lawsuit.

2. VT bill could cut sportsmen out of wildlife decisions?

Sounds like it’d do a few othings that ice out hunters including:

> …create the VT Working Group on Wildlife Governance to recommend changes in wildlife policy to the state legislature. The working group would review current wildlife policy and expenditures to ensure they meet the needs of VT citizens who value wildlife, but do not hunt, fish or trap.

But…unlike hunters they don’t buy licenses nor contribute to fish/game budgets through gear purchases…so how much voice should they have? One CA guy encourages any non-hunters who want to help wildlife to buy a hunting license and tags. #yep

3. SD adding $25 stamp requirement for non-rez hunters.

4. MI: 5 in deer lab get TB from deer carcasses.

TB = tuberculosis:

> …the first time an outbreak like this has occurred at the 10-person lab, which is based at Michigan State U.

5. IA: $10K from Whitetails Unlimited helps buy 206 acres…

…for public hunting:

> The tract is located in the Eden Valley area and is adjacent to a 399-acre parcel also open to public hunting….

6. WV Gov. Jim Justice gives $50K to food bank from…

…the Governor’s One Shot Program — the gov is a hunter too:

> …an annual antlerless deer hunting event that provides a source of fundraising and venison for the Hunters Helping the Hungry program.

7. 330-lb deer mauls French hunter.

> A behemoth deer charged a French hunter as he tried to shoot it, ripping open the guy’s face and landing him in the hospital with 50 stitches….

> The 36 yr old had to be raced by helicopter to a team of surgeons after the 330-lb animal he was stalking in southwest France stormed him….
Yikes:

330 LBS?!?! Must be a red stag?

Deer Disease News

1. Can deer pee and poo on hay spread CWD?

If true, could have big-time implications for game farms:

> [A SD veterinarian says] he suspects a 10-month-old elk contracted chronic wasting disease after eating hay contaminated by the feces and urine of a wild deer with chronic wasting disease.

2. PA hunters say no to CWD deer cull.

> “We came together to stand against the game commission, knowing the issues of CWD are not going to be solved by an experimental cull of 2,000 to 2,500 deer within a 100-sq-mile area. Many healthy animals would have been killed, decimating the herd.”

3. IA DNR to host CWD meetings.

Dates and locations at govdelivery.com (can’t link it):

> …meetings in Leon, West Union and Decorah after hunter-harvested deer in Decatur, Fayette and Winneshiek counties tested positive for CWD. It is the first time deer have tested positive in these counties.

4. NC: Hunters can’t use fluids from non-wild deer…

…as attractants. New rule for the ’20-’21 season.

5. MN deer farmers says DNR overstepping authority.

Due to CWD fears. Says the Board of Animal Health has jurisdiction over domestically-raised animals.

6. OR: ’19 EHD outbreak cancels ’20 season…

…in same area:

> The cancellations are in an area of the Blue Mountains from Milton-Freewater to Pilot Rock where an outbreak of Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is estimated to have killed 2,000 whitetail deer late last year. The hunt cancellations for these 227 tags are needed to protect does and allow the whitetail deer population to rebound.

7. MA: Feed chemical paralyzing fawns?

Can’t link it — at vineyardgazette.com:

> 6 fawns…all male deer that had been born the previous spring, were found paralyzed…. After significant testing…still no definitive cause, although state biologists have been able to narrow their investigation to a specific type of chemical present in medicated livestock and poultry supplements.

New Stuff

1. Easton offering 6.5MM arrows.

Maybe tryin’a capitalize on the Creedmoor craze? If so…SMART!

> …the new 6.5 hunting arrow line available now for immediate delivery. …USA-made shafts that offer the highest level of accuracy available to bowhunters today all at price points to fit virtually any budget.

Easton also announced “the world’s most advanced hunting shaft,” the T64 Full Metal Jacket:

> …an arrow that promises more penetration with the highest level of FOC accuracy.

> The T64 FMJ shaft profile begins at the front with a 6mm diameter that seamlessly tapers down to a micro-diameter 4mm at the nock end. The integrated front-of-center weight distribution adds up to 30% more FOC for the best in exacting long-range accuracy.

> For lethal big game results, the rear taper creates a reduced-friction path for maximum penetration.

2. Timney has a new trigger for the Remington 783.

Might sound crazy putting a $165 trigger on a gun that can be had for $300, but it’ll definitely improve your groups — we love us some Timney triggers!

> …adjustable for pull weight and overtravel…adjustable from 1.5 to 4 lbs and features a trigger-blocking side safety to ensure reliability.

3. Stow your bow with Bowspider.

Kind of a cool little deal — figurin’ out how to carry a bow hands-free has always been a bit of a hassle:

> It comes with a sturdy belt and long bolts allowing for multiple ways to secure your bow. Use the belt to attach your bow to your pack, hip, truck headrest, blind or tree. Easily attach the Bow Spider to a binocular harness or backpack.

4. Check out the new Fore Runner ground blind.

At $1200 it’s pricey, but looks a lot bigger and stouter than a typical fabric popup:

> …designed by hunters to hold up to harsh late-season elements while being completely user friendly. …integrated hitch system, allowing them to be towed by your ATV or Side-By-Side.

5. Show your deer-huntin’ breakfast-lovin’ pride!Woooohooo! Who doesn’t love them some Waffle House, now with a side of Realtree:

6. Check out these Buck knives, good for turkeys….

Gear of the Week

Can Scent Thief shut down an animal’s sense of smell??

Stumbled across this and we’re curious if it could possibly be true? Scent Thief claims it actually SHUTS DOWN an animal’s ability to smell:

> …works by temporarily blocking an animal’s ability to smell. It has been field-tested and studied by 2 major universities. The science is proven: when an animal smells Scent Thief, they can’t smell anything else.

> …lulls an animal into a relaxed state by creating a natural calming reaction in the olfactory area of the nose. Once they get Scent Thief in their nose, they’ll be a totally different animal than anything you’ve seen before.

[Kinda sounds like they’re almost drugged?]

> Scent Thief temporarily relaxes the olfactory epithelium in…humans and animals. …a specialized epithelial tissue inside the nasal cavity that is involved in smell…directly responsible for detecting odors. With the olfactory epithelium relaxed, an animal can no longer detect odors of any kind.

[Might be great for hunting camp lol!]

> Spray down anything that might have an odor. Be generous…the more Scent Thief you apply, the more the olfactory nerve is going to be relaxed. Using Scent Thief means you’ll never have to worry about the wind again.

We find it kinda hard to believe that a deer will get enough of Scent Thief in their nose to completely shut down their sense of smell, but maybe? We’re reaching out to ’em to see if we can get our hands on some and see (smell?) for ourselves. Stay tuned….

Tip of the Week

Keep your rifle runnin’ in the backcountry.

If you’ve ever been out in the sticks and had a rifle malfunction, you know you’re done if you can’t get it working. HUGE bummer. Whether you’re on a ultralight pack-in trip or a weekend at deer camp, these Petersens Hunting tips can save your hunt:

> …shoving sticks, unfolded coat-hangers and your buddy’s arrow shaft down the barrel may get the obstruction cleared, it also may not and could very possibly damage the rifling. I don’t like jointed cleaning rods but they are the best portable field tool for clearing a stubborn barrel obstruction.

> Field repairs are often possible for scopes that have lost zero due to a hard knock or loose mounting hardware as long as you have the right tools. Keep a little kit containing Torx and/or Allen wrenches that fit the screws in your rings and bases, along with a small crescent wrench or Leatherman-type tool for tactical-type rings that mount with nut-secured crossbolts.

> …pirate a paper plate from the camp cook or whittle an aiming spot into the trunk of a dead tree and do some shooting to get sighted in again.

> Sling-swivel weakness and even strap deterioration fly under the radar. Preventive maintenance is the best cure…pull on your swivels and give your strap a detailed inspection before heading into the field.

> If you do have a sling-related field disaster, it’s handy to have a few feet of Paracord on hand to patch your strap together. You can loop it around a barrel or buttstock and splice on to your strap too, if a swivel has pulled out.

Duct tape wasn’t mentioned? One item we’ve always got is a couple feet of black duct tape — or better is Gorilla Tape, which doesn’t stick to itself as much. Just peel some off, then wrap it around something you plan on taking — like a first aid kit, pill bottle or plastic ammo box.

You got any other backcountry fix-it advice deer nerds? Hot us back at this email addy if you do….

Quote of the Week

“Word on the street is that you’re looking at the new world record 4-pointer.”

– Lol! Riley Emory talkin’ on the Tactacam FB page. Who knows if it’s actually a book buck, but “world record” and “4 point” in the same sentence is a new one on us lol!

Shot of the Week

Whoa! [big eyes emoji] That’s a ridiculously awesome groom’s cake, baked by Dusty Sinclair at @sugarbelle.sweets. Thanks to Jim Shockey for the heads up:

> The antlers are made from a mixture of gum paste and molding chocolate. Then she airbrushed them. The deer was the flavor of chocolate cake, and she used rice crispies for the neck, legs and back strap! Then used buttercream icing to cover the whole deer!!

Venison is mighty tasty but that sounds pretty good too!

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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