DeerBlaster blasts

Two giant TN bucks! Food plots get Iowa monster! .350 Legend test

Today’s Top 5

Music dude Rylan Fowler gets TN hurricane buck!

Great-lookin’ 10-point was stuck by Na$hville musician Rylan Fowler. Looks like he’s as good with the bowstring as the 6-string:

> 10 long years and some incredible help along the way. I’m still in disbelief. We weathered hurricane Laura with the trees sswwaayyiiinn, then it cleared and this ol’ boy came out and gave me a perfect 33 yards broadside. Couldn’t have done it without a lot of help from my friends trackin’ in the rain. GOD IS GOOD!

Love that face — dude’s PUMPED!

Interesting: Said trailcam pics 2 days before showed this deer in full velvet. They lose it quick!

Seek One’s Lee Ellis drops another TN giant!

What’s up with TN and big deer?? This one’s a suburban trophy for Lee Ellis of Seek One Productions. If you’re not familiar with ’em, knockin’ on doors in the ‘burbs is what they do. Lee and his deer bros are based in the Atlanta area, and they consistently arrow HUGE deer in places most hunters would never bother with — this time in TN:

> Didn’t want to make you guys wait too long! What an incredible blessing to put this beautiful buck down on opening day of TN season. We have a pretty wild story on this one that we can’t wait to share!

Amazing man. Says on the @seek1productions Insta that it’s gonna green-score 184.

Food plots kept this IA monster close.

Brook Current had been eyeing this deer for a coupla years — probly one of the luckiest bucks in the Midwest for a bit cuz Brook passed up TWO 15-yard shots at the deer 3 years ago! (He wanted him to grow another year.) Then in 2018 Brook’s buddy shot and missed him and a neighbor whiffed on him as well.

The buck stuck around thanks at least partly to Brook’s food plots — which he knows because that’s where the buck went down. He told Buckmasters he set up in a white oak near one of the plots during the rut last year:

> “The hilltop dropped into a drainage valley to my left. On the right was a 20-yard-wide 1/2-acre food plot with clover, winter peas and radishes that ran about 150 yards. Behind me was a creek that held water year round.”

> He saw several deer that afternoon, the big one among them. It came through as daylight was fading, and it paused only a few feet away from Brook’s tree. The shot was 7 yards.

> Brook’s buck has not been taped for the BTR yet, but it was rough-scored at 184 6/8″. It took 1st place (archery typical) at the IA Deer Classic in March, which uses a B&C net score.

How to get a velvet buck to the taxidermist intact.

If you’re lucky enough to shoot a buck in velvet, you’re probly gonna want a shoulder mount to show off that fuzzy rack, right? Okay so DON’T field dress him and drag him out by the antlers or you’ll end up stripping off all that prized velvet. News Dakota talked with taxidermist Shawn Mertz for some tips about that:

> …using a light sheet to cover the antlers will help prevent damage to the fine coating, as a branch can easily snag or scratch them.

> The use of a game retrieval cart will also help transport the deer back to the truck while minimizing damage. Make certain to secure the head of the animal so that it doesn’t bounce around or bang against the cart frame.

> “Out in the field, right away try to take good pictures of the velvet in case something does happen….”

> Even when there’s some damage, with the technology available today taxidermists can repair flattened or stripped velvet….

Maybe check to see if your taxidermist does this:

> …taxidermists like Mertz work with companies specializing in freeze-drying velvet to better preserve and protect those early-season antlers that come in the doors to their shops.

“A big fat white cow ran that deer off.”

Sometimes if you have crazy bad luck you might at least get a hilarious video — from @bowhuntordie:

Lol! That’s happened to me (Ted( here in TX — I’ve even tried throwing rocks to scare ’em off but nothing seems to work. Might have to turn it into steak…?


1. OR: Bowhunters cautioned about wildfires.

Go to that link ^ to see an interactive fire restrictions map.

2. OR: Deer tagging app won’t work when there’s no service.

Common for apps but kinda a fail?

> Until it’s fixed, hunters and anglers are asked to take a screen shot on their license and tags.

3. MI needs more tags to reduce its whitetail population?

> For too many years our deer herd has been managed for sheer numbers. However, nobody has ever found the “off switch” to our self-inflicted predicament of too many deer.

4. MS emphasized air guns good on private land only.

> “It’s a legal weapon after the early primitive weapons season. It’s legal on private lands.”

5. NM: Lots of new state land available for hunting.

6. WI hunter finds x-bow, returns it to its rightful owner.

> An empathetic 29-year-old Oshkosh man took the extra steps to reunite the owner to his treasured crossbow found in a parking lot. Hank Xiong said his drive to find the owner was fueled by his own bad memories when he was younger when his own prize bow was stolen.

Big props to ya deer brother!

7. TX: Multi-mil $$$ ranch owners sue over deer hunting.

> The company and partnership that bought the ranch now say it’s not the deer-hunting mecca they were led to believe.

8. IA launches online Deer Exchange.

Connects hunters with folks who need venison.

9. NE has has a venison donation program.

10. TX: San Antonio food bank wants venison donations.

> The Food Bank’s Hunters for the Hungry will process donated whole deer and donate the venison to needy families — at no cost to the hunter.

11. Some MN meat processors too busy to take deer this fall.

> This year people bought more cattle and hogs directly from farmers due to the impact of Covid on large meat processing plants and a fear of meat shortages and higher prices.

12. Interwebz freaks over hunting groom’s cake.

The trolls are too sensitive and like stuff that’s none of their biz:

> The single-tier cake features a topper that shows a bride with a rifle in hand, dragging behind her a fatigues-wearing groom. A deer, shell casings and foliage are situated nearby the scene, along with the words, “The Hunt Is Over,” written on the front of the cake.

13. ID muley population should be better this season.

> “When you consider that about 80% of the mule deer in ID’s herds are between 1 and 3 years old, and take a look at the winter fawn survival numbers for the few years leading up to 2019, the dip in harvest was likely inevitable. The good news for ID mule deer hunters is that the statewide fawn survival data from last winter paints a brighter picture for 2020.”

14. CO preparing to vote on wolf reintroduction.

> Weeks before CO voters take on Initiative 107 — which would pursue the re-introduction of gray wolves in the state — nature may already be taking its course. Recent news indicates an active pack of gray wolves may already be living and breeding in northwestern CO.

15. OR hunter gored to death by wounded elk.

Bull was later euthanized:

> The 5×5 bull charged Mark David and gored him in the neck with its antlers.

Bless you hunting brother.

16. Matt Stutzman gives us perspective.

Matt is one of the top-ranked archers in the country:

> “If I can take a bow that’s not modified for me and I can compete against people that have arms and beat them at their own sport, well, then, what’s everybody else’s excuse?”

Deer Disease News

1. PA allows deer farms to stay open despite CWD fear.

A lot of rules on what leaves those properties:

> This order provides a path forward for deer farmers to maintain their livelihoods and continue to offer goods and services.

2. RI has first case of EEE in a deer.

> DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) responded to a report of a whitetail deer — disoriented and walking in circles…on Aug 21. DLE euthanized the animal and its tissues were subsequently tested for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) by RIDOH’s RI State Health Laboratories.

3. Natl Deer Alliance has a great library of CWD videos.

Answers tons of questions about symptoms, how it spreads, how to help contain the spread, and whether humans and other species can contract the disease.

4. CO: Hunting more muley bucks will curb CWD spread.

New Stuff

1. New Buck x Filson collab knives and axe.

We’re really liking this one, the 104 Compadre Camp Knife — won’t lose it on the ground!

2. Burris Signature HD 5-25x50mm scope.

> The Signature HD line of scopes combines quality glass, sturdy yet lightweight construction, and accurate, adjustable turrets that will work well for any hunting situation. …designed to be an intermediate level scope, but punches well above its weight class.

3. Easton 9 mm crossbow arrows now out.

> Shaft weight is 8.9 gpi and high FOC 61-grain 9 mm crossbow inserts are included.

4. The fastest hunting bows of 2020.

Need for speed? Realtree has a rundown of 10 lightning-fast bows ^.

5. New Badlands thermal baselayer.

Merino wool is the bomb. This is a hybrid of merino and tough/durable Cordura. Comes in bottoms, crew neck, quarter-zip and hoodie.

6. Stay dry with Nomad’s new raingear.

> …100% polyester construction with a fully waterproof, breathable membrane and taped seams to handle the harshest downpours.

7. Slick system for hanging shoulder mounts.

> Whether it’s between 2 windows or in a corner of a room, using the Full Range Hanging Systems allows you to utilize every bit of wall space possible.

Gear of the Week

Winchester’s XPR boltie in .350 Legend.

Winchester’s Jan announcement of the .350 Legend was one of the highlights of the SHOT Show because it gives hunters a deer-specific, straight-walled cartridge in states that don’t allow necked rounds. took a hard look at Winchester’s XPR bolt-action rifle that’s chambered for the .350:

> Though the XPR is a budget-minded bolt gun, it does have Winchester’s MOA trigger [breaking at 3.5 – 4lbs], as well as both a bolt unlock button and nickel bolt slide.

> It weighs in at 6.12 lbs empty [with no] scope. Because there are no iron sights, an optic is a must. The rifle is fed by a detachable box magazine that, in the case of the Legend, holds 3 rounds.

> To fully appreciate why the .350 Legend has been selling so well, one must know a bit about the round. Winchester states the .350 Legend has more energy than .30-30 Win, .300 Blackout and .223 Rem, less recoil than both the .450 Bushmaster and .243 Win, and sees 20% more penetration at 200 yards in gel. …its low recoil and performance have…found mass appeal not only with younger whitetail hunters but bear and hog hunters as well.

> Accuracy was excellent, especially from what is considered a budget gun without an MOA guarantee. We repeatedly shot MOA groups, with several sub-MOA 3-shot groups hovering around 0.375″.

> …would make a solid hunting companion, being practical without frills and accurate without wild claims.

Price is $549 — tempting!

Tip of the Week

Afraid of spooking deer? Relax.

We’ve heard this stuff:

– “If you do X, you’ll scare the deer off.”
– “If the weather does Y, you won’t see a deer.”
– etc.

Sometimes they’re true — but not always! Outdoor Life fact-checked some of the most often-repeated stuff, here’s a little of what they found:

> …”deer are spooky on windy days.” Well, tell that to the Penn State U whitetail experts. The research undeniably supports bucks are more apt to move on windier days.

> Deer and coyotes are natural enemies. Still, I’ve witnessed more deer merely watch than run as a coyote shares a field with them. Sure if the dog makes an aggressive move, deer dash. But I’ve witnessed too many whitetails just stand and stare to say a hunt is over when a coyote trots by.

> Some are tolerant, even indifferent, when it comes to [trail] cameras. Trail camera videos reveal some deer respond negatively, while others won’t even acknowledge their presence.

> Some hunters are so afraid of spooking deer that they won’t make a peep. That’s understandable. But one thing hunters might not have to worry about is cutting limbs.

> On numerous occasions I’ve witnessed does blow, and the other deer in the field practically ignore them. Maybe they “cried wolf” one too many times? I don’t know. But I do know hunts aren’t always over just because a deer clears its snout.

Quote of the Week

“I was shaking. I couldn’t breathe. I was excited.”

Young hunter talkin’ about shooting his first deer at age “6 or 7.” Love it! Still happens to us all!

Some more great stuff from the Q&A with the young man who is now 17:

Q: What keeps you interested in hunting?

A: “It’s just a good feeling whenever you see a deer walk out.”

Q: What do people get out of hunting?

A: “It really helps you bond with people. I’m about to head to my hunting club and take my deer cameras. It’s some bonding time with my dad.”

Shot of the Week

WOW what a shot! @midwest_whitetails_1 posted these IL bucks — hope y’all see fuzzy-heads up close and personal real soon!

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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