DeerBlaster blasts

Unicorn buck tagged! New type of broadhead, How to get a lockdown buck…

Today’s Top 5

Bowhunter drops a “Unicorn”!!

Check out that fatty! Deer dude Troy Spolum stuck it this week in IL, not much info on it yet but obviously it’s got a ton of mass and that crazy “middle” antler that got him the nickname Unicorn Buck. Hopefully he’ll give up the deets soon….

In case you think that buck’s 1 in a million, check out this healthy dude spotted in MI:

Father-son tag out with same-day MS bruisers!

How cool is this! Gil and Josh Waters have hunted together for 3 decades, meaning you know they’ve shared some special times together. But maybe not this special: On Oct 20, magic happened when BOTH shot 130-class bucks just a few minutes and a few miles from each other — and, get this: neither guy knew the other one was hunting that day!

Gil dropped his deer with an x-bow after watching the deer close from 180 yards to just 25. Josh went old-school and downed his buck with a recurve at 20 yards, after a long approach from 150 yards:

> Josh: “He called me about 10 minutes after I shot and asked if I’d come help him find it. I said, ‘If I come help you, you’ve got to come help me.'”

> Gil: “Anytime your son kills one it’s special, especially to get 2 nice deer like we got. In 29 years, that’s the first time we both killed bucks on the same day. It just made a good day that much better.”

Congrats guys, that’s once (twice?) in a lifetime!

MI hunter develops new mechanical broadhead.

We love new thinking and new stuff! Because…#deernerds. And lots of times (every time?) new stuff comes from the obsession of one guy. This time that guy is David Belanger, who created the Morpheus expanding broadhead.

Like many diehard bowhunters, Dave had the experience of wounding and not recovering a deer he’d hit with a mechanical broadhead. Sometimes (usually?) that happens because of a poor blood trail. Wide Open Spaces says the Morpheus aims to change that:

> After 6 years of development and testing, the result is the Morpheus, a 125-grain, 3-blade expandable broadhead with a 1.65″ cutting diameter.

> Unlike other broadheads, it isn’t just expanding on impact…. Belanger says the Morpheus uses what he’s dubbed as “flight stabilization technology.” This is to give the broadheads field-point accuracy.

> After the shot, the blades expand to help stabilize the flight right after the release. But an internal spring then closes the blades again before impact. Upon the hit, the blade design opens to its full size again, creating a conical wound channel.

> However, if the arrow fails to make a clean pass-through, the broadhead is designed to fall out. On a hit where the arrow doesn’t get as much penetration, an internal spring forces the mechanical blades back to the closed position…. This makes it more likely the arrow will fall out and start blood flow.

> …these broadheads…were specifically designed to be assembled, inspected and shipped by disabled veterans from the comfort of their home.

Interesting…. Seems like a lot of parts moving around during a very quick arrow flight, but if it works, helps to open up a blood trail, and helps disabled vets, that’d be too cool.

We did ask Morpheus about it and he was all:

90 year old going after his 101st deer!

We really dig these stories — hope we’re still after ’em then too:

Deer fear MN’s Owen Hall. For 78 years he’s been prowling the woods around Bemidji, and during that time, he’s put 100 deer in the freezer. This season, he’ll be going for #101 — and like a lot of us, Mr. Hall still remembers his first successful shot like it happened yesterday:

> “It was a forked-horn buck. Two prongs on each side. I shot it on a field on the old farm. I walked out of the woods, found my dad and he helped me go get it. I had already dressed it.”

Some seasons he’s been fortunate enough to take home as many as 3 deer. During those 78 years, he only missed 2 seasons — because of wildfires and low deer populations — and:

> “For 6 years in the 1950s I was skunked, so that happens, too.”

> 4 generations of Halls will join this year’s gang…. They will carry on the routine that started nearly 80 years ago — settle in deer stands for the first few hours, then meet for coffee around 9:30 am, then stay together for drives the rest of the day.

> “It’s hard to put into words. I look forward to it every year. I’m so proud of the boys, and they’re so good to me.”

For sale: the first-ever pre-1964 Winchester Mod 70s!

What’s most iconic bolt-action rifle ever built? Probably the pre-’64 Model 70 — known for its pinpoint accuracy, swiss watch fit-and-finish, and bank vault reliability. Having a pre-’64 in your gun safe is a big deal soooooooo if you don’t have one, now’s your chance. Not just to get one, but THE ONE…as in serial #1.

BUT it’ll cost you and maybe your whole town: The auction house says if you’ve got $1.75 mil to spend, it’ll “throw in” the 2nd-ever-made pre-’64 too. Sporting Classics has the deets:

> According to Roger Rule’s The Rifleman’s Rifle, serial #1 was marked on Jan 20, 1936…the [original owner purchased] the rifle from a hardware store in Durango, CO during the 1937 hunting season.

> In 1977, after borrowing it over the course of several deer seasons, the current owner formally acquired the rifle still wearing the Fecker and with the Lyman sight in tow.

> …another 10 years passed before a chance showing resulted in a dealer getting the vapors and blurting a surprisingly high offer. That sparked a curiosity which lead to the realization that his plain old Model 70 was the first of its kind.

> At some point thereafter, the #2 rifle was presented for sale at a major gun show attended by the owner of rifle #1…ownership of serial #2 transferred to him.

Both are chambered in classic .30-06. If you’re interested, hop on over to


1. NY: Disabled hunter arrows a 10-point.

Marty Furano was born with spina bifida, and uses a wheelchair and arm and leg braces to get around:

> “It isn’t impossible to be who you want to be. I hunt, I fish. You just have to find ways to work around it.”

Congrats and keep on doin’ it deer brother!

2. MN: Escaped deer farm freak killed on public land.

> The thickly antlered [27-pt] nontypical whitetail was still carrying an identification tag in its ear and the Board of Animal Health confirmed it was the same buck reported missing in Apr by a producer of trophy deer.

No pic yet….

3. AR seeing a decline in deer hunters.

> “We’ve experienced something like a 15% decline in resident hunters over the past 5 years. We’re seeing a lower participation by youth, the average age of our hunters is increasing.”

4. CO approves expansion of public lands.

> The expansion…”will grow the program by more than 20% to 585,000 acres over the next year.”

5. MI worried about hunter #s declining.

Partly because:

> Hunting and fishing [license] fees account for more than 90% of the MI DNR’s $42 million wildlife conservation budget.

Same for all other states: License fees account for the vast majority of the DNR budget.

6. TN: Archery harvest is down.

> The current harvest is 18,606…. At this same point in 2018 the harvest was 25,303.

7. VT: The DNR wants a tooth from your deer.

> …collecting middle incisor teeth from all rifle-season deer in order to evaluate regional differences in ages and antler characteristics of bucks as well as to help estimate population size, growth rate, health, and mortality rates.

8. WI: Deer-stand vandals strike again?

[From — we can’t link it.]

> …possible connection to a group called Animal Liberation Front, which is an international resistance group that engages in the pursuit of animal rights.

We’ll never understand why trashing people’s property in pursuit of “rights” is ever right…or how animal “rights” are more important than people’s rights?

9. CA roadkill now fair game.

New permit required, 28 other states already allow it:

> “Each year it is estimated that over 20,000 deer alone are hit by motor vehicles on CA’s roadways. This potentially translates into hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy meat that could be used to feed those in need.”

10. MN: Govn’r kicked off state gun season.

> Nearly 500,000 hunters were expected to participate in the MN 2019 gun deer hunting opener. Deer hunting is a big boost to economic development in MN, totaling close to $725 million annually…helps support close to 3,760 jobs.

This year was the first-ever deer hunt for Gov. Tim Walz.

11. MN church offers rifle sight-in program.

Lovin’ this outreach idea:

> The church offers the public service for free, but it also takes the opportunity to offer its religious services. On the sign-in table, along with free earplugs, were pocket-sized New Testaments with camouflage covers.

> Also available were pamphlets titled “Hunter Sight-In: Hitting the Mark.” The pamphlets discuss gun sighting but also offer thoughts on living a Christian life.

12. MN still searching for who killed deer hunter in ’16.

Terry Brisk was shot with his own rifle in 2016 while hunting. From the article:

> Sheriff: “It wasn’t a random accident…. This was an intentional act of violence. …there’s no doubt that Terry would have seen the killer and probably had some interaction with that person. We’re not going to give up until we know the answers that the Brisk family wants and our community deserves….”

13. TX: San Antonio food bank wants 200K lbs of venison.

> Food bank exec: “Our #1 needed item is always protein. It’s rare that it is donated to us because those industries have so little waste.”

Weird Deer News

1. IN: Study says rifle hunting does not increase crime.

Why would it but seems like no one looked into it before now….

[We can’t link it but here’s the address:]

2. ME: Deer found swimming 5 miles offshore…

…rescued by lobster fishermen.

3. Vietnam: Fanged mouse-deer seen for first time since 1910.

Looks more like a dang squirrel…don’t think it qualifies as big game:

Deer Disease News

1. NC: Frost might have EHD under control.

> Hemorrhagic disease passes from deer-to-deer through a biting midge…. The onset of freezing weather, which stops the midges, can bring a sudden end to hemorrhagic disease outbreaks.

2. MN is providing deer dumpsters in CWD zones.

3. MN: Researchers want 800 deer spleens??

> …researchers seek to determine whether neonicotinoids [found in ag insecticides] are harming MN’s deer since research shows the chemicals could be doing damage in the Dakotas.

New Stuff

1. 2020 Mathews VXR.

> The extended 6-bridge riser on the 2020 VXR is designed to cut weight\ while adding strength and stability. It holds like a target bow, while maintaining the maneuverability of a compact hunting rig. This new geometry increases cam efficiencies and enhances the effects of 3D Damping to make it the most stable, stealthy platform we ever built.

2. SIG drops 6mm Creedmoor ammo.

As if 6.5 wasn’t enough….

3. Eberlestock Nosegunner bino harness.

Says it’s the first and only binocular harness to have a built-in holster for a handgun or rangefinder.

4. TrueTimber has a new women’s line.

5. New Bushnell discounts for military and vets.

#strong — always love to hear that!

Gear of the Week

3 new compounds!

It’s the time of year when a lot of the big bow companies announce their new stuff for 2020. had the rundown on 3 new ones:

Bowtech Revolt

> Few bow manufacturers have stepped outside the box in bow design like Bowtech. It’s evident in their Deadlock Cam System. Better arrow flight and user-friendly maintenance are at the heart of this concept. Say goodbye to the yoked 2-track cam system.

> This new 3-track yokeless cam design delivers a new approach in cam technology. You simply move the cams left or right on the axles with a turn of a screw to position all energy directly behind your arrow.

> The Deadlock limb pockets were designed to ensure that every component in the entire bow structure works as one of the most rigid, accuracy-producing platforms possible.

Hoyt RX-4 Alpha and Axius Alpha

> …Alpha Series delivers their shortest premier hunting bows ever. The line is designed for tight spaces and greater maneuverability, whether you’re in the treestand, ground blind or hoofing it….

>…come with a newly refined cam system. It’s a 3rd generation in the ZT cam series, built for bowhunting with a smoother draw, harder back wall for a more solid anchor point and deadly quiet on the shot.

> A more solid and foolproof arrow-rest mount was at the forefront of the design with the Integrated Mounting System. It is machined directly into the riser, allowing compatible rests to be clamped directly to the machined dovetail. This gives a mounting design that physically cannot rotate and is twice as secure as standard Berger Button mounted rests.

Prime Black Bow

> …receives a brand new cam system…the Roto Cam. This new 5-track parallel cam system features what Prime says is the easiest method for adjusting draw length with a self-contained system of a rotating mod.

> …no bowpress needed for any adjustments…modules can be adjusted in 1/2″ increments and the system allows for 65% and 90% let-off.

> It has a more balanced grip position and Centergy Advanced Technology to give you a steadier target hold….

They all retail for about $1,200, so the question is: Are these features enough for you to upgrade now or…?

Tip of the Week

How to bust a lockdown buck.

The “lockdown” phase of the rut is happening now or will soon wherever you hunt, and it can be a frustrating time when the buck you want is laser-focused on a doe. Realtree pro Josh Honeycutt has some suggestions on how to turn the lockdown into a big buck down:

> Generally, mature bucks will push estrous does where they want them to go. Or older, more experienced does will run to areas that are away from other deer. Regardless, the breeding pair will usually end up in a small, isolated pocket of thick cover.

> Did you get lucky enough to see a buck push a doe into a thicket? She might not be receptive just yet. If that’s the case, you might be able to convince that buck that a challenger is nearby with grunts and snort-wheezing, or that a hotter doe is in the area.

> …analyze the terrain and see if you can slip within range. The buck will have most of his attention focused on the doe. Keep an eye on both of them, but especially on her. She’ll probably be alert. …Try this option only after calling doesn’t work.

> Crawl Behind a Buck Decoy: This is an easier way to stalk, if you have the decoy (and firearms seasons aren’t open).

> If gun season is open and you’re sitting in a stand with a bow…time to abandon your principles, run home and get that boomstick…. If they were bedded when you left, there’s a decent chance the buck and doe will still be there when you get back.

LOL on that last one! Sometimes the difference between success and failure is simple:

Quote of the Week

“You have no idea how much time I put in. I’m so passionate about it.”

OH hunter Doug Clark talkin’ ’bout killin’ “Mr. Impossible,” a 190-class,10-point wide load he shot with his x-bow on Nov 2. The more time you put in, the better your chances — take a look:

Shot of the Week

Thinkin’ we should call this a…doose?? Looks kinda like a deer/moose hybrid with a derpy misshapen skull:

Guessin’ this IA “deer” got some sorta head trauma that led to that crazy set of palmated antlers…?

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….
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