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White velvet deer down! Hunter shoots muletail? Ted’s TenPoint x-bow review

Today’s Top 5

Hunter shot a…whitemule? Muletail??  

What a freakshow! Has the split G2s and big ears of a muley, but the longish head of a whitetail. And it’s in velvet! Hunter Jon Collins says the tail looked just like a whitetail’s shape/size, but had dark brown/black coloring on the back side. Interesting coat color too.

Jon arrowed the (hybrid??) deer in northeast OR, where the whitetail/muley population is about 50/50. The deer was hanging out with a coupla 2-yr-old whitetail bucks sooooo…whatever you call him he’s a stud deer!

Ever heard of a “white velvet” deer??

Us either! “White velvet” sounds like a cocktail lol. But it’s a thing — a super-rare thing. KY hunter Austin Muss tagged that one this season:

> What a night last night in finally connecting with a deer I chased for 2 years we called Snowflake on our farm. He was 6 yrs old, and the last 3 years had white velvet and this year even more so and extremely rare if not almost unheard of.

> I had several encounters last year with him, and he was the biggest deer we had and we worked hard to try to harvest him early before he shed. Unless you manage whitetail deer it’s hard to understand the relationship you have following a deer like this year round, and it’s surreal and when it all comes to an end.

> We have a piebald doe that has lived on the farm for 10 years and we are almost certain he is an offspring of her as he had white in his nose along with small white spots randomly across his body.

Love it! Deer hunting…does it get any better??

Okay a bear messing with nunchucks is kinda cool too….

Good-lookin’ high-beamed KY velvet buck.

Nice!!! Yamaha’s Whitetail Diaries posted that beeee-u-tiful, symmetrical, TALLLLL 8-point — shot by outdoor industry dude Sheldon Lovelace, with KY’s Salt River Outfitters.

AL hunter’s 3-year quest for 19-POINT “Clyde.”

Will Self had an open invitation to hunt his old boss’ property, and finally got around to taking her up on it. After putting out some trailcams, he began seeing lots of great bucks, one of which was named “Clyde” by his buddy, Bassmaster pro Gerald Swindle.

One fall a few years back Clyde walked into range, but Will couldn’t see the deer well enough through his peep and the season ended with no Clyde. The next fall finally came and it all went according to plan…sorta. AL Outdoor News has the rest of the story:

> About an hour before dark, I saw him. He was walking the trail that turned and passed 20 yards from my stand. Shaking, I got drawn, rested my pin behind his shoulder, took a deep breath and squeezed my release. In slow motion, I watched my arrow hit what looked to be a touch high, but with the angle, it should have been a fatal hit.

> I was wrong. I took off work the next day and was back at daylight. I spent half the day looking, only to find my arrow with roughly 2″ and the broadhead missing. At that point, I prayed that the buck would survive. I was sick.I felt in my gut that he was gone.

Will caught a few summer pics of Clyde, but then the deer went MIA again. Eventually:

> I drove up to check cameras, and as we were pulling in a friend with me asked, “Is that a deer?” I grabbed my binoculars to check and my jaw hit the floor. It was an absolute giant. It was standing in the sunlight in full velvet with antlers going everywhere. I didn’t know what buck it was, but he was my new obsession.

He eventually got a chance at the deer during rifle season:

> I bowhunt 99% of the time, and it didn’t register that I had a rifle in my hands and a giant within 100 yards. I squeezed the trigger. He dropped. I immediately called Swindle. Shaking, possibly crying, fist pumping, yelling…all the emotions at once.

> It was a long drive to Swindle’s farm to skin him out. As Swindle was pulling the backstrap, he stopped and looked at me and said, “Willy, I think you finally killed ol’ Clyde.”

> He asked what broadhead I had shot him with two seasons before as we pulled my Rage broadhead and my 2 inches of arrow out from between his shoulder and spine.

Incredible story! Clyde officially scored 179 7/8 and had 19 scorable points.

Study shows not much x-bow impact.

WI surveyed 19 states about x-bow use and its impact on hunting, deer populations and hunter numbers. The QDMA posted on it, and if you’re interested in this stuff it’s worth a full read, but here are a few key deals:

> No state interviewed that allowed x-bow use has shortened its season or restricted x-bow use from the original law.

> Few states measure weapon-specific success rates. States that did showed higher success rates for x-bow users than vertical-bow users.

> In the states that measured deer wounding and/or hit rates, there was little difference between vertical-bow and x-bow users.

> Most states haven’t determined if the addition of x-bows had any influence on their states’ overall deer license sales.

> X-bows did not cause any change in total deer harvest. The addition of x-bows did not have any measurable biological impact on the states’ deer herds.

> …many x-bow hunters are also gun hunters, so the impact of x-bows has largely been a shift in when these hunters harvest their deer.

Seems like this pokes a lotta holes in the anti-x-bow crowd?

News

1. GA deer more predictable now?

State deer biologist Charlie Killmaster.:

> “Deer are more predictable now than most of the rest of the deer season. Plus now is the time to hunt the bucks you’ve had on camera all summer before seasonal home ranges shift to fall core areas. ”

2. AZ early deer season is almost OVER!

> If you are hunting the pine forests of one of the local units, purchasing an over-the-counter turkey tag for $25 would be a wise choice since both hunts are for the same 3-week season. This is especially true if you are sitting near water….

3. MI special gun hunt set to start.

> Liberty Hunt, a firearm deer hunt on private or public lands for youth and hunters with disabilities, is back statewide Sept 12-13.

4. ME deer permit drawing this Friday.

5. KY has 56K new acres open for hunting.

6. RI: Natl Wildlife Refuge will open to hunters.

Scaled back a but because of opposition from neighboring residents.

7. IA database connects hunters with people who want venison.

Can’t sell venison in IA apparently:

> Hunters can enter their information to the database, including their location. Recipients choose the condition they want the meat when they register, boned out, whole (field dressed), quartered, frozen, jerky, sausage, or any and in what amount.

8. VT publishes list of deer tracking dogs.

> …certified leashed tracking-dog owners who volunteer during the hunting seasons to help hunters locate deer or bear that have been shot during hunting season but not yet recovered.

9. New way to rent primo hunting gear.

> Rather than shelling out big bucks for a once a year, or maybe even a once in a lifetime hunt, Big Sky will rent you a primo hunting package at about 15% of the cost of buying it. Or, if you want to try out pricey gear before investing in it….

10. Buck’s Labor Day sale ends TOMORROW.

11. How to start a hunting club.

The Hunting Club Bible — great idea. Assuming it includes possession of jerky, hot sauce ear plugs for sleeping and a chore list…lol! Get it at ChristianOutdoors.org.

12. MA: Savage looking to hire various folks.

13. MA: Smith & Wesson Q1 fiscal sales up 124.8%.

14. OH: Bison unlikely to be reintroduced.

No idea why this is even a thought?

> “…no ideal locations left for bison in OH. There is nothing big enough left.

> “Could you imagine hitting one of these with a car? It would happen.”

15. DC: Outrageous 2A bills now under consideration.

> A plain reading…of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s gun bill, now in both houses of Congress, will require current and future gun owners to pass psychology and character tests to continue owning the firearms they already legally possess. When asked, legal experts have been unable to describe how this would be legal. Biden has not commented.

> To obtain this license you would need to prove to unelected officials that you are of “sound mind and character,” you do not “potentially create a risk to public safety,” and you meet “any other requirements the State determines relevant.”

More 2A stuff:

Republican gun-grabbers

MT governor is anti-gun??

16. Euro Peta goes after hunting video game.

> asking for the game to change direction by replacing guns with telephoto lenses and making the goal to shoot the best photo of a wild animal.

> “…it’s near psychopathic to get a thrill from gunning down other living beings, even in a virtual world…must stop glorifying violence to animals by transforming the players of Hunting Simulator 2 into wildlife saviors and admirers….”

Hard to believe those folks are human beings too…and don’t miss that “must” language and what it implies….

Line of the Week

Hunt deer where the deer are

Solid tip no doubt! lol

Deer Disease News

1. PA: NDA and QDMA support state’s deer farm quarantine.

> First, farms will not be permitted to move high risk deer parts… Second, no new premises or business with CWD-susceptible species may be established within the zone… Third, deer farms in this zone can continue to offer hunts.

2. IN doing voluntary CWD testing.

> Hunters may voluntarily submit samples for testing at select fish and wildlife areas and state fish hatcheries throughout the hunting season.

3. MN deer dumpster program will continue.

> A hunter who kills a deer in some parts of MN where chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has been found must submit some of the deer’s remains for testing and then dispose of the rest in a specially marked dumpster.

4. BC: Deer heads must be submitted in certain areas.

5. NY: EHD found in deer in 2 counties.

6. WY wants to see if CWD has crossed from muleys to elk.

> …to that end the Fall Creek Elk Herd has been designated as a focal herd for the now-underway 2020 hunting season.

New Stuff

1. Yamaha launches 2021 Wolverine SxS.

Pretty wicked-lookin’!

2. Trijicon expands its Accupoint riflescopes.

> With a primary focus on North American deer and big game hunters, the newest AccuPoint models are now available with BAC Triangle Post and Standard Duplex reticles, offering pinpoint precision and rapid target acquisition.

3. SEVR 2.1 redesigned broadheads.

> Has a more swept-back blade angle, re-engineered deployment arm geometry, and a new 2″ cutting diameter max-cut blade. This results up to 15% more penetration than the original Ti 2.1.

4. Scent Crusher’s portable closet for your huntin’ duds.

> The Covert Closet can be used as a rolling bag when on the go and an enclosed closet when stationary.

5. Keep your fingers warm with G-Tech heated pouch.

> We listened to our customers’ advice and took our standard Heated Pouch and upgraded it with Water Resistant RealTree Edge Camo licensed materials.

Gear of the Week

Got my hands on the TenPoint Vengent!

Been a whole lotta buzz about the entire line of TenPoint x-bows ever since their big throwdown at the trade shows last winter. But was it hype or high praise? I (Ted) got my hands on a Vengent S440, one of their flagship models. Gotta say: It’s an INCREDIBLE piece of hunting technology that’s leaps and bounds beyond x-bows intro’d just a few years ago.

Took me only an hour to sight-in the Vengent out to 50 yards. It’s a little different than sighting in a rifle — their YouTube vids help a bunch.

Once I got it dialed in, I was regularly drilling sub-MOA groupings at any range out to 50 yards. After a while it got almost boring — almost lol! While TenPoint (and I) doesn’t advocate x-bow shots on critters out past 50 yards, it was pretty fun lobbing arrows out to 80 yards and still getting impressive target groupings. A super-crispy trigger helped.

This x-bow is freakin’ fast too. Advertised speeds — for all x-bows and vertical bows — are always measured using ultralight arrow setups that aren’t realistic for hunting situations. TenPoint admits this…so although the advertised max speed is 440 fps, I clocked its “muzzle” velocity on the chronograph as a consistent 425 fps. Still plenty zippy for sure. And fast arrows = less string jump, even tho this x-bow is plenty quiet.

And speed kills! With the provided 453-grain arrow setups — all weighed within 1-2 grains of each other, increasing accuracy — penetration was amazing. TenPoint says the Vengent hurls an arrow with 166 ft-lbs of kinetic energy.

Real-world example: The old target I had — which I’ve used with x-bows — couldn’t handle the Vengent. Arrows went completely through it and buried themselves 6″ into the mulch-pile backstop. That’s penetration!

Another thing I like is how narrow it is — just 5.8″ wide when cocked, important if you’re hunting in a close-quarters blind or treestand. It also significantly reduces the “front-heavy” nature of all x-bows which means greater accuracy.

The Accuslide cocking and decocking mechanism is a huge engineering win. Before the Vengent, I always felt a little nervous about cocking a x-bow — a lot could go wrong. What TenPoint engineers did took away my anxiety and made the whole process REAL quiet too.

MSRP is $2,049.99 — a lotta coin for sure, but the Vengent is a lotta x-bow and I can’t see how it’s gonna be one-upped anytime soon. Can’t wait to bring the Vengent hunting!

Tip of the Week

Hot-weather venison cool-down tips.

We all know the real work starts after “brown’s down” and when it’s hot we better get right on it! Realtree with a few tips:

> A deer hit solidly in the heart and/or lungs will die fast and almost always within 100 yards. You should be able to find your deer within 15 minutes or so, helping to ensure quality meat from the animal.

> When I hit a deer a tad back, in the liver, I generally prefer to wait 2 hours before trailing. But if it is 50 degrees or warmer (bacterial growth increases at 40 degrees and up), I push it.

> The old bowhunters’ rule is to wait 8 to 12 hours before following a gut-shot deer. If you wait that long when it’s 50 degrees or above…there’s a good chance you will lose that meat.

> Field-dress the deer as soon as you find it, turn it over, and drain as much blood out of the body cavity as you can. Haul it to the cooler and hang it at a chilly 34 to 38 degrees.

> In Sept or early Oct, it never hurts to skin a deer as quickly as possible so the meat will begin to cool down. This is a must if you don’t have access to cold storage and intend to hang your deer in the shade of a tree. To do this, the air temperature needs to be 40 degrees or cooler at night.

> If you have a long drive home with a field-dressed deer carcass, buy a few 10-lb bags of ice and stuff them tight inside the body cavity to help the cool-down process.

Quote of the Week

“…if we were really being honest with ourselves, the [media] would publish 500,000 photos of dead cows and pigs for every one image of a hunter with a deer or pheasant.”

Pastor and “adult-onset hunter” — his term, love it! — talkin’ ’bout folks gettin’ their skirts in a twist over pics of dead game.

Shot of the Week

Last week we had a trailcam pic of 2 bucks lined up — here’s a different kind of double. Props to the Rivermen Rod & Gun Club site for the shot:

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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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