Fine-Tuning Stand Locations

September 07, 2011

Recently, I discussed a short 20-yard move I was making with one of my treestands. Doesn’t seem worth the effort, does it? Yet after nine seasons of hunting the existing stand, I realized it was off just a tick. Here is the progression of how that awareness occurred. 

How High Should a Stand Be?

September 06, 2011

I always try to hang my treestands between 18 and 22 feet off the ground. This is high enough to be out of the peripheral vision of the deer, which is about 16 feet, but low enough to get a good shot angle on a passing buck. Any higher and shot angles become difficult, as you need to shoot out both lungs on a deer for a clean kill. Also, the higher you go up a tree the smaller the target becomes, as the angle needed to take out both lungs becomes smaller.

Using Sightings to Pattern Deer

August 31, 2011

In the most recent episode of Whitetail Season, I went into some detail about how I use history with a buck to help me set the plan for the next season. I have had some success with this in the past and we’ll hammer the point hard in the next episode too. For example, my history with the buck we’ve named “Big” has taught me a lot. I have many data points on the aerial photo where I (or others) have seen Big, photographed him or found his sheds. Assuming we have his range covered pretty well through several seasons of hunting him, I can use the map and the dots to suggest where his core area is most likely located—the area with the highest dot density.

How to Pre-Season Scout

August 29, 2011

When scouting for deer before the season you have to be careful not to educate them. Use locations where you can watch feeding areas; however, be sure to use locations where you can slip in and, more importantly, slip out of without spooking deer.

Next Steps In Patterning

August 24, 2011

One of the main themes over the next few weeks on Whitetail Season will be the behavior of the bucks during the transition from summer patterns to fall patterns. You will be able to see that play out right before your eyes on the episodes. Normally, the bucks are very visible in early August and become decreasingly so as the month goes on. Their testosterone level increases and their food sources change—both causing a change in their behavior. By the first part of September they start to lose their velvet—again as a result of rising testosterone levels caused by the shorter length of daylight. At this time the summer bachelor groups start breaking up.

Five Pre-Season Shooting Tips

August 22, 2011

As I show in the accompanying video, as the season approaches you need to shoot often to build strength and to make good shooting habits.

Time to Look Up

August 17, 2011

This is the time of year when I walk around staring upward. No, it is not a spastic reaction to the intense heat of another summer, or a fear of UFOs that draws my gaze skyward, but rather it is my desire to learn more about where the deer will be in late September and early October. You see, mid-August is the first real opportunity to study the oak trees and determine which ones will be putting out acorns this year. That is very important information because the deer will abandon all other food sources when the acorns start falling.

Oak Trees for Deer Management

August 15, 2011

In most of the country acorns begin to drop from oaks in early September. To find early season hotspots use a binocular to check oak trees trees right now to find which grove (or tree) has the best crop.

After Finding Giants

August 10, 2011

It is ironic (and you will likely think we staged it) that we were able to find the exact same two bucks I introduced in Episode 1 of Whitetail Season just a few days after filming that segment. Jared Mills, one of my producers (he produces the Illinois series on the MidwestWhitetail.com website), found the bucks during the middle of last week. We had been seeing a couple of big deer in that area and Jared finally set up in a treestand about 150 yards away and got some very good footage of them. They were moving together, a very impressive bachelor group!

The Right Way to Clear Shooting Lanes

August 08, 2011

It's that time of year again—most of us are doing all we can to prepare at home and in the field for the coming season, like checking to ensure gear is working properly and getting treestands set where you've been scouting big bucks all summer.