Whitetail Season: How to Prepare for a Deer Hunt

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Top Whitetail Stories

A Buck For A Century

Almost lost after the shot, this giant buck would later vanish for decades–and reappear atop the Boone and Crockett records list! 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of "The Jordan Buck."

2014's Best Whitetail States: Part IV

The Top 10 started with Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky and Kansas. Who’s the cream of the crop? Check out the final installment of our “Top 20 States for Whitetails” series.

3 Layering Systems for the Late Season

It’s down to the wire, and the only way to fill that whitetail tag burning a hole in your pocket is to get out there and hunt. Here are three layering systems for the late season that will keep you in the game as Old Man Winter tries to keep you indoors.

Don’t Discount Midday During Deer Season

Dawn and dusk have magic, but you may well score more often at midday.

2014's Best Whitetail States: Part III

Oklahoma, Indiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland made their appearances in Part II of the countdown. Who’s next? Check out the latest installment of our “Top 20 States for Whitetails” series.

QDMA Summit Launches National Deer Alliance

Where would hunting be without whitetail deer? Hunting in North America has never depended so much on one species to sustain its heritage, participation levels, and the archery and firearm industries.

5 Crazy Whitetail Tactics That Can Save Your Season

Here are five strategies that may be a bit out of the ordinary, but could help you salvage your season.

Do's and Don'ts of Deer Drives

In some parts of the country, driving deer is still a go-to tactic. It’s a fun, camaraderie-filled way to hunt and can be very effective—if done correctly.

Bridges

The Natural Bridge transcends time and generations. This geological wonder in Virginia’s Rockbridge County spans Cedar Creek where it crosses old Highway 11 and looks as though it’s been forged by heavenly hands. Field Editor Jeff Johnston had the opportunity to hunt one special buck there last year. This is that story.

Alberta Whitetails & Friends

Unlike many Midwest whitetail hunters, Field Editor Ron Spomer was not surprised to see “America’s” favorite deer on the cold, windy, barren plains of eastern Alberta. But he was pleasantly surprised to see the size of their antlers.

Member's Hunt: The Morning Doe

Our latest "Member's Hunt" comes from Jessica Elkins of Beaufort, S.C., who hoped to harvest a whitetail with a hunting rifle she'd recently been given for her 15th birthday.

Finding Wounded Game 202: The Advanced Course

These tips and techniques may help you the next time you need to follow up on a shot that didn’t go exactly as planned. Stick with it, use your brain as well as your eyes and feet, and maybe you can avoid the heartbreak of a wounding loss.

Know How: Get in a Buck Funnel Now

The trouble with magazine articles on stand placement is it’s easy for us writers to make it seem so cartoon-simple. The truth is stand placement is more often as complex as a Dostoyevsky novel. Frank Miniter explains.

10 Tips to Take To the Bank

It took the author a decade to learn these lessons about when, where and how to hunt and kill big bucks. Some of them may not be big news. But any number of them should reveal something for anyone.

Hort’s Hide-Away

Members of the Swanson clan trace their roots to a homestead in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula their ancestors built in 1857. They’re what are colloquially known as ‘Yoopers’—UP speak for ‘someone born up here.’ 2013 was the last deer camp for family patriarch George Swanson, for after 77 years prowling these woods, he could no longer trust his eyes.

The Middle Hours

Dawn and dusk have magic, but you may well score on big game more often at midday.

Know How: 5 Bow Season Tips

Senior Editor Karen Mehall Phillips offers five tips that every bowhunter should keep in mind this hunting season.

Simplifying the Rut

Bucks are on their feet more often in daylight at this time of year, so there are many ways to be successful during the rut. Field Editor Bill Winke explains.

Find the Fall Range

A summer spent scouting a buck takes you only so far this time of year. To hunt and kill him you must first find him, now that he’s abandoned his bachelor group, then learn about his fall haunts and habits.

Beware the Fall

Are you strapped in for deer season?

Blood Trail Basics

Nicely done! All your planning came to fruition, and you just shot a deer. If it didn’t drop within sight, though, the high-fiving may be premature. What you do next will determine whether you go home with fresh venison or just a sob story. Never fear, though—Bryce Towsley is offering a few tips to help ensure you recover your prey.

NRA Hunters Lead the Fight in Culture War

Launched in April, the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum assembles a collection of leaders from across the hunting world dedicated to the enrichment and growth of the NRA’s mission to promote and defend hunting.

2014's Best Whitetail States: Part II

Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Nebraska and South Carolina began the countdown. Who’s next? Check out the latest installment of our “Top 20 States for Whitetails” series.

Turn Your Buck Into Bratwurst

Make hearty bratwurst with the meat from your buck (or doe)—instead of letting it sit in the freezer—by using a kit from Hi Mountain Seasonings.

5 Whitetail Essentials That Weigh Less Than 5 Ounces

Pack the essentials before you head out after whitetails this season. These five pieces of deer gear won't weigh you down.

The Pre-Rut Gamble

Are you good enough? That's the question to consider when hunting a mature buck while the canopy is still up and bright and the rut’s madness is still weeks away.

The ‘Crimes’ of TJ’s Father

Old-timers tell great stories about their first deer. But what if the story of your first deer is a lie?

Whitetail Bowhunter's Quiz

The following 15 questions will test your basic understanding of whitetail bowhunting. How do you rate? Give our quiz a try and find out!

The Six Guys You Meet in Deer Camp

There's not just one stereotypical whitetail hunter—it's more like six. Have you met them all? Read on and find out.

3 Best Broadheads for Whitetails

Having trouble deciding on a broadhead for whitetail deer? Ten experienced bowhunters told us their go-to broadheads, and we compiled the results.

4 Off-the-Rack Deer Rifle Combos for 2014

It's never a bad time to buy a new firearm. With that in mind, we came up with a list of four rifles, all available in an optics-included package, which will have you hunting whitetail this fall nearly right out of the box.

2014's Best Whitetail States: Part I

There's no shortage of whitetail hunters out there, nor shortage of locales where those hunters can put their skills to the test. But that begs a very important question: Just where is the best place to hunt whitetail? Welcome to Part I of our countdown.

Avoid 5 Common Mistakes

Years of experience teaches hundreds of lessons if you keep an open mind. Of course, it is better to learn those lessons from the mistakes of others so here are five to avoid this season.

Beat Thermals and Tag More Deer

Thermals aren't as predictable as they may seem. Consider these factors when choosing a stand location for whitetail deer on hillsides and other slopes.

Why Electric Companies Might be Wildlife’s Best Friend

Could the corridors created by power lines help replace the wildlife habitat that's been disappearing through development and social pressures?

Venison Chili

This latest offering from Georgia Pellegrini is a good recipe to make during the year's warmer months, when it's high time to start making room in your freezer before fall.

Your Best Stand

With the blizzard of media sources at our fingertips today, sometimes fundamentals get lost amid so much information. Bill Winke provides a few simple tips that may be getting overlooked.

Member's Hunt: Frozen Stiff

Ordinarily it would be safe to assume an Alaska resident would have a pretty firm grasp of how to keep a firearm functioning in the cold, wouldn’t it?

Handgun Hunting 101: The Mechanics

Whether getting started or renewing your vows, it’s time to get back to the handgun hunting basics.

5 Mature Buck Myths Dashed

According to deer biologists, there are many misconceptions associated with mature buck behavior. We talked to a wildlife biologist with the QDMA to help bust five of these commonly-held myths.

Nebraska Man Raises Funds for Disabled Hunting Buddy

When a degenerative disease makes it nearly impossible for a Nebraska man to hunt, his friend takes the reigns to raise the money needed to make hunting possible.

Legendary Whitetail Hunter Larry Benoit Lives On

Deer hunters in the know remember Larry Benoit, the Vermont legend hailed as “the best deer hunter in America” in the early 1970s. He may be gone, but his sage advice lives.

An Everyman's Option for Big Whitetail Deer

Using the information gleaned from prominent deer researchers and experts can help you find your own big-buck hangout to help you land the whitetail of your dreams.

Under the Southern Frost

A blanket of snow and ice isn't unfamiliar terrain for many deer hunters. Running into those conditions in Florida, however? Not quite as common. Keith Wood found himself on such a hunt during this past topsy-turvy winter. Find out how at least one Floridian fared when forced to stalk whitetail in a not-often-seen winter wonderland.

From The Cookbook: Venison Mincemeat

The NRA Member's Wild Game Cookbook, Second Edition, is a collection of common and unique wild-game recipes alike. Give this one a try!

Oklahoma Hunter Tags 30-Point Drought Buck

Big bucks don’t grow on trees. They grow amid the trees by eating natural forage and, when a hunter does things right and hits a lucky streak, by eating forage planted by man. Just ask Brad Gaddis of Oklahoma.

From The Cookbook: Venison Cornbread Cake

The NRA Member's Wild Game Cookbook, Second Edition, is a collection of common and unique wild-game recipes alike. Give this one a try!

Venison Risotto

During the long cold months, when it seems like winter may never end, Georgia Pellegrini fills her kitchen with hearty dishes that warm you to the core. This venison risotto does just that.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Having Your Game Meat Processed

Whether you plan to do it yourself, or intend to use a butcher, here are some things to keep in mind so that you get the most out of processing your meat for delicious meals year-round.

From the Cookbook: Venison with Cheese and Tomato Sauce

The NRA Member's Wild Game Cookbook, Second Edition, is a collection of common and unique wild-game recipes alike. Give this one a try!

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

By Keith Wood
May 20, 2011

I read somewhere that today’s premium bullets represent the greatest advance in big game hunting technology since the widespread use of the optical sight, and I agree 100 percent. Many of the myths that we face today are the product of outdated truth.

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Latest Comments

Joe wrote:
December 15, 2014

Indiana is considering allowing rifles for deer hunting above a bullet diameter of .243'. DNR emailed me and asked what I thought. I told them hunters would have to get over the shotgun mentality that rounds don't carry that far. I told them I would rather have someone shooting a 223 than something like a 7mm magnum. Here a long shot is 50 to 60 yards.

Hans wrote:
December 12, 2014

Hi everyone. We`ve got lots of probs in Germany concerning hunting. A 223 Remington is definetely allowed as ammo to shoot deers. Of course its like Jeff wrote important, to be shure the right bullet hits the right place. Wind and vegetation may be a prob. But hunters know this. All the best from Germany Hans

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