6th Annual BIG DEER Super Bowl Contest

superbowl2015arizonaPick the winner and total number of points scored in the game. For example, if you think New England is going to put Deflagate behind them and win 24-14, vote Patriots 38. If you think Seattle will take it 30-27, vote Seahawks 57. Closest to total points with right team (over or under) wins.

Winner to receive our best prize pack ever:  Box of Scent Killer elimination products and assortment of BIG DEER hats, stickers and Koozies.

One vote per person, but your wife, girlfriend, kid, buddy can vote too. Spread the word.

In case of a tie, we’ll pull one or two winners out of the hat.

Contest open till 3:00 PM ET Sunday. Good luck!

scent killer comp


Michigan: Coyotes Kill Horse (Or Did They?)

coyote comprssed

Mike: I sent you this link about a pack of coyotes that attacked a horse here in Michigan. Kinda makes me think about all those times I’ve headed out of the woods after dark and heard more than one coyote howling, knowing they were chasing something…–Steve

It’s a fact that growing populations of coyotes kill a lot of fawns and, to a lesser degree drag down some adult deer. The predators kill and eat newborn calves, chickens and even cats and small dogs. But kill a 1,000-pound horse? I’ve never heard of that before.

According to the mlive.com story initial reports from law enforcement said: “Unfortunately they (multiple coyotes) ganged up on this mare and drug her down from the back…We just need to get out to the community there is a danger right now… It could have been a kid or adult.”

Since the story broke last Sunday, there has been growing hysteria, and doubt, in the area. Some residents say they are spotting more and coyotes, which are becoming increasingly aggressive, even in daylight hours (this attack supposedly occurred at 3 p.m. last Sunday). Also, some folks say that the coyotes in the area have grown noticeably bigger, perhaps coyote-wolf crosses that have moved down from Canada.

But now, skeptics are speaking out.

One of more than 300 locals that commented to the original mlive.com said: “If this attack had really happened, we’d have evidence such as bite patterns/marks and other forensic data. Or are we to believe the coyotes ate the whole horse? Nothing in this article points to any real evidence. All this article is meant to do is insight (sic) more uproar against wolves and coyotes.”

And from this dailytribune.com story posted 2 days after the attack: “No cases of coyote attacks on humans or horses have ever been documented in Michigan, said Tim Payne, the DNR’s southeast regional wildlife supervisor. ‘We’re looking to see whether it was a (pack) of coyotes that actually took down a horse, because that is highly unlikely and not documented. We’re also looking to inform people that everything we know about coyote behavior tells us people do not need to fear for their safety if there are coyotes in their neighborhood.’”

Payne went on to say that initial reports indicate no one witnessed coyotes attack the horse. He said an examination of the animal’s body would shed light on what kind of predator attacked it, but the horse has already been buried.

I wonder about this one. Do you think coyotes could drag down and kill a horse?

Update: Alabama Big-Nose Buck

In this post yesterday I showed you the latest entry to our collection of whitetail deer with mysteriously swollen noses. Here’s a little more from Courtney Stanley, who shot the rutting buck in January 2015 near Furman, AL:

al court 2015 big noseMike: I had him on a camera a few miles away. I was bleating and grunting and he came out by himself. He weighed 160, and only had a scar on his lip (although his nose was clearly swollen). I gave the head to my taxidermist and he is in close contact with QDMA; he sent the head over for them to examine, and I’ll let you know what we find out.—C.S.

Alabama Hunter Shoots Big-Nose “Bullwinkle” Buck

For 6 years we’ve been building a databank of deer afflicted with mysteriously swollen snouts. We call them “big-nose” here on BIG DEER; they are also referred to as “Bullwinkle” in some circles.

The first case we reported was a big-nose buck from Michigan. Subsequently we have documented whitetails with swollen snouts from Texas, South Carolina, Florida and Minnesota.

al big nose courtneyYesterday I got this picture from Courtney, who just shot this big-nose buck near Furman, Alabama. No doubt the biggest buck we’ve seen with a swollen nose!

So what causes it? As this article from QDMA explains: “The swollen snouts of afflicted deer result from chronic (long-term) inflammation of the tissues of the nose, mouth and upper lip… How and where deer acquire the Bullwinkle bacteria is still unknown.”

Another common question I get: “Is a big-nose deer safe to eat?”

I have always advised NOT to eat the meat of an afflicted deer, and the QDMA concurs: “We don’t recommend (eating the meat). The long-term nature of the infection could mean that bacteria are present in the blood and muscle, or a secondary infection could also have developed. Better to be safe than sorry.”

In fact BIG DEER documented just that with a Minnesota big-nose doe. As the hunter cleaned it, he found nasty secondary infections in and around some bones and meat. So don’t eat the venison!

If you see or hear of anybody shooting a big-nose deer (now or in the past) be sure to send us info/pictures for our growing databank.




Bowhunting Shot Placement: Buck Confirms “No Man’s Land” Exists

Can you shoot an arrow through a mysterious vacuum of tissue and air beneath a buck’s spine and above the lungs, and have that deer run off to live another day? Or will a broadhead shot here most certainly clip the lungs and/or cut vital arteries and kill the deer, even if you never find it?

If you’ve ever pulled a shot high—and who amongst us hasn’t?—you’ve agonized over this as you tracked on a sparse blood trail, looking for a “dead” deer that might never have materialized.

Is this “no man’s land” conundrum for real, or a myth?

Dr. Grant Woods, one of the nation’s top deer biologists and a hard-core bowhunter, told me one time:  ”This is a frequent debate among bowhunters. Both sides hold solidly to their opinions. This is probably because both sides are correct, at least according to their observations.”

Bowhunting across the country the last 35 years, I have seen strange and unexplainable things happen when I or others shot a deer too high above the lungs and beneath the spine. I count myself a cautious believer that no man’s land does indeed exist.

OK, that is the backstory. Now to this email I got from Zach the other day:

no mans land zach

Hello Mike: I shot an 8 pointer last Wednesday 1/14/15 on an evening sit. I knew the shot was a bit high but felt good about the placement. No blood at spot of impact. Blood started about 40 yards away and I had a nice steady trail. Snow did help. Followed him about a quarter mile into a thick cedar bedding area. Never went into the bedding area that night, I left him lay until the morning. I thought for sure he would bed down and not get up.

Went back in the morning and walked up within 20 yards of him staring at me. He took a couple good leaps and I backed out. I did check his bed and there was a nice pool of blood in it. I backed out just hoping he would stick around the area; I just didn’t give him enough time. Went back the next morning and same thing. After the second time I jumped him, I felt I should just be more patient but should still keep looking, so I gave him a few days.

Went back a third time and with fresh snow found a couple beds with far less blood and a bit of puss in them. Made me think he is not a dead deer but a healing wounded deer. Went back the other day over a week later and no sign of him anywhere. I’ve been running a few cameras just to see if he would show up.

Sure enough he showed his face one evening. I attached a picture of him. No man’s land, you can clearly see entry hole up on his side. Hope this helps to confirm the no man’s land theory. Thanks—Zach