North Carolina: Velvet Mountain Buck!

From my friend John who lives in western North Carolina and works for Remington:

NC 2014 buck

This is one of my college friends, Jim Phillips, who lives in Avery Co., NC.  Most people contend we can’t grow respectable deer in NC, particularly in the mountains where we have no agriculture.  Jim proves pretty much every year that you can have good deer if you manage your does and let your bucks live to an age of 3 ½ plus.

Jim arrowed this deer the second day of bow season on a mixed white oak/red oak ridge. He believes the buck to be 4 ½ and will confirm when the jaw bone is delivered to the University of Tennessee.

First big velvet from NC that we’ve ever had on the blog, way to go Jim.

nc 2014 buck 2

America’s Whitetail: Typical Shooter Buck

zach huge body buck

Our friends Zach and Ellie from southern Illinois were out scouting on their farm and found a good pinch point between two ponds. “So we decided to set out a camera and this is what we got,” said Zach. “Very mature deer, his body is huge in my opinion for this early in the year.”

Yes, great deer (I’m guessing 5 1/2 w/short face and pot belly) and just the 130-class buck that millions of hunters (most hunters) should look for this season. This is your typical American buck. I can’t tell you how many 8- and 9-pointers I’ve seen that look just like this in all my travels, but it has to be thousands.

On TV you see a lot of people hunting on fancy, well-managed properties and passing bucks like this all the time. If you are lucky enough to own or lease good land and manage it, or hunt as a guest on a managed pristine tract, or pay $5,000 to hunt with an outfitter, you can do that.

But let’s keep it real. Most of America’s hunters, your typical guys and gals who work hard all year and take off a few days to hunt on public or private property where there will be a little to a lot of hunting pressure, should shoot this buck and be proud they did.

Would you shoot this buck and be happy?

Maryland: “Colossus” Bow Buck!

maryland giant 2014

Thanks to Tony for letting us know about this monster that a hunter shot in Charles County, Maryland last week (they kill some big deer every year in that county).

Cool buck, main-frame 10 w/split G-2s and super-wide. After battling the heat and mosquitoes for a couple days, it cooled off a bit and Jon got the monster he and his wife had named “Colossus.” Way to go man! Read the story at



4 Great Bow Stands for Deer


early season bowhunting

Here are 4 places where you can’t go wrong hanging tree stands in the coming weeks.

Break Lines: Look for linear strips where dark pine timber and/or hardwoods come together with brush, tall grass, second-growth saplings, etc. Deer love to walk and browse on these edges year-round; bucks rub and scrape like mad on the lines as the rut approaches.

Oak Ridges. A narrow hogback with acorn trees within 100 yards of a corn or bean field is one of my favorite spots. Deer cut around points, ditches and gullies on the ridges; hang stands on or near these terrains to funnel bucks close for shots. Does and bucks eat acorns and browse in ridge thickets not only in the evenings, but in the mornings and at midday as well. Sit in a ridge stand near an ag field all day in early November and you can’t help but to see some rutting deer.

Creek or River Crossings: A water source funnels the movements of most of the deer that travel through a woodlot. The animals cling to the cover on the banks, and ford the water at shallow places. Put stands there.

Fencerows: Deer cling to brushy or tree-line fence rows when traveling from fields to woods or between blocks of timber. It’s best to play the wind and set your stand near one end of a fencerow, or in a field corner where the fence runs into the woods.

Where is your favorite spot for a bow stand?