4 Shooter Bucks on Trail Camera!

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Got this from our favorite hunting couple:

Hey Mike: Ellie and Zach here from Southern Illinois. Sorry we haven’t posted anything in a while. We just moved back from Pennsylvania two weeks ago from Ellie’s Internship. Soon as we got home we had the chance to set out one camera before our wedding (September 12th). When we finally got to check it, we found out all of these guys survived and we will be going after them in a month!

Wow, 4 great bucks. Numbers 1 and 2 are probably the most mature, but I like #3.

Good luck guys on the hunting, and the wedding. Congrats!

More Trail Camera Bucks 2015

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Hi Mike: Two weeks ago I set up a camera in a slightly different area and got this buck. He has some sort of an abscess, or growth, below his right cheek. I’m going to try and get him on the opener of bow, but we’ll see how that plays out. I’m going to use my cameras to see if I can pinpoint his bedding area during Sept. As you know it’s a delicate balancing act with a buck of this caliber. I believe him to be 5 now.–Anonymous

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Hey Mike: This is a buck we call “Legend.” We began chasing him after I found his shed lying in his bed in late January. I have never seen him on the hoof and thought he only had a sliver of the property I hunt as his home range, but now we have gotten pictures of him in a known bedding area in the heart of our property. I will keep you updated on this story. His shed from last year was 71 inches with a 10 ½” brow tine. Good luck, Dan from WI

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Hey Mike: Big fan of the blog. I just recently put out my game camera here and have 2 nice bucks on cam already. What makes it really exciting is that I have multiple daylight pictures of this buck! Thanks, Nick from Southern MO

Great bucks guys and thanks for sharing, good luck!


Idaho Firefighter Finds Massive Buck Sheds

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Noah posted on Facebook:

Shed season is still going strong. Fella on my squad stumbled upon these on the Clearwater Complex Fire outside of Kamiah, ID. I put the tape to them and got 172″ gross with 16″ of extras at the base. Fortunately they were in light grass so they’re still in awesome condition!

These sheds were found only 50 miles or so from where I will be hunting for whitetails the first week of November. It’s nice to know there are some big bucks in this country, and I hope the fires don’t cause us to cancel this hunt.

In Idaho, more than 150 fires are burning on the combined forests and nearby state and private lands. Thanks to Noah and all the guys and gals that are fighting fires all over the West.

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Missouri: EHD Kills Giant 225″ Buck

zach ehd buck killOn July 20 I first posted a huge non-typical buck that a hunter had been watching for several years. He said, “I really hope to see him this fall. He has been completely nocturnal for the last two archery seasons.” Yesterday I got the tragic news that this giant is dead. Here’s the story from Zach:

Well…this isn’t how I wanted it to end, but looks like EHD got him. This deer was a legend on our farm, and it is sad to see him go.

Three years ago, I was bow hunting during the Missouri youth season and this buck walked under my stand. He was an impressive 2-year-old. He made his way past me to where my brother and nephew were hunting several hundred yards away. My nephew actually shot the deer in the left rear leg. We jumped the buck several hours later, and he made it through that season alive and well.

The next year he showed up on camera a few times, but visits to our farm were few and far between. You could visibly see where his leg had been injured the previous year. But no one in my family physically saw him that year.

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Last summer he lived almost exclusively on our farm, and I got thousands of daylight pics of him. He was a 160s class 4×6 with some trash and a small drop. He went completely nocturnal starting in September until January. I didn’t have a single daylight photo of him during that entire time frame, though he showed up in trail cam pictures at night.

This spring we never found his sheds, although we spent many hours looking. He was not frequent on our farm from May through July, but in mid-July he moved back to a small core area on our farm.

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My dad and I were working on food plots this past weekend when we discovered him for the last time.

It has been a great 3-year journey with this buck. You never want to see a deer go this way, but Mother Nature is a much more efficient killer than we are. After getting our official salvage permit, we do plan to have the deer mounted. We rough green scored him at 225 1/8” gross. I doubt I will ever have the pleasure of chasing another one like him.—Zach

Initial reports I’m getting indicate that Missouri is ground zero for EHD in 2015, though I hear some dead bucks are being found in Iowa and Illinois too. I hope these outbreaks are limited, but at this point it’s impossible to know. If you see or hear of any dead bucks in your area, let me know so I can keep everybody updated.–M.H.


Tree Stand Etiquette: Don’t Crowd Other Hunters

stand to shootMike: I found a good spot hunted it regularly for 3 years without any problems. Last year, however, several new hunters to the land started coming into this area. I counted at least 4 tree stands set within 100 yards of mine. The closest guy put up a stand about 50 yards away, and he smoked out of it!

Have you ever had a situation like this? How would you handle it? I had several hunts ruined by these guys, and I want to have a more enjoyable bowhunting experience this year. Ryan in SD

Ryan: Yes, this has happened to me, and yes it is frustrating.

First let me say that sometimes a guy hanging a stand too close to yours is an honest mistake because an empty lock-on is tough to see in the woods, especially when the leaves are on as they are now.

One time I scouted a great spot, hung a stand and left. When I came back the next morning somebody hissed in the dark, “What’s up?” I damn near jumped out of my skin and fell off the tree steps! The guy was in a tree 20 yards away, 30 feet up! I was the one who had inadvertently moved in on the guy. I apologized, told him I never saw his stand and left. Miracle the guy didn’t cuss me out.

But in Ryan’s case those guys knew he was there hunting, and they still hunted in those stands so nearby. That is just wrong and extremely poor etiquette—-the good and classy hunter never moves in on another man’s stand.

Ryan has 3 options this year:

Confront those clowns and say he, Ryan, was in that area first, and please go away. I do not advise this because any type of confrontation in the woods is a bad thing for everybody.

Go over to one of them before the season and say something like, “Did you guys realize I had a stand right in this area? I’ve been hunting here for years, and you’re really pretty close. I don’t feel safe or comfortable.” (This would be my second choice.)

But, I advise Ryan to pull his stand and let those guys have the spot. The way they are acting, hunting too close together and smoking on stand, they will mess up the area and spook a bunch of deer anyhow.

Ryan, and all of us, would feel better and safer pulling that stand, leaving and going to hunt a new spot a half-mile or more away from those other guys. You’ll have more fun, feel more comfortable and be more confident of shooting a buck.