A buddy sent me this cam pic awhile back w/the message: Out of velvet, it’s go time!
This is a great, mature buck for our part of the country (hell, any part of the country) and I hope my friend gets a crack at him. Also on the eve of the archery opener, would like to wish all my fellow Virginia hunters a safe and successful year. Of course I wish the same thing for all you other guys, but gotta give some special props to my boys all over the Commonwealth.
Hunting will be good to great in most areas of the state. We’ve got acorns this year (none in 2013) so the bucks will be fat, though not as visible in numbers as last year. When there is a good crop of acorns falling in the woods, deer hang back and feed and stage in the cover of trees, and are not as visible in fields in daylight hours. Wherever you hunt, remember that and plan your stands and strategy accordingly.
In the book Deer Cameras: The Science of Scouting, Wisconsin bowhunter and QDMA member Todd Reabe reveals where he gets amazing daytime photos of monster bucks on his small, well-managed property. And day images are what you want, because that shows when and where you might arrow a whopper when he’s on his feet in shooting light.
Todd stays away from field edges and instead aims his cameras into hidden pockets and strips of security cover. “Small funnels and bottlenecks of thick cover between feeding and bedding areas are the best spots for my cams,” he says.
Look for these secret cam hotspots on aerial photos and then go in, ground scout and hang your cameras for images of big deer.
A group of fellow Virginia hunters in the southern part of the state is practicing quality management and growing some big deer. This year they’ve added a few more food plots and gone heavy on corn plots to mix it up. They have some studs on the farm this year, including the two great 8-pointers above. The top buck is “Junior,” now fully mature at 4/5 years old. The guys say: “Thank God for passing hunting on Sunday in Virginia! Should be a special year here…”
Here’s a buck one of our bloggers in the Midwest is looking forward to seeing to this fall. He asked for thoughts on age and score. Hard to tell in camera photos sometimes, but looks like a 3/4-year-old 140-class buck w/really nice brows. What do you think?
Keep the trail camera photos coming, bucks are looking good!
One of our bloggers sent us the first good buck of 2014, which we posted back on June 27 and post again (top).
Here’s a look at him now in the images below.
With that first post I said the buck’s antlers, including those brows, would continue to grow into mid-August. Several people commented that brow tines seem to develop early in the antler cycle, and might not grow more as I had suggested.
As you can see, we were both right. Brows do develop early, especially as compared to tines, but the brows have continued to grow, and the tine length has exploded. Another great 2014 buck, good luck to the hunter.
A bowhunter from a state that is not in the Midwest tweeted this: @mikehanback ”buck coming every day 5:20 am and 7:30 PM. And his travel buddy (below) ain’t bad either!”
Big racks showing up everywhere…what about where you hunt, seeing any, getting any good pictures?