Ohio “Triple Brow” B&C Buck

ohio gary nov 8 2018

Great guest blog from Ohio hunter Gary Bendele:

November 8, 2018 is a day I will never forget.

It started out like so many other November days, as I spotted deer cruising fence lines and creek bottoms in Fayette County, Ohio.

I saw a little buck cruising a fence about 3/8 of a mile away. I wanted to know exactly which deer this was, so I grunted and rattled at him. It was dead calm and the rattling caught his attention right away.

As the buck started coming my way, a huge buck stepped out of the timber and seemed mad that the little buck was there. He postured up and started out toward the inferior buck. I video my own hunts so I was just content on getting some nice footage. All of the sudden the Triple Brow Buck was pushing the little buck down the creek right toward me!

Two days before I had missed a 150s 10-point, so I told myself calm down and make it count this time. The little buck passed and I ranged him at 14 yards. I clipped my release on and waited, but not for long.

Triple Brow was trying to catch up with the little buck and passed by at 7 yards! My shot was right on. To my amazement, the big buck turned and walked super slowly to 63 yards and just stood there. I could see he was hit well, so I elected not to shoot again. He walked 30 more yards and bedded down.

I thanked God and turned the camera off. I sat in my stand and texted my buddy Frank Justice, who said he would take off work to help me get him out. I didn’t walk out to the deer, but waited on Frank.

ohio gary

When we finally walked up on Triple Brow, there was no ground shrinkage! I realized which deer this was right away–I had night trail camera pics of this buck for the last couple years, but no daylight sightings or pictures.

Boy had I misjudged him. Every picture I had of the buck, he was right on top of the camera–I could see the brow tines but I didn’t realize how big he was. He’s a 14-pointer that grosses in the 180s and will net in the 170 range. My first Booner and a lifelong dream for me.

I am so glad I missed that 10 point a couple days before. I would rather be lucky than good!

Thanks to Frank and everyone that had a hand in this harvest and recovery. And thanks for your Big Deer site.–Gary Bendele

P.S You did an article on me and the “Ghost Buck” in 2015. Triple Brow came off the same farm and from the same tree, it’s been a good one for me.

Deer Tactics: 4 Tips For The Post-Rut

ny adriondack 1By now the rut is winding down in most areas, and there’s been pressure in the woods—people stomping around, riding ATVs, shooting guns… A bunch of bucks have been removed from the gene pool, and the survivors are spooky as stray cats. You’ve hunted all day without seeing a rack, right? Well, keep the faith and stay out there. More old deer than you think still cruise your woods into mid-December, hoping to hook up with one of the hot does of the season. You might score big yet.

Hunt Midweek

One good thing about the post-rut is that 75 percent of the “rut hunters” who were in the woods two or three weeks are long gone. Some of them got their bucks; others have lost interest or had to go back to work. Whatever, there’s less competition. Hunt mid-week and you’ll have the woods to yourself most days, especially after Thanksgiving. Deer will move best on days when there’s less commotion.

Key on Rubs

Cruising bucks are tired and battered, but still running on testosterone and still rubbing, so keep hunting your best stands on ridges with heavy rubbing sign. Alternatively, if you notice a bunch of fresh rubs in a creek bottom or along a field edge one day, hang a new stand there and hunt it for a week. A cruiser is working the area and he might be back one day in shooting light.

Keep Rattling

Working toward his doctorate in wildlife biology at the University of Georgia years ago, top whitetail scientist Mick Hellickson conducted an intensive three-year study on the movements and behaviors of mature bucks. Part of that research project produced some groundbreaking research on antler rattling.

“If you are interested in rattling in big numbers of bucks the peak of the rut is far and away the best time,” says Hellickson. During those wild days, 65 bucks responded to 60 rattling sequences—a 108 percent response rate. “But the first weeks of the post-rut, when old bucks cruise for the last hot does, are prime for trophy hunting.” This is the phase when Hellickson and his team rattled up the most mature bucks. Of the 29 bucks that responded to their 51 post-rut rattling sequences, 10 were 5 ½ years plus, and another 10 were 3 ½ to 4 ½.

So don’t give up on your rattling too soon. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind. Rattling works best on a still, chilly to cold morning, when a buck can hear your horns almost a mile away. The best spot to set up is downwind of one of those scraped/rubbed/thick-cover ridges or bottoms we talked about earlier. Sit in a stand until 11:00 AM, and rattle and once or twice every hour; toss in some big grunts for effect. Again, it is apt to work best on a Wednesday or Thursday, when nobody else is in the woods.

Late Scent Trick

Everybody tries scents during the rut, but sometimes they work better the first two weeks of the post-rut. Think about it. During the peak, estrus does mist the woods everywhere. But later on, when there are only a few hotties left, the sweet scent of just one might bring a buck running. I lay a doe-in-heat trail into all my late-season stands, and then I hang wicks to float more lure in the woods.

Indiana Big Buck

IN Jason buckToday’s guest blog from BIG DEER blog fan and our friend Jason Lough:

Hi Mike: It was opening weekend in Indiana and I was excited to share another weekend of deer hunting with my Father, as it’s something we look forward to every season.

We put cameras out every year to determine the quality of bucks on the property so that we have an idea of what to expect. Based on the camera pictures and our scouting this year, we knew we had a few good bucks in the area.

 Opening day came and I set up in our best stand in a funnel. I began to see deer early in my sit. The does and small were chasing and rutting hard so I knew it was a good opportunity to catch a good buck cruising.
About 8:30 I had a nice 8 point come within 25 yards of my stand, but based on our scouting I knew there were better bucks in the area.
It was quiet for about an hour and all of a sudden about 10:30, over my right shoulder, I heard a loud crack and figured it had to be a deer larger than a doe coming through the woods. I looked and noticed a doe heading my direction, and behind her what appeared to be a buck. As they got closer I could tell this was more of the type of buck I was looking for, and with my binoculars I confirmed this was a great deer!
The buck was chasing the doe hard and grunting all the way as he came toward my stand. The doe could have gone multiple different directions, but luckily she brought him down a trail 45 yards from my stand. Watching the doe closely in order to not make any sudden movements to spook her, I waited for the buck to enter a small window we had cleared earlier in the season. Once he entered my window, I rested my crosshairs just behind his shoulder and pulled the trigger. He bucked, took off and I immediately pumped in another shell so that I could get another one in him to ensure a quick and ethical kill.
The buck went about 60 yards and while I couldn’t see him, I heard a familiar crash that has so many times resulted in a successful hunt. I immediately called my Dad and told him I just shot what appeared to be a nice 10 point and was climbing down to confirm my buck had indeed expired. A few minutes later, I found an easy to follow blood trail that led me right to my deer. What I found was my second best buck ever and another one for the Indiana record book.
I was pumped, my Dad was pumped and we shared another awesome day together dragging out a great buck on opening weekend.–Jason
P.S. This is the same stand from which my Dad killed his giant buck last year, it grossed 169 (below).
in ed lough

Deer Food Plot Seed: Frosty Berseem Clover

nj jeff frosty plot seed

Our friend Jeff Herrmann, who is managing his New Jersey farm for whitetails, tells about a new seed blend you might want to try in your food plots:

“One thing I started growing this year is Frosty Berseem Clover, which is relatively new and would work great for a lot of guys that don’t yet know about it.  

“Berseems are very fast growing, but most are not cold tolerant. What makes Frosty unique is that it stays alive into freezing temps. As a bonus, it tolerates very wet soils (even standing water for days). That means it can be fall planted, even in very wet years like this one, or in chronically wet fields. It still puts on tons of growth before winter.

“Most of what you see in this picture is Frosty. I planted that section mixed with winter rye. Test plots have shown it to be one of the most preferred whitetail clovers available.”

For more on Frosty Berseem Clover click here.







Deer Hunt Tip: How To Make A Doe-In-Heat Scent Trail

scent trail 1Twenty ago one of the top scent strategies was to lay a hot-doe trail to your stand on the walk in every morning or afternoon. You heard many testimonials of bucks smelling those scent trails and following them straight to a hunter’s stand.

You don’t hear much about scent trails anymore, but I still make them and you should to.

Park your truck and sneak off down through the woods. When you’re 150 yards or so from where you plan to hunt, tie a drag rag to your boot, soak a wick with hot-doe lure and walk the rest of the way in.

Make a couple of big sweeps around your stand. A buck that comes from any direction might cut the scent and circle in to see what’s up.

Slipping on boot pads or pulling a drag rag can be a hassle, and I think that’s one reason many hunters don’t lay scent trails anymore. Okay, but now it’s a lot easier.

scent trail 2

Get a can of the new Golden Doe Spray from Wildlife Research Center. On the sneak into a stand or blind, carry the can low in your hand and spray here and there as you walk to create a doe scent trail into your spot. No fuss, no muss, no need to hassle with a rope or scent drag.

While a hot-doe trail can work anytime during the rut, it can oftentimes work better during the first 10 days of the post-rut in late November or early December. There are fewer hot does left to breed, but the bucks are still on the prowl for some action. One of those randy boys might cut your trail and sniff his way right to your stand.

Note: Some states now require you to use only synthetic deer scents, so check your hunting regulations.