About Clay Hanback

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So far Clay Hanback has created 327 blog entries.
7 12, 2020

How To Judge Bucks After The Rut

2020-11-24T08:59:40-05:00December 7th, 2020|Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Rut, whitetail deer|Comments Off on How To Judge Bucks After The Rut

Lindsay Thomas of the National Deer Association is an expert at sizing up bucks on the hoof. I asked him to give us some tips for the December post-rut. “Judging the age of a buck after the rut can be difficult for the same reason it's tough prior to the rut,” he says, “because not all of the important aging characteristics are in place. “We don't recommend estimating the age of bucks in summer because all of them have skinny necks. Until testosterone rises as the rut approaches, you don't get the neck swelling that helps distinguish older bucks from younger bucks. “Over the course of the rut, we know bucks can lose a lot of weight from the exertion [...]

4 12, 2020

Hunt Late Deer Rut on Public Land

2020-11-23T14:14:18-05:00December 4th, 2020|Big Deer TV, Deer Hunting, Deer Management, Deer Rut, Deer Science, whitetail deer|Comments Off on Hunt Late Deer Rut on Public Land

Here’s an opportunity for you public-land hunters if you’ve not shot your buck yet. In a study awhile back, scientists at Mississippi State’s vaunted deer research program found that in early to mid-December (or into mid-January in Southern areas with a peak rut in December) you  can often have good rutting action on a typical WMA or national forest where does far outnumber bucks. The biologists said that on uncultivated land where the buck:doe ratio is out of whack, there aren’t enough bucks to breed most of the adult does during the peak November estrus cycle. Some 28 days later the “missed” does come back into heat. But since there aren’t as many hot-to-trot does now, the estrus ones draw [...]

2 12, 2020

How To Rattle Bucks In December Post-Rut 

2020-11-23T11:04:13-05:00December 2nd, 2020|BigDeer|Comments Off on How To Rattle Bucks In December Post-Rut 

One cold, still morning in early December, we hiked down into a canyon near the Cimarron River in western Oklahoma and set up on a rocky outcropping. As pink dawn was breaking, my friend Kenny hissed, "Buck in the river.” I peeked at the deer, an old fellow with a bull chest, thin hips and a gray face. I hadn’t looked at his rack yet but I knew he was a shooter, probably 5½ years old. “Eight pointer, gnarly,” Kenny reported from behind his binoculars. “He’ll be on our side of the river in a few steps.” The old warrior stepped out of the misty river and disappeared into thick brush. He popped out 250 yards away and I was [...]

30 11, 2020

What Is Ground Shrinkage?

2020-11-23T09:58:57-05:00November 30th, 2020|BigDeer|1 Comment

If you’ve been hunting whitetail deer for very long I don’t have to tell you because it’s happened to you on occasion. According to the Urban Dictionary, ground shrinkage is: when you see a big buck through your gun scope, but when you walk up to it on the ground, its antlers have magically shrunk. While shrinkage has a negative connotation, it’s not really a bad thing. It’s one of the quirks of deer hunting. It happens. Embrace it. The Texas buck in the photo is a good example. His rack was a good 20 inches smaller on the ground than when I lined my 6X scope on him at 200 yards, but he was still a fine deer, and [...]

25 11, 2020

Indiana: Trace Koble’s Reduction Zone Giant Buck, 198 1/8!

2020-11-23T09:34:38-05:00November 25th, 2020|Big Deer Stories, Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Bowhunting, Deer Hunting, whitetail deer|1 Comment

This exclusive guest blog is from BIG DEER field reporter Dean Weimer: Trace Koble began hunting the Reduction Zone area strictly for waterfowl several years ago, but then the landowner switched from corn to soybeans and it was no longer good for ducks and geese. In 2017 Koble decided he’d put out a ground blind on this parcel, which is mostly open fields, to see what he would see. “But I never got serious about it until last year, when every sit in the blind I would see a plethora of deer filter out of a chunk of timber and feed on the other side of the field that I had permission on,” he says. This year, Trace decided to [...]

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