Two decades ago noted Missouri biologist Dr. Grant Woods used a mix of GPS technology, fancy software and old-school observation data (a ton of hours logged in a tree stand looking for deer) to produce maps of the hunting pressure on the properties he managed at the time. His spatial analysis inevitably showed that on all the lands, most people hunted close to fields, logging roads and similar access areas. Face it, most deer hunters go the easy route and aren’t willing to work for it. Some are leery of getting lost and walking too far back in an area. For example, on one large property Grant found that all the hunters spent 100 hours or more in “hot zones” [...]
Something that Texas custom gun maker Lex Webernick told me years ago stuck, and has served me well on deer hunts all over North America the last 30 years: Know your rifle and when the barrel gets dirty enough to start affecting accuracy. For example, you shoot a lot at the range and find that your rifle starts to open up a group after, say, 20 rounds. I’d clean that rifle barrel after every 15 rounds, or five 3-shot groups. But I personally never take a completely clean rifle on a hunt. I usually run 3 shots through a clean barrel to dirty it a bit, that seems to be the sweet spot accuracy-wise, and then go hunting.
Biologists worked a project in southern Delaware for 4 years, capturing and collaring whitetail bucks with GPS. They separated the deer into 2 age classes--4½ and younger and 5½ and older—and monitored their movements around swamps and marshes. They found that the oldest bucks hardly ever left the swamps until cover of darkness. The younger bucks not only left the marsh on occasion, they also readily used nearby upland forests and crop fields. The 5-year-olds routinely avoided those areas. The scientists wrote, “Not using wetland areas increased a buck’s risk of mortality by 2.7, meaning he was nearly 3 times more likely to be killed compared to a (old) buck who regularly hid out in swamps.” Further, the experts noted [...]
Last weekend at the Pope & Young Club’s Annual Convention in Reno, Nevada, the Kansas monster was officially panel scored and confirmed as the second-highest-scoring non-typical whitetail ever taken by a bowhunter. COVID postponed the panel scoring of this crazy buck, which Brian Butcher shot back on October 10, 2019, but now it’s official. Field & Stream has the full story, click here to read it.
Pour a measured charge of Pyrodex down the bore, or drop in the proper number of 50-grain Triple 7 pellets. Insert bullet and start it down the bore with a short starter. With your ramrod, seat the bullet firmly all way down and on top of the powder, but don’t tamp it or beat it hard. You just want a good, firm seat. Once fully loaded, leave the ramrod in the barrel and scratch it with a knife or mark with a Sharpie. Check the reference mark each time you load to make sure you seat the proper amount of powder and a bullet. Never cap a loaded rifle until you are in the timber and ready to hunt. When [...]