I asked that question of my friend, Dr. Grant Woods, one of the top deer biologists in the world, one time. He told me: “Whitetails react incredibly quickly to either a positive or a negative stimulus. Most hunters fail to take that into account quickly enough. For example, if a buck sees or hears you in a tree stand near a food plot, he will learn to avoid that spot very fast. He will still go to the plot (the positive stimulus) but he will circle your stand (the negative stimulus) possibly out of sight and range. You might sit there, not see any deer and wonder what is wrong. So hunters need to take into consideration how fast deer, [...]
Five tips for setting safe and effective tree stands: A solid tree about 15 inches to 20 in diameter is great. It is easy and safe to get your arms around as you set steps, climb and hang a perch. Once you’re up, a tree as wide as your body breaks your silhouette, but is thin enough so that you can turn and look around for incoming deer, and twist, draw and shoot if you have to. Once you’ve chosen a tree for a stand, back up 50 yards or so, bend and look up into the top of it from a deer’s perspective to see which height and angle provide the best backdrop and cover. Plan on hanging a [...]
My friend Jim Crumley, who created Trebark back in 1980, is almost single-handedly responsible for the camouflage craze of the last 40 years. Retired now and loving it, Jim has two passions: Managing whitetails and bowhunting them on his 300-acre property along the James River in southwestern Virginia. “Managing your land for deer is not rocket science,” Jim says. In fact, the more he has worked his mountain land over the years, the simpler his plan has become. “The easier and more cost-effective you make your management plan, the more you’ll stick with it, the harder you’ll work and the better your results.” Jim does a lot of his work with a tractor and a bush-hog right now in the [...]
For a decade on a Virginia farm I hunt, we’d start refreshing our mineral sites in June, set cameras near each lick and get thousands of images of deer over the next 8 weeks. While we might not have captured every buck that summered on the farm each year, I bet we got pictures of 80-90 percent of the bucks. Every year we’d get pictures of 3 or 4 top-end stud bucks on the farm. If your state allows it, using corn and/or minerals to attract deer to your camera sites is the very best way to inventory the bucks on a property, and to watch their racks grow to their full potential in August. But a couple of years [...]
As part of its “Out Here. It’s DEW.” campaign, Mountain Dew’s $100,000 Outdoor Stimulus will reimburse one 2020 hunting and fishing license per household for the first 5,000 outdoor enthusiasts who apply. Those who win the contest will receive a one-time $20 payment toward their fishing and hunting licenses, paid out via Venmo or check. Licensed fisherman and hunters’ permits fund wildlife conservation, education and restoration within their states. Beginning Wednesday, July 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET, hunters and anglers can apply for the Mountain Dew Outdoor Stimulus by visiting the contest’s landing page and submitting photos of their fishing or hunting licenses from the last year. Click here for the full story.