The ongoing ammunition shortage is causing many of you to dig around in your basement in search of some old .270 or .30-06 cartridges. If you find some, are they safe to shoot? Will they kill a buck? Are Old Cartridges Safe? Generally, yes. If factory centerfire cartridges are stored in a dry, cool place with low humidity, preferably in an airtight container, they can have an amazingly long shelf life. Many ballistics experts report shooting 20- to 50-year-old ammo with no problems. Notice I said factory ammunition, which is manufactured using premium components and exacting specifications that extend the shelf life of cartridges. I do not advise shooting old reloads. If you can’t find new ammo and need to [...]
Bucks start rubbing saplings and trees in September up to about October 20, and then a second major phase of rut rubbing kicks in. With testosterone pumping in their veins now, the bucks go to work, thrashing and gouging trees (and sometimes fence poles) to vent pent-up sexual energy. The act of rubbing thickens the muscles in a buck’s neck, and helps him to put his game face on. If he’s challenged by a rival in the coming weeks, he’ll be ready. Some scientists say these rut rubs also stimulate the does and help to synchronize breeding cycles. With the rut coming on all testosterone-addled bucks large and small join in the rubbing fun. But again, look for good-sized rubs [...]
Digital image One November Russ Van Zoeren hunted a public tract in Kansas for a week. For the first five days, the temperature was in the 70s, and the deer movement was predictably slow. But then one night, storms and a cold front crashed in. The mercury plummeted into the 30s, and a northwest wind shook the trees. Next morning at 8:15, a buck prowled out of the long, dense cedar thicket that Russ had been watching all week. The deer ripped a scrape and walked, grunting, beneath Russ’ stand. His arrow was true. At just under 200 pounds dressed, the animal was on the light side for a mature Kansas buck. But there was nothing light about [...]
My buddy Frankie just shot this 9-point buck in Fauquier County with a muzzleloader, deer "had a swollen neck and started to stink," he said. Frankie saw several little bucks pushing does earlier in the morning. Getting multiple reports of small and medium-size bucks pushing/chasing, which indicates the peak chase for mature bucks is 7-10 days away. Trail cameras were slow until yesterday, when bigger bucks started showing up at scrapes (night mostly). Five shooter bucks showed up this week on one farm I hunt, and I expect more. Scraping phase in full swing now.
November 5-8 Regardless of weather, moon or other environmental conditions, the vast majority of does in the northern two-thirds of America will be bred between November 6 and Thanksgiving. That was true 50 years ago…will be true this year…will be true 20 years from now. Historically, November 5 to 8 have been some of the top big-buck days within this window. Why so good? Most bucks haven’t bred a doe for a year. They wander around in a testosterone stupor, waiting on the first does to pop into heat any day now. These four days are some of the best of the year to see a big buck on his feet in daylight. Take off if you can. Best conditions: [...]