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5 05, 2019

Decline In Hunter Numbers Traced To Baby Boomers

2019-05-05T11:29:06-04:00May 5th, 2019|BigDeer|3 Comments

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service studies show that nationwide, participation in hunting has dropped from 14 million hunters several years ago to 11.5 million today. In 2019, only 5% of Americans hunt, about half as many as 50 years ago. My home state of Virginia, for example, has lost one-third of its deer hunters in the last 25 years, from 300,000 in the 1990s down to 200,000 today. Experts with the Virginia Dept. Of Game and Inland Fisheries say the decline in licensed hunters is the #1 deer management issue in the Commonwealth. There are myriad reasons for the decline--family/work obligations; more people living in urban areas; lack of access to hunting land; too many people glued to iPhones, Netflix, [...]

1 05, 2019

How Much Are Shed Antlers Worth?

2019-08-05T14:19:40-04:00May 1st, 2019|Big Deer Stories, Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Mule Deer, Shed Hunting|1 Comment

How much cash can you get for your shed antlers? For starters, depends on condition and grade of the sheds: Grade A: Antler in perfect condition, brown and beautiful, with no fading…no broken tines or chew marks…this year’s drop, antler picked up within a few weeks or months. Grade B: Antler in good condition, still natural brown color, may be dull or faded on one side and slightly weathered, probably last year’s drop. May have slight broken tine or chip. Grade C: Antler faded and weathered to white and chalky, on the ground for 2 or 3 years. Here are February 2019 estimates from Antlerbuyers.com: Elk Grade A: $13.50 a pound* Elk Grade B: $11 a pound* Elk Grade C: $3 a [...]

29 04, 2019

How To Cut Mineral Stumps For Deer

2019-08-05T14:19:40-04:00April 29th, 2019|Big Deer Stories, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Management|Comments Off on How To Cut Mineral Stumps For Deer

Ever noticed how whitetail deer love to browse the sprouts from recently cut tree stumps?  Marcus Lashley, assistant professor at Mississippi State’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, has figured out why—and developed a simple, cost-effective way to create more good feed for the deer on your land. Marcus had long noticed that even when forbs and other foods were in abundance, deer still preferred to browse the sprouts from cut hardwoods when available. “As a kid sitting on a tree stand, I noticed that deer were eating from the stump of a hardwood I’d cut down. I was curious about why, because hardwood trees are nutritionally poor for deer,” he said. With research funding through MSU’s Forest and Wildlife [...]

26 04, 2019

What Is The Lifespan of Whitetail Deer?

2019-08-05T14:19:40-04:00April 26th, 2019|Big Deer Stories, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Science|2 Comments

Two of the most amazing facts from the 2018 deer season: A young hunter in Vermont shot a wild doe that, according to a tooth-wear analysis, was 20 years old! And another hunter in Vermont killed a 12-year-old buck! Which begs the question: How long do deer live? In captivity, whitetail does have been documented to live 18 to 25 years, and bucks 14 years. In the wild, where hunters consider a 5-year-old buck to be an old one, deer have the capability to live longer than you think. A doe in Louisiana was aged at 21 1/2 years. Recent data from Pennsylvania confirms 3 wild does to be at least 13.5 years old. Interestingly, other does from Vermont in [...]

23 04, 2019

Virginia: CWD Confirmed In Buck Shot In Culpeper County

2019-08-05T14:22:47-04:00April 23rd, 2019|Big Deer TV, BigDeer, Deer Hunting, Deer Science|5 Comments

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) in my home state of Virginia has confirmed Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a buck legally harvested in Culpeper County during the November 2018 rut. CWD has been documented in northwest Virginia (Frederick and Shenandoah counties) for some 9 years, and we hunters in the Northern Piedmont have been holding our collective breath that it would not spread. But it has. The latest infected buck was killed in Culpeper County, 40 miles south of the original CWD zone. Officials discovered this CWD from a sample submitted by a local taxidermist in January 2019. At the time this deer was harvested, the hunter did not notice any outward signs of disease, and the [...]