Over the years there has been much debate about harvesting does from the herd. In some areas it is absolutely necessary, but in low population areas a hunter may want to wait for that buck. On some farms that I hunt on, I will not shoot a doe due to low populations. When I do harvest a doe, I am very selective which doe I harvest. I try to take a doe that does not have a fawn. If the doe does have a fawn, I will only harvest her if it is a buck fawn. There has been radio collar studies that show a buck fawn almost always leaves their home range they are raised on unless they lose their momma (whether by car, naturally or by hunter) before they are weaned, then they tend to stay on their home range (may be how mother nature prevents inbreeding). This could be a good way to keep your bucks and genetics on your farm. I had some success on October 13th! Pic is attached. Shoot straight!
Who’s got pictures?
How bout it folks, have you had your trail cameras out this summer? I find July the BEST month of the year to get awesome buck pictures. If your camera is not in the woods, you’d better get off the couch and put it out! Bow season is just around the corner. Trail cameras are the best modern scouting tool we have in our arsenal. I will attach a nasty buck I got on camera. Anyone know what is wrong with this deer?
Good Luck! Buzz
Muzzleloader in Ohio was another successful season. The moon phase did come into play for the last part of the short season but the deer were on the move early on. I saw 15 deer on opening day. I really enjoy my model 700 with 209 primer kit it always comes through for me. This shot was 106 yards and the 250 gr. Super slide sabot from Thompson Center found its mark. The shot was a little back but the deer expired quickly and no need for a second follow up shot. There are 2 videos attached, one is the harvest and the second is a video of 7 deer coming out of the woods into the field where I shot the deer and I was getting ready to dress out the deer then they just start coming and coming. They got to about 35 yards. Sorry this video is shaky I already put away the tripod.
Well folks it’s that time again…get out the ol’ muzzleloaders. Muzzleloader season is right around the corner. I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I truly love to hunt with my muzzleloader.
So, what is your muzzleloader of choice, In-line or old school? Some states, like Pennsylvania, only allow “primitive weapons” like the old flintlock for example. Other states, like Ohio, allow the in-line muzzleloader. Some states allow scopes on muzzleloaders and others do not. Which theory is right? Ah, that’s a debate. Some folks out there think in-line use is “cheating”. I don’t know about “cheating” but I do think it is easier than using a flintlock! Maybe there should be two different seasons for these two different types of muzzleloaders?? What do you think?
All that aside, it is still a good excuse to be in the great outdoors. Good luck! Buzz
Well, being a hard core bow hunter, I put a lot of time in the woods this year as usual and it sure seems to me in my areas that I hunt the deer herd numbers are down. Don’t get me wrong, I still see deer, just not as many as I usually see compared to years past. Last years deer harvest for Ohio was down from the previous year and this years preliminary harvest numbers are down substantially again. The Ohio Division of Wildlife blamed last years harvest numbers being down on a “heavy acorn crop” and this year they are saying it’s because more farmers have corn fields on late. And, I’m sure they are going to blame the rain on the first day of gun season. Fact is, the bow harvest was down 11 percent from the previous year even before gun season started. I think the Ohio DOW needs to wake up and stop listening to the auto insurance companies. I realize there are still many, many areas in Ohio that are flooded with deer. I just think the Ohio DOW needs to put a little more effort in managing the herd according to the population of smaller areas, not dividing the state in 3 large zones. Anyone out there agree or disagree?
Scent control is the single most important element to harvesting deer. The deer nose is 200-300 times more sensitive than humans and through extensive studies and autopsies they have determined that majority of the deer brain is used for the sense of smell. To fool that nose it takes discipline and precautions. The discipline is being strict with your scent prevention routine and not cutting corners. The precautions that I take are very simple changes to my “old” way of hunting. 20 years ago there were very few products on the market to help with scent control. Now days there are numerous products available that can add in scent control. I was my clothes in a commercially available product that helps eliminate scents and then I use dryer sheets after which I bag my clothes in non-sense trash bag. Sometimes I just wash my gear in water and baking soda in the washing machine. I do not wear my “scent free” clothes until I get to the field. Once in the field I change my clothes (and boots) and spray down with scent eliminating products before heading to the stand. I wear rubber boots (they don’t hold odors like leather boots) and I concentrate the spray on my lower body and legs these areas are most likely to come in contact with brush and grass on the way to your stand. I also take a mini spray bottle of the scent eliminating spray and re-spray every 2-3 hours in the stand. Use a scent control program that works for you coupled with scent covers (dominate buck, doe estrus, etc) and I am sure you will see more deer. Next time I will look at wind and how it effects deer movement and scent control.
I had the chance to hear a very interesting discussion on the age old question of when is peak breeding activity takes place. An extensive study was done in Pennsylvania on 35,000 deer to determine what time of year does peaking breeding take place. They took measurements they call “rump to skull” lengths and from that they can determine when that particular deer was conceived based a gestation period of 198 days. They found that data looked like a typical bell curve that we all studied or seen in school where the tallest point of the curve was the second week of November (9-14th). Not so surprising but what I found interesting is that they had deer that were breed as early as late September and late as February. What we are seeing in mid December when many call a second rut, is actually the does that were born later due to later breeding and the did not go into estrus in November due to fetal development. So it is not the same does that went into estrus in November but rather the late breed/born does from the year before which did not have time to develop the ability to breed yet when the primary rut takes place. Based on this information and in my hunting area (Ohio & Kentucky) pre-rut will be around later October (21st) to early November (2-3rd) with rut running November 4th- 16thwith a decrease in deer activity as we approach peak breeding. Deer activity will rebound late November as they start seeking food source after the primary rut is over and winter is approaching so make sure to hunt any remaining food sources that you can locate.
The Rut is on here in the Midwest! Many of the bucks are on Lock Down with the does. I have been passing up a lot of small bucks waiting for Mr. Big and he hasn’t shown up yet. The Full Moon is not helping matters…deer movement in the mornings is down because of it. Just a couple days ago, I watched a small 1.5 yr old 7pt breed a doe. I was just waiting for grandpa to show up and kick his butt, but no such luck. Grandpa must of had a girlfriend of his own…