By Kathy Etling
How a Minnesota hunter uses cameras to take heavily pressured bucks.
Almost any other archer whose trail camera had snapped the photo of a gorgeous 13-point whitetail probably would have been tempted to head out after the animal immediately. Dan Urbas, however, stared at the buck’s 140-class rack, estimated his age at 3 1/2 years, and chose ... READ MORE
By Joe Blake
Because trophy bucks absolutely love the solitude and security of a swamp.
It hadn’t rained at all, but the foggy afternoon mist hung so thick around me that water clung to every branch, every blade of grass and every inch of this bowhunter’s body!
The thick stand of poplars took on a surreal look as every nook and cranny faded into t... READ MORE
This One’s For You, Steve
By Blaine Tiringer
By 7 a.m. on Nov. 14, 2005, I was heading to our hunting ranch near Spiritwood, Saskatchewan. On the way, I decided to check on a field where I had seen some nice bucks. Sure enough, there were fresh tracks from the early-morning snow. I spotted a doe on a hill a half-mile away, so I went to check her out. Then, there he was! With my naked eye, I c... READ MORE
To Shoot or Not to Shoot?
By David Hart
A 6-pointer jumped up from a clump of briers barely 5 yards from my feet. I was in the middle of a walk to push deer from their bedding areas to a couple of friends sitting on the edge of a field a quarter-mile away. I had my .270 cradled in my arms, ready for a split-second opportunity, and the buck tried to make a break to my left, away from my w... READ MORE
By Tom Kule
Nov. 7, 2006, was my first day back East after a successful 10-day BLM land elk hunt in Idaho. It was also the first of a 15-day on-call work block. The good thing about being on call is that I can hunt when I want, as long as I’m ready to head to work with little notice. I live to bowhunt the rut, which typically starts in Ohio around Nov. 8... READ MORE
Be a Doe Master
By Bob Humphrey
I heard them before I saw them — hasty footsteps rattling on the dry leaves like hail stones pinging off a tin roof. Three deer broke cover at 250 yards and raced across the open bog. A quick check through the binoculars showed none sported antlers. It didn’t matter, though. This was the second-to-last day of a month-long season, and I ... READ MORE
The 10% Rule
By Tracy Breen
Most deer hunters harvest wall-worthy bucks only occasionally. Even then, it’s most often a case of being in the right place at the right time. A few hunters, however, seem to have discovered the secret to the big-buck program. At most, they make up 10 percent of the hunters in the woods. That 10 percent harvests about 90 percent of the Troph... READ MORE
Hindsight is 177 4/8
By Greg Gates
For the last 18 years, my passion has been hunting deer in northwest Kansas’ Rooks County. And with access to about 8,000 acres of state-owned and managed hunting lands, plus about 2,000 acres of private property, I have plenty of choices.
For the previous 10 years, my hunting partner, Bob Martin, and I had set up camp in the public hunting ... READ MORE
By Bob Humphrey
I thought my first attempt at a food plot was a dismal failure. It was late October, the deer had barely touched the crop, and I was beginning to think I’d wasted my time and money. I had, after all, committed the cardinal sin of not testing and treating the soil. Maybe that was it. But the plants came up just the same — big, leafy fron... READ MORE
Just Do It
By Kathy Etling
For far too long, we’ve listened to our guys plan all the exciting adventures and book all the hunts. We go — often with their friends or work buddies — because we want to hunt, too. But how many ladies have ever considered turning the tables to plan their own out-of-state — or maybe even home state — hunts?
In an era... READ MORE
By Mike Handley
The rusted barbed-wire fence was as good a stopping point as any, and it was closer than the road. I dragged the buck right up to the bottom strand, let go of it and leaned my bow against an adolescent oak. In one burst of uncharacteristic effort, I’d covered 40 yards. Thank god it was all downhill. As I stood there sucking in air like a Hoov... READ MORE
A Buck for Grandpa
By Danny Senic
The 1976 Virginia firearms season was soon to open and, for the first time, Grandpa wasn’t going hunting with us. He was dying of black lung disease. Grandpa had worked in the coal mines for years, but now they were working on him. Grandpa had been an avid hunter for as long as I could remember. He had taken 39 deer, several of them nice buck... READ MORE
How To Approach Downed Game
By Russell Thornberry
In spite of what you might see on hunting shows, there are some very serious dos and don’ts when it comes to approaching a deer, or any wild animal, that you presume to be dead.
The first rule is to approach the deer from downwind. If it is still alive and it smells you, it will panic and try to get on its feet to flee. Approach the animal q... READ MORE
Everybody Loves a Nut
By Tom Fegely
The arrival of fall brings some welcome entrées for residents of the deer woods. That’s when acorns, beechnuts and other mast, hard and soft, mature and eventually drop to the ground, providing a nutritious change of diet for deer about to enter their energy-intensive rut. The availability of acorns in particular changes both feeding a... READ MORE
King of the Hill
By Tim King
Last September, my wife changed my computer screensaver to read, “Tim, you are awesome and I hope you score big on your hunt this year! Love you, SK.” So when the alarm buzzed at 4:30 a.m. on the cool, crisp morning of Oct. 28, 2005, I was confident in her message.
Rising early to fill my backpack and pack a lunch is just one of the ta... READ MORE
Tricks of the Trade
By Dale R. Larson
There’s nothing magical about being a successful whitetail bowhunter. Like everything else in life, there is no shortcut to success. The individual who applies himself will be the most successful. Learning the tricks of the trade is a process that never ends. Just when you think you know everything, you will discover something new.
The first... READ MORE
Breakfast with Whitetails
By Tom Fegely
One of the benefits of being an outdoors writer is the bonus of hunting and wildlife photography – deer in particular – as part of the job. Most of my whitetail encounters are made from fall into spring, which is why I decided to have breakfast with the whitetails one August morning. My alfresco dining spot was a large high-fenced field... READ MORE
Mapping Trophy Bucks
By Steve Bartylla
The contour map revealed a long ridge slicing through the big timber, eventually splitting into a “Y.” Fifty yards before the split, a dip in the ridge formed a saddle. As a bonus, a deep erosion cut ran from the valley all the way up to just short of the saddle. The combination of features formed a great location for intercepting roami... READ MORE
Tinkle Up A Buck
By Harvey Bauer
During several years of hunting in West Virginia, I had the great pleasure of getting to know an elderly mountain man who has harvested more than his share of trophy bucks.I arrived at his secluded farm for one of my visits while he was working in his barn. The big doors stood open and an astonishing number of big whitetail racks were tacked inside... READ MORE
How I Found My Hunting Partners
By Mark L. Nash
“Be still,” I whispered to Jordan. The doe saw our odd shapes at the base of the tree and stopped to study us for a moment. She soon decided that we didn’t belong there and beat a hasty retreat. A short time later, I spied a small deer standing farther down the ridge behind where the doe had been. “Take your time and shoot t... READ MORE