Tips & Tactics

Same ... but Different

Same ... but Different

By Ken Piper

Tactics and tips might require modification for your location. While considering a tip for this week, it struck me how many strategies and techniques don’t always apply to different regions. Then I realized that in itself is an important point. I grew up hunting huge blocks of timber on heavily hunted public land. When I moved to Alabama, I h... READ MORE

They’re All Trophies

They’re All Trophies

By Ken Piper

Take the deer that makes YOU happy, and forget everything else. A friend just returned from a bowhunt in Kentucky, where he had several close encounters with a handsome 130-inch buck. He talked about how he struggled with himself over whether to shoot it or not and ultimately decided to let it go. His reasoning was he has taken several deer of that... READ MORE

Not the New Black

Not the New Black

By Ken Piper

Camo accessories hide from you more than from deer. A few decades ago, I found the most amazing branch clipper I'd ever used. It utilized a ratchet system and could trim shooting lanes with less effort than any other hand trimmer I had ever tried. It was expensive compared to other trimmers, but I splurged and even paid a few dollars more the camou... READ MORE

Ready or Not

Ready or Not

By Ken Piper

Getting close to deer isn't the hard part of bowhunting. The most difficult aspect of bowhunting isn't getting close enough to deer. The hard part is getting off a shot when you're just 20 yards from one of the most paranoid animals on earth. Even slight movement can be noticed by a cagey old buck or, worse, a smart and experienced doe. It's not th... READ MORE

Thoughts on Does

Thoughts on Does

By Ken Piper

Everybody wants to shoot a buck, but does are the key to deer management. Shooting does is a key component of our role as caretakers of deer and the habitat. It’s also the best way to fill a freezer. As a writer and editor of hunting publications for more than 25 years, I’ve seen quite a few recommendations about the best time and locat... READ MORE

Less Than Perfect

Less Than Perfect

By Ken Piper

Solutions to last-minute hunting problems need not be ideal. Sometimes it seems like nothing is going your way. That's what I'm experiencing right now as I prepare for a Wisconsin bowhunt with pack manufacturer Mystery Ranch. I purchased a new crossbow early this year. I shot it a few times to get it close, but I ran out of scope adjustment with th... READ MORE

A Different Angle

A Different Angle

By Ken Piper

Intense practice led to a big mistake for this bowhunter. Last week we talked about habits, including how we repeat what we do in practice. That's usually a good thing, unless you're practicing bad habits. It also can work against you if you don't adapt practiced habits to the situation. What I'm talking about is exemplified by something that happe... READ MORE

Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers

By Ken Piper

Of course deer hunters set up near trails – whitetails are creatures of habit and often use the same trails to move throughout their range. As long as food sources remain relatively stable, they won’t change their habits much from one day to the next. A trail by itself doesn’t mean much, however. First, bucks and does tend to use ... READ MORE

Phone It In

Phone It In

By Ken Piper

We can debate whether cell phones have made our lives better or worse, but there's no debate about how much we use them. That includes in the deer stand. When I got my first smartphone, I used it to listen to music, read and do puzzles to pass slow hours in the stand. As technology evolved, I listened to football games and kept in touch with other ... READ MORE

Fletch Your Own

Fletch Your Own

By Ken Piper

Bowhunters will be heading to the woods over the next few weeks, which means a lot of last-minute practice and tuning is going on right now. If you're like me, you have trouble aiming at different dots - there's something pleasing about a group so tight you can easily put your hand around. The down side is aiming at one dot like that means you'll r... READ MORE

Patience, Patience

Patience, Patience

By Ken Piper

The game isn’t over until the fat lady shoots ... or something like that. Taking bucks consistently is an art. Anyone can luck into a big buck, but it takes work to harvest bucks year after year. While there is no single skill or trait that makes a great deer hunter, one thing the best have in common is patience. Whitetails, and especially ex... READ MORE

Rubber vs. Leather

Rubber vs. Leather

By Ken Piper

Is one type of boot material better for controlling scent? One of the great things about bowhunting is you get to observe deer behavior when the animals are relaxed and just going about their daily routines. If you pay attention, you also learn some hunting lessons. That was the case several years ago when I was enjoying watching a spike meander th... READ MORE

Plan B

Plan B

By Ken Piper

Have backup plans in place for essential gear. I was hunting with an outfitter in Illinois about 15 years ago. He dropped me off at the edge of a pasture with good, clear directions on how to get to the stand. And oh, what a great-looking stand it was. Even in the dark I could tell I was going to like the setup. After getting settled in the ladder ... READ MORE

An Ounce of Prevention

An Ounce of Prevention

By Ken Piper

Study indicates whitetails forgot to social-distance. I just finished reading an article that said 33% of the whitetails in a four-state USDA study tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. Of the four states (Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania), Michigan was highest, with 67% of the deer tested being positive for COVID-19 exposure. The a... READ MORE

Foaming at the Mouth

Foaming at the Mouth

By Ken Piper

Don't get mad. Instead, take precautions to protect your broadheads. I was fortunate to shoot a beautiful buck last year, but one thing I struggled with throughout the hunt was getting my arrows into and out of my quiver without deploying the expandable heads. I had failed to do something someone taught me long ago, and that is to carve out the slo... READ MORE

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd