Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Searching For The Antlers Of Your Dream Buck

Once again another deer season has come and gone. People spent countless hours in the woods trying to finally catch up to that giant whitetail and either succeeded or had to eat a "tag sandwich" once again.  This year I was very lucky - taking a nice ten pointer in Kansas and a nice management eight pointer in Iowa. Now it is time to begin preparing for next season.

Non-typical 6 point side found along a corn field edge

After deer season has passed, the first thing I do is put out trail cameras immediately before deer shed their antlers to see who all survived the gun seasons. After the cameras are out I wait until mid February and begin looking for shed antlers. Shed antlers are one of the most intriguing things to me. I love finding the antlers and seeing some of the interesting character in some of them. Another reason I enjoy finding sheds is because it can help tell you where that buck is obviously roaming during the late season.
            Often times a bedding area is a very productive place to look for sheds. It’s even possible that there may be more than one shed in a bedding area! Several other places to look would be along fence crossings where the deer jump over - it will tend to knock the antlers loose; the same goes with creek crossings.  So next time you are out looking for sheds just walk along fence lines and creeks and you might be surprised. My personal favorite place to look is along food sources. A lot of the time if it is a row crop I will walk the field edges and frequently I will come out with something. Another benefit with food sources is if it a field like cut beans, or winter wheat, you can take a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope and just look over the field with out getting your feet dirty. I found several last year in winter wheat fields just while driving along the highway! Often times a deer will drop both antlers within approximately 200 yards of each other. The last place I would suggest for you that goes back to the bedding areas – look along south facing slopes. This is a great location where deer often bed to sun bathe and stay warm.
^ 147 0/8" matching 6x6 typical set found near a bedding area 
            Next time you are looking for things to do between deer season and turkey season don’t forget to take some time to look for antlers. Take children out, if not the whole family; it can be a fun activity. Often times the kids can find sheds easier because they are lower to the ground! Good luck to you this shed season and please let me know if I helped you at all in your searches.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Never Would Have Dreamed

It finally came down to the very last evening I was able to hunt in Kansas. I had just finished eating dinner at the school cafeteria while waiting on a friend that had wanted to go hunting with me all year. We took a short drive outside of town to a piece of property I had hunted twice previously in the last two days. I had hunted on other property owned by this particular person, but had not known about this one until he suggested it to me. As soon as we arrived, we put on our orange, loaded the gun, grabbed the video camera, and were on our way.
We had about a half mile walk back to where we were going to be standing in a fence line because we wanted to avoid the deer’s bedding areas. This piece of property was a huge milo field, with a nice timber line along the north edge, and about 300 acres of CRP to the east. Prior to this night, both times I had been out hunting, I had seen at least one buck, and every time they were in the CRP walking the ridges.
After standing there until sunset, I bent down to grab my jacket to leave and as I bent down I glanced up and saw the head of a deer right on one of the ridges. I glanced up with the scope and saw antlers. I struggled to keep my composure and get the camera rolling. The buck started heading our way and turned broadside at 150 yards. I let the shot go and look up and I dropped him right in his tracks.

After leaving the field in my car, no more than a mile away, I felt the car start to shake; I pulled over and saw that my tire had been shredded. How do you go from having an all-time high for the season to having a flat tire? Well, I was able to gets some friends to help jack the car up and get the donut put on so I could drive to town to replace the tire.
            Four days later I was in Iowa and a blizzard hit. It is never deer season in Iowa unless there is snow. This season was the second shotgun season Iowa had to offer and it is a tradition every year for my dad and I, along with a group of friends to head out and do pushes. After a long day, with the freezing 40 mph wind in my face I peaked around a tree and saw a buck within 30 yards running right at me. I pulled up the shotgun and let one rip and he dropped in his steps.

            Earlier in the season, while still in Kansas, I had the opportunity to take a girl out deer hunting for the first time. She wanted to go out and get her first deer. It had been a slow night and we didn’t see anything until we were walking out a little early. We squatted down and stalked to within 200 yards of the deer and I handed her the gun. The Kansas plains echoed as she dropped her – a beautiful eight pointer. This was also a great memory for the year.
            This season truly could not be any better than it already has. I still have one bow tag to fill in Iowa, but so far it has definitely been one to remember. All of those days I am able to spend in the woods with my dad and family and friends are the most memorable. Now I am spending days in the tree once again, gun seasons have passed and deer are beginning to hit the food sources hard with the cold weather.
            Whenever you get the chance, take a child, a girl, or anyone hunting. Introduce them to the sport and show them the great outdoors and what it really has to offer. No matter if you are successful or not it is truly amazing getting the chance to get out of the house, away from school, and share the great outdoors.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Long Season

The beginning of the season i had gotten several pictures of a great 14 point down in Kansas. no longer had i gotten this picture but then i got a giant typical that blew anything out of the water i had gotten on camera before. I put in the time studying and thought i had atleast the 14 point pretty keyed down to where he is bedding at and when he comes by and checks his scrapes.

I had read somewhere that scrape hunting can be a huge success. Hunting over scrapes in a well covered and secure area can be the key to getting the buck you are after down. Just so happen the scrapes i thought would work great and that the buck would come to during the day i felt were only going to be visited throughout the night. When scrapes are not only in the open but a ways away from the bedding area the buck is smart enough to come out into the open.
As season has been going on i havent been able to get either of these to dandies down. I was hoping taking a trip to iowa would change my luck for the better this year and had a good buddy that offered to film me with his brand new camera. The rut in Kansas this year was really really slow as a matter of fact the slowest rut i have personally ever seen. In Iowa i heard that the rut is doing good but still not the best as it has been.
The last day night in Iowa at my buddies farm i finally had a nice 150 inch 9 point walk out at 40 yards. The last thing i thought that would happen did, I shot at 40 yards and the buck ducked under the arrow.
This year has been the most stressful deer season I have ever had. not only did I not see any shooters this year until Iowa but the one I did see I messed up.
This year I still have hope in and I believe that if you put in the time it will pay off. It is a matter of time and the opportunity will present itself. Not always does the homework go the way you would like but it is always great for future hunts.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why do deer move when cold fronts come in?

Why do deer move when cold fronts come in? This question was asked recently by a friend of mine. Thinking about it we all know that deer tend to move more when a cold front comes in, but have I have never really taken the time to think about the reasoning behind this.
Some researchers believer that it is the food that brings the deer out. Deer need food just like us humans to give us energy. I personally do not believe in this idea as much for the very reason that  deer convert the energy in carbohydrates to saturated adipose fat. This fat is the fat that is burned for energy. Marbling fat is the fat that is produced during the summer time along the muscles.
Other ideas are like us humans as well, do we want to go outside and play when it is 90 degrees without a shirt on? I think we would all prefer to go out when it is about 70. Deer have two layers of fur, a winter coat, and a summer coat. Come fall a deers' fur thickens up to the winter coat. With this coat deer don't want to come out with it is hot, they prefer when the cooler temps move in.
With this thought I am heading up to Iowa tomorrow and a major cold from came through. the high was mid 60s and the night it is getting down to 29. I am going to sit in the box blind and watch and hope for deer to be out and being active since the temperatures at their ideal level.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finally Open!!!!

September 20th the Kansas archery season opened. I was looking forward to this day ever since I tagged my deer last year. I was very lucky last year when I was able to use the ole PSE to lay down a 150 inch Kansas giant. This year I will be looking for another amazing year and another biggest buck of my life.

I managed to get out and get all of my stands out, put out corn, and set all of the cameras. I found my first rubs, and scrapes for the year as well. I managed to drive around this year and talk to several land owners and got permission for several different pieces of property. I walked them all and to my surprise the one piece that I believed did not produce was loaded! It is one long tree row no more than 20 yards wide and one mile long. To my surprise had I not found one scrape this year before this I discovered more than 30 scrapes! I found a perfect pinch point of a huge bedding are of CRP and the end of the tree row no where near any houses or humanity.

In conclusion I had a chance to drive use my new Dead Down Wind products and they worked amazing! I sprayed down with the field spray and sat in a stand to scout and had deer walk dead down wind and not catch a wiff of me!!! This product really is for real and will work great in the field this year. Everyone should try these great line of products and see for yourself.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kansas Dove Season and Deer Season Around the Corner

A Few days ago the 2010 Kansas dove season had opened. Several friends and i pulled out the ole 12 gauges opening night and let some lead fly. We each got about 4 that first night but the important thing is we had a blast after not seeing each other all summer and getting a chance to catch up on alot of things.

This year was the second year i have had a chance to dove hunt. Iowa does not have a dove season so if you are lucky to get out of state it is well worth it. I recall asking my friends how do u hunt these birds like pheasants or quail? they just laughed and told me sit and wait is the game. The first night I remember I had to borrow my buddies Benelli and I pulled two dove out in one shot. just as our motto says those are definitely some memories that will last a life time with family and friends.

I officially am ready for deer season now except for the new bow. I spent several hours several days hanging stands, putting out corn, cutting shooting lanes, and checking trail cams. This is the first year i have ever hung my stands at about 20-25 feet up. I personally am scared of heights, well i guess its time to get over it. I recently had a new piece of property i got permission on and set a new set on it this year. It is about a 20 acre patch of timber, which in kansas is pretty big, and two thick tree lines come out of it in an L shape. On one side is Beans, the other is cut wheat. and on the end of the L where I sit is milo. Several shooting lanes were cut in the high humidity along with alot of steps screwed in. This stand seems to look promising as I continue checking trail cams lookin for those bucks coming out of velvet.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Week of College 2010

Well I arrived back at college down here in Sterling, Kansas. It took me about a couple hours to unpack my things and get settled in to my home for the school year. I then had to go down and finish filling out the usuall paperwork for college as well and pay the bills.

Now that im settled in I have had a chance to make it back into the outdoors. The first day I went down to the local lake in town and caught a few largemouth and nice bluegill. I did a little bit of catch and release, and was able to bring a new freshman out and introduce him to bass fishing. He was from Texas and used to salt water fishing, the fish definitely are not as big here, but he still is enjoying it.

I made a trip to the nearest outdoor store called Heartland Outdoor and bought a new arrow case, and some shotgun shells, and purchased my 2010 dove stamp. Sept 1st is the opening day of dove season here in Kansas and I am looking forward to it. It is officially time to bring out the shotguns, get the cameras rolling, and to introduce the outdoors to many and enjoy it with them.

 Heartland Outdoor