September is upon us here in The Show-Me State. There’s just a bit of crisp in the air in the mornings and days are getting shorter. Not to mention football is back! But with the changing of seasons comes a Missouri deer hunters prime time. The rut will be upon us in a few short weeks. Bucks in my neck of the woods are starting to split up bachelor groups and isolate themselves. Proof that the wild storm that is the whitetail rut is brewing.
Last year I wrote on rut predictions that were heavily dependent on the moon phases. These predictions are brought to us by Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine’s Charles Alsheimer. He’s released his rut prediction again for this fall and it’s a much different rut prediction from last fall’s. Alsheimer’s prediction this year is predicting a much later rut. The “rutting moon” as it’s called is said to hit on November 17th this year. With peak rutting activity predicted to be seen from November 14th to the 25th. He has also predicted a “trickle rut”, much like that of 2010. The definition of a trickle rut is a rut that has no true high point. There are highs and lows, but no ultimate date that the most rutting activity will occur. I could go into so much more detail on Charles predictions for this year, but for my sanity I won’t.
Personally, I’ve had it with all these predictions by hunting magazines. They are never consistent with the actual rut that fall (at least in my area of the country). Instead I’m going to tell you my own personal rut prediction for this fall, you ready for it? IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN! Bucks are going to establish territories, chase does, and breed those does. Simple as that. The best way to hunt my prediction is even simpler, BE IN THE WOODS as much as possible and hunt everyday you can for the month of November. Ask any successful trophy hunter and that’s the first thing they’ll tell you. They hunt every day possible. Now I realize folks work and have lives; me personally I’m a full-time college student an hour and a half away from the property I hunt. So for the majority of people, you can’t hunt every single day of November. But hopefully you understand what I’m getting at. Hunt as much as possible. The deer are gonna be out there, and they’re gonna be moving. Only way to know if you’ll get that trophy is if you’re 20 feet in a tree.
Good news is the deer out there most likely will be the same deer you saw all summer scouting too. A 2010 study published in the International Journal of Ecology tells of how bucks didn’t enlarge their home ranges during the rut, they only increased their movements in those home ranges during the rut. The study also showed the bucks remained most active at dawn and twilight. It showed that moon phase had no influence on deer behavior or movement. The only factor that had any influence was change in temperature and climate. If your scouting showed great potential in the summer. Odds are those bucks are still in the area. Only thing you need to do is be in the woods with them.
With an increase in movement during the rut in a mature bucks home range. The best way to have an encounter with that buck is the set up in travel corridors or pinch points. High traffic areas are, in my opinion, the best way to bring home a trophy. Mapping out a pinch point between a food resource and bedding area is the best travel corridor in the book. You need to hunt what a whitetail is after, before you can hunt whitetails. Food is still the number one thing on a whitetail’s mind, everyday of the year. Just make sure you have a safe entry and exit point to a stand in a corridor, to keep from kicking up deer that might be meeting you as you come in. I’ve had some of the best hunts in travel corridors during the rut. I highly recommend sitting in the stand all day in these situations. You won’t be disappointed.
Rut predictions to me are a dime a dozen. They all tell the same story. The rut WILL happen. Yes, they are great debating points and give some insight. But to keep you from investing all your chips on a one or two day window, I recommend you avoid them. That way you save yourself from major disappointment in the end.
Like always the best way to success is preparation. Through hard work, scouting, and being prepared to execute. Those are the keys to success in November. If you have those locked down, you should be just fine in the deer hunters prime time.
Good Hunting Folks!
Wow, it’s been almost a year since I started this blog and just as long since my last post. I apologize for my absence from my blog and anyone who reads it. As a full time college student I had priorities after deer season ended last year. After school I got wrapped up in my summer job and other things that seem to make life fly by. But in all of the clutter I never seem to wander from my thoughts and ideas for the up coming deer season. I’ve had a little free time and I decided to bring up the blog and share how my offseason has gone.
First off I’d like to share how the Pinch Point Plot worked out. It turns out it didn’t work out at all, life has a funny way of doing that to you. But turns out to cut an entire acre square of timber down would be extremely difficult and detrimental to the property I hunt. It was a good plan, it just seems I aimed a little to high with my resources I have access too.
The outcome of having to change food plot ideas has been just as exciting though. I found a spot about 100 yards to the east of one of my stands last fall that I had a lot of success with, and was able to see a bunch of interesting deer activity. This new spot was a cleared out area that came from the water plant doing test drilling for wells. This particular spot was not ideal for a well, but it is shaping up to be a great secluded plot to hunt come fall.
After a week full of brush clearing and weed eating, I was able to get my mothers tiller in and till the soil up and a day later I sewed Frigid Forage Big n Beasty brassicas in the whole area.
I think this plot could be a huge success. It sits in the timber that seems to be a huge travel corridor for the deer. Travel corridors seem to be my favorite things to hunt here the past few years. i just feel it increases your odds of getting on a buck that is trying to stay secluded while cruising For does. There’s really two access points to this plot so I know exactly where the deer will be going and coming from. It also it completely surrounded by timber which could allow for a lot of daytime activity. The deer could move into the plot without feeling threatened. It’s got a lot of potential.
I’ve gotten a stand set up of the east side of the plot and hope to start hunting it after the first couple frosts hit. I’ll hopefully keep you posted as the season comes.
I’d like to give a little hint into my next post which will probably come tomorrow sometime. Earlier in the week I was able to check my trail cams. I’m pleased to tell you the cooler than normal August we’re having in MO is getting some MONSTER bucks moving and on camera. I’ve got 4 hit list bucks to share with you and I can’t wait to tell you how I plan to hunt them.
Good Hunting Folks!
I’ve been looking up some stuff on deer pee. I got curious one night on which brand was “the best”. Dug up some interesting stuff. These mass produced urines sit on the shelf in a store for a long time before they are purchased. They start to break down, turning rancid and becoming blackish in color. Alcohol or some other type of preservative is added to try and keep the urine fresh. The urine is spoiling on the shelf and will not fool a mature, rutting Whitetail. But the ad says “Collected from a single doe during the peak of the rut.” This leads the buyer to believe that this urine is fresh and full of pheromones – not so. Can you imagine how many does would have to be available for collection during the 24 hour peak of estrous? This is simply not possible. There’s millions of little bottles of doe pee sitting on the shelves of American stores. do you really think there’s that many does on deer farms across the US to fill all those bottles. Anyways…
What are pheromones? Pheromones are a live product that are secreted from the doe, which signal to the buck that she is ready to be bred at the time of ovulation. The buck can detect pheromones when he does a flaming curl. A flaming curl forces the air that the buck inhales into smaller passages in his naval cavity, an area where the live pheromones can be detected by the buck. When a buck smells live pheromones, he will do whatever he can to get near the doe in estrous.
When a buck is looking for a doe in estrous, he is first looking for a good amount of doe urine. Does do urinate a lot more when in estrous. Once the buck finds a doe urinating frequently, he goes to the spot of heavy urination, puts his nose into the puddle and inhales deeply. Then, doing a flaming curl, he is able to determine if the doe is ready to stand for breeding. If you are using a 1.5 ounce bottle of old, rancid urine you are fooling no one. The urine is not fresh and you are not using enough to simulate a doe in estrous. Therefore probably not filling your tag with a mature trophy buck.
You see when you walk past a pizza shop, what do you smell? Pizza. What does a deer smell? He smells tomatoes, peperoni, the seasoning on the peperoni, cheese, the flour used in the dough, etc. You get my point. We as hunters all know that deer have an excellent sense of smell. But most hunter don’t know how good it really is. You see deer have about 296 million receptors in their nose. As opposed to a dog with 220 million and humans with 5-6 million. So when you put that little bottle of doe pee on a scrape this fall. What do you think a buck is gonna smell? He’s gonna smell the little drop of 100% doe pee yes, but he’s gonna also smell the preservatives added as well.
There’s been a few people looking into this problem and there’s been some advances that might actually just work. The biggest I could find was deer farmers collecting the pee and immediately freezing it. This stops the break down of the pee and the reproduction of bacteria in the pee. Which causes it to smell like ammonia and extremely unnatural. But it also preserves the pheromones. Which when a deer smells something unnatural we all know they avoid that area or book it in the other direction. The only problem I see with this natural frozen product. Is that I don’t think there’s enough supply to keep up with today’s demanding hunting industry.
Another advancement that has been around for quite a few years is the product Buck Bomb. I myself have actually had success with this product. If you don’t know it’s an aerosol can of all natural doe urine. The sealed off can keeps the urine from coming in contact with fresh air and causing the urine to spoil. You can lock the spray nozzle down and cover a lot of area, along with misting the air with the scent. Or spray it here and there. It’s a reliable product that I’d recommend for hunters on a budget. They have a wide variety of deer urines to use from pre-rut into the rut.
I just thought I’d bring this info up to you guys. Way I figure it, deer hunting is a sport of odds. The more you’re in the woods the better odds you have. The better prepared you are for your hunt and the more you actually know about deer from a biological stand point you increase your odds even more.
Last fall I made the decision to save up and make a large purchase this summer. But before I tell you about my new Hoyt, I wanna give a little history on how this bow has resurrected my passion for bow hunting.
I had spent last summer bow fishing on the Little Blue River, doing what I could to put a dent in the Asian carp population. Getting back into drawing a bow back fired me back up on archery. You see in my younger years I maybe went bow hunting 10 times and shot once, missing a small 8 pointer. It left a bad taste in my mouth and I decided to just continuing competitive archery on my YHEC team instead of chasing Whitetails. But last fall, I really was fed up with how rifle season had been going on my property (an entirely different story, which I might share some other time). So I made a promise to myself to get back into getting serious about bow hunting again. I did my research and looked at every bow almost on the market. You see I had an old Browning bow I had bought when I turned 16, it’s max draw weight was 45lbs and it’s draw length couldn’t get much more than 24 inches. It was perfect for all the bow fishing I was doing, something I could be a little rough on. The worst part about this bow is when released, it’s about as loud as my 30/30. I absolutely hated that. That’s when I made my mind up I wanted a big boy bow. I’m 21 now with the potential to draw back 70lbs consistently and a draw length of 27.5 inches. Clearly I had out grow this Browning. I finally settled on a bow that I thought I would like after watching Bill Winke talk a little bit about his Hoyt Carbon Element on his Semi-Live web show Midwest Whitetails. I looked into the Hoyt brand a little deeper. With a thin stretched budget already I decided I wanted quality but not top notch. So I decided on the Hoyt Vector 32. I spent nearly 9 months saving for this bow (over half came from my per diem from traveling with the MIZZOU Football team for their bowl game while I was a Student Assistant for them and some winnings at the casino in Shreveport, LA). But in July I went one Saturday to Rogers Sporting Goods in Liberty MO to purchase what I so patiently waited for.
First thing I will say about this bow, it is slick! The design is flawless, and it’s a beautiful piece of equipment. It comes in multiple colors; but I went the traditional route with the Realtree Camo pattern. The draw weight I bought was the 55-65lbs draw weight, which wasn’t what I originally wanted. But the technician was able to get her up to 67lbs, so I’m a happy camper. The main thing I was out for was a quiet and extremely fast bow. After I had shot mine a few times I had realized why Outdoor Life made this bow it’s Editors Choice for 2012! It hardly makes a sound when released, with all the dampening equipment on it, it’d be hard to be very loud. But that was just the beginning. On Hoyt’s website they list the FPS (feet per second) at a whopping 330! Now we all know a bow isn’t going to reach that actual potential, (mostly because thats an ATA measured bow) but mine clocked in at 302 FPS in the shop. Which beats the 250 FPS of my old Browning. This is achieved with the amazing RKT Cam its equipped with. This new cam is simply awesome! With not to many advances in the archery industry lately, this piece of equipment is what I believe is going to really put Hoyt above the rest of the competition in the next few years. Yes and I even mean Mathews.
After I got it sighted in and got my form/technique back down my shots at 30 and 35 yards seem like line drives to the target, I have trouble seeing any arch in my shot at all. There’s no change between 10 and 20 yards, so I just use those two distances on my first pin. Not to mention it drills these arrows into the target. I’m extremely excited to see what it can do on the hide of a deer.
As a summary I’d like to just say that this bow was worth every penny. I can’t wait to get to the woods this fall and let some arrows fly. I know I’ll bring home some venison because I am fully confident in this piece of equipment. Something that lacked in my last bow. I know if I’m confident in it then I’ll have no problems EVER in the woods. The motto Hoyt carries “Get serious. Get Hoyt.” is so true. I recommend any of their products or bows.