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Deer Scents and the Nuttiness Behind Them

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.

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Poor Boy Deer Feeder

As cost of feeding products rise, it’s tough for a college student on a budget to dedicate a lot of money and resources to a feeding program. While discouraging, it shouldn’t stop hunters like me from enjoying their season and providing for their herd.

Implementing a Shoe String Budget Whitetail Deer Feeding Program

Rather than purchasing an expensive deer feeder that runs on batteries and wipes your behind, you can build your own using the following supplies:

-10’ section of 3” or 4” PVC Pipe. The 4” will hold more feed/corn and require fewer refills.
-PVC Cement.
-90 degree elbow, needs to match your PVC Pipe.
Slip cap for your appropriate sized pipe. Do NOT use a screw cap.
Zip ties or bungee cords, long enough to reach around your feeder and the tree.
1) Take the 10′ piece and cut it in half. You now have two 5′ sections.

2) Cut 1′ off of each 5′ piece. This will be used for your tray section.

3) Glue one of your 90 degree elbow’ to the end of your 5′ section of pipe.

4) Glue your 1′ piece of pipe into your 90 degree elbow.

5) It’s best to lay your pipe and elbow section on a stable, flat surface such as picnic table. Using a small handsaw or hacksaw, cut your 1′ piece of pipe in half starting at the end of the pipe cutting back towards your 90 degree elbow.

Once you reach your elbow, stand your 5′ pipe and elbow section upright. Cut your 1′ section straight down until it intersects with your previous cut. The top half of your 1′ section can now be removed. The remaining portion attached to your 90 degree elbow will be your feeder tray.

*Note – You don’t want to cut your 1′ pipe section in half before gluing it into your 90 degree elbow. This doesn’t allow for proper adhesion to the elbow. The deer will knock the 1′ section off the feeder, draining it of your corn/feed.

6) Place your slip cap on the bottom of your feeder. The cap simply prevents the corn from pouring out on the ground while filling the feeder. Finish by filling with corn/feed, leaving a small space at the top of the pipe.

I also hope to implement the product Grow The Bone (source where I got this feeder idea), in with this feeding routine. By mixing small amounts into the corn/feed it should attract the deer to the feeder, as well as provide a mineral supplement with the feed.

Trail Cam (Backyard)

This buck is from my backyard. Granted these pics are from my backyard and he’s a completely nocturnal buck. Which pretty much makes him impossible to see in day light. His bedding area in about a half a mile to the east of my house.

Note: these pics are from July of 08, and I haven’t seen him on any pics since. Little worried… Hope a four wheel rifle didn’t take him out on BB Hwy. But I know a mature deer in a low pressure hunting area, with ample resources can live to be 8 or 9 years old.

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I’d love to take this guy, but he’s become almost like a pet. Maybe one day.

Keeping The Faith

We all get down every once in a while. The hunt didn’t go as expected, you got busted, or worst of all you missed your target. It’s part of hunting and part of the lesson that hunting teaches us. You show me an outdoorsman that’s never had a bad day and I’ll show you a big fat liar. Deer season is a long one. From September to January here in Missouri, it puts a toll on a hunters attitude. The most important piece of equipment any hunter can have during a long season is a positive mental attitude. Hands down this is the most crucial aspect to remember when in the stand or blind. You can never think negative thoughts while hunting, it just never does you any good. As soon as you start thinking negative, you start to wear on your patience and eventually you’ll just wanna quit. Yes, even the pros have days they wish they didn’t, and as much hunting as they do it’s not an “if” but a “when” for them. They had to start somewhere, and I can guarantee they didn’t get to where they are now by letting a bad day in the woods bring them down. If sitting in the woods by myself has taught me anything it’s to hunt as legally long as possible. In hunting things can happen so fast. That’s something my father has helped me see through the years. When we used to sit in a stand together, it seemed like he had this magical power that he knew we should sit for just 5 more minutes. Sometimes we’d sit till after dark and just watch the deer for as long as we could. Cause you really never know what can happen. We all know deer can materialize out of no where, and your season can change in seconds. But to be successful like that and to solidify the possibility of a good hunt you just gotta stay positive. Even when you’re just sitting in the stand, keep happy thoughts running through your head. Yeah just like Chubs said in Happy Gilmore,”Go to your own happy place.”. It will keep your moral up and positive, and you’ll run the chances of having a good hunt; dead deer or not.

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This buck I shot 4 years ago while I was still in high school. But after sitting out most of archery season and a portion of rifle season because of high school football. I had no idea I’d shoot something like this. I had figured since I hadn’t scouted in months and wouldn’t see anything. The first morning I decided to just go sit (due to some encouragement from my father) this beautiful 8 pointer stepped out and just like that my attitude changed. Just goes to show how unpredictable hunting is and how keeping an open mind when in the stand can make the experience so much better.

Hoyt Vector 32 Review

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My Master Plan

So first I’d like to say I’m sorry for saying I would post and then not. Being a college student I have some higher priorities sometimes, and this week that was an organic chemistry exam. So once again I apologize.

Now back to the topic of the post. This coming January I’m implementing an enormous project on the property I hunt. I’m going to give a brief overview of the entire plan itself and then give the details of what I’m calling “Phase 1” of this project, which will get started in January. So here we go.

My master plan is an overall project to raise the health of the deer herd not only on the property, but in the entire area. As we all know deer have a much larger home range than we would like them too, and most deer don’t stay inside our property lines. So not only am I trying to draw deer onto my property, but raise the health of the deer that venture off the property as well. Through proper planting of food plots, mineral intake, and feeding. I hope to accomplish my goal.

In “Phase 1” of this project. I’ll take part in living my small dream of being a lumber jack. I’ll be clearing the boundaries of the locations I’ve selected for my food plots, reshaping openings, and creating possible enter/exit points for deer. But these are just teasers to this part of the project. The part I’m most excited about is what I’m calling my “Pinch Point Plot”. I’ve selected a 1 acre square wooded lot. I plan to cut and mow down anything that stands taller than 3 inches! Then with the help of a Bobcat Loader, I’m going to push all the brush to the perimeter of the plot. Hopefully blocking any access points except for the North corner of the plot, I’ll leave a 15-20 yard opening in this corner. By doing this I hope to create only one access point to this plot, my pinch point. At the North corner I’m going to open up a 20 yard or so clearing to put stands on, that’s where I’ll hopefully be able to catch anything that travels in and out of this plot. Going north from that opening I’ll blaze a trail to the field opening about 100 yards long, just as insurance to funnel the deer into the plot more. But that’s the biggest part of “Phase 1” that I’m excited for.

By creating this pinch point plot, I hope to raise the amount of deer I see on a hunt. But at the same time, there’s a method behind my madness. See in the peak of the rut, mature bucks don’t just go barging out into the open. They’ll scent check a field on the downwind side, and if there’s a estrus doe in that field they’ll come out. But hopefully with my barrier that I’ll be creating on the edge of the plot. The only access point will be that north corner, and that’s where I’ll be sitting with my Hoyt Vector to stop anything that gets my blood pumping. Now you might be asking, “How can you be sure does will be in that plot?”. Well with proper plot management I hope to tackle that question. See my main food source I’ll be putting in the ground in the spring is going to be a chicory source. It’s a proven perennial that I won’t have to replant every spring, as long as I take care of it in the summer months. But as it begins to fade away in the fall (not entirely), the deer will look for new sources. That’s where once again the pinch point plot comes into play. Sure in the spring I’ll put out a clover source or something in that plot, just to keep something in the ground there. But in the last few weeks of July I’ll turn that clover over, allow for the nitrogen to return to the soil and let it sit for a few weeks. Then towards the end of August I’ll plant a fall and winter favorite to Whitetails, brassicas! These will provide more than enough food for the autumn and winter months. This is what I hope to be the key ingredient to the pinch point plot. Increasing doe traffic in the fall and hopefully increasing the buck traffic as well.

Below I’ve posted rough google earth sketches of these plans.

To wrap it up that’s just the beginning of my plan. I’ll share more on the individual plots and my other plans as I continue this blog. Along with some of the products I’ll use, and reviews of these products. Thanks again for your time and reading my blog.

Happy Hunting Folks!

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My Deer Herd Future… In Plain Sight

My Deer Herd Future... In Plain Sight

These two fawns I believe to be both bucks, or even just one of them is. Either way they’re the foundation of my new deer herd, and my future of hunting on my land. These two, along with another fawn (gender unknown). Are the start of my attempt to raise the overall health of my deer herd, and production of trophy class whitetails. I’ll be keeping you up to date and sharing the progress. Tomorrow I plan to post my in-season plans this year on hunting. Along with my plans to clear and plant plots, my feeding plan and schedule, and my mineral sites. Thanks for whoever reads this page and hopefully keeps up on my progress.