After enduring months of hunting pressure on sprawling lakes, bays and sounds, there’s nothing a late-season duck wants more than a quiet, secluded spot to hide out. Small, neglected potholes and ponds are magnets for January ducks and hotspots for the hunter who takes the time to locate these gems. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates there’s a pond within ten miles of 80 percent of the U.S. population. You can locate these mini-duck habitats in several ways. Simply driving backcountry roads and stopping to talk with farmers or mail carriers can yield great results. Topographic maps and Google…
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Some of the best meals I’ve ever had were at hunting camp.  Whether we have the luxury of a full kitchen or are working directly over a hot fire, there’s something special about the aroma of a good meal after a long day in the field.  Indulging in a hearty second helping may be permissible on a weekend hunt, but my calendar calls for a little more self-control. My work schedule entails being on the road filming and hunting for 200+ days of the year, which requires finding ways to stay fit and healthy in a world where diet can…
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If you’re like me, you detest the thought of going to the gym. The only thing that’s worse is paying the outrageous monthly fees. I tried this once and felt more guilt than good health from my membership’s lack of use. Rural living can make it even more difficult to access a fitness center.  Being an avid outdoorsman, I am proud to say that the nearest elliptical machine is no less than 25 miles away. Regardless of this handicap, I still manage to stay in shape with a few easy, and rather fun, cardio and muscular workouts.    A little…
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On an evening just after a full moon I sat overlooking a lush food plot.  The field was full of familiar greenery, complete with strips of corn running right down the middle. Suddenly a doe burst from the cover to my left. By instinct I grabbed my rifle. Sure enough, ten seconds later he was there.  As the last light faded I clicked off the safety and brought an end to my four-year drought. Passing on younger bucks and providing the right food sources can lead to more mature animals on your property. When my family purchased our property in…
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The memory, much like the ice that was hanging from my moustache that day, remains crystal clear. I had been sitting in that treestand for several hours in late December during the most bitter winter conditions I have ever bowhunted in. Blowing snow, high winds and frigid temperatures conspired to make even this Canadian boy start to question if it was time to find warmth. At the time, I was using a 67-pound compound bow with a 50 percent let-off.  During normal practice sessions, I could draw that bow hundreds of times without any great loss in accuracy. But when…
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At least when you see the white flag you know you’ve messed up. Think about how many bucks you didn’t see while hunting a bad wind. How many times throughout your deer-hunting career have you had a deer blow at you because you hunted a treestand with a bad wind? We all have. Summer scouting reveals a nice buck is cruising that food plot down on the back forty, and without another thought we’re there on opening morning, and likely that afternoon, and then day after day to no avail. Paying no mind to wind direction has spoiled more hunts…
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Those facing crowded conditions when deer hunting are always searching for secluded, overlooked spots. I’ve found a few such overlooked gems over the years. One such place you may not think of is an island. Islands are tough to access and often a safe-haven for late season bucks.  Perfect your setup, disturb the peace, and enjoy a victorious paddle back to the mainland. People tend to ignore these spots because they are difficult to access, but they can really provide top notch hunting. First, herds are often strong. The lack of pressure sometimes makes island deer less wary than mainland…
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Last week, I arrowed a nice little buck, and I’m happy to say the bowhunting factors I always go on about came together resulting in a quick and clean kill. First, I waited for the right shot angle (broadside, but slightly angled away) before releasing my arrow at a relaxed, unsuspecting animal. Next, my aim was true and the razor-sharp broadhead sliced effortlessly through both lungs before burying the arrow to the fletches 10 yards past where the animal stood.   Climbing down from your deer stand or making a lot of noise right after the shot can mean a…
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Deer hunters who live outside of those traditional big buck states or provinces must think creatively when it comes to locating a 150-inch plus trophy. An old homestead may look abandoned but may actually be visited by behemoth bucks in search of cover and forage. Even in today’s world of quality deer management, with the many great food plot mixes and minerals and other factors that help produce big bucks, it is still difficult to harvest a buck 150-inches or better. The world of whitetail deer hunting is full of myths and mysteries, but I once heard that only 1…
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We’re told in countless articles and blogs to deer hunt near doe groups as the rut approaches. But the real key to success is to find the right doe group. You can tell when does are in estrous. They become more edgy, often looking back over their shoulders. And their tails may stick straight out or be crooked to the side. Different clusters of does, even in a small hunting area, can cycle at slightly different times. If they didn’t, the main estrous period would last about 1½ days, instead of 7 to 10 days. By finding a doe group…
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