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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One of the best ways to improve your chances for a mature buck as deer season winds down is to eliminate tactical mistakes. More often than not, those mistakes are a matter of neglecting important opportunities, rather than actually committing errors. Avoid these seven common late deer season mistakes, and your chances of scoring should improve dramatically as the last few weeks of deer hunting wind down. It’s a mistake to overlook scrapes during the late hunting season. Bucks want to leave their calling cards 7 to 14 days after the main rut to attract the last few does that…
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The crowds of deer hunters are gone and the woods are again silent—and that terrain suddenly appears barren to most hunters. You’ve got an unfilled deer tag in your pocket, and you’d like to fill it. The clock is ticking and your hours of opportunity are shrinking. What will you do? Taking a big buck during the home stretch of deer hunting season is sure to make you, and your taxidermist, very happy. Be positive—and think. There are still deer out there—somewhere. You need to determine where they are, what they are doing, and then make a plan that will…
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From the time humans started hunting for food, they have been improving technology to increase their chance of success.  We each develop our own creed as to what works for us. A Garmin handheld GPS device and HuntingGPSMap chips by OnXMaps can give hunters a huge advantage in finding out-of-the-way public hunting lands, especially when there’s private land nearby that hunters must navigate around. As a general rule, if it increases the likelihood I will make a better shot, resulting in a quicker kill, I am going to look into it.  That is not to be confused with the notion…
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Stop Shouting At Your Hunting Dog!

Sunday, November 16 2014 7:00 pm - for Hunting Dogs
Dog Training Tips Minus the Drama   Hunters who try to control their dog’s every move by shouting commands end up confusing the dog and setting it up for failure. Instead, allow a young dog to work out its own mistakes, and it will build confidence from the experience. It was the first time I sat in a duck blind with the guy. A stranger to me, he wanted to impress the rest of us with his tales of expensive guns and impressive shots. My guard went up when he began barking senseless commands at his high-dollar yellow Labrador as…
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