Shed Antler Hunting - Part II

Techniques For Finding ShedsA new shed antler search technique is getting even more people involved in this non-consumptive sport. The...
Techniques For Finding ShedsA new shed antler search technique is getting even more people involved in this non-consumptive sport. The technique, called the “shed drive,” is similar to the deer drive hunting technique so popular in the Midwest. The shed drive involves organizing your partners in a line with each member evenly spaced across the line at the edge of the area to be searched. Drive members then walk through the area, picking up sheds along the way, until everyone...
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Shed Antler Hunting - Part I

As soon as I noticed the sun glare off the tip of the antler tine, I knew which buck had...
As soon as I noticed the sun glare off the tip of the antler tine, I knew which buck had shed the antler that lay on the deer trail in front of me. It was the right side shed antler from a buck I had passed the previous fall with bow and arrow in hand, as well as a buck for which we had dozens of trail camera photos. He was the largest buck on our Iowa property that we...
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What is EHD/Blue Tongue?

Last fall I returned from a deer hunt in SW North Dakota where we were filming for Bucks of Tecomate....
Last fall I returned from a deer hunt in SW North Dakota where we were filming for Bucks of Tecomate. The location I was hunting had been hit the year before by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and unknown to me I was going to be in for a crash course in what this fatal disease is. Although many people refer to EHD as Blue Tongue, it’s important to realize these two diseases are anti-genetically different. Very similar clinical signs but...
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WHERE ARE YOUR ODDS BEST FOR KILLING A BOONE & CROCK...

We had just rounded a curve on the ranch road when we noticed, at the same time, a huge-framed buck...
We had just rounded a curve on the ranch road when we noticed, at the same time, a huge-framed buck crossing a prickly pear flat only 50 yards from our truck. I slammed on the brakes and we both scrambled for the binoculars. The big buck didn’t miss a step and continued walking, almost nonchalantly, at an angle away from us. We watched the buck walk the entire 150 yards to the brush line on the other side of the...
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Potential Selective Harvest Criteria for Adult, Male...

Mickey W. Hellickson, David G. Hewitt, and Fred C. BryantThe practice of selectively harvesting inferior-antlered, middle-age and older bucks has...
Mickey W. Hellickson, David G. Hewitt, and Fred C. BryantThe practice of selectively harvesting inferior-antlered, middle-age and older bucks has become popular. Criteria are often established based on age and antler points. However, no research on wild deer has been conducted to determine the appropriateness of these harvest criteria. Our objective is to randomly capture and measure >500 bucks annually on 5 areas to estimate age, count points, and determine gross Boone & Crockett Club (GBC) score. Capture data will...
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Deer Stocking and the TTT Program - Part II

How Well Do Stocked Deer Survive?Overall, 34 of the 47 translocated deer (72 percent) survived at least one year after...
How Well Do Stocked Deer Survive?Overall, 34 of the 47 translocated deer (72 percent) survived at least one year after the release. However, bucks involved in Study Two survived better than the deer stocked during Study One. Fourteen of 22 deer (64 percent) survived at least one year during Study One compared to 20 of 25 bucks (80 percent) that survived at least one year during Study Two.The deer translocated during Study One were moved 5-7 times further than the...
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Deer Stocking and the TTT Program - Part I

Deer Stocking HistoryAround 1900, the white-tailed deer population in the U.S. reached an all-time low at less than 500,000 animals....
Deer Stocking HistoryAround 1900, the white-tailed deer population in the U.S. reached an all-time low at less than 500,000 animals. In fact, deer were essentially extinct in many states and existed only in very remote areas of other states. As a result, most states closed the hunting season. Deer populations however, were slow to rebuild on their own.In order to augment this natural rebuilding process, several states began actively stocking live-captured wild deer from areas of excess. These captured deer...
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High Fences: Compliment or Curse? - Part II

In the Part I, I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of high fencing your property for management purposes. In Part...
In the Part I, I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of high fencing your property for management purposes. In Part II, I will examine the negative effects of building your high fence against existing low fence and deer population explosion.Don’t Build Against Existing Low Fence!During the middle of my Ph.D. research project examining the movements of 125 radio-collared bucks, the landowner had a new high fence constructed along two boundaries of my study area. This new high fence was built...
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Be There When It’s Happening!

How many stories have you read in outdoor magazines over the years that say something like, “Unraveling The Mysteries of...
How many stories have you read in outdoor magazines over the years that say something like, “Unraveling The Mysteries of The Rut?” Why do we call it a mystery and why does it have to be unraveled? Okay, I’ll admit there are some mysterious aspects of the rut. For instance, bucks oftentimes seem to disappear for days at a time in late October during time that is often referred to as the “October lull.” This disappearing act usually occurs in...
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Herd Management

One on the first and foremost goals of deer management is to restore out-of-whack herds to proper balance. There are...
One on the first and foremost goals of deer management is to restore out-of-whack herds to proper balance. There are several keys to doing this, and today, we’re going to look at some of them.A common ill of unbalanced herds is the lack of older bucks. Biologists would say the herd has a poor buck age structure. We hunters would just call it sorry hunting. Ideally, bucks of all ages should be present in a herd, but that’s seldom the...
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Antlers

The Antler CycleAntlers - there is something magical and mystical about deer antlers. Part of their allure is that every...
The Antler CycleAntlers - there is something magical and mystical about deer antlers. Part of their allure is that every antler is different and unique. However, our fascination with deer antlers has its roots deep in our psyche, from our ancestors, who have hunted antlered game since man’s existence. Our ancestors used antlers for tools and in religious ceremonies. Today, we are still captivated by antlers.How antlers grow and why they are shed each year is a source of wonder...
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Seeing is Believing

Would you like to determine how many deer live on the property you hunt or own? Or how many big...
Would you like to determine how many deer live on the property you hunt or own? Or how many big bucks are roaming around? Trying this deer survey method will help you achieve both goals.WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SURVEY DEER HERDS?In order to manage your deer herd efficiently and effectively, it’s important to know about your deer population. It is especially important to be able to estimate population size and determine the trend (increasing, decreasing, or stable) in the...
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