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  • April 30, 2010

    Hurteau: Buck Scoring Contest, Round II

    By Dave Hurteau

    Okay, folks, here is the second buck in our rack-scoring contest. (Click here if you missed the first one.) Our theme is F&S bucks. Ever-modest Contributing Editor and “Whitetails” columnist Scott Bestul was too well raised to reveal to you the score of this toad when, last October, he posted its picture here and told the story of how he arrowed it. He did, however, let its score slip to me. (I’m always telling Scott he’s too trusting.) So. . .

  • April 29, 2010

    Whitetail Headlines of the Week

  • April 28, 2010

    Open Fire: QDMA’s Kip Adams Answers Your Questions (Part II)

    By Dave Hurteau

    I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting Kip Adam’s answers to your questions about QDM and the QDMA, and here they are—in spades. I originally planned to have Kip answer about half a dozen of the best queries, to keep it manageable. But he took it upon himself to respond to many more, and in greater detail, than I would have dared to ask. Kip posted his answers in the comments section of the previous post, but I wanted to make sure none of you missed them. So I’m posting them here, too.

    You may agree with what Kip has to say or not. His answers might even change your mind. But in any case, let’s thank Kip for taking the time to do us this favor.

    All right, here we go:

  • April 26, 2010

    Hurteau: Feds Drop “Deer Commander” Case After Supreme Court Ruling

    By Dave Hurteau

    Last week, the Supreme court struck down the Depictions of Animal Cruelty Act, a law that too-broadly prohibited trafficking in materials that depicts living animals being “intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed.” (See previous coverage.) The ruling prevents antis from citing the law to attack hunting shows. And that’s great. But it has also forced federal officials to drop their case against the now-famous “Deer Commander.”

    From an AP story via the First Amendment Center:

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Stevens has forced federal prosecutors to drop charges against an Illinois man who sold videos of himself running over deer with his reinforced pickup truck….

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that [Jarrod] Hayn, a former Illinois Department of Corrections officer, boasted on the video "Deer Commander: Sudden Impact" that he had killed more than 300 deer with his 1985 Dodge Ram….

  • April 23, 2010

    Hurteau: Score More Bucks, Win A Bear Attack Bow

    By Dave Hurteau

    Buddyboy25 won our last rack-scoring contest and walked away with a brand new bow. And that’s great. But the rest of you walked away with nothing. And we—who are always thinking of you—just can’t stand it.

    So we’re giving you another chance, and we have another great bow to give away. The Attack is Bear Archery’s brand new flagship model for 2010, boasting a top IBO speed of 340 fps, a 31-inch axle-to-axle length, a 7-inch brace height, and a retail price of $749.99. And it too can be yours. All you have to do is score some more bucks.

  • April 22, 2010

    Hurteau: Color A Buck With Your Kids

    By Dave Hurteau

    With deer season still months away, what’s a whitetail nut to do? You can work on food plots, of course, or hang some spring stands, but that’s nothing but work. Coloring, on the other hand, is always good, clean fun—and it improves you fine motor skills, which could come in handy next time a buck walks into bow range and your fingers start trembling. I’m a little embarrassed to show you my own art work, but my 4-year-old daughter and her friends don’t mind.

  • April 21, 2010

    Open Fire: QDMA’s Kip Adams Answers Your Questions

    By Dave Hurteau

    APR may be the three most controversial letters in deer hunting, judging by Scott Bestul’s last post. If not, they’re probably QDM. There’s no question that quality deer management has changed the face of deer hunting over the last couple of decades. But there are plenty of other questions:

    Is QDM good for deer hunting?
    Is it really all about big bucks, and nothing else?
    Is it realistic for the average hunter?
    What precisely is QDM?
    What is it not?  

    I suspect you have plenty of your own questions, and graciously agreeing to sit in the hot seat and answer them is Kip Adams, Northern Director of Education and Outreach with the Quality Deer Management Association’s (  An avid hunter and certified wildlife biologist, Adams has a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Penn State University and an M.S. in Wildlife from the University of New Hampshire.

  • April 16, 2010

    Shoot Me Down: Antler Point Restrictions Make Sense

    By Scott Bestul

    In my April “Whitetails” column, I argued that antler point restrictions (APR’s) constitute sound deer management. For those who read to the end of the column, I promised a chance to respond in this space. So here it is. I’m inviting you to chime in with your thoughts on APR’s in the popular “Shoot Me Down” format invented by my colleague Dave Hurteau.

    For those who didn’t read the column, here’s a brief summary of why I support APR’s.

    • Better herd balance: Under many traditional deer management models, hunting pressure is focused on young bucks. This allowed game agencies to host a deer season while still growing the herd. Encouraging the whitetail population is no longer the goal in most states. APR’s typically take pressure off young bucks and place it on does. This has the double-bang effect of reducing populations and achieving a more balanced buck/doe ratio.

  • April 15, 2010

    Hurteau: Do Bucks Have Personalities?

    By Dave Hurteau

    There’s a friendly battle that goes on between whitetail experts and writers who interview them. We, the writers, want concrete answers and hard, fast rules—because these make for better headlines: “5 Ways Big Bucks Are Different” or “3 Secret Surefire Strategies.” On the flip side, experts tend to start every answer with, “Well, it depends. . . .” And they’re not just covering their @$$-S. That is to say, they are covering their @$$-s, but that’s not all they’re doing. More and more, part of what seems to be behind this waffling is an increasingly popular notion that whitetail bucks are individuals with individual—brace yourself—personalities.

    Now, I think it’s fair to say that hunters have historically cringed at anything smacking of anthropomorphism. And the word “personality,” when applied to an animal, seems to smack pretty hard. Yet I increasingly hear it applied to big bucks by people who know big bucks best. Then I read this form The New York Times:

  • April 14, 2010

    Hurteau: Turkey Hunters Are Smarter Than Deer Hunters

    By Dave Hurteau

    Actually, they are just more educated, but that doesn’t make as good a headline. Besides you’d never know they were better schooled judging by how well all you deer hunters did on this little quiz. As a group, you got only one wrong. Here are the answers, according to data taken from the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2009-2010 Industry Reference Guide (available at

    [1] How old is the average deer hunter? Fifty-seven percent of you said 43.3 and that is correct. You know, I’d bet that the average small game hunter was significantly younger than the average deer hunter back when I was kid. Not any more. According to the survey, they are both a tad over 43 years old. The youngest are fox hunters, at 37.5.

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