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  • November 29, 2012

    Deer Hunting Tip: Remember to Hunt Near Water During the Rut

    By Scott Bestul

    As most of you know, I recently hosted Hurteau on an archery hunt, and although Dave did have a couple of those “if only” moments so common to bowhunting, he didn’t go home with a Minnesota whitetail. Since I was tagged out, I had the pleasure of shadowing him for much of the week. On the other hand, when you hunt with your editor, he makes you work. And so, between and during hunts, we put together a bunch of video tips.

  • November 28, 2012

    Pheasant Hunter Separates Locked Bucks by Hand

    By Scott Bestul

    We’ve shown a lot of folks separating locked buck on this site over the last few years. If you’ve been following along, you’ve seen folks saw antlers apart and shoot them apart. And, of course, you’ve seen and debated lethal method, in which at least one deer is killed by a hunter who assumes he’s doing something legal or has obtained warden permission beforehand.

    [Photos: Hunter Tags Locked Bucks]

    But I personally have never—until now—seen or heard of anyone separating a pair of locked bucks by hand. I’m not sure how the guy pulls this off without getting maimed in the process, but it’s a pretty fascinating video to watch. As the old warning goes: Folks, don’t try this at home.

  • November 26, 2012

    Mentoring 101: Understanding the Risks

    By Dave Hurteau

    All hunters have something important to share, and never before has it been more important for us to share it--with our kids, the neighbor’s kids, our nieces and nephews, anyone who wants in. But before you commit to mentoring a new hunter, you should understand that there are certain inherent risks, especially when dealing with the young…and fit.

    This summer I outfitted my nephew Jeremy with everything he’d need to hunt deer in the fall. I nagged him to get his hunter-safety certification and to buy his license and tags. I taught him to shoot, etc.

    After an exciting bow season, in which he didn’t get anything but had some close encounters, he joined my brother-in-law Geoff and me for our annual Thanksgiving rifle hunt. He saw three deer but couldn’t get a shot. At the end of the day, he got a little turned around, so he called Geoff's cell phone and described where he was. 

  • November 21, 2012

    Bowhunters: Don’t Aim Too Close to That Front Shoulder

    By Scott Bestul

    I hear a lot of deer hunting stories from fellow bowhunters. Inevitably, a small but notable percentage of them start like this: “I thought I hit him perfectly, right behind the shoulder….” Yet it turns out that the hunter couldn’t have hit the deer perfectly because he either failed to recover the animal or only found it after an arduous tracking job.

    I think bowhunters need to redefine the “perfect” shot, which has likely been influenced by the 3-D targets we use for practice. Most full-body deer targets sport a neat little 10-ring immediately behind the “animal’s” front elbow, over an area that would result in a heart-shot deer. Naturally, putting an arrow in a real buck here will kill him within seconds and probably within sight. 

  • November 19, 2012

    No Buck for Me, No Rack for You

    By Dave Hurteau

    Well, my efforts to give away a rack are foiled again. As you know, I spent last week bowhunting with Bestul on his home stomping grounds in southeast Minnesota. It was one of those hunts—any of you who carry a bow a lot will understand—when the deer you want are just out of range or blocked by brush and the ones you don’t want are licking your tree steps.

    Plus, there just weren’t many of the former on their feet, it seemed. We saw only two P&Y-class bucks during the week. All the other good bucks, apparently, were busy with does.

    Those of you who guessed in the 130s were about a foot away from being right, as a tall, clean 8-pointer—the only shooter that stepped within bow range—only needed to clear a small honeysuckle bush for me to get a shot. Of course, he didn’t. But that’s bowhunting. For those of you who guessed zero, as in no deer, you win the satisfaction of being right and an invitation to gloat in the comment section below. What we did manage to shoot were some video tips, which we will bring to you shortly.

  • November 16, 2012

    Cabela's Headlamp Caption Contest Winner Announced

    By Scott Bestul

    As always, we received a bunch of great entries in the latest caption contest, and for once Hurteau and I actually got to sit down and sort through them together. Dave is in Minnesota bowhunting with me this week, and announcing the caption contest winner was one of the items on our “to-do” list while he’s here. So here are the 10 entries that made us chuckle the loudest.

    First, the nine runners-up, in no particular order:

  • November 13, 2012

    Contest: Guess The Score of Hurteau's Buck Before He Tags It, Win The Rack

    By Dave Hurteau

    To those of you who’ve been following the “Help Me Kill My Buck, Win the Rack” posts: First, thanks for the great suggestions. Second, I’ve run into a problem—or a problem ran into the buck, as it were. After a few more hunts and no sightings, I figured he was off chasing does on another farm. But according to the landowners, he was actually off chasing does in the big woodlot in the sky, after being hit by a car. What a rotten end for such a fine buck.

    Nonetheless, I’m still determined to give away some antlers. All this week, I’m bowhunting with Bestul on his home turf. As you read this, I am freezing my butt in a southeastern Minnesota treestand, waiting for something with four points on one side to do something stupid. So in the meantime, let’s turn our usual scoring contest on its head: Usually, we show you a picture of a buck and ask you to guess the gross B&C score of the rack. This time, your challenge is to guess the gross score before you see the buck—and before I shoot it.

  • November 12, 2012

    Smartass How-To: Steer a Deer Right to Your Stand

    By Dave Hurteau

    Intercepting deer on natural movement via scouting and careful observation is cool and all. But radical landscape manipulation is where it’s really at these days. As you know, with some farming equipment and a chainsaw, you can readily influence where deer sleep, eat, and drink. But remember that just because you’ve installed bedding areas, food plots, and water hazards, there’s no reason—such as moderation--to stop there.

    With some strategic environmental modifications, you can actually steer deer to a stand location that put all the factors—wind, cover, shooting lanes—in your favor. Here are four simple ways to do it:

    Block a Trail
    When you want deer to use the trail that leads to your stand and not the one that swings downwind or out of range, simply place an obstruction—such as a log, some cut brush, or a tollbooth—that discourages deer from walking on the wrong trail.

  • November 7, 2012

    A Good Reason Not to Shoot Deer Beyond 30 Yards With a Bow

    By David Hurteau

    I’m not saying that if I can screw up an easy bow shot, anyone can. But if I screw up an easy bow shot…. Well, anyway, this doe was 20 yards away and just barely quartering away. Easy, easy shot--and I missed by a good 8 inches, too far back.

    I suspected it was a bad shot after I let it go, and I knew for sure when I got down and found the arrow covered in green alfalfa slime, presumably from the field where this doe had been feeding before she picked her way cautiously into the woods and under my stand, with a yearling buck in tow, last Friday morning. Both deer ran about 70 yards at the shot and disappeared into a tall screen of phragmites at the edge of the swamp.

    I waited five hours, came back, followed the blood trail to the spot I’d last seen her, and there she lay, stiff, just inside the tall, grassy stalks. I got lucky. The shot wasn’t quite as bad as I’d thought, but bad enough that it could have easily resulted in a lost deer.

  • November 6, 2012

    Write the Best Caption, Win a New Cabela's Headlamp

    By Scott Bestul

    It pains me to think of you bumbling around the deer woods with that old light of yours. You know what you need? A new, fancy headlamp to light up your pre-dawn walks to stand, and for those after-dark blood trails. And you can get one, right here, for free.

    You know the drill: Write the best caption for this photo, and we’ll have Cabela’s send you an all-new, made-in-America, Alaskan Guide Series headlamp, which comes in two versions--a slimmer model powered by AAA’s, and a beefier, more powerful version with a battery pack (shown). If your caption wins, you can choose which model you want.

    Okay, have at it folks.

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