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  • January 28, 2013

    F&S Poll: How Long Should You Wait To Blood Trail a Bow Buck?

    By Scott Bestul

    When all is right in the world, recovering a bow-killed buck is as simple as walking to the spot where you watched him tip over. Just about other situation, however, is complicated by a variety of factors: the suspected shot placement, impending weather and temperature, the presence of predators…. “How long?” can indeed be one of the toughest questions faced by a bowhunter.

    So here’s the scenario: You’re on an early-season whitetail hunt. With about a half hour of legal light left, a nice buck walks into your shooting lane at 25 yards. Your shot looks to be in the center of the deer vertically but enough into the mid-body horizontally that it might be a gut or liver hit. You watch the buck runs off and disappears over the backside of a hill. You get down from your stand and find good-sized drops of bright red blood, but no arrow. You follow the trail a short ways, but the sign doesn’t get any better. The temperature is 60 degrees and is expected to drop only 10 degrees overnight. There are coyotes in the area, though not in great numbers.

  • January 24, 2013

    "Balanced Age Structure" Is Not Always a Euphemism for "Trophy Bucks"

    By Dave Hurteau

    Anyone who follows along here knows that while I think there’s a lot to like about QDM, I’m not quite ready to shake my pompoms for the movement—no matter how sexy I may look in a majorette uniform, and I’m telling you, it’s pretty damn sexy.

    That said, I do sympathize with the good folks at QDMA—smart, serious professionals devoted to the resource—when they try to explain, again and again, that decades of traditional deer management designed to grow deer populations skewed the natural age structure of most herds, and that with populations now widely recovered, we need to correct that. To which they receive a resounding “Pishaw!” from a contingent of unbending hunters who know better. “All you want are trophy deer!” they insist.

  • January 23, 2013

    Bass Pro Gift Card Caption Contest Winner Announced

    By Scott Bestul

    Our caption contests always bring out some great entries. I have to admit that picking the winner on this round was tougher than normal. There were just too many good ones. Maybe an outlandishly huge set of antlers brings out the best in all of you? But in the end, we made some tough choices and came up with this list of 10 runners-up, in no particular order:

  • January 10, 2013

    Cool Stuff from the ATA Show: Part 1

    By Dave Hurteau

    Bestul and I just returned from the Archery Trade Association show in Louisville, Kentucky. In the hubbub of these events—with all the meetings, and press luncheons, and bumping into friends and colleagues—the only way to get anything done is to narrow your focus. So for the most part we honed in on the new flagship bows for 2013 and will be posting a full report soon.

  • January 4, 2013

    Write the Best Caption, Win a Bass Pro Gift Card

    By Scott Bestul

    For many of us, the deer season is a done deal. For the rest, the clock is ticking. Which means, of course, an inevitable psychological let down for which there is only one known cure: a trip to a man’s mall!

  • January 2, 2013

    Poll: Which Deer Rut Phase is Best?

    By Dave Hurteau

    Bestul and I are writing a book on deer hunting. Want to help? In an attempt the prevent readers from tiring of us too quickly, we figured we’d mix in someone else’s opinions. Namely, yours.

    Right now, we are writing about the phases of the rut. While chatting about this yesterday, we wondered: If you could hunt any phase of the rut all the time, which would it be? We both picked the same phase but agreed that certain biases might play into that.