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  • April 21, 2014

    Is This the Best Shed Season Ever?

    By Scott Bestul

    Last week, my hunting buddy Alan and I spotted the antler pictured above. It appears have come from 3-1/2 year old deer that I have trail-cam pictures of but never saw in person. This one side measures roughly 55 inches, putting the buck in the mid-120s last fall. Not a giant, but not bad either. More to point, it's one of many decent sheds we've found this spring and helps support a claim I've been hearing a lot lately—that 2014 has been one of the best shed hunting seasons in recent memory.

  • April 16, 2014

    Classic Deer Guns and Crapshoot Accuracy

    By Dave Hurteau

    Generally speaking, today’s rifles are much more accurate than yesterday’s, which leads people to think that the old guns can’t shoot. Many can’t, for sure. But some can.

    I have a Savage 99 in .300 Savage that shoots just over a minute of angle and a Remington Model 141 in .35 Rem. that shoots just under. I got lucky with those. On the other hand, I have a Winchester Model 70 Classic Compact in 7mm-08 that won’t put three shots inside a cantaloupe no matter what I feed it. Them’s the breaks.

  • April 15, 2014

    March(ish) Madness: Announcing the Deer Shotgun Champ

    By Dave Hurteau

    And so it's the 870 in a walk. I might fall down dead of shock.

    From the very beginning our online editor, who is still young enough that the spark of romanticism has not yet been fully stamped out, dreamed that the Ithaca might win this whole thing. That would have been surprising, and wonderful. But, like so many things, it couldn't be.

    Instead, you have voted for the 870 fair and square (and shoved our online editor a bit farther down the knife's edge of life).

  • April 10, 2014

    Spring Scouting: The Search for One Killer Spot

    By Dave Hurteau

    It’s finally spring, and I’ve been walking some of my hunting properties in earnest. As Hurteau and I have pointed out previously in this space, if you really want to know your deer ground, now — in the narrow window separating snow-melt from green-up — is the time to be out there. 

    Spring scouting has been my annual ritual for years, but most of that recon has focused simply on getting a better overview of a property and how deer use it. Lately, I’ve added a new, more specific, mission: finding, then setting up, one killer stand location for next fall’s rut. To be even more specific, I want that stand to be in or near a bedding area or other spot that’s difficult to set up during the season.

  • April 8, 2014

    March Madness Championship: Remington 870 vs Ithaca Deerslayer

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Two classics collide in the championship of our Sweet 16 of whitetail shotguns. The Remington 870, America’s shotgun, meets the Ithaca Deerslayer. The 870, deservedly the number one seed in its division, has probably shot more deer than any other shotgun in the tournament. The Deerslayer, on the other hand, is one of the first dedicated slug guns, and still one of the best.

  • April 4, 2014

    March Madness: The Final Four of Whitetail Shotguns

    By Dave Hurteau

    Two Final Fours in one weekend. What more do you want? And ours is a contest of mostly classics, including the Remington 870, the Mossberg 500, and the Ithaca Model 37 Deerslayer. It was, in fact, nearly a contest of all classics, as the 8-seed Browning Auto 5 was outpacing it's superior A-Bolt sibling until the final minutes, when a late run put the latter on top at the buzzer.

  • April 4, 2014

    Caption Contest Winner Announced!

    By Scott Bestul

    A great prize always brings out the best captions, and with your choice of three Cabela's trail cams on the line—you guys came through again. As usual, the elite judging panel at Whitetail 365 (Hurteau and me), chuckled, guffawed, and argued until we had a winner.

    But first, here are ten entries that came oh-so-close to claiming the prize.

  • March 31, 2014

    March Madness: The Elite Eight of Whitetail Shotguns

    By Dave Hurteau

    Kentucky is not the only 8-seed to move on. In a head-scratcher of an upset (on par with the .30-06 winning last year's Long-Range Whitetail Cartridge Championship) the tricky-to-scope and not-particularly-tack-driving yet classic Browning Auto 5 has thumped the 1-seed Savage 220/212 bolt with it's excellent trigger and stellar reputation for accuracy—and affordable accuracy at that. Go figure.

  • March 28, 2014

    Deer Hunting Tip: Cut Your Shooting Lanes Now

    By Tony J. Peterson

    Last November I hung a portable stand in a peninsula of high woods that jutted into a cattail slough. During the first sit I noticed a single red osier dogwood that blocked a 20-yard shot to the best trail through the sawgrass. As soon as I called it quits I snuck out to the dogwood, snipped it clean and left.
    The following evening I sat the stand again and readied myself to fill an antlerless tag as a doe noisily walked through the slough. When she hit the spot I had trimmed, her eyes bugged out and she back-peddled. She offered no shot as she walked stiff-legged back into the cattails. Nearly 30 hours had passed since I’d handled that brush with gloved hands, yet it was more than enough to turn the doe inside out.

  • March 28, 2014

    March Madness: The Sweet Sixteen of Whitetail Shotguns

    By Dave Hurteau

    Kansas has been clipped, ’Cuse cut, Villanova vanquished, the Shockers shocked, and shucked. But in our Sweet Sixteen, all your favorites—the 870, the Deerslayer, the Tar-Hunt, and 220—are still in it, for now.

    While I have carried enough of the shotguns below to have an opinion here (go Ithaca Deerslayer!), when it comes to scatter- and slug guns, I gladly defer to Shotguns Editor Phil Bourjaily, who has chosen and seeded the contenders in two divisions. Here’s Phil:

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