Featured Guide: Ted Marum, Tri-State Outfitting owner (tri-stateoutfitting.com)
Location: Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin
Biggest Buck: 167˝ gross typ.
Biggest Client Buck: 193˝ gross typ.
On Scent Control: "I think it's mostly b.s. I believe you can reduce your scent a bit, but only if you do the entire program—every time. I don't want to work that hard for what is really only a slight edge. I want hunting to be fun and simple. Go to the stand where the wind is right. You hung it there for a reason."
On Trail Cams: "I run more than most, but if they were made illegal tomorrow it wouldn't bother me a bit. I hate that they lead to antler envy. Someone gets a pic of a buck, and suddenly they own the animal. Then they're jealous, or even furious, when a neighbor kills 'their' deer. Not long ago, you'd kill a 145-inch buck, and your neighbors would be happy for you. Now they're pissed off because they know from their pics that he was only 31⁄2 years old, and 'he needed another season or two to get really big.' It's ridiculous."
On Educated Bucks: "Hunters give bucks way too much credit for intelligence. There are some really wary bucks, but most are very curious. You want the best trail-cam pics of the bucks in your area? Find a good trail, like a logging road, and drive a stick in the middle of it. Hawk up a big goober, and spit it on the tip of the stick. Every buck walking down that road is going to stop and smell that thing."
On Youth Seasons: "I love nothing more than getting a kid into deer hunting. I have friends who complain that kids shouldn't get an early start; they should have to learn deer hunting like we did, by freezing their butts off. Well, kids are different today. They have tons of things competing for their time and attention. We need to step up and rope them in any way we can."
Favorite Early-Season Tactic: "You'll often have an early-season buck that is entering a field or food plot where there are no stand trees or where the wind is tricky. That's when I look for a good stand tree along the same edge, but where the prevailing wind will be perfect. Then I make a series of mock scrapes along that edge leading toward the stand—but stopping short of it. Finally, I cut a small cedar or red oak tree—because bucks love to rub and scrape under those species here—and I drive it into the field directly in front of the stand, within easy bow range.