Category: Deer Hunting

How to Hunt Whitetails during the Post Rut

By GrowingDeer,

If you were unable to fill a tag by the end of the rut, it can be easy to get discouraged. Don’t give up! Post rut hunting can be very productive. Similar to the pre rut, it comes down to predicting when the deer are going to move and being in your stand when they do.

We are currently in one of the first real cold fronts of the season here at The Proving Grounds. This seasonal, colder weather will impact deer movements after several weeks of warmer than average temperatures. It’s also “post rut” so our hunting strategies have changed. We’re hoping to close the gap on a hit list buck. Cactus Jack and Swoops seem to be on a regular pattern. We’ll be hunting stands in their home range given the right wind direction. In the meantime, the does and fawns will be going to the plots to feed along with bucks that are trying to replenish calories lost during the rut. Chances are most of the does will already be bred but there is one variable that’s still in play: the “fawn rut.” This is the time frame when doe fawns have reached approximately 70 pounds and enter puberty making them receptive for breeding.

When this occurs depends heavily on the food sources available. A doe fawn that lives in ag country where there are plenty of crops to eat will come into estrus sooner than a doe fawn living in heavily forested areas. In our area, typically the “fawn rut” will occur during late December to early January. However, due to the wicked drought in our area body weights are down and fawns may reach puberty later than average this year.

In years past we’ve used this strategy successfully: find food plots frequently being used by does and fawns, then hunt those plots where a hit list buck might follow in one of those receptive fawns. This is exactly what I did during December 2013 when “The Trashman” went down (watch episode 163 here).

Whether you’ve already filled a tag or not, don’t let the post rut blues take you out of the hunt!

Enjoy Creation,

Grant

 

Hunting the Rut: Tactics for Tagging Head Turner – Episode #419

By GrowingDeer,

Watch Grant tag a hit list buck in episode 419 on GrowingDeer.com.New Video

It is the rut and Grant’s hunting a mature buck! Learn how Grant adjusted his hunting strategy specifically for the rut. The plan worked and Grant tagged one of our top hit list bucks, Head Turner!

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Montana Decoy has gifts for hunters

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Bayou venison jambalaya

new weekly blog:

Wanting to spice up your meals and try something different? Here
is a standard recipe for jambalaya with a few modifications to make
it work with venison!

 

 

 

 

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Putting cat food in a tin can before placing in a Duke cage trap.

Tip of the Week:

Cat food is a cheap, meaty-smelling bait that works great for trapping nest predators such as raccoons and opossums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why deer hunters should never give up – Episode #418

By GrowingDeer,

Watch episode 418 on GrowingDeer.com.New Video

Sitting it out and being patient are often the keys to harvesting a good buck. See Daniel tag a doe then patiently stay in the stand to let that doe lure in a buck. This bonus buck hunt ends with a bang, antlers and fresh venison! Then watch as Pro Staffer Jeff Therrell has multiple heart-sinking encounters with a hit list buck he calls “Wrecking Ball.” The story has a great ending as Jeff sticks it out and finally harvests this Kansas brute!

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Cleaning a venison backstrap before packaging

Short clip:

Do you send your deer meat to a processor or do it yourself? Here's a short (less than 30 seconds) video showing how we clean up a backstrap before vacuum packaging and freezing.

 

 

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 Using a BoneView to view trail camera picturessPEcial offer:

Our partners at BoneView are offering a special, limited time discount* just for GrowingDeer subscribers: 20% off! This special offer is valid through Thursday, November 30, 2017. Take advantage of this offer by using code GDTV20 at check out.

 

 

 

Venison calzone

new weekly blog:

Venison calzones are easy to customize to your family’s tastes. Here is a simple recipe that is sure to please!

 

 

 

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Using a Viking Tilt-N-Go to pack out a deer

Tip of the Week:

Using a cart is a great way for hunters to easily pack out their deer. Carts also help protect the cape should a hunter want to mount their harvest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Homecoming: Harvesting A Buck – Episode #417

By GrowingDeer,

New Video

Watch as the GrowingDeer Team harvests two bucks and three does! First up: Pro Staff member Heath Martin hunts “home ground” in western Arkansas where he tags the big “hard work pays off” buck! Then Raleigh returns home from college to hunt the opening morning of Missouri firearm season! Watch as Raleigh and Grant both punch tags…one is a fine Ozark Mountain buck!

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Marinated venison roast before and after cooking

new weekly blog:

Busy at work and slipping a hunt in when you can? Don’t let your busy schedule keep you from enjoying your recent harvest! Here is an easy recipe for a great marinated venison roast!

 

 

 

 

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Use a sharp knife to process your venison

Tip of the Week:

Keeping your knives sharp (even replacement blades) makes cutting venison safer and quicker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunting Strategies For The Rut: Bottlenecks, Pinch Points And Travel Corridors

By GrowingDeer,

This year has been the best for hunting the pre rut that we’ve seen in several years! Hunters in a wide range of states (Kansas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and more) have shared how they are seeing more deer than previous during the pre rut.

This most likely will change in a matter of days. Bucks don't need to move much during the peak of the rut. This is when the highest percentage of does are receptive and bucks don't have to travel far to pair up with a doe. Once with a receptive doe bucks often tend her for 24-36 hours. Often, neither the buck nor doe will travel far during this time.

Southpaw a 6 yr old buck

Southpaw, a 6 year old buck, is on our hit list.

During the chase phase of the rut bucks aren’t following a food/cover pattern. They are moving throughout their home range in areas they believe they have the best chance of finding a receptive doe.

Hunting stands that were placed overlooking scrapes will not be my first choice at this time. Why? Because bucks or does rarely use scrapes during the peak of the rut.

Bucks and does tend to abandon most scrapes during the chase phase of the rut. It seems bucks don’t wish to spend energy checking and/or maintaining scrapes when checking the wind often yields much better results of finding a receptive doe.

During the rut bucks will focus primarily on checking scrapes that are in a travel path between areas they will be seeking does. If I find scrapes that are maintained during the chase phase of the rut that can be a key stand location!

It is important to think about how bucks will be traveling during the rut.  Research has shown that bucks will be up and on their feet, moving up to 4X more than the “normal” distance. This is the time to hunt bottlenecks, pinch points and travel corridors.

As always, there's usually more deer activity just before and after a strong cold front so I'm always watching the weather forecast!

Enjoy Creation,

Grant

Putting pre-rut hunting tactics into action! – Episode #415

By GrowingDeer,

Watch episode 415 on GrowingDeer.com.New Video

Watch as Pro Staffer Daniel Stefanoff self films his hunt where an incredible Oklahoma buck hits the red dirt! Grant and Daniel punch tags and have to make a tough decision from the stand. Plus, the deer were moving during Missouri’s youth season and we captured some incredible pre-rut buck behavior on video!

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Two deer decoysShort Clip:

Decoying can be a very effective hunting tactic! Grant shares his decoying techniques for getting a buck within range and broadside!

 

 

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Processing your own deer meat

new weekly blog:

Do you enjoy eating deer backstraps? Tracy shares tips for preparing and cooking this choice cut of venison!

 

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A Morrell Target being used for target practice.

Tip of the Week:

Practicing throughout the season helps shooters know their bow is tuned and has not been damaged during a hunt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Category: Deer Hunting, Eblast Archives
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Take Aim With The Future Of Deer Hunting

By GrowingDeer,

Like the rest of the GrowingDeer Team, I really enjoy hunting with my kids. The hunting memories that are at the top of my list are  those where I watched my daughters take their first deer and turkeys as young girls.

With hunter numbers declining, it’s important to pass along the tradition and recruit new hunters. Hunting is a tradition and pastime that not only boosts the economy but also connects people to their roots. I suspect that many kids might not get to go hunting it if wasn’t for youth season because their mentor would be too busy hunting and would not be focused on taking them hunting.

We always put a lot of work into scouting for youth season. We want the hunt to be enjoyable. If a youth hunt is enjoyable, regardless of a harvest, I consider it a success. The goal is to pass on the tradition of the hunt, a kill is secondary.

By the time youth season starts, we have always made sure both our girls shot a lot of rounds from the bench and hunting positions. They have always been prepared by knowing their weapon. They were confident in their shooting skills and ready to have some fun (watch Rae’s hunt from 2009 here).

This year is no different. Rae has already been hunting with the crossbow while practicing with her Prime Centergy Air. She’s practiced with her rifle. After practice this week she returned proudly showing off her targets. Rae was shooting so well that she cut the same hole on the target! If you followed her season last year (watch Rae’s 2017 hunt here) you will understand why the practice this year is necessary to build her confidence!

Rae's Woods with her Caldwell practice target

My advice for success if you're taking new or youth shooters out to practice, make sure you’ve got the appropriate safety equipment and what I call “comfort equipment.” I use a Lead Sled to take all the recoil out of the rifle. This way they can concentrate on shooting and having fun with no worries about the kick of a deer rifle.

I hope that this year you invest in the future of hunting. Take time to make it fun. Get some shooting practice in. Put some time into scouting. Pass on the tradition and give thanks to the Creator who made it all possible.

Hunting with a purpose,

Grant

Bow Hunting Success In New Mexico – Episode #411

By GrowingDeer,

Watch a thrilling elk hunt in GrowingDeer episode 411.New Video

Watch as Grant comes down to the wire on his final afternoon of elk hunting in New Mexico. It is a race against time as he tries to sneak within range of two fighting bulls before shooting light ends!

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Southpaw, a hit list buck, at a Code Blue scrapeShort Clip:

An up close and personal look at one of our top hit list bucks, Southpaw!

 

 

 

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Grant Woods and James Harrison

New Weekly Blog:

Hunters using deer calls will enjoy this video blog on deer vocalizations: how, why, and when to grunt throughout the entire deer season!

 

 

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Cleaning a Bloodsport arrow with a D/Code field wipe

Tip of the Week:

By cleaning used arrows with a scent eliminator wipe, you can easily remove blood and dirt AND reduce scent for the next hunt!

 

 

 

Deer Hunting Tips: Grunt Calling And Vocalizations

By GrowingDeer,

Recently James Harrison and I sat down to do a Facebook live. James is a World Champion turkey caller. Those calling skills don’t end in the turkey woods. James is also an expert deer caller!

The focus of the live event was deer vocalizations that will help hunters get deer in range throughout the whole season.

Watch the video below (and listen carefully to the vocalizations) to learn about: early season, pre rut, rut, and post rut calling strategies, calls for different habitats, blind calling, strength/volume for calling, timing, and more!

  Category: Deer Hunting, Hunting Blog
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Bugling Bulls, Big Bucks at Bass Pro and More! – Episode #410

By GrowingDeer,

Watch GrowingDeer episode 410.New Video

Join Grant on a tour of Johnny Morris’ new Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium! See some of the biggest bucks in recent history in their Hall of Horns! Then Grant and Daniel head to New Mexico where they encounter more bull elk than ever before.

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A buck stands at the edge of an open fieldShort Clip:

You probably all know this hunter! Can you guess who it is by their harvests?

 

 

 

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Instant Pot used for cooking venison

New Weekly Blog:

Hunting season is here and that means fresh venison! This week we share one of our favorite venison stew recipes!!

 

 

 

 

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Trimming connective tissue off of venison

Tip of the Week:

Trimming the fat, connective tissue and lymph nodes off of venison keeps the meat tasting fresh and not “gamey”.

 

 

 

  Category: Deer Hunting, Eblast Archives
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