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207 Outdoors Podcast: Deer Management Interview With Dr. Grant Woods

Posted November 16, 2015

Here is episode 12 of the 207 Outdoors podcast. Today I talk with Grant Woods of  “Growing Deer TV”. Dr. Grant Woods is a native of the Ozark Mountains in southwestern Missouri. His passion for deer and deer hunting led him to a Ph.D. in deer behavior and management. Grant and I talk about the work that goes into white tail deer management and we also cover the topic of predators and…Listen HERE.

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UH OH – PREDATOR SURVEY

Posted September 18, 2015

There’s been much press about the number of deer decreasing throughout the whitetail’s range. These reports are certainly accurate in some areas. Declines in deer populations have been caused by outbreaks of E.H.D. (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) and predators. There’s no known prevention or cure for E.H.D. However, excessive predators can be removed and a proper…Click HERE to Watch or Read More at Winchester.com

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DOES THAT DEER HAVE THE MANGE?

Posted September 11, 2015

This time of year I receive a lot of pictures of deer that appear to have a skin condition and questions such as “Does this deer have mange?” Each fall deer shed their short and reddish summer hair and new darker hair begins to grow. The blotches of new hair can appear like a rash..Click HERE to Watch or Read More at Winchester.com

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THE END OF BACHELOR GROUPS

Posted September 4, 2015

It’s early September and deer season opens soon in most states. Many hunters have spent some time during the past month scouting and thinking about stand placement. Bachelor groups are relatively easy to find this time of year and it’s tempting to place stands based on these observations…Click to Read or Watch More at Winchester.com

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HIT LIST BUCKS

Posted August 28, 2015

Since trail cameras have become so popular the term “hit list” is commonly used by hunters. It refers to a list of bucks that a hunter is trying to tag. Many folks use a buck’s age and/or antler size to determine if a buck is placed on their hit list. Using age as a criterion…Click HERE to READ or Watch MORE at Winchester.com

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TRACE MINERALS AND THEIR IMPORTANCE TO DEER

Posted August 21, 2015

Folks commonly ask: What’s the most important mineral to promote antler growth? That is an easy question to answer: All of them! Healthy deer produce larger antlers than unhealthy deer. The process of body growth and maintenance requires small amounts of most of the elements on the periodic chart. For example, zinc is needed for…(Read or Watch, Click Here for MORE at Winchester.com)

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Turkey Poult Survival – Dusting

Posted August 14, 2015

How many turkey poults hatched where you hunt? It can be tough to monitor poult survival. An easy technique is to place a trail camera near a dusting area. Turkeys often dust daily especially during the summer. They dust to remove external parasites and loose feathers. Turkeys molt or replace their feathers in a relatively…Read and Watch More At Winchester Here

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Turkey Poult Survival

Posted August 7, 2015

Check out this video! The hen clearly senses a potential threat. She quietly putts and instantly all the poults come to attention. There are several lessons we can take away from this video. Hens must constantly be alert for poults to survive. It seems all predators – from snakes to hawks and land critters that… Read or Watch More at Winchester.com HERE

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PROTECTING BEANS WITH AN ELECTRIC FENCE

Posted August 3, 2015

Deer are very attracted to soybeans. Soybeans provide excellent quality forage for deer! So planting soybeans in food plots seems like an easy win win. However, deer can damage soybeans to the point they won’t grow or produce pods during the late winter if there are a lot of deer in the area and/or the…Read MORE Here

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WHEAT AS A COVER CROP FOR CLOVER

Posted July 24, 2015

Deer love most types of grain. Grain is full of energy and sources of high quality energy are rare in nature (acorns on the ground are a low quality source of energy).

Many folks plant corn as a source of energy, but corn can be a tough crop for food plot farmers to grow. Corn takes up valuable food plot acres for months before it produces grain. Read More HERE

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PLANT MORE SOYBEANS

Posted July 17, 2015

Deer love soybeans! They crave the protein rich forage during the summer and the energy rich grains during the winter. In fact, deer crave soybeans so much that they can totally consume a young soybean crop in smaller fields such as food plots long before hunting season. Does that mean soybeans are a bad choice Read More HERE

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WATCHING VELVET BUCKS

Posted July 10, 2015

I enjoy watching deer year round! It’s often relatively easy to locate deer during the summer because they often are on a daily pattern of food, cover, food, cover.

Deer will seek the best quality forage within their range that they don’t associate with danger. It’s easy to forget the last part of that sentence (don’t associate with danger).

Knowing what types of foods deer prefer during each time of year helps locate where deer will be feeding. Deer crave protein during the summer so they often feed on ag crops such as soybeans… Read MORE HERE

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BROKEN VELVET ANTLERS

Posted July 3, 2015

Antlers can grow very fast this time of year. They grow rapidly due to massive amounts of blood flowing through the developing antlers. This blood flow carries the material, primarily protein, necessary to build the antlers. Later during the summer the protein will be replaced with hard minerals that give the antlers their rigid form…Read MORE HERE

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NEST PREDATORS EVERYWHERE

Posted June 26, 2015

Most folks know that raccoons, opossums, coyotes, snakes, rats, etc., are turkey nest predators. The mammal predators probably find the nest by trailing the hen. Wet hens have such a strong odor that even I can smell them. There is an entirely different class of predators that uses a totally different technique. Crows primarily use….Read MORE Here

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CHANGING PATTERNS OF MATURE BUCKS

Posted June 19, 2015

Are you spending the off-season wishing you had changed your hunting tactics? Many of us have experienced the frustration of hunting an elusive, mature buck. Research shows each year more hunters are passing immature bucks. More than 60% of bucks harvested in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma were 3.5 years old or older (Quality Deer Management)…Read MORE HERE.

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USING TRAIL CAMERAS DURING THE SUMMER

Posted June 12, 2015

Turkey season has closed and my thoughts have switched to creating better habitat and to the coming deer season. Patterning bucks is one reason I keep my trail cameras out during the summer. Not only do I enjoy watching antlers develop, but the cameras help me learn about travel patterns that may be helpful during…Read MORE HERE

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TURKEY POPULATIONS

Posted June 5, 2015

A few weeks ago we found a turkey nest while clearing some brush from the edge of a bedding area to create a new hidey-hole food plot. The nest had six eggs in it at the time. I put a Reconyx trail camera with video capabilities on the nest and have enjoyed watching what hens…Read MORE HERE

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HUNTING LATE SEASON TOMS

Posted May 29, 2015

Turkey season is still open in some northern states. I really like hunting turkeys during the late season! Typically a majority of hens have started nesting by this time of year and stopped responding to gobblers. Gobblers that were almost impossible to call for weeks because hens were going to them daily are now very….Read MORE HERE

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WORN FEATHERS

Posted May 22, 2015

By now many of you have tagged a tom! You may have already enjoyed a meal of fresh turkey! However, there’s more to a turkey than great meat. Turkey feathers are cool. Many Native American tribes prized turkey feathers for use in ceremonies and fletching for arrows. My daughters enjoy making jewelry and other items…Read MORE HERE

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SILENT TOMS

Posted May 15, 2015

Hearing gobbling is a big reason why I enjoy turkey hunting! However, some mornings it seems most toms are silent. There are usually two reasons toms are quiet. Toms don’t gobble as much when it’s cloudy and higher than normal humidity. There’s nothing a hunter can do to change these conditions. Gobblers are also usually….Read MORE HERE

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WHEN TO WAIT BEFORE CALLING

Posted May 8, 2015

Watch this video. You’ve probably already seen it many times in your mind. Notice the time stamp on the video. It’s just after sunrise and this gobbler has already paired with a hen. This is very common for this time of year in the Midwest. When a tom is with a hen there are a…Read MORE HERE

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WHEN TO CALL HENS

Posted May 1, 2015

Most turkey hunters focus on calling gobblers, but there are times when it will be helpful to call hens! During the early part of the breeding season hens will often remain in flocks. It’s common for a handful of gobblers to follow flocks of hens. Often the gobblers won’t be very vocal when following the…Read MORE HERE

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WHEN TO GOBBLE

Posted April 24, 2015

Crank up the volume and listen to the gobblers. There’s a second tom gobbling in response to the bird in the video. During the early and mid breeding season mature toms will often gobble in response to other toms that are in strut areas. The tom in this video is in a known strut are…Read MORE HERE

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HUNTING COMPETITIVE GOBBLERES

Posted April 17, 2015

In most states turkey season opens during the early portion of breeding season when gobblers are still very competitive. If there are plenty of mature toms around they will actively chase jakes (year old male turkeys) away from hens and/or the mature tom’s strut zones. I recently used a Reconyx UltraFire camera to monitor a….Read More HERE

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HUNTING EARLY SEASON GOBBLERS

Posted April 10, 2015

Early season for gobblers depends on the location or latitude. For example, this year turkey season opens in Hawaii (there are lots of turkeys on the Hawaiian Islands!) March 1st and on May 4th in Maine. Wherever you plan to hunt during the “early season” one thing is for certain, you need to be close to an…Read MORE HERE

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PATTERNING YOUR TURKEY GUN

Posted April 3, 2015

I really enjoy turkey hunting! I also enjoy eating wild turkey so I want to be successful! In addition to practicing calling, scouting, etc., there’s another critical step to be a successful turkey hunter. That’s patterning and practicing with a turkey gun! Turkey guns are usually 12 gauge shotguns with an extra full choke. Mine…Read MORE HERE

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WINTER’S IMPACT ON DEER

Posted March 27, 2015

Ever wonder why deer in some areas paw through snow to find food and in other areas stay in winter deer yards? It has to do with the quality of food available and the amount of energy required getting the food. By placing collars on deer that have a GPS unit, researchers have learned that…Read MORE HERE

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BIG BUCK TRACKS?

Posted March 20, 2015

I enjoy following deer tracks in the snow. It’s a great way to learn where deer prefer to bed, eat, etc., during late winter conditions. I shared a picture of some deer tracks in snow on my Facebook page recently and someone commented that I was following a “big buck because of the feet drag…Read MORE HERE

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TIMING OF ANTLER SHEDDING

Posted March 13, 2015

The timing of antler shedding is determined by changes in hormones, primarily a reduction in testosterone, normally triggered by increasing day length. However, injury or other factors that impact testosterone levels can affect the timing of antler shedding for individual bucks. The amount of daylight begins increasing December 22nd each year. This triggers the potential for…Read MORE HERE

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How Humidity Affects Your Scent Control Strategy

Posted March 9, 2015

Almost every whitetail hunter knows weather conditions can impact deer activity. Some of the hunts when I’ve seen the most deer active have been just before or just after a major change in the weather.

However, it seems few hunters consider how weather conditions impact the ability of deer to detect hunters. Most of us consider wind direction. We attempt to place our stands downwind of where we expect to see deer. However, there is another factor in addition to wind direction and speed that can be a big factor in whether we see deer from our stands…Read MORE HERE

 

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SCENT FREE BLIND APPROACH

Posted March 6, 2015

Were there days last fall when conditions seemed good and you didn’t see a deer? That doesn’t happen to me as much anymore. Years ago I started focusing on not only having my blinds in good locations, but also making sure I could approach the blinds without alerting deer I planned to hunt. The following…Read MORE HERE

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BAITING COYOTES

Posted February 27, 2015

Deer season is closed in most states and its prime time to coyote hunt! Coyote hunting is fun and can be a great deer and turkey management tool if predators are putting too much pressure on prey species where you hunt. Coyotes often have large home ranges. They can and often will respond to calls…Read MORE HERE

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OVERHANGING LIMBS

Posted February 6, 2015

Deer scrapes consist of an area on the ground where deer paw away all debris and expose the soil under an overhanging limb. Deer commonly urinate and defecate on the exposed dirt in the scrape. These are very visual signs that are easily seen. The overhanging limb is also a significant part of “scrape communication”…Read MORE HERE

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LATE SEASON SCRAPES

Posted January 30, 2015

Do you hunt scrapes during the late season? You might after watching this video! This scrape is located on a narrow ridge top that connects a feeding and bedding area. Several deer use this ridge top as a travel corridor during the late season. Female fawns often reach puberty and become receptive if they reach… Read MORE HERE

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Why Patterning and Killing Mature Bucks is Whitetail Hunting’s Ultimate Challenge

Posted January 27, 2015

More and more archers are passing young bucks with the hope of tagging a more mature animal. In fact, the percentage of yearling bucks in the annual U.S. buck harvest has been decreasing for nearly a quarter century — from 62 percent in 1989 to 37 percent in 2012, according to the Quality Deer Management Association.

Amazingly, the QDMA reports there were five states in 2012 where at least 45 percent of all bucks killed were 3 years old or older — Texas (67 percent), Oklahoma (66 percent), Arkansas (65 percent), Louisiana (59 percent on DMAP properties) and Kansas (45 percent)…Read MORE HERE

 

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DO YOU BELIEVE SCENT CONTROL IS NECESSARY WHEN HUNTING DEER?

Posted January 23, 2015

Watch the doe in this video sniffing the vegetation, etc. Most dead and/or moist vegetation readily holds lots of scent molecules. Deer, especially mature deer, seem to be constantly checking for predators (two or four legged) by using their nose. I live and primarily hunt in the Ozark Mountains of southwest Missouri. The relative humidity…Read MORE HERE

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SCRAPES DURING THE RUT

Posted January 14, 2015

Have you ever been excited to find an active scrape and plan to hunt it during the rut only to watch it fill with leaves during early November? 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 during the rut, when checking the wind often yields much better results of finding a receptive doe.  Read more at Winchester.com

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AGING BUCKS ON THE HOOF – A LATE SEASON EXAMPLE

Posted January 9, 2015

Last week I shared a video of a 2.5-year-old whitetail buck and the characteristics I used to estimate his age. This week I’ll share another example. How old do you estimate the buck to be in the following video? Read more at Winchester.com.

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AGING BUCKS ON THE HOOF

Posted January 2, 2015

Aging bucks on the hoof – an example during December I still get very excited when I see any deer coming through the woods. That excitement level ratchets up when I see an antlered buck approaching! It’s become very popular among hunters to pass younger bucks and wait for a mature buck. Read more at Winchester.com

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MATURE BUCKS DURING DAYLIGHT

Posted December 26, 2014

The late season can be one of the best times to see mature bucks during daylight! During the late season, especially if the temperatures are colder than normal, bucks will be seeking sources of quality food. Since nothing has grown during the past few months in most areas of the whitetail’s range, it’s likely there is less food available each day of the season. Read more at Winchester.com

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MINERALS NOW

Posted December 19, 2014

Many adult does throughout most of the whitetail’s range have already been bred. It seems many managers tend to ignore does this time of year unless they are still trying to reach a doe harvest objective to balance the number of deer with the amount of quality food in an area. Read more at Winchester.com

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LATE SEASON – IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD!

Posted December 12, 2014

Do you still have a buck tag? That’s good news as bucks are often easier to pattern during the late season. After most does have been bred, mature bucks tend to stay within their home range and even in a smaller core area. They are focused on survival and recovering from the rut. Read more at Winchester.com

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SCRAPES DURING THE RUT

Posted December 5, 2014

Have you ever been excited to find an active scrape and plan to hunt it during the rut only to watch it fill with leaves during early November? 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 during the rut, when checking the wind often yields much better results of finding a receptive doe.  Read more at Winchester.com. 

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MOCK SCRAPES

Posted November 28, 2014

Have you ever tried using a mock scrape to attract and/or position bucks for a shot? If not, I encourage you to give them a try. Based on my experience, the most important characteristic about a mock scrape is its location. Check out this video. It’s a great example…Read more at Winchester.com

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RATTLING TECHNIQUES

Posted November 21, 2014

Ever wonder what rattling sequence bucks are most likely to respond to? My friend, fellow hunter, and research biologist, Dr. Mick Hellickson had a great opportunity to test different types of rattling sequences and monitor the response from bucks. Mick had placed radio collars on several wild, free-ranging bucks that roamed…Read more at Winchester.com

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WHITE OAK ACORNS

Posted November 14, 2014

There was a fairly good crop of white oak acorns this year throughout much of the whitetail’s range. Deer seek and eat fresh white oak acorns. They will abandon most crop fields, food plots, etc., when fresh white oak acorns are available. Folks that scouted and placed stands near…Read more at Winchester.com

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How to Profile Mature Bucks and Improve Hunting Success

Posted November 13, 2014

The deer had become the bane of my existence. That may be overemphasizing things a bit, but it’s accurate to say that its hanging belly, dark chocolate antlers and Roman nose consumed my waking thoughts. It started in the summer, when trail cameras I’d strategically placed captured the whitetail and its burgeoning rack. By September, the buck was a bona fide Boone and Crockett trophy, and I was determined to bag it… Read MORE HERE

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WHEN TO SCHEDULE VACATION, PART II

Posted November 7, 2014

Last week I shared how a ruthless gang of researchers murdered the theory that moon phases determine when deer breed. There’s no reason to schedule vacation days to hunt based on certain phases of the moon if you wish to hunt the peak of the rut. You’ll be much…Read more at Winchester.com

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WHEN TO SCHEDULE VACATION TIME DURING DEER SEASON

Posted October 31, 2014

I get LOTS of email from folks wondering when they should schedule their vacation so they can hunt the peak of the rut. I define “the peak of the rut” as when the biggest percentage of does are being bred. Using that definition it is…Read more at Winchester.com

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Scouting For Blind Locations

Posted October 29, 2014

I really enjoy scouting for locations to put blinds or stands. I like trying to figure out the ever changing puzzle of how deer are using food, cover, and water. In addition, I’m always looking for sign that indicates the habitat quality for deer and other critters. Click HERE to read the full article at Winchester.com.

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The Pre Rut

Posted October 17, 2014

The Pre Rut occurs during late July in south Florida, September in the South Carolina coastal counties, late October/early November during most of the whitetail’s range, and late December in south Texas. No matter when it occurs, where you hunt the pre rut is a great time to deer hunt! Click HERE to read the full article at Winchester.com.

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The October Lull

Posted October 10, 2014

It’s mid-October and still a week or so before the whitetail pre rut in most areas. Often, this portion of the season is referred to as the October Lull. I’ve certainly experienced some hunts during this time of year when it seemed there were no deer in the area. I’ve also experienced some great hunts during mid October! It seems many folks talk about the October Lull, but…CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL BLOG AT WINCHESTER.COM

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Is Baiting Deer Effective?

Posted October 3, 2014

Baiting deer during season is legal in several states. This is not another promote or bash baiting story. This is a brief look at the efficiency of baiting from a scientist’s perspective. More than a decade ago, and then again very recently, scientist studied if baiting increases or decreases the chance of seeing and/or tagging a buck….CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE AT WINCHESTER.COM

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Scouting Whitetails During Season

Posted September 26, 2014

The season for whitetails is now open in most states. In addition, farmers are starting to harvest crops, acorns are starting to fall, and the average daily temperature is changing rapidly in some areas. These factors and more mean many whitetails are changing their patterns….Click HERE to read more at Winchester.com. 

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Scouting The Rain

Posted September 19, 2014

The forecast includes a good chance of rain. Some of my buddies are excited to scout based on the assumption that the rain will wash away their scent and bucks will never know they were in the area. This might be true if my buddies don’t begin scouting until its raining and deer don’t see or hear them in addition to not smelling them…Click HERE to Read More at Winchester.com. 

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Lots of Fawns Should Mean Big Bucks

Posted September 12, 2014

Most fawns are mature enough by mid September to tag along with the doe If you are getting lots of pictures of does this time of year you should also be seeing lots of fawns. Seeing lots of fawns during September is an indicator of good habitat quality and a balanced predator-prey ratio. Click Here To Read MORE at Winchester.com

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Red and Grey Deer

Posted September 5, 2014

During the past few weeks I had questions posted on my Facebook page asking, “Why am I getting trail camera pictures of deer that suddenly have spots of red and brown hair?” The coats of these deer appear shaggy and unhealthy. Deer molt or shed their hair twice a year. This time of year the short reddish hair falls out and is replaced by longer gray hair. The short reddish hair was their summer coat. The reddish or lighter color hair reflects the sun’s energy compared to the darker winter hair which absorbs the sun’s energy in the form of heat. Click HERE to Read More at Winchester.com

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Weed Control: The Best Food Plot Crop

Posted July 25, 2014

Last week I shared how to determine the best conditions to plant forage soybeans. Now let’s consider what to do once they are out of the ground! Forage soybeans require very minimal maintenance. I plant Eagle Seed forage soybeans that are Roundup Ready. If weeds are a problem, I simply treat one time just before the beans are about to create a full canopy (leaves from one plant touching leaves from another – blocking sun from reaching the soil). This will create an almost 100% weed free crop! Click Here To Read More at Winchester.com. 

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Soybeans & Soil Temperature: The Best Food Plot Crop, Pt. 4

Posted July 18, 2014

Last week I shared some tips on how to plant forage soybeans. To get the maximum growth from forage soybeans, they need to be planted using the correct methods and when the conditions are best. This week I’ll review exactly what the optimum conditions are for planting forage soybeans.

Soybeans are a warm season crop. That is to say that cold weather will damage or kill the beans. This is true on both ends of the growing season – during the planting season and toward the end of the growing season.   Click Here To Read More at Winchester.com.

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Record Book Bucks: The Best Food Plot Crop, Pt. 2

Posted July 11, 2014

Last week I shared that I consider forage soybeans the best food plot crop for my goals of allowing deer to maximize their genetic potential of antler growth and fawn production with the additional bonus of attracting deer to my hunting stands.

This was based on my observations while hunting and an obvious relationship between where soybeans are grown and where record book bucks are harvested nationwide.  Click Here To Read More at Winchester.com.

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The Best Food Plot Crop, Pt. 1

Posted July 4, 2014

When folks tour my farm they often ask why most of my food plots are planted with forage soybeans  It’s easy to understand the question given the vast variety of food plot crops/blends available.

My goals for food plots are to:

  1. Provide deer with great nutrition so they may maximize their genetic potential to produce the best antlers or maximum number of healthy fawns.
  2. Attract deer to specific feeding locations.

Click Here To Read More at Winchester.com.

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Turkey Season!

Posted April 4, 2014

Turkey season is open or will open soon in most states! Turkey season is a lot like deer season. In most states the spring turkey season is timed around the turkey breeding season. Just like deer, turkeys go through several distinct stages of a breeding season. In fact, gobblers go through behavior similar to the pre-rut, rut, and post rut. Click Here To Read More At Winchester.com

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Using Science To Pick Which Stand To Hunt

Posted March 28, 2014

Last week I shared the results of some recent research from the University of Georgia. Those researchers found deer opted to spend more time inside a 105 acre area where coyotes were excluded by a fence, compared to similar areas just outside the fence.

Clearly, deer preferred feeding, etc., in areas they believed to have less danger. Do deer consider hunters predators – and avoid areas they associate with hunters? Click Here To Read More at Winchester.com

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Coyote and Deer

Posted March 21, 2014

The tough winter conditions this year have caused deer stress throughout the whitetail’s range. Warmer temperatures are finally in the forecast for many states. The warmer temperatures will cause native and planted vegetation to grow and provide quality forage. Does this mean deer are now living stress free? No way! Spring green up means fawning season will occur soon and coyotes will be seeking and eating fawns. Coyote depredation on fawns probably varies by area, but has clearly been documented by several researchers in different states during the past few years. Click Here To Read More At Winchester.com

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Stress On Deer During Harsh Winters

Posted March 14, 2014

I live in the very southern part of Missouri and as I write this (March 3, 2014) almost all the ground between here and the North Pole is covered by snow and ice. It’s been a brutal winter throughout most of the whitetail’s range. There’s been much research on the impacts of winter weather and the health of deer. It takes a lot of calories to remain warm during colder than normal conditions. Deer that survive such conditions obviously use most if not all of their fat reserves. The body condition can become very low by the time spring green up occurs and they can recover. Click Here To Read More At Winchester.com

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Feeding Deer During Stressful Conditions

Posted March 7, 2014

This week I received several questions about feeding corn to deer due to the stressful winter conditions throughout much of the whitetails’ range. No one likes the thought of deer suffering and searching for food in the extreme cold and deep snow. However, starting to feed corn after deer are stressed and there isn’t much food for them to eat can cause more harm than good. Some ask “How could I over deer with corn when the biggest whitetails produced annually are from areas where corn and soybean are grown commercially?” Click Here To Read More At Winchester.com

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Hunter’s Clinic Presented In Watseka

Posted March 3, 2014

Hunters, landowners and others interested in hunting in general converged on Watseka Community High School Saturday to take part in the first Hunter’s Clinic.

Dr. Grant Woods gives a presentation on tracking and hunting deer Saturday morning in Watseka.

Read More here.

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Rare Deer? The Piebald Deer

Posted February 28, 2014

Recently several folks have posted questions and pictures on my Facebook page about deer that are mostly white. These deer have a rare genetic trait that is called piebald anomaly.

Piebald deer usually have between 15 and 90% white hair. They also usually have either or all of the following characteristics: Roman nose, short legs, curving or arching of the spine, short lower jaws, and malformed internal organs. Read More At Winchester.com 

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Antler Scoring

Posted February 21, 2014

There are gads of deer shows this time of year and most of them have an antler scoring/judging contest. Want an advantage of guessing the score over your buddies? The Boone and Crockett Club published a book titled Records of North American Whitetail Deer that’s full of great information and tips about antler scores. They also recently released the following quiz that I found interesting and think you will also. First the questions and then the answers. Click Here to Read More At Winchester.com: 

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Second Season

Posted February 17, 2014

My family and I really enjoy the second deer season – shed hunting season! Shed hunting is about as fun as deer hunting – except that it doesn’t provide wonderful, natural venison for the freezer…darn. Bucks shed their antlers when their testosterone level drops below a certain threshold.  The annual testosterone cycle is relatively simple. It’s below the “antler threshold” all summer while the antlers are growing and covered with velvet. The shortening day length triggers an increase in testosterone level which triggers the hardening of antlers and shedding of velvet. Read More At Winchester.com

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Finding Sheds

Posted February 7, 2014

I’ve shared about shed hunting during the past two entries for this blog. During those two weeks the weather has been abnormally cold and many areas have received lots of snow. There’s no doubt that deer throughout most of the whitetail’s range are under tremendous stress. Deer will have trouble maintaining their body heat and even finding enough food under the deep snow cover in some areas. Read More at Winchester.com…

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Second Season Shed Hunting, Part II

Posted January 31, 2014

Last week I shared why and when bucks shed their antlers. This week I wish to share where my family and I have the most success finding sheds.  As I explained last week, antlers are not knocked off. Rather they shed due to a rapid decrease in testosterone levels.  So the old theory of finding most sheds at fence crossings or places antlers are thought to be “knocked off” simply isn’t correct. Read More At Winchester.com

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Warm Temps In The Late Season

Posted January 10, 2014

My last blog was about the advantages of hunting when temperatures are below normal during the late season. As I write this it’s 50+ degrees at noon. I’ve got a T-shirt on and have been washing my hunting clothes and hanging them outside to dry. It is warm and sunny! As nice as the temperature is for working outside, it does not make for ideal hunting conditions. Deer, if they are healthy, currently have a heavy fur and lots of body fat. The best way for them to remain cool during the warm conditions is to remain inactive until the temperatures decrease after dark. Read More At Winchester.com

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Sign in the Snow

Posted January 3, 2014

Most hunters, myself included, don’t hunt where snow cover is common throughout the deer season.  When it does snow, it’s a great opportunity to scout! Every deer track, trail, fresh scrape, feeding area, and bed will be easy to find! Read More At Winchester.com

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Late Season Deer Hunting: Where to Find A Monster

Posted December 30, 2013

As a hunter, I really enjoy the late season deer hunting! Although there will be fewer bucks, as some will have been taken earlier in the season, there are a couple important advantages to hunting this time of year. Read More At Bowhunting Magazine…

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Hunting In The Snow

Posted December 27, 2013

It’s common for hunters in the northern states to hunt while the ground is covered with snow.  However, most hunters rarely have the privilege of hunting in the snow. Privilege?? Yes…a privilege! Snow not only covers the ground, but also covers most food sources during the late season. Most native forage plants have lost their leaves and the nuts and fruits that have fallen are now on the ground.  Simply put, food sources are scarce and the preferred food sources are readily found as critters are leaving sign in the snow! Read More At Winchester.com

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Scouting After The Kill

Posted December 13, 2013

This time of year most bucks are seeking the best food in their home range to recover from the rut. Does and fawns are seeking calories to maintain body heat and maintenance/growth. Both genders and all age classes of deer are seeking quality food. It’s time to change from rut season hunting strategies to stand locations that are based on the herd’s current preferred food sources. Read More At Winchester.com

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Late-Season Strategies for Whitetails

Posted December 12, 2013

I live and do a majority of my deer hunting in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. Missouri offers bowhunters two buck tags. One tag is valid from Sept. 15-Jan. 15, with the exception of a nine-day, statewide gun season. The second tag is only valid after the statewide gun season, which usually closes just before Thanksgiving. That season/tag structure is one reason I enjoy hunting the late season. Read More At  BowHunting Magazine….

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Patterning Doe Fawns to Kill Mature Bucks

Posted December 6, 2013

Most adult does have now been bred throughout most of the whitetails’ range. They are back to a feeding/seeking cover pattern and taking their female fawns in tow with them.

Female fawns will enter puberty and become receptive once they weight about 70 pounds. In areas with enough quality forage for all deer in the area a high percentage of female fawns will breed during their first winter. Usually they won’t become receptive till the late season – December or January. This is great news for hunters seeking mature bucks! Read More At Winchester.com…

 

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QDMA Rack Pack Interview: Dr. Grant Woods

Posted November 11, 2013

Please tell us who you are and what you do:

My name is Grant Woods and I am a wildlife biologist.

What led you to your career?

As a six year old I found a dead deer on my family farm when I was checking my trap line. My father and I skinned the deer and preserved the pelt. Since that time I have never wanted to be anything else but a wildlife biologist. Read More at QDMA.com….

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Where To Kill A Big Buck

Posted September 18, 2013

Some whitetail hunters set an antler size standard at the start of each bow season. I’m a huge believer in setting goals. I also believe strongly that satisfaction is a function of expectations. Simply stated, if you set your goal to harvest a 125-inch buck and you harvest a 140-inch buck, you will probably be very pleased with your hunting season. If you harvest a buck with 125-class antlers, you will probably be pleased with your season. And if you harvest a buck that scores 80, you may feel you didn’t accomplish your mission. Read More At Bowhunting Magazine….

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Blue Tongue Disease in Deer: How is it Affecting Populations?

Posted June 18, 2013

EHD, also known as epizoodic hemorrhagic disease or blue tongue, swept across the whitetail range like a plague during the summer and fall of 2012, killing untold numbers of whitetails. Briefly, EHD is a virus that is transmitted from deer to deer by small biting flies known as midges. EHD spreads more quickly during bad droughts—such as that experienced across much of the nation last summer—because deer come to water more often as they don’t get much moisture from the vegetation they consume. The exposed mud around the water sources is the breeding grounds for the midges. So, when deer come to a get a drink, they are at very high risk for being bitten by the bugs and “injected” with the virus. Read More at BowHuntingMag.com

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Why Predator Control Matters For Deer Populations

Posted April 3, 2013

It’s almost fawning season throughout most of the whitetails’ range. Many hunters don’t get as excited as I do about fawning season, but it is the key to hunts years from now. For example, my goals for the 2013 season include tagging a 4-year-old buck. My odds of success are strongly influenced by the number of male fawns that survived during spring of 2009. Bucks that will be 4 years old during 2013 were 3 years old during 2012, 2 years old during 2011, 1 year old during 2010 and were born during 2009. Read More At BowHunting Magazine….

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Dr. Grant Woods & GrowingDeer.tv at BassPro1Source.com

Posted February 11, 2013

Click here to see more about Dr. Grant Woods & the GrowingDeer.tv team at BassPro1Source.com!

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Dr. Grant Woods Bio

Posted

Dr. Grant Woods writes a regular blog for Winchester.com.  See his bio and blog posts here.

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Bowhunting Radio: Spring Seeding for Food Plots

Posted March 22, 2012

In this latest installment of Petersen’s Bowhunting Radio, Whitetail management guru Dr. Grant Woods offers his advice for a successful food plot program. To listen to the podcast, please click HERE

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Get Your Spring Food Plot Advice Here!

Posted

I don’t know about you, but I am excited about this early spring weather, and I can’t wait to get started with my 2012 food plot program. When it comes to property management and food plots, I can’t think of a better person to get advice from than Dr. Grant Woods. Grant owns a 1,500-acre property in Missouri known as “The Proving Grounds,” which serves as a non-step test lab for best practices in wildlife habitat management.

In the latest episode of Petersen’s Bowhunting Radio, I talk to Grant about what needs to happen to prepare, plant, grow and hunt over successful food plots. If you are thinking about doing some habitat work on your hunting grounds this year, the information contained in this episode can help put you in a photograph like this! Click here to listen to the Interview.. . 

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Hidey-Hole Whitetail Food Plots

Posted August 16, 2011

Closing the distance on a mature buck is more art than science. Throughout the off-season, hunters like us are continually challenging ourselves to think of new techniques or improve on old ones. One technique we are continually tweaking is the creation of “hidey-holes.” Hidey-holes are miniature food plots designed to light up a buck’s taste buds while drawing him in for a close shot. Hidey-holes are a great tool for bowhunting. So, follow along as we explain the why, where, when and how to make them work for you…Read More at Bowhuntingmag.com

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How To Conduct a Trail Camera Census for Whitetails

Posted August 5, 2011

As I drove home one evening after spending the afternoon in one of my favorite stands, I got a call from a friend who had just arrowed a good buck. However, his voice wavered between excitement and disappointment. He proceeded to tell me that bucks were tearing up the woods where he lived as they honed in on hot does. This wasn’t a surprise, as it was the second week of November in north central Missouri. He’d been seeing some great bucks at a distance for several days. The rifle season was set to open the next morning, and he was anxious to release an arrow before the guns started booming. Read more at Bow HuntingMagazine.com….

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