How to Protect Trees from Buck Rubs and Possible Girdling

By GrowingDeer,

It’s that time of year!  Testosterone levels in bucks are increasing and velvet will be coming off soon.

That means bucks will begin rubbing. Bucks tend to rub on aromatic trees (such as fruit trees or cedars) due to the scent that is released.

To protect fruit trees or other aromatic trees from being rubbed and potentially girdled (which can lead to the tree dying) a wire cage can be wrapped around the tree.

wire cange to protect trees from bucks rubbing antlers


The wire cage should not be tight but several inches larger in diameter than the trunk. We do this each year around our fruit trees and leave the cage up until antlers have shed.

If you have planted any tree saplings recently, schedule a visit to these locations soon. Routine maintenance is necessary to ensure protection for these young trees. Any exposed saplings are prime targets for deer to rub. Rubs can severely damage and even kill these young trees.

We secure our trees tubes with zip ties

Ensure your saplings are tightly secured and enclosed, this will provide safety from bucks during this time of year.

When you check your saplings make sure each is staked properly and that each tree tube is securely attached, fully enclosing the sapling. This will deter any bucks using the area from rubbing and damaging your planted saplings, ensuring protection and future enjoyment of your investment for years to come!

For more information on how to establish a tree plot, watch episode #277 here.

Archery Practice: Aim for the Lower Third

By GrowingDeer,

We expect deer to react to the shot (we’ve seen this over and over). We practice like we hunt. When shooting at a deer or target, we aim at the lower 1/3 of the kill zone. If the deer reacts/drops, the shot is still in the kill zone. If the deer doesn’t react, it’s in the heart and/or bottom lungs.

I aim at the bottom third of the deer’s chest whether they are 20 or 40 yards away. I rarely shoot at deer past 40 yards for fear the deer will move and I rarely worry about deer dropping below the flight of the arrow if they are much closer than 20 yards. There are multiple advantages to aiming at the lower third of a deer’s chest. Wounds here usually produce better blood trails because the chest cavity doesn’t have to fill with blood before it starts exiting the wound.

I practice aiming at the bottom third so it’s a normal sight pattern when I’m hunting!  See this video that shows how aiming for the lower third pays off!

Morrell Target: practice shooting lower third

New Hidey Hole Food Plot At Edge of Bedding Area and Timber

By GrowingDeer,

We’re very excited about this new hidey hole food plot. It will be located on top of a ridge on the edge of a hardwood timber and a south facing slope/bedding area.

new food plot going in at edge of timber and cover


This is a great travel corridor. Deer already naturally travel across the saddle in the ridge and along the edge of the timber and bedding area.

location of a new food plot bordering timber and cover

topograhic lines on Onx map of bedding area


tophograhic mapp of bedding area with new food plot

Adding an attractive food source will make this an ideal hunting location! We are simply terminating the vegetation with backpack sprayers and will broadcast Eagle Seed Fall Buffalo Blend seed right before or during a rain.

Note: The map pictured above is from our OnX app. It’s a great tool for laying out food plots and so much more! Check out OnX maps here for a free trial!

How High Do You Place Your Treestands?

By GrowingDeer,

Folks often ask how high we place our Summit Treestands.  There are many factors. One is cover.


summit tree stand high in a tree

 When possible, we like to have cover (limbs and leaves) to break up the hunter’s silhouette and mask movement. We also consider if a tree will provide cover throughout the entire season (even after leaves fall). Cover varies from tree to tree and we adjust our stand height accordingly.

Most of the stands we hang for bow hunting are 20′ +/– high.  If stands are much higher it’s very difficult to get both lungs if the deer is relatively close to the stand due to the angle.  Some stands may be a bit higher or lower based on the topography near the stand.

Summit Stand in a Treestand July 2020

If the stands are lower deer tend to pick up movement easier.  There’s a neat explanation to the angles deer can see at:

The Key to Success for this Kentucky Hunt: Food Plot Design

By GrowingDeer,

Last fall, Grant was on the edge of his seat as he played cat and mouse with a big Kentucky buck!

The success of this hunt was the design of the food plot and the location of the Redneck Hunting Blinds.

Kentucky Huting Plan and Deer Movement

This food plot was in the middle of a pine stand and ran along a ridge top. There were two saddles in this ridge (marked with white lines) and the Redneck blind overlooked the entire plot.

Redneck blind in the field with great field of view

From the blind, deer were not alerted while traveling across the ridge or feeding in the plot.

Kentucky Buck shows during an early morning hunt

Kentucky Buck Hunt 2019: Cat and Mouse

When designing a plot and/or choosing a hunting location, consider how to approach, hunt and exit without alerting deer. You can watch this entire hunt unfold here!

See the Difference In Two Thinned Pine Stands: One Burned the Other Not

By GrowingDeer,

Our friend Keith recently shared a great habitat update he’s done on his hunting property! After thinning pines several years ago, he used prescribed fire this past spring and saw a flush of native species.

After Prescribed Fire

This vegetation is offering great cover and palatable browse. This is a great example that opening up the canopy (in this case thinning the pines) with the use of prescribed fire can create quality habitat. What’s even more interesting is that Keith also shared a photo of thinned pines that was not burned.

area that wasn't burned

This stand had many more woody species/saplings. Within a few seasons theses species will be shading the ground and browse will be out of reach of critters. If not addressed soon, this area could require a lot of work to convert it back to quality habitat.

Share your habitat improvement updates with us on social media: Facebook and Instagram!

Enjoy Creation!

Mapping Acorns!

By GrowingDeer,

While we’ve been out checking cameras we’ve kept an eye out for acorn producing oaks and marking them in OnX Hunt!

We’ll be hunting in this area when this white oak starts dropping acorns! Let us know how the acorn crop looking where you hunt by joining us on social media and leaving a comment!

Acorns producing trees marked on OnX