Category: Deer Hunting

The Importance of Food

By GrowingDeer,

Have you ever noticed how important food is to all critters?  Bass fishermen concentrate their efforts on identifying what bass are feeding on that day in the area they are fishing.  Many trout fishermen are even more tuned into what their prey is eating.  They select flies based on what insects are hatching at that moment.  This technique is called matching the hatch.

Deer hunters should pay just as much attention to the current food selections as trout fishermen.   There are currently beautiful wheat food plots at The Proving Grounds.  They are lush!  However, I don’t believe deer have consumed one blade of the wheat yet this fall.  The reason is there are currently plenty of acorns.  If I selected a stand overlooking wheat last week, I’d would have only seen a deer if it was traveling through the food plots (based on Reconyx trail camera images).  However, I harvested one of my hit list bucks by paying attention to what deer are currently consuming – acorns.  Does are traveling to eat and mature bucks will be checking out the does.

When I go trout fishing I see some insects buzzing along the water’s surface.  I rarely catch my limit of mature trout.  However, my buddies that are skilled trout fisherman recognize different species of insects and know which ones trout are most likely to strike.  I approach deer hunting the same way.  I’m most successful when I know what deer are most likely to consume and where they are finding that food source.

Just like the skilled fly fisherman that cast his fly between the overhang that is providing trout cover so they can approach the food, I wish to place my stand where deer are likely to travel while in route to the food.  Knowing what food deer currently prefer and where they prefer to feed on that item is the key to hunting pre, during, and post rut.  How you hunt the food source may vary (distance from cover, etc.) with the time of the year, but the knowledge required to understand the current preferred food doesn’t change.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

Grunt Call + Z7 = Success

By GrowingDeer,

I harvested a nice buck yesterday at The Proving Grounds.  It was a thrilling hunt that included the buck grunting/balling, and then responding to my grunts by approaching my stand and actually walking a ¾ circle around me.  It might have walked all the way around my stand looking for the source of the grunt he heard except the Z7 launched.

There’s much to be learned from that experience.  Deer, and most wild animals, are excellent at determining the source of sound.  The woods are rarely quiet as Hollywood portrays.  There are small branches breaking and other common sounds that probably are not given much attention by mature bucks.  Other sounds, such as metal clanking, etc., are not common and probably serve to alert deer.

Bucks grunting are a normal and frequent sound in the woods this time of year, especially in areas where the deer herd has been managed to allow a substantial portion of the bucks to mature.  Hence, grunt calls, as long as they are within the normal pitch and tone of real bucks’ sound, are commonly heard by deer during or just before the rut.  Therefore, I use grunt calls extensively this time of year.

I prefer a call that produces a lot of volume.  I will commonly look around to make sure there are no deer in view, then begin by grunting very softly.  Loud grunts may alert deer that are close by and don’t expect a mature buck to be that close.  If there is no response, I call again using more volume.

The second way I use a grunt call is to attempt to make deer I observe to approach closer to my stand.  I simply judge how far the deer is from the stand, then call just loud enough so they can hear the call.  I typically call softly and increase the volume until the buck acknowledges the call.

Don’t be scared to use a grunt call.  This week throughout most of the whitetails’ range is a great time to use a grunt call.  I use a homemade call that a friend gave me.  It can produce a lot of volume and the tone is medium to deep.  Grunt calls are one of my favorite tools to harvest mature bucks.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

Patterning Mature Bucks

By GrowingDeer,

I’m getting ready for a seminar tonight at the First Baptist Church of Swedeborg.  Attendees will learn the best techniques for Patterning Mature Bucks. I use Reconyx trail cameras because they provide great information with minimal disturbance.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

  Category: Deer Hunting
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