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From The Field


Father/Son Win Top Muzzleloading Honors
Goex Powder Company, manufacturer of the only American made authentic black powder for over 200 years, is proud to announce that Tim and Harry Marsh won a combined 12 muzzleloading titles at the recent National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association/NRA national shoot. Both used Goex’s The Tradition Continues powder. Tim and Harry Marsh, a father and son from Stanton, Ky., are regular attendees at the muzzleloading June NMLRA/NRA championships in Friendship, Ind. Tim took top honors in the Revolutionary and Hunter categories. Harry dominated then won the Offhand finals.
 

Open Country Whitetails
White-tailed deer are not normally associated with plains hunting, but as the population has expanded, more hunters are finding they need to employ open-country strategies. Where I hunt in central and southwestern Kansas there’s a mixed population of mule deer and whitetails, and whitetail encroachment into historical mule deer habitat is a growing problem. Because mule deer are off limits for hunters in many cases, target identification is critical. To hunt in this area, you must be able to quickly differentiate whitetails from muleys by their physical characteristics. Whitetails don’t like to be exposed over vast stretches of open terrain, but they are highly adaptive and will take advantage of any favorable environment. Favorable whitetail habitat includes hiding cover, bedd...
 

The Deer Bed
White-tailed deer, bucks and does, selectively establish more than one bedding site. Whether in thickets of young pine saplings, amid old growth fields, river and creek bottoms, or beneath the forest canopy, deer spend the majority of their time relaxed in a secure bedroom. Foraging for clover along the edge, a velvet-antlered buck slowly vanishes into the timber. Consuming woody browse, he gradually and effortlessly scales the steep mountain slope. By scent and repetitive conditioning, the buck knows the destination of his ascent. Finally, with each step, the mature whitetail reaches the knoll. Lowering his head, he then scents the ground and circles one particular spot several times and stops. With his front legs positioned, he first lowers his chest and tucks the front legs while almo...
 

Get Close Enough to Take a Coyote
By Joe Kosack -- Interested in finding something new and different to try this winter? Coyote hunting may be just what you’re looking for, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. “Calling a coyote into shotgun range is one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in the outdoors,” said Perry County Wildlife Conservation Officer Steve Hower. “Catching one sneaking in the backdoor as you sit motionlessly waiting for it to come into range is right up there with calling in a trophy gobbler on a crisp spring morning. “The action is often close. Your quarry is one of the most intelligent animals out there. And, if you do everything right and take a coyote, you’ll be hooked.” The eastern coyote can be found in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Next to the black bear, it’s the ...
 

Points of Contention
By Mike Handley -- Confused about how to measure whitetail antlers? Then you’d better not read “Rack Up the Points” in the February 2010 issue of Outdoor Life. The one-page featurette, which attempts to show how a single set of antlers fares by the Boone & Crockett, Safari Club International and Buckmasters yardsticks, falls miserably short. The deer shown was taken in 1987 by Kevin Boyle. The article lists three scores for the buck from Nova Scotia: 193 6/8 B&C, 205+ SCI and 150 BTR. The B&C tally is the only one correctly identified. The SCI score is purely hypothetical. The BTR score is fiction. The Outdoor Life story says that a Buckmasters score is determined by submerging a rack in water and expressed in cubic inches. While it’s true that a water-displacement system w...
 

Proper Shot Placement
By Bob Humphrey -- The goal for every deer hunter is a quick, clean harvest. Ethically, it demonstrates respect for the game we pursue. Logically, it reduces the time and effort required to recover the animal, not to mention eliminating the wastefulness of lost game. In any case, it begins and ends with proper shot placement. Where you should aim can vary considerably depending upon circumstances, weaponry and the individual hunter, among other things. For example, firearms take down deer primarily through shock and trauma, while archery shots result in massive hemorrhaging (blood loss). In each case, you want to place the projectile where it will be most effective at its intended purpose, and where you feel most confident in your ability to do so. Let’s start with bowhunting. Mos...
 

Whitetail Vocalizations
Text & Photos by Tommy Kirkland -- The silence is broken. There along the edge of the forest are faint echoes of a few soft grunts. Setting your sights in that direction, you search the landscape. With the anticipation of a rutting buck, you are suddenly shocked beyond all reason! The sporadic grunting, though slightly different from a buck, is not coming from a male deer. It's a matriarchal doe with her offspring; and another intriguing and unpredictable aspect of behavior unfolds in the whitetails' world of vocal communications. To evade predators and to establish a social hierarchy for procreation, whitetails rely not only on scent, sight and body posturing, but also an amazing assortment of vocal sounds. There are distinct vocalizations for maintaining social structures of the h...
 
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