The Waiting Game
By William T. Strickland
Practice, patience and perseverance pay off... eventually. In July 2004, my good friend Clay Young, owner of Mexico Outfitters Unlimited in Del Rio, Texas, called and said he had an unexpected opening for a five-day hunt on his premier low-fence ranch in Mexico. The La Margarita is a 33,000-acre cattle ranch that has been under a strict trophy deer... READ MORE
By Rob Brennan
With a rack like this, there could be only one name for this buck. In 2005, I bought my third trail camera. The first week, I got some photographs of a tremendous buck in one of my Biologic food plots. When my children saw the pictures, they described the deer’s rack as “big and nasty.” That led to our nicknaming it “Big Nas... READ MORE
No Time for Nerves
By Rob Meade
It took only a few seconds to make a memory that will last a lifetime. The alarm went off at 3 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2006, and Justin Metzner rose from his bed to prepare for a bowhunt in southern Ohio. Once dressed, he headed out to pick up his buddy, Jeremy Fannin, and the two hunters began the three-hour drive to Adams County. Their destination was a... READ MORE
By Tom Fegely
Attention to detail before the hunt is even more important with smokepoles.
It doesn’t take much to spoil a muzzleloader hunt.
On one of my first flintlock outings more than 30 years ago, I wasted a valuable part of an afternoon following the clean miss of a doe I encountered on my way to a backwoods treestand. After firing, then verifying ... READ MORE
Shoot More Does ... Or Else
By David Hart
Are our grandfathers’ views on shooting female deer still valid today? There’s something about antlers we just can’t resist. Put a healthy doe and a pencil-horn spike in front of a guy with a .30-06 in his hands and the odds are he’ll center the crosshairs on the buck. Every time. While some dedicated deer hunters have come ... READ MORE
By Bob Humphrey
If you repeat something often enough, people will think it’s true. The sun and the temperature were well up, so I decided to abandon my stand in favor of a stroll around the woodlot. Deer movement was nil. There was a chance I might jump one, but I was more interested in doing a little scouting. I’d just cleared a thick patch of firs wh... READ MORE
Scouting with a Purpose
By Jeff Murray
Just like the rut, scouting has phases that come together to complete the process.
“Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
I view seasonal scouting as an event leading up to a promising hunt — something to be savored, much like a bowl of homemade soup. Unfortunately, most hunters view scouti... READ MORE
Shooting the Moon
By Bob Humphrey
Just how much does the moon influence deer movement and rut activity? It was 4 p.m. - broad daylight - when I glanced out the window and saw five deer strolling up the back field. Seeing deer in the back yard isn’t all that unusual, but they typically don’t show until the last half hour of daylight. Furthermore, all five deer seemed rat... READ MORE
The Need for Speed
By Jeff Murray
Are bowhunters giving up accuracy to get more speed? Fast computers. Speedy couriers. Express mail. Quickie lube jobs. Instant pudding. Seems whatever is fastest, we like it the “mostest.” America’s love affair with speed isn’t limited to everyday consumer goods. It spills over to leisure sports, and that certainly includes ... READ MORE
In the Pines
By Tom Fegely
Hot or cold, you often can find whitetails looking for food and shelter in the evergreens. For many years, members of our deer camp would depart for their stands in the predawn darkness with this promise: “See you in the pines at noon.” There, a spring bubbled from mossy rocks, forming a clear, shallow pool, which provided water for tea... READ MORE
By Steve Bartylla
What hunter hasn’t spent hours dreaming of taking a truly world-class buck? Most of us have a fire burning in our souls for a pure hunting experience. That is, for the joy of communing with nature and matching wits with any whitetail, large or small. But despite the passion for the hunt, I believe we all dream of taking an unbelievable buck. ... READ MORE
Against All Odds
By Keith Bailey
After 11 long, cold days in an Alberta deer stand, this life member finally got a shot. Whether I’m heading to South Texas, Iowa, Mexico or, in this case, the beautiful North Country of Smokey Lake, Alberta, packing always starts the excitement for any of my hunting trips. The flight up North is filled with hunters looking to bag that trophy ... READ MORE
By Kathy Etling
How a Minnesota hunter uses cameras to take heavily pressured bucks.
Almost any other archer whose trail camera had snapped the photo of a gorgeous 13-point whitetail probably would have been tempted to head out after the animal immediately. Dan Urbas, however, stared at the buck’s 140-class rack, estimated his age at 3 1/2 years, and chose ... READ MORE
By Joe Blake
Because trophy bucks absolutely love the solitude and security of a swamp.
It hadn’t rained at all, but the foggy afternoon mist hung so thick around me that water clung to every branch, every blade of grass and every inch of this bowhunter’s body!
The thick stand of poplars took on a surreal look as every nook and cranny faded into t... READ MORE
This One’s For You, Steve
By Blaine Tiringer
By 7 a.m. on Nov. 14, 2005, I was heading to our hunting ranch near Spiritwood, Saskatchewan. On the way, I decided to check on a field where I had seen some nice bucks. Sure enough, there were fresh tracks from the early-morning snow. I spotted a doe on a hill a half-mile away, so I went to check her out. Then, there he was! With my naked eye, I c... READ MORE
To Shoot or Not to Shoot?
By David Hart
A 6-pointer jumped up from a clump of briers barely 5 yards from my feet. I was in the middle of a walk to push deer from their bedding areas to a couple of friends sitting on the edge of a field a quarter-mile away. I had my .270 cradled in my arms, ready for a split-second opportunity, and the buck tried to make a break to my left, away from my w... READ MORE
By Tom Kule
Nov. 7, 2006, was my first day back East after a successful 10-day BLM land elk hunt in Idaho. It was also the first of a 15-day on-call work block. The good thing about being on call is that I can hunt when I want, as long as I’m ready to head to work with little notice. I live to bowhunt the rut, which typically starts in Ohio around Nov. 8... READ MORE
Be a Doe Master
By Bob Humphrey
I heard them before I saw them — hasty footsteps rattling on the dry leaves like hail stones pinging off a tin roof. Three deer broke cover at 250 yards and raced across the open bog. A quick check through the binoculars showed none sported antlers. It didn’t matter, though. This was the second-to-last day of a month-long season, and I ... READ MORE
The 10% Rule
By Tracy Breen
Most deer hunters harvest wall-worthy bucks only occasionally. Even then, it’s most often a case of being in the right place at the right time. A few hunters, however, seem to have discovered the secret to the big-buck program. At most, they make up 10 percent of the hunters in the woods. That 10 percent harvests about 90 percent of the Troph... READ MORE
Hindsight is 177 4/8
By Greg Gates
For the last 18 years, my passion has been hunting deer in northwest Kansas’ Rooks County. And with access to about 8,000 acres of state-owned and managed hunting lands, plus about 2,000 acres of private property, I have plenty of choices.
For the previous 10 years, my hunting partner, Bob Martin, and I had set up camp in the public hunting ... READ MORE