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5 Factors for Rut Hunting Success

The rut is a fickle creature. It’s difficult to know exactly what the deer are doing from one day to the next unless you’re out there observing the behavior every day (though you can keep up with a lot on Realtree's Rut Report , updated by region every week). Even...


Boom or Bust: Gun Hunters Have it Figured Out

It happens every fall — a diehard bowhunter chases a monster buck all season long. You know, does everything “right.” Showers before each hunt. His camo and boots never see daylight except at the farm. Doesn’t hunt unless the conditions are primo. All boxes checked. Then, on the opening day...


Serious Sleeper States with Big Whitetails

Nonresident deer hunters are like the Mongolian horde — where one goes, all go, and carnage follows. Throughout the decades, it’s led to some states getting pounded with hunting pressure. Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin are some legacy states, to name a few. Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio were once...


Big Public Bucks in Nasty Places

Whenever I hunt, scout or look for shed antlers on public lands, I’m always amazed by how so many humans think alike. I can’t count how many times I’ve found boot tracks where I planned to hike or a treestand hung where I’d planned to hang one myself. Most hunters...


Are A-Frame Duck Blinds Better than Layouts?

Even in the dark, our hide resembled a skyscraper atop a pool table. And ducks and geese, I figured, would find it just as conspicuous. But 30 minutes later, the first flock of Alberta mallards dive-bombed the decoy spread, and my fears subsided. And an hour after the sun peeked...


Why You Shouldn’t Shoot 3 ½-Year-Old Bucks

We always emphasize the importance of providing optimum nutrition so deer can reach their genetic potential, but there is also another side to deer management. What you shoot and what you pass up has a big effect on future hunting, and once you start experimenting in this regard, you will...


5 Tips for Calling Pintails

Among waterfowlers, pintails carry a polarizing reputation. On one side, successful pintail hunters consider the birds to be one of the most prized waterfowl. Admired for their unquestioned regality and good looks, pintails are also considered by many to be the greatest wild game table fare. Despite their tasty reputation,...


How to Hunt the Phases of the Rut

A doe comes crashing through the timber and blows right by your treestand. Seconds later, a top-heavy, big-bodied buck trots down the same lane, hot on the doe’s trail. It stops mere yards from you, lip-curls, and belts out the gnarliest grunt you've ever heard. That’s what the rut is...


5 Favorite Fall Fishing Bites

It’s a great time of year to be on the water. With cooling temperatures come great angling opportunities everywhere we look. In the far North, many fish strap on the feedbag and prepare for winter. Farther south, a welcomed cool-down means greater activity for everything that swims. We can’t go...


The Best Times to Deer Hunt in 2022

A good day to hunt is any day you can get off work. But knowing that some days will be better than others, I flipped through the calendar, analyzed moon phases, guessed the weather as best I could, and predicted when the hunting will be best this season. October 31...


5 Best Stand Setups for Pre-Rut Bowhunting

With just a few lucky breaks in the weather, the pre-rut, from about mid-October through the first of November, can offer some of the year's best bowhunting. Mature bucks are antsy as they wait for the first does to pop into early estrus. But they're not roaming far and wide...


3 Brothers Tag Monster Bucks During Kansas Youth Season

What’s better than harvesting a monster buck on opening night? Well, having your brothers take their own monster bucks during the same hunt, of course. That’s how it happened for brothers Noah, Micah, and Westin McCauley during the Kansas youth season in September. Tevis McCauley, the boys’ father, owns and...


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