Deer Hunting

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10 Big-Buck Lessons Learned from Last Fall

Deer season 2022 seemed to be the year of the snake bite for me — at least at first. I played cat-and-mouse with a big Kentucky 10-pointer from early September through Halloween. Not only did I not see him in 20-plus sits, but I didn’t see any other bucks, either,...


5 Giant Whitetail Buck Stories from 2022

The Realtree Rack Report has been bringing you the best big buck stories on the Internet for more than a decade — and 2022 might’ve been our best year yet. We shared the tales and photos of 44 different successful hunters and the giant bucks they shot. Some were Realtree...


Reasons Why Late-Season Deer Hunting Sucks … and Why It’s Great, Too

The big buck ambled through the snow-laden hayfield 180 degrees behind me. I was sitting on the ground overlooking a river bottom that wraps around the field edge with my muzzleloader on my lap when I craned left and saw tines. Unfortunately, several deer were between me and the bruiser...


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...


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...


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...


How to Read Rub Lines

“Look at this rub!” Alicia shouted. I know that my wife has seen more than her fair share of buck rubs, but the nature of her reaction proved that what she’d just found was very, very special. As I hurried over to where she was standing, my jaw dropped. Right...


19 Crazy Deer Hunting Videos

Deer hunting is full of surprises — good and bad. Rarely do things go according to plan in nature, but that’s OK, because it’d be boring if it did. Sometimes, you need something interesting to shake it up. Some of these videos are just that. Others are just shocking, wild,...


30 Reasons You Won’t Get Your Target Buck This Fall

We deer hunters expect every new season to be the best one yet. That’s a good attitude to have, because you’d be a salty curmudgeon if you didn’t. But rarely does a season turn out exactly as we hope, especially if you’ve got a specific target buck in mind. What’s...


The Best—And Worst—Hunting Fads of the Past 40 Years

The fat 4-pointer glided in below my perch, young muscles rippling in the morning sun. I pulled the Bear and the aluminum arrow sliced the air. Then that sound — thwack. The buck mule-kicked and bolted. When I heard him crash, I shinnied down the tree, stepped out of the...


Kentucky Hunting Buddies Double Up on Opening Day Monsters

Robby Bishop and Hunter Wood were destined to be friends. Robby’s dad and Hunter’s grandfather were best friends and hunting partners. Their cousins and uncles all hung out together. So, when the two started talking about mutual outdoor interests years ago, it was only natural that they became friends. “There’s...


6 of Our Last 11 Bucks Have Had CWD. Now What?

I caught movement to my right as the buck walked around the side of the hill below a rock outcropping, nose to the ground and on a mission for the first hot doe. I slowly stood and came to full draw as he disappeared briefly behind a large red oak...


7 Great DIY Deer Hunts

If you seek adventure, part of the allure of the outdoors is seeing new places. Hunting provides that opportunity and creates additional elements to enjoy. Forging a DIY pursuit can add additional fun, as being successful on your own sweat, time, and expertise makes it even more rewarding. Although hunters...


Do Biologists Listen to Hunters?

The chatter usually starts after a slow day in the deer woods or duck blind. Disgruntled hunters wonder what went wrong and begin to grumble about the folks charged with managing their wildlife. It’s nothing new. For years, hunters across the country have questioned the competency or even intentions of...


Lessons Learned from 15 Freaky 200-Inch Bucks

Huge whitetails are captivating. They’re so uncommon we rarely get to see, observe or shoot one, let alone learn from it. So when we read and hear stories of monster bucks, it’s important to dig into them and see what useful information we can glean. After a decade of writing...


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