Deer Hunting

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10 Takeaways from the 2021 Deer Season

Hanback’s Lessons Crafty and insanely unpredictable, a whitetail buck that has roamed this Earth for 4 or 5 years is the ultimate teacher. No matter how long you’ve been hunting, no matter good you think you are, no matter how much you think you know, a big deer will throw...


Hunt the Deep South’s January Deer Rut

As you read this, I’m down in central Louisiana hunting the tail end of the rut. While the breeding season in these woods peaked a few weeks ago around Christmas, many bucks are still actively seeking does. Hopefully I’ll whack a bayou giant before I pack up and drive 10...


10 Monster Bucks of 2021

For more than a decade, Realtree’s Rack Report has been a go-to stop to get your fill of big buck stories. Our reporters beat the bushes every fall, starting in September and ending in January, to get the scoop on the season’s biggest whitetails and coolest deer hunting stories. There...


20 Winter Deer Hunting Tips for the Last Week of Season

Face it, if you haven’t tagged out by now it’s going to be tough. The first and second ruts are history in most places. Other hunters have killed the easy bucks and spooked the survivors into hiding. You’ve got two options. Eat tag soup and pack it in until next...


Mother and Son Shoot Big Locked-Up Bucks

The Shields family is a hunting family. Bryan and Jamie, along with their son, Brennan, spend as much time as they can every fall chasing big whitetails in the hilly country of Boone County, Kentucky, and they have a history of tagging nice deer. Bryan Shields has been hunting his...


How to Can Deer Meat

For sportsmen across the nation, freezer space comes at a premium. You can walk into the average outdoorsman’s garage and find an ice chest full of big game, waterfowl, and fish. It becomes a game of Jenga when carefully removing a package of elk brats and bag of goose jerky...


Michael Waddell’s Story Started With a Turkey Call

Before Michael Waddell became an outdoor industry icon, he was an air conditioner repairman whose claim to fame was winning local turkey-calling competitions on the weekends. Unbeknownst to Waddell, he’d caught the attention of Bill Jordan, who’d heard about the talented young turkey caller from Realtree pro staffers. In 1994,...


3 Awesome Stands for Gun Hunting the Rut

One morning in Oklahoma, a guide named Jim Bob pointed me to a box blind and whispered, “When the sun comes up, you can see and shoot a country mile, Brother. Watch the tree line out front. Good luck.” I climbed into the box and the sun rose a splendid...


Smack Talk: Aggressive Deer Calling Strategies

Jeff Danker remembers well the first time he ever called up a buck. It was back in the ’90s, when hunting videos were becoming a thing, and the heroes on screen seemed to call up bucks with every click of the rattling antlers. Danker wanted to see a buck come...


Ghost Busters: What to Do When Your Buck Disappears

Ever had a monster buck on your trail cameras that suddenly seemed to disappear? So have most hunters who run cams. Oftentimes we call these bucks ghosts, and give them nicknames in honor of their cunning and ability to evade death. Reality is, though the bucks might be ghosting you,...


Why Deer Hunting on Halloween is Scary Good

Halloween is a time for candies and costumes. But to deer hunters , it’s much more than that. Hunting on Halloween has long been a tradition, and it’s the signature kickoff for the rut. The sun sets on October, and the madness begins. Still, it requires the right approach to...


Austin Riley on Baseball, Deer Hunting, and Respect for the Game

Austin Riley is just like the rest of us — except he’s a lot better at baseball than probably anyone reading this. Everyone around him saw his natural skills early, including his dad, who coached him from Little League right through high school summer ball. Mississippi State offered him a...


5 Best Stand Setups for Pre-Rut Bowhunting

I’m predicting a “trickle rut” this fall, based largely on the timing of the full moons in mid-October and mid-November. I expect a good number of does, more than usual, to cue off the bright illumination and pop into early estrus from October 16, through the full moon on the...


Travis “T-Bone” Turner on Archery and Camo

There was a time when Travis “T-Bone” Turner was afraid to pull back a bow. That was long before making a name for himself as a world champion 3D tournament archer and hunting personality on popular Realtree TV shows and videos, of course. But when Turner was 10 years old,...


3 Top States for DIY Big Buck Hunters

For a Do-It-Yourself hunter, nothing beats the simplicity of traveling to another state, buying a deer tag over the counter, and then going to the woods. There are plenty of places for us DIYers to hunt like that and probably get a shot at a deer, too. But not as...


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Velvet Bucks

For some, antler velvet is a holistic medicine and a supplement that’ll treat everything from arthritis to low libido. For others, a big buck in the fuzz is emblematic of the kickoff to fall hunting season. In a few states, you can bowhunt bucks before their velvet is stripped, making...


Bitten: Stories of Diseases From Ticks

As a mom of four very young children, I was used to being tired, but this was something different. I woke up exhausted, achy and feverish. I also noticed swollen lymph nodes under my left arm. I assumed I had the flu, but while showering later that morning, I noticed...


5 Advanced Trail Camera Tactics

I’ll never forget the foggy picture of a dandy buck meandering underneath my treestand. The image was captured at one-something in the morning, but that didn’t sap my innocent, then-13-year-old hopes. My wheels turned for weeks following that capture, and I dreamed of encountering the buck in person. But ultimately,...


The New Hunter’s Guide to Buying Your First Deer Rifle

I’ve longed suspected that a lot of young guys and gals have spent years sitting on the fence about deer hunting. Looks kind of cool on video and social, but is it for me? Then came COVID. Last fall, tired of being cooped up and masked up and intrigued by...


The 2021 Western Region Deer Hunting Forecast

The West has arguably the best scenery in the nation. Hunters dream of seeing it with gun or bow in hand. And if that’s all you care about, it takes the cake. If you want a nice whitetail, it has loads of Pope and Young-class bucks. Boone and Crockett whitetails?...


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