Deer Hunting Articles

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8 Deer Hunting Tactics for Rifle Season

Gun season has been open for a week to 10 days. Guys have shot a bunch of bucks in your hunting area. The surviving deer hole up in cover and don't move much during daylight hours. Heck, many days it's tough to see the hair of doe, much less a...


Realtree Rewind: Two Big Midwestern Bucks

Hunter’s: Michael Waddell w/cameraman Steve Finch; Don and Kandi Kisky Location: Southwestern Iowa Hunting Method: Bowhunting Phase: Seeking phase of the rut Date: November 3-6, 2003 Weather Conditions: When we arrived, the temperatures were really cold. Just what we wanted! Cold and frosty — we were pumped. "When our time...


Deer Hunting: A Quest for a Drop Tine Buck

“Some men are obsessed with good guns, fine wine and beautiful women. I am consumed with shooting a drop-tine buck.” I wrote that on January 1, 2008, the day I launched my Big Deer blog. But the obsession had taken me years ago, decades ago, though I am not exactly...


How to Deer Hunt with a Flintlock Muzzleloader

Hunting with a flintlock muzzleloader is the epitome of firearms hunting traditions. Creeping along a ridge top in the late fall, looking for a deer carrying the style of rifle which fought and tamed the American wilderness — that’s a challenge accepted by few hunters. Those who choose to carry...


Realtree Rewind: Kandi Kisky's Not-So-Shy Eight

Hunter: Kandi Kisky Date: November 9, 2004 Location hunted: South central Iowa on the Kisky Farm Weather conditions: Sunny and 40 degrees with a light east wind. Phase: Rut Hunting weapon: Bow We first found out about this particular deer when we snapped a trail camera photo of him and...


The Deer Hunter's Guide to Whitetail Glands

Some old-time deer hunters preached that upon taking a rutting buck, the first thing a hunter should do is cut off the animal’s dark and musky hind-leg glands, as they could taint the meat. Other veteran hunters said don’t touch the stinky things, they could taint the meat. And still,...


7 Reasons You Can’t Decoy Deer

Decoying whitetails is an adrenaline rush unlike any other. It’s fun. It’s exhilarating. But it’s also an art form. You have to do it a certain way or risk failure. There are a lot of mistakes that can be made while decoying deer . Are you making any of these?...


How Mature Bucks Use the Wind

The age-old question often comes up when hunters begin discussing big, old smart bucks. How do they use the wind to travel? Every time I hear this come up, or see it on a forum, I know we’re in for a long debate with more opinionated arguing than the presidential...


How to Score a Buck on the Boone and Crocket Scale

Bad Boys. Bruisers. Booners. Many nicknames describe huge whitetail bucks, but I like Booner most. It means that the buck’s antlers are so big that they are listed in the Boone and Crockett record book. The most commonly used scoring system for giving recognition to exceptional North American big-game animals...


How to Decoy a Buck

A battle-scarred buck walks into an open field and spots your decoy. His ears lay flat against his head, and the hair on his neck bristles. With stiff legs and rigid back, he slowly closes the distance to chip-shot bow range, ready to trash that fake intruder. Not all deer...


How to Introduce a Child to Hunting

Editor's Note: As a deer hunter, I recognize that most hunter's first trip afield is to pursue the white-tailed deer. And while I respect the many parents out there trying to introduce their children to deer hunting, I urge them to start with a squirrel hunt. This allows kids to...


5 Reasons You Can’t Kill a Public Land Buck

Deer season is upon us and soon hunters across the country will be heading to their favorite public land destinations. Will it be another season full of regret and unfilled deer tags? Or have you finally taken the necessary steps to ensure a trip to the local taxidermist? Regardless of...


Realtree Rewind: Blanton's Big Alberta Buck

Hunters Names: David Blanton with Cameraman Alan Linnenkohl Game Hunting: Whitetail Where: Alberta, Canada Hunting Method: Firearm Phase: Early rut Dates Hunted: November 11-16 Weather Conditions: Brutally cold temperatures Finally, we had one day left. The weather, believe it or not, warmed up to about 32 degrees. This was a...


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...


My Hunting Buddy: Gone But Not Forgotten

I first met Dale Earnhardt in 1992 at a hunting lodge in Michigan where I was filming whitetails for Realtree’s TV show. At the time, I had heard his name and knew that he was a racer, but I didn’t know much about NASCAR or Dale. After rattling, grunting, and...


Realtree Rewind: Bucher's Big Buck

Bucher figured his best line of attack during the gun season was to sneak in really early, climbing the steep 400-foot ridge, and then setting up right in the doe bedding area. His plan was to get set earlier and wait for the does to return from their night feed...


How to Deer Hunt in October

Similar to September, the month of October is full of change in the deer hunting world. But as for that “October lull,” it’s a big pile of nonsense. Instead, it’s actually a misinterpretation of perceived deer behavior. When reality is much different. Food sources continue to change. Deer behavior and...


You’ve Been Hanging Your Deer Wrong for Years

A rope around the neck or a gambrel through the Achilles tendon — that’s how most hang their deer. Walk into any well-respected steakhouse locker, though, and you’ll see beef hanging completely different. The ideal way to hang your ungulate for aging is using a technique called the tenderstretch method...


Realtree Rewind: A 15-Minute Monster

Hunter: John Tate Game: Whitetail Place: Northwestern Kentucky Hunting Method: Muzzleloader Phase: The rut Dates Hunted: November 16-20 Weather Conditions: It was slightly overcast with temps in the mid-40s. Damp conditions due to rain on previous days. We got into our stands and Mark started getting all of his camera...


The Quest for the Record-Breaking Typical Whitetail

You’re sitting in your stand shivering against the cool darkness of the pre-dawn hour. The songbirds’ melodies alert you that first light is approaching. You straighten your back and adjust your seating position in preparation for whatever is to come. As the sun begins to illuminate your surroundings, your senses...


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