Midwest Whitetail Articles, Blogs, Galleries, Videos

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Forsaking Trophy Management for Deer Stewardship

One of the fastest-growing hunting trends is deer management. It has value, but the right perspective is critical. It’s difficult to produce big, mature bucks on purpose, even in great areas. I’ve seen the challenges with managing for big deer. When Trophy Management Works Most of the time, it’s random...


The Truth About Aiming a Bow

One of archery’s most persistent misconceptions is the need for a rock-steady hold to shoot well. Archers often stress too much over this and ultimately shoot worse than if they let the pin float. Truth is, with solid shooting form, your pin doesn’t have to be stationary to hit the...


Stopping Preventable Archery Gear Problems

For us, it’s custom to creatively break the news of tagged bucks. For example, after one successful hunt, I nearly made it through dinner before someone finally asked how it went. I began a deadpan delivery about seeing a big one, how it worked a rub at 50 yards, then...


How to Tighten Your Arrow Groups

Want to extend your effective range with a bow and tighten your groups? Of course, you do. Start shooting now. Habitual practice is like any workout program – endure a series of phases and reap the rewards. Phase 1: Make It a Habit Whether shooting before work or after dinner,...


Is That Used Bow a Lemon?

I once lived in a fantasy world where every bow was tunable, and it was my fault if it shot poorly. That’s just not true. For some bows, no matter how I turn the arrow’s nock, move the rest, tweak the cam timing, grip the riser or slide the nock...


How to Shoot a Bow

Recently, someone asked me on the Ask Winke part of MidwestWhitetail.com to go through my shooting form and the key things I think about when shooting a bow. That sparked this post. I’m not a world-class archer, but I learned to shoot a bow from guys who are. All of...


How to Age Deer After Tagging Them

Want to increase the challenge of deer hunting? Start hunting bucks that are one year older than what most hunters shoot in your area. If most bowhunters in your area shoot 1 1/2-year-old bucks, set your sights on 2 1/2-year-old bucks. Don’t get caught in the trap of trying to...


Can You Have Too Many Deer?

It is possible to have too many deer when trying to hunt during the late season. All those eyes and their wary late-season nature make it really tough to get away with any movement. It can be nearly impossible to hunt with a bow and not clear the field well...


Long Shots: How Far Is Too Far?

Bowhunting should almost always be a short-range sport. There is too much that can go wrong once the arrow flies. I won’t take longer shots if the angle is bad, body position is awkward, or the wind is blowing. These factors make it too difficult to settle the pin. However,...


Bill Winke’s Best Post-Season Scouting Tip

Deer season just ended and the blues are multiplying with each passing day. It’s eight to nine months before it reopens, but that’s a good thing. Now you can get out there and do all the things you’ve procrastinated on. And you can do so without pressuring deer. I recently...


Helping State Agencies Manage Deer on Local Levels

Ever had a strong opinion regarding deer management? Most of us have. With the whitetail off-season fully underway, there is much to do before fall hunting seasons begin. One top priority for whitetail hunters should be finding ways to make a difference. The best — getting involved in local deer...


No Man’s Land: Are Whitetail Vitals the Same from Deer to Deer?

Everyone knows about “no man’s land.” It’s allegedly above the lungs and below the spine, and plenty of debating has still failed to settle that discussion. However, I’ve experienced a second “dead zone,” so to speak — low and behind the heart. I am aware of five bucks that were...


The Relationship Between Deer Density and Antler Size

The variables that factor into the ever-debatable topic of antler size culminate to create a complexity that goes beyond biology. It also circles back to hunting pressure and hunter behavior. Is there something inherently better about areas with lower deer density? Do these places generally harbor bigger-antlered deer? In short,...


You Spooked Your Target Deer. Now What?

No one wants to jump a buck. But it happens, nonetheless. One of the top questions I get? What should you do after spooking a buck? Here’s the long answer. Assessing the Damage Bucks respond to danger in proportion to their level of fear. Bucks that are bad scared alter...


4 Best Times to Hunt the Whitetail Rut

I’ve hunted almost every day of the whitetail rut for the past 29 seasons. After all these years, I believe the opportunities we have during the rut for mature bucks comes down to less than a handful of events that trigger one really good day of hunting each. Young bucks...


Bill Winke’s Favorite Week of Deer Season

I’ve hunted just about every day of the rut since 1990 and I have talked to a lot of people. Arguably, the best single day is November 7. Some guys like November 8 or 9, but those three days generally produce the best daylight action of the season, assuming normal...


One Week to Hunt the Rut? This Is Your Plan.

How often have you been on stand and completely fooled every deer that came past? At least some of them crossed your trail, got downwind or spotted you. You may have ignored it if they were just does or small bucks. But those deer didn’t ignore it. Through body language,...


The Killing Tree

It takes recognizing the perfect tree — the killing tree — to arrow big deer on a consistent basis. Individual bucks have their own personalities and their own ways of doing things, especially when they get older. My friend Jim Hill has taken many nice bucks with his bow. He...


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...


String Jumpers: How to Aim at Alert Deer

Deer have the amazing ability to react to the sound of the shot. They start to move before the arrow ever arrives at its destination. We call this “string jumping.” Generally, the deer hears the limbs bottom and then immediately drops to load its legs in an effort to bolt...


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