Mountains / Rocky

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18 Secrets From Deer Scientists

When deer scientists talk, I listen. Men and women who make a career of studying the whitetail don’t do it for fame or money. Having worked for years to obtain a master’s degree in wildlife ecology, and in many cases a PhD to boot, they are passionate about learning all...


One Crazy East Kentucky Elk Hunt

A Kentucky elk tag was the last thing on my mind in May of 2020. For over 20 years I’d been unsuccessfully applying for one of the handful of tags, first solo, then together with my wife and kids. Honestly, we’d been snubbed so many times that I had quit...


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20 Things to Know About Deer Body Language and Behavior

Has your Momma ever given you that look with the lowered eyebrow and clenched jaw that said, "Get yourself in line or else?" Yeah, most everyone has experienced that at some point. It's called non-verbal communication. It can be paired with any given emotion, but we seem to remember the...


10 Tips for Henned-Up Gobblers

Every year we hear the whining in turkey camp: “They’re all henned up!” Here are some tricks to getting that gobbler all to yourself. 1. Rise Up You've found a gobbler but that turkey is with a lot of hens. In this kind of situation, you need to rise earlier...


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12 Unethical Shots You Shouldn’t Take on Deer

Wait for him to stop. Let him turn broadside. Are you steady? Are you on him? Don’t take the shot unless you feel completely comfortable. That was the advice from my mentors when I first got into hunting. And I’ve said the same to people I've mentored myself. Careful shot...


5 Best Blue-Collar Western Bow Hunts

I’ve been bowhunting long enough to realize killing a Pope & Young class critter is always something to be celebrated. But when you tag that animal on a do-it-yourself hunt on public land, it’s time for fireworks, streamers, and a cake proclaiming the occasion. Well maybe not that big. But...


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Photo Gallery: From Buttons to Booner

The process of getting a whitetail from the button buck stage to the Boone and Crockett category is a mystical journey that includes a complex assortment of variables. It takes four basic ingredients to produce a buck with a 170-inch rack: age, genetics, habitat, and herd management. I’ve been fortunate...


What Will Deer Hunting Be Like in 10 Years?

When I moved on from squirrels to hunting deer with my dad in the 1970s, there were about 200,000 whitetails in Virginia. Today, we’ve got five times that many. In the 1980s and ’90s, we went from “if it’s brown it’s down” to the “big buck” era. Whitetail management was...


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The 10 Toughest Game Animals in North America

Is there really such a thing as a “tough” game animal? After all, a bullet or arrow through the vitals will do the job on anything, from squirrels to elephants, right? That’s true. But equally true is that some critters, due to the size of their vitals, thickness of hide,...


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How to Skin and Prepare a Rattlesnake for the Table

Let me start with a caveat. I hate killing snakes — even the venomous species. I can’t count the times I’ve shared a western Kentucky fishing hole with a cottonmouth, or a woodlot of squirrels with a copperhead. As long as I see them first, it’s all good. Still, venomous...


10 More Deer Hunting Myths Debunked

A talking head on outdoor TV puffs his chest and declares, “Man, the full moon is the worst time to hunt!” Sounds pretty good, and you buy it. Your daddy told you never to overhunt a spot, and you never doubt Pops. Stands to reason that if another hunter tromps...


Has the .30-30 Really Killed the Most Deer?

Google “.30-30 for deer hunting” and up pops a million links that you can click on for information. Click the first one and you’ll read something like: “The .30-30 rifle has arguably killed more whitetail deer than any other single cartridge … with the round’s popularity still quite high, it's...


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