Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles

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Bowhunting The Trophy Buck ‘Scissors’

Ben Rising of The Deer Society has his sights set on a huge Illinois Whitetail Buck named “Scissors”. This buck had eluded hunters for years, but Ben Rising took a different approach to hunting this big mature buck. What happens next is what whitetail bowhunters dreams are made of.

  The Deer Society

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Rest Assured

Nothing improves accuracy like a solid rest.  You can have a gun or bow that shoots dime-size groups at 1,000 yards, but if you lack a steady base, accuracy suffers.  I bought a Final Rest Grip-N-Rip for an African safari and the Professional Hunter loved it so much, he would not let it return.  I quickly ordered another and have nothing but praise for the unit that functions like five tools in one.

Four leg sections and an additional post allow full stand-up shooting.

Stand-Up Shooting–

Off-hand shooting is the least accurate position, yet in thick cover, it may be the only option.  African hunters have used a tripod of wooden “sticks” for generations and American hunters are learning how effective they can be.  Carry the Final Rest fully extended at optimal moments and a shot that was normally too far can become dead solid. It transfers from 17.5 inches of steadiness up to 58 inches.

Solid clamps and smooth operation.

Solid, Smooth Sliding

“You can tell the caliber of a photographer by the quality of his tripod” a saying goes because a solid, quality tripod yields sharp images at long range.  The same is true for hunting rests.  Legs lock solidly, are easily adjustable for uneven terrain, and operate with ease.  Cheap tripods quickly fill with dirt and debris causing them to jam, but even the “light” version of the Final Rest Grip-N-Rip tripod operates easily and quietly.

Large Mouth Grip

You can practically kick a field goal through the locking jaws of the Final Rest.  Large adjustment knobs make altering the width quick and easy.  They will accommodate most rifles and crossbows giving the shooter a rock-solid rest.  Because the rest locks onto the stock, the tripod not only eliminates up-and-down movement but side-to-side as well.  Slide the stock into the jaws of this vice on a tripod and you have both hands free to work a call, use binoculars, or catch a breather.

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16 Year Old Bowhunter Tags Bull Elk

Most hunters only dream of taking a 400-inch-plus bull Elk, but if you happen to live and hunt in the right area, those dreams might come true more than once.

Although he’s only 16-years-old, Cody Vine of Greenhaven, Ariz., already has a monster bull to his credit, having tagged an 9×8 that scored 448 while hunting his state’s late rifle season a few years ago. The next step? Take a trophy-caliber elk with his bow.

After 5 years of applying, Vine drew a coveted Unit 9 archery Elk tag, a permit that many times takes much longer to pull.

“That particular archery tag takes residents usually 16 to 20 years to draw,” he said. “I just got lucky.”

Prior to the hunt, which took place in the Kaibab National Forest, Vine set a goal of harvesting a bull in the 375-inch range. Fortunately, his hunting partner would be his dad, James, one of the partners in and a guide for Shadow Valley Outfitters, an Arizona-based guiding service known for leading hunters to big bull Elk.

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Wild Hog Damage Losses Are In The Millions

According to a newly released LSU AgCenter estimate.  Louisiana’s growing population of feral hogs causes $91.1 million in damage to agricultural and timber lands each year.

Based on responses to a 2021 survey, the study found that hog damage costs landowners $66.2 million in crop losses and $24.9 million in other expenses annually. More than 950 people completed the survey, representing nearly 660,000 acres of crop fields, pastures and woods.

The wild hogs cause a myriad of problems to Louisiana agriculture, an industry worth $12 billion annually. The hogs root up, wallow in and trample crops, tree seedlings and wildlife food plots. They also are known to wreak havoc on pastures, drains, levees, fences and waterways.

“Feral swine continue to be a growing problem to farmers, ranchers, foresters and landowners in many areas of the U.S. and are considered to be one of the most damaging invasive species in existence,” wrote study authors Michael Salassi, associate vice president and program leader for plant and animal sciences; Melissa Cater, director of the Northeast Region; and Glen Gentry, director of the Doyle Chambers Central Research Station and the Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station.

Feral hogs have been part of the American landscape since the 1500s, when early explorers and settlers imported swine as a food source. Free-range livestock management practices and escapes from enclosures led to the first feral hog populations taking hold.

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Strategies For Deer Hunting

The Whitetail deer is an amazing animal, and can be found in just about any habitat across North America. Its ability to flourish in so many environments truly makes it unique, and allows it to be the most sought after species by hunters across our nation and neighbors both south and north of our borders.
Hunting strategies may vary slightly from one area to another, but certain strategies work no matter where we choose to pursue our passion. First and foremost the Whitetail is basically an edge animal. This means they spend a lot of their life in transition areas between cover and feeding opportunities. Even in big woods, you will find deer relating to mature oak flats and clearcut areas
A Pop-Up Ground Blind Setup To Hunt The Edge Of Tree Line.
These edges offer a great location to intercept the Whitetail in all phases of the fall and winter season; Pre-rut, Rut and Post Rut. These transition areas also allow for some great setups, with both treestand, and popup blinds that are guaranteed to lead to success if located strategically.
In setting up my stands and blinds,I first consider the prevailing wind in relation to known trails and travel patterns. Also I look for a position that will be out of the main siteline of approaching deer. I am also a believer in brushing in my stands and blinds with surrounding vegetation.
I have included several pictures of my setups to demonstrate my location and brushing in on my chosen ambush site. I use zip ties to tie small trees or bushes to my stands, and use brush ties on pop up blinds, and/or zip tie brush to the hubs of the blinds. Using hard blinds, I will drill holes and install eye bolts around the blind again so I can zip tie brush or limbs.
Locating these edge areas and hunting them strategically as covered in this article will allow you to have a high degree of success in your hunting pursuit. Give it a try !
Brush that is wired and tied together to create a ground blind that works well in the fall and winter. Here, it is in the snow.
A Ladderstand in the woods that is overlooking deer trails.
This 2 person Ladderstand with two persons is camouflaged by the foliage of the spring woods. This is an effective set-up for a hunter with someone that videos.
A ground blind using limbs, leaves and some camouflage fabric.

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Stalk Up A North Dakota Buck

In my opinion, ‘The Hunting Public’ understands how to bowhunt, even if it’s under tough conditions. Uphill and rugged, no problem. Dense cover, bring it on. Gotta walk a long, long way, heck yea. And they always watch their hunting buddies backs; all while enjoying what they’re doing and having some straight up FUN. By Robert Hoague

 The Hunting Public

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Sydney Wells: Bow Season Opening Day

Sydney Wells of Barstool Outdoors gets ready for the 2022 deer season opening weekend at the Wells Family on their farm. Sydney definitely knows how to make a fun, enjoyable video. Opening day of this year’s  bow season went good for her too.

Opening Day Of Deer Season On The Wells Farm

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Eastern Elk- The Ultimate Bowhunting Challenge

Sika deer are Asian elk and duplicate many behaviors of their cousins in the West.  The rut is in Mid-October and the swamps of the Eastern Shore ring with Sika’s whistling bugles. Normally, nearly nocturnal, these water-loving creatures roam the swamps searching for females where savvy archers wait in ambush.  Andrew Kaetzel and Josh Lashley set out for a weekend’s adventure and each had success taking one stag and two hines (females).

Small Animal- Huge Challenge

Sika hunting is very popular and Kaetzel and Lashley used a canoe to get deep into a public hunting area where few hunters could penetrate.  “This is one of the most physical hunts I’ve ever been on,” said Kaetzel.  We had to wear chest waders and fight our way through dense swamps and fields of phragmites, plants that grow six-to-ten feet high and are as thick as dog hair.  They wore bug suits because mosquitoes were prolific.


Archery or Muzzleloader

The duo chose to hunt the week prior to Maryland’s muzzleloading season which opens the third week of October.  Using Ravin and TenPoint crossbows, they hoped to make the most of any archery opportunities.  They used climbing tree stands that overlooked swamps and phragmites patches.  Sika deer weigh between 40 and 75 pounds so they become swallowed up in tall vegetation making shots very difficult.


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Tracy Breen

Want to get all of your hunting buddies cranked up? Ask them the pros and cons of fixed blade vs mechanical broadheads. Most bowhunters have a very strong opinion on the subject, one way or the other.

In recent years more and more broadhead companies are making micro diameter fixed-blade broadheads. These small diameter heads usually have a cutting diameter of around an inch so they fly extremely well out of the latest high speed bows.

One of the bowhunters who prefers a mechanical broadhead because they fly extremely well in flight and open up upon impact to create a large cutting diameter is Matt Bateman from Grim Reaper Broadheads.

Matt Bateman told me, “My favorite broadhead is the 1 3/8’s-cut Razortip from Grim Reaper Broadheads. It flies like a dart and creates a good bloodtrail,”. “Some bowhunters prefer a larger cutting diameter broadhead like our Whitetail Special which has a 2-inch cutting diameter.”

For those that don’t want a micro fixed blade but worry about a mechanical head failing there is the new Hybrid broadheads which many believe is the best of both worlds. “In the last few years hybrid broadheads have become more popular,” said Bateman. “They offer the best of both worlds. They have both fixed blades and mechanical blades so if for some reason the mechanical blades fail the bowhunter still has a broadhead that will kill the animal. Our hybrid broadheads fly like darts and are gaining in popularity,”

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Justin Cearlock And Huge Bucks

I just truly enjoy managing deer and observing their behavior and feel like I’ve had some success lately. For those of you who enjoy creating and maintaining scrapes, I started this set of scrapes in 2019.

The last 2 years the deer have used the above licking branch year round. In the last week I had over 2000 pictures. In that time there were 10 different bucks using it; at least 3 bucks were 5 years or older, and lots were of does and fawns.

I really hope to add a horizontal rub next year just for the photo and video opportunities. The 11 point typical is no more than 4 years old, I actually thought he might only be 2 last year, but this year’s pictures make me think he’s 4.

With the pressure we’ve received lately and the amount of ground he covered last year, I don’t expect him to make it through the season and wouldn’t blame anyone for shooting him, but if he can somehow make it one more year, he should be a net B&C next year.

I can’t say enough about Buck Fever Synthetics scents. I’ve never received a thing from this company, but I’m telling you it works! I put their forehead scent on the branches everytime I’m there. I also use their Pre/Post and Full Rut scent in the scrape.

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Katlin Maus: Swoops, My Biggest Buck

Katlin Maus continues her bowhunting pursuits for her channel Katlin Maus Outdoors. Katlin’s self-filming skills are accomplished and her bowhunting abilities are clearly up to speed.

Katlin is all about the hunt and self-operating and it shows as she evaluates her trail camera pictures and locates an area to intercept the Big Buck ‘Swoops.’. Through her self-filming process Katlin takes us along with her as she selects the best places for her treestands — and puts her bow to good use. All while videoing her own hunts. And all while we hang out with her.

Her sincerity, know-how and genuine excitement make her videos special. Enjoy!

 Kaitlyn Maus Outdoors

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What Is The U.S.A.’s Whitetail Deer Population?

Deer live in all states of the U.S.A., and their population numbers are stable. There are an estimated 35 to 36 million Deer in the U.S.A.

The numbers below include all deer species; Whitetail deer, Mule deer, black-tail deer, and a few rare deer species.

Alabama: 1.75 million


Alaska: 340,000

Black-tail deer.

Arizona: 160,000

Whitetails and mule deer.

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Top Deer Hunting Industry Lies!

The deerhunting TV world has lots of followers. Business wise, it’s a tough deal. The TV channels charge the shows lots of money. Some hunting celebrities and wanna-be’s have a tough time earning enough money to pay the channels.

Jef Sturgis talks about that situation and the delima it creates.

Whitetail Habitat Solutions | Advanced Whitetail Buck Hunting Strategies | Mature buck hunting, herd and habitat techniques | Videos |

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Watching Deer

The period of time between the closing days of summer and the day that deer season begins is is a very special time to me. I tote my camera along from dawn’s first glimmer until dusk turns the day into night time.

Most days begin by percolating 2 cups of coffee and going outside to sit on my front porch and relax as one of the several benefits of living  at the end of a county road made from Colitche (a hardened natural cement consisting of gravel.sand, clay and silt.) The hot summer sun gets the road too hard to dig a hole in it with a shovel. And it gets extremely dusty too.

The river, is almost dry in the summer, and is 600 yards downhill. And for miles this whole area has plenty of Whitetail deer.

Any way you cut it, I live in the deer woods. The closest small town of about 70 people is 5 miles away. I grew up in large cities … but I like it better here.

I took the picture above at a nearby place where deer regularly cross between two fences.The above picture was from May. Two spotted fawns are taking a morning milk break.The above doe walks out of some cedar trees and comes toward me.And gets very close.I walked up on the above doe and took her picture as she browsed on some summer plants.Eventually the doe realized she might not be alone and looked at me. She stared at me for a while and then went on about her morning.Here is another place where the deer use the fences as a passage way to go through the deer woods.Above is a cool picture. This fawn is alone and walking along a the bottom of a high spot.

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It’s All About The Well Placed Shot

Sponsored by: Dead Down Wind & The Archery Hall of Fame

By: M.R.James

Before dark two bucks step from the shadows of a tangled swamp thicket and walk my way. One whitetail is a juvenile fork horn, but the lead deer is a blocky, heavy-antlered 9-pointer with a muley’s Y-fork on his right beam. By luck, they pause broadside in a trimmed shooting lane near my treestand to watch a parade of does file down an old logging road off to my right.

Seated in my treestand 16 short yards away, I ease to full draw and center my top pin on the big buck’s ribs. His full attention is on the does until my arrow zips cleanly through his chest. Lunging ahead, he veers sharply to the left and crashes back through the brush toward the security of the swamp. But he doesn’t make it.

His legs go rubbery and he crashes down in a kicking heap not 40 yards from where I’d watched his death run in stunned amazement. Even after half a century spent prowling deer woods all across North America, I’m still awestruck each time I see the effectiveness of a scalpel-sharp broadhead and a well-placed shot.

Want Similar Results?
For my money, having witnessed hundreds of arrow impacts on a virtual Noah’s Ark collection of critters, there’s no better shot in bowhunting than arrowing a relaxed, broadside animal and getting a double-lung hit. Send sharpened steel through both lungs of any big game animal on earth and the typical result is massive hemorrhage and short blood trails. Whether it’s a half-ton bull moose or big black bear, an elegant elk or burly one-ton bison, any animal will be literally dead on its feet from the time its tender lung tissue is penetrated by a finely honed hunting head. Count on it!

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3 Tips To Help Your Late October Whitetail Bowhunts

By: Wade Nolan
bowhunting biologist

Currently, the Pennsylvania Whitetail woods have once again invaded by us bowhunting nuts. The peaceful woods that the deer were enjoying has now been violated by humans that smell like trouble. If you want to score on a Whitetail buck or doe, you must do everything right.

Here are 3 important tips that will add to your Whitetail bowhunting success ratio.

1. Assume that the deer you are hunting are hunting you.

Why is that? Simple, because they are hunting you. Deer are a prey species. Once we begin our afternoon jaunts to our treestands the woods are crisscrossed with human scent trails. Deer quickly detect these trails after we leave our treestands for our trucks.

Just because you leave the woods don’t think your scent does. A deer can smell your human scent trail for up to 24 hours. Deer will avoid high human traffic areas. It may take only one scent encounter to cause a buck to change his pattern.

By: Wade Nolan bowhunting biologist
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How To Make Elk Jerky

SusieQ Is The Master Of Making Wild Game Jerky. Today We’re Talking ‘Elk Jerky.’

Elk Jerky Recipe

Elk Jerky Ingredients:

15 to 20 pounds elk strips
1.5 quarts water
2.5 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup red wine or 2 shots of Canadian whiskey
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons coarse black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1/4 cup salt
10 dashes Tabasco Sauce or Dave’s Insanity Sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Elk Jerky Directions:

Cut elk meat into 3/8? to 1/2? thick strips; set aside.
Mix all the ingredients, except the elk strips, into a container and blend well.
Add the elk strips to the marinade in a container and allow to marinate for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Remove elk strips from marinade (drain, but don’t rinse).
Place on racks and smoke with cherry wood or hickory until meat is done to your liking; being careful not to overcook.

This won’t be too hot. If you want really hot jerky, finely mince 5 habanero peppers and add them to the marinade along with 3 to 5 tablespoons of dried habanero powder.
Its actually pretty darn good!!!!

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Emily And Colt’s Weekend Whitetail Bowhunt

By Emily Cameron

Colt’s First 2022 Deerhunt

Colt parked his vehicle and by the time he got back from parking he already had a doe in the area. He didn’t want to scare her off getting into the treestand so he pressed onward carefully to victory. After working his way into the treestand he was getting situated with his gear; but before he could sit down another deer walked in view, it saw Colt and spooked off. Colt was not yet seated.

He quickly got ready to hunt and had only been in the stand for approximately 5 minutes when he had two does come in from behind his stand. When the doe passed him Colt drew his bow while her back was to him.

After what seemed an eternity with his bow fully drawn, Colt grunted at the deer to try to get her to turn broadside. The doe did just that and Colt took aim and let his arrow fly. He got a clean pass through and shortly afterward he blood trailed the doe for approximately 200 yards and found her crashed in the brush.

Emily’s First 2022 Deerhunt

Colt dropped me at my stand at the rock ledge feeder went off at 4:30 pm and by about 5:00 the deer began to come in. I had two does and a button and a fawn  and they hung around for about 30 minutes browsing for acorns. Other deer came into the area also. When all but the two does and fawn left and I finally decided to shoot her. she dropped in 15 yards.


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Cooking Venison Stroganoff

Deer hunting is popular the south, and with it comes lean and healthy venison (deer meat). But what’s the best way to cook it? In this episode of the Food Factor, MSU Extension’s Natasha Haynes tells you how you can enjoy delicious lean protein-packed venison in a traditional recipe.


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How To Build A Scrape Tree

Deer season is upon us. You might be trying to determine how to bring a big buck, that keeps walking just out of range of your blind or stand, into bow range. One thing that land manager and TV personality, Steve Bartylla, does to increase the odds of a bringing a buck within bow range on the properties he manages is Building A Scrape Tree.

“Bucks are like male dogs, they like to mark their territory,” Bartylla said. “Years ago, I started putting treated posts in the ground near blinds and stands and I attached a licking branch to the post. Often bucks would start building scrapes within days of putting in the Scrape Tree.”

Bartylla often puts in scrape trees weeks or months before deer season starts. Because deer season has already started now, Steve recommends that you put in the scrape tree by using a real tree. “Treated posts give off a strange odor so they are a no-no. Deerhunters who want a scrape tree should cut a tree down, dig a hole, and bury the base of the tree.”

“Scrape trees located on the edge of a field, in the middle of a food plot, or near an area deer regularly travel seem to quickly grab the attention of bucks. I have had deer hit my new scrape trees the same day I put them in,” Bartylla said.

Steve Bartylla likes to position the tree so when a buck comes in to freshen the scrape and lick the licking branch, the buck offers a broadside or quartering away shot. “A scrape tree will bring a buck within bow range and will also keep him distracted while  the bowhunter draws his bow.”

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