The Definitive Guide to Harvesting Big Bucks on Small, Suburban Properties

October 29, 2014

Big bucks can be found on small suburban properties. Knowing how to improve the properties and hunt them with a low profile is key to success.

More and more big bucks are showing up in suburban areas. If you find the right small property and get permission to hunt there, you might be surprised to see what walks by your stand. I’ve seen some really nice deer in some really weird places. Often these places are in parks on the outskirts of cities, and even more often, big bucks live in bedroom communities where the habitat may not be ideal, but the hunting pressure is minimal or even nonexistent. Take for example the experience of Josh Runksmeier, a friend of mine who was discussing deer with a coworker who told him...

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How to Bring in Big Bucks with a Mock Scrape

October 23, 2014

It can be difficult to get a buck to approach a scrape during the daylight, but a mock scrape in the right place with the right lure can make it happen for you. Image copyright Getty Images/marcinplaza.

Scrapes are one of the whitetail's most important communication tools. Here’s how to make one of your own and really get the attention of the area’s bucks. I have read several scientific studies on the way bucks visit scrapes. The majority of these studies were done with trail cameras positioned so they would take a photo of a buck at the scrape and record the time. Every one of these studies showed that the vast majority of mature bucks (85 to 95 percent) visited the scrapes under cover of darkness. I have two issues with these studies. First off, they did not add any...

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Have Shotgun, Will Travel: 6 Tips for Ensuring Stress-free Flying with Firearms

October 20, 2014

If you're going to be traveling with your firearms anytime soon, read through these tips to ensure your trip goes smoothly.

Whether this season will see you making your first out-of-state or out-of-country trip with a shotgun or your thousandth, here are some time-tested tips for getting from Point A to B with no stress! 1. Leave your gun at home. If you’re planning a trip to a distant location like Argentina for doves, look into renting guns from your outfitter. There’s pleasure in shooting your own guns, but you owe it to yourself to compare that benefit with the reduced stress of international airline travel without guns. Purely comparing costs, it’s likely a wash. Import permits and inspection fees to...

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Cookin’ in Camo: Momma V’s Cincinnati Style Chili-spaghetti

October 6, 2014

This Cincinnati style chili-spaghetti dish tastes as good as it looks.

This week’s recipe is a shout-out to my brother, Luke. It is tradition in our house to enjoy your favorite meal on your birthday, and Luke's was two weeks ago. Growing up in the Cincinnati area, chili-spaghetti has always been a staple in our house. As a matter of fact, the night before my mother went into labor with Luke, she ate chili-spaghetti! Including some personally-harvested venison in this dish will only make it more mouthwatering. Serves: 8 to 10 in large portions Prep time: 30 minutes Total time: 3 hours Ingredients 3 pounds boneless venison shoulder...

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Cookin’ in Camo: Venison Quesadilla with Honey-chipotle Sour Cream

September 26, 2014

The arrival of fall means it's football season. Treat your tailgating teammates to this delicious venison quesadilla.

Outside of hunting, this time of year means one thing to my family: football. An extension of football is tailgating. One of my favorite tailgating dishes is a play on the Bleu Cheese Burger from the Thurman Café in Columbus, Ohio. Imagine a three-quarter-pound, all-beef patty topped with a ginormous amount of bacon, loads of mozzarella, a ton of blue cheese, and a mountain of mushrooms! For clean up, forget the napkins and invest in a pressure washer. You feel me? Although juicy, tender, and forever scrumptious, the burger often leads to stains on my Buckeyes jersey. Have no fear, this...

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The Nonresident’s Guide to Michigan Deer Hunting

September 22, 2014

Michigan has a lot to offer nonresident whitetail hunters, including ample amounts of public land.

For decades, Michigan has played host to an army of out-of-state, orange-clad, deer hunting warriors every November. October brings in a plethora of camouflaged archers as well. With a large deer herd, and readily available over-the-counter tags with a reasonable price point, the Great Lake State is a destination for nonresident deer hunters from across the country. As with any hunting trip, there are some definite things to plan on and some significant rule changes for this year. Look no farther than this article for (almost) everything a nonresident hunter will need to know in Michigan...

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How to Choose the Right Treestand for Your Hunting Needs

September 22, 2014

Hang-on stands are the most popular type of treestand because they allow you to ascend a tree quickly and quietly.

There are several styles of treestand to choose from. Picking the right stand for the situation will make your hunt more comfortable and productive. I have been fortunate to hunt in many states. Each fall, I travel to two to four states to bowhunt whitetails with a load of equipment in the back of my truck. Some of the most important equipment, of course, is a treestand and attendant climbing gear. Going to a new area can present a hunter with some unforeseen obstacles when it comes to get perched in the right tree, and I admit I have found myself unprepared on occasion. Take my...

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Keep Your Duck ID Skills Sharp with These Tips

September 18, 2014

Dogs and hunters need a little training before duck season. Making a solid identification before you pull the trigger and Fido brings you your duck requires a bit of training, too. Image by Doug Stamm.

"Don’t shoot! That’s a Can---" is not what a duck hunter wants to hear from his buddy in the blind as he pulls the trigger. Duck hunters may be a small niche subset of the hunting population, but this unique group of folks live, eat, and breathe the passion. Not all duck hunters are as famous as the Robertsons from Duck Dynasty, but a few of the avid duck hunters I talked to recently all get super excited to duck hunt every chance they can. The "avids" take duck identification to a completely new level, and woe unto the unprepared who cannot tell the difference between a mallard...

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Cookin’ in Camo: Suds and Squirrel with a Mushroom-vegetable Ragout

September 17, 2014

Small game season is IN! Maximize the value of your harvests with this delicious dish.

Squirrel is one my favorite small game animals. They come in a variety of species and are wildly abundant throughout the world. With many of our states’ squirrel seasons finally open, it only seems to bring this dish to the table! Braised in rich, flavorful beer and infused with the earthiness of mushrooms, you can’t help but go "nuts" after the first bite! Ingredients 4 ounces thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 squirrels, 2 pounds each, cut into 6 pieces (don’t dare discard the heads---put them in the pot as well) 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 4 ounces...

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Early Season Whitetail Strategies

September 15, 2014

Bucks are bunched up in bachelor groups during late summer into early fall. During this time, their patterns are predictable. It’s what makes the early archery season a great time to hunt.

Many deer seasons open for bowhunters in September, which offers an opportunity to hunt them when they are still in late summer predictable patterns. Here are some tips to help you fill your tag in a hurry While I don’t love the mosquitoes that often accompany an early season deer hunt, I do love the opportunity that early bowhunting presents. Deer are in predictable patterns during the early weeks of many states' archery seasons in September. Whitetail bucks are in velvet until about the first of September. In fact, the bucks in my area lose their velvet nearly always within...

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