Hunting Deer in Sub-Freezing Conditions

Rutting activity turns on around the first day of November, give or take or a day or two. Hunters plan their work vacation to coincide with the whitetail rut. For a few days each year, grown men and women choose to spend entire days sitting in a tree, waiting for a shot at a mature buck.

For the most part, temperatures during the rut are mild. Bucks are on the prowl searching for does, having little regards for their own safety. No wonder this is when most big bucks are killed. However, late in the season is a close second for the best opportunity at killing a mature buck.
Late in the season with just a few weeks remaining to fill a tag, many hunters have decided to call it quits for the year. Combine the hunters who have put their bows up for the year and are waiting for the next season to open. During this time of the season there are very few hunters still after it compared to just a few weeks earlier. With the lack of hunting pressure, whitetails will get back in a predictable routine.

Deer will begin to move early in the evening later in the season. During this time of the season most deer will be done feeding and back in their beds by the time the sun rises, making a morning hunt very tough. I recommend forgoing the morning hunt, and waiting until the afternoon before heading to the woods.

The deer that arrive first at the food sources I hunt over are often mature bucks that did the majority of the breeding during the rut. Bucks lose up to 30-percent of their body fat during the rut chasing does, breeding and fighting other bucks. This takes a toll on their bodies, and in order to survive the winter, they have to put weight back on.

Late in the season, grain fields have been harvested already and any remaining grain on the ground has already been ate. To be able to provide food for the deer and turkeys throughout the winter, I plant a few small food plots. I concentrate on planting brassicas like sugar beets, turnips and rape. The starches in these plants turn to sugars after the first hard frost. Deer will devour these plants from the leafy forage to include the sweet bulbs.

When you plant food plots to hunt over late season, take into consideration where your stand or blind will be. You want to be close enough for a good shot opportunity. Plots do not have to be very big. I have taken nice bucks off of plots smaller than one-quarter acre.

Try to plant your food plots in an hour glass shape. This will cause the deer to have to funnel through a small opening, hopefully offering a close shot. Just make sure your stand or blind is in a position so you have a shot as the deer pass through the narrow opening.

Another thing to take into consideration before you plant your food plot is how you will get to and from your stand without being noticed. There is not a lot of cover to conceal a person this time of the year. Because of this, you will want your plot in an area that you can travel to undetected. For example, one of my favorite stands I hunt from, I walk in a dry creek bed with high banks. This prevents the deer from seeing me coming and going.

Not all hunters have food plots, or maybe the deer have cleaned them out. A hunter can still find what the deer are feeding on if there is fresh snow on the ground which there normally is late in the season. Just follow the deer tracks through the snow.

Locust trees drops large bean pods. Deer could care less about them in the fall, but in the winter when food is slim, deer love them. It is common to see where whitetails have dug and pawed through the snow to get down to the pods.

I have even seen oak trees holding acorns and apple trees still bearing fruit late in this season, but this is not common. If you can find such trees, you have found a goldmine. But, when the mast starts to drop, a hunter will not have much time to take advantage of it before the deer and other wildlife eat it all up.

To be a successful hunter late in the season, you have to be warm, but still be able to draw your bow back. Wool is the best choice. It can be a bit expensive, but it blocks the wind, is very warm, and even insulates when wet. Also, it is quiet so you don’t have to worry about rubbing up against something and spooking deer.

Because my hands and toes easily succumb to the cold, I always have hand and toe warmers at the ready.

Scouting and determination are the two keys to late season success. Know what the deer are feeding on, and hang a stand or erect a blind to arrow an unsuspecting buck. Finally, be patient and the deer will come.

What To Do With Those Deer Hides? [Video]

Deer season is well under way, and with any luck you have filled a deer tag or two.  A few venison dishes have been enjoyed, deer camp has been cleaned, waiting till next fall for the fun to begin all over again.  However, you probably have a few deer hides you do not know what to do with.  Sure you can take them to the back 40 and let the coyotes have their way.  Or, you can utilize the hides any many different ways.  Lets explore the options you have.

Whitetail hides make exceptional leather garments especially gloves and coats.  There are many companies in the United States that will trade gloves for your deer hides.  One of the biggest in the country is North American Trading in Wisconsin (715-695-3533).  If you would rather not have a new pair of gloves they will also purchase your deer hides.  Give them a call for more details.

Not in the mood for gloves?  How about a nice wall decoration?  Most taxidermists can tan a deer hide at a minimal cost.  A soft, tanned deer hide looks beautiful hung on the wall.  A couple of years ago I shot a nice buck and had the head mounted and the hide tanned.  I hung the hide on the wall and directly above the hide I placed the mounted buck .  I have received countless comments on how nice this looks.  If your taxidermist does not want to bother with tanning the hide, which some do because they are busy with more profitable projects, there are several tanneries that will do it for you at a reasonable rate.  In the past I have used Moyle Mink and Tannery with great results (208-678-8481;

For the do it yourself person you can still come out with a nice tanned hide.  Just do not expect the softness you would get if it was done by a professional.  This past fall I purchased a bottle of Deer Hunter’s & Trapper’s Hide Tanning Formula for $8.00.  This one bottle is enough to tan one deer hide and is easy to use.  I imagine you have seen these little orange bottles in your favorite sportsman’s catalog trapping supply house or outdoor shop.  In about four days you will have a hide ready to display.  Not only will this product tan deer hides, but I also used it to nicely tan a bobcat and red fox this past winter and still have a half of bottle left.

A word of caution.  I do not recommend using a tanned deer hide as a floor rug.  It does take long before the hair begins to fall out after being walked on.

It is possible to even make a profit on your deer hides.  Many local fur buyers purchase deer hides.  Contact your fur buyer to see how they would like it prepared.  Many would just like them salted, rolled and frozen, but check first.

There are many companies who purchase deer hides to tan and later sell at their store or on the internet.  Without a doubt one of the biggest in the country is Moscow Hide and Fur located in Idaho.  They pay top rates of any company I have worked with and a whole lot more than your local buyer.  The only thing is that they may be a little more picky than others.  This is because they are a reputable company.

For example, my local buyer pays $5.00 for a frozen deer hide.  Moscow Hide and Fur will pay $25.00 for a large hide that is at least 55-inches long and $15.00 for a small hide that is only 45-inches long.  However, they want the hides they purchase to be fleshed.  Go to their website for more information.

Groenewold Fur & Wool Co. travel the Midwest stopping at many locations buying all types of fur including deer hides.  They will grade your skins and hides on the spot and give you a check immediately.  This company normally pays more than a local buyer, but less than Moscow Hide and Fur.  However, Groenwold does require that the hide be fleshed, there are no shipping fees and you are paid on the spot.  Go to their website, or call 815-935-2381 for more information and the routes they have scheduled this spring.

No matter the route you take with your deer hides, rather to sell them, have them tanned or trade them for gloves always make sure you have your deer permit and hunting license available.  It will be very difficult to do anything without these two documents.

Coon Creek Outdoors has a good video on preparing a deer hide for tanning if you want to tackle the job.

How to Use a Shock Collar on a Rage Broadhead [Video]

Either you hate them or you love them.  I’m talking about Rage Broadheads and the shock collar that goes on them.

People complain that their Rage didn’t open, or it opened in flight.  That might be because the shock collar wasn’t used correctly.

The collar has slits in them.  The blades do not line up with the slits, but rather the flaps on the collar.

Check out this video to get a better understanding.

A Better Way to Skin A Deer [Video]

Ok, so maybe there is not wrong or right way to skin a deer as long as you get the job done.

But, it is always nice to see a quick, effective way to skin one without getting hair everywhere.

Dearmeatfordinner has a good video you should watch if you are looking for a better way to skin your deer.  Check out this video.

Where Should Bowhunters Shoot Deer? [Video]

Bowhunters are always debating where is the best place to aim at a deer in different shooting situations.

Deer & Deer Hunting’s Editor-in-Chief Dan Schmidt talks about where the best place is to shoot a deer in an episode of Deer Talk Now.

In the video, Dan takes a look at the Wraith Broadhead from Bloodsport Archery also.

Mature Buck Breeds Doe Before Being Shot [Video]

Well, every hunter dreams of killing a mature buck, whether they want to admit it or not.

So, when a mature buck walks in front of you to breed a doe, do you wait for him to finish the job, or do you take the first good shot?

This hunter allowed the buck one last moment of pleasure before squeezing the trigger.  Check out the video.

Hunter Misses His Mark, Shoots Buck in Antler [VIDEO]

As hunters, we’ve all made a bad shot on an animal. If you hunt long enough, it’s bound to happen. Every hunter misses eventually.

When it does happen, all we can hope for is to recover the animal, or that the wound was not life-threatening. We hate to do it, and for most of us, it’s a rare occurrence.

Mistakes are made for a number of reasons. The animal might have moved, the arrow or bullet may have hit an object in flight, buck fever… the list is endless.

I couldn’t even guess as to why this hunter missed, but I can tell you it was not a fatal injury. You can tell that the targeted buck was not happy, as he stares down the hunter. I wonder what was going through the hunter and the deer’s mind after this shot.

Hanging A Deer. Is There A Right or Wrong Way?

Hanging a deer is not rocket science.

Hunters all have their favirite wsy of doing things. Once they get accustomed to doing something a certain way, they’re not an easy group to change.
Even when it comes to hanging a deer.

This is true whether you’re talking about their hunting tactics or the ways in which they process their deer.

To hang a deer by its head or back feet? It’s a question that has had hunters arguing for ages.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Now, Outdoor Life addresses the pros and cons.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but what about a deer? A small minority of deer hunters get all their skinning and butchering work done at ground level, but the rest of us usually opt for a solid meat pole where we can hang our deer, tell lies, and sip a beverage while meat is made. But before the venison flag is raised, first you need to decide how to hang the deer. Is it better to hang the deer with its head up or hindquarters up? [continued]

Muzzy Offers Complete Arrow and Bolt Packages

For more than 30 years Muzzy has been known for their superior line of broadheads.  Now Muzzy is offering complete arrow and bolt packages ready for the field.

Rage Broadheads did something similar recently with great results.

Muzzy Outdoors, the makers of the world’s number-one selling fixed-blade broadhead, has partnered with Gold Tip to offer ready-to-shoot Muzzy “Bad to the Bone” Arrow package. This new package allows archers to spend more time in the field hunting and less time setting up their bows.

The new “Bad to the Bone” Arrow package combines Gold Tip’s popular pre-fletched and nocked .340 carbon arrows with the bone-crushing Muzzy 3-blade 225 100 grain-broadhead. The arrows are pre-cut to 29.5 inches to fit most archer’s bow setups and have a straightness of  ± .006 inch and weight tolerance of ± 2.0 grain. The hardened-steel Trocar tip on the Muzzy 225, cuts on contact and shatters bone, providing maximum penetration. The aluminum ferrule is precision machined and the blades are precisely oriented for maximum arrow flight stability and to minimize planing.

Designed for draw weights up to 70 lbs., the Muzzy “Bad to the Bone” Arrow package comes with three fletched and nocked arrows, three Muzzy 225 broadheads and three 100-grain field points. The package is available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online atwww.muzzy.comfor a suggested retail price of $49.99.

Founded in 1984, Muzzy is the number-one name in fixed-blade broadheads, and it is a pioneer in the art of bowfishing. A division of FeraDyne Outdoors, Muzzy is headquartered in Superior, Wis. For more information on the full line of Muzzy’s fixed-blade broadheads and state-of-the-art bowfishing equipment, contact Muzzy Outdoors, LLC, 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; call 866-387-9307; or

Don’t worry, Muzzy also has crossbow hunters covered too.

Muzzy Outdoors, the makers of the world’s number-one selling fixed-blade broadhead, has taken the guesswork out of setting up a crossbow for both practice and hunting by combining a super durable bolt, with a universal nock system and a bone-crushing broadhead.

The Muzzy “Bad to the Bone” Bolt package features the Muzzy 225 Crossbow 3-Blade, 100-grain broadhead that is designed with an aircraft-grade aluminum ferrule, stainless steel blades and the legendary bone-busting Trocar tip. The ferrule is designed to perfectly match the diameter of the bolt for increased accuracy and penetration. Each bolt comes pre-fletched and is compatible with either Omni or Half-Moon nocks.

The new Muzzy “Bad to Bone” bolt package comes with three Victory bolts—in either 20- or 22-inch lengths—three Muzzy 225X 100-grain broadheads, three field points, three Omni nocks and three Half-Moon nocks. This ready-to-shoot bolt package is available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at for a suggested retail price of $49.99.

TruGlo Introduces Their Line of New Titanium Broadheads

TruGlo is known for their bowhunting accessories like sights, rest and more. Now they are in the broadhead market.

Pure Instinct Hunting has more information on these state of the art broadheads.

TRUGLO, Inc. introduces the all new TitaniumX family of performance broadheads for 2017.  These mechanical and fixed-blade broadheads are available in for both compound bows and crossbows in several blade configurations.

Precision broadheads for hunters, by hunters. TITANIUM X™ broadheads are spin tested and sharpness tested to ensure ultimate performance and quick kills.  A CNC-machined titanium ferrule provides the unwavering strength and consistency needed to fly like a field point and punch through bone.  The TRU•CUT™ titanium tip slices hide and flesh immediately upon impact and the tough stainless steel blades cut a devastating wound channel for maximum blood loss and easier tracking. [Continued]