Category Archives: Deer

What To Do With Those Deer Hides? [Video]

Deer season is now over 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; www.moyle.net).

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 www.furbuyer.com 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, www.gfwco.com 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.

Successfully Bowhunt the Whitetail Rut [Video]

The whitetail rut is gaining speed and will be here before you know it.  Are you ready?

More big bucks are killed during the rut than any other time of deer season. Some hunters luck into killing a big buck, and others put the odds in their favor. Here are 5 tactics that will help you be a successful hunter during the whitetail rut.

FIND WHERE THE DOES SLEEP

This is the time of season bucks are constantly looking for does. The best place for a buck to begin his search is where the does spend the majority of their time during the day, bedded down.

Begin by going to a favorite food source of the deer, and enter the surrounding woods and other terrain. Search for probable bedding grounds like slightly brushy benches, groves of pine trees, overgrown pastures, CRP fields, and tall grass fields.

Try and locate the does actual beds on the ground. They are easily recognized by their oval depressions of various sizes, and matted down areas on the forest floor.

Mark the bedding areas that you locate on an aerial photo or topo map of the area you intend to hunt. Next, look on the photo or map for possible travel corridors connecting the bedding areas you have located. These routes could be creek beds, through thick vegetation, and gullies.

Bucks will always cruise downwind of a bedding area hoping to catch a whiff of an estrus doe. This is the perfect place to hang a stand. As the rut heats up, mature bucks will go from bedding area to bedding area along the travel corridors you found on your photo or map of the area. You need to hang stands along these routes, too.

Not all does come into estrus at the exact same time. If you come across does that seem to not have a worry in the world, that are content to just eat likely means they are not “hot” yet. Move on until you find active does that can’t stand still, and are often looking to see what is going on behind them. These are the does that are more than likely ready to mate.

If you do not kill a buck by the time these females are out of estrus, return to the carefree does you located a few days earlier. They are likely in estrus by now.

HUNT ON WINDY DAYS

Hunters tend to stay away from the deer woods when the winds are fierce, and for good reason. Deer can’t hear, see, or smell as good as they would like.  Whitetails often stay bedded down until the high winds subside. But, when the rut is in full swing, deer do strange things, and hunters should to.

High winds seem to get bucks on the move for a couple of reasons. First, smart does that have not yet come into estrus yet think they can avoid the bucks with the wind concealing their movement and noise. Second, high winds often bring in a cold front following hot temperatures. Whitetails enjoy the cooler temperatures, and take advantage of them by getting up and moving.

Bucks will eventually smell these does that are in heat as they try to outsmart an old buck. Before you know it, deer are all over the place.

PACK A LUNCH

Most of the bucks you see early and late in the day will be smaller bucks. This is the time of the day does will be moving a lot, and it is difficult to narrow down where they will be. Mature bucks know this, so they save their energy until the does return to their beds. When the does bed, big bucks will begin to cruise downwind of known bedding areas.

Hang your treestands in funnels, and along overgrown fencerows that connect deer bedding areas. The best chance to kill a buck is the first time you hunt from a stand. For that reason, save these stands until the very best time, the peak of the rut.

You might go a couple of days without seeing a buck, but when you do he will likely be a mature buck.

SOUND LIKE A BUCK

Hunters are going to have to get aggressive with their tactics, and this includes when you are calling. When it is all said and done, calling will provide more shot opportunities.

Calling softly with dull grunts with long intervals between calling is not aggressive. In order to call in more, and bigger bucks, you have to add some emotion. When you spot a shooter buck that is out of range, call with a series of deep grunts with lots of bass to get him interested. This might be enough to get him to commit.

If a few deep grunts are not enough, sound off with a series of blaring grunts, and finish off with a snort-wheeze.

Most of the bucks will respond positively to calls, but some bucks will feel threatened, and hightail it out of the area. But, what do you have to lose if the buck does not respond to the call, he wasn’t going to offer you a shot anyways.

FAKE ‘EM OUT

As the rut progresses, and the chase and breeding phases begin, smaller bucks are not seen very much. Rub and scrape lines are not seeing much activity. Mature bucks can be seen cruising for, and breeding receptive does. Decoys work well near field edges, food plots, doe bedding areas, and travel corridors that connect these locations.

A buck and a receptive doe decoy is a good choice during this phase of the rut. Use a dominant buck scent for the buck decoy, and estrus doe scent for the doe. Place the scents on the ground around the decoys. Keep the decoys upwind of your position, and within shooting range. Keep the decoys clean, and spray them down with scent elimination spray.

Your calling sequences should be a combination of buck grunts and doe bleats. This should be enough to get any monster buck in the area excited.

Decoys alone will help, but add calling and scents to the mix, and you have a potentially deadly combination.

CONCLUSION

There is no magic tactic that will allow you to kill a mature buck during any part of the season. But, these 5 tips I have shared with you will put you in a better position to fill a tag.

Realtree Outdoors has some good advice in this video about bowhunting the whitetail rut.

 

Successfully Bowhunt the Whitetail Rut [Video]

The whitetail rut is gaining speed and will be here before you know it.  Are you ready?

http://www.deeranddeerhunting.com When it comes to hunting mature bucks during the rut, you have to try to understand what he’s after and where he will be. Obviously the big bucks, and even smaller ones, are seeking and chasing does in estrous to find one or more to breed with during this exciting time of the season. But why are they in specific areas and what’s the difference between the biggest mature bucks and younger ones trying to sow their oats? Steve Bartylla provides his insights on this fascinating autumn ritual in this latest episode of Hunt ’em Big.
Hunt ’em Big, Season 3, Episode 4.

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.

When will the Whitetail Rut Take Place in 2017 [Video]

The whitetail rut will be here before you know it. Will you be prepared for it? Do you know the rut forecast for this year?

A Deer & Deer Hunting exclusive! 3 Things You Need to Know About the 2017 Whitetail Rut with Charles J. Alsheimer. Learn more about when, where and why bucks will go bonkers during the rut, and plan your days off from work accordingly with the exclusive insights of America’s top white-tailed deer behaviorist.

Train Your Dog to Blood Trail Deer [Video]

Unfortunately not every deer shot by hunters will be easy to recover. Maybe the hit was too far back or too high. Maybe, there is not much blood sign to follow. I learnt many years ago that there is still a very good opportunity to recover your shot deer by letting your dog follow the sign to your prize. Yes, this might sound weird, but a properly trained dog just might be the extra help you need.

Why can’t a dog be trained to follow the scent of deer blood? The answer is that he can. With just a few minutes each day in as little as one month, any dog, no matter the breed or size, can be trained to be a “blood-hound”. The trick is to train your dog to follow the scent of blood, not the scent of a deer. You do not want your dog chasing every deer it smells.

A dog wants nothing more than to make his owner happy. There is no question that a dog that is well cared for and treated with respect 365 days a year is more likely to perform well for his handler the few times you might actually need him. Compared to a dog that is not treated well.

Start the training by teaching the dog basic commands like stop, stay and slow. It is good to be able to control the dog while in the woods. After your dog has mastered these commands, it is time to start training your dog to trail blood.

I start working with my dog a couple of months before deer season begins. I use blood from a deer that was killed the previous year that has been kept in the freezer*. A couple of days before you are ready to start training take the blood out of the freezer to thaw. By the time season roles around two months later, the dog will be more than ready to trail the scent of blood.

A hunter has two ways to obtain the blood for training. Either from a previous kill, or blood obtained from a butcher shop. Drop the blood for a couple hundred yards or so along a trail in a zigzag fashion. Use more blood when you first start training your dog, than what you will use as the dog advances in his training. At first, you might have to use as much as two pints. As your dog gets better as a blood-hound a few drops every 7 to 8 yards is enough.

When starting out, use a short lead that is no more than 10 feet long to control your dog while on the trail. Keep your dog calm by rubbing him and talking to him in a gentle voice.

Allow your dog to smell the blood. If you have to put the dog’s nose down to the blood, do it. But be gentle. Repeat the command “search” a few times. Eventually he will be able to associate the word search with the smell of blood. Let your dog follow the blood trail while you control the pace. Do not let him run. A slow walk is best until the dog has trailing understood. Continue to follow the blood trail until the dog has a grasp of what it is suppose to be doing.

Just like when you take a young child hunting, do not let your dog get bored with the experience. If the dog is no longer having fun, he will not want to go back out and try it again. As soon as the dog shows that he is tired, stop for the day.

The dog has to know when he has reached the end of the trail during the training. Saturate a rag with deer blood to simulate a dead deer. Place the blood soaked rag at the end of the blood trail. When your dog finds the rag, reward him. Pleasing you pleases your dog. When he knows how to make you happy he will want to do it again and again.

Work with your dog 15 minutes a day for a month. By the end of the month your dog will be pretty darn good at the art of trailing deer. Two months of this and he will be as close to perfect as you can hope for. After your dog has been out of action between seasons, remind him of what to do by having him run a couple mock blood trails.

While on the blood trail, if your dog starts moving erratically, his tail is still and he stops smelling the ground, chances are that he lost the trail. Take your dog back to where you know there is blood and let him go at it again. When he begins to bark and growl, your deer is close by. Keep in mind that the deer still might be alive so be ready for a follow up shot.

While you are hunting, make sure your dog is well cared for. Supply your dog with a bed and blanket for comfort. Keep this in the floor of your truck while you are hunting. Your beloved dog is sure to be thirsty after spending time on the trail. Have water available for your dog when you return to your vehicle so he can quench his thirst. A dog that is warm and well rested will perform better when the time comes, than one that has been left in the cold.

This is a new approach to find a wounded deer. Other hunters may think you are little nuts at first. This will quickly change when they begin to see the results. It will not take long for your dog to be the most popular amongst your hunting buddies. Do not be surprised if your friends unexpectedly want to baby sit your dog one night shortly after sun set.

* Blood can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for several weeks or in the freezer up to a year.

Check out how this 14 year old dog finds a gut shot deer in just a few minutes.