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Why When And How Do Deer Shed Their Antlers?

Deer are among the most mystical creatures on the planet. Long sought after by hunters. The cause of many ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ among children and hikers. A regular sighting in many regions throughout the world.

But with how common deer are throughout North America, it’s surprising how little most people know about them. We’re aiming to change that.

Today we’re going to take a look at how and why deer shed their antlers.

What are antlers?

Antlers on deer are, for all intents and purposes, an extension of bone.

what's deer antler

what's deer antler ​ jans canon

Honeycombed bone, to be exact, that grows outside of the body. They extend outward from the pedicles. These are permanent fixtures on a deer’s head that develop during the first year of the buck’s life.

Each year, the antlers protrude outward from the pedicles. There may be slight differences in the antlers year to year. A buck’s health is one major reason for this.

The antlers will develop quickly. The process usually doesn’t take longer than two to four months and starts late in the Spring here in North America.

Testosterone, the male hormone, is the main factor in how a deer’s antlers will develop. Velvet is formed.

Over the course of the Spring, Summer, and Fall, the deer will typically rub his antlers against trees. The velvet, as a result, shrinks and starts to tumble off, a procedure that actually benefits the animal because the antlers are strengthened and grow back again the next year. The entire procedure is rehashed every Spring, and as long as the deer maintains decent testosterone levels he will keep his antlers deep into the Autumn season.

Here is a time lapse antler growth video.

Natural cycles which cause deer to shed their antlers

Why do deer shed their antlers?

It may not surprise you to learn that the reason this happens is purely natural. It all starts during the rut. Throughout this time, deer begin to lose the velvet on their antlers. It usually begins to happen in November in North America.

The biggest reason behind this is a drop in testosterone in the deer. As the testosterone drops, the antlers begin to loosen and eventually fall off. Without high levels of testosterone, the deer experience a weakening in the tissue, as well as the bones, at the base of the antlers.

Once a significantly low point is reached, the antlers fall off.

When does this happen?

There is a defined evolutionary process behind the shedding of a deer’s antlers. How familiar are you with photoperiods? Photoperiods act alongside the testorone to develop the antlers and determine when they will fall off. Genes also help determine early or late development and shedding of antlers because family history can have an impact on the overall health of the deer.

Emotional factors play into this as well. Deer experience social anxiety much like humans, which has a negative impact on their health and thus can lead to earlier dropping of the antlers.

A deer will generally lose his antlers at a similar point every year, barring medical emergency. Testosterone levels rise during the development and the subsequent shedding of the velvet. As the seasons begin to change, the physiological reaction of antler shedding is triggered.

When should a hunter get out and find the sheds?

Depending on where you are located in North America, early spring is typically the best time. Those in Colorado and southern parts of the country can start earlier because it typically warms earlier than it does in Canada, Minnesota, and other northern and colder areas.

We like to point out that while antlers can be found year round, the rise in popularity of collecting them generally means that if you aren’t on the ball early in the spring, there’s a strong chance that you will miss out entirely.

February for southern areas is a great time to start. Further north, March into April will suffice. Often, it depends on snow melt because the antlers might get covered over the course of the winter.

Light snow years mean that antler hunters can get out earlier than during heavy snow years. Ar15 with best scope for deer hunting is good choice in a deer hunt

Here is a great video of a buck shedding antlers.

How long does it take for a deer to lose its antlers?

This all depends on how rapidly the deer’s testosterone levels drop.

In many cases, this can happen in less than two days. The antlers may appear to be firmly affixed one day. Then, as the rut progresses and natural cycles occur, the antlers begin to loosed rapidly.

Before long, a sudden jerk of the head or scare from afar puts that final feather on the dam. The tissue is no longer strong enough to support the antlers, and as a result they simply fall off.

How To Attract Deer To Your Yard

Generally speaking, peak condition bucks will hold onto their antlers longer than unhealthy or weaker bucks. They are able to maintain stronger tissue and remain in better physical condition, resulting in higher than average antler-to-head durability.

Late drop can be affected by a few distinct causes. Variable deer populations in an area play a big role. Low population means shedding won’t optimize until late March or April.

Second, first-year grovels that achieve rearing weight their first winter will come into estrous. This for the most part happens well after the pinnacle groove and is the primary driver of the second trench in many spots.

Also, circumstances like these will keep a buck’s testosterone levels higher for longer periods of time. If there is a lot of rivalry going on among male bucks, testosterone levels will peak. Strong mating seasons also have a similar effect.

Conclusion

Now you’ve got a general understanding of why and when deer shed their antlers.

The most important thing to keep in mind is what part of the continent you’re in. We can’t emphasize this enough- get out early! Early season leads to better antlers that are found with more ease and less time.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, please give us a share on social media. We all love deer, hunting, and antler collecting. Help us spread the good vibes! If you have specific hints on antler collecting that relate to your area, leave them in the comments below. Let’s make this the ultimate resource for antler knowledge!

How To Attract Deer To Your Yard

Some of us are fortunate enough to live the dream, with a nice open piece of property behind our home. Perfect for fishing, backyard camping, and of course, observing nature.

For the latter, you’ll need to know how to attract deer to your yard. I live in a house that backs up to a vast landscape of hunt-able land. Over my twenty years here, I’ve mastered several techniques that draw deer in and keep them around. The best part is that once a few deer come in, more always follow.

Let’s take a look at my 5 techniques.

1. Increase the amount of shrubbery in your yard

This is key, as deer are constantly grazing. The more natural in appearance the plant life, the more deer will be attracted to it. Having shrubbery native to your area is equally as effective. For how to attract deer to your yard regularly, follow these tips:

  • Tall shrubs work the best in attracting deer to your yard. Taller plants can spread their seed further, which encourages additional growth as well as brings in wildlife that pick up on the smell.
  • The more unkempt the shrubbery, the more natural it will appear to the deer. This will pique their interest more than perfectly planted lines of bushes and plants.
  • This video shows a particularly effective deer attractant

2.Keep a calm and serene environment

Deer are skittish animals. They spook easily, and certainly won’t hesitate to bolt if they feel at all threatened. To attract deer to your yard, you’ll want to keep a quiet, peaceful environment. Minimize noise escaping from the home.

Along the same line, don’t have loud birdfeeders or clanging wind chimes hung from the porch. Deer feel comfortable solely in natural settings free from outside distractions.

Reducing the ‘barrier to entry’ helps as well. Deer aren’t going to hop over a tall fence that they can’t see through. Do everything you can to meld your yard in with the natural settings beyond your property.

They also aren’t going to approach bright light, so turn off your porch lights when not in use and don’t have unnecessarily bring or shiny objects sitting around. We’ve all seen how deer act when they are caught in headlights. The initial freezing, followed by a quick escape as soon as they feel threatened.

3.Have water available for the deer

If you’ve got a small pond in your yard like I do, then you’re in luck here. Mine is a natural water source, I don’t even have to feed water into it. The deer love it because it is exactly what they are used to.

If you haven’t got a pond, consider adding a water fixture of some type. Even if it isn’t natural (such as a bath or fresh water pool), you will still find that it attracts deer.  Avoid chlorinated pools, or anything with a bunch of chemicals in it. The point is to offer the deer a place to refresh and have a drink, and they can smell that chlorine a mile away.

  • If you live in an area with a strong winter, keep logs of wood in the water to prevent it from freezing.
  • Replenish the supply consistently so the deer come to trust the water source.

4.Have a large salt lick or other food source

To get deer into your yard, having a large salt lick for them to taste is a great idea. They smell it, which brings them in from afar. Once they’ve tasted it, they will continue coming back for it and may even hang around for a bit. This is particularly true if you have a water feature for them to enjoy – we all know how salt makes us thirsty.

I don’t recommend putting the salt lick on your porch. Deer will be more hesitant to approach if it’s that close to the house. They’ll like it more if it’s out in the yard, maybe on a fence. Or, better yet, right next to the water source.

  • If you can’t get ahold of a salt lick, a mineral block or other block high in sodium will suffice.
  • Keep it away from areas of heavy movement. No dogs, children, or other ornery activity should happen near the salt lick.
  • Corn feeders also work great. I have both a salt lick and a few corn feeders in my back yard. This gives the deer an easy source of food, which gives them (and their pack) ample reason to return again and again.
  • Deer love oak trees. Dotting your property with oaks will attract large numbers of deer. They feed on the twigs and leaves, as well as the acorns found on the tree.

5.Install grasses that deer love

There are a handful of grass types that deer love to graze. A good thing about grasses is that it will attract them from quite a distance and, if you have enough of it, keep them coming back despite the other techniques listed here. If you live in an area where it is possible to use one of these, then go for it:

  • Bluegrass
  • Wheat
  • Fescue
  • Minimize the amount of pesticides and chemicals in the grass, so as not to turn the deer away.

Ferns will also attract deer to your yard. Keep these ferns in shady spots, and do everything you can to help them thrive. The better the ferns, the higher the odds the deer will be attracted to them.

Now you have a basic understanding of how to attract deer to your yard. Hopefully, you live in an area surrounded by wildlife already – your chances of attracting deer are very high if you follow these steps. If you have any tips or techniques that you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments here so we can get a discussion going. If you found this article helpful, feel free to share on social media. Keeping deer around the yard is relaxing and surprisingly not that hard to do, it just takes some persistence!

Learn How To Age A Deer In The Right Way

As an experienced hunter, one thing I’ve worked hard at improving over the years is knowing how to age a deer.

We all want to shoot the biggest buck possible, with the best set of antlers, and with years in the field comes the wisdom to which age class a deer is part of.

I manage a small whitetail property, and the last thing I want to do is take out all of the 2 ½-year-old bucks before they age and reach prime antler range. Here, we’ll discuss tips on how to age a deer.

And i wrote a article about how to find a deer sheds, it is helpful, let's read it.

How to age a deer

1. Young bucks (1 ½ years)

You can tell a young buck as their antlers won’t extend past the ears. They also tend to have a slim, tight body shape as judged by looking at their belly, and at the fact that during the rut they won’t have a bulky Here are some great photos of deer in different age ranges

Take a look at the body size. If it looks about average and has only those small antlers, it’s a young one. The tarsal glands will appear fresh and clean, along with the buck’s facial features.

Its stride may appear a bit clumsy and nervous as well​

2. 2 ½ to 3 years

This is the age when it can be a bit confusing because the deer’s body size is approaching what it will be for the remainder of its life. Here’s a hint: look at its belly.

How close it hanging to the ribs and organs? At 2 ½ years, it will still appear thin and youthful. The buck’s movement and stance may still appear a bit awkward and frail, as it hasn’t yet acquired a life’s worth of muscle

​Without looking at the antlers, if the buck looks like a full-grown doe but not quite an adult buck, you’re dealing with a buck in the 2-3 year range and its best to let it walk.

I encourage hunters to give themselves that extra second before shooting to look at the antlers and body shape, whenever possible, in order to spare the young ones and make sure they are bagging a trophy. Here is a video about aging deer in the wild:

3. 3 ½ to 4 years

At this point in the buck’s life, it is beginning to develop defining muscle characteristics and appear as a full-fledged adult.

The neck is beginning to swell during the rut and tarsals will show some wear and tear. The stomach will begin to sag a bit, and the neck will begin to meld itself into the shoulder with muscle in a noticeable fashion.

It’s stance and movement have stabilized and are beginning to resemble that of an older buck

​The best way to tell if the buck is in this age range is to look at its rack and body characteristics.

Size wise, it will appear older and more fully developed, but by honing in on specific features a hunter can tell that this animal still has a couple years to go before its fully ready

4. 4 ½ years

By this point, the rack and body are developed to the point of resembling a fully aged buck.

When learning how to age a deer in this range, look at the legs first. Instead of the frail and weak stance of younger bucks, those in this age range will feature muscle and strength in their legs and stance, which will also be reflected in their noticeably intentional movement.

​The stomach has begun to sag quite a bit, and the entire body weighs enough that the buck will appear to lean backward or have to settle itself when standing still

5. 5 ½-year-old bucks (Primetime!)

This is what we’ve been waiting for, and the reason why we pass on younger bucks.

Take photos of the buck, particularly its developed rack and fully shaped body. A buck that is this old will likely have a full-fledged pot belly and legs that are stocky enough at the top to resemble those of a much less agile creature. 

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​At this point, you’ll want to take your shot whenever you have the opportunity.

Look for a bulbous nose, muscles protruding the entire body and loose skin. Their movements are direct and well thought out, making these bucks quite a prize for those of us lucky enough to find one

    Conclusion

    Just writing about older bucks gets me excited for hunting season. Discussing how to age a deer is one of my favorite pastimes, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.

    I am a stickler for ethical and educated hunting, and always encourage the sharing of valuable educational materials. Best handgun safe is recent my post to tell you 5 gun safe to storage your gun safety, check it out.

    With that in mind, please share this article on social media if you found it helpful. Remember, next time you’re in the field, take that extra moment to appreciate that you are hunting an aged buck and let the younger ones scurry along. It benefits us all in the end.

    5 Things You Need To Know About Buck Rubs And Scrapes

    The foothills of the Rocky Mountains rolling through Wyoming was the location of the most memorable buck scar I saw as a kid, a memory that has stuck with me and turned into a lifelong fascination with the simple activity of a buck rubbing its antlers against a tree.

    It wasn’t until later that I learned how to incorporate buck rubs and scrapes into my hunt in order to track bucks and increase my odds of landing a big one. You can do the same by utilizing these tips that will help you understand what buck rubs and scrapes mean and pick up on the clues they contain.

    5 Things You Need To Know About Buck Rubs And Scrapes

    #1. Bucks leave primer pheromone scent in their rubs.

    • The scent accomplishes many things for the buck. First of all, it can attract does, a particularly effective mating call and flirting strategy of the buck.
    • Along the same line, the scent can hinder the sex drive of younger and weaker bucks. This increases the mating chances of the stronger buck, which can come into play with territorial concerns.
    • The scent also displays the buck’s social status. Larger, more prime bucks leave stronger scents which stimulate does and detract the approach of younger bucks.

    #2. Buck rubs and scrapes help the animal ‘blow off steam’ in different ways. This is very helpful in identifying buck size, age, and location.

    • Rubbing against a firm tree strengthens the buck’s neck and shoulder muscles, making the animal fitter and ready to fight if necessary.
    • It also releases tension and helps a buck relax. It works sort of as an anxiety reliever after a long commute or stressful encounter.
    • Rubbing and scraping marks territory, helping the buck to feel more at home and maintain a sense of control. 
    • Trail rubs are made by bucks that are moving through their home territory, typically between feeding areas and nesting cover. If you see frequent rubs, it may mean the buck spends the majority of its time in that area. Keep this in mind during scouting and your actual hunt. On the other hand, boundary rubs are made before rut, earlier in the season, as a buck is marking his territory. If you are out in early season these make great stand sites, but other than that you’ll have more luck scouting trail rubs later on. Rut rubs occur during peak mating season when the buck’s hormones are at the highest levels. The buck needs to release testosterone and may shred small trees and shrubbery. If you notice this activity and it wasn’t there a few days ago, set up stand because you are in the prime spot!

    #3. As a buck gets older, it rubs and scrapes more often- up to 3-4 times as much as younger bucks.

    • This means that the scrapes you are seeing while hunting likely are the marking of an older buck. This is great news for you! Keep your eyes peeled for similar markings along your route and use them to zero in on the buck’s location and overall territory.
    • Older bucks start rubbing earlier in the year, with bigger marks and more frequent occurrences.
    • All bucks old and young will rub and scrape smaller trees, three or fewer inches in diameter. Young bucks typically won’t scrape larger trees, as this can cause tension and disputes.

    #4. Young bucks don’t have the strategy that older bucks do.

    • Younger bucks have a tendency to scrape and rub without much theme because they are inexperienced and are just trying to mark up as much territory as possible. Older bucks know how to mark an area and identify it as theirs. When you’re trying to get the largest buck possible, pay particular attention to how consistent and numerous the scrapes are in an area.
    • If scrapes are similar but few and far between, the buck is young and won’t be the trophy shot you’re after.
    • Don’t be tricked by one scrape that is inconsistent in a line of consistent scrapes. This is likely caused by a young buck passing quickly through the area.

    #5. What to look out for and keep in mind.

    • Wide open field rubs are likely made early season, and the buck won’t return to that open area until after shooting light is passed. You’ll want to find a nearby area of grazed trees and identify other rubs. These will be more helpful in locating the buck during hunting hours.
    • If you find rubs that are dried up or discolored, they were probably made in a previous year. Don’t spend much time on those because if the buck were still in the area, there would be fresh rubs.
    • Singular and random rubs aren’t going to be very useful during your hunt. Look for connected series of fresh rubs as described above and don’t get too excited the first time you see one. You want a trail, marking over an entire area, not just a one-off.
    • Landing the biggest buck will be done in fall after strong scouting, back rub and scrape tracking, and trial and error. Return to areas of consistent rubbing several times and you will greatly increase your odds of landing that trophy buck!

    Conclusion

    Looking for buck scrapes and rubs is an essential part of fall hunting. When done correctly, this process will greatly increase your chances of making a kill and having something to brag about. I suggest doing some web research to get a feel for what these scrapes and rubs look like  and identify lookalikes when out in the field. Another my article best shooting sticks 2017, check it if you need buy a shooting sticks.

    I hope you have enjoyed this article! I’ll be back out in Wyoming each year looking to find the next gorgeous collection of scrapes and rubs. If you found this to be helpful, please share on your social networks. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this topic – let’s get a conversation going in the comments section, that way we can all learn more tricks of the trade.

    How To Find Deer Sheds

    Although you may have heard otherwise, there isn’t much luck or many secrets about how to find deer sheds.

    What it really takes is patience, a keen knowledge of the trail and habitat, and a bit of hunting prowess. I found my first shed antlers at the age of 11 after my uncle had spent three years instructing and leading me around without any luck.

    It happened because we covered ample ground quickly during the hunt, with our eyes skimming the terrain for noticeable color differentiations. I’ll admit, I felt like a much more legit hunter after snapping a photo with the shed and showing it to my friends (I instantly gained more respect around our small town, too – it’s amazing what a nice trophy does for your reputation!)

    Since that hunt, I’ve collected many sheds and in this article, I’ll break down field-tested tips on the best ways to go about the practice, what to look out for, and what NOT to do when trying to find deer sheds. you can read Whitetail Scouting Tips to know about some my tips.

    What you need to find deer sheds

    • A sharp eye. Rarely will a hunter trip himself over a shed set of antlers. When in the field, keep your eyes peeled just above the tips of the shrubbery for anything sticking up or oddly colored. Instead of darting your eyes around from side to side, take the time to focus on your surroundings and process everything that you see. It should almost feel like you are memorizing the terrain for later reference.
    • Time in the field. Sorry, but your first hunt might not land you anything. Nor the second, While some guys seem to find sheds like your chubby friend finds a KFC, that isn’t normally the case, especially for newer hunters.
    • A sense of place. You have to have an understanding of where deer traverse, where they sleep, and where they are during the critical time of year when shedding happens. This is why your best bet for finding deer sheds is typically going to be on hunts closer to home – you are more familiar with their patterns, you see their migration pattern, you know where they cluster together and where they run free.

    Step-by-step instructions for how to find deer sheds

    • Locate food and water sources. Where are the deer in your area feeding? If there are cornfields or terrain with diverse vegetation and nearby water, those are great places to start. The reason this is number 1 is because bucks spend so much time feeding that your odds of finding sheds near their food source are significantly higher than anywhere else. Clear-cut areas, hard mast areas, places where berries and nuts grow, these are all solid spots to check out. Watch this video to get a good visual of what you should be looking for.
    • Raise a hunting dog. Want an extra pair of eyes and ears? Better yet, a nose that puts yours to shame? A pup provides all of those things. Plus, he needs the off-season exercise. A hunting dog will take after you, so if he sees how excited you get upon finding a shed (even if it’s a staged setup in the backyard) he will crave that attention and recognition. It will take time and a lot of encouragement to get the dog up to speed and teach him what to look for. The easiest way to do this is by ALWAYS bringing the dog with you on hunts, and taking several days during the winter to try and find sheds. Dogs are creatures of habit. Get them excited about something, and they will have a lifelong passion for it. Here is a video explaining how to do this:
    • Find their bedding areas. In the winter, bucks spend a whole lot of time in the bedding areas. Identify south facing slopes in the area because they provide the deer with the maximum amount of sun and warmth, which in addition to keeping the deer warm means that accumulated snowfall is going to be minimized. I remember finding three sets of antlers in one area during a particularly successful mission traversing from the top of a medium hill down the south facing side to a creek at the bottom. This is the ideal winter habitat for deer, with nearby water and food in addition to the extra sun. Down low, there was ample tree cover and a strong thicket of vegetation near the watershed. Tracks and poop were aplenty, and I knew right away that I was on the right track. I’ve returned every year since and get lucky about 75% of the time.
    • Search during late winter and early spring. To be more specific, March and April for whitetail deer are the best months. While I’ve had success in February and early April, your odds are exponentially higher once maximum snowfall and cold temperatures have passed. If you’re looking for mule deer sheds, push everything back one month and begin your search in April. Odds are you can get several good laps in before temperatures rise and deer become more mobile in mid-May.
    • Identify objects that will loosen or pull on the antlers. What causes the antlers to take their final plunge is rough contact with tree branches, thick patches of brush, fences, and other solid objects that deer come into contact with. Last year I found a small antler set literally stuck on the side of a fence post, which the deer had evidently tried to either jump over or charge. You’re not going to have much luck in wide open grassy fields unless you stick to the perimeter, along the side of where objects like the aforementioned are. This renowned expert explains more.
    • Find game trails. Because of reason number 5, game trails can lead you in the right direction. Deer will take the trails coming in and out of thicker areas or heading to water sources, places where they spend a lot of time during late winter. They will likely be feeling relaxed on these trails and trotting leisurely, stopping to look around and check out the surroundings, proving ample time for the antlers to fall off while they are bent over.
    • Find the oak leaves. Now, I’m not sure if this is just my experience or what, but so many times I find the antlers laying on top of oak leaves, looking like a weathered stick. They tend to blend into these situations, so always keep your eyes peeled and move slowly. Take the time to fully analyze everything around you and don’t be afraid to zig zag around to check out promising leads. Lee Lakosky offers some great first-hand advice here.

    • Plan on getting some exercise. Make a day of it. Walk for miles, especially if you find deer tracks or droppings. Bring a lunch, maybe a six pack of beer, and plenty of water. Toilet paper, a map, and even a book can be good to for when you need to take a break. I’m always surprised by the number of people trying to find sheds that aren’t willing to put in any effort. This activity is like everything in life – the more effort you put into it, the higher your chances of success.
    • Look under stand-alone trees. If a deer is out in the field, feels threatened, but has nowhere to go, a lone tree may be shelter to hide under. He may also head there for any berries or food nearby, or to take a rest. This is a tip that not many people know about, so even if you’re in a highly trafficked area you might have found a hidden gem that others haven’t visited. If there are large amounts of leaves around the tree, this is even better. For whatever reason, I’ve always found that deer are attracted to leaves and seem to enjoy walking through them, often scattering them around.
    • Pre-scout! Get to know your target area a little better before heading out, especially if it’s not close to home or somewhere that you visit frequently. Using a topo map, mark the areas where you intend to spend ample time and also include a few backup spots. If you can find a forum online where hunters talk about that specific place, it will be of great help. Ask questions read other people’s comments. The more knowledge you bring with you, the better your chances of success! When shoot a deer, you can use best shooting sticks to improve your result.

    Conclusion

    I hope this guide has given you a good base of knowledge on how to find deer sheds. While this activity is relaxing and not always strenuous, it is becoming increasingly popular because of its accessibility and the satisfaction that comes with finding a set of antlers. It doesn’t take a high skill level and is great for families, so I encourage you to get your crew together and get out there! If you liked this guide, please help spread the word by sharing on your social media accounts. I’d love to hear your stories and tips, please share in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

    10 Tips for Scent-Free Hunting

    Although deer are not as aggressive as other species, deer possess a level of adaptability and defensive skills that allow them to protect themselves – their strongest asset being their noses. Over the years, there have been numerous types of gear and products that are specially created to help hunters control scent.

    Here are a few easy tips that will keep you scent free:

    1. Use Odorless Detergents

    Once you’re finished hunting, make sure that you use a detergent product that is manufactured specifically for hunting. Some of the best choices that you can find online or at local sporting stores include Scent A Way and Dead Down Wind.

    1. Wash your clothes in baking soda

    An alternative to store-bought hunting detergents is detergent you can make in your own home. Washing your clothes in baking soda can help eliminate odors picked up by deer. You can also make large quantities of simple DIY detergent composed of peroxide, baking soda, and distilled water.

    1. Dry your clothes outside

    After you’ve washed your hunting clothes, dry them outside. Hanging them outside to dry prevents indoor scents from clinging to your clothes like cleaning products, baking/cooking scents, etc.

    1. Store your washed hunting clothes

    Once your clothes are completely dry, place them in a large air tight container for storage until your next usage. For an added measure, you can leave odorless dryer sheets in the container with your clothing.

    1. Use scent-free products

    Take a scent-free shower before heading out into the field. Use scent-free body wash, shampoo, tooth paste, and deodorant. You can also use scent-sealed hunting gear to eliminate human scent, like scent-sealed slings, bags, and more.

    1. Use scent-eliminating spray

    Using scent-eliminating spray will help mask any remaining scents you have or you’ve picked up on the way to the field.

    1. Scent-free baby wipes

    For easy, inexpensive, and fast cleanup in the field, use scent-free baby wipes. An alternative for this is bringing rags that have also been washed in scent-free detergent, but they are harder to pack around than a package of scentless baby wipes.

    1. Use an Ozonics Unit

    Although some hunters may think that Ozonics Units are unnecessary if you’ve taken enough precautions to cover up scent, they still can help hide human scent in the field. Ozonics Units mask your scent in ozone and continuously work to neutralize scent throughout the time that you’re out in the field.

    1. Wear rubber boots

    Use knee-high rubber boots and tuck your pants into them. Make sure they are placed in an air tight container beforehand. Do not wear your boots at home or in any location to and from the hunting area.

    1. Keep your stand site downwind

    One of the most basic yet important rules for preventing the spread of scent in the field is to stay downwind. Check the direction of the wind before setting up your stand site to make sure the wind won’t be blowing in the direction of your target and their bedding/feeding areas. You can check predicted wind conditions on weather websites and apps beforehand, but be prepared to double check the direction of the wind once you have arrived. It’s best to have the direction of the wind blowing towards a cliff, lake, pond, etc.

    3 Best Whitetail Scouting Tips

    As a native Nebraskan, whitetail hunting is a sport I’ve been part of, seen, and thought about my entire life.

    I’m fortunate to have taken part in several successful hunts that have landed trophy bucks and have watched the habits of long-time successful hunters. Here in this article, I’m going to share the most proactive whitetail scouting tips from my own experience and from what I’ve observed the most successful hunters doing. A successful scouting expedition is an unforgettable experience and by incorporating these tactics into your approach, you’ll find that tracking and bagging whitetail deer is an accomplishable task.

    #1: Find the right habitat.

    Whitetail deer follow habitual feeding and living and patterns. You aren’t going to see them springing alone across grassy knolls in broad daylight while you sit nearby, ready to ambush. Tracking deer starts with finding their living, grazing, and migrating hubs.

    • The simplest way to go about finding habitats likely to host whitetail bucks is to look for mature hardwood forests. These provide more cover than younger forests, as well as more nutrients and food. Acorns are a great sign – you’ll typically see white oak acorns falling as soon as September, with red and black acorns falling later in the season. Whitetail feed on these acorns and also on surrounding fauna.
    • Places like creek bottoms, clearings within forests, and other spots where the ground is relatively level and dry are places bucks will congregate. If it’s rocky, they will keep moving or avoid the area altogether.
    • In the right areas, you’ll find early scrapes from the bucks. Identify where bucks have marked territory with their antlers, forehead, or saliva, or kicked an area free of leaves and debris with their feet. On travel routes from higher elevations, you should be able to find areas marked by these scrapes as the bucks move towards feeding areas (source here). Find a secluded spot that provides visibility of their movement across the areas and observe what happens over the course of a morning. Not much activity means they may have detected a threat or moved on.
    • I always start by looking for natural and manmade objects that attract deer, perhaps the most basic of my whitetail scouting tips. Power lines, crevasses in otherwise flat terrain, ridges, rivers and streams. I recommend keeping three things top-of-mind during your approach:
      • Do whitetail feel safe here?
      • Can they feed or drink here?
      • What other wildlife is in the area that may drive them away?
    • A good visual of these areas is provided here:

    #2: Locate staging and bedding areas

    Staging areas are where deer wait until after sunset to move into an open field for food. They won’t do this during the day, but signs of their presence are usually visible. They move down from bedding areas, stage themselves 200 yards or less from the target area, and proceed when they feel safe. Look for these signs:

    • Bedding areas are typically found in areas where the bucks rest during the day and where the feed during the night. You will want to look for areas with shade and/or easy access to food, such as orchards, high fauna areas near water, and clover fields. If you can identify game trails you’ll know you are on the right track, follow them towards covered areas or areas with more diverse vegetation than just an open field.
    • The Whitetail Journey Team gives great examples of this in this video.

    • When whitetail approach a feeding or bedding area, they have a ‘prey’ mentality. They stop along hedges and trees up to 200 yards from the area and analyze the situation, usually waiting until dark to head into the open. These ‘staging areas’ can be great places to spot them. Backtrack from the bedding area towards cover and look for signs of presence like droppings, ruffled and nibbled branches/leaves. Here is another video showcasing staging areas:

    • Deer will forage five pounds of food every day. Partially chewed fruit, berries, and leaves are a great sign of recent activity in the area. Fresh droppings are also a good indication. Once you have found food sources and staging areas, you’re ready to find the rub line.

    #3: Use the locations you’ve identified to unravel a rub line

    Now you are ready to make your move. Find the rub line, find your ambush area, and wait. Keep these things in mind:

    • The mature bucks, the ones you really want to be focusing on, will make the first and most noticeable rubs. I usually see this happening in September. When you see a rub mark on a tree, you will know the buck faced that direction as he passed the tree, so head in that direction to find the next rub. You will likely notice some markings of passage from the buck. Once you have identified a line of rubs, mark them on a map so you don’t forget the locations.
    • After you have the line marked out, walk around the area and mark down key ambush spots along the rub line. Where will you have the best shot? Which areas provide the best visibility?
    • For the best whitetail scouting, use a trail camera. You’ll want to place it along the already identified rub line because you know that the deer are already using that route. This will save film and time, and help you identify when the route is being trafficked so that you’ll know when to be at your ambush spots.
    • Get to your spot early. Be very quiet. These seem like obvious whitetail scouting tips, but they shouldn’t be taken for granted. (Early season whitetail scouting is the best time.)

    Conclusion

    These are my tried and tested whitetail scouting tips that helped me land my first buck. Be smart in the field and be aware of your surroundings. This methodology combined with growing experience out in the field will help you be more successful in your hunting and feel more in control as well. I hope you enjoyed reading this and are excited to try the tips on your next! You also use best shooting sticks for hunting 2017 to hold your gun.

    I’d love to hear what you think about this article, feel free to comment below and share on social media – the more educated and aware hunters are of best whitetail scouting practices, the more sustainable our sport will be not only for us but for future generations.

    The Best Place To Shoot A Deer

    When hunting deer, responsible hunters will put in the time and effort necessary to learn how to ‘drop it where it stands.’ Opinions vary on where to shoot in order to make this happen.

    Here, we will look at different options for a one shot kill and analyze why they are effective and what the problems may be. A big factor is how far away the shooter is. The last thing any hunter wants is a wounded deer causing a ruckus and scaring other deer, preventing the chance of additional targets and potentially ruining the chance to bag your hit.

    For different circumstances, there are varying best places to shoot a deer.

    It is important to practice shooting in the offseason and know where your target shot is going to take place depending on where you post yourself up. Ideally, your deer will be calm and still when you take your shot, but this does not always happen. Knowing how to aim in different circumstances will increase your odds of bagging a deer no matter the distance.

    Best place to shoot a deer from short range (50-60 yards)

    Best place to shoot a deer from short range

    Best place to shoot a deer from short range

    Brain: By shooting the deer in the brain, the animal will become incapacitated and die almost instantly. When calm, this is the best place to shoot a deer. Aim just above the eyes, by drawing a line from tear duct to tear duct and rising up about 2.5 inches, centered. If shooting from the side, aim for the same point on the head and shoot the brain. The result will be the same. If shooting from behind, hunters will want to aim for the back of the skull. Shooting from short range like this is the easiest way to knock a deer out with one bullet and minimal impact on the animal or its meat. This is best place to shoot a deer in 50-60 yards

    The downside of this tactic is that the likelihood of missing the deer entirely is high. The brain is a small target. The hunter may also hit the animal in the nose or jaw, which will likely not kill it instantly and will cause the deer to run off. A blood trail in this circumstance can be harder to follow than that of a misplaced ‘boiler room shot.’ Also, the head is the most active part of a deer’s body, meaning that it is the most likely to make a sudden turn or adjustment just as you take your shot. Aiming for the head often is not a good idea if the deer is not calm and still.

    Best place to shoot a deer from mid-range (up to 500 yards) and longer ranges (500+ yards)

    best place to kill a deer from mid-range

    best place to kill a deer from mid-range

    The ‘boiler room shot’: The ‘boiler room shot’ is commonly referred to as the best place to shoot a deer, period.

    This means shooting the deer in the area surrounding the heart and lungs. This can be done by aiming directly above and just back from the front legs when shooting from the side. If shooting from the front of the deer, this shot will not be nearly as effective. But when using this technique, even being an inch or two off will still hit vital organs and potentially kill the animal instantly.

    The bullet may bounce off a rib or bone and not kill. If the animal doesn’t go down, the hunter should follow the blood trail and will likely have to shoot again.

    If possible, go for the brain shot listed above when shooting from the front, if you are a master marksman or have scopes that can make this possible. Also, shooting the deer just below the ear can be a very effective shot.

    If you are unsure of your ability to make a one-shot-kill take happen when in front of the deer, aim for just above the heart. Even if the shot does not drop the deer, it will ensure a short chase and your eventual bagging of the animal.

    Double shoulder shot: An effective technique for shots in the 200-500 yard range is the double shoulder shot. This can often be the best place to shoot a deer. Use a .308 round and shoot through one shoulder from the side, causing the bullet to rocket through the body and into the opposite shoulder blade. When done correctly, this will cause the deer’s body to tense up and will snap the spine, incapacitating the deer

    Neck: A well-placed neck shot will cause immediate spinal damage and incapacitate the animal. For situations where the neck is straight and in plain view, this is the best place to shoot a deer. There is also little risk of damaging desirable meat with a neck shot, making it an attractive approach for situations where the hunter is not confident in the ability to hit the brain or vital organs. The downside here is that the target kill area on the neck is small and hard to hit from some angles. Additionally, the shot (even if well placed) may not kill the deer and a second shot or slitting of the throat will be required upon approaching the animal.

    High shoulder: Broken ribs, broken down nervous system, and broken spine are all possibilities with a well-placed shot to the high shoulder. This target area is easier for longer range shots than direct brain shots or others with a high chance of missing the deer. It is one of the easier targets and is popular among novice hunters, even if they aren’t directly aiming for that area. The problem is that a large amount of meat can be damaged this way, which depending on your reason for hunting can ruin the entire point of being out there. It is also easy to miss high when shooting for the shoulder and spook this deer and any in the immediate area away as it may take off running. This is best place to shoot a deer in 500+ yards. This is a far distant, using shooting sticks for hunting will help you find the best target.

    Conclusion

    What I may advice for is concentration, discipline and perseverance in the course of deer hunting; it’s no mean task after all. Hope you can find the information to know best place to shoot a deer, it’s important factor help you kill a deer quickly.

    Top 12 Best Place For Deer Hunting

    The arrival of fall means whitetail deer hunting season in North America. As hunting deer has increased in popularity, to increase odds of bagging a prize deer many hunters have increased their hunting preparation and begun looking for better places to hunt.

    Research should be done on the deer population of the areas being considered for the hunt. Being willing to spend more weekends in the bush and longer periods of time in the stand will greatly increase your overall odds of getting that prize deer to take home, but it is also important to have good equipment and work on marksmanship. Once you have these things down, it is time to determine the best hunting location. More and more hunters are travelling to different areas to hunt each year.

    best-place-to-shoot-a-deer

    Each state or province has different fees to pull a deer tag. More popular places like Iowa have high fees, while Kentucky and other southern states, as well as places that don’t see much tourism related to deer hunting, may have fees under $100. Exact prices and info on applying can be found in a simple internet search. Here are the best places for whitetail hunting in North America.

    1. Iowa (US)

    Iowa is legendary among whitetail hunters, ranking as the top state for hunting from 1830 until 2001. In order to draw a tag, hunters must have an accumulation of preference points. Do some research, and Iowa could prove to be the best place to hunt deer.

    2. Saskatchewan (Canada)

    American citizens can hunt in the forest country of Saskatchewan, but for the most part not in the southern farmlands. However, Saskatchewan is large and has an ample deer population with record-setting numbers of B&C bucks. Overall, this is one of the best places to hunt deer in North America.

    3. Texas (US)

    The old saying goes- ‘Everything is bigger in Texas.’ In the hunting world, this is applied as ‘more land means more deer.’

    Texas has seen over 600,000 deer bagged annually in recent years, and the sheer volume of open land in the state makes it a fertile ground for repopulation and hunting.

    4. Alberta (Canada)

    The eastern and southern farmlands of Alberta are long-time favorite areas for local deer hunters. Like Texas, Alberta has a large amount of open space and Canada is typically a hunter-friendly environment. In Canada, not all hunting lands are accessible to American citizens- do research on where you want to go and how easy it is to pull a deer tag in that area.

    5. Colorado (US)

    The Rocky Mountain state has mule and whitetail deer galore and a strong infrastructure for hunting. Drawing deer tags in Colorado is relatively easy with proper planning, and the large plains on the eastern part of the state are prime for whitetail. Southern Colorado has many good hunting hot spots- get a gazetteer or hunter’s guide to the state and poke around at the maps.

    6. Maine (US)

     Maine is on the list because of its cheap deer tag license fee for out of state hunters. It is off the beaten path and therefore has less competition than western states while offering easier access to those on the eastern side of the country.

    7. Montana (US)

    Recent disease outbreaks decimated the deer population but it is on the rebound. Stick to the three forks areas and the southern part of the state at this point, where the populations are strong and healthy. Luckily, there is plenty of land in Montana.

    8. Ontario (Canada)

    The benefit of Canada is a large amount of land compared to the human population. This is clearly seen in Ontario, where the deer population booms annually and north of the human population that sits by the border, there are places like Eagle Lake where getting out and spending time in the stand is easy.

    9. Mississippi (US)

    Mississippi is loose with its bagging permits and has a large deer population. While record class bucks are hard to find, smaller deer are ample and the prize deer are there for the best (or luckiest) of hunters.

    10. Minnesota (US)

    This state is popular for hunting because of the high number of record book bucks in relation to the overall deer population. The vast amount of lakes and the areas surrounding them see a lot of wildlife, but the lakes popular with Minnesotans obviously aren’t hunt-able. Find areas less trafficked and bagging a prize deer is more than doable.

    11. North-East Wyoming (US)

    We honed in on the north-east corner of the state because that is where most of the deer are. The deer are of prime wall hanging material, despite the fact that much of the land is private and the overall deer population is lower than in many top deer hunting states.

    12. Kentucky (US)

    Kentucky has produced more than 200 B&C Bucks in the past five years, which has increased the number of hunters. However, the deer population is strong and the state has a large amount of land available for hunting. Non-resident licenses are in excess of $250, so apply early for the best chance.

    You are hunting deer right? let’s read How To Attract Deer To Your Yard in this link.