Saturday, March 30, 2013

Reaching the Unreachable

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
The biggest and baddest bucks are almost always just beyond our reach. They didn’t get big by being stupid.

Trying to attract deer with calls or scents they just aren’t interested in will not work.

There is one exception to this is the rut. Generally speaking, the biggest bucks are harvested during the rut.

Try the tarsal gland scent from another buck? This is almost irresistible to bucks during the rut.

Please notice the almost.


Thursday, March 28, 2013


Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
What do you do when a buck holds up and doesn’t respond to your calling?

Usually, it’s not so much the buck isn’t responding, but rather, he’s not responding as fast as we would like.

Novice hunters feel the excitement and the pressure overcomes them. They call harder, louder, more often, and the calls become strained. This doesn’t work. In calling, it’s what you say, not how you say.

When calling deer, patience isn’t a virtue, it’s a necessity.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Magic of Low Hanging Fruit

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
Deer have the tendency to feed on soft mass prior to entering their primary food source. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because soft mast is easier to digest or it’s because soft mast contains a lot of moisture. Regardless, there will be a flurry of deer activity in a soft mast food source just before evening falls.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Small Details Equals Big Bucks

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
In our rush to kill a big buck, we sometimes forget something essential: if our tactics don’t work in one location, it’s extremely unlikely they will work in another location.

Ineffective tactics do little more than waste our time.

You’ll harvest bigger bucks when you obsess about the tiny details. Overhauling how you hunt almost always a better way to spend your time than trying to double the number of places you hunt.


Friday, March 22, 2013

How-to Get a Big Buck

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
In hunting it usually goes like this:

Do this and get that.

This morning, I was thinking about the way my Dad hunted. I can’t remember him ever doing this to get that. He hunted for one reason and that was for the joy of being in the outdoors.

It was a consistent approach, and it sure did seem to work. In 65 years of hunting I can’t remember him ever coming home empty-handed.

We are more effective in hunting, especially trophy hunting, if we love what we do.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Work Hard on the Right Things

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
I don’t believe most hunters kill trophy deer because they hunt harder. I believe they understand what matters and work harder on these areas.

They practice shooting at the range, scout year-round, and have learned patience.

They work on the right stuff.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Buck Naked

Now my book collection on outdoor books are not as big as a professors at some big name college or university in some random English class. I have a cousin that lives with me at the time of me writing this review that graduated from Auburn University with a degree in English. These type of books just do not feed his fancy as I should say. His type of reading is certainly not like the readings that I read or have read in the past. Now I do give him credit for leading me to one great author known as Mitch Albom, whose books I have read have turned out to be amazing.
Buck Naked in my terms is a book that every outdoor man or woman should have in their collection. Jim Collyer the author, was raised in a rural community nestled in the rugged mountains of Idaho. In his acknowledgments of the book he says: Its been said that it takes a community to raise a child, and he is very fortunate to have been raised in this rural community of Idaho. Jim is an expert hunter, writer and speaker and contains over forty-five years of chasing whitetail deer in his life. I certain amount of each proceed of purchasing this book will also go to the Buckmasters American Deer Foundation.
If you are a skeptical type of hunter then one sitting and read of this book will change the way you look at hunting whitetail deer forever. I dont believe there is one hunter out there that isn’t skeptical in some sort of way at least just a little. Even I am skeptical in some degree and may not even know it myself. A common hunter can take this book and just read a few chapters in it and can stand a better chance at harvesting a trophy buck better than he could before he read it. If you are reading this review then you can take a little time read this book. If you cant read and you have someone else reading this review to you then they can read this book to you as well as they are reading this article to you.
I took my time and read this book through the 2012-2013 deer season here in Alabama. I have caught myself on more than one occasion not looking up out of the shooting house window to even see if there were deer standing in my food plots. In this case there probably were a lot of bucks and does that walked this year and will be that much bigger next year for me to harvest. To give you a little spoiler on this book it starts of at the beginning talking about be an investigative hunter and end up talking about good days and bad days of hunting. It will show in to some sense the mistakes you make already and tell you how to fix them to make them better for you as a hunter.
We all want to be better hunters and managers to a degree. And I will leave you with this on the final thoughts of just from me reading this book. I am not the type of person to read a book and a book and then give away my secrets that I have learned but if you will just pick you up a copy and read it for yourself, you will thank me later for telling you to do so. So pick your copy up today and you wont regret that you did. Buy here:Buck Naked

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Stare Down

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
Most of the time when we find ourselves in a stare down contest with a deer it is because the deer has not decided what we are or how to respond to us. We would do a lot better in hunting if we were to think about all of our actions and make sure not to trigger a flee response.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Downwind of the Big Domino

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
I’ve never been a big fan of driving deer, probably because I always end up being a driver and never a stander.

The idea is not just to move deer, but to move deer to a particular location.

It’s a lot like playing dominoes. If you have everything lined up just right, you just have to push the first one over and the rest come crashing down.

When pushing deer, I keep my drivers 50 yards apart. The drivers are staggered to keep the deer moving in the direction we want. The driver furthest away from the stand starts first. Once the first driver is 50 yards into the timber or cornfield the second driver starts. Once a second driver is 50 yards in, the third driver starts and so on and so on.

This staggered movement is critical in pushing the deer towards a desired location.

After that, all you have to do is make sure your stander is well concealed and downwind of the big domino.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Social Ranking Among Bucks

Editors note, Guest blogger, Jim Collyer has written a most insightful book, Buck Naked – The Straight Dope On Trophy Whitetails. It has been a good long time since I’ve read and digested something of this magnitude. It is fresh, free of the tired old anecdotes, straight forward and accurate. I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing for consistent success on trophy bucks; it’s that good! R.G. Bernier 

Here is an excerpt from a blog posted on

Social ranking among whitetail deer is not always based upon strength. Dominance is primarily determined by intimidation rather than brawn. Dominance is generally established well before the rut while the bucks are still in velvet. Body posturing and staring are ways bucks intimidate an opponent. If the dominant buck has the largest antlers in the herd it is merely a coincidence.
We’ve all seen dozens of articles written about hunting dominant bucks. We imagine the dominant or Alpha buck to have the largest antlers and to be superior both mentally and physically to all other members of the herd. This just isn’t true. The hunting industry produces at least a dozen dominant buck calls and dominant buck scent attractants. These are marketing strategies and have little to do with what’s going on in the woods.
All bucks are territorial. They mark these territories by rubbing trees, making ground scrapes, and pissing all over the place. However, big bucks don’t necessarily have the same territories. Rather their territory overlap, a buck might be an Alpha in part of his territory and a Beta in the rest.
You can read the complete post here


Thursday, March 14, 2013

What’s Getting in Your Way?

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

You don’t know what to do.

You don’t know how to do it.

You don’t have the skills to do it.

You’re afraid.

Once you figure out what’s getting in your way, it’s a lot easier to find the answers to the problems.

In hunting, being stuck is a state of mind. Fortunately, it’s curable.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Why Do We Hunt?

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
Why Do We Hunt?


1. For the meat.

2. For the challenge

3. For the pleasure

4. For the experience

5. For the recognition

Why is it recognition is so important to most hunters? My guess is that if you think about it, the first four factors are more important to you.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Finding the Buck Instead of It Finding You

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
One approach to hunting is to wait for the buck to appear and to hope a shot presents itself. The other is to seek out the opportunity. The first method plays on fear. After all, if the buck doesn’t show it’s not our fault.

The second method challenges the fear and announces that were going to succeed no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you fail once or 10 times, once you dedicate yourself to harvesting the trophy buck, it will make all the difference.


Friday, March 8, 2013

One in a Million

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
Statistically, only one in 1 million dear will ever grow antlers large enough to qualify for the Boone and Crockett record book. (About the same odds as a high school football player making it into the NFL)

Yet, I hear from scores of hunters every year that the next world record whitetail is hanging out in their backyard. This just isn’t so.

Any hunter works hard on developing his skills will become an accomplished hunter, but chances are he’ll never kill a record book buck.

On the other hand, he’ll have one of the most gratifying hunting careers imaginable.

In the end, it’s not the quality of the deer that matters. It’s the quality of the hunt.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Head Fake

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
One method used by deer to detect predators is the head fake. A deer will be staring at some unidentified object and then slowly lower its head as if about to feed. As soon as his jaw drops below his chest, the head will snap back up to see if the object is moved. A key to recognizing this behavior is if the head drops painfully slow and there is no tail switching.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Feeding Time

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
Deer typically spend more than one third of their time feeding. It takes a tremendous amount of vegetation to support a whitetail deer. A mature buck needs over 8 pounds of browse each day. A deer eats 25,000 or more bites of browse and graze each day.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Be Careful Who You Hunt With

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails
We have precious little time to hunt.

The single most important decision a hunter can make is to hunt with.

Our hunting success will only be the average of the five people who spend the most time in the woods with. We might need to find new hunting buddies.

If you want to become the kind of hunter gatherers would kill to hunt with, you will need to be real picky about whom you hunt with.