Early Season Whitetail Hunting Means Safety First!

With white-tailed deer hunting seasons across the country ramping up soon there is no better time than now to mention safety, tree stand safety in particular. Have you been prepping for deer hunting all summer long, but safety has yet to cross your mind? Well, it’s ideal that tree stand safety be considered before the start of deer season.

“Each hunting season we see people getting seriously hurt after falling from a tree stand during the archery and gun season,” said Dave Stowe, an official that follows hunting accidents across the US. “A little prep can help avoid most injuries and fatalities experience by our whitetail hunters.”

Bowhunting can help control urban deer populations

Taking simple precautions can prevent injuries and ensure that hunters return home safe and sound. Tree stand safety recommendations include:

  • Check belts, chains, bolts and attachment cords for damage and wear before use.
  • Be sure to select a healthy, straight tree for your tree stand.
  • Use a full-body safety harness properly at all times.
  • Set up the stand with another person, or at least let someone know where you’re setting up ahead of time.
  • Bring an emergency signal device, such as a cell phone or a whistle.
  • Never carry anything as you climb — use a haul line to raise and lower equipment.
  • Maintain three points of contact when climbing up or down a stand (most falls occur during this time).
  • Don’t exceed manufacturer’s maximum height or weight settings.

“Tree stand hunting accidents are for the most part avoidable,” Stowe state. “Each and every hunter should conduct a safety check of their tree stands at the start of every whitetail hunting season.” It’s good advice to take, especially if you plan on hunting next year, and the year after that.

Driving Deer: Pushing White-tailed Deer is Legal

Deer Hunting Comment: “I know why there is deer pushing in Iowa, but I look on it as slaughter of whatever moves. And in my eyes deer drives are not the sport of hunting at all. If Iowa legislature seems to think this is necessary then maybe they should allow drives once a year (one weekend). Then, the landowner needs to apply for a permit and every person the land owner has participating needs to be accounted for and checked for a permit.

It is ridiculous deer hunters have to holler and tromp the timber and scare the deer herd out into a clearing to be ambushed by a line of hunters standing in the clearing to shoot whatever comes out. I have nothing against hunting white-tailed deer, but as I said prior this is NOT hunting. I have contacted the DNR and all I got was an explanation of why hunters are allowed to drive and push deer.

Landowners that enjoy the sport of deer hunting in tree stands, and have family and friends that teach their kids to hunt this way, want fair chase. Deer hunting is ruined by these people that back up to the fence lines and commence pushing with their groups, while across the fence where the tree stands are set up.

I am hoping this way of slaughter is either stopped or better managed. Also, some people hike in the winter and even though they shouldn’t be hiking on private land, it does happen, and this puts them in danger.” Continue reading Driving Deer: Pushing White-tailed Deer is Legal

Deer Rut in Brown County Texas

Question: “Got a new deer hunting lease in Brown County, Texas, this year and am looking forward to chasing whitetail. I will be getting to head to my deer lease this coming weekend for the very first time this year. Not familiar with rut activity up there, so looking for a little help. Has there been any rut activity seen, or did I already miss it being that it’s late November? Thanks for any hunting help you can give me.”

Response: I work with several ranches in Callahan, Taylor, and a few others counties up that way. Most of the whitetail rutting activity is usually observed around the last week of October or the first week of November. We actually saw a lot of bucks chasing earlier in the month, so the primary rut is, unfortunately, over in that part of Texas. But don’t let that stop you from getting in the field. Continue reading Deer Rut in Brown County Texas

Whitetail Deer Hunting in Lampasas County Texas

Question: “I have been whitetail hunting for years, but recently got on a deer lease located in Central Texas, actually in Lampasas County. The ranch is about 7 miles north of the town of Lampasas on 183. I know the center of the state has quite a few deer, but am not familiar with Lampasas County. The property looked good and the other hunters say the hunting is good. They have been feeding protein and selectively harvesting bucks. Any ideas on deer hunting in Lampasas County?”

Response: Deer hunting can vary quite a bit in different parts of a county, but Lampasas County has good numbers of deer over most of it. The west-central part of the county can have some open areas, but even the wooded areas hold deer. Good bucks have come out of every county in Texas. The biggest factor for deer management is food availability and bucks that are allowed to get old. Take care of these two things and your deer lease will be great. Continue reading Whitetail Deer Hunting in Lampasas County Texas

Deer Diseases: EHD Impacts Hunting in Pennsylvania

The white-tailed deer hunting season is almost here, but hunters may find a few less deer in the woods this year, especially in Pennsylvania. State officials announced that test results from a wild whitetail deer have confirmed that epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has been found in Northampton County in August. A this time, wildlife personnel is encouraging anyone finding a dead or sick deer to call their respective Game Commission region office.

EHD is a common but sporadic disease in white-tailed deer populations of the United States, and is contracted by the bite of insects called biting midges. In more northern states, EHD occurs less often and affected deer are less likely to mount an effective immune response. The deer virus usually kills the deer quickly, within five to 10 days. The disease is not spread from deer to deer by contact. While EHD is not infectious to humans, deer displaying severe symptoms of EHD are usually not suitable for consumption because of the rapid deterioration of the meat and secondary bacterial infection. Continue reading Deer Diseases: EHD Impacts Hunting in Pennsylvania

Review: Deer Smoke Screen Eliminates Odor

One of the biggest factors impacting the success of whitetail hunting is odor elimination—or better stated, scent control. A new product on the market that claims to eliminate alarming downwind scent is Deer Smoke Screen. A few days ago, I received the opportunity to try this this product free of charge. It arrived well-packaged on Saturday. Sunday was my testing day and my goal was not to influence the results one way or another, but rather only give a fair and accurate account of my experience with the product.

Fellow hunters, take from it what you will. I arrived at my deer lease at before sunrise with hog hunting on my mind. There was a small tank that had been covered in hog sign, so I knew where I wanted to set up. There are no game cameras in this area so I did not know when these pigs were frequenting the water source. I got settled in, unloaded a few supplies and I was ready for the hunt. I wanted to test this product prior to the deer hunting season and we all know that pigs have darn good sniffers too. Continue reading Review: Deer Smoke Screen Eliminates Odor

Whitetail Deer Hunting: South Texas Habitat Hanging On

The southern portion of Texas can be classified as a place that does not receive a whole lot of rain, but it is also known for outstanding whitetail deer hunting. Much of South Texas is positioned within a semi-arid desert area that expects only 22 to 24 inches of rainfall each year and whitetail living in the area are well adapted. When the rains do fall, they are unpredictable at best. There are portions of South Texas that have only received 1 inch of rain in the last 180 days!

Deer habitat conditions are bad, but could get much worse if summer rains do not fall and offer some relief for hungry, thirsty deer. Living, working and managing whitetail deer through a dry spell is always a concern. Planning ahead to lessen the impacts of drought conditions is important to any ranching or whitetail hunting operation. This is especially important when forecasts indicate a hot, dry summer may be in store for South Texas and the wildlife found there. Here are a few guidelines that may lessen the impact of a below-average rainfall year on your ranch. Continue reading Whitetail Deer Hunting: South Texas Habitat Hanging On

Whitetail Deer for Sale: Deer Breeders in Texas

Texas boasts a native white-tailed deer herd somewhere around four million animals, yet for many trophy hunters that is not nearly enough. With extended deer hunting seasons across the state and an abundance of white-tailed deer, it’s hard to imagine that the smuggling deer into Texas would be an issue. One would think. However, this growing and cash-loaded illegal trade is challenging federal and state wildlife officers across the country. There are whitetail deer for sale throughout the country, but the threat of chronic wasting disease, a devastating disease to whitetail, has forced Texas to close the border to all movement of deer into or out of the state.

Hunting in the U.S. is a $20 billion industry, with about 80 percent of all expenditures related to whitetail hunting. Deer breeders, by trying to provide bucks with superior antlers, are trying to cash in on that huge pot of gold, offering whitetail deer for sale and hunting. Deer hunting was once about putting food on the table, but a once cultural tradition has undergone major changes in the past 20 years. It seems it’s all about big antlered bucks, and the “Benjamins.” A study by Texas A&M University a few years ago reported that white-tailed deer breeding is the fastest-growing industry in rural America. Continue reading Whitetail Deer for Sale: Deer Breeders in Texas