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Tecomate Tips

Tecomate Tips tips and info from some of the finest Whitetail authors in the country. Including David Morris, Gary Schwartz, Mali Vujanic, Blaine Burley, Mickey Hellickson, Duncan Dobie and many others.

Saturday, March 01, 2014
Why Food Plots?

Tecomate - Consulting and Food Plot Services

Food Plots Have Become The Hot Topic In Deer Management, But Do Plots Really Work And How Do Plots Stack Up To Natural Habitat Management And Direct Feeding? Let’s See.

The latest buzz in the deer-hunting world seems to revolve around the impact of nutritional management, particularly using food plots, on the number and size of deer a tract of land can produce. Obviously, that impact will vary by program and management intensity. But here, I want to use a simple comparison to illustrate the relative impact of supplemental (direct) feeding and food plots on the nutritional plane, thus on deer numbers and quality. I do not hold out the following numbers to be absolute; rather, they are intended to illustrate the relative nutritional impact of supplemental feeding over natural habitat and of food plots over supplemental feeding. Because of limited space, I will not try to explain every assumption and the reasoning behind it, but I’ve found these numbers to represent a fairly accurate picture of what goes on under these programs.

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Posted by David Morris on 03/01 at 06:07 AM
Deer/Plot Management Tecomate Tips • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Finding a Gunsmith You Can Work With


Looking for a gunsmith is very much like looking for any competent professional in any field be it a plumber, contractor, physician, architect, etc.  And like these other professions there are general practitioners (GP) and specialist (S). Finding the “best” gunsmith for your particular needs can be narrowed down in a number of ways.

Word of mouth is in my opinion still one of the best means to start your search. Friends that you shoot and hunt with can be a great source for locating a good gunsmith both locally and nationally. Hunting and shooting magazines by nature have a wealth of information high lighting monthly proven systems and immerging products and those that install them.

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Posted by DArcyEchols on 04/02 at 02:57 PM
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Monday, December 19, 2011
Keys to Planting & Growing Quality Food Plots

Food plots are like many other things in life – you get out of them what you put into them. True, you can haphazardly scratch out a food plot and attract a few deer, but for really good plots, the kind that both attracts deer and provides nutrition, you’ve got to do it right. To help with that, we offer “8 Keys To Quality Food Plots.”

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Posted by David Morris on 12/19 at 03:35 PM
Deer/Plot Management Tecomate Tips • (1) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Management as Hunting Season Approaches

As hunting season quickly approaches or has already approached under some programs, deer hunting clothes come out of their storage containers, temperatures finally begin to drop, trigger fingers itch, and bowhunters polish their skills.  With the excitement of deer season, it’s also time to hone our management skills.  We need to know which deer are ripe for the taking.  Assigning an age to deer isn’t an exact science, requiring a keen eye, a good set of optics, and knowledge of what to look for to be accurate.  With the dry summer that plagued many parts of the U.S., the antlers on the bucks you’ve been letting walk for the past couple of years may be deceiving.  Decreased antler size and poor body condition can challenge a hunter’s ability to accurately age deer.

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Posted by Cody Zabransky on 10/19 at 04:24 PM
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Monday, October 10, 2011
TRAIL CAMERAS: A 15-Year Journey Reveals the Leading Trail Camera

Only a year like this could force me to think so intensively about my addiction to trail cameras over the years.  My earliest experiences with trail cameras date back to the 90s while working on a whitetail research project in Mississippi.  My employers, a graduate student and a wildlife professor, were determined to fine-tune a new technique of employing trail cameras to census deer herds.  My “job” was to refresh the bait piles, batteries and rolls of film.  I’ve been working with trail cameras now for 15 years.  This year is like no other! 

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Posted by Jason Snavely on 10/10 at 08:16 AM
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Saturday, October 01, 2011
Ground Blind Magic

There’s something magical about hunting whitetails on the ground. I’ve always enjoyed still-hunting and hunting out of ground blinds – either makeshift brush blinds or a commercial pop-up. In fact, after several decades of hunting whitetails, I’ve only killed a few bucks out of a tree stand or an elevated box blind. Hunting on the ground level gets you up close and personal, and particularly for close shots with a bow or muzzleloader, there is nothing more exciting or challenging.

I started hunting out of homemade “brush” blinds years ago in the early ’80s for both deer and turkeys. Generally speaking these blinds are made out of whatever material is available. This might include anything from hiding in the limbs of a fallen tree to building a “Texas-style” brush blind out of shrubs, branches, cut limbs, sticks and small logs, high grass, leafy limbs from trees, or any other natural material that can hide you. 

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Posted by Duncan Dobie on 10/01 at 08:31 PM
Hunting Tecomate Tips • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, September 12, 2011
Data & Censusing

Ok, you’re sold on deer management. You’ve taken stock of what you’ve got to work with, set your goals and laid out a strategy. Now, you need good data to establish your baseline, guide your decisions and monitor your progress. Let’s now take a look at the data you need and how to get it.

Deer data can be divided two ways – harvest data and herd data. Data taken from harvested deer tell us about deer size and condition by age class and sex and is essential in monitoring herd quality. Key data from harvested deer include sex, age (somebody needs to be able to age harvested deer by tooth wear and replacement), weight (live and dressed), the gross B&C score of bucks (or some other standard means of measuring antler size and dimensions) and, of course, the total number of each sex taken. When and where deer were harvested and who took them is also important. I like to keep notes on injuries, parasite loads and other pertinent observations. Some managers also keep records on the weather conditions and hunting circumstances to help determine movement patterns and hunting trends.

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Posted by David Morris on 09/12 at 10:49 AM
Deer/Plot Management Tecomate Tips Hunting DiariesPermalink

Thursday, September 08, 2011
Age and Aging

Most folks know biologists can age deer after the harvest by examining the lower jaw for tooth wear and replacement. But, many hunters don’t realize that they also need to be able to age deer – and not just dead ones, but live ones in the field! You see, aging before pulling the trigger is critical to making good harvest decisions.

While aging harvested or live deer takes practice, managers and hunters alike need to learn to how. As for aging by tooth wear and replacement, there are many good go-bys that will illustrate how to go about it. We’re not going to go into that here, but we will take a look at aging in the field.

Every hunter needs to be fairly good at field-aging 1.5 to 3.5-year-old bucks. Serious managers need to be reasonably accurate through 6.5 and pretty decent at aging does. All this takes familiarity with the local herd, a basic knowledge of the year-classes and practice. 

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Posted by David Morris on 09/08 at 12:47 AM
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