Whitetail Wisdom articles and tips from some of the finest Whitetail authorities in the country.
Monday, March 11, 2013
What is EHD/Blue Tongue?
Last fall I returned from a deer hunt in SW North Dakota where we were filming for Bucks of Tecomate. The location I was hunting had been hit the year before by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and unknown to me I was going to be in for a crash course in what this fatal disease is. Although many people refer to EHD as Blue Tongue, it’s important to realize these two diseases are anti-genetically different. Very similar clinical signs but truly classified differently.
Posted by Terry Sedivec on 03/11 at 11:22 AM
Monday, October 01, 2012
WHERE ARE YOUR ODDS BEST FOR KILLING A BOONE & CROCKETT BUCK?
We had just rounded a curve on the ranch road when we noticed, at the same time, a huge-framed buck crossing a prickly pear flat only 50 yards from our truck. I slammed on the brakes and we both scrambled for the binoculars. The big buck didn’t miss a step and continued walking, almost nonchalantly, at an angle away from us. We watched the buck walk the entire 150 yards to the brush line on the other side of the pear flat. He was even cooperative enough to turn and allow us to view his rack from all angles - too bad it was February!
The buck was a typical 12-point with extremely long main beams, good mass, and at least a 25-inch spread. The tine lengths were also exceptionally long and well balanced from side to side, with the exception of the third tine on the right side, which was broken off only an inch or so above the beam.
Monday, June 04, 2012
Big Buck Strategy – El Cazador Ranch
Growing big bucks is really pretty simple in concept – give’em plenty of nutritious food and let them live long enough to reach their maximum antler size. On my 3,000-acre El Cazador Ranch in South Texas, we have done just this and the results have been nothing short of amazing. In 10 years of management, we’ve harvested 23 bucks grossing over 170, six of which netted high enough to make the Boone & Crockett Record Book. Genetics determine size potential, but age and nutrition determine how much of that size potential is realized.
If you want big bucks, they have to have age. All things equal, it’s a simple fact that bucks get bigger with age until they reach a peak size, usually 5½ to 6½ years old, and then they begin to decline. On my ranch, years of experience have told us that our bucks typically reach their greatest size at 6½ years old: therefore, we try to carry our best “genetic” bucks to that age before we start to TRY to harvest them. This way, we know our best bucks
Monday, May 21, 2012
Potential Selective Harvest Criteria for Adult, Male White-tailed Deer in South Texas
Mickey W. Hellickson, David G. Hewitt, and Fred C. Bryant
The practice of selectively harvesting inferior-antlered, middle-age and older bucks has become popular. Criteria are often established based on age and antler points. However, no research on wild deer has been conducted to determine the appropriateness of these harvest criteria. Our objective is to randomly capture and measure >500 bucks annually on 5 areas to estimate age, count points, and determine gross Boone & Crockett Club (GBC) score. Capture data will be used to relate GBC score of recaptured mature (>5 years old) bucks to the number of antler points these same bucks had when initially captured at a younger age.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Can a Selective Buck Harvest Affect Free-ranging Deer Antler Characteristics?
Mickey W. Hellickson, Charles A. DeYoung, Randy W. DeYoung, Randy Fugate, Donnie Harmel, David G. Hewitt, and E. L. “Butch” Young
Selective breeding experiments with penned deer have documented rapid improvement in antler quality. Our objective was to determine if rapid improvement was possible in a free-ranging population subjected to selective harvest.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Shed Antler Hunting - Part II
Techniques For Finding Sheds
A new shed antler search technique is getting even more people involved in this non-consumptive sport. The technique, called the “shed drive,” is similar to the deer drive hunting technique so popular in the Midwest. The shed drive involves organizing your partners in a line with each member evenly spaced across the line at the edge of the area to be searched. Drive members then walk through the area, picking up sheds along the way, until everyone meets at the opposite end of the area (where you have hopefully previously left a vehicle for transport back to the starting point!). This technique is growing in popularity because of the camaraderie shared among members. And because all members can take part in the excitement whenever someone finds a shed. During shed drives, hunting becomes a team effort, strengthening friendships and providing free entertainment and lasting memories.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Shed Antler Hunting - Part I
As soon as I noticed the sun glare off the tip of the antler tine, I knew which buck had shed the antler that lay on the deer trail in front of me. It was the right side shed antler from a buck I had passed the previous fall with bow and arrow in hand, as well as a buck for which we had dozens of trail camera photos. He was the largest buck on our Iowa property that we knew survived the previous hunting season. And a buck I hoped to have in front of me again the next hunting season!
As luck would have it, the shed buck mentioned above, not only survived to the following year’s hunting season, but he gained more than 20 inches in gross Boone and Crockett Club score and added eight antler points. On top of this, I was the lucky hunter who was able to put a harvest tag on this magnificent buck when I killed him last December! The icing on the cake was the fact that my brother Jason missed the buck minutes before my opportunity… and everything was caught on video! The 194-inch buck is the largest I have ever killed. Thanks to my interest in shed hunting, I can now display the shed antler beside the pedestal mount of the buck.
Monday, April 16, 2012
The Antler Shedding Process
In the past, it was believed that deer withdrew to secluded places to shed their antlers in order to avoid the loss of virility in “public.” However, it is likely that deer are unaware of when they will lose their antlers. Antlers are shed when a thin layer of tissue destruction, called the abscission layer, forms between the antler and the pedicle. This layer forms as a result of the decrease in testosterone. As the connective tissue is dissolved, the antler loosens and is either broken free, or falls off on its own. This degeneration of the bone-to-bone bond between the antler and the pedicle is the fastest deterioration of living tissue known in the animal kingdom.