Sit in Comfort with the New Muddy Outdoor Gunner Box Blind
Muddy Outdoors, known for exceptionally high-end and feature driven product lines, has now expanded and revolutionized their line to contain even more options!
New for 2017, Muddy introduces the Gunner box blind. The Gunner box blind is the younger brother of the Muddy Bull box blind. From the same genetic pool, the Gunner features all of the bells and whistles of its older brother, the Muddy Bull, just in a smaller package. This offers hunters the same superior quality they have come to expect from the Muddy Bull Blind, now in a smaller and more budget friendly blind!
The Muddy Gunner features:
Floor: Joist and Sheeting
Walls: Therma-Tek Panels
Roof: Sheeting and Plastic, Heavy-Duty Molded Roof
Windows: Residential Quality Glass and All Steel Hardware
Late Season Doe Management Could Pose Problems When Filling the Freezer
It’s the last week of deer season and you have just had one of the proudest, yet scariest moments of your life. Your significant other recently looked at you and pleaded “when are you going to kill a deer”? A tear shed from your eye…a slight sob came from deep within. Thoughts rushed through your mind…”Is he/she really, no it can’t be, no way, should I even dare ask, do they want me to go hunting?” After mustering up enough courage you let a very meek “do you want me to go hunting this afternoon”? Not a second passes by when your mind suddenly forms a terrifying question…”Are we out of meat?” The realization that late season doe management is needed to fill the freezer isn’t pleasing, especially when filling the freezer could pose problems for your future hunting!
While many hunters might revel in the fact that their significant other has just told them to go hunting, the scary position and possibility of being out of venison isn’t pleasing, in fact, it’s darn right petrifying! While late season hunting during the last weeks and days of deer season offer opportunities to fill the freezer, doing so may, in fact, jeopardize your future hunting success…
Lets be honest, the whole reason the pressure is on you at this moment is because you have passed countless opportunities at some much-needed steaks and hamburgers still walking around on 4 legs. The reason you passed doe after doe is the hope of a rack not to far behind her.
While this may have been a good tactic during October, and even during the sweet November rut, there are no excuses for December. Hunters can struggle with the internal debate of pulling the trigger on a doe, no matter the time of day, minutes left in the hunt, or the freezer situation. There is something “opportunistic” about a pressure free food plot during the last hour of light, a very real unknown of what could step out of the dark timber on the far side of the plot. This drives you crazy to the point of putting some strain on your venison supply.
Besides and empty freezer haunting what seems like every dinner for the past month, another big weight comes from you inner deer manager and habitat manager. It’s what Trail Cameras Weekly calls the “Pile up effect”. The characteristics and facts of the late season that make it one of the best times to kill a mature buck also force the hunter’s hand in being one of the worst in terms or habitat/property management. Either one, two, or in some instances all three factors come together to force a hunters hand at doe management…or at least plants the thought in their mind. Low hunting pressure, quality thermal habitat/cover/bedding, and the presence of a late season food source are the ingredients for exceptionally “well off” property in the late season. It is also the recipe for the pile up effect.
30, 40, 50 + deer in one 3 acre food plot or cut crop field may be alarming for some hunters, yet others consider it as a daily norm. When deer start to pile into to either a spot of low hunting pressure, a warm/thick bedding area, or a late season food source like standing corn or beans it usually spurs some thought towards doe management. The sheer amount of numbers continually increasing as the temperature drops and snow falls alarms hunters into thinking they have a way too many deer. In many instances, you might! The question will haunt you until the post season ( look out for an upcoming blog about deer surveys). Otherwise, can a conclusion be drawn from simply observing food source or bedding area? Yes and no. While it certainly warrants the taking of a doe or two in many hunters’ minds, there are simply way too many factors to consider of whether or not you should practice doe management. Besides figuring out how many deer you have on your property, the fawn recruitment rate, sex ratio, and taking into account habitat/property characteristics and food availability, there are some problems and benefits of practicing doe management this late into the season.
Late Season Doe Management: Problems
Think about what a regular late season hunt consists of. Getting out in the stand or box blind overlooking a brassica plot around let’s say 2 or 3 o clock. Waiting patiently until 4 or 4:30 pm when the first couple of deer start filtering out. Waiting even longer until about 5:15 – 5:30 (or last 30 minutes of legal shooting light) to see what buck might eventually make his way into the plot. Most hunters would agree that this is a pretty solid itinerary for what normally happens out there.
Now, try and think about when you think might be the most appropriate time to shoot a doe. Many hunters would say early in the afternoon, however, many would also say wait as long as possible to see if a buck shows. The problems occur as both have negatives going for them…
Shooting Early: Button Bucks
If pulling the trigger early in the afternoon sounds like the best option then you might just pull the trigger on a button buck. Usually the first deer out in the plot or crop field are fawns. They are also often alone. By this time in the season they are the biggest (in terms of body) they will be during the first hunting season. So you have one deer out in the field at about 4:00, do you shoot. Unless you have a spotting scope in the tree stand or blind, or a $500+ pair of binoculars you might be shooting a button buck.
Shooting Late: Shed Bucks
In some cases, one of your mature hit-list bucks, or a soon to be up and comer might have cast their antlers early. There are many reasons this is caused by (hormones, sex ratios, injuries) but the fact is that there is a buck not sporting his headgear! Now you waited until the last 15 minutes of light, a big bodied deer walks into the plot, but you don’t see a rack so you let her or him walk in and start feeding. Ten minutes later and you only have 5 minutes of legal shooting light. Do you know which big bodied deer is a doe or a cast buck? Often times there is not enough light to be 100% certain that blocky head doesn’t have craters on it or not. Walking up on a big mature doe to only seconds later figure out it’s MR. Big without is “valuables” is sickening, to say the least!
Late Season Doe Management: Benefits
With deer behavior and your hunting strategy relying so much on food sources in the late season, one serious benefit comes from practicing doe management…and it often goes discarded! This benefit goes for the early season as well. Both the late season and the early season create a setting in which food is the name of the game. By not discarding the gut pile, and cutting open a doe’s stomach contents you can find out what deer eat on your property. Finding out directly what deer are eating and concentrating on during this time is more valuable than what your trail cameras are telling you in some instances!
The information and stomach contents broken down into percentages of food sources like the video shows means that you can accurately assess where the deer, and more importantly your hit-list buck, might be spending their time feeding.
One other benefit that doesn’t take much explanation is simply using a dwindling freezer supply as an excuse to put as many hours on the stand as
possible. Providing food your family is the basics and history of hunting…You must hunt for your family to survive! While that might be blowing things out of proportion for the majority of hunters, it is, by all means, a very good excuse to keep hitting the woods!
The Takeaway: START EARLY!
While there are some benefits to practicing doe management in the late season, there are also some pretty intense negatives. Next year, instead of hearing relentless nagging and the need for meat from your spouse, kill a doe or two early to relieve your dwindling meat supply. By doing this, you can have the rest of the year to concentrate on killing a buck.
However, if your aim is to use a dwindling meat supply as an excuse to hunt as much as possible in the late season, then you by all terms are a very smart hunter indeed. Just be cautious that this benefit can and might indeed cause you problems later down the road. For more videos and articles like this, and more deer hunting videos and weekly hunting content, visit Muddy TV. Also be sure to check in every week for new hunting tips, tactics, and strategies at the Muddy Outdoors Blog.
https://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/C-_Users_SRM_MARK_Documents_My-Received-Files_late-season-doe-management-filling-freezer_FEATURE.png533800Muddy Outdoorshttps://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Muddy_Logo_shadow-Low.pngMuddy Outdoors2017-01-04 20:47:382017-01-05 12:47:49Late Doe Management | How Filling the Freezer Can Cause Problems
Transitioning Tree Stands for Different Phases of Deer Season
Archery season is over and by this time many hunters have sighted in their rifles for the annual firearms seasons in most states. If you have not already harvested a buck, you are likely anticipating these remaining days in the woods. Anything from bad luck in your tree stands to a nocturnal trophy on your trail cameras may have lead you to this point. Either way, late season deer hunting is a whole different ball game.
This time of year deer have been pressured by other hunters, gone through the peak rut and are dealing with the onset of winter. A trifecta of changes that whitetails deal with and change their patterns because of. Deer hunting strategies, particularly stand placement, have to evolve over the course of the season to follow mature bucks through these changing times. Your stands from archery season are, most likely, not where they should be for late season whitetail hunting.
Phases of Deer Season
Seasonal phases of whitetails should influence how you hunt and where you hang your tree stands. These phases can occur rapidly, so understanding them and knowing how to change your stand locations is important. This general background on the phases of deer season will lead us to our objective of setting up late season deer stands and discussing other tips for late season bucks.
Phase One: Early Season
During the early season, whitetails are focused on food. Tree stands should be concentrated around food plots, agricultural lands and mast producing woodlands. This is also where your trail camera setups should be placed to gather as much knowledge of the local deer herd you will be hunting.
Does and younger bucks will move towards these defined food sources in the last hour or so of daylight. Early season deer hunting stands placed downwind and at a point where you can access them with little to no disturbance are usually good bets for meat hunting. However, more mature bucks are going to be feeding in the early morning hours or after sunset. Here you want stands positioned near staging areas. These areas can be small food sources between bedding areas and the main food source or habitat features like saddles or wood rows where bucks will hang out until entering the food source.
Not long after deer season starts, deer seem to disappear. Full food plots and soybean fields quickly turn to ghost towns. The reasons for this drop in deer activity are debatable. The October lull can still be hunted but understand that deer are changing their patterns in response to food source changes and preparation for the upcoming breeding season.
Successfully hunting the October lull does not necessarily mean a change in tree stand placement but rather a change in hunting strategy. Focus on hunting cold fronts, sitting all day and finding acorn crops. Since the rut is looming, the last thing you want is to over hunt a good area and ruin it for the rest of the year, including rifle season. Avoid hunting tree stands in prime areas and save them for later in the year. Hunt, or move, stands near bedding locations and heavy mast areas for your best chance in this phase.
As October comes to an end, the October lull gives way to the onset of the rut. Pre-rut bucks are actively out producing rubs, scrapes and defining territorial boundaries. These signs are useful in how to pick a tree stand location. Setup along active scrape lines and ambush points for bucks working rub lines.
Bucks are active in this phase and daytime sightings are common. They will be clearly staying within their defined home range but out during shooting hours and harvestable with the right tree stand placement.
The time every hunter looks forward to is the rut. Does are coming into estrus, bucks are chasing and the deer movement throughout the day picks ups. This time of year, usually around the first week of November through December (varying depending on your location and a host of other factors), is when you should have tree stands up in major travel corridors. Doe movement in these areas will have bucks following. Rut hunting 101 says stay all day in your stands because the mature buck’s schedule is completely out the window. He can appear alongside a doe or be called in at any time and if you are not in stand it is an opportunity missed.
The chase is over and bucks have their pick as most does are now in estrus. Mature bucks will lay with does anywhere from 24-28 hours until breeding is complete. Thus, mature bruisers are likely vacant from an area for a few days, leaving only younger bucks still searching for a mate available to harvest.
Emphasis hunting tree stands near thick cover and other doe bedding areas while hunting the lockdown phase of deer season. Be patience as a buck will eventually come out of lockdown and move again in search of another doe.
Buck activity picks up slightly as mature whitetails seek out the last remaining does that have not been bred. Stand placement in the post rut hinges on those same areas you hunted during the peak of the rut, such as main travel areas and funnels. Travel thoroughfares are likely spots to catch a mature whitetail pursuing an unbred doe.
Food sources also come back into play when hunting post rut bucks. Deer, in general, are depleted and are looking to regain calories lost over the course of the last month or so. Cold fronts play a role here as the bulk of winter months are looming. Acorns and remaining agricultural fields are good tree stand locations generally but especially as cold fronts approach your hunting location. Additional Content: Hunting The Post Rut
These phases of deer season are not a complete, definitive guide by any stretch. Each phase is far from having a clearly drawn line or timeframe from which one can decipher the end of one phase and the start of another. However, they do put into perspective the idea of how a whitetail changes during the course of a hunting season and some basic approaches to deer stand placement strategy over the course of the season.\
Late Season Deer Hunting
With the rut behind us or perhaps just finishing up, the rest of the hunting season can be lumped into what is called the late season. Sure, some second rut activity may start up here and there but for the most part, rutting is over and bucks and does are back to turning their attention to food sources. Hunting bucks late season often marks the start of rifle hunting in most states. Late season stand placement either means transitioning your tree stands back to early season areas on low-pressure properties or focusing on pressure points near food sources for pressured deer.
With the rut concluding, bucks are back to food sources. The need to replenish reserves for the looming winter are great. The catch is, food has changed since the beginning of deer season (phase one). Somewhat unlimited forage has been cut, picked or killed off by frost by this time in the year. December and the months ahead until spring leaves mature whitetails with fewer options to fill up on. Mast producing areas and winter food plots are prime areas to target for late season deer hunting. Also, areas with remaining standing corn or cover crops like winter wheat or rye can also pull deer out.
Trail cameras are going to be very helpful to identify which food sources bucks are using. The colder temperatures synonymous with late season hunting can push bucks into food sources earlier in the day, earlier than you have seen them all year. With trail camera tips for late season deer hunting, you can effectively mark these timings and position late season deer stands accordingly.
Late Season Deer Hunting Tree Stand Placement – Food Sources
Inside corners of food plots or fields are used by mature whitetails to enter and feed in food sources. Setup down wind, preferably in a tree stand on a bottleneck just off of the field.
Habitat hubs are places where two or more ridges, wood strips or creek bottoms converge. If you can find one of these stops on a known buck’s travel cycle (think bedding to food) with your trail cameras you are in business.
Defined edges can be anything from a change in timber types (oak to pines) to a cut field edge along an oak stand. Either way, deer will travel edges, especially around mast producing areas to pop out into food sources.
Another late season deer hunting tactic during this “last phase” of deer season is going to be pressure areas. If you are hunting on public land, rifle season is going to see an increase in hunter pressure. Deer, especially bucks, are not going to wander out into open oak flats or fields to feed with hunters roaming around. The pressure will have them forced back into heavy cover areas adjacent to food sources. They will still feed but positioning tree stands will be much more important.
Late Season Deer Hunting Tree Stand Placement – Pressure Areas
Heavy cover will hold bucks that have been pressured out of their normal routines. Transition tree stands to areas that are adjacent to reliable food sources.
Off the grid is a late season deer hunting tactic to find undisturbed bucks away from any late season hunting pressure. Hang a stand deep in the backcountry or on a farm that has not been hunted, along well-used
Alternative food sources are places for stands that can relieve some late season pressure. Instead of sitting over a food plot, look for cut corn fields with some standing rows or groups of hickory or beech that will draw in deer.
Late Season Deer Hunting Tree Stand Placement – The Right Tree
Late season bucks require transitioning your archery stands to late season locations. Those who blindly hunt in stands without understanding tips for late season bucks will have a mediocre hunting season at best. Once you know where to move your stand, a good tree to put it in makes all the difference.
Tree stand setup tips should include a tree that is:
downwind of where you expect to see deer or where they will be coming from.
as far as possible off of the hunting area, food, sign, travel areas, etc. as you can comfortable shoot successfully.
multiple stemmed for concealment and positioning accessories.
Changing up your tree stands in the late season for whitetails is only part of being successful. Your strategy also has to adapt as deer are looking winter right in the eye. After you have your stands positioned for the late season, here are a few hunting tips to increase your chances on a mature late-in-the-year buck.
Hunt late. Buck activity coupled with the cold temperatures makes it more productive to spend your time hunting the afternoon and evening rather than the early morning.
Practice shooting, again. Range time is great over the summer but remember that late season deer hunting will have you shooting with heavy clothes and gloves on. If you have not already practiced shooting in these situations pre-season, then hit the range again before you sit in your stand with a rifle.
Weather watching. Whitetails will be motivated by storm fronts so keep an eye on the weather and plan hunts around approaching and departing winter storms.
Keep checking trail cameras. Vital information can be observed from late season game cameras. Keep them up and checked regularly to pinpoint where to ambush that hold over buck.
Explore new areas. Late season is a good time to grab a mobile tree stand and explore some new hunting spots. Setup when you come across good sign (trails, scat, old rubs, etc.) and use it as an opportunity to also find a new spot for next year.
In the end for those of us still in the woods with an empty tag, late season whitetail hunting is all that remains until we cap yet another hunting season. Successful or not, each hunting seasons has its ups and downs. Pressured, tired bucks require a different approach such as transitioning tree stands and thinking about late season hunting strategies. Late season deer hunting is not for the faint of heart. But, these late season tips can be your ticket to success if you still need to fill a buck tag.
https://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/positioning-tree-stands-for-late-season-deer-hunting_Feature2.jpg7501746Muddy Outdoorshttps://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Muddy_Logo_shadow-Low.pngMuddy Outdoors2016-12-30 18:15:092016-12-30 18:30:31Positioning Tree Stands for Late Season Deer Hunting
The 9th inning has arrived and while to many hunters that sounds like we are the bearer of bad news, it, in fact, is quite the opposite. Knowledge is power, and in this case, it is your only opportunity at scoring a 9th inning buck. For the past several weeks our blog topics have been diving into preparation for the late season. It now seems to be a fit time to dive straight into the actual hunting tactics. For the last weeks of deer season, a ground blind stands as one of best tools a hunter can possibly use. The characteristics of the late season intertwined with a ground blind’s effectiveness is unrivaled during this time period. Take these ground blind hunting tips for the late season and apply them to your hunting strategy. The time period, the tool, these tips, and the strategy all come together to give you a chance at that 9th inning buck you are so desperately seeking.
With state’s firearms seasons closing, bucks are finally starting to feel the effects of relentless hunting pressure lifting off of properties. This godsend goes hand in hand with the arrival of cold temperatures and the attraction of late season food sources. These ingredients spell out a recipe for one of the best times to kill you hit-list buck, even when it is the 9th inning! The reason for this is not just due in part to the biology and behavior of white-tailed deer, but what tools have been made available that are so extremely effective during these last weeks.
Trail Cameras Tell the Story
In the past weeks, the relentless preparation and work to establish intel on late season food sources have been put entirely on the shoulders of trail cameras. In recent weeks we have provided countless trail camera tips, and trail camera settings for the late season in order to help you discover a “patternable” mature buck on these food sources.
For all practical purposes, trail cameras have started and are currently telling the story of the late season. With the help of both trail cameras on time-lapse mode, and trail cameras in late season funnels a mature buck cannot go unseen when entering a late season food source. Now, with the season running out of pages so to speak, hunters look for a hunting tool and tactic to finish and close the book on a hit-list buck!
Blinds Finish It
During this time of year blinds, in general, take precedence over tree stands. Whether you favor box blinds, elevated ground blinds, mobile ground blinds, or bale blinds doesn’t matter, the simple fact is that they are the best tool for the job. Why?
Bill Winke, the host of Midwest Whitetail and Muddy’s Whitetail 101, explains why blinds are the only tool for the job in the late season. The very nature of deer and the late season support this reasoning…
It’s Cold –Temperatures dropping beneath 32 degrees packs quite a punch, especially with a 10 mph wind backing it. Blinds offer a hunter a windscreen and ultimately provides a hunter with a buffer from the weather and late season elements.
Deer are FED UP with Movement– By now deer are extremely wary of the slightest movements. This can make hunting from a tree stand nearly impossible. Rather, a ground blind or elevated box blind allows you to conceal your movements.
Food Source– In this period of deer season, with the deer so heavily focused on food, easily mobile ground blinds can easily be placed and moved in and around the food sources according to patterns and wind directions.
While blinds might be the best tool for the late season, no tool is without a flaw. The simple fact is that you are at the deer’s level. This requires extra precautions from both their sight and sense of smell. Ground blind hunting in the late season requires special attention in the placement according to both the deer and the food source.
Ground Blind Hunting and Placement Tips
Trail Cameras Weekly’s Weston Schrank walk you through how to determine the perfect spot for the blind on your late season food source. It will depend entirely on these 5 features. Take a good look at these features not only when you are setting up the blind, but every time you hunt as they are constantly changing.
Food Source – Identify and take a good look at the food source and all of the features and characteristics of the area.
Bedding Area – Figure out where the closest bedding area is, also consider where a mature buck might bed.
Funnels and Runs – You need to identify the main funnel or easiest travel route for the deer utilizing the food source.
Wind and Thermals– The wind direction and more importantly thermals are the most important consideration in relation to your blind setup location, the bedding area, and where the deer will be.
Hunter Access -Your entrance/exit route must be safe during the day and night, In order to keep the food source pressure free.
By looking at a map and scouting the food source and surrounding area, the above 5 features will easily suggest the best location for the blind.
Other Ground Blind Hunting Tips for the Late Season
Remember, late season hunting is nearly always afternoon hunting. It is ideal for the late season as deer work their way out of the bedding areas on very cold days to feed on the food source early to avoid the frigid temps of the early morning. This feeding will occur in daylight for the most part as they simply need more time to feed! This means thermals mid-hunt to the last hour of light will begin to drop off the hills and follow topography like water. The goal is to set the blind up where we can access it without walking across where we expect deer for scent purposes, or allow deer in the bedding area to see us, and also needing to consider our exit in relation to deer feeding in the field. At the same time, you must make sure the wind direction and/or the falling thermals are exiting the field in a way that for the most part deer will not catch your wind.
By reading these ground blind hunting tips, you should walk away with three key take home points…One, the 9th inning is not the time to give up on deer season. Two, you should be hunting out of a ground blind during the late season. Finally three, there is a lot more to setting up a ground blind that simply placing it for the shot. With ideal blind setups for late season hunting, observations in place, and required prep work from trail cameras and scouting, you will be setting yourself up for success in either this week or the cold weeks to come!
https://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Ground-blind-hunting-tips-late-season_Feature.jpg720960Muddy Outdoorshttps://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Muddy_Logo_shadow-Low.pngMuddy Outdoors2016-12-20 18:12:142018-05-07 19:12:54Ground Blind Hunting Tips for the Late Season
Now is the time for forgiveness! Your loved one has been most likely in the woods since October, but now that the main part of hunting season is over, they are finally back. What says forgiveness more than “I’m sorry”? How about a couple items under the tree inspired by his passion? If you are looking for Christmas gifts for hunters then you have come to the right place. We have some great deals on items for the hunter in your family!
Nothing says Merry Christmas like a brand new tree stand or blind. Whether you like it or not, even though deer season is over your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, son, or whoever else you’re shopping for is already thinking about next year. A new tree stand or blind will excite them for next year, and fuel their passion during the offseason! Check out the deals below!
Super Comfortable & Spacious Seat that Flips Back for Full Platform Use Extra Wide and Angled Steps with Hand Rails Flip-Back TWO-WAY Adjustable Padded Shooting Rail that Adjusts Height and Depth Flip-Back Footrest 1 x Drink Holder + 1 x Accessory Hook
CONSTRUCTION: Steel, DXT & RS Tubing
HEIGHT TO SHOOTING RAIL: 16′
FOOT PLATFORM: 28″ Wide X 35″ Deep, Flip-Back Footrest
SEAT SIZE: 24″ Wide X 17″ Deep
SEAT STYLE: Flex-Tek, Flips Back
SEAT HEIGHT: 21″
BACKREST: 26″ Wide x 17″ Tall
SHOOTING RAIL: 2-Way Adjustable, Padded, Flips Back
SAVE $30 and get FREE SHIPPING on the Woodsman Climbing Tree Stand
Promo code: woodsman16
Non-Slip Slats on Foot Platform Flip-Back Foot Rest Rubber Coated Foot Straps Padded, Sling-Style Seat for Comfort Padded Backrest Accessory Bag Included Backpack Straps Included Hybrid Mounting System (Hybrid MS); Flexible Like a Cable. Strong Like a Chain Spring-Loaded Pin for Quick, Easy Chain Adjustments
FOOT PLATFORM: 20.5″ Wide x 29.5″ Deep, Flip Back Footrest
SAVE $40 and get FREE SHIPPING on the XLT Stagger Steps (3 Pk)
Promo code: staggerfree
For an even safe climb to your perfect hunting spot, the XLT Stagger Steps from Muddy are made extra wide for stability. Designed for use on crooked or leaning trees, XLT Stagger Steps give you an easy and fast climb. Powder-coated steel specialty texture adds no-slip grip. Durable orange nylon washers, spacers, and caps provide no metal-on-metal contact, producing no noise that could scare game. The XLT Stagger Steps are packable for easy carrying and storage. Comes with three Stagger Steps. Total height: 16′ (18” between sections). Section dimensions: 46″H x 14″W. Total weight: 21 lbs.
47” Wide x 20” Tall Waterfowl Window Large Zippered Door 8 Windows 12” Wide x 16” Tall Windows are reversible, with Burlap on One Side and Black on the Other Bottom Wind Flaps Packs away to fit in a truck bed for portability Brush ties and brush strips throughout the blind
CONSTRUCTION: Powder-Coated Steel Covered with Black-Backed, Water-Resistant Denier Fabric+Burlap
DIMENSIONS: 61″ Wide x 63″ Long Shooting Width x 76″ Standing Height
HEIGHT TO BOTTOM OF WINDOWS: 32″
WATERFOWL OPENING: 47″ Wide x 20″ Tall
BRUSH STRIPS: Brush Ties & Brush Strips Included for Easy Adaption to Your Location
DOOR: Large Zippered Door
OTHER FEATURES: Reversible Shooting Windows,Bottom Wind Flap
To go along with our Christmas gifts for hunters, we thought we would go ahead and supply you with some stocking stuffer ideas! Stocking stuffers for hunters are easy to buy, as the hunter in your family always could use more hunting accessories and gear! These 9 stocking stuffer items will fill their stocking full with quality items that the hunter will enjoy for many seasons!
1. Telescoping Multi-Hanger
Folds Down to 8.75″ for Storage Hook Arm Adjusts 360° Leg Grip for Extra Strength Easy Installation with Screw-In Steel Tip
CONSTRUCTION: Aluminum and Steel;
SIZE: Ranges from 7.25″ – 21.5″ Length with Non-Slip Grip Rubber Coated Hook;
WEIGHT RATING: 30 Lbs
2. Short Hook Multi Hanger
2″ Single J-Hook with 40-Lb Capacity Dual 6.5″ Non-Slip Grip Rubber Coated Hooks with 10-Lb Weight Limit Each Hook Arms Adjust 180° Folds Down to 8″ for Storage Steel Tip Cover with Easy Clip-On Carabiner
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 60 Lbs Total – 2″ Single J-Hook – 40 Lb Capacity, Dual 6.5″ Rubber Coated Hooks – 10 Lb Weight Limit Each
3. EZ Twist Pull Up Rope
Easy to Use Even With a Gloved Hand and Does Not Scratch Gear Folds Up Flat and Small for Storage Silent, EZ Twist-Tie, Rubber-Coated End
DESIGN: 25′ Long Flat, Tangle-Free Design
4. Tree Stand Canopy
Guaranteed Protection From the Elements Camouflage Underside for Natural Appearance
CONSTRUCTION: Heavy-Duty, Water-Resistant Fabric;
SIZE: 46″ Wide x 60″ Long;
PORTABLE: Folds up to 27.25″ for Transport
5. Trail Camera: Pro Cam 10
10 Megapixel 2 – 6 Photo Bursts Standard VGA (32 FPS) 1.5 Second Trigger Speed Invisible Flash with 18 HE LEDs Simple to Program Backlit LCD Screen to easily navigate through settings any time of day
SIZE: 4.75″ H x 4.25″ W x 2.5″ D;
SCREEN: Backlit LCD Screen;
FLASH RANGE: 50’+; LEDS: 18;
IMAGE QUALITY: 10 Megapixel;
TRIGGER DELAY: 7 Options: 10 Sec – 30 Min.;
IMAGE DATA: Camera ID, Date, Time, Temp, & Moon Phase;
VIDEO: 4 Options: 10 – 60 Seconds Length;
MOUNTING OPTIONS: Adjustable Strap with Buckle; Alternate: 1/4″ – 20;
THEFT DETERRENCE: Cable Lock and Padlock Ready;
BATTERY TYPE: 6 AA or 12V DC Alternate Power Option;
COLOR: Non-Reflective Brown;
MATERIAL: Molded ABS; Waterproof Housing;
MEMORY: Requires Secure Digital Card, Up to 32GB;
PRODUCT WARRANTY: 1 Year;
OPERATING TEMP: -10 Degrees F to 140 Degrees F;
DETECTION RANGE: 50′;
FIELD OF VIEW: 3 Zone + 50 Degree Detection Angle;
BURST INTERVAL: 2 Seconds;
BATTERY LIFE: Up to 10,000 Images
6. Trail Camera Support Mount
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This video dives straight into finding out the answer to the question: What do deer eat during the late season? While this is a very basic question, the more advanced tactic of looking at a deer’s stomach answers the question. This process offers very valuable intel when it comes to hunting. Figuring out what a deer’s diet consists of regarding the late season food sources on your property, can help you determine where bucks might be patterned. Looking into a deer’s stomach contents can show you not only where to find deer at, but where to hunt, where to hang your trail cameras, and where to concentrate your late season efforts on.
What Do Deer Eat in the Late Season? | Trail Cameras Weekly “Week 10”
By opening up the stomach of a deer that is killed on your property, or by a neighbor nearby, you can quickly determine what late season food sources your deer are concentrating on your property. This video shows you two stomachs, one from a doe in Indiana, and another of a buck Steve Smolenski killed in Pennsylvania. It is important to remember, the property’s habitat and available food sources greatly diversify the results from analyzing the stomach contents. Every property is different, this is why it is a very successful tactic!
A Deer’s Stomach
There is more to this than simply slicing the stomach to find the answer to, “what do deer eat”. Deer are ruminants and have a four-chambered stomach.
The Rumen where deer store their food as they eat serves as a mechanism to allow deer to quickly eat large quantities of food without much chewing. This is a trait that helps limit the time they are exposed to predators. When they get back to a safe bedding area they proceed to re-chew this food or chew their fermented slightly digested “cud” going into the second chamber of the stomach the Reticulum, where the majority of microorganisms of a deer stomach really start to work. From there it moves to the Omasum the third chamber where water is absorbed, then proceeds to the final chamber the Abomasum where the food is further digested…Now why is this important? For the most part you will be able to easily identify what food sources they ate in the first chamber the rumen, and for the most part the second chamber. After you move on towards the final chamber it gets obviously harder.
By opening up stomach we can actually identify what the deer has eaten. Now you may be wondering how big of a timeline does it give us?
The answer assures us that this process is very high quality and accurate intel. From the time a deer eats to the time it passes through and comes out the other end, most of the material (about 80 %) takes only 48 hours to go through. This means during anytime regardless of harvest the gut pile and stomach contents will actually at least the last day or so of feeding. There is much to take into consideration after this as some food sources digest much faster than others.
While you can certainly see what the deer has eaten in the past 12 hours, you cannot determine when they ate food sources due to the vast range of different digestibility. AKA winter rye and species like clover digest easily compared to woody browse and mast such as white oak acorns. This is why It is important to understand what you are looking at before making any assumptions or conclusions.
So What are They Eating?
After the point when you identify the rumen and least digested contents of the stomach, you can pick apart the contents and try and apply percentages, or a conclusion to where the deer on this property are spending their time feeding.
The buck’s stomach contents revealed most visibly corn, but you have to realize this is probably only 20-30% of the contents. It just happens to be the most visible and easily identified. 60-70% or the majority of the stomach contents were grasses and forbs, with about half being winter wheat in the surrounding cover cropped ag fields. They also witnessed a basic estimate of 10% woody browse. There were no food plot species or acorns in the stomach. This directly reflected what food sources were available and not available on the property this year as Steve’s property does not hold food plots or a vast amount of oaks.
Now this doe is a different story. The property has popcorn (which shatters more easily once eaten and is far less desirable than regular corn) many oaks and acorns, several areas of early successional growth ( woody browse) and of course the large winter rye cover cropped AG fields that were discussed last week on Trail Cameras Weekly. The percentages come out to be roughly 20-30% corn and acorns, 60-70% Winter rye/grasses and forbs, and an estimated 10 % of woody browse.
As you can see the average percentages between fall and winter roughly fall in line with the percentages the hunters witnessed in the stomach contents of the two deer killed in December.
Over the course of the next week or so, if the hunting is slow, take a doe for the freezer or for management purposes, or just try and examine the stomach contents of a deer killed on or near your property. Do not waste the gut pile! Often times this is a far more accurate representation of what your late season food sources are, how much time your deer are spending in the food sources, and where you might want to think about hunting as the temperature starts to fall! If you are asking “what do deer eat in the late season” take it into your own hand to find the answer!
https://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/what-do-deer-eat-late-season_FeatureBlog-1.jpg8161200Muddy Outdoorshttps://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Muddy_Logo_shadow-Low.pngMuddy Outdoors2016-12-08 15:58:582018-05-07 19:12:55What Do Deer Eat During the Late Season?
The trees have shed their leaves, and now a cold, gray, and bleak look has overtaken the once beautiful, burnt orange woods. The arrival of grim, dull, and cold days may seem like an awful end to your already painful deer season, however, you shouldn’t throw the towel just yet. While the rest of the season may look pretty bleak, late season deer hunting can actually be laden with opportunities. This blog will help you prepare for the late season before it ramps up to its full potential.
What is the Late Season?
When the intense action of the rut subsides we are left with a long drawn out period of desperation. A buck’s reserves are depleted, they are slim after the energy loss of the rut giving them a strong need and urge to find a reliable resource. After November, when the cold temperatures of December and January hit this late season period begins. The number one thing on everyone’s mind (both hunters and deer) is food.
So what are the late season food sources that you should look out for?
Standing Beans and Corn – Soybean food plots, Corn plots, or corn/beans on leased cropland that have simply yet to be cut and are still standing can become a critical attraction and food sources in the late season and in winter.
Brassicas- Brassicas is another name for plant species such as turnips, radishes, and rape, common late season food sources that can be major attractants if enough acreage is planted.
Cereal Grains – Winter rye, wheat, and oats can be in the form of cover crops, and are common late season food plots that can offer deer a green buffet as the cold temperatures arrive.
Acorns– On good mast years there can be a bounty of acorns still left in the woods come the late season.
Browse- Early successional species such as blackberries, black raspberries, greenbrier, and various saplings are critical food in the winter months. Areas of disturbance or overgrown pastures offering cover and food should not be overlooked.
Once you identify and find a late season food source on your property, then it is time for the next step in preparation…setting up your trail cameras.
Trail Camera Tips For Late Season
Your biggest concern before the best days of the late season arrive should be your trail cameras. Cold temps force deer to hit food early in the afternoons, which can bring mature bucks out in daylight. This daily pattern once the cold temperatures arrive and stay can become one of the best opportunities of the year at a mature buck. But not without the help of trail cameras. This is the week to change up your trail camera strategy, setup new camera spots and adjust the settings from rut focused to late season focused. With food being the focus our trail camera tips take the form of what they were during the early season… check out the trail camera tips below to dial in on a mature buck’s pattern.
Trail Camera Tips for the Late Season
The first and most dependable is the time-lapse function on a trail camera. For this function you want to have a camera with great quality, the Muddy Pro Cam 12s have 12-megapixel images so they work great for the late season.
Setup: To hang the camera you simply hang the camera where it can clearly see the whole field. You want a good vantage and one very important tip is not facing the setting sun
Settings: For the settings on the camera you want to have the function set to the last 1-2 hours of daylight and a photo every 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure you have a big memory card, a 16gb will do fine.
Notes: By doing this, it allows you to survey how many, and which deer are using the food source during legal hunting times, and it also can help you pinpoint mature bucks patterns…and where to hang the second camera for late season Intel!
Late Season Funnels
By identifying the bedding area and looking at the topography, in consideration to the food source you will be able to clearly see where the most traffic is coming into and out of the field. By setting a game camera on these late season funnels, and using the same setup and settings as we did during the rut, we can more easily track a buck’s movement.
Setup: Set the trail camera up at a 45-degree angle from the run or funnel.
Settings: A long video mode, or 6-8 photo burst with a short 10-second delay
Notes: This setup gives you intel during the night, which the time-lapse function does not, potentially revealing just after dark movements telling you that you should move towards the bedding area to catch a buck during daylight.
By finding the main late season food source on your property, following these trail camera tips for the late season, and put together what you already know about a buck you can start gathering intel on a buck’s pattern before the temps get cold. Stay out of the food sources until those cold temps hit, and you have enough intel to make a move on a buck. As we progress through the late season remember these tips, and be careful not to over pressure your food source.
This is just the beginning of the late season, be sure to check back in each week for new relevant content!
https://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/late-season-deer-hunting-tips_Feature.jpg8001200Muddy Outdoorshttps://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Muddy_Logo_shadow-Low.pngMuddy Outdoors2016-12-01 20:22:342016-12-01 20:47:52Late Season Deer Hunting | Your Preparation Starts Now
Thanksgiving week is here and it could not have arrived at a more perfect time. Let’s be honest there is not one hunter here that would take bickering over politics and catching up with family over a cold November hunt! Luckily the time off work aligns perfectly with an incredible opportunity. The rut is winding down, but that does not mean mature buck movement is. In fact, this Thanksgiving week could be one of the best times to kill one of your hit-list bucks. This might just be the perfect excuse to miss that overcooked turkey at the in-laws! If you find the time to hunt, be sure to take a look at these hunting tips for taking a Thanksgiving week buck!
During this week, mature bucks rather than little bucks are on their feet. Young bucks that you saw nearly every day of the first part of November are now slowing down, while mature bucks still have enough energy to seek and chase the last does coming into estrus. This is a period that is make or break. Opportunities with a mature buck will exist as cold temperatures finally make their way over the Midwest. Cold temperatures with a few does still yet to come in creates a recipe where a hit-list buck can be harvested.
This is the back end of the bell curve of the rut, does are still coming in, and mature bucks are out trying to find them. Rut hunting strategies for this week include sticking to the bedding areas, but also keeping an eye on late season food sources. As hunting transitions into December, food sources become the focus instead of bedding areas.
Mature bucks will start focusing on late season food sources later as we approach December and colder temps, but do not get ahead of yourself. For now, the best hunting tips for hunting the backside of the rut means stick with your rut hunting strategies, remember you trail camera tips for the rut, check trail cameras often, and grind it out until the end of the season.
https://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/hunting-tips-thanksgiving-buck_Feature.jpg720960Muddy Outdoorshttps://1my81432hvxx12urbaol1zr1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Muddy_Logo_shadow-Low.pngMuddy Outdoors2016-11-22 20:34:012016-11-22 20:41:46Hunting Tips for Taking a Thanksgiving Week Buck
To suggest that there are phases of rut is ridiculous. The pre-rut, rut, rut lockdown, post rut, and second rut. To think you can delineate each one of the phases of the rut apart from each other into a particular set of days or weeks is hopeful at best. In theory, it is a great way for so-called experts of the industry to describe deer activity to your everyday hunter. The biggest problem in this delineation is that it does not describe deer activity 100% like it seems it should do. Rather a complex algorithm is at play, fluctuating deer activity a different way for every property. Sex ratios, weather, hunting pressure, property layout, acorn production, and crop status all have drastic effects on deer activity during all “phases” of the rut. While each phase paints a clear picture, it is never 100% accurate due to these reasons. However, If one phase above all was particularly spot on it would be during this week. This week the Midwest, in general, is experiencing peak breeding. Hunting the rut just got tough due to the rut lockdown!
November So Far…And In The Future?
Up to this point, November hunting has been what is expected during November. Chasing, seeking, cruising, and a steady stream of bucks and does coming by the stand. The onset of warm temperatures during much of the first half of November slowed things down, but just recently the floodgates opened. Cooler temps and the first frosts have hit, bucks were on their feet, the rut is in full swing.
As you can see in this week’s episode of Trophy Pursuit, the chasing, cruising, and daylight movement by mature bucks was easy to take advantage of. This opportunity was easily exploited by hunting with strategies and tactics unique to rut hunting. These rut hunting strategies and tactics were clearly outlined in our last blog Rut Hunting 101.
To summarize some of the best takeaways from the blog we have provided some of its information.
When To Hunt
Bucks will seek out does around bedding areas
Focus on where does will be bedding after they return from feeding
Pick a stand location on the downwind side of the bedding area
Access the stand from the opposite side of the food source
Does are still feeding in open area, for the most part, bringing the bucks with them
Both the morning and the evening is based on does and where they are feeding or where they go after they feed.
Hunt a funnel or an edge of a feeding source
Do not walk on, or across the main run or section deer will access the area with, keep your scent away from the trail
So why is this important? If you have ever looked at a bell curve you would understand. The action was hot during the first part of November, but as we approach the middle of November we approach the lockdown. After the lockdown phase of the rut passes, we start descending on the bell curve meaning the action heats up again. Bucks start looking for does again, start desperately seeking, and again opportunities are present for the taking.
What Is the Lockdown?
The lockdown phase of the rut occurs when the majority of does come into estrus. Why? The gestation period of a whitetail is right around 198 days, meaning timing the conception perfectly, times the fawn’s birth perfectly. This aligns fawn drop right when spring arrives where an explosion of growth means quality food, quality cover, and nutritious milk. The arrival of peak breeding is determined and brought on by photoperiod. This is why the rut, or peak breeding happens on the same dates each year regardless of weather and moon phase.
This can be a dramatic event for hunters. When the majority of does suddenly come in bucks go on lockdown! Bucks will lay up with does for usually 24-48 hours. To some, this is not enough time for a hunter to realize the buck is laid up, but then again it is. Put yourself in the scenario. It’s November 15th, high pressure, hard frost, a slight 3 mph wind….a day that should result in a lot of deer movement. Instead, the day results in a yearling and button buck…not at all what you expected. Why? So many does are available, that literally every 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 years old + is lockdown with a doe that day and perhaps the next.
Hunting The Rut Lockdown Phase
It’s a blessing and a curse. The lockdown phase comes in dramatically but exits the same. Hunting the rut lockdown isn’t necessarily hard. You have to concentrate in the right areas for hunting and simply wait it out. On any day, and at any time during the lockdown phase, a buck can come off of a doe. Here are two videos that help supply information on hunting the rut lockdown.
The overall advice in this week’s Whitetail 101 is to stay away from the feeding areas and start working your hunts towards doe bedding areas. Does that are out feeding have most likely already been breed and are simply staying away from bedding areas as they are avoiding being pushed around by bucks. Touching on this further with the concept of the “hot doe or bust” is this week’s trail cameras weekly episode.
Again, this episode not only touches the concept that hunting the rut lockdown means that on any day and at any time a buck can come off a doe. This means all day sits could prove successful. This also means bucks will desperately seek does once they come off a doe, and after peak breeding slows. Also know that during this time a doe can pull a buck anywhere at any time, meaning your rut hunting strategies and tactics like hunting funnels and bedding areas are still creating opportunities. This episode proves the concept as Jeremy Flinn encounters a hot doe with a buck locked in.
Hunting the rut lockdown will only last a short period. It is important to not only keep hunting during this time, but to hunt the right areas. Hunting does, as far as funnels and doe bedding areas go is a more successful tactic for hunting bucks during any other time during the rut.