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Tag Archive | "buck"

Youth gets first buck

OUT-Youth-buck-RileyAt 10-years-old, Ethan Riley, of Pierson, is already a veteran hunter.

He got a doe last December, during his first hunting season, and then got his first buck, a three-point, on Monday, November 25, while using a .243 Savage.

Ethan is the son of Terilynn and Ryan Riley, of Pierson.

Congratulations, Ethan!

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Excitement abounds during the rut

Jack Payne with a recent 2013 buck shot with a weird rack and loaded on the deer cart.

Jack Payne with a recent 2013 buck shot with a weird rack and loaded on the deer cart.

By Jack Payne


The hurried sound of leaves crunching under hooves meant one thing. A buck was chasing does that were not ready for his advances. Sure enough a group of deer came trotting by and a buck in pursuit.

Scrapes and rubs are all excellent items to consider but other things can spell success quicker. First and foremost is hunting the does. The does normally dictate what scrapes will be re-opened and used the most.

Find out where the does are bedding and feeding and the bucks will show up. The best locations are where the deer feel most secure during the daylight hours. The closer the security area is to a hot food source the better buck potential.

Cornfields are a magnet in our area. A thick swale, a pine plantation, river bottoms or a swamp are examples of good daytime cover. An overlooked area is a drainage ditch.

Having shot a buck on October I decided to try some fall turkey hunting. Jumped two bucks bedding in a corn field and one was an eight pointer. Bow in the truck and the buck looking at me a mere ten yards away. Can’t get a bedding area closer to a food source than a cornfield.

Carrying my camera while filming a few geese I jumped a nice fork horn bedded in a dried out drainage ditch. A cornfield on one side, a soybean field on the other with a briar patches on the end. Perfect area for a buck to rut and stay fairly hidden.

Keeping a stand just for the rut or having two stands to hunt from is a good idea. Don’t burn out a stand during the rut. Only hunt the stand when the wind is right and when accessing the stand without disturbing the deer.

Avoid walking over the runways when traveling. You heard this before but I will say it again, watch your scent. I wear Scent Lok from head to toe. Have a back up plan on how to get to your stand and the same when leaving. Don’t spook the deer and don’t leave any scent behind.

High ground in a swamp or a cattail marsh is an excellent all day location to hunt. The key is sliding in early and being undetected. Another good choice would be a small woodlot or briar patch that the other hunters walk right by thinking that it is to small to hold any deer.

Locating a hot scrape that reeks is always fun. I don’t see a lot of deer when scrape hunting but normally you will see a hot doe and the buck. Using buck lure has proven productive for many. I’ve had excellent luck at times and other outings only luke warm. Rarely have I had any negative responses when using scent. I use scent all season! Tinks and Buck Fever are my favorites.

Decoys can be fun to use but only during the archery season for safety purposes. Placing a decoy between a hot scrape and your stand or on the fringe of good bedding cover might work. Spray the decoy with some buck lure and try grunting. My experiences with decoys is less than thrilling unless watching a deer jump up in the air and then busting out. Only once did it actually draw in a buck for me but a friend has enjoyed great success.

Besides having faith in scent we use calling on each hunt. I call softly 3-5 one-second burps every 15-30 minutes. If I see a deer I call immediately. Once again, soft and short works the best. Get the buck to turn his head and let curiosity take over. Nearly every archery tag filled had calling involved.

Staying alert and checking out all sounds is important. After a few hours and especially after a month of sitting in a stand hunters get a bit lazy. Any sound could be a deer and often the soft and slow noise is a feeding deer heading your way.

The rut normally heats up around Halloween and continues through the opener of the gun season. Nothing beats the sound of leaves rustling and seeing a nervous doe file bye followed by the sound of a deer grunting. Hunt the rut properly not only will you see a buck, one might end up in the freezer.

www.jackpaynejr.com, realtor/writer


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Opening day buck


On opening day of bow season, October 1, 2013, Scott Cain got this fine 8-point buck. Scott went out in the morning and saw nothing. He went out in the afternoon, got in his tree, and at about 4:30 p.m. the buck appeared! Way to go, Scott!


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Structure hunting your buck

by Jack Payne


It was Halloween before my first opportunity on a buck came along. Well actually my first since opening night, when I blew a wide-open shot. The rut was just hitting full stride and I had mapped out what I thought was a few strategic locations.

The early morning quietness was broken by a grunt and the slow crunching of leaves. Sure enough a buck was working the scent line. I hit my deer call and the buck took notice and slowly continued onward.

The buck would walk a few steps, grunt, raise his head up and sniff the air. It quickly became obvious that the buck would travel into my lap following the drag line. I was sitting in my Lone Wolf Stand that was hung just that morning.

Using my Ten Point Crossbow I was able to shoot sitting down. The Carbon Express shaft tipped with the Muzzy head found its mark. Buck number one was down for the count.

Fish use travel routes and have a deep water sanctuary from cold fronts and when spooked. Deer use certain travel paths and have a prime bedding area that they call home. Migration routes are used to travel primarily from a bedding area to a feeding area.

A thick cattail marsh bordering a set of pines is one example. Another is a clear cut bordering a thick set of pines or a swamp or possibly an oak grove. A corn field or a bean field bordering thick cover is another good example.

A deer’s sanctuary is its prime bedding area. A good bedding area can be a thick grove of pines, a cedar swamp, a cattail bog or often times in Southern Michigan an isolated patch of cover. In the farm country these small parcels might be only a quarter acre to an acre in size.

The best migration routes have something unique about them. In fishing you look for the breaks or the objects on this path from the deep water to the shallows. In hunting these objects could be a small finger of trees that stick out. It might be a small inside turn or cup that is formed by the change of terrain or ground cover. Any type of change is a potential spot for a stand.

An inside corner or an outside corner where two types of ground meet is perfect. Deer love to follow edges and if both types of terrain have something that the deer needs then more deer will be using it. A stand of oaks bordering a young clear cut offers two types of food and the young clear cut doubles up as a bedding ground.

An over looked piece of structure especially in Southern Michigan is the usage of a ditch or gullies. These two types of structure allow movement of deer to be nearly invisible. Very critical when hunting thin cover or near open areas.

In hilly areas deer love to run the edge of a gully where they are completely out of sight from danger on the flats or the use the bottoms and play the ever changing wind currents to their advantage.

A young clear cut has plenty of lush grasses and many new buds in the fall. Finding a secondary food source close to a primary food source is critical. Weather conditions can alter a food source being used. Hunting pressure will alter a preferred food source.

Trail cameras are the same as underwater cameras to many anglers. Both show fish or game. While I do not own an underwater camera, I do own one trail camera. This camera gets moved each week and is fun in showing you an actual photo.

Waterways are fun to hunt. A river or even small creeks that you can jump across are great pieces of structure to hunt. Streams twist and turn creating natural pinch points. Follow a stream and mark each time that the stream takes a hard turn.  Hang a few ribbons in the tree and after the second or third hard turn you should be able to spot a location where a stand would be able to watch both of these hard turns or points.

Protect your areas, slide in quietly and don’t over hunt a particular stand. Whatever you do, don’t spook the does. I want as many does filtering through my area as possible. The bucks will show up if the does are there.

Hunting open fields requires a change of strategy. Bucks have a tendency to hang back until darkness takes over. They also love to stage or watch over the field from a safe distance. A lone tree or a small group of trees in the middle of a field can be golden.

Just like in fishing where an angler can alter a travel route, a hunter can do the same. Blocking a trail with fallen limbs will force the deer around the obstacle. This is one trick that we use a lot.

If you can force the deer to funnel through a location that is more desirable to you the higher your odds increase. Just remember to wear gloves when altering the terrain.

During the rut scent is huge. Making mock scrapes before the season starts and continuing throughout the season is an easy and very effective technique.

During the season we try and find an active scrape line or a least an area with sufficient deer traveling through. The best mock scrapes will have a licking branch so look for a bush or a limb that a deer can reach. One option is that you can snap a branch downward, just don’t cut it off.

Saturate both the ground and the licking branch with scent. This is where I like the scent from Buck Fever. It comes in a large bottle and really works great on the drag lines and the mock scrapes. Be extremely careful with your scent, the ideal is to lure in a deer, not give away your presence.

Think of deer hunting as you should when fishing. Edges, corners, change of elevation, areas where two types of terrain meet and your success will rapidly climb.



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