August 18, 2008

Top 5 Ways to Miss Your Deer by Marty Prokop

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There are five main reasons deer hunters miss deer when they are deer hunting.

1.) Not sighting in your deer rifle before you go hunting.

This sounds pretty basic, but year after year some deer hunters refuse to go to the rifle range to sight in their deer rifles.

They may figure, “Well, it shot straight last year when I put the rifle away.”

Regardless of how straight your deer rifle shot when you cased it up at the end of season, go to the range and sight it in again for the next season, preferably several times before deer season arrives.

Why?

Sights and scopes can get bumped while cleaning, handling or transferring from gun cabinet to deer hunting woods and back again.

2.) Using different ammunition than used to sight in with.

Different bullet weights and even various ammunition brands will shoot differently from the same rifle.

Make sure you stock up on the same brand and bullet weight of ammunition, the brand and weight you sighted in your rifle with, before you head to the deer hunting woods.

3.) Taking free hand shots.

Free hand shots are the least effective for deer hunting, because in many situations you are not rock solid when shooting.

If you don’t have a good rifle rest in your tree stand or blind when you are deer hunting, use your knee to steady your shot.

Another option is shooting from the prone position, but don’t try this from a tree stand.

Always try to use a solid rest before taking the shot.

4.) Not enough perfect practice.

There is more to shooting a rifle and becoming a good shot than just simply sighting in your rifle.

The more you can practice with different shooting scenarios, the better you will become at handling your deer rifle.

5.) Not knowing your shooting limitations.

This is really simple. If you don’t feel you can make a long range shot, don’t shoot.

At times, some deer hunters let their egos take over.

Only shoot the distance you have practiced for. This will keep you from wounding deer.

How can you avoid missing your deer the next time you go deer hunting?

• Sight in your deer rifle several times before deer season arrives.

• Remember to deer hunt use the same brand and bullet weight of ammo you used to sight in your deer rifle.

• Always use a solid rest when taking a shot.

• Perfect practice. Perfect practice. Perfect practice.

• Take shots only at distances you are comfortable shooting.

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Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Deer Hunting  and Deer Processing Expert at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

****************************

Find Deer Games, Pictures and Hunting Fun at: http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

=========================

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=========================

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August 15, 2008

Is Day Dreaming Costing You Your Big Buck? by Marty Prokop

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Most deer hunters have the best success, and bag more deer, during the first two hours of each deer hunting day.

Why?

During the first two hours of a deer hunting day, the deer hunter is focused on getting a deer. He/she is constantly looking for, listening for, thinking about and concentrating solely on seeing deer.

As time moves forward, some deer hunters begin to let their minds wander from deer hunting. This results in the eyes and ears of the deer hunter missing crucial sights and sounds in the deer hunting woods.

When the mind wanders, a deer hunter must continually stop and re-focus on deer hunting to bring the mind back on track.

Looking and listening for deer becomes harder and harder as the mind wanders further from deer hunting.

Deer hunters can become caught up in the mind’s rambling on about work, the never ending honey-do list and countless other chores that should be done. The deer hunter is not paying attention to the woods for sights and sounds of deer.

If this trancelike state progresses, the deer hunter becomes oblivious to the external surroundings and is simply going through the motions of being in the deer woods.

If a deer hunter cannot break this trancelike spell, he/she may be better off taking a break from the woods as they would not see a deer if it were right in front of them.

The best way to tag a deer when you are out hunting is to think, smell, see and breathe deer hunting. Concentrate on looking for deer signs and listening for sounds that could be made by deer.

You will be a more successful deer hunter by increasing your awareness and concentrating on deer hunting when you are out in the field.

To subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter or get blog post delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog at www.marty-prokop.com  .

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Deer Hunting  and Deer Processing Expert at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

****************************

Find Deer Games, Pictures and Hunting Fun at: http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

=========================

*** More Free Stuff ***

Get Your Own Free Audio Deer Hunting Tips, listen to the Deer Hunting Podcast, subscribe to our RSS Feed, see Big Buck Pictures and read the Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: http://www.marty-prokop.com

=========================

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=========================

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Help your deer hunting buddies and support deer hunting…it’s free to do… Go ahead and email this Free-Deer-Hunting--Tips.com blog URL to your deer hunting buddies or use our Tell A Friend form at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com/ .

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August 4, 2008

Fun and Easy Way to Test Your Long Range Shooting! by Marty Prokop

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You have been diligent in practicing your long range shooting skills at the rifle range. You are able to consistently shoot a 3-inch group at 250 yards. This is great shooting and is an important step towards deer hunting accuracy, but this shooting is under a semi-controlled environment.

Think of this.

How many times have you had that big buck in front of you while your deer hunting rifle was in a gun vise or propped up on shooting bags on a shooting bench? Never happens.

Here is a fun and easy way to test your long range shooting skills out in the field.

Your targets will be one-gallon plastic milk jugs filled with water. Add food coloring to the water so you can see a difference in color from the water to the background.

One gallon plastic milk jugs are the perfect target at long ranges as they will be comparable in size to the vital heart/lung area of a deer. So save milk jugs.

Next, find a safe field or area to set up your targets. Make sure there are no buildings, people or animals in your line of fire or beyond the milk jugs.

If you hunt from a tree stand, and you are able to, you could even set up your tree stand to simulate actual shooting from that angle.

If you shoot from a ground deer blind, consider setting up your deer blind to shoot from it.

The goal is to create the closest conditions to your actual deer hunting situation.

Pace off 200 to 300 yards from your shooting location or whatever distance you feel confident shooting.

After placing your milk jug targets, walk back to your shooting area. Take aim and see how well you shoot.

A direct hit will have the milk jugs exploding. An off center hit will still have the jugs emptying on the ground. You can actually see the liquid leaving the container.

If you find your original distance of 200 to 300 yards has you missing the target or hitting off center, move closer in 20 yard increments until you can hit center consistently.

Once you find you are hitting center consistently, you have found your true long range shooting ability under quasi hunting conditions.

This may be a bit humbling at first, but it is far better to know exactly what your long range shooting abilities are before you head out deer hunting. This knowledge will help ensure you don’t wound an animal.

To subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter or get blog post delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog at www.marty-prokop.com  .

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Deer Hunting  and Deer Processing Expert at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

****************************

Find Deer Games, Pictures and Hunting Fun at: http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

=========================

*** More Free Stuff ***

Get Your Own Free Audio Deer Hunting Tips, listen to the Deer Hunting Podcast, subscribe to our RSS Feed, see Big Buck Pictures and read the Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: http://www.marty-prokop.com

=========================

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If you want to keep up on new deer hunting secrets subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter or get blog posts delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog.

=========================

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Help your deer hunting buddies and support deer hunting…it’s free to do… Go ahead and email this Free-Deer-Hunting--Tips.com blog URL to your deer hunting buddies or use our Tell A Friend form at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com/ .

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Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

June 3, 2008

Finding Early Season Deer

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In my Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter  and blog posts I write about one of the most favorable spots to set up your deer hunting tree stand during early season overlooking food plots or well-used deer trails. These spots can indeed be good, but don’t over look other great feeding areas.

During early deer season you may want to find a good stand of white oak trees. White oaks, unlike red oak and black oak, drop acorns more readily. White oak acorn nuts are not as bitter as those from red and black oaks.

When white oaks have good acorn crop, target these areas. They will draw deer. Deer will use these heavy acorn producing trees year after year.

Make sure you do plenty of pre-season scouting to help you locate if and where your deer hunting woods holds white oak trees.

When scouting for white oak also look for areas with lush grasses, vines, wild grapes and wild fruit trees such as apples and plums.

You may have an old homesteaded or abandoned farm on your deer hunting land. Watch this location carefully.

The folks who homesteaded these now abandoned locations may have planted fruit trees to harvest for their pantries. If these trees are now abandoned, they become great hangouts for deer to find early autumn food sources.

Once you locate an abandoned homestead, look for well-used deer trails leading to food sources, water and cover. Study deer movement surrounding the old buildings and orchards on the property.

When you have patterned deer movements to and from the food sources choose your deer stand locations wisely. Make sure your deer hunting tree stand is set up downwind from food sources you plan to hunt.

You might get a shot at the big buck nobody else has seen yet.

Get blog post delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog at www.marty-prokop.com .

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Deer Hunting Expert at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

****************************

Find Deer Games, Pictures and Hunting Fun at: http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

=========================

*** More Free Stuff ***

Get Your Own Free Audio Deer Hunting Tips, listen to the Deer Hunting Podcast, subscribe to our RSS Feed, see Big Buck Pictures and read the Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: http://www.marty-prokop.com

=========================

*** Newsletter and RSS Feed ***

If you want to keep up on new deer hunting secrets subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter or get blog posts delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog.

=========================

*** Help Your Deer Hunting Buddies ***

Help your deer hunting buddies and support deer hunting…it’s free to do… Go ahead and email this Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog URL to your deer hunting buddies or use our Tell A Friend form at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com/ .

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April 28, 2008

Post Rut Deer Hunting Success

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Post-Rut is most often forgotten by many deer hunters.

In the northern part of the USA, Post Rut occurs during the some of the coldest times of the year. Perhaps this is why some deer hunters choose to forget Post Rut.

Regardless of the thermometer reading outside, Post Rut deer hunting action can be extremely hot.

When Does Post-Rut Begin?

Doe deer not bred successfully during Pre Rut and Main Rut will go into estrus 28 days after Main Rut. Count out 28 days from Main Rut and you will be smack dab in prime Post Rut deer hunting action.

There will be fewer doe deer going into estrus during Post Rut than during Main Rut, because most does are bred during Main Rut.

Sign of Post Rut Activity

One tell-tale sign of Post Rut is a quick increase in deer activity.

Doe deer in Post Rut estrus show more aggressive approaches to finding breeding bucks.

You may notice doe deer trotting along and stopping frequently to deposit estrus urine.

Set up your deer blind or tree stand nearby. Make sure you are down wind of where the deer activity is taking place.

Doe deer in Post Rut estrus become more vocal, using soft grunts more frequently, trying to catch the attention of bucks in the area.

Bucks in the area that whiff the estrus pheromone quickly swarm the estrus doe. It is quite possible to have several bucks chasing one doe. It is as if the bucks realize this is the last hurrah for the year.

Who knows, you could be faced with the option of which buck to shoot.

Want more deer rutting secrets? Subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter  or get blog posts delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Deer Hunting Expert at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

****************************

Find Deer Games, Pictures and Hunting Fun at: http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

=========================

*** More Free Stuff ***

Get Your Own Free Audio Deer Hunting Tips, listen to the Deer Hunting Podcast, subscribe to our RSS Feed, see Big Buck Pictures and read the Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: http://www.marty-prokop.com

=========================

*** Newsletter and RSS Feed ***

If you want to keep up on new deer hunting secrets subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter or get blog posts delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog.

=========================

*** Help Your Deer Hunting Buddies ***

Help your deer hunting buddies and support deer hunting…it’s free to do… Go ahead and email this Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog URL to your deer hunting buddies or use our Tell A Friend form at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com/ .

=========================

 

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March 31, 2008

Main Rut Deer Hunting Success by Marty Prokop

If you would like to listen to this Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog post as a podcast click the play button…

Main Rut or the peak of the rut lasts much longer than the pre-rut we discussed in my prior Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter and blog post.

In my deer hunting area in northern USA, generally the main rut will begin the last week of October to the first week in November and run to the end of November.

During Main Rut you will notice daylight hours dwindling. This change in the amount of daylight, also called photoperiodism, triggers higher testosterone production in bucks.

The combination of less daylight and more testosterone makes the bucks more agitated and less friendly towards other bucks. If you happen to see two bucks meet during Main Rut a fight usually occurs.

Scrapes… What Do They Mean?

During Main Rut, as you walk through the deer hunting woods, you will notice more scrapes on the ground and more rubs on trees and saplings. Both are calling cards to other bucks in the area that this territory is taken. All challengers welcome!

Big bucks check their scrape lines and rub lines frequently during Main Rut.

Bucks will make scrapes by pawing leaves, grasses and debris off the ground’s surface and exposing fresh earth. The buck then urinates on his tarsal glands, which drip onto the fresh earth leaving his scent behind.

There is always a licking branch above a buck scrape. Look for it. A buck will rub his pre-orbital glands (near his eyes) on the branches and lick the branch to leave additional scent. This lets both bucks and does in the area know he is there and ready for action.

Big bucks will make multiple scrapes throughout their territories. Finding a big buck’s scrape line is a great tool for intercepting him, as he will be checking the scrapes frequently.

If you find an area that has multiple scrapes relatively close to each other, you may have found a big buck’s scrape line. Set up your deer hunting tree stand off the main trail and downwind of the scrapes.

Tree Rubs… What Do They Mean?

Tree rubs are made by bucks as a way to release their frustrations as well as prepare for future battles with other bucks that enter their domains. Bucks will also make tree rub lines to mark their territories.

To locate a tree rub line stand facing a rub on a tree and look in the direction going directly away from the first rub. For example, if you spot a rub on the south side of a tree, the buck was traveling north when he made the rub. Look towards the north for additional rubs on saplings and small trees.

If you see a “string” of tree rubs in a line, you have found the buck’s travel route.

Setting up a deer hunting tree stand or ground blind near this tree rub line could put you in a big buck’s front yard.

Doe… a Deer... a Female Deer

One key factor in hunting Main Rut is to have lots of doe activity near your deer hunting location.

During Main Rut bucks will only make ground scrapes and tree rubs if there are female deer nearby. During Main Rut, bucks will travel and move to where does are located.

If there are doe deer in front of you, and the rut is on, pay close attention to their body language.

If does are running about, seeming to be overly skittish and looking over their backs constantly, be on the lookout for a big buck.

As a doe is ready to accept a buck she will hold her tail cocked off to one side. If you see a doe doing this, pay very close attention as the big buck could be close by.

There is still one magical part of the rut that is often overlooked, and it can also produce a truly huge buck. That is Post-Rut.

We’ll look at hunting Post-Rut in my next Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter and blog post.

To subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter or get blog post delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Deer Hunting Expert at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

****************************

Find Deer Games, Pictures and Hunting Fun at: http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

=========================

*** More Free Stuff ***

Get Your Own Free Audio Deer Hunting Tips, listen to the Deer Hunting Podcast, subscribe to our RSS Feed, see Big Buck Pictures and read the Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: http://www.marty-prokop.com

=========================

*** Newsletter and RSS Feed ***

If you want to keep up on new deer hunting secrets subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter or get blog posts delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog.

=========================

*** Help Your Deer Hunting Buddies ***

Help your deer hunting buddies and support deer hunting…it’s free to do… Go ahead and email this Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog URL to your deer hunting buddies or use our Tell A Friend form at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com/ .

=========================

 

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

March 28, 2008

Pre-Rut Deer Hunting Success by Marty Prokop

If you would like to listen to this Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog post as a podcast click the play button…

Deer hunting during the rut and being in the right place at the right time can have you shooting the monster buck of your dreams. But, which rut should you hunt?

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute Marty Prokop, have you fallen off your rocker? There is only one rut.”

Actually there are three very distinct parts to the deer rut: Pre-Rut, Main Rut and Post-Rut. Knowing and understanding each could help you bag the buck of a lifetime.

In my Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter and this blog post I will share with you secrets for deer hunting success during Pre-Rut. In the next tips I will cover Main Rut and Post-Rut.

What is the Pre Rut?

Pre-Rut is triggered by mature does, those that are at least 4½ years old, going into a very short estrus cycle. This cycle lasts only 24 to 36 hours.

In the northern areas of the USA, Pre-Rut usually begins in early October.

Up until this short estrus cycle, bucks are still wandering around in their small bachelor groups.

As soon as the smell of an estrus doe hits the air, the bucks react by making scrapes and rubs. During this 24 to 36 hour period, deer hunters who are in the woods may notice vast numbers of fresh scrapes and rubs almost appearing overnight.

Noticing these new scrapes and increased deer activity as part of the pre-rut phase, could increase your odds of tagging a big buck.

Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

Remember, Pre-Rut only last a few days, so timing is everything. Here are some options for connecting with a big buck during Pre-Rut.

Set up your deer hunting tree stand overlooking one of the new scrapes. Make sure you are downwind of the scrape. Then you simply wait him out. Eventually he will come to check his scrape.

Another way to attract the dominant buck and lure him to you is by making a mock scrape.

A mock scrape should be about two feet in diameter, with a licking branch approximately three feet above the ground.

Mock scrapes are made by removing leaves, grasses and debris off the ground’s surface and exposing fresh earth. This can be done with a stick or garden rake.

Once fresh earth is exposed, pour a good amount of Dominant Buck Urine and Doe in Heat (doe in estrus) urine onto the scrape. Saturate two scent wicks, one with dominant buck urine and the other with doe in heat deer scent, and hang them on the licking branch above the scrape.

Place your deer stand downwind of the mock scrape and wait for the big buck to come in.

During the short Pre-Rut, testosterone levels of buck deer begin to increase and very few bucks have the chance to breed the few doe deer that go into estrus. Many bucks become frustrated. This frustration is how Mother Nature alerts and prepares the rest of the bucks for the upcoming Main Rut.

We’ll talk more about the Main Rut in my next blog post.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Deer Hunting Expert at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

****************************

Find Deer Games, Pictures and Hunting Fun at: http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

=========================

*** More Free Stuff ***

Get Your Own Free Audio Deer Hunting Tips, listen to the Deer Hunting Podcast, subscribe to our RSS Feed, see Big Buck Pictures and read the Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: http://www.marty-prokop.com

=========================

*** Newsletter and RSS Feed ***

If you want to keep up on new deer hunting secrets subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter or get blog posts delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog.

=========================

*** Help Your Deer Hunting Buddies ***

Help your deer hunting buddies and support deer hunting…it’s free to do… Go ahead and email this Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog URL to your deer hunting buddies or use our Tell A Friend form at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com/ .

=========================

 

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

December 5, 2007

What to do When Your good Deer Hunting Stand has Gone Bad

 You very carefully approach and exit your deer hunting tree stand or ground blind. You give great attention to the wind direction and scent cover, making sure you enter your deer hunting location with the wind in your face.

Days and weeks after being pursued, no matter how careful you are, smart deer and big bucks will realize they are being hunted.

By late season, even reliable deer hunting tree stand locations can stop producing fresh signs. Here is the good news. Studies have proven that pressured deer often shift their behaviors and patterns but stay in their home ranges.

Deer stands that go cold are a great reason to pull out your aerial maps to locate your deer hunting land’s most remote and rugged area with good cover. Read your map and scout for spot that might be challenging to access because of thick cover, rough terrain or a stream.

If the terrain is a challenge to get into…this is a location that could produce deer. The deer in easier terrain may be already taken or have felt the pressure and retreated to safe cover to survive.

Identify one or two tough-to-access locations in your hunting area which may be holding these later season deer.

Watch the wind and go in pre-dawn with the wind blowing the perfect direction to move your scent away from the deer. Sit up against a blow-down or thick tree. Don’t put up a ground blind or tree stand, because the noise and motion could easily scare the already alert deer.

Make sure to enter and leave this area as quietly as possible after staying for as long as you can.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

www.Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

October 30, 2007

Five Steps to Fast Track Success Deer Hunting

Five Steps to Fast Track Success Deer Hunting

1) Know when and where to hunt. The best time to harvest the buck of a lifetime is after you have completed enough scouting to understand the deer behavior and travel routes in your deer hunting area. Then you perch your body and gear in a tree stand or ground blind that the monster buck decides to walk by.

2) Rid yourself of limited thinking. Remove words like “never” and “always” from your deer hunting thoughts, beliefs and vocabulary. Most important, don’t be talked into staying out of the woods because of phrases like “post rut lull” or “big bucks are always nocturnal.” My dad always says you can’t catch fish at home in the bathtub. This means you can’t harvest a buck when you are sitting on the couch. You have to get into the field and deer hunting woods.

3) See, read and understand deer signs. Big bucks provide visual signs of there presence. You will find rubs and scrapes. Use rubs and scrapes as a starting point for scouting. Don’t always assume the bucks are going to come back, especially during the rut. Scrapes are a great starting point, but scrapes alone are usually not enough to guarantee a deer. Look for additional signs such as deer trails, food sources and bedding areas. Use these to pattern deer movement and behaviors.

4) Know more about the deer trails. Well worn trails do not automatically guarantee you deer. Instead of instantly placing your stand over a trail, invest some time in understanding where the trail goes, what the deer are using it for, what time of day or night they may be coming through and where the trail leads in all directions.

5) Set achievable goals. The deer hunters on TV and in magazines shoot big bucks or several big bucks in one season because they are hunting on pre-scouted land that is proven to hold big bucks. Your deer hunting area may not hold a monster whitetail, but it may hold several really nice bucks or does for the freezer. Be realistic and grateful for all your hunting experiences and accomplishments — including just being out in the field.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

www.Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

October 15, 2007

Deer Hunting During the Deer Rut

Late Fall is when you will generally see rutting behaviors, but in some areas, the rut can continue into December.

Doe deer coming into estrus late or those who were not bred during the main rut may catch the attention of bucks well into December. They don’t watch a calendar or care what month it is, so neither should you.

Even during deer bowhunting in December carry along your deer scents and deer calls. You may find that you are out in the field late in the bowhunting or muzzleloader season and hear a dominate buck grunt. If you have your deer calls with you, you can use them to bring in the big buck.

If you are bowhunting or muzzleloader hunting for deer later in the season, be prepared in case you find yourself deer hunting a late season rut.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

October 10, 2007

Deer Hunting Food Sources

During deer hunting season, hunting food sources can be a good technique for harvesting whitetail deer.

In farmland, deer like to work over fields looking for grains spilled during the harvest. They also look for new green shoots from winter cover crops such as winter wheat, which can be growing through or under snow cover.

Winter food is available but the deer need to work harder and move around more often. Look for a food source the deer are using that is not depleted yet.

Set up your tree stand or your deer hunting ground blind nearby.

During the later part of the deer hunting season, the deer move from food source to food source at all times of the day. So plan your deer hunt so you are in your deer hunting tree stand or ground blind all day.

Being prepared to sit all day could put in front of a big late season buck.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

 
 

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

October 1, 2007

Deer Bowhunting the Thick Stuff

Have you ever walked pass briars, swamp grass or thick brush and decided it was just too difficult to penetrate?

During deer bowhunting season that’s exactly where you’re going to find the most deer. The nastier the cover, the more they like it.

In December, most leaf cover is gone from the trees and the woods are wide open. Deer feel very nervous. And by this time the local deer have become expert escape artists after dodging hunters during the prior month’s gun deer hunting season.

The lack of foliage and deer hunting pressure force deer into whatever security they can find.

Try working your way to the center of the thicket. You will need clear shooting lanes. So carry a set of pruning clippers to trim the brush and branches. Place a tree stand or a ground blind. The deer will be up close and only a few yards away.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

September 13, 2007

Deer Hunting Tree Stand Safety

Each year, a number of deer hunters are injured as a result of falling out of their deer hunting tree stands. Some of these falls happen because the deer hunter did not check his/her deer stand for worn or broken parts prior to opening day.

Check your deer hunting tree stands several times throughout the year.

After each thunderstorm or wind storm, head out into the deer hunting woods to make sure no trees or branches have fallen onto the deer stand. Always check each weld to make sure it has not rusted or cracked. In addition, check the ratchet straps holding your stand to the tree and adjust them as needed.

When in your deer hunting tree stand, ALWAYS wear your safety harness or fall restraint system.

Checking your deer hunting tree stand at least one month prior to deer season opener will afford you the option of replacing it if it is damaged without spooking the deer in your area.

Fred Vorassi of Upstate New York feels the same about making sure his deer stands are safe for each deer hunting season. Let's take a look at what Fred has to say about deer hunting ladder stand safety.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

 

Deer Hunting Tree Stand Ladder Safety by Fred Vorassi

It is very important to check your deer hunting tree stand ladders way before the season starts.

If you have a permanent deer hunting tree stand with wooden steps, check the stability of the steps long before deer hunting season opens so that if they are damaged or rotten they can be replaced.

You do not want to be surprised during the season walking into a tree stand and have a step fall out as you’re climbing. This could result in severe injury and possibly death.

I prefer using aluminum ladders. Secure the aluminum ladder to the tree so it will not fall away from the tree as you are climbing into your deer hunting tree stand.

Aluminum ladder steps will never rot and will last for many, many seasons. If you are worried the shiny aluminum will scare deer, you can always paint the ladder with a camouflage pattern.

If you hunt from pre-manufactured ladder stands, each year it is good practice to check the firmness of the steps make sure each step can support weight properly. Always check and insure your deer hunting ladder stand is anchored properly to the tree.

All said and done, way before the season starts, check your stands and have a safe climb.

Good luck hunting.

Frontier Fred

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

March 13, 2007

Deer Hunting Ground Blind Building Plans

Hello my name is Zachary T and I have placed your link on my myspace page http://www.myspace.com/deerhunter7369 and I would also like to know if you could help me out. I am building a ground blind for this years turkey and deer seasons and would like to know if you would happen to have any building plans. I'm looking to build something about 6X6 or 8X8 me and a friend will be hunting out of it. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Zachary

Zachary,

Thanks for your email.

There is nothing quite like taking a deer or turkey from a ground blind.

You are eye-to-eye with the animal, which can increase the difficulty of harvesting a deer or turkey. Deer and turkeys have great eye sight and hearing and are masters of their terrains. Any wrong movement from a ground blind or unnatural noises are sure to be noticed causing the deer or turkey to bolt, usually before a good shot can be made.


Deer Hunting Ground Blind Site Location

The first thing you will need to do is find the location for your deer or turkey hunting blind. Make sure you have plenty of deer and turkey sign in the area. If you are able to, set up a trail camera or cameras in three or four different locations prior to setting up your hunting blind.

When I set up my trail cameras, I usually check each camera at least every other day. This does a couple things for me.

First, it allows the deer on my hunting land to get used to my scent. Secondly, it allows me to see what areas are holding the most animals, which shows me the best locations to set up my ground blind.

Type of Hunting Blind

There are many different styles of ground blind you can make.

One of my favorite ground hunting blinds to make and deer hunt from is made of natural materials gathered from my hunting land.

When deer and turkeys approach hunting blinds made of natural materials…like downed trees, branches, grasses and shrubs…they seem to be a bit more at ease. This could allow you a great shot.

Since you will be turkey hunting and deer hunting with a buddy in the same ground blind I suggest you go with the 8x8 option. This will give you both enough room to sit comfortably and safely.

The Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com community of hunters have asked for plans on building ground blinds and elevated shooting houses. Currently my deer hunting land is covered in a blanket of snow and the ground is frozen solid. As soon as spring thaw arrives, I will be in the field building and filming the step-by-step instructions on how to build a natural material ground blind and an 8x8 elevated shooting house.

Make sure you get the Free Deer Hunting Tips Newsletter by subscribing (and it’s free which is great) at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com. Then, watch your email for details on plans for building ground blinds and elevated shooting houses. As soon as spring comes in my neck of the woods, I’ll be out building and filming.

Here is what you could do between now and then…

Selecting a Ground Blind

Until then, consider purchasing one of the pop-up style hunting blinds available. I just purchased one this year and hunted from it.

They are easy to pack in to your turkey hunting and deer hunting areas, take seconds to set up and will offer you shelter from the elements.

When selecting a portable hunting blind look for one with a scent blocking lining and a black interior. You will also want large shoot-thru windows. The hunting blind I use has a rear access door which makes getting into and out of the blind easier.

After setting up your portable hunting blind, use natural grasses, twigs and shrubs to help conceal the blind. The more natural you can make the portable hunting blind appear, the more natural the animals will react to its presence.

I have had turkeys come right up to my portable hunting blind the day I set it up. Deer, on the other hand, took a little longer to get used to the portable hunting blind.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop
www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (4)

February 9, 2007

Choosing the Best Hunting Location

Marty,

When a person is checking around to see if it’s a good place to put a treestand, and see no big heavy trails, just droppings, is this a good place for the tree stand?

Thanks,

Marcel


Marcel,

Without knowing more about the area you are deer hunting I would have to say no. But there are these exceptions. Let me tell you more.

I would not pick a deer hunting tree stand location based solely on deer droppings.

If you are seeing a few deer droppings and not seeing a deer trail nearby, the deer in the area could be using that particular location sporadically as they run through.

Rocky Terrain

One exception to this would be if the terrain where you find the droppings is rocky. If you are hunting over a rock outcropping, there could be plenty of deer activity in the area, but the rock’s surface will not show tracks.

If this is the case, walk small circles from where you found the deer droppings. Look for a trail leading to or from the top of the rocky area. If you can see trails leading into or away from the rock, and are seeing other deer sign like rubs or scrapes, the rock could be a good place to hunt over.

Food Plot

Another possible exception is if the droppings are in the middle of a deer food plot or feeding area. If the droppings were found in an opening or food source area, start walking the edges of the opening. Look for main trails leading to the opening.

Once you find a main trail or two, follow them back into the woods. Look at the areas the trails are leading to. If a trail leads into thick and gnarly brush, you may have found a bedding area. I don’t go into the bedding area, because I don’t want to disturb it.

Set up a deer hunting tree stand in the woods between the open field and the thick, gnarly bedding area. You could intercept a big buck as he walks from his bedding area out to feed.

Taking into consideration these possible exceptions, if you do not see any deer trails near the deer droppings consider putting your deer hunting tree stand in a better location. The droppings you see may be from a deer just passing through the area.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop
www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

January 4, 2007

Building Plans for an Elevated Deer Hunting Blind

From: Gene Odell
Looking for Building Plans
Hello Marty.

I would like to get info on how to make a homemade box blind or shooting house.
Specifically, plans on how to make it etc.

Yours Truly .
Gene

Hello Gene,

Thanks for the email.

I will be building an 8x10 foot elevated deer blind/shooting house this spring.

I will be filming and photographing the steps to build it.

I will also have a detailed construction materials list and plans available on www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

One of our hunters in the www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com community has also sent in his instructions for the stand/blind he built.

I am going through them now and will post them shortly.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop


Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

November 15, 2006

Free Deer Blind Plans

This email came from Dennis. Thanks for the great Question Dennis.

I am in search of FREE Deer Blind plans. I have a handicapped son that has limited mobility and I am looking to build a hunting blind BIG ENOUGH for him and myself to stand/sit in. My son is over 6'6" and about 200 LB due to his handicap. Although he himself wont be firing a weapon, he does enjoy going out with me to watch the deer and other wildlife around in the woods. He keeps saying that he wants to go hunting and be in a blind that he can see over the deer. I asked him what he means by over the deer, and he said "SHOOT DOWN at deer". Are there any types of hunting blinds that are easy and inexpensive to build that I can use? With his height, I am looking to build something that is possibly 8'x8' for the both of us to be in together!!

Dennis


Dennis,

Thanks for the email.

Is your son able to climb stairs or a ladder?

The reason I ask this is because if you were to build a shooting house or an elevated hunting enclosure and needed a ramp, the space needed for the ramp would be quite expansive.

I am in the process of building an elevated hunting enclosure myself. The one I am building is going to be 8 x 10. I am going to have it 10 feet off the ground. We will access the structure by using stairs with "switchbacks" this will cut down on the ground space and keep the steps from being too steep.

I will be posting the plans along with a material list onto the blog by mid spring.

There are ways to keep the costs down when building an elevated hunting enclosure by choosing less expensive building materials. For example, the walls in my hunting shack in the sky will be made of 2 x 4 lumber. You could use 2 x 2 instead. The walls would not be near as sturdy though.

Mine will also be insulated. Depending on the climate you are hunting in, you could choose not to insulate.

I plan on using 2 x 8 lumber for the floor joists. I will be using green treated lumber for these. You could choose non-treated lumber. The down side to non-treated lumber of course is it may not last as long in the elements.

The "legs" of my stand will be made of 6 x 6 green treated lumber set 4 feet on the ground. Again green treated is expensive, but it will last a little longer.

Keep checking your emails for updates on the building plans.

Do you currently use a store bought ground blind for your hunting? There are many brands out there today that will accommodate multiple hunters. The Double Bull Matrix is a very roomy ground blind. Cabelas offers them for around $399. Yes this is pricey and you are on the ground, but it would be much less expensive than building a wooden structure.

Ameristep also makes the Doghouse TSC. TSC stands for Total Scent Control. The manufacturer states this blind is wheel chair accessible. The inside of this blind has carbon scent block lining and a black interior to help mask movement as well as odors. Cabelas lists them in their catalog for around $160. Not quite as roomy as the Double Bull, but it is half the price too.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!


Updated 11/18/06

My son is able to climb stairs and/or ladder! Although, it will just take a few extra minutes for us to be finally set up and ready to hunt due to taking the steps one at a time with both feet. IT is going to be a fun experience for us all here at home during the next year in the plans and buildig of the blind we want to use for hunting!! Hopefully I will have it finished by summer 07 to be used for the Nov 07 Rifle season here in Michigan!!

Thanks for the comment back!!
Dennis

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (1)

November 2, 2006

Marcel asks a great question

Does it matter if a person walk in a deer trail if yes if a person walk in it and put a few drop of buck scent in the trail after walking in it

thank you

Marcel


Marcel,

I have tested this many times. I have not seen an adverse reaction by walking on a deer trail. I have walked on trails with my tennis shoes, work boots, snow pacs and all rubber hunting boots. Regardless of what I was wearing the deer still seemed to walk the trail.

Here is a possible exception. If the area you hunt has no humans walking around in it in the off season, then the scent left behind may cause the deer to not travel that trail as much.

When ever I hunt I always wear all rubber boots that I have purchased specifically for hunting. An all rubber boot will not leave as much scent as say a leather boot. One neat way to help cover human odor is to make a scent drag. It is very simple to make.

1.) Buy a package of scent wicks from your local sporting goods store and a bottle of deer scent. If deer are in the rutting phase, I will use doe estrous scent. If they are not in a rut phase, I will use plain buck urine.
2.) Get a shoestring approximately 24 inches long. Tie one end to a scent wick.
3.) Soak the scent wick with your chosen scent.
4.) Then tie the other end of the shoelace around your ankle leaving enough extra string hanging to allow the wick to drag on the ground. Make sure you can walk safely without tripping on the scent drag.

I use this method every time I walk out to my stand. As you walk, you are leaving a scent trail. I have had bucks follow me right to my stand head down sniffing the trail I had just left behind me.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!
Marty
www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

Update 11/03/06

Marty,

you said you do that when you walk out to your stand ok but where i go i drive to a dead end road than a big cutting it`s about 10 min walk than i go in to the standing wood for 5 min to my stand. is it better to start that as soon i get to the standing wood or right from the truck. If it is from the truck I`m scare that if the deer start sniffing from my truck other hunters might drive in and shoot my buck . and if I`m right and start from the standing wood it`s only 5 min walk i don`t know if it would still work?

thank`s
Marcel

Marcel,

I must also add to my last comment for you to clarify. I have tested walking on deer trails here on my personal land. As I had stated, the deer seem pretty used to my scent and will walk their trails even after I have been walking on them. In fact I had a doe just yesterday follow not 20 feet behind me. But keep in mind I walk my hunting land nearly year round. If you hunt the same land each year, you may decide to do the same. At least once a week, more if you can, during the off season get out and hike through your hunting area.

This will do a couple things for you. You will familiarize yourself even more with the woods you hunt and it could help the local deer get more accustomed to your scent come hunting season.

I can understand your concern about a buck following your scent trail from the truck and someone pulling up on the road and shooting the deer. It is unfortunate that some hunters would choose to hunt from the road.

You can indeed start the scent trail at the wood line. This will give you a scent trail from the wood edge to your stand. Chances are you are also crossing other deer trails as you head to your stand. Any deer walking on the trails that would cross the ones you are walking on could decide to investigate the scent and virtually follow you to your stand.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!
Marty
www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

November 1, 2006

Bag a Doe or Wait for the Big Buck

Hello Marty forgive me if i don`t spell all the words right im french so take it from there ah ah .I would like to know someting about tree stand. I took the week off for huntingand monday ididn`t see any thing from my tree stand. tuesday 3 big does was about 50 feet from my tree stand sniffing the tropy mix that I put there 3 weeks ago. They were all about the same size i would say 150 pounds each , I done something I never tought I`ll ever do in my life time .I didn`t shoot one instead I took a picture, whit my new binocular,that i bought this year, I have my doe liscence but I figured that the big buck would be behing them, so they left after sniffing that trophy mix and with my luck the buck never show up . Now that i think of it they never look behind them once. I don`t think the buck was there at all right? The reason i did not bag one I only bag 5 deer in my life all doe and i was hoping this time to get one. My problem is wednesday and today thursday i stayed in the tree stand and did not see nothing . There is tracks everywhere fresh sh** everywhere also. . I hunt in a oak trees area right by a little 30 feet wide brook and my stand is right on the other side of it. now all day today I tought I might never see them this year. I usely hunt for the meet that`s why I feel stupid now.I`m 49 years old I started hunting when i was 21 but not realy in to it .I drank most of my life and enjoyed drinking more than hunthing. So I quited drinking 14 years ago and realy enjoy hunting now . I also find out that I didn`t know nothing about hunting. So i started fresh and you wouldn`t believe how many mistakes I`ve done but also learned about it. one good thing I have a lot of patient I think that help because i think I would had quit long time ago. SO I hope it not to much reading for you .DO you thing I done wrong or or would I see Them again. I realy appriciate your time . I `m sending you a picture of my tree stand that I builted. It come appart after i`m done with it.

THANK`s again
Marcel Mclaughlin





Marcell's Deer Hunting Blind


Marcel,

First I want to congratulate you on your 14 year sobriety.

Thanks for your email and the photo of your deer stand.

Wow! What a stand it is. It looks as though you have done a very good job making your stand. You have the best of both worlds with it...a stand and a blind all in one. You have created a place to sit comfortably while controlling your scent and hiding your movements.

You have asked some great questions.

There are many variables in determining whether or not your stand is located in the spot where a big buck may be present. The fact that you have a lot of deer activity near your hunting location is great. With does moving by regularly the chances of you seeing a buck chasing those does is good also.

What part of the country are you hunting? Have the bucks started to show signs of rutting yet? For example are you seeing rubs on trees or scrapes on the ground near your hunting location?


If the does have not started to go into the estrous cycle yet, chances are a buck may not be close by. But do not worry. They will be coming into cycle very soon. When the does start to go into estrous, the bucks will come out of the wood work to chase them.


Do you use a cover scent to mask human odor? If not, I would suggest you look into a good cover scent. Use a cover scent that correlates with your area. For example, you are hunting near oak trees. Acorn cover scent could work good for you with your current stand placement.

Are you using attractant scents? Buck Urine, Doe Urine, Doe-in-heat etc.? Again, use the appropriate attractant for the time of year you are hunting. Doe-in –Heat may not be as effective in the early season before the does in your area are in cycle.

One thing I do to attract bucks during the pre-rut and rut is create a mock scrape. To do this use a stick to move away leaves and grasses to expose the topsoil. Sprinkle buck urine and doe-in-heat scent into the fresh dirt. Make sure the scrape location has a small twig or branch above it. This branch above the scrape would act as the licking branch. Bucks will lick and rub the scent glands near their eyes on this branch to mark the territory as well as by urinating in the scrape you have just made.

This branch overhanging your mock scrape could also serve as a place to hang a drip type scent dispersal unit. A hanging scent dispersal unit will drip scent onto the scrape automatically which helps keep human scent to a minimal.


You had mentioned that three does were walking together. You also mentioned the does did not look behind them and did not seem too nervous.

Again the question arises, are the does in your area in heat?

One way to tell if does are in cycle is by observing their body language. Nervousness and looking to where they had come from tells that something may be following them. Perhaps even a big buck.

When a doe is ready to breed, it usually prefers no other company from other deer except the suitor buck. If a buck is chasing her she will constantly be on the move looking over her shoulders until the timing is right for the doe to stand still.

When I know the does are starting to come into the estrous cycle and are beginning to think about breeding, I start to implement calling, rattling and the use of attractant scents.

Using calls and scents can be important if you have a buck nearby. He will hear the sound and smell the scent you have out and may come to investigate.

Here is what I have been using with good success.

I carry the Hunter’s Specialties E-Z Grunter with me when I go out hunting. This call offers the hunter 4 different calls in one. The sounds range from a fawn bleat to a big buck grunt. I have had really good success calling in deer with this particular call

Primos makes an easy to use call named The Can. It mimics the sounds of a doe in heat. It is easily carried in a pocket and very easy to use. Simply tip The Can over and it makes a near perfect sound each time.

If you know a big buck is in the area you hunt, the snort-wheeze is an excellent call to use. But beware. Only use the snort-wheeze if you are reasonably certain the buck in the area is the dominant buck.

The snort-wheeze is a sound a dominant buck will make to chase off other smaller bucks. If the big buck of a lifetime is nearby he will hear the challenge and come running looking to chase off the intruder. On the flip side if a smaller buck is present, he may turn tail and run.

As for scents, I use Code Blue Whitetail Doe Estrous during the pre-rut and through the rut. I have also used Tink’s Number 69 during the rutting phase.

Before and after the rut I use Code Blue Whitetail Buck or Doe Urine.

Finally you asked if you had made a mistake in not taking one of the three does and will you get another chance at seeing them.


By what you have described the does ambled off into the woods without knowing you were even there. As long as you did not chase or spook the deer out of the area, I am reasonably comfortable thinking you will see them again. Especially by the deer sign you are seeing.

Will you see them today or tomorrow? Maybe, maybe not, but you will see them again. Perhaps next time they will be followed by Mr. Big! The best way to see deer is to spend as much time in the deer hunting woods as you can.

Try utilizing some of the things I listed. I have had great success using these things on my hunts and I am sure they will help you too.

By the way, I would love to see the picture you have taken with your binoculars. Send it to me and I will post it on the blog for our hunting community to see.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)