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The end is nigh.
Deer season is quickly coming to a close. Have you tagged one yet? If not, put your fears to rest. Realtree’s Josh Honeycutt has a clever 5-day late-season plan that will greatly increase your chance of taking a buck while there’s still time.
With this plan, Honeycutt promises you only need five days to stake your claim. They don’t even have to be consecutive days. If you have time off in the coming weeks, you’re in luck. Check out the plan on Realtree’s site.
It may seem counterproductive to limit your hunting time when you only have five days, but you can’t kill a deer if none are around. It’s far better to spend two or three of your five days nailing down the best spot for a couple good hunts, rather than four of those days sitting in a gar hole.
The late season is driven by the belly of the beast, so your first scouting goal is to find food. Expect deer to concentrate in big numbers around the best food sources right now, old bucks included, since they can lose up to 30 percent of their body weight during the rut. Don’t count on seeing late-rut activity, but if you do, it’ll be because a select few doe fawns have come into heat for the first time. Those fawns will be on the food same as the other deer, so that’s where the bucks will look for them.
In the North and Midwest, late-season food means corn, soybeans, and milo as well as hard mast and brassica plots. Down South and in the East, you can still count on the row crops and hard mast, but also look for “green stuff” like wheat and oats, clover, and a variety of soft mast and browse. Much of that stuff stays palatable all winter long. Regardless of where you’re hunting, grain fields such as corn and soybeans receive more attention when it’s bitter cold. Green fields such as wheat and brassicas tend to be more attractive when temperatures are rising.
A giant moose attacks a pickup truck to protect her young.
These guys were just trying to get to dinner, but this moose cow felt threatened. Watch what happens as this moose defends her offspring.
A moose attack can be really scary! But I’d protect those little baby moose too.
Too bad it looks like there was no alternate route.
These men in the pickup truck were clearly trying to get by the wrong moose. She charges them several times and chases them off as they finally pass her.
Here’s hoping their pickup wasn’t damaged too much by her attacks.
Corey Jacobsen of Boise Idaho won first place in the Elk calling professional division and a check for $2,500.
Brayden Langley won $500 and first place in the RMEF Youth Division Calling Championships
With many of the hunting seasons winding down, outdoorsmen probably wish they could make like a bear and just nap the cold, snowy winter away.
However, winter is the perfect time to practice your calling, whether it’s waterfowl, elk, or wild turkey.
Calling contests are scattered around the country. While you probably won’t win your very first effort, animal calling is a great hobby. Most contests have sub categories to allow for experience and age. For example, Brayden Langley won $500 in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s youth category.
Even if you don’t win, just think about how your hunting skills will improve and you’ll soon be the envy of your friends. Since several Eastern states now offer elk hunting, look for more and more contests in that part of the country.
For information on getting started, go to RMEF.org. or 1-800-CALL-ELK.
A spring gobbler hunt in the Black Hills of South Dakota is pure adventure and makes a great gift.
Father, daughter, and grandfather all enjoyed this great South Dakota hunt.
The Turkey Track Club has been operating in Sturgis, South Dakota, for 41 years. It offers great adventure for anyone who loves turkey hunting amidst great scenery. You’ll be hunting in a region famous for Mount Rushmore, Black Hills gold, and native Sioux heritage.
Although hunters can become permanent members of the club, there are always extra vacancies, and local residents will personally guide you to the best spots.
Camp is the Elk Creek Resort, which hosts great food and lodging and forms a social hub for the hunt.
This is an ideal father-and-son or -daughter hunt, as the mountains are modest and the success rate is very high.
Six camps are offered from April 12 through May 3, and vacancies fill up fast. You can opt for a single bird or multiple bird hunt, and there’s even a Couples Combination Hunt.
This is such a down-home, low-key hunt that the club doesn’t even have a website. You can contact John Hauer (the chief guide) or Tom Wilts (the camp manager) at 877-652-2235 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hauer and I once got slammed with two feet of snow the night before a hunt and we had to ride mules into the high country. It was one of the great adventure hunts of my life, and I bagged a magnificent Merriam’s gobbler. I’m sure you’ll have an equally impressive experience.
A mountain caribou is one of the great trophies of Canada.
Mountain caribou are the “moose” of the subspecies, with mature bulls weighing nearly 600 lbs., almost twice the size of their cousins from Quebec.
This large subspecies is found in British Columbia and is considered by many to be an outstanding trophy. British Columbia-based outfitter Ron Nemechek speaks to the challenge and adventure of this spectacular animal in this post from his website.
Both woodland caribou and Quebec-Labrador caribou have medium body sizes, with mature bulls weighing 350-450 pounds. Woodland caribou have the smallest antlers, but they are highly divergent with many points. Quebec-Labrador caribou don’t have particularly heavy antlers but they are known for having wide, forward-curving beams.
We might be biased, but we believe the mountain caribou is the king of all the woodland caribou sub-groups. They are by far the largest, with mature bulls weighing as much as 600 pounds. Mountain caribou also have the heaviest antlers of all three groups. In fact, mountain caribou are larger and typically score better than all subspecies of caribou, including barren ground caribou. Mature bulls are truly spectacular animals.
A membership in the NWTF is the perfect gift for many hard-to-please sporting men and women.
Buying the perfect holiday gift for an outdoorsman is a challenge, especially if he or she is a wild turkey aficionado with a collection of every contraption that makes a cluck, cackle, or yelp.
Despite their love of turkey hunting, they may not be members of the National Wild Turkey Federation, one of America’s most successful conservation organizations. The NWTF offers a wealth of tips, tactics, and gear-related information that any turkey hunter will love. A one-year membership into the NWTF costs $35 and Bass Pro Shops has sweetened the deal with a $25 gift certificate with memberships, bringing the net cost down to just ten bucks. Such a deal!
Christmas is almost here and the National Wild Turkey Federation has the perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for hunter in your life.
Receive a $25 Bass Pro Shops Promo Card when you join, renew or gift an NWTF membership for only $35. You’ll also receive a one-year subscription to Turkey Country magazine,a 10% discount on OutdoorDealHound.com and other discounts from NWTF partners and suppliers, and a membership card and member decal to proudly show you’re part of one of the most exciting conservation organizations in the world.
Then pat yourself on the back, knowing you’re helping save the habitat. Save the hunt. The money you spend today helps the NWTF conserve and enhance critical upland wildlife habitat, create hunters and open access to acres for outdoor recreation. Click HERE to get started.