Early Season Bucks – Venison For The Freezer

Our first Deer Of The Season

The first buck we took this year and the only so far (Oct 14th) was a nice start to our Archery Season. Since we like Venison and make our own Hamburg, Sausage, Brats, etc. we always plan to put a nice deer (buck or doe) in the freezer as early as possible. Then we get more selective, start challenging each other, and focus on the top couple of shooters seen on our cameras. This year so far the top two have eluded us, but we still have the first and second rut to look forward to.

Crops Start To Come Off The Fields

At this time in the season the soybeans have already been taken off the fields while the corn is still standing, so as the two youngest boys took to the woods and focused on the acorns I decided to hunt the apple orchard. This young shooter was caught off guard sneaking into the Apple Orchard about 30 minutes before dark.

This young buck is a nice 8 point weighing in at 235 lbs and though it’s not a trophy or wall hanger it does provide a good amount of venison for the freezer. We will now focus on the two top shooters on the cameras and will hold off from taking a doe or young buck until the last couple of weeks left in the season.

Corns Off!

It’s a week later now and the corn has been taken off the fields, pushing the rest of the deer into the woods and swamps. So again, take a day or two off work and spend some time in the woods as this is one of the most effective times of the year for taking a nice buck. Why, for a couple of reasons; first the deer need to change their patterns for cover& food sources and second, since the rut is not in yet bucks will be traveling together. The best calling technique that works during this time is a lite rattle, like that of two bucks sparring.

Processing Your Deer

We process all our own deer using the deboning process and make our own Hamburg, Sausage, and Brats, which is very easy to do. The first deer we get always goes into chops (steaks) and Hamburg. If we shoot a second deer this will go into our Sausage, Brats, and Venison Sticks. For the Hamburg I mix equal parts of venison and 70% lean beef, then for every 10 pounds of mix burger I add one pound of bacon. I will then make 1/3 pound patties to freeze since they are great for taking right out of the freezer and grilling or frying. Then we will do one & two pound bags to be used in other dishes.

When Is The Best Time To Hunt Whitetail Deer – Pre Rut & Buck Scrapes

Archery hunters, it’s early October and the bucks have started to mark their territory, yes the bucks have begun making their Scrapes!

Crops Are Still Standing – Where Are The Deer

Right now the corn is still standing along with many of the bean fields, so your mature bucks are staying close to these feeding areas or spending the entire day in the the corn. This leaves the smaller bucks in the woods and right now are the ones making most of these early scrapes. So your best bet for taking a nice buck early is to continue to hunt the Acorns.

Now the Pre-Rut, which I say is the best Archery time spent in the woods is just a few weeks away. In the Midwest this typically starts around Oct 18, but is dependent on the weather and getting those nice cold frosty mornings. . So plan on taking a few long weekends or a few days off work from Oct -18 to Nov 15, before the deer are in full Rut.

Articles On The Rut & Pre-Rut

Take a look at a few of my other articles on Hunting The Rut & Pre-Rut. Note, the rattle and grunt work much better in the pre-rut than the rut. Why, your dominate Bucks are already on Doe(s) so they are not concerned about another buck unless he approaches. During the Pre-Rut the weather is usually nice, so be patient, stay in your stand, and wait for the big boy to come to you.

Here are a few of my articles to brush up on before the Pre-rut begins:
Hunting the Pre-Rut
Hunting the Second Rut
Early Deer Scrapes
Hunting the Buck Rubs
Early Season Bucks

Hunting Tips

If you have corn crops near your hunting area then plan on taking a day or two off right after the corn is taken off. This is when the woods will come alive with multiple Bucks and they will still be traveling together.

If you have been out in the woods for the Archery Season you will find a lot of smaller bucks. If you focus on the food sources, especially acorns, you can improve your chances.

Deer favor the White Oak Acorns over Red Oak Acorns. If you have a good acorn drop on the edge of a soybean or corn field you need to hunt there. If you do not have corps close by look for large patches of raspberries in the woods and the closes acorns.

What Do Whitetail Deer Eat – Hunting the Food Sources

Hunting The Food Sources – Early Bucks

By understanding the food sources you have in and around your hunting areas you can greatly increase your chances of shooting a nice buck early in the Deer Season. Here we will not include Deer Plots, but natural food sources and crops.

What Are The Whitetail Deer’s Food Sources

The food sources available greatly depend on where you hunt geographically, but in the Midwest these are the most common; Soybeans, Corn, Clover, Vegetables, Fruit, Raspberry Leaves, Sumac tops, Browse, and Acorns. By understanding these and which ones are at the top of the list for the Deer will definitely help in your Hunt this year.

Clover & Alfalfa Fields

If you happen to have a Clover or Alfalfa field on or near your property you may think you got it made. However this will not be at the top of the Whitetail’s diet. These fields will be hit more often in the early Spring and late Fall when the weather conditions are cool and damp. Also, your Whitetail Deer are more browse and forbs consumers than they are grass, clover, and alfalfa consumers.

Browse

Browse are your twigs, grasses, forbs, low growing plants, and natural vegetation shrubs that are found in or around the edges of your woods. This food source is very important to the deer especially throughout the Winter, but this is still not at the top of the list for Deer cravings.

Corn

Many say Corn is King, but this is not true either. Corn is a good food source in the late Fall and your corn fields will hold a lot of deer, but Deer will walk by Corn to eat dried Soybean pods that are either still standing or that have been dropped by the Combine. So what else is available that the Whitetail Deer would prefer over Corn.

Fruits

One of the top food sources or we should say preferred foods are the fruits; Apples, Plums, grapes, raspberries, and there are many weeds that also produce a fruit. These fruits become ripe in early Fall and are high in sugar. Those that are not eat in the Fall will be sought out throughout Winter, dug up and eaten. I would put Grapes at the top of this list for fruits, as deer will dig for every frozen dried grape on the ground. But there is still a food source much more carved than fruits.

Acorns

Acorns are King! If you have oak trees then you need to see which ones are producing the Acorns and the most, but Red Oaks or White Oaks. Yes there is a difference and if you have both you will want to focus on the White Oak trees that are dropping lots of big Acorns. If you are fortunate to have a corp such as Corn or Soybeans with an Acorn Tree on the edge of the field, and it’s dropping nuts, you have found the end of the rainbow. If you do not have corps next to your woods then look for large patches of raspberries. Raspberries patches with acorns close by is just as good.

Recommendations

Hunt the Acorns on the edge of your crop fields, if you don’t have corps then find the raspberry patches and the closes Oak tree that is dropping acorns. These areas will produce deer anytime during the day where your other food sources are more for morning and evening.

Are The Timber Wolves Affecting the Deer Population – Upper Midwest States

Timber Wolf Is Killing More Than Just The Whitetail Deer

This is an update to the article I did on the Timber wolf a year ago, as I want to keep you up-to-date on how the landowners and hunters are faring with these Wolves. If you remember the DNR claimed that reintroducing the Timber Wolf would not affect the deer herd, but the evidences says otherwise, see what is happening not only to the Whitetail Hunting, but also to Hunting Dogs and Pets.

What The Landowners, Bear Hunters & Deer Hunters Are Saying

I was up near Superior Wisconsin last week (Sept 17) and talked to a number of Landowners and Hunters and here is what they had to say. Note, my discussion on this subject was limited to the landowners and hunters.

Those that I talked to are not happy with the DNR and the reintroduction of these wolves. One question that kept coming up was how the DNR can do whatever they want, while we the landowners have to apply for special permits just to try and get permission to do something. For example, if you have lake or river frontage on your property it’s almost impossible to get permission to do anything to help protect or improve your shoreline. So why not let Nature also take its course with the Wolves?

Wolves Are Killing Hunting Dogs

Hunters that use dogs for hunting game such as; Bear, Rabbit, Coyote, and Raccoon are running into conflicts with the Wolf and a pack of wolves win every time. Yes, hunting dogs are being killed by wolves during these hunts, so the DNR is telling everyone to exercise caution when in or near wolf occupied areas. So why are these hunters not happy, well first of all these situations are very dangerous for the hunter and a good hunting dog is not cheap..

Now wolves killing dogs is not limited to just hunting dogs, there are cases of wolf attacks on pet dogs as well, and these cases are increasing each year. Here is just one of many!

Where Are The Deer?

Studies are clearly showing a dramatic decrease in deer populations in the last ten years and many hunters are now seeing Buck Only Seasons. Why, because the DNR now see how the wolf has put a Big Hurt to the deer population and they are now trying to increase the deer population by protecting the Doe. The next step the DNR will take is to move to a lottery for deer hunting, which will make things worse.

Deer vs Wolf

So the question is do we want a large deer population or a larger wolf population? The DNR thinks we want a larger Wolf population, but they stand alone in this decision.

Can The Wolf & Deer Survive Together?

Nature tells us yes that the deer and wolf have lived side by side for hundreds of years, but both those populations were kept in sync with the hunters and trappers, that is until the wolf became an endangered species. However this has now changed with the reintroduction of the Timber Wolf.

Years ago the Wolf was being trapped for it’s fur and Deer hunted for meat, but with little to no value in furs, trapping is not so popular any more and with the protection of the wolf by the DNR the Whitetail Deer are in trouble. You see there are a number of predators after the Deer, but the only Wolf predator we are aware of, is Man.

What Should We Do About The Wolf

First of all you need to know what areas are occupied by the wolf as these animals are very territorial and become very aggressive when you are in their area or mistakenly come close to a den. The DNR list these areas on a map and do continuous updates as they learn about them. So if you are a hunter, camper, or hiker, avoid these areas if possible or be prepared for any encounter.

The next thing to do is search for groups that are meeting with the DNR to try and remedy the dangerous situations that have occurred since the reintroduction of the Timber Wolf. Those situations such as; hunting dogs being attacked, pets being killed near homes, and pets being attack when on public walking trials.

Do not take these animals lightly when in their area. The Timber or Gray Wolf is the largest member of the dog or Canid family. Adult wolves will get up to 6.5 feet long and weigh in at 175 pounds.

What To Do When You Encounter Bees – Attacking Bees

How To Minimize Bee Stings Once You Have Disturbed Their Hive

The most common bees that Outdoorsmen encounter during their Hunting, Camping, or Hiking adventures are the Yellow Jackets. So you need to know what to do when you have accidentally disturbed a hive? Now the question is NOT are you going to get stung, but rather what to do to minimize the number of stings? Here I will give you a few tips on what to do based on which type of bee you have accidentally threatened.

Bumble Bees – Honey Bees – Wasp

These types of Bees are more aggressive toward their intruder, when the intruder stays in the immediate area. So run and seek shelter quickly if you want to minimize the number of times you’re going to get stung.

While running try to protect the majors areas such as your face, if in the woods run through thick brush to help confuse the bees, and keep running until they stop their pursuit or you find shelter. Avoid getting into the water or thinking you can dive underwater to escape them. This is a false safety haven the many have come to believe will work. This does not work and creates a serious situation for you, as you must come up for air and the only thing exposed is your face.

Honey Bees

The Honey Bee can only sting once and then it will die, however the stinger along with the remaining venom is left in the skin of its victims. To avoid squeezing more venom out of the stinger and into your body remove it by using your fingernail or the blade of your survival knife and scrape sideways across the stinger.

Yellow Jackets – Ouch!

Yellow Jackets are different then most other bees and running make things much worse and the reason I’m writing this article. I have accidentally disturbed these bees many times and this past weekend was another exciting one. You will see the bees and my plastic bag next to the log in my video and I will explain how I avoided hundreds of stings. Oh ya, these things hurt like heck and I prefer the Bees mentioned above over these things. If I had to decide which ones I want stinging me I would start with the Honey Bee!

How to minimize Yellow Jacket Bee Stings

I learned at age 8 not to run from these guys as I got stung 102 times, so here is what I do. Once I realize what I have done I start stepping backwards, keeping them off my face, and killing as many as I could during their attack. Yes, you will get stung as I took eight to twelve hits in this case, but I avoided hundreds of stings, which is what would have happened if I just started running. The last time I was in this situation was just last year in my Apple Orchard, and I only got stung 5 times then, so I strongly believe this is the best way to avoid Yellow Jacket stings, other than not to piss them off in the first place.

Avoiding Hundreds Of Stinging Yellow Jackets

Here is my story. I was in the woods clearing my last shooting lane for Archery when the log I just pushed started pouring out Yellow Jackets. Now due to experience I know exactly what not to do (Do Not Run!). Running makes these bees more aggressive and they will follow the air stream or vacuum you create when running and be on you quickly. Instead I dropped the plastic bag I had in my hand and continued backing up, away from the swarming bees. I then killed any Yellow Jacket that landed on me or stung me since they can sting multiple times. I also focused on protecting my face and mashing bees against my body or between my hands. I continued this, while walking backwards, until no more bees attacked.

Now, I very fortunate as I’m not allergic to bee stings or or insect bites, but let me tell you it still hurts like hell. I have always said I would prefer Honey Bees, Wasp, or Bumble Bees, over those Yellow Jackets. But it seems the only Bees I ever encounter anymore in the Woods or Orchard are those dang Yellow Jackets. Last year I was pulling some fence out from around my Apple trees and again opened up a hive. Yep, I got it that time too, but only a few stings, and I was in shorts, a muscle shirt and sandals without socks. Now the Black Lab took off 90 miles an hour, but I walked away slowing, getting stung maybe 5 times, but on the ears. Which brings up another good point.

What Part Of Your Body Do Yellow Jackets Attack First

Yellow Jackets like to go high with their attack and will head for the ears of its prey first, then the neck, face, & head. So focus on keep these areas protected during any attack.

Tips For Minimizing Bee Stings

1- know your bees and how to react to each type.
2- If you disturb a yellow jacket nest slowly walk away protecting your face, ears, head and neck. Do not swat at them as they will quickly sting your hands. Swift movements will only attract more yellow jackets.
3- Use thick brush or vegetation when trying to escape from bees. This will help confuse them and minimize the number of bees pursuing you.
4- Seek shelter as quick as you can
5- All but the Honey Bee can sting multiple times, so kill as many bees as possible during your escape.
6- Do not use water as a safe haven (security) as this creates a serious and dangerous situation for you.
7- Allergic reactions to bees stings may cause shock and life threatening conditions. Those with known allergies should carry sting treatment kits and be prepared to seek prompt medical attention if stung.

Yellow Jacket Video – 20 Minutes Later

Here are the Yellow Jackets I disturbed, using my phone I took this small video. You can see even after 20 minutes these bees are still pissed off! Also note the sound, not the bees themselves, but the humming sound. It sounds like a magnetic field or some type of energy field phasing in and out.