Tag Archives: Whitetail

Deer Hunting Tip: How To Use Salt Licks

A brief science lesson (told by a true redneck):

Deer have been using natural salt lick’s since the dawn of time (or at least since the creation of the whitetail). A deer’s need for salt varies by season. Salt is most needed by whitetails in the spring and summer. In this time of the year,buck’s are growing their antlers and need as many nutrients as they can get. At the same time,Doe’s are birthing and caring for their fawns,which means that any time they get to a food source,they are eating for two,since a doe uses much of her nutrient intake to make milk for her fawn/fawns. Deer also draw to salt during the fall/winter months. The reason’s vary from rut drawing energy out of both bucks and does,as well as the cold weather making it increasingly hard to find food,not to mention the amount of energy it takes to just survive in sub freezing temperatures. Here are a few tips on how/where to place salt lick’s,pulled from my personal experience.

 

Where: This is the first thing you will have to determine when considering placing a salt lick. The general rule says to put your lick somewhere close to where you know deer are traveling on a regular basis. This generally means putting it on a heavy trail,on the edge of a field,or even next to a pond (I’ve seen great success for this particular method).

Doe Eating Salt Lick

 

How:The key is to not set the lick smack dab in the middle of a trail. Deer are creatures of habit,and disturbing their travel routes this much may make them consider moving elsewhere. Instead, place the salt about 5-10′ away from the main travel route. Deer will generally smell that salty goodness,and find it more quickly than you might think. One thing that has helped us recently when setting up a new lick, is to put some liquid attractant into the salt lick when you first put it down. This helps deer find that salt much more quickly,as the liquid puts off a stronger aroma.

Trail Cam Lick

 

Other Tactics:¬†Another method we have employed lately is a “Licking stump”. This is where you pour some sort of thick molasses attractant and let is soak into the stump. I’ve seen deer actually eat the stump because it tastes so good. This is also a GREAT way to get trail cam pictures,which is how we’ve used this method.

 

 

Be sure and check with your local hunting regulations,as using salt licks is considered baiting in some places. Good luck,and good huntin’!

Deer Hunting Tip:Setting up a trail camera

Since the introduction of trail cameras into the hunting world,they have done nothing less than revolutionize the way we scout,plan for hunts,and manage our deer herds. However,there are some easy mistakes that can be made when using a camera (most of which I have learned from experience). Hopefully the following tips can help you avoid the same mistakes I made.

Power: This is one of the easiest and most common mistakes I make. I cannot count the times I’ve gone out to check trail cameras,only to realize the batteries were almost out in my cameras,and I didn’t bring any spares!! ALWAYS carry some extra batteries with you into the field,whether you are hunting,or just out checking pictures. A camera with dead batteries is no good to anyone,no matter how well it’s positioned.

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Trail Camera

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Location: Try and put your camera in a spot where deer activity is obvious at first. As a general rule of thumb, place your camera’s on main trails and/or food sources. If you hunt in a warm weather climate,consider placing your camera’s near a water source. You want to get a general feel of what the deer activity is in the specific area. Once you get a feel of where/when the deer are coming from/through,then consider moving the camera to a location closer to where you want to hunt (if need be). Always go in completely scent free when setting up cameras,disturbing as little as possible. Wear clothes that have been treated in scent free detergent,shower with scent free shampoo,and spray down with scent eliminating spray if possible. Treat it the same way as you would before you go hunting. Better safe than sorry.

Test Your Camera

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Position: Always try and place your camera on a sturdy tree. The last thing you want is to come back and find your camera crushed under the rotten tree you attached it to :D. Clear away any brush that may inhibit your photo,or accidentally trigger your camera in a high wind. Set your camera about 3′ off of the ground (about a whitetails eye level),facing straight ahead. Try and put the camera a minimum of 10′ away from where you think the deer will be coming through. This is for a few reasons: 1-You want to make sure you get as much in the picture as possible,such as where the deer is coming from,were there any other deer with them, what was the deer’s body language when the picture was taken,and where was it headed. 2- If a deer comes running by your camera,this generally gives the sensor enough time to react to the movement,and get a picture before the deer moves out of frame. If you are to close to the action,the chances of you missing the photo are much greater. Always make sure you take a test shot or 2 after setting up at a new location. I have more shots of branches in the way of the lens than I’d like to admit…..

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Deer Movement

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Checking your Camera:This is one many people have questions about. “How often should I check my camera?”. The answer is,there is not perfect answer. During scouting seasons (pre/post hunting season),we try and check ours about once a month. This gives enough time for us to get a good data set on what deer movement looks like in our area. During season,we generally check the cameras once every 1-2 weeks. Some people may consider this to often,but our reasoning is simple. During season,I need to have the most current movement of deer in our area as possible in order to plan my hunts accordingly. If the deer movement has changed,it wouldn’t make sense for me to be hunting the same spot over and over,now would it? And change deer movement does,for a ton of reasons. Those reasons range from crop harvesting (common in the fall),to predator activity,food sources changing,water sources drying up,and what we all dread,hunting pressure. Don’t be discouraged if you go back and check your camera a few day later and see no pictures. Sometimes even when you are as careful as possible,deer can pick up on your presence. It can take a few days for them to settle back into their routine.

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Caught On Tape

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Follow these basic rules,and hopefully that big boy in your neck of the wood’s will show up on your memory card,the next time you head out. Good Huntin’.

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– J-WO

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Fleetwood Rack

Today’s Hunt: 12/03/11

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Not much to report for today. J-WO and Kev both saw nothing but cows and leaves out of the stand this morning. We have a sneaking suspicion that the deer are still on lockdown now that the peak of rut has passed. We did get a picture of great buck on our trailcam. We are calling him “Fleetwood Rack”. Check out the picture below.

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We also got some cool video we pulled off that same camera. It also seems that the rub/scrape activity is still pretty high (see below),which tells us that there are still some doe’s that are coming into estrous. Hopefully next time we’ll stick this big boy!

– Kev and J-WO

Today’s Hunt: 11/13/11 (Video)

Giant Rub

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Well,another one is in the books. Kev and I started out today’s hunt pretty optimistically,as we’ve gotten alot of reports of the rut starting to heat up in our neck of the woods. The weather was decent: Cold,no rain,but REALLY windy. We’re talkin’ “I’m gonna climb down right now if another gust like that comes through” windy.

About 2 hours after daylight,we finally got some deer moving, and even got some under our stand. Check out the video to see what happened.

Is the rut on in TN?

Well,it’s getting that time of season. Rut should be here any day now,if it’s not already,but I’ve been getting mixed reviews. Over the past week’s hunts,we have seen a little bit of chasing from some younger bucks,but nothing significant. On that same note,my neighbor took a nice little 2 1/2 year old 8 point on opening day of muzzleloader,which was today. He said that the buck was with another buck who looked the same age,which leads me to the question,are the bucks still in bachelor groups? I’m headed out in the morning,hopefully we’ll see some definitive rut action then. I’ll keep you posted.

-J-WO