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Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew


Water Sources
WeHuntSC.com - Intro to Game Management
In this blog series we've looked at different facets of game management. We've covered several concepts, practices, and techniques to managing game. Thus far we've looked at food plots, selective harvest, herd balance, mineral sites, supplemental feeds, and deer surveying. We've got two more entries left to cover in the series and in this entry we're going to investigate water sources as they relate to deer and game management.
 
It should go unspoken that water sources are a must for any type of species? I even get thirsty every now and then.  Deer are no exception, they need water to survive. I'm including water sources in this game management blog series because it's an aspect that I think we sometimes overlook, not because I think it's easy to just go out and create a pond, divert a creek, or create a water source. Knowledge of the location of water sources on one?s hunting property can provide very valuable insight to us as hunters and very valuable resources to the deer on our land (and other game in the area). 
 
I'd like to note that over time I've noticed a trend in deer hunting related to water sources. In the past 2-3 years I've gone hunting with several other people in various parts of SC and, in general, I've paid attention to what hunters around the state are harvesting.  It seems to me that the hunters who harvest large bucks, the ones who consistently kill big deer, all hunt somewhere near water sources. Whether it's a lake, a river,  a creek, a pond, or a natural spring, the guys who have multiple trophy bucks on their walls are hunting near one or more water sources, at least the ones I know or have seen.
 
Water to Survive

WeHuntSC.com - Water SourcesAs deer hunters we often game-plan our hunts based on available food sources and rut activity, but we don't really factor in water sources that much. Not including water sources into the game-plan may be a mistake on our behalves. Think about it, food and water are the most elemental needs of a deer with water being the more critical of the two. Trying to look at deer hunting from a "water", perspective can prove beneficial,especially in drier areas.

Deer get water from a variety of sources, such as ponds, streams, and lakes. They also get water from the dew on plants and the water contained within plants. In some articles I read it was noted that, if lush forage is available, deer may be able to meet their body's water demand solely from the water within plants. This has not been scientifically proven, but it appeared to be a believed concept.

Also, typically the richest soil in a given area will be near a water source. The moisture in the water helps the soil be more fertile. This richest soil will grow the best forage and this provides deer with succulent forage to browse on along with providing great cover. These aspects of areas near water sources are very attractive for deer?naturally they will want to be near these areas.  

 
Using Water Sources for Protection
I read an article on imbmonsterbucks.com that made me look at water sources from a totally different perspective, one not directly related to game management, but still a neat concept. The author noted that an area of land he was hunting came to a point that was surrounded on 3 sides by a creek.  The land was very dense and essentially unapproachable from 3 sides?unless you wanted to cross a creek that was about 5 feet deep.  Over time the author caught on to what was happening, deer were bedding down in this area and using the creek for protection. Since this portion of land was surrounded on 3 sides by a creek, deer came there to bed down. While they bed down they faced the one direction that didn?t have a creek on it knowing that if a predator were to come from any other side he would have to cross the creek first. The loud splash of something getting into the creek would signal to the deer that danger was on its way and provided them time to escape. The deer were outsmarting the predators and once the author figured this out he moved his deer stand and shortly thereafter he got a trophy buck that is still hanging on his wall. The author quoted "Remember when hunting whitetail deer over water sources that the key isn?t thinking that you must hunt over the water to kill monster bucks coming to a water source. The key is understanding how to use water sources to your advantage while deer hunting." Thinking about water sources and deer hunting from this perspective can make you ask some questions of your strategy.
 
Water Sources & Hunting Strategy
In areas that are drier in nature, areas such as South Carolina in the early season, water sources may be more important for both the deer's dietary needs along with a hunter?s strategy. In the early season in SC it's still hot and sometimes really dry so if you know where a water source on your property is located, then deer probably won't be too far from it. Dry leaves also really make a lot of sound and give away a deer's location when walking through the woods. If available, deer usually opt for moist or damp areas that will help conceal the sound of their footsteps. I've noticed that deer frequently travel along the corridors of creeks in the areas I hunt.  As aforementioned, these creeks offer plenty of forage, cover, and most likely a quieter path of travel.
 
Another thing to think about when considering water sources and deer hunting is the period of time during a flood. True it doesn't flood a whole lot here in South Carolina, but I have seen periods of several days of heavy rain. It may prove beneficial in times such as this to alter your strategy. When some of the deer's bedding areas that are in a flood plain are flooded deer are pushed to higher ground.  Deer will adjust and have a new pattern and so should anyone hunting!
 
Wrapping this up, deer need water to survive. When thinking about managing game on your land be sure to consider not only what water sources have to offer your deer, but the valuable insight water sources can offer to us as hunters when contemplating our hunting strategy.  Hunting & game management articles discussing whitetail deer hunting strategies as they relate to water sources are not very common. As I researched for this blog entry I came across concepts and facts that made me critically think about my hunting strategy as it relates to water sources. Looks like I'll be moving a few stands in the off-season!
 
Regards,
 
 
Clint
 

Yellow Cape Communications - Video Series - Stand Placement

 Yellow Cape Communications is a communications firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Yellow Cape specializes in television production, multi-media for web, still photography, communications consulting, marketing communications services and all things web. You've seen Yellow Cape?s work before when you first come to the site and see the girls in camo introducing our site. You may also have seen the 2010 Central Eagles State Championship Documentary or the Chesterfield County Career and Technology Education video.  I also had Jason produce a DotNetNuke SuperFan Video for me and it turned out really good!

Jason Fararooei and his team at Yellow Cape Communications create top notch multi-media communications - so if you work for an organization that may need multi-media creation, photography or communications consulting services, check Jason out www.YellowCapeCommunications.com

Yellow Cape Communications has partnered with WeHuntSC.com on 5 quick-tip video segments to promote the basics in hunting and outdoor safety. Over the course of this deer hunting season we will be releasing the videos in this blog series. The below video, Stand Placement is the 4th video of the series.


Are Guns & Ammo the New Gold?

I recently received an emal from someone at Ammo.net asking me if I would be interested in sharing this info here on our site. After looking at the info I thought you all may like to see some of this so I'm reposting below. You can see this info-graphic + more info on their web site at this link


The threat of a U.S. double dip recession coupled with this summer's debt debacle in Washington - and the subsequent failure of the so-called "debt supercommittee" - has many ordinary Americans looking at gold as a safe store of value.  However, there's another commodity that historically has risen in price along with gold - and is potentially more useful in the event of a global crisis: Ammunition.

 

Is Ammo The New Gold? Part 1
Via: Ammo.net



Is Ammo The New Gold? Part 2
Via: Ammo.net


 

Regards,

Clint


BuckYum Game Cam Pics
WeHuntSC.com - Intro to Game Management
 
In this blog series on Game Management we recently covered Supplemental feed and spoke about the supplemental feed and attractant BuckYum. I just wanted to post a few pics from our game cameras below.  There should be more to come as well.
 
 
WeHuntSC.com - Buck eating BuckYum Supplemental Feed & Attractant
 
WeHuntSC.com - Buck eating BuckYum Supplemental Feed & Attractant
 
WeHuntSC.com - Buck eating BuckYum Supplemental Feed & Attractant
 
WeHuntSC.com - Putting out some BuckYum
 
WeHuntSC.com - Buck eating BuckYum Supplemental Feed & Attractant
 
WeHuntSC.com - Buck eating BuckYum Supplemental Feed & Attractant
 
 
 
WeHuntSC.com - Buck eating BuckYum Supplemental Feed & Attractant
 
WeHuntSC.com - Deer eating BuckYum Supplemental Feed & Attractant
 
WeHuntSC.com - Deer eating BuckYum Supplemental Feed & Attractant
 
WeHuntSC.com - Deer eating BuckYum Supplemental Feed & Attractant
 
 
 

Supplemental Feed

WeHuntSC.com - Intro to Game Management

 

In this blog series we're looking at concepts, practices, and approaches that can aid in managing game in a hunter's area. We've looked at food plots, selective harvest, deer surveying, herd balance, mineral sites already in this series and in this entry we'll look into the concept of "supplemental feeding".

   Buck at supplemental feed feeder - Image cited from BuckManager.com 

  
Buck at supplemental feed site
Image cited from
BuckManager.com

Supplemental feeding of deer is not a brand new concept, but the trend is gaining momentum in game management circles. Outdoorsmen who invest a lot of time and resources in hunting and managing game usually provide some form of supplemental feed for their deer. If you've ever seen a deer who's benefited from supplemental feeding then you'll understand why game managers put in the time and effort to incorporate this practice into their game management strategy. 

Supplemental feeds are typically high in protein and game managers put them out all year long. Like many other game management practices, it's not a "quick fix" and will take time before the full effects can be noticed. Supplemental feeding is generally part of a habitat management program and requires a long-term commitment on behalf of the game manager.

It?s also important to note that these supplemental feeds are intended to be exactly what they are called, a supplement. Supplemental feeds are not intended to replace a deer's natural diet, but rather to add to it. Supplemental feeding is also not a magic cure for poorly managed deer populations. It won't give you monster bucks or a healthy herd overnight.

While I was investigating this topic I found a lot of high-level, scientific research regarding supplemental feeds.  If you're interested in getting really in-depth info about supplemental feeding of deer there are several scholarly articles on supplemental deer feeding available online. This blog entry however is not "scholarly" in nature ;-)

I found some really good info on supplemental feeding at a web site called "BuckManager.com". I encourage you to investigate that site for more information on supplemental feeding if you would like to read from someone who's lived and breathed it for a while. One of the articles on that site discussed the notion of whether deer could live on supplemental feed alone. The author noted

"Regardless of what the current study finds, both scenarios end up proving that deer cannot live on supplemental feed alone. Even when supplemental food is provided free-choice, white-tailed deer still desire native browse plants in their diets. Not only are these plants important for food, but also for the shelter and screening cover they provide for deer and other wildlife species. And let's not forget that browse plants typically contain protein levels ranging from 15 to 35%. And that can feed your deer and really supplement your supplement, for a lot less money." 

The bottom line is that deer will consume more than just supplemental feed regardless of how much is provided! As the author noted "Food preference is probably a function of palatability, digestibility, and overall nutritive value." Incorporating supplemental feed as one more available food source for your herd is the best approach. 

WeHuntSC.com - BuckYum

What blend, location, and ratios of supplemental feed are suggested for game managers? The article on BuckManager.com prescribed that "The preferred method is to use a 16% to 20% protein pelleted commercial feed, fed free choice, from feeders distributed at the rate of at least one feeder per 300 acres located within or adjacent to adequate escape cover." This recommendation is similar to what I found on other sites and articles so it's probably a good rule to go by.

Depending on the product you choose, supplemental feeding of deer can be one of the more expensive facets of game management. We've chosen to use a supplemental feed that was designed with a deer's overall health in mind and that is reasonably priced.

Enter BuckYum

BUCK YUM was started to provide hunters with a quality feed and supplement product that not only attracted deer but also provided them with the proper nutrition deer need to grow. The idea to develop and implement a feed and supplement product that accomplished this was the inspiration of the launching of BUCK YUM Products and the creation of BUCKYUM.

BuckYum is a feed and attractant mixture of peanuts, peanut chips, and corn that provides the proper balance of nutritional supplements that deer need to grow. BuckYum also contains a special blend of seed that grows as a permanent food source as well. When you pour it out you can really smell the odor of peanut butter in the air (and the deer can too!). Deer and other game will browse on BuckYum and when you return be prepared to see some green growing from the ground where you poured it out! BuckYum is very efficient in this manner because not only does game in the area eat the corn & peanuts, but they also love the forage that grows from this blend as well. It's like a 2 for 1 deal!

BuckYum Guranteed Analysis 

  • Crude Protein: Not Less Than . . . . . 13.00%
  • Crude Fat: Not Less Than . . . . . . . . . 6.00%
  • Crude Fiber: Not Less Than . . . . . . . 12.00% 
  • Mineral Breakdown
  • Calcium:  Min  2.5%  Max  3.0%
  • Phosphorus:  MIn 1%
  • Salt:  Min  2.5 %  Max  3.0%
  • Sodium:  Min  1.0%  Max  1.3%
  • Vitamin A:  26000 IU/lb
  • Vitamin D-3 Supplement:  6000 IU/lb

Ingredients

  • Processed Roughage Products
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Ferrous Carbonate
  • Cane Molasses
  • Monocalcium Phosphate
  • Diacalcium Phosphate
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Salt, Magnesium Oxide
  • Manganeous Oxide
  • Processed Grain By-Products
  • Brewer's Concentrated Solubles
  • Iron Oxide
  • Copper Oxide
  • Calcium Iodate
  • Cobalt Carbonate
  • Sedium Selenite
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D-3 Supplement
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut Chips
  • Barley
  • Corn.


Where can you find BuckYum to buy? http://www.buckyum.com/Dealer_Info.php


Information in this post cited from the following locations:

BuckYum http://www.BuckYum.com 

BuckManager


There is no doubt that providing deer with a supplemental feed can be beneficial for hunters seeking to ?Grow the Hunt? and have monster bucks on their property. The only question is, are you committed?

Regards,
 

Clint

 

 


Mineral Sites

WeHuntSC.com - Intro to Game Management

In this blog series we?re looking at concepts, practices, and approaches that can aid in managing game in a hunter?s area. We?ve looked at food plots, selective harvest,deer surveying, and herd balance already in this series and in this entry we'll look into the concept of "mineral sites".

WeHuntSC.com - Game Management & Mineral SitesMineral sites, in many cases, are one of the most overlooked and underutilized parts of a game management strategy.  Mineral sites provide deer with great sources of vitamins and nutrients that they need throughout the year. We put in a lot of work creating food plots and we're selling ourselves short if we don't compliment them with mineral sites. Mineral sites are not too difficult to create and can pay big dividends in the long run.

Mineral sites provide similar benefits as food plots in that they help increase deer health which in turn helps them better survive the rut and the winter. Having a healthy deer, whether it be a doe or a buck, is great for the whole herd when it comes to breeding, reproduction, and survival. Most importantly for those seeking "monster bucks", mineral sites are great locations where bucks will get nutrients that aid in rack growth and development.  A buck's antlers grow during the summer months and this is the time when they will really visit mineral sites.

WeHuntSC.com - A Deer at a Mineral Site in SCIt's a good practice to keep mineral sites in a consistent location year after year. Rain helps the minerals dissolve into the soil which creates a location that will be frequented by deer long after the minerals are no longer visible. Hang a game camera up over a mineral site and watch the pictures as time passes. The results may be surprising and this is a great way to survey your deer. Just ask anyone that keeps mineral sites year after year, the deer will literally dig a hole in the ground seeking out the minerals and nutrients. 

It's a good idea to start mineral sites in April, refresh them in July, then again in October. Experienced mineral site managers say it's good to have mineral sites along a deer's travel route in a low spot that can hold moisture. Hunters who I know that are serious about game management keep minerals sites year round in various parts of their hunting properties.

One thing to clarify though, don't confuse simply putting out a salt-block with creating a mineral site, they are two different things! A mineral site usually has a mixture of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, and several different types of vitamins which greatly benefit deer. 

There are several mineral site products available for purchase and I'm not going to endorse any certain one because communicating the principal of why hunters should create mineral sites is my main goal here. Each product will have different methods for implementation so be sure to read the directions for whichever product you select.

Start a mineral site and see what happens!

Regards,
 

Clint
 


Derrick Outen Strikes Again

       WeHuntSC.com - 2 Does in the shooting lane
   
Every now and then I need some entertainment. When that time comes I give Derrick Outen a call. This past Saturday morning we were lined up to go hunting with Derrick Outen. Derrick said he?d been getting some deer on game camera and felt sure someone in our group would get some action. The forecast promised a cold morning and it was very accurate.

We met up with Derrick at 5:30 in the morning. I thought that was a little early, but I had forgotten to budget in the time necessary to let Derrick bend our ears a little before heading out.  After our ears got warm we headed out.

Derrick and I were hunting out of a tall tower stand overlooking a food plot bordered by a cutover on one side and some woods on the other. The sun reflected off the ice that covered the trees, plants, and underbrush that surrounded us below.  We watched the sun rise while we scanned the field below for movement.  At a certain point the sun was shining directly in our eyes, the stand was facing east. For about 20 minutes I could only look left and right out of the sides of the stand avoiding the front of the stand where the brightness of the sun shined through.  Eventually the sun got high enough to where we could see out of all directions of the stand easily. It felt like it was time for something to happen. 

WeHuntSC.com - Derrick Outen staring through the scope at the does   
   

We surveyed the field looking for any movement. I would zoom in with the camera looking around the edges of the field while Derrick looked through his binoculars. Around 8:20 a hawk appeared out in front of us at about 80 yards and perched on a tree branch. The hawk would swoop down as if to catch something and then return to the branch. It did this several times so I decided to turn the camera on to hopefully get the hawk catching something on camera. I turned the camera on and got the hawk flying off and returning to the branch one time. Just a few seconds after the hawk returned Derrick said ?look at those deer?. Sure enough two does had walked out in a shooting lane to our left while this hawk was chasing his breakfast. I rotated the camera over to film the deer as Derrick slid down from his chair into shooting position.

At first we weren?t sure if the does were going to be big enough to validate taking a shot. After looking at them closely we decided that the first one was decent enough size to make a shot. I had the camera in place and Derrick was ready to make the shot. As I looked through the camera I heard Derrick say ?Are you ready? and I whispered back ?yes?.  A millisecond after I said yes the deer was laying on the ground. Derrick wasted no time pulling the trigger after hearing that I was ready. The smaller doe scurried off with the loud booming sound of the shot. There was no doubt on this one. Derrick had a made good shot.

We sat in the stand for a bit to let the nerves settle a little and then we got down out of the stand. Getting down out of that tall stand is a process for me because I don?t like being up that high in the first place. I made a point to go slowly and after I got down I filmed Derrick as he got down from the stand as well to show the height of the stand.  We went over to the deer and loaded her up. Derrick says that he aimed at the base of her neck. I?m not so sure about that, but whatever the case is?he hit the deer at the base of the neck. The doe weighed 113lbs and we had another good morning in the woods.


Derrick came through again and I got my fair share of entertainment.

Regards,
 

Clint
 


Deer Surveying

WeHuntSC.com - Intro to Game Management

It?s evident that managing game on one's land can have long-term benefits for hunting. In this blog series we're looking at the concept of Game Management. So far in the journey we've discussed Food Plots, Selective Harvest, & Herd Balance and with this entry we're going to look into the concept of deer surveying.

WeHuntSC.com - Deer SurveyingDeer surveying is exactly what is sounds like, surveying the deer on your land. Recent technology has made surveying deer (and any species of game) a whole lot easier, mainly via the creation of the game camera. The invention of the game camera has undeniably changed the way we hunt. Game cameras give hunters an advantage by providing valuable information about the deer in our area. Obviously game camera pics don't give an outdoorsman a 100% accurate read on the deer in a given area, but they do give way more insight about the deer herd than if we didn't have game cameras.

Game cameras are the most common (and affordable) way to survey one's deer herd. Though, there are more scientific and expensive methods of surveying deer.  I heard one speaker at a conference say that in some locations they were flying airplanes over tracks of land taking thermal imagery to survey the game on the land. I imagine thermal imagery is more accurate and way more expensive too! I also know that DNR uses some more advanced, scientific techniques for surveying deer population & growth. These are all neat methods that provide more accurate data, but any method besides a game camera falls out of my financial range. Nevertheless the importance of having a feel for the game on your land is the main point to be noted.

WeHuntSC.com - Man checking Game CameraWhy is having knowledge of the deer in an area important for game management? If you are herd balance conscientious then surveying deer can give you a feel for the ratio of bucks to does on your property.  Sure it's not accurate down to a finite percentage, but it does allow more informed decisions to be made about the herd in a given area.  From this insight a hunter can help determine which deer he or she should or shouldn't harvest based on numbers. Essentially a hunter can get a feel for the herd balance in the area they are hunting through surveying the game on their land. You'll find that die-hard hunters survey deer year round and move their game cameras around a few times a year. Surveying deer, like game management, is a year round process.

Surveying the game in a hunter's allotted hunting area also helps one determine the age class of deer in the region. Viewing the size of deer in a game camera's pictures can help hunters determine the age of bucks based on body size, rack size, and other traits of mature bucks. Along with viewing the different age class of bucks any recent fawns, yearlings, and does can be observed as well. Viewing the deer in your area helps you get a feel for the health of deer as well.

Knowledge of the game in a track of land is a must in any effective game management strategy. Whether you survey deer through more expensive techniques or simply through a game camera, surveying deer pays dividends and helps hunters make informed decisions. Surveying deer allows hunters to watch deer mature over time and gives insight toward the herd balance ratios. If you haven't already, start learning about the deer in your area and you'll be a better hunter because of it.

Regards,

Clint
 


Why You Should be a Predator Hunter

This past week I received an email from a friend that really got my attention and so I wanted to share it with everyone here.  These pictures were taken in Mississippi, but this scenario can easily happen anywhere coyotes exist. If you're a deer and/or turkey hunter and you wonder what the big fuss about coyotes is about...see below. This is why the sport of predator hunting is on the rise and is one of the reasons we're hosting the Predator Competition.

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer

 

WeHuntSC.com - Coyotes kill deer


Yellow Cape Communications - Video Series: Buddy Stand Placement

Yellow Cape Communications is a communications firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Yellow Cape specializes in television production, multi-media for web, still photography, communications consulting, marketing communications services and all things web. You've seen Yellow Cape?s work before when you first come to the site and see the girls in camo introducing our site. You may also have seen the 2010 Central Eagles State Championship Documentary or the Chesterfield County Career and Technology Education video.  I also had Jason produce a DotNetNuke SuperFan Video for me and it turned out really good!

Jason Fararooei and his team at Yellow Cape Communications create top notch multi-media communications - so if you work for an organization that may need multi-media creation, photography or communications consulting services, give Jason a shout http://www.YellowCapeCommunications.com.

Yellow Cape Communications has partnered with WeHuntSC.com on 5 quick-tip video segments to promote the basics in hunting and outdoor safety. Over the course of this deer hunting season we will be releasing the videos in this blog series. I can already tell you that the last segment in this series is by far the best! The below is the third in the series.


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