Spring turkey seasons are in their peak across most of the US, so here are some tips to help you have a successful hunt. I’m skipping the basics which are: finding land with turkeys on it, buying spring camouflage, sighting in your shotgun or bow, acquiring decoys, and practicing with your calls as those are standard operating procedures.
The perception I hear from a lot of hunters is that the big, old bucks do all the breeding. The truth is, small young males get in on the action too. How do I know? I have researched the topic extensively and collected a vast dataset regarding which bucks were successful breeders among a population in central Alabama. This work was completed while attending Auburn University for my Master’s in Wildlife Science. I recently published an article in the Journal of Mammalogy on the subject of mate choice among white-tailed deer.
Spring is here and now is a great time of year to implement prescribed fire on your property. Burning vegetation releases organic matter back into the soil so it can be utilized by this year’s plants. Fire is a natural part of most ecosystems and is a great way to break up thatch that has accumulated in a grassland habitat.
Have you ever wondered what deer hunting would be like if no hunters in your area were allowed to shoot ANY antlered buck for an entire year? Hunters in Waupaca county Wisconsin might give us the answer after their County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) voted for an antlerless-only permit for the entire 2016 season.
The antler growth cycle is nearly complete for last year’s hunting season, but with every ending there is a new beginning. Hopefully you have been able to get out and find some of last year’s bucks in the form of shed antlers.
There has been quite a bit of publicity regarding the Franz buck which was taken in Marion County Iowa in the fall of 2014. If you haven’t heard about the buck, you can read about it on the website www.franzbuck.com which even has video of the hunt.
The amount of feed you put out at one time is dependent upon several variables, the main one being your objectives for feeding. The number of deer using your feed site can also have a huge impact on how much feed you will go through in a given time period. If you want to ensure that nutrition is not a limiting factor for your deer, use a free choice gravity feeder such as the one pictured here.
Training a dog to find sheds is a great way to cover more ground in search of those prized antlers. I trained my German shorthair to find sheds when she was a puppy, but training an older dog is achievable as long as they have the drive. There are many ways to teach a dog to find something, but here is how I did it.
I recently attended a consumer trade show and I had a chance to visit with many people about what they are feeding deer in their area. I was surprised at how many people were feeding deer corn because they “tear that stuff up.” One gentleman even told me he put out gummy bears for his deer because they have a “sweet tooth.”