Raised Hunting Podcast Appearances

Have a listen as the Holder’s have been busy spreading the good word about hunting, conservation, and their faith in Christ.

David and Karin join Carol of Dr. Carol Ministries to discuss how a love for the outdoors was the catalyst for building and growing their faith, strengthening their marriage and transforming their family all for God’s glory.

 

David recently sat down with Richard the host of Conspiracy Unlimited.

EPISODE #252

Richard speaks with the star of a reality tv show about a family that uses hunting as a platform to impart values and ethics.

GUEST: Dave Holder is founder and CEO of Raised Hunting TV, Raised At Full Draw, and Raised Outdoors. Raised Hunting is the parent company and tv series that currently airs on Discovery Channel.

David, being an avid bowhunter and outdoorsman from the early age of ten, loves spending every moment hunting or thinking about hunting. While serving the city of Great Falls, MT as a firefighter captain, David started his public speaking career by conducting seminars across the nation teaching Elk, Whitetail and Turkey calling as well as hunting techniques. After accumulating hundreds of archery kills on video, David retired from Firefighting in 2009 and turned his focus full time to producing high quality, heartfelt stories that inspire, motivate and teach the viewer a hunting message, life message or both.

How to Get the Most Out of Summer Pics!

Proven Tactics to Get Great Summer Pics

Big velvet summer bucks is arguably one of the most exciting times of the year! Seeing deer with massive potential is always exhilarating. Watching a buck develop and grow into the deer of your dreams is hard to beat. Spending countless hours learning his habits, hoping to give yourself the best opportunity come fall.  The only thing better than an awesome summer picture of a giant buck, is a picture of a giant buck with you in it! So, here are some tried and true tactics to help you get the best summer pics. Part of getting great pictures is having a great camera. Before you buy any cameras, check out Raised Outdoors! You can save 50% on Stealth Cams through the site and app!

Water

Water can be a great source for awesome pictures. If you have a dry year, or a convenient water source where animals frequent, you may have the perfect spot to catch great summer pics!  On dry years, it will obviously be much easier to choose a water source, as the amount of available sources will be far fewer.  On wet years, you must be far more selective. Make sure not to rule out water sources on a wet year due to the thought process of ,”There’s water everywhere, why would they drink here”. Water sources in the right location can still be proven productive. Try not to overlook these areas due to a little more rain than usual. If you don’t have a good water source where your deer are spending the majority of their time, it may be wise to provide one. We have also used small, pre-made ponds that work great. In the photo you see below, this deer had just finished getting a drink from our man made pond just below him.

 

Food Sources

In the midwest, deer will spend large amounts of time in beans and cornfields. Alfalfa fields are great nationwide. I would go so far as to say Alfalfa is my #1 favorite food source in the summer time. Alfalfa is phenomenal for seeing deer and getting great pics. Beans are my second favorite and corn being third.  Make sure to scout your food source before setting up your camera to make sure you know where the bucks are coming out. If you do not have the ability to scout first, focus on field corners and main trails. Try and give your camera a large field of view. This will help you get pics that distinguish exactly where your camera needs to be.

 

A big bachelor group taking advantage of a lush alfalfa field.

 

Mineral/Feed

Mineral blocks and supplemental feed can be one of the most powerful tools for getting great summer photos. When choosing a location to place a mineral block or feed, we are very selective. We want to be in an area where the bucks are hanging out, but not be invasive. Often times this will be near the edge of a field, or timber. If you are going to use a mineral block, make sure that you have checked the local laws. In Iowa you are not allowed to hunt within 300 yards of a mineral location. If you do hunt within 300 yards of a mineral location, you must bury it. We have had great luck with the Big Tine block and 30-06 cherry rush!

Digital Camera

Send Us Your Pics!

There are lots of ways to get amazing summer photos. These are a few ways that have worked for us year after year. Let us know what tactics you use and more importantly, send us pictures of your big velvet bucks! The time for drooling over velvet bucks is among us my friends, savor every moment!

Tree Stand Placement for Early Season Bow Hunting

Early Season Hunting Tree Stand Placement

Deciding where to hang tree stand early in the bow season can be difficult. Deer seem to be everywhere eating as much as they can from the grain fields and food plots. But, sometimes all this food can cause a hunter to second-guess the best location for a tree stand. Add to this the fact that fall home ranges and acorns can cause even more problems by the time season rolls around. There are several things to take into consideration as the season approaches, but generally knowing where and what the deer are eating, and where the available water sources are located should be your biggest concern. These can be found through summer scouting and trail camera tactics. Once you have these two things considered out, it is then time to start hanging your stands.

Think About Concealment

Early in the season when the trees are still full of leaves, hunters can get away with not climbing high just to find cover. Concealment ranks high on the priority list of most hunters when choosing a tree to hang a stand in. Hunters don’t want to pick a tree that is bare, but also don’t want a tree that will prove difficult to climb. Most trees in the whitetail’s range offer 12 – 20 ft high hanging opportunities, but most hunters want to be less than 23-25 ft. high. A hunter might get lucky from time to time if they hang on the low end of the spectrum (12-15ft), but more times than not they will get busted before a deer ever presents a shot opportunity.

Another way to stay concealed is to pick a tree with multiple trunks. Not only will this provide that all-important cover, but it will also give you the hunter plenty of places to hang your gear.

If you cannot find a tree with cover, or multiple trunks, and you would rather not climb to 22ft + all is not lost. Consider hanging your stand on the backside of the tree that is along the trail you want to hunt. Stand in your tree stand facing the tree keeping an eye on the trails in front of you. This will allow you to hide behind the tree above the deer while still giving you shot opportunities.

Hunters need to take into consideration the angle in which the stand is going to be placed. For right-handed shooters, place the stand so the prevailing wind hit’s the left side of your body, and vice-versa for left-handed shooters. This will make it easier to draw your bow on any animal upwind of your stand.

 

Find Water

If the ground you are hunting has a water supply do not ignore it. While the weather is warm whitetails will get thirsty throughout the day. They will not only visit it at midday to quench their thirst, but also in the mornings as they return to their beds and again in the afternoon before they start to feed. Place your stand downwind of the trail leading to the water supply. It doesn’t take a lot of water to pull a deer in. If there is a small stream running through your property, find where the deer are crossing it. The white-tailed deer is an animal that likes to do things the easy way. Rather than cross where it is steep they will walk out of their way to find an easy crossing. Often, before they cross the creek they will usually pause for a few seconds giving you time to get a shot off.

Find Mast

You might notice that the deer are not going to the fields and food plots as early as they once were. You can probably blame acorns on that. The deer are still visiting the fields, but only after an appetizer of acorns. Deer prefer the sweet tasting white oak acorns over the bitter red oak acorns. But, if the reds are dropping fruit and the whites are not, the deer will go to the red oaks. When both the white and red oaks are dropping fruit, the deer will devour the nuts from the white oaks before moving to the red oaks.

The best advice a hunter can get is to set up close to a hot oak that puts you within shooting range. Deer will mill around as they feed on the nuts. Always make sure the wind takes your scent away from the oaks. And as soon as oaks start dropping in good numbers, be ready. It might only last a couple of days, or it could last for weeks.

Don’t forget about the soft mass either. Apple and persimmon trees produce fruit that is well-liked by deer. If you have either tree on your property, hang a stand downwind. Once the trees start dropping their fruit, deer will walk long distances for the sweet treat.

Morning and Evening Considerations For morning hunts, hang a stand on a trail between the food source and a known bedding area like a swamp or thick ravine. It is a good idea to stay within 50 yards from a food source. Any further and you run the risk of bumping the deer from the beds. This is a great tactic to sneak in without spooking deer off the food if any happen to be feeding.

On an afternoon hunt you can often get away with hunting on the edge of a food plot. Try to position your stand about 15 yards downwind from the entry trail or funnel into the food source. Unpressured whitetails will feel safe enough to enter to enter a food source with plenty of shooting light left. Pressured deer may feel the need to stage in thick cover or feathered edges if entering large open Ag fields or food plots.

Conclusion

Early season bow hunting means targeting food and water, yet also playing it safe to ensure you keep the deer herd unpressured. Watch your wind, concealment, entry and exit routes, and shot opportunities. Tree stand placement in the early season is critical for success for those particular hunts and even keeping the deer unpressured for later hunts in October and November.

Our Top Picks for Fall Food Plots

Fall Food Plots Puts the Odds in Our Favor

Food plots have become the craze for the hunter wanting to grow and kill monster whitetails. Plots that were once no more than a quarter acre of land, today, are expensive, well-designed, and well managed acres and acres worth of food. Food plots can be made as small, or as big as you have the ground for and the varieties of plots that can be made seem endless.

The opportunity to plant a variety of seeds in different plots that will give wildlife every thing they want and need should be first and foremost on the minds of anyone serious about hunting whitetails and other game. There are several good seed mixes on the market, but these work well for our needs.

Ease of Planting

Deer Delight is a great seed for deer managers and hunters because of its unique properties. Because of the high protein levels in Deer Delight, deer are receiving everything they need during the fawning stage for does and the bucks are getting the nutrients they need to grow big racks that hunters will brag about.

The great thing about Deer Delight Food Plot is that it can be planted in the spring to bring deer and other wildlife in during the summer and it has the strength to keep wildlife on the plot well into late winter. When other food sources have dwindled to nothing during the winter months, Deer Delight will still be healthy and producing the food deer crave and need.

Added Security

There is a lot of talk of funneling deer and how man-made funnels can really put the odds in the hunter’s favor. Also, planned exit and entry routes to the stand are so important that they can often make or break a hunt. Especially when a food plot near a stand or blind is likely to be holding deer. These are just a couple things that the Green Screen Food Plot can help with.

Growing at heights to 14-feet, this seed mix is strong enough to last well into the winter when other similar plants are dying off. There are so many uses for this seed that it is hard to mention all of them.

A favorite thing to do is to create a funnel to a food plot. By planting Green Screen around a plot such as the Krunch N Munch Food Plot you end up with a tall barrier, but by going in and mowing a path you create an entry and exit route for the whitetails. This will often dictate the path deer will take to gain access to the food. Whitetails will almost always take the path of least resistance which in this case would be walking down the cut path rather than through the tall Green Screen. This makes it a lot easier to place a stand especially on plots where deer seem to enter and exit from every direction.

In some cases, Green Screen can be planted as a barrier that will allow a hunter to get to or from his stand undetected by sight. So many hunts are ruined before they ever begin when a hunter tries to get to or from a stand and deer are feeding nearby. By having this tall barrier between a travel route and the plot, movement can be made unnoticed.

Other uses are to plant small patches around the base of tripod stands that help break up the outline of the support legs. Another great use is to plant small patches where ground blinds will be placed later in the season. It is so simple to snug a ground blind in to the tall cover and the blind blends in so well it is hardly noticeable to the deer. This is great if you need to move a ground blind from one location to another without giving whitetails time to get accustomed to the unfamiliar sight. Also, this is a great mix to plant around an entire plot that is not being used as a kill plot but rather as a sanctuary type of plot. Deer will feel secure enough within the confines of Green Screen to stick around and gain the nutrients needed to grow big racks and put on the weight to make it through the winter.

A Great Kill Plot

Brassica Plus Food Plot is a great mix of brassicas with annual ryegrass mixed in. The added edition of ryegrass will provide forage for deer to eat while the brassicas are maturing. Without the ryegrass it is likely the brassicas would be devoured before growing to their full potential.

The great thing about Brassica Plus is that it can be planted in the spring which will yield a higher forage volume, or it can be planted in August which will result in a higher quality of food which makes this a great mix for an awesome kill plot.

Morning Hunt Tactics

Try not to hunt directly on the food source on a morning hunt. Deer are probably feeding nearby and what makes an early morning hunt so great is that the deer have not been pressured by hunters. Climbing in your stand that sits on the edge of the food plot is likely to alert deer that you are close. This is where knowing what trails deer are using comes into play. Through your summer scouting and the use of trail cameras, these trails should be well-known by now.

Hang a stand on a trail between the food source and a known bedding area like a swamp or thick ravine. It is a good idea to stay within 50 yards from the food source. Any further and you run the risk of getting too close to the bedding area. This technique will allow you to sneak in undetected. Another reason to hunt this far on the inside edge is to intercept bucks who want to go to bed a little early.

Travel routes to and from your stand are just as important as where you position your stand. Always keep the wind in play. If walking to your stand is going to spread your scent across the plot, do not hunt that stand. Always keep downwind of where the deer are feeding. Never cut across a food source to get to your morning stand. If you have to leave home thirty minutes earlier in order to get to your stand undetected, do it.

Evening Hunt Tactics

On an afternoon hunt you can often get away with hunting on the edge of a food plot. Try to position your stand about 15 yards downwind from the entry trail or funnel. Unpressured whitetails will feel safe enough to enter a food source with plenty of shooting light left. You might even get a crack at a deer walking the edge of the plot.

Something to consider though is your exit route when leaving the stand at dark if it is holding feeding deer. This is a great way to ruin a good spot. If the wind is good you should be able to leave undetected under the cover of darkness, just take it slow and easy.

There are so many opportunities for food plots. It is hard to mention them all, but these that we have mentioned work well. If you have always wanted to build a food plot but haven’t yet, what are you waiting for?

6 Summer Hunting Chores for Getting Kids Involved in Hunting

Ways for Getting Kids Involved in Hunting Over the Summer

Hunting doesn’t stop at the end of the season. In fact, most of the time, the work you put into hunting occurs during the offseason. Summer is a prime example. There are many hunting chores that need to be done over summer that also serve as opportunities for getting kids involved in hunting. The amount of work over the summer is amplified if you’re lucky enough to be hunting with kids this upcoming season. Summer hunting chores such as preparing your tree stands, creating better shooting lanes and improving habitat quality are all exemplified when acting as a youth hunting mentor.

Getting kids involved in hunting takes a lot of work. The key is starting early with youth hunters and incorporating them as much as possible in any and all hunting activities. The more you take them with you and get them involved the more chances they’ll see game and build a lifelong love for the outdoors. No better time for keeping the interest of youth hunters than summer. There are numerous tasks that need to be done over summer in preparation for deer season, but these six summer hunting chores are ideal for increasing the youth hunting experience.

Summer Hunting Chores Perfect for Involving Kids

1. Sight in your gun and/or bow
2. Deploy and monitor trail cameras
3. Conduct tree stand maintenance
4. Implement a summer deer feeding program
5. Start preseason scouting for hunting season
6. Organize and inventory hunting gear

Sighting in Your Gun and/or Bow

Summer is a great time for sighting in your gun or bow. Depending on how last season transpired, you may have added a new scope or sight or possibly even be in the market for purchasing a new gun. Take kids with you to the shooting range and teach them range etiquette and firearms safety. It’s a great time to also teach kids to shoot. Start with a small caliber like a .22 rifle or a youth bow from Bear Archery. Don’t rush this process but teach them and help them learn so they are ready to hunt or hunt more effectively this season.

Deploying and Monitoring Trail Cameras

Summer trail camera strategies provide a wealth of information. Using trail cameras in the summer also provides a great opportunity for getting kids involved in hunting. Part of the youth hunting experience is learning all aspects of the sport. With trail camera maintenance, they‘ll learn why using a game camera is important, how to properly hang and check a camera and get to observe plenty of deer and other game when it is time to look at the results. Plus, a second-hand makes for quick work with this summer hunting chore.

Conducting Tree Stand Maintenance

Tree stand maintenance includes both permanent and portable tree stands. The most important part of tree stand maintenance is safety. You want to check items such as degraded straps, rusty bolts, faulty cables or anything else on your tree stands that have the potential of failing while you are hunting this season. Also, summer is a good time to learn the ins and outs of a new tree stand or add accessories to existing tree stands. As a youth hunting mentor, your first priority is safety which is why this summer hunting chore is so critical. Emphasize this when hunting with kids and even incorporate them into these maintenance activities. They can help replace straps and check stands for signs of wear. In addition, now is the time to teach them how to properly use a tree stand and show them how you and your kids will be hunting out them in the fall.

Implementing a Summer Deer Feeding Program

A summer deer feeding program implemented correctly is time-consuming. The more help you have the better and in turn the more successful it will be. Food plots will not only provide critical forage for summer deer, but they also make for great youth hunting opportunities come fall. Besides food plots, a good summer feeding program will use mineral stations. These may be used in conjunction with your trail camera surveys or simply on their own. Either way, they will need regularly checked and resupplied.

Starting Preseason Scouting Now

Scouting can and should be a year-round activity. Remember, however, that summer deer patterns are not the same as fall. Deer in summer are more predictable and make for easier observation. Not hugely valuable come fall but an ideal scenario for getting kids involved in hunting. This builds excitement for the kids but also keeps you in the woods making notes of how deer are developing and utilizing a property. Glass and observe from afar then again you want to be close enough for your kids to get a view. Work on sitting quietly and staying still as practice for hunting season.

Organize and Inventory Hunting Gear

Fall hunting season always sneaks up on us. It is a good summer chore to get your hunting gear organized and inventoried now. Starting now gives you plenty of time to replace any items you have used over the past season and also purchase any new hunting gear you may need. Don’t forget to check your youth hunting gear also. More than likely youth hunting clothing from last year isn’t going to fit this year as fast as they grow so you will have to prepare for that. If you’re thinking about how to get kids into hunting this season, what gear might you need to have in addition to your own? All things to consider when organizing and inventorying your hunting gear over summer.

Impacts of Getting Kids Involved in Hunting Chores During Summer

Kids are a sponge for learning. That is why the impact of getting them involved in hunting chores over summer is so important. Cultivating the outdoors from a young age instills that passion for it for a lifetime. Some of the best and most remembered memories as kids are the ones where you are checking mineral stations or sitting on the tractor tending a food plot. Youth hunters are born and future hunters are educated through these undertakings.

Youth hunting opportunities start with getting kids involved early and often with all aspects of hunting. These six summer hunting chores are some of many ways for getting kids involved in hunting. Include your kids in all aspects of hunting, including the many chores needed each year for making a successful hunting season.

Capitalizing on Summer Trail Camera Strategies

Summer Trail Camera Strategies for Better Fall Hunting

If your trail camera strategies only include utilizing them in the fall, you are potentially missing out on valuable deer information. Of course, information obtained from trail cameras in September and October is important to plan fall hunting opportunities. Setting up trail cameras has to be a yearlong effort, however, in order to maximize their value and ultimately your hunting success. A ton of information can be acquired throughout summer, which means summer trail camera strategies have to be an essential part of your scouting and deer hunting preparation plan.

Why Summer Trail Camera Strategies are Important

Trail camera strategies have exploded over the last several years. Years ago the novelty of capturing big buck images was all the rage. Although today, more and more hunters are realizing the true benefits trail cameras provide when it comes to hunting.

Being able to remotely collect deer information in multiple areas is one of the biggest benefits of setting up trail cameras. The key is, however, you need to be using your trail cameras throughout the entire year and not just when hunting season rolls around.

Summer trail camera strategies are important for two reasons. First, you will be able to observe fawn recruitment. Documenting the number of fawns that make it through the summer using trail cameras is an ideal way to track predator impacts and the reproductive potential of the herd on a given property. The second important reason to run trail cameras during the summer is to track bucks. Beginning now, you can start to see which bucks are using a particular property and how. Antler development deficiencies can also be observed and mitigated early by using game cameras and implementing a summer deer feeding program. Ideal places to set deer cameras in the summer like around high-quality food sources are much different than areas you are likely to find deer and more specifically bucks in the fall. But realizing this and monitoring the herds on your properties over the summer will expose critical information for a better fall hunting.

3 Top Spots for Trail Camera Placement in the Summer

Deer are fairly predictable from June to August in most parts of the country. Most of their activity will be focused on high-quality food sources and water. For this reason, summer trail camera strategies should be relatively simple.

  1. High-quality food sources – Both does and bucks are focused on forage high in protein and loaded with macronutrients during the summer. Protein is important for antler development and fawn rearing and development while macronutrients are key for antler growth and proper fawn growth. Places to set deer cameras include edges of bean fields, along with food plots planted in high protein forage such as peas or lab-lab and at mineral stations (where legal) loaded down with Big Tine Protein Plus.
  2. Watering Holes – Deer will, at some point, arrive at a waterhole during the day. Focus trail camera placement strategies on reliable water sources such as creeks, spring seeps and ponds. Lookfor heavily worn trails leading to the water’s edge as an ideal spot to set up your camera.
  3. Travel Corridors – With deer feeding and drinking most summer days, it should not be a surprise that travel corridors are one of the best spots for trail camera placement. Travel corridors are somewhat less reliable than food sources or watering holes because they do not concentrate deer together consistently. However, you can often get more pictures of non-resident deer on travel corridors who may have eluded your other summer trail camera setups. Find heavily worn trails from food sources to water or look for natural funnels that lead from bedding areas to food sources.

Summer Trail Camera Tips for Setup

After you have decided on your top spots to hang your trail cameras, you have to consider your trail camera settings.

First and foremost, keep your Primos game cameras in photo mode. Deer in the summer tend to stay over forage or mineral sites for long periods of time and video mode will simply eat up card space without providing any additional information. A basic setup to get the information you need is a 3-minute interval between photos. Any faster interval will mean more photos of the same deer.

Set trail cameras to their highest sensitivity setting when positioned on food plots or agricultural fields. This will help capture images of deer who may have entered the field from a secondary trail. Trail camera settings like trigger speed will vary depending on where your trail camera is set up. When positioned on travel corridors, trigger speed should be fast in order to capture photos of moving deer. On the other hand, trigger speed does not have to be fast on cameras surveying food or water sources.

There are two other important summer trail camera tips for setup. First, check summer trail cameras frequently early on to make sure deer are using areas you are positioned in. For example, a trail camera positioned on an unused food source or deer trail provides no information. You will want to take advantage of your scent elimination products from Scent Crusher when checking cameras early in the summer, or anytime for that matter, to avoid burning a good camera location with your scent. The other important tip is to set up cameras north or south to avoid sunlight exposure on images. The last thing you want is your morning and evening photos, the most critical times of the day for deer activity in the summer, whitewashed out from sun exposure.

Must-Have Items on Your Summer Trail Camera Checklist

No different than other times of the year, there are certain things you need to think about when implementing your summer trail camera strategies. Here are six items to check off with each camera you position this summer.

  1. Check batteries – If your cameras have been hanging during the spring, the best option is to change all batteries. Change batteries before you leave the house so you don’t have to carry them with you or forget which batteries are good and which are not.
  2. Check storage cards – Make sure you have an empty storage card for each camera. A good practice is to download each card after you pull it and store them on a computer or another device labeled in folders with date and location. Then each time you check your trail cameras you can simply swap out the cards.
  3. Update camera settings – As mentioned earlier, you will need to modify your camera settings for your summer trail camera strategies. Go through each camera and update the settings appropriately. Also, check the mode and date/time settings to make sure you are good to go.
  4. Replace straps – Camera straps can get worn over time. Check them before each deployment so your trail camera doesn’t fall and get damaged.
  5. Bring branch snippers – It’s rare you find the perfect tree when setting up trail cameras. A pair of hand snips can make easy work of trimming an opening for your camera.
  6. Hang them at the right height and angle – Nothing is worse than getting a bunch of pictures of half a deer because your trail camera mounting height is all wrong. A good rule of thumb is to mount a camera just above waist high. Also, if you experience camera shy deer, you may want to try a higher positioned camera with a downward angle.

Summer trail camera strategies are just as important as using trail cameras any other time of the year. Critical information such as fawn recruitment and antler development can be obtained right now with correct trail camera placement. Use the summer months as a building block to great fall hunting by taking advantage of trail camera setups now.

Spring and Summer Deer Feeding | When to Start and What to Feed

Spring and Summer Deer Feeding Leads to a Healthier Herd

With deer season well behind us, there’s no better time than now to start planning and preparing for next season. Part of that planning and preparation is providing your deer herd with the right resources at the right time to maximize their potential. Spring and summer deer feeding might be your chance to do just that.

Spring and Summer Deer Feeding Basics

Deer feeding can take on multiple aspects. As a whole, it includes planting food plots, providing supplemental minerals and feed, and working on habitat projects to improve native forage production. Deer management is all about providing the best resources, at the right amounts and the right time. Feeding deer in spring and summer correctly enables you to improve your herd during critical times, which leads to a healthy, more robust deer herd come fall hunting season.

Spring and summer deer feeding is distinctly different than feeding (or baiting) during deer season where legal. Although there are nutritional needs for deer in the fall during hunting season, maximum benefit and necessity from deer feeding occurs during the offseason, particularly in spring and summer. However, feeding deer in spring and summer months can be expensive. It can also be ineffective if not adequately planned out and purposefully designed as part of a larger deer management program for your property. For instance, herd dynamics, such as overall herd size and buck-to-doe ratios, and habitat concerns, such as carrying capacity and available forage, are important considerations to make before deer feeding programs are considered. If these are considered, then it might be time to begin looking into a feeding program for spring and summer.

4 Most Important Benefits of Spring and Summer Deer Feeding Programs:

  1. Attract and retain deer to your property.
  2. Increase antler potential of bucks.
  3. Improve overall deer herd health.
  4. Increase in fawn recruitment.

When to Start Feeding Deer in Spring?

Beyond weather, focus on paying attention to vegetation. Spring triggers new growth in the fields and woods and deer know this. Their nutritional requirements shift from survival mode to growth mode for both bucks and does.

Early spring to mid spring is a good rule of thumb to start your spring deer feeding program. This roughly coincides as food plots will start being planted. Bucks will still be recovering from the rut and the past winter, but they’ll be also transitioning into starting new antler growth. In addition, does will be entering the final stages of fawn development and preparing for nursing. The third trimester and then into nursing newborn fawns, does will naturally have high nutritional requirements to ensure peak fawn survival.

Nutritional Needs of Deer in the Spring

Spring deer feeding has to focus on the needs that bucks and does have transitioning from winter. As mentioned previously, bucks are starting antler growth and does are preparing for fawn rearing. Both of these lifecycle changes require certain nutrients to maximize their potential.

Unless you have planned appropriately for late season and spring forages, chances are your food plots are just being planted. This can create a gap in available food just before and during spring green up. Protein is critical for bucks to rebuild muscle and also for proper fawn development. Choose high protein deer feed, such as the Big Tine 30-06 Protein Plus

 

Furthermore, certain minerals are also needed by whitetails to maintain a healthy and productive herd. Native browse, food plots, habitat projects, and new growth vegetation will fulfill the food” need of deer, but supplementing these sources with the right minerals creates more mineral uptake for deer and more opportunities for hunters. For antler growth, deer feed ingredients such as calcium and phosphorous are a must. Does, generally, will require a range of nutrients and trace minerals during the spring fawning season. What they don’t already get through the environment they can obtain from a good mineral block like the Big Tine Block.

Finally, an often overlooked need for whitetails during spring is sodium or more commonly salt. The need for this relates to the increase in food intake occurring at this time. Ingesting more succulent vegetation significantly increases the amount of water and potassium intake for whitetails and the need for salt to balance the digestive process is great.

When to Transition to Feeding Deer in Summer

Transitioning between spring and summer deer feeding relates to the next phase of the whitetail’s lifecycle. Bucks are continuing to grow their antlers and now fawns are starting to drop. In conjunction, seasonal changes are also occurring.

Spring and summer deer feeding has no clear stop and start. However, deer can clue you in on when to modify your supplemental feeding program. Two observations can help you decide when deer have shifted into summer mode. First, and most obvious, you will start to see fawns. Second, antler growth in bucks will begin to increase to the point where you begin to see more development of points and height. Both observations are an indication that nutritional requirements are again changing for deer.

Feeding Deer in Summer

The most important time for proper nutrition for whitetails is summer. Bucks are rapidly increasing antler growth and does are recovering from fawning and providing for those newly born fawns.

For bucks, calcium and phosphorus continue to be important for maximum antler growth. A large percentage of these two minerals go directly to antler growth. When selecting the right summer deer feed, look for calcium to phosphorus ratios in feeds should be 1:1 or 2:1 to for optimal antler development.

Does have the largest nutritional needs in summer, especially a nursing doe. Their requirements exist on two fronts. They’re losing energy and nutrients while feeding their fawns and in turn, need to be passing adequate resources to that fawn through their milk. If proper food sources are not available, fawn survival can suffer and the health of the doe herd can be diminished. High levels of carbohydrates and protein-rich feed is needed to meet the needs of does in summer. Protein content should be higher in summer than spring. Feeds should have upwards of 15-22% protein content. Also when feeding deer in summer, your feeders need to be accessible by fawns so they too can take full advantage of all the deer feed ingredients you’re supplementing with.

Conclusion

If you’ve planned well, your food plots and native vegetation, in addition to her management should carry all of the nutritional needs whitetails require. Plots planted with high-quality forages like the Deer Delight mix from Arrow Seed provide very productive, palatable, and protein-rich forages from which deer can easily extract all the nutrients they need during the summer. Of course, throughout spring and summer, and even into fall and winter, every bit of energy, protein, and nutrition can go a long way.

To conclude, spring and summer deer feeding are extremely important to overall deer herd health and to maximize antler development. However, don’t think of it strictly as supplemental feed and minerals. Deer rely on the habitat and the environment first, not supplemental feed. Always check your state’s regulations when it comes to feeding deer and minerals for deer. Whenever possible, make habitat and herd management a priority instead of supplemental feed and minerals. However, if you have satisfied those management requirements, supplying additional nutrition can be an added gain on your property!

Spring Food Plots | Planning and Planting Guide

Start Planning Your Spring Food Plots Now

Along with turkey hunting, which we know you’re looking forward to as much as we are, you’re probably starting to get spring on the brain. Sure, there’s still shed hunting to be done, but it is hard to think about whitetails and not think about getting your food plots rolling again. What will you plant? Will you start any new food plots this year? What has worked best on your property in the past? These are all questions you should think about before you start your spring food plots. Here are some tips to get you started as you count down the days toward spring green-up, even though you’re really waiting until you can get another view like this.

Planning Spring Food Plots

Luckily, you can get started on planning your spring food plots for whitetail deer right now, even if there is still several feet of snow out your front window. The biggest thing to consider is obviously what your goals and objectives are for your property. Wouldn’t you rather have a deer factory over the summer to support many new fawns and watch the development of bucks with your Nikon® optics? If so, spring food plots are probably the way to go. Or would you prefer your property to really attract deer during the fall hunting season? If that is your primary focus, fall food plots are where you should spend your time. The best of both worlds, if you have enough property and resources to support them, is to keep a good mix of both food plots for deer so you have all-season nutrition. You can do that either by rotating spring and fall crops in the same plot or keeping completely separate plots.

As you identify your property goals, consider your neighbors too. For example, it would not make much of a difference to plant a small corn plot if you live in Iowa’s corn country. Focus on planting something that deer can’t easily find in your neighborhood. In that same scenario, try focusing on clover plots for spring nutrition (before corn is available) or brassicas and turnips for late season attraction (after corn has been harvested).

You should also consider the size of the food plots you want to plant. As the size increases so does the cost and time investment. It takes longer to till, prepare, plant, and maintain larger plots, and you will have to buy more seed, herbicide, lime, and fertilizer as well. So if you are feeling a little cash or time-strapped this year, you might want to downsize your spring food plots a little. Of course, the downside to planting small or micro food plots is that they can quickly get overbrowsed. This is especially true if you would like to keep deer on your property over the summer. There are many mouths to feed that time of year for small food plots for deer to keep up.

Best Spring Food Plot Mix

Alright, you have made your plans and now you need to buy some deer food plot seeds to plant. There are probably hundreds of choices when it comes to food plot seeds, most are just different varieties of the same dozen or so plants. But you can’t talk about planning food plots without mentioning perennials versus annuals. Perennial species include long-lived species that come back year after year, which cuts back on planting costs, as long as you properly maintain them. Common perennial food plot species include clover, alfalfa, or chicory. Annual food plot species only grow for that growing season and are highly attractive. Common annuals include corn, soybeans, turnips, radishes, cereal grains, or peas. In some seed mixes, you’ll find a blend of perennial and annual seeds to get the best of both scenarios. The annuals act as a nurse crop because they grow fast and are highly attractive to draw deer attention away from the slower growing perennials, which will grow back in the following years.

Whether you decide on planting fall or spring food plots for deer and turkey, Arrow Seed® has you covered. While they have a few spring food plot blends that would work great for you, two stand out.

Arrow Seed’s Deer Delight blend contains turnips, forage peas, forage soybeans, and two varieties of grain sorghum. This is an annual blend of seeds, and the sorghum acts as a scaffold for the forage peas and soybeans to climb on, while the turnips cover the ground surface.

Their Trophy Banquet mix is another good option, it contains orchardgrass, red clover, white clover, chicory, and two forage alfalfas. This perennial mix is high in protein and it will come back strong in the following years.

Planting Spring Food Plots

The planting process is where the hard work begins and it is a great way to get your kids involved. Of course, it is much more involved than simply planting. First, you need to prepare the soil, which can take some time. If it is a new plot and you are breaking new ground, it might be a better idea to use the first summer to spray it with herbicide and loosen the sod. If you have access to heavy farm equipment, you could also just till it under and have access to good soil relatively quickly.

Before planting, be sure to do a soil test, which will tell you how much fertilizer and lime to add to your plot. Without a soil test, you are just guessing (and you will probably guess wrong). Also, make sure you know the best planting method for the seeds you choose. Most large grains and seeds (e.g., corn, soybeans, etc.) need to be planted using a drill or by broadcasting and disking it into the soil. Meanwhile, small seeds (e.g., clover, brassicas, etc.) should usually just be broadcasted over the soil surface and lightly cultipacked in. It is always a good idea to plant right before a steady rain, so watch the forecasts. As far as when to plant food plots for deer, the seed you buy will have recommended planting dates based on your geography.

As long as you plant the seeds using the steps above and get enough rainfall, your spring food plots should do great. If weeds start to show up in your plots, don’t worry too much about it. Most forbs (flowering broadleaf plants like goldenrod) are preferred deer food too. If they start to take over or you notice really invasive ones (thistles, milkweed, etc.), you can mow the perennials to a height of 6 to 8 inches or spot spray the invasive ones. Don’t forget to hang a trail camera on your spring food plots to monitor the deer herd when you’re not there. Soon enough, you will be staring at a lush spring food plot and counting down the days toward autumn.

Raised Hunting | Does HECS™ Clothing Work?

How a Deer’s Sixth Sense Can Be Beat with HECS™ Clothing

Hunters focus much of their time on concealment and scent control. Whether it be using the latest camo pattern from Realtree® or utilizing the full line of Scent Crusher® products, hunters go to great lengths to avoid detection. HECS™ clothing is that missing piece needed to get you closer.

Going undetected afield is not an easy task. It is so difficult that we spend most of our effort in hunting trying to achieve complete concealment. If you hunt long enough, you will certainly get busted without explanation. We chalk it up to a deer’s sixth sense but what is really behind these unexplained missed opportunities?

What is a Deer’s Sixth Sense?

Every animal emits an electrical energy signal. Deer and most animals for that matter can detect this electromagnetic energy. According to study from Hynek Burda in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13451.full.pdf?sid=07d86620-89ef-4d42-a63e-c52cbe17d873), there is compelling evidence that large mammals can not only sense electromagnetic energy but respond to it. This can be termed an animal’s sixth sense. An animal’s ability to sense electrical signals hunters give off is no different than their ability to see or smell you.

Understanding Electrical Energy in Animals

It is indisputable that living organisms emit an electromagnetic field (EMF). It appears that animals have the ability to sense the EMF emitted by other animals based on research from Theodore Netter (http://www.hecsllc.com/downloads/research-EMF-Blocking-TheodoreWNetter.pdf). In fact, they might be able to sense them in great detail, according to his research referenced. Humans are no exception. Humans emit electrical energy signals that other animals, including game animals, can sense.

Animals sense and use electrical energy many different ways. The most recognized electric energy in our environment is that from the Earth’s EMF. Fish and other aquatic wildlife navigate using electromagnetic energy and migratory birds travel based on these same electrical signals.

The same way animals use the EMF to navigate, it has been shown by Netter and others that animals can sense electrical signals given off by other animals and more importantly those given off by hunters. HECS™ clothing blocks these signals and keeps you concealed from an animal’s sixth sense.

The best example of how we emit electrical signals comes from healthcare. Consider the medical test called the electrocardiogram, or EKG. Typically, this test is used to measure the electrical activity of your heart to diagnose inconstancies, which may reveal cardiac issues. It works by reading each electrical impulse your heart produces each time it beats. Your heart, like other muscles, produces electrical signals each time they move. The greater the muscle movement the great the signal produced by the muscle. Just like the EKG, this is what animals sense when you are hunting.

How Electrical Energy Relates to Hunting

Every hunter has had at least one occasion where you can’t explain why that deer suddenly spooked or that gobbler hung up just out of range. You have practiced the most stringent scent control, implemented all the tree stand hacks possible and remained motionless in hopes of getting a shot on a trophy. But even all that wasn’t enough to conceal yourself and make the shot.

What happened? That sixth sense, the deer or turkey’s or other animal’s ability to sense your electrical energy signal, busted you. Your accelerated heartbeat or your muscles priming to make the shot are firing elevated electrical signals. Animals are sensing these signals, which are getting you busted more than you think. HECS™ Stealthscreen and the technology behind it is the only way to get closer.

The Technology behind the HECS™ Stealthscreen

Simply put, the HECS™ Stealthscreen blocks electrical signals. It is a patented revolutionary technology that blocks the electrical energy you emit. Doing so, allows you to get closer to game than ever before.

“Something is helping us… So when people ask us if HECS works, yes HECS works.” – David Holder, Raised Hunting

HECS (Human Energy Concealment System) uses a carbon fiber conductive grid to block your electrical signal. Its design is based on a principle called the Faraday Cage, which was invented in 1836 by Michael Faraday. The Faraday Cage (https://science.howstuffworks.com/faraday-cage.htm) is generally a conductive mesh material that blocks electrical fields by channeling electricity throughout the mesh. Typical uses for the technology include protecting sensitive technology equipment from electrical interference or blocking microwaves emitted from your household microwave.

What makes HECS™ Stealthscreen effective is based on the design of the carbon fiber grid. The size of the grid is designed to specifically block the wavelengths of human electrical signals. When integrated into hunting clothing, this carbon fiber mesh creates a Faraday Cage that keeps your electrical energy from being sensed by animals. The fabric not only blocks your electrical signals but it is also flexible, lightweight, breathable and machine washable. HECS™ Stealthscreen will never wash out or become ineffective over time.

How Raised Hunting is Using HECS™ Clothing

HECS™ hunting gear is with us in every hunting situation. No matter if we are hunting elk out west or bow hunting deer in the Midwest, we are wearing HECS™ clothing. We wear it just about anywhere you can think of. Does hunting with HECS™ actually work? Yes, it works and that is why we wear it each and every time we hunt.

“Why do we wear HECS, why not?” – David Holder, Raised Hunting

HECS™ Stealthscreen is one of the products you can’t quite put your finger on. Is HECS™ for real? It’s not tangible like a bow when you know it’s working or not. However, we get away with movement when we shouldn’t. We get animals in close that never look at us. We also get away with drawing our bows, when in other scenarios we would be busted. There is no other explanation other than HECS™ clothing works.

Hunters have experienced situation after situation which is unexplainable. That bull elk picked you out while you were downwind and motionless or perhaps a whitetail mysteriously snorted and retreated to cover. This sixth sense by animals is legendary to hunters and most assumed it was unbeatable. It’s not a mystery, but rather the electrical signals you’re emitting that animals are sensing. And yes, it can be beaten. HECS™ clothing and its patented technology block those invisible electrical signals and keeps you concealed down to the last moment.

2018 Compound Bows that Pack a Punch from Bear Archery®

The New Compound Bows from Bear Archery®

Being on the precipice of a new year, many hunters are reliving the past season’s successes and missed opportunities. It’s no different for bow hunters. The only exception is they have an equally important thought on their mind. What is next for compound bows in 2018Watch our review a few of the best new bows for 2018 from Bear Archery® at Whittaker Guns!

The Bear Archery® Difference 

Compound bow hunting is as strong as ever. This benefits the bow hunter for two reasons. The first is that compound bow brands like Bear Archery® are continually innovating. Noise damping technologies like SonicStops™, a string vibration eliminator, and the Lock Down Pocket System, which provides the industry-leading riser-to-pocket-to-limb alignment accuracy are just a few of the innovations Bear Archery® is incorporating into their 2018 compound bows. The second benefit is that these innovations are happening every year. Each year there are new technologies around compound bows to shoot faster, shoot more accurate and take bow design to new limits.

 Bear’s 2018 New Lineup of Compound Bows 

The success of the Bear Archery® Moment this past year was not enough for one of the leading compound bow brands. For 2018, four new bows make their appearance. These bows are the Kuma, Sole Intent, Approach, and Species. The new lineup of compound bows continues to push the limits on speed, with the Kuma pushing the 345 fps mark. Also, the best hunting bows for 2018 are quieter than ever and these are no exception. Bear has loaded each with their latest vibration and noise reduction technology to give you the quietest and deadliest bow for hunting. 

Specs for Bear’s Newest Bows 

Kuma

The Kuma brings together both speed and comfort, with the top speed bow from Bear coming in at 345 fps. The Kuma is smooth and quiet. The unique design and manufacturing technique used to build this bow gives it superior accuracy in a lightweight frame. The Kuma also offers an LD model that features a longer draw length. The Kuma LD is available in a 46-60 lbs. and 55-70 lbs. peak draw weight models.

  Price  Weight  Brace Height  Axle-to-Axle  Let Off  Peak Draw Weight  Draw Length Range  Speed 
Kuma  $899.99  4.3 lbs.  6”  33”  75%  55-70 lbs.  25.5”-30”  345 fps 
Kuma LD  $899.99  4.3 lbs.  6.5”  33.25”  80%  45-60 lbs. 

55-70 lbs. 

27”-32”  330 fps 

 

Sole Intent

The Sole Intent features a single-cam system for maintenance free, accurate bow shooting. This small frame and lightweight bow fires arrows at 295 fps. A Bear Archery® compound bow that is perfect for drawing in close quarters like hunting from a blind. 

  Price  Weight  Brace Height  Axle-to-Axle  Let Off  Peak Draw Weight  Draw Length Range  Speed 
Sole Intent  $699.99  3.65 lbs.  6”  29”  75%  45-60 lbs.  22”-27”  295 fps 

Approach

Most compound bows rarely offer this level of performance at this price point. The Approach does just that. This single-cam bow tunes easily and shoots nearly silent. The Approach also comes in an HC model. The Approach HC is a hybrid cam system featuring high performance from draw cycle to speed to accuracy.  

  Price  Weight  Brace Height  Axle-to-Axle  Let Off  Peak Draw Weight  Draw Length Range  Speed 
Approach  $499.99  4 lbs.  6.25”  32”  75%  45-60 lbs. 

55-70 lbs. 

23.5”-30.5”  330 fps 
Approach HC  $449.99  4 lbs.  6”  32”  75%  55-70 lbs.  25.5”-30”  340 fps 

Species

If you are just starting out compound bow hunting, or looking for a mid-range bow that comes ready to hunt, the new Species bow is perfect for you. Simple to set up and easy to shoot, this bow offers an incredible value to performance ratio.

  Price  Weight  Brace Height  Axle-to-Axle  Let Off  Peak Draw Weight  Draw Length Range  Speed 
Species  $399.99  4 lbs.  6.75”  31”  80%  45-60 lbs. 

55-70 lbs. 

23”-30”  320 fps 

If you are looking for the best compound bow for hunting, check out the new compound bows from Bear Archery®. These innovative, high-performance bows give you top-end choices if you are looking to upgrade in 2018.