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Whitetail Institute of North America 239 Whitetail Trail / Pintlala, AL 36043 Phone: 334-281-3006 / Fax: 334-286-9723 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


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Awesome Fall Annuals Page 5

Significant innovations in the hunting industry

Visionaries of the Ages Volume 18, No. 2


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Vol. 18, No. 2 /



A M E SS AG E F R O M R AY S COT T Founder and President Whitetail Institute of North America

A Special Anniversary Gift

Whitetail Institute OFFICERS AND STAFF FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT: RAY SCOTT Vice President of Operations.........................Wilson Scott Vice President...........................................................Steve Scott Operations Manager: ...................................William Cousins Agronomist & Director of Forage Research...........................Wayne Hanna, Ph.D. National Sales Manager ..................................Mark Trudeau Wildlife Biologist...................................................Justin Moore Director of Special Projects ..............................Jon Cooner Whitetail News Senior Editor ...................Bart Landsverk Contributing Writers...Charles Alsheimer, Tom Fegely, Jim Casada, Brad Herndon, John Ozoga, Bill Winke, Monte Burch, R.G. Bernier, Bill Marchel, Judd Cooney, Michael Veine, Steve Bartylla , Dr. Carroll Johnson, III Product Consultants.............Jon Cooner, Brandon Self, John White, Frank Dees Dealer/Distributor Sales.....................................John Buhay, Greg Aston, Jon Cooner Accounting & Logistics ...................................Steffani Hood Office Manager...............................................Dawn McGough Internet Customer Service Manager.............Mary Jones Shipping Manager ................................................Marlin Swain Copy Editor ...............................................................Susan Scott Art Director .........................................................George Pudzis Advertising Director........Wade Atchley, Atchley Media


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


s I browsed through my April issue of American Hunter this past spring, I came across a spectacular two-page spread of a beautiful buck in velvet, in a field of lush green foliage. When I read the headline “Deer Nutrition Comes of Age” and started reading the copy, I realized the article was about the Whitetail Institute. I remembered talking to editorial director John Zent a while back but never inquired specifically about his purpose — I talk to a lot of outdoor writers. So the article was a delightful surprise and a terrific anniversary gift! American Hunter is one of the prestigious publications of the multi-million-member National Rifle Association, and I couldn’t have been more proud. The article was highly complimentary of the Institute and me. But I was more taken with the insightful and comprehensive way Zent covered the deer nutrition phenomenon and the good questions he posed. When you finished reading it, you were left

with a clear understanding of what the Institute is all about and the effect improved nutrition has had on whitetail deer and the whole deer hunting industry. In talking about our 20th anniversary and the food plot revolution started by the introduction of Imperial Whitetail Clover, Zent points out “Tens of thousands of American hunters have become practicing conservationists by putting millions of acres into cultivation and deer hunting in general has reaped the benefit. Herds are healthier, and hunters have a better chance than ever of killing wallhanger bucks.” The article can be read by visiting www.whitetailinstititute.com. Thank you John Zent and American Hunter for a great Anniversary Gift! W

Ray Scott


Aldo Leopold

Ray Scott Whitetail Institute

Aldo Leopold Foundation

Teddy Roosevelt

Visionaries of the Ages Significant Innovations in the Hunting Industry By Brad Herndon


ince I was a small boy, I’ve loved being outside in nature. As I edge into the age of a senior citizen, that feeling has not changed. In fact, I believe I enjoy Creation more than I ever have. Like anyone who has been around a while, I often think of what nature and wildlife were like hundreds of years ago. I have these thoughts most often when I'm roaming around in the Muscatatuck bottoms, a river valley not far from my home. “What did the trees look like before the New World www.whitetailinstitute.com

was discovered by Columbus? I bet they were huge,” I think. “I’ll bet there were elk, wolves and buffalo in Indiana then. I wonder what I would see if the walk I’m taking right now could go back in time to 1491?” Well, for an adventure and learning experience, let’s do that — go back in time and review what nature and wildlife was like in 1491, and what man’s relation to nature was at that time. Further, let’s cover what happened to nature and wildlife from 1491 until the present, and see how mankind has influenced and

changed the landscape and wildlife in both negative and positive ways. Along our journey, I’ll also note some of the timeliest visionaries in wildlife and nature, and how they were responsible for saving what outdoorsmen enjoy today. HUMANS ALWAYS INFLUENCE WILDLIFE AND NATURE If we were to go back in time to 1491, we would see Vol. 18, No. 2 /



huge quantities of wildlife and large forested tracts. We probably would be most surprised with the number and size of swamps and wetlands throughout our land. Beavers, muskrats and ducks would be present in shocking numbers. Also, we would stand in awe as we looked at a sky blackened by hundreds of thousands of passenger pigeons. Or consider the thrill you would feel if you saw, as Col. Richard Dodge did out West, a herd of migrating bison 25 miles wide. Still, in 1491, this land might not have been as pristine as we might imagine. For example, there would be large black — ugly to us — areas where fire had been used by Native Americans to enhance productive growth of tender shoots, resulting in more wildlife. Further, that served to clear land for agricultural production. Traveling around, we would also encounter numerous fields with corn, beans, pepper, squash and many other vegetables Native Americans planted and tilled. Visiting their villages, we would also be impressed with the number of inhabitants and their intelligence. And imagine what we might learn from them about hunting, fishing, trapping and what we call “survival skills” — something they dealt with every day. If we could live for a few years at this time, the most shocking revelation would occur during the 1500s — the disappearance of Native Americans from the land. Sadly, the coming of the white man introduced smallpox, measles, mumps and many other diseases into the Native American population. Indians had no immunity to these diseases, and within a few years, 95 percent of Native Americans had been killed by these illnesses. Although American Indians used only what they needed to survive from wildlife — namely food

and skins for clothing or tents — they kept the numbers of some species somewhat under control. This was probably true of the bison. Because the Native American population diminished by as many as 15 or 20 million people, and the white man had not yet saturated the West, it’s very likely the bison herd increased for several decades after Europeans landed on our shores. But eventually, the new inhabitants of North America multiplied, expanded and went west. And with that came market hunting. THE MARKET HUNTER The peak of market hunting in North America was from 1600 until the mid- to late 1800s. From the beginning, Europeans recognized that the wealth of America was in its flora and fauna, not gold or spices. Fishermen began working offshore waters, and trappers captured beavers, muskrats, mink and other water-related animals by the millions. Market hunters prowled the forests and plains, supplying food and hides to people in the East and Europe. Boatloads of deer hides, for example, were shipped overseas. And there was more. Feathers were used for adornment, and shooting 100 ibises a day for their plumes was part of a day’s work. The first species to fall to extinction by market hunting was the great auks, which were large flightless fowl. As time passed, the vast numbers of elk, pronghorns, mule deer and whitetail deer dwindled. The most impressive animal, the bison, was the most decimated, mostly because of the repeating rifle in the hands of skilled market hunters. With the demand for its hide, and its delicious tongue, tenderloins and hump

ribs, the great animal’s numbers eventually sank to barely 150 in the wild. By the late 1800s, railroads crisscrossed the country, barbed-wire fences divided the land, and an era was coming to an end. However, wildlife was not the only thing that had been affected by the newcomers. Every region had been settled, and farming was the primary way of making a living. Forests had been removed, prairies plowed up and wetlands drained. Even poor land was tilled in an attempt to survive. Although it would be years before it happened, farming in the 1880s was setting the scene for the dust bowl of 1930s, an occurrence such as the world had never seen. Many farmers leaned on their hoes and wondered what would happen to the land. Hunters, too, leaned on their rifles, with no big-game animals in sight. Desolation ruled the land. There were a few, however, who vowed to take action. A NEW BEGINNING “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Most of us are probably familiar with that phrase. It’s a quote from the 26th president of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt. There is another quote I can relate to even more: “I’m not a good shot, but I shoot often.” Roosevelt was born in 1858 in New York to a wealthy family. He was sickly as a youngster, and even when he entered the New York state assembly at 21 he had a squeaky voice and dandified clothing. The newspapers called him Jane-Dandy, Punkin-Lily and chief of the dudes. Determined to change his health and image, in 1883 Roosevelt purchased property in the badlands near Medora, N.D. He named it the Elk Horn ranch,

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WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2




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bought a herd of cattle, hired ranch hands and started to develop his Western image. It was that year that he killed his first buffalo, a feat that required eight shots. After the great animal was down, Roosevelt spontaneously did a “war dance,” a feat he repeated thereafter in a career of famous hunting. As he was admiring the magnificent animal, however, sadness fell over him. He knew it was one of a few remaining buffalo in the wild and that other hunters might never experience the thrill he just had. This hunt changed his life forever, and being a man of courage and conviction, he vowed to do something about it. A quote he uttered in 1905 summed up the feeling he had at that time. “The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak, so we must, and we will.” After the failure of his ranch in 1887, Roosevelt returned to the East. He had a hearty voice, rock-hard body and the cowboy persona that was admired by the nation.

Brad Herndon


Thanks to Teddy Roosevelt and conservationists after him, hunters, non-hunters and even anti-hunters can enjoy the pristine beauty found in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the badlands of North Dakota

Interestingly, 1887 was also the year Roosevelt founded the Boone and Crockett Club, still one of the nation’s top conservation organizations. The B&C Club authored a famous fair-chase statement of hunter ethics, and worked for the elimination of market hunting, creation of wildlife reserves and conservationminded game laws. In addition, B&C is also a big-game record-keeping club known to virtually all whitetail deer hunters. However, Roosevelt accomplished much more than this to preserve the nation’s disappearing wildlife. After 1887, Roosevelt quickly rose through the polit-

The Whitetail Institute is proud to offer Imperial Whitetail Winter-Greens, our annual brassica blend designed specifically for late season food plot sources and hunting opportunities. Winter-Greens blend of brassica is extremely attractive, and during tests was preferred 4 to 1 over other brassica products tested. Winter-Greens stands tall and stays green, even in the coldest winter weather. The colder it gets the more sweet and attractive it becomes which creates perfect food plots for late season hunting. So this year plant our highly drought resistant Winter-Greens and give your deer a valuable source of nutrients for the winter season.

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The Whitetail Institute ®



239 Whitetail Trail Pintlala, AL 36043

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

Research = Results

“Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”


ical ranks, became a war hero and was elected president in 1901. He was in a position of highest authority, and that turned out to be a blessing to wildlife and nature. He was the last trained observer to see a passenger pigeon. On March 14, 1903, Roosevelt created the first National Bird Preserve on Pelican Island, Fla. In 1907, he established the U.S. Forest Service. During his presidential term, Roosevelt set aside more land for nature preserves and national parks than all of his predecessors combined: 194 million acres. By 1909, the Roosevelt administration had created an unprecedented 42 million acres of national forests, 53 national wildlife refuges and 18 areas of special interest, including the Grand Canyon. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands of North Dakota commemorates his conservation philosophy. Wildlife and nature owe a lot to Roosevelt, as do hunters and people who enjoy wildlife and nature.

Brad Herndon


The buffalo was almost extinct, but now herds of buffalo out West are a common sight, thanks to conservationminded hunters.

Another wildlife visionary was Aldo Leopold, a man considered the father of wildlife management. Born in Burlington, Iowa, in 1887, Leopold was always fascinated with the natural world. He graduated from college with a master’s degree in forestry. While working in the Southwest, Leopold urged the Forest Service to set aside roadless areas as wilderness. In 1924, the Forest Service accepted his recommendation and designated the Gila region in New Mexico a wilderness area — 40 years before the Wilderness Act was passed. Leaving the forestry service, Leopold began conducting wildlife surveys in the north-central states with money from the Sporting Arms and Ammunition

Manufacturer’s Institute. This led to his book Game Management and established him as one of the country’s authorities on native game animals. In 1933, the University of Wisconsin established a position in game management especially for him. Leopold believed the future of American wildlife was largely on private land, in the attitudes and decisions of farmers and landowners. Eventually Leopold purchased a sandy, abandoned farm on a bend in the Wisconsin River — its only building a chicken shed — and began practicing what he preached regarding the conservation of wildlife and nature. On April 24, 1948, Aldo Leopold died of a heart attack fighting a grass fire on property adjoining his farm. It was just one week after he had learned Oxford Press would publish his book of essays on game management. The book, A Sand County Almanac, was published in 1949. Today, it stands as one of the most influential nature books ever written. And even after being in print for almost 60 years, it still remains one of the best-selling books in the nature and nature writing categories on Amazon.com. LANDMARK LEGISLATION HELPED WILDLIFE AND NATURE In 1900, the Lacey Act was passed, giving the United States its first far-reaching federal wildlife-protection law. In 1934, The Duck Stamp Act, lobbied for by waterfowlers, provided money from federal stamps to aid waterfowl management and permit purchase of lands for federal waterfowl refuges. Additionally, in 1937, concerned hunters asked the federal government to tax their equipment and use the money to manage the

Deer have complex nutritional needs that change throughout the year. But because Cutting Edge meets these changing needs, it is not complex at all — in fact it’s very simple. Thanks to our extensive research and development, getting the right supplements to your deer herd at the right time is as easy as opening a bag and creating a ground site or mixing with other feed such as corn or beans. Devour flavor enhancer is included in the Cutting Edge formula to make sure the deer find and frequently use this state-of-the-art supplement.

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The Whitetail Institute ®

239 Whitetail Trail Pintlala, AL 36043

“Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

Research = Results

Late winter to mid-spring — When bucks are regrowing their antlers and doe are entering the tird trimester of pregnancy, Initiate meets their increased need for protein, energy, minerals and vitamins that early spring vegetation is not yet able to provide.

Late spring through summer — During this period deer need a specific array of vitamins and minerals to support continued antler growth and lactation. Optimize is the perfect blend of nutrients to maintain a healthy herd during this crucial period.

Fall through early winter — Cold weather, food shortages and the stresses of he rut make fall and winter a difficult time for deer heards. Sustain provides the protein, energy, vitamins and minerals necessary to bring the heard through this difficult period.


nation’s wildlife. To date, the Pittman-Robertson Act has raised billions of dollars for America’s wildlife. By the 1950s, wildlife had been preserved enough that modern hunting seasons were started in most states. The number of hunters increased, as did the number of items they used afield. Camouflage, scentcontaining clothing, modern slug guns, inline muzzleloaders, tree stands, compound bows, and deer and turkey calls are just a few of the hunting items we now use. Interestingly, one of the fastest-growing segments of the hunting industry involves the founder of the company who delivers you this magazine. RAY SCOTT: VISIONARY FISHERMAN, HUNTER AND CONSERVATIONIST Ray Scott’s story began while he was sitting on a bed in a Ramada Inn in Jackson, Miss., in 1967. Scott considered how there was a championship for every sport except fishing. Being an avid bass fisherman, Scott envisioned a national bass fishing tournament to determine who was truly the best largemouth fisherman in the nation. Heading to Beaver Lake, Ark., Scott presented his idea of a bass fishing tournament to a local Chamber of Commerce. They liked Scott’s idea but turned down his request for $5,000. Hearing of their rejection, board member Dr. Stanley Applegate wrote Scott a check for $2,500. “Pay me back if you want,” he said, “But if the event isn’t a success, don’t tell my wife I gave you the money.” Scott immediately began contacting the best fishermen he knew and ended up with 106 men from 15 states who paid $100 each to enter the tournament. It was a rousing success, and the man who finished second in the tournament is still well known to anglers today: Bill Dance. As the old saying goes, the rest is history. The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, or B.A.S.S., was formed. The organization promotes the sport of fishing and also the conservation of natural resources. Bassmaster Magazine was added along the way and became the “bible of bass fishing.” More than 3,000 conservationminded bass clubs were formed, and they later banded into state B.A.S.S. federations. With conservation-minded bass fisherman on every body of water in the United States, it was easy for them to spot unregulated dumping that led to water pollution. During 1970 and 1971, Scott and company filed more than 200 lawsuits against polluters. Scott was also responsible for the popularization of catch-andrelease as we know it today. It was a monumental step in the conservation of the bass resource. There are numerous other breakthrough contributions Scott made to fishing, such as the use of personal flotation devices and engine kill switches. All the time, Scott was involved in building the fishing industry, he was also — amazingly — doing something on the side: deer hunting. ANOTHER VISION In 1985, when Scott dropped by the Montgomery Seed & Feed store to pick up some oat and wheat seed. He and his buddies were going to plant the seed at their Lucky 7 Club. For whatever reason, the guy loading the seed wanted to know if Scott wanted to try some new clover. “Sure,” Scott said, “Pitch it on the trailer.” Later, when they planted their 12 fields in seed, Scott www.whitetailinstitute.com

and his partners decided to take a one-acre plot and plant a third of it in wheat, a third in oats and the other third in the new clover. Later that fall, Scott watched seven deer walk across the oats and wheat to get to the clover, and he promptly dropped a 7-pointer in its tracks — a deer he wouldn’t shoot today. In bed that night, Scott wondered why the deer walked right past the wheat and oats to get to the clover. Another breakthrough innovation in the hunting industry was about to begin. In 1988, The Whitetail Institute of North America was born. Soon Scott discovered Dr. Wiley Johnson, an agronomist and plant geneticist in his own back yard, Auburn University. Johnson had developed the variety of clover he was using. Scott immediately hired Johnson as a consultant and assigned him a project: Create a superior deer forage, building on the best qualities of the clover he had originally tested. FILLING A NEED Again, Scott’s innovative thinking and hard work had produced a revolutionary product—something deer hunters were in dire need of. But there would be more benefits for the hunters of North America. “My sons, Steve and Wilson, primarily run the business now, and we all like to give our customers more than their money’s worth,” Scott said. “We call it our baker’s dozen. That’s why we decided in 1991 to come out with our publication, The Whitetail News — free of charge. By doing this, we could inform our customers how to plant and take care of their food plots, and also explain to them how to manage their wildlife and natural habitat.” To me, the 160,000 free editions of The Whitetail News mailed out three times a year have been invaluable in informing deer hunters about the management and conservation needs of wildlife and natural habitat. What the Whitetail Institute started was a genuine

revolution. Food plots are one of the most important tools a hunter can use to improve his hunting experience. But beyond that, the wildlife benefit from the plots and not just deer. Turkey, bears, waterfowl, rabbits, ground hogs, and all wildlife benefit, even songbirds benefit too. Without doubt, Scott has been just as instrumental in preserving our hunting heritage and our land as he was in preserving the sport of fishing. Field & Stream magazine thinks so too. It recently named Scott among the “Twenty Who Have Made A Difference” in the American outdoors during the past century. FROM 1491 TO 2008 We’ve come a long way in a few paragraphs, from 1491 to 2008. We’ve discussed the millions of waterfowl and animals that were here when Columbus reached the new world, and then learned how these numbers plummeted to incredibly low numbers, with some species becoming extinct. On the plus side, we have seen how visionary men recognized the errors of the past and took action to correct them. Some were presidents, like Roosevelt. Some, like Leopold, were just children who loved the outdoors and followed through on taking care of what they loved so much. Others were bird lovers, and some were simply dreamers. And one, Scott, was just a guy who loved to fish for bass, hunt for deer and got his best inspirations when relaxing on a bed. We should remember that we each have a part in taking care of the wildlife and natural resources the creator has given us. Oh, we might not make the top 20 list of conservationists during the century, but if we help preserve the environment we have, we will have the thrill of looking down into the eyes of a small child and hearing them say, “Hey Dad, thanks for taking me hunting and fishing.” W

■ Some Interesting Facts >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> • There were billions of passenger pigeons in North America when Columbus discovered the new world. In Wisconsin, one roost site covered 750 square miles and contained an estimated 136 million birds. Martha, the last passenger pigeon, died in the Cincinnati zoo in 1914. The conservation movement in the United States was perhaps fueled more by the demise of the passenger pigeon than any other factor. • At their peak population, an estimated 60 million bison lived in North America. Their numbers eventually dwindled to a few hundred, and if not for a few captive herds of these huge animals, the bison, or buffalo, might have became extinct. • By the late 1800s, it is estimated there were only 25,000 pronghorn antelope, 20,000 wild turkeys, 300,000 whitetails, 50,000 elk and 100,000 beavers left in the United States. Because of the efforts of many people, most of them hunters, there are now 7 million turkeys, 20 million whitetails, 1 million elk, 500,000 pronghorns and so many beavers they are considered a nuisance by many people. If you think Roosevelt wasn’t tough, consider this: Before a speech in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1912, Roosevelt was shot by John Schrank, a saloonkeeper. The bullet lodged in Roosevelt’s chest after penetrating his steel eyeglass case and the thick 50-page copy of his speech. Being an experienced hunter, Roosevelt coughed a few times, saw no blood and determined the bullet had not penetrated the chest wall to his lung. Standing up at the podium, Roosevelt declared, “I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.” He spoke for 90 minutes. In the Midwest, 10 percent of all trees in the forest at Columbus’ time were American chestnuts. Today, a handful survive. In the fall at that time, there were huge migrations of gray squirrels in lean mast years, all searching for a food source. Besides the Boone & Crockett Club, many other organizations have been instrumental in the conservation and management of our natural resources throughout the years. They include Ducks Unlimited. the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Pope & Young Club, Quail Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Rifle Association.

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Awesome Annuals for Fall Imperial Options for Fall/Winter Annuals By Jon Cooner


In most cases, Imperial perennial blends can be the backbone of a food-plot system. To get the most benefit for your efforts, however, remember that annual forages can be a superb complement to your perennial plantings, and in some cases, they can even be a better option. Let’s look at some of the reasons why you might want to look more closely at annual plantings, and at how Imperial annual blends can fit your needs. Energy: The major nutrient categories involved in deer nutrition are protein, carbohydrates, lipids (fats and oils), minerals, vitamins and energy. When it comes to deer nutrition, perhaps the nutrient most often discussed is protein. And for good reason — protein is crucial during the spring and summer for herd health, antler growth, doe pregnancy and lactation. This emphasis on spring and summer nutrition, though, should not completely overshadow that of fall and winter. It is an equally critical nutritional period during which protein takes a back seat to another

nutrient (or more accurately, a product of other nutrients): energy. Now, don’t misunderstand. Winter-Greens, Pure Attraction and No-Plow are all high in protein. It’s just that energy is so critical during the fall and winter, and that is another area where these annual blends really deliver. Put simply, deer must have high-energy food sources for the fall and winter if they are to thrive. That means that when choosing a forage strictly for fall and winter, you should choose a forage that does two things: It must be carbohydrate-rich, and it must produce substantial tonnage. Imperial annuals for fall and winter do just that. Lush, Rapid New Growth: Early fall is often a time when deer utilize food plots most heavily. As they prepare for the coming cold months, deer store as much energy as they can in the form of fat. Hard mast and other natural food sources high in lipids are major natural suppliers of stored energy. However, mast production can fluctuate from year to year, and it can be

Charles J. Alsheimer

ne of the keys to getting the most from your food-plot system is to provide your deer with maximum nutrition and attraction for as much of the year as possible. When it comes to tailoring a food-plot system for your property, Imperial annual blends such as Winter-Greens, Pure Attraction and No-Plow can provide unmatched flexibility and performance.


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


quickly exhausted even in good years. Pure Attraction, Winter-Greens and No-Plow produce quickly and provide deer with abundant lush, new growth as they stock up on energy for the fall and winter. Filling a Niche: Imperial annuals can also be a superb option if you are not able to plant a perennial in the fall. Consider that Imperial perennials are designed to perform best when planted in a seedbed that has a soil pH of 6.5 or higher and is as free of natural vegetation

Whitetail Institute

as possible. If you lack the equipment or time necessary to disk lime into your seedbed, Imperial No-Plow is specifically designed for just such a contingency. As the Whitetail Institute’s second-longest-running product, No-Plow has proved for decades that it will produce abundant, high-energy forage for your deer throughout the fall and winter, and with no ground tillage required. Also, what if you are able to till your soil and had planned to plant Imperial Whitetail Clover or Alfa-Rack Plus, but you waited a little too The first hard frost of winter sweetens late to perform a soil test and now find that Winter-Greens, when other food plots may be your soil pH is low? Since lime takes time to reaching exhaustion. complete its job of raising soil pH, you should not try to lime your soil and plant Imperial Whitetail Clover right away if your soil pH is below 6.0. And with Alfa-Rack Plus, you should not plant if your soil pH before liming was 6.5, since all alfalfas are so highly dependent on soil pH. If you’re in that boat, are you just out of luck for this fall and winter? Absolutely not! In such cases, you can go ahead and add the lime called for in your soiltest report, and disk it thoroughly into the seedbed. Then, plant Pure Attraction, WinterGreens or No-Plow in the site for this fall and winter. That way, the lime will have time to raise your soil pH so that you can plant during the following spring or fall, and in the meantime, you will have a highly attractive, nutritious food source for your deer. Meeting a Specific Need: Imperial annuals specifically designed for fall and winter can

often fill a specific need you may have better than any other option. For example, logging roads can be excellent places for food plots, especially in heavily wooded areas. In some cases, though, soils do not lend themselves well to ground tillage. Imperial No-Plow is an excellent choice for logging roads, since it can be planted just by broadcasting seed and fertilizer right onto the roadbed. (Keep in mind that you do need seed-to-soil contact for No-Plow to perform.) And what if you want a product that sweetens right when the weather turns cold? In such cases, Imperial Winter-Greens is an ideal choice, since it is at its sweetest right after the first hard frosts of fall and stands tall in the snow. Winter-Greens contains unique “lettucetypes” (brassicas that have a vegetable genetic base), which are exceptionally attractive. If you’re looking for the outstanding performance of Whitetail Institute brassicas plus earlier season plant varieties, Pure Attraction is an ideal selection. Pure Attraction offers both early and late season attraction and nutrition. The early-season stage of Pure Attraction features Whitetail Institute forage oats, winter peas and other early-season varieties. Whitetail Institute forage oats are cold tolerant and provide abundant carbohydrates due to their high sugar content. Once cold weather sets in, the Whitetail Institute brassicas sweeten and keep the plot highly nutritious and attractive throughout the coldest months of the year. Let’s look at each of these outstanding fall forage choices individually. Winter-Greens: Imperial Winter-Greens is an incredibly attractive blend of “lettuce type” brassicas, which



Vol. 18, No. 2 /



are massively more attractive than standard brassica products. These highly productive brassicas provide substantial, highly attractive, carbohydrate-rich tonnage during the fall and winter. The first hard frost of winter sweetens Winter-Greens, right when other food plots may be reaching exhaustion. Winter-Greens is also very drought resistant, which is important given the recommended planting dates for Winter-Greens, which is at least 50 days before the first frost of fall. Winter-Greens is intended for well-drained soils with a pH of 6.0 or higher. Pure Attraction: Pure Attraction is a blend designed to deliver a one-two punch for the early and late seasons. The early season part of the blend consists of winter peas and grains, including WINA forage oats. These cold-tolerant oats establish very quickly, are high in sugar and are extremely attractive. For later in the season and through the coldest months of the winter, Pure Attraction provides the proven performance of Whitetail Institute brassicas. No-Plow: Imperial No-Plow is one of the Whitetail Institute’s longest-running products, and it has been continually improved over the years. No-Plow is a blend of annual forages consisting of forage grasses and grains, annual clovers and canola. When planted in the fall, No-Plow’s forage grasses and grains usually appear first, in as little as one week after planting in some cases. As deer utilize these components, the annual clovers in the blend appear and hold deer into the colder months. Once winter sets in, No-Plow’s canola component provides a highly productive, highenergy food source for deer. Often, some components of No-Plow can last through spring turkey season and even into the following summer. W



’ll never forget the day in 2006 I had to watch a trophy-class deer walk down a cornfield edge, past my stand at 10 yards and into the timber — never to be seen again. Wade Atchley, Advertising Director for The Whitetail News, and I had hung the stand the previous day, and just as we secured it to the tree, lightning, thunder and pouring rain had us running for the truck. Of course, we never had a chance to trim any lanes from my stand to the cornfield setup we call the “Silver Dollar Stand.” After watching the deer disappear, Wade and I decided that things needed to change on our Illinois lease. The first step was to implement Imperial products into our game plan. We asked one of the farmers from whom we lease if he’d leave a few rows of corn standing. He agreed. After the rest of the field was picked, Wade planted Imperial No-Plow between the picked corn rows.

The No-Plow grew quickly, and deer were soon browsing in the picked cornfield on our newly planted food plot. The No-Plow did two things: It attracted deer to the field but also kept them on the field longer. Instead of bucks cruising the field, scentchecking and then leaving, they used the field to browse and check for hot does. Fast-forward to early November 2007, when I was sitting on the stand for the second consecutive day. The previous day, I had seen a 160-inch bruiser chasing three does 100 yards from the stand, but the quartet never got closer. Of course, I was excited when I climbed into my stand overlooking the corn/No-Plow field. The wind was in my face as I considered all the potential scenarios that could unfold during the hunt. Previously, I had paced out shots into the field so I could quickly determine if a buck was in range. I had

Some of the places deer like best are not the places for maneuvering a tractor. With No-Plow, that’s not a problem. If you can get in on a four-wheeler — or even on foot — you can plant this highly attractive, high-protein annual. Obviously, the more ground preparation you do, the better, but NoPlow will produce a good stand with only the prep you can do with hand tools. Limited access and limited time won’t limit the potential of No-Plow. FREE Trial Offer!


Offer 1 — only $8.95

Offer 2 — only $19.95

(shipping and handling)

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Same as Offer 1 — PLUS: FREE all new DVD; FREE N0-Plow™ FREE 30-06™ Mineral (5 lbs.) FREE Imperial Clover™; FREE Extreme™; FREE Alfa-Rack™ PLUS; FREE Chicory PLUS™ FREE Cutting Edge™ Supplement (5 lbs.) FREE Chic Magnet™; FREE Winter-Greens™ FREE Double-Cross™ (each sample plants 100 sq. ft.)

800-688-3030 whitetailinstitute.com The Whitetail Institute Research = Results


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


239 Whitetail Trail Pintlala, AL 36043 “Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”


Bart Landsverk

also drawn my bow in every possible direction to make sure I wouldn’t have any limb problems. Been there, done that. My failures had made me a better hunter. I don’t know how trophy bucks just appear, but they just know how to surprise even the most vigilant bowhunter. Suddenly, I saw the beautiful 10-pointer to my left, eating No-Plow without a care. He was headed toward me. The big buck walked to within 60 yards and then started looking to his left, which was the wrong direction. Rather than wait for his next move, I flipped over my doe-in-heat can and listened to the “bawwllll� it let out. The buck snapped his head my direction and stared for what seemed like an eternity. Then he started feeding on the No-Plow and walked toward me. I was relieved. The buck stopped 50 yards from my stand, and it looked like his attention would again take him into the middle of the field, away from my stand. I decided to turn my back to the field and deer to grunt softly. My maneuver worked again, and the deer walked within 35 yards of my stand. He stopped, quartering away to feed on more NoPlow, which gave me the perfect opportunity to draw my bow and fire. My Rage-tipped arrow flew perfectly, and five steps later, the buck tipped over in the middle of the field. The buck measured 125 gross Pope & Young inches. My first Pope & Young buck I may not have shot this buck without planting No-Plow after the cornfield was picked. The next day, friend John Jacobs shot a deer that scored 133 near where we had planted Secret Spot. Two Pope & Young deer were taken off our easyto-plant food plots. W


for Imperial WhitetailÂŽ Clover, Chicory Plus™, Alfa-Rack™, Alfa-Rack PLUS™, Extreme™, Secret Spot™, No-Plow™ ,“Chicâ€? Magnet™ , Pure Attraction™ and Double-Cross™ í˘ą Call for planting dates í˘˛ Do not plant in fall í˘ł Aug 1 - Sept 1 í˘´ Coastal: Sept 1 - Oct 15

Piedmont: Aug 15 - Oct 1 Mountain Valleys: Aug 1 Sept 15

í˘ľ Aug 1 - Sept 30 í˘ś Sept 1 - Nov 1 í˘ˇ North: Aug 1 - Sept 15

South: Aug 15 - Oct 15

í˘¸ North: July 15 - Aug 20

ě?ˆ Sept 15 - Nov 15 ě?‰ North: Sept 5 - Nov 15

Central: Sept 15 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15

ě”ˆ North: Aug 25 - Oct 15

South: Sept 5 - Oct 30

씉 North: Sept 5 - Nov 15

Coastal: Sept 15 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15

씊 Coastal: Sept 25 - Oct 15

Piedmont: Sept 1 - Oct 5 Mountain: Aug 25 - Oct 15

씋 North: Sept 15 - Nov 15

Central: Sept 15 - Nov 25 South: Oct 5 - Nov 30

South: July 20 - Aug 25

í˘š Aug 1 - Aug 31 ě?… Aug 1 - Sept 15 www.whitetailinstitute.com

ě”Œ Aug 1 - Sept 1 ě”? Aug 20 - Sept 30 Vol. 18, No. 2 /



MY LAST FIVE FOOD-PLOT BUCKS Food is the focal point of many successful hunting strategies By Bill Winke

Bill Winke

Green forages, such as clover and alfalfa, are very attractive — especially during the early season.


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2



here isn’t any question that food plots play a huge role in my deer-management plans and hunting strategies. In fact, my most exciting hunts have occurred on or near food plots. Such is the nature of whitetail deer — they are creatures of habit and slaves to their stomachs. As hunters, we need to understand that and put it to work for us.

In this feature, I’ll review my last five food-plot bucks. Further, I'll explain how, why and where I planted the plots, and then detail how I hunted them. EARLY SEASON: GREEN IS GOLDEN As much as I love to hunt my best plots, I still save them for the children. Food plots are awesome places to introduce youngsters to the thrill of the hunt. Youngsters are sure to see more deer and have more shot opportunities when hunting a food plot than any other place. That line of reasoning led to one of my most exciting hunts. This past September, during Iowa’s youth season, our daughter, Jordan, shot a great buck with a .50caliber muzzleloader over a field planted with Imperial Whitetail Clover and alfalfa. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, let me tell you why I planted that food plot where I did. When I say “I” planted it, what I really mean is I paid a local farmer to plant it. I have run just about every piece of equipment known to farming, but I don’t own any of it. It is just a philosophy I have about spending my money to buy land. Eventually, when I have purchased all I think I can handle, I’ll save up a little bit to buy a half-dozen pieces of equipment. Until then, it makes sense to spend my time in the office writing and in the field taking photos. Meanwhile, I pay someone else to put in the tractor time. I handle www.whitetailinstitute.com

all the commercial fields on the farm the same way, I pay to have a local farmer plant and harvest them. Although this is a better strategy for making the most of my time and money, there are definitely some trade-offs. It is difficult to get a farmer to do the piddly stuff; the kind of micro-plots that really fine-tune a hunting area. Also, you don’t control timing when you don’t own the equipment. As a result, most of my food plots are a direct extension of my farming operation. The farmer plants my food plots when he comes in to plant my commercial fields. It is a very efficient way to get the plots done, to be sure, but not necessarily the best way to tweak a hunting area. So, the five-acre plot in question serves two purposes: It is a commercial hayfield and a deer food plot. It's on the end of a long ridge field where the soil grows thin, and deer (and dry conditions) generally ravage corn and soybeans. The plot is ideally situated to attract deer while minimizing my crop losses. And attract deer it does. Jordan nicknamed it Bucky Field after the first evening we spent in a tree stand along the field’s edge. We saw nine bucks and no does. Jordan shot the third biggest buck on the field as it walked past our stand at 50 yards. It was her third — and biggest — buck to date. It is difficult to beat green food plots (Imperial Clover and Alfa-Rack Plus) tucked on the back end of ridgetop fields, surrounded by timber. These are earlyseason buck magnets. I can’t think of a better place to hang a stand. POST-RUT ENERGY FOOD I don’t want to leave out my son’s first buck. Andrew hunted Iowa's regular shotgun season, which opens the first Saturday in December, so it falls in the classic postrut period. The bucks are run down from rutting during November, and they hit the food sources hard. Many Iowa shotgun hunters engage in deer drives, but I prefer to take advantage of these feeding patterns. So, my family hunts from blinds or stands over high-energy food sources — specifically corn or Imperial WinterGreens. On this hunt, we were watching a corner of a fouracre food plot near an old log cabin we have kept in shape. The cabin serves as a giant ground blind, complete with a wood-burning stove — the perfect place to take a 7-year-old during a cold December afternoon. Andrew shot his first buck with the same .50-caliber muzzleloader Jordan used, but I loaded it lighter, with only one 50-grain powder pellet to go with the 250grain bullet. It worked very well on the 50-yard shot. By the way, this setup shoots six inches lower at 75 yards than the same gun burning three powder pellets. A tree line separates this food plot from a larger crop field, giving the deer some measure of seclusion and security, which I’m sure encourages them to come out of the bordering timber to feed during daylight. I never hunt this field until after the children have hunted it first, because it's difficult to get out of there without alerting deer. That brings up a bigger issue of how often you can hunt your food plots. As I’m sure you know, not all plots are created equal. I didn’t pick this field for its ease of hunting. It was simply a place where I could grow food. It is not a field I can hunt often, because there is no foolproof way to get out of there at dark. In fact, I try very hard to shoot a doe before climbing down from my stand each time I hunt around this field. Shooting a doe is a good way to clear the deer out while doing Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Bill Winke

Jordan Winke with a nice buck she took during Iowa’s mid-September youth season. She was hunting over a field of mixed alfalfa and clover. Such food sources are very attractive during this part of the season.


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


some necessary herd thinning. THE PERFECT HUNTING PLOT

Bill Winke

Though the field where Andrew shot his buck is not ideal for repeated hunting, I have a food plot in a spot that's as close to perfect as any I have found. In fact, I couldn’t have done any better if I had laid it out myself. You would do well to copy this setup on your farm. The food plot is on a narrow ridgetop field, 250 yards long by 55 yards wide. I can walk along a county road until I come to an erosion ditch that leads into another ditch that parallels the ridge. I follow it for a while and then take a third ditch that ascends the ridge to the food plot. I can sneak within 30 yards of my tree stand using these ditches with little risk of being seen, heard

or smelled by nearby deer. The stand is straight across the food plot from the point where a secondary ridge joins the ridgetop field on the other side. In that direction, there is solid timber for nearly a half mile. Deer use this secondary ridge to enter the field, and my stand is straight across from them. The odds are very high that any deer coming to the plot will end up within bow range. It's also interesting to watch the bucks cruise right down the center of the field during the rut — easy pickings. I only hunt it when the wind is from the field toward the stand so my scent sweeps off the side of the ridge and out over the valley, toward the road. It's very rare when a deer smells me downwind. It is a killer stand. During the 2005 season, I had a beautifully symmetrical 180-class 10-pointer come out and feed in the food

The author shot this buck during the rut buildup in 2005, when the buck was cruising from one food plot to the next looking for does. www.whitetailinstitute.com

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



plot an hour before sunset Nov. 28. He was just 40 yards from the stand. Unfortunately, I had already filled my either-sex tags and was only hunting does. Speaking of which, I have shot a truckload of does from that stand. As long as I don’t get too heavy-handed shooting does, I can hunt that stand every evening the wind blows from the west or northwest. Even when deer are feeding in the field, it's easy to climb down along the back of the big oak tree and sneak out through the nearby ditch. Though I have passed up dozens of bucks during the three years I have hunted that stand, I finally shot my first one this past year. He was an old-timer that I wrote about in a recent feature in this magazine. It was the third year I had seen the buck on that ridge, and he had not grown an inch larger. It was time to take him out. Some food plots set up much better for undetected hunting. Some are also natural deer traps that are nearly foolproof. This stand just happens to be both. If you can set up such a spot on your farm, you will be richly rewarded. LATE-SEASON ATTRACTION Sometimes bucks forgo their usual extraordinary caution to grab a needed meal. That is the case during the late season. Where I spend most of my time hunting in Iowa, the onset of winter creates a tremendous opportunity to shoot a nice buck on a predictable pattern. As long as the hunting pressure is moderate, even mature bucks will show up on high-quality food sources in late December and early January. The most exciting hunts I've experienced have occurred during

this period, when seemingly every buck on the farm was standing in front of me munching corn, soybeans or Winter-Greens. I bet I have passed up 30 mature bucks during December and January hunts during the past three years. I don’t like to shoot them because the show has to end. As long as there is daylight — and a tag in my pocket — there is hope that Mongo will step out. Sometimes you don’t truly appreciate the value of your food plots from a hunting standpoint until the late season. If you don’t have any good food remaining on your property by that time, you have a problem. You don’t have enough food-plot acres, or you have too many deer — or both. I don’t believe that I have the right mix of deer density and food-plot acres unless my food sources last until spring green-up. That assures that I will always enjoy top-quality late-season hunting, and my deer will have optimal nutrition to enter spring in great shape. That was a long-winded intro to describe the situation when I shot a nice 9-pointer during the end of the 2005 season. I thought he was bigger than he was because I field-judged him at 40 yards with binoculars. Never do that. They always look 15 inches bigger. Regardless, he was mature and serves as the perfect example of the power of food to conform the patterns of late-season deer and make them vulnerable to careful hunting. PEAK RUT WANDERING Bucks know where does spend most of their time, and that's where they tend to wander and linger during the rut. We all know that in the evenings, does are heading toward food. So, it's no surprise that food is

also where we will find the bucks. That was the case Nov. 6, 2005. That afternoon, I shot a buck from a stand between two food plots. Actually, the stand overlooked the end of a ditch that deer had to go around when traveling from one plot to the other. The buck came out in one plot, grabbed a few bites to eat, nudged the does around and then bee-lined straight toward my ditch crossing. After he crossed the ditch and stopped to survey the adjacent plot, I shot him at 25 yards. It was clear from his behavior that his intentions were to look for any does that might be feeding in the plot before moving on — probably to the next plot. Doe behavior controls much of what happens during the rut. Everyone thinks that buck behavior is the key to success. Well, the bucks are only reacting to the does. So if you understand the does, you will by default understand the bucks. I have noticed that does feed openly as the rut is building on the front end and again as it is dying on the back end. However, during the peak breeding phase of the rut, they are often deep in hiding. The bucks might still poke around the food sources a little bit looking for them during this time, but overall, you will not see much action on the food. However, you can’t go wrong hunting food plots every evening leading up the peak of breeding — which usually lasts a week — and every evening after it passes. Food is the focal point of a deer’s life, and it is also the focal point of most of my hunting strategies. When you have the ability to control the type, quality and location of your food plots, it's definitely in your best interests as a hunter to do the best job possible. You will be rewarded. W


Featuring the Whitetail Institute’s own

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“Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

• “CHIC” MAGNET can last up to three years with a single planting • “CHIC” MAGNET can tolerate a broad variety of soil types, from moist to moderately drained • “CHIC” MAGNET can be planted alone, overseeded into existing forages to provide additional attraction and drought resistance or mixed with other seeds prior to planting. • “CHIC” MAGNET attracts, holds and grows bigger bucks!

Whitetail Institute • 239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043 • CALL TOLL FREE: 1-800-688-3030


Tools for a Great Hunt

By Chris Farmer


s the big 10-pointer slowly slipped down the ridge it was like a dream come true. At last a plan was going to come together. I slowly raised my magnum grunter to my lips and gave a soft grunt. That was more than the big buck could stand and the big 10 turned and came straight down the ridge to me like he was on a string. I raised my Knight muzzleloader up and with one well placed shot ended the 2006 deer season in Kentucky. On this farm I was hunting we have been planting high-quality food plots for the past eight years. We have used several of the Whitetail Institute products over the years and found them all to be high quality and great for the overall health and size of the deer and turkey on the farm. My personal favorites from their line of quality seeds are Imperial Chicory Plus and Imperial Whitetail Clover. Chicory Plus is a blend of chicory and Imperial Clover that is great in the hot Kentucky summers. My deer really love the Chicory Plus. The deer and turkey just can’t seem to get enough of these two great products in the spring and summer when the bucks are growing their antlers and the turkeys are raising their poults. Another huge piece in the food plot puzzle has been my all-terrain vehicle. It helps when you have highquality equipment to plant your food plots right where you want them instead of as close as you can get with a tractor. With my ATV I am now able to disc, plant, and fertilize in one trip. This is one tough piece of equipment. I have never seen anything close to its size break rough ground like my new ATV. Another piece of equipment that works great is a 40-gallon sprayer with trailer. This unit will cover a 30foot area in a single pass. With these small hunting www.whitetailinstitute.com

plots you can get your spraying done in one or two passes. There is nothing better than watching deer and turkey use a well-placed food plot at all times of the day. Another tool that I can’t do without is the game cameras. I use many of them on my hunting farm and they work great. With the help of my cameras I was able to keep an eye on the travel patterns of the big 10 and by moving the cameras around found where he was in the daylight. I think I have about 60 pictures of him, most of them at night. I know there is a lot of talk about flash running the deer off, but I have not seen that here. They might jump at the flash but they do not run off. I think cameras are a great tool that anyone can use to help spend their hunting time in the right spot for a good shot. You can bet next spring I’ll be using my ATV to place a few more Imperial Clover and Chicory Plus food plots and the game cameras to see what’s using them. On this small 200-acre farm I have been able to produce a buck in the 150-inch range every year. There isn’t any way this could be done without quality food plots. This buck was very hard to get a handle on in the daylight as with most bucks of his size since he did most of his traveling at night. But I was able to find a travel route he was using to check does late in the evening, so I hunted him every day the wind was right, and on the last day I decided to stay on the stand all day. At approximately 2:30 p.m. I heard a noise on the ridge behind me and with a little help from my grunt call I was able to get this great buck to come right to me. I wish everything worked that well every time but if it did, it wouldn’t be hunting. W

Vol. 18, No. 2 /




pring can be an ideal season for planting Whitetail Institute forages in many parts of North America. But it’s not the only option. In fact, fall planting can yield benefits you may not have considered. Imperial forages are designed to be as heat and drought tolerant as possible. Two of our most droughttolerant perennial blends, Imperial Alfa-Rack Plus and Extreme, can put down roots as deep as three feet into the soil to find moisture. Imperial forages are also specifically engineered to establish and grow quickly. Even so, planting in the fall can provide additional assurance that the roots of your forage plants will have had time to thoroughly mature before they face their first hot, dry summer. This can be a big benefit in years when summer heat and drought arrive unexpectedly early, as they have in many areas of North America over the last few years. Also consider that forages planted in the fall are at their most tender right when hunting season begins. And when spring rolls back around, the perennials you planted the preceding fall will already be in place, providing a high-protein food source at one of the most critical times of year, before spring green-up when native vegetation has not yet reappeared. As winter starts to give way to spring, Imperial products are some of the first things to green up. Planting Imperial perennials in the fall also helps reduce weed and grass competition. There are several important steps to getting the most out of your fall perennial planting — not only in the fall but also in the spring when you’ll need your food plot to produce abundant high-protein forage. The first step is to choose a product designed for planting in the fall. All Imperial forage blends except

Fall Perennial Plantings Yield Big Benefits! By Jon Cooner

Putting out the welcome mat for deer is as easy as pouring from a jug. Deer are so attracted by the smell and drawn to the taste of Magnet Mix that they will come from miles around — and keep coming back. Just shake and pour (no mixing required) and wait for the deer to show up. Just seconds of preparation provides gallons of attraction. Because of Magnet Mix’s incredible attractiveness, some states may consider it bait. Remember to check your local game laws before hunting over Magnet Mix.

800-688-3030 The Whitetail Institute — ®


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

“Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”

whitetailinstitute.com 239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043 Research = Results


PowerPlant are designed for fall planting. The next step is to choose the forage blend designed for your particular application. This selection takes into account such factors as whether or not you will be able to prepare a seedbed by tilling the soil, and the type of soil and slope of your plot. If you are unable to till your seedbed, the Institute’s No-Plow and Secret Spot annuals are superb choices for fall planting. They can also last past the end of winter to provide a forage source for deer into the following spring or even later. If you can prepare your seedbed, then you have the additional option of Imperial perennial blends. Which one you should select depends on your soil type and drainage. All Imperial perennial blends will perform well in heavy, bottom-land soils that have good moistureholding properties. A soil with good moisture-holding properties is one that will stay together for a few seconds after you squeeze it into a ball with your hand. Imperial Whitetail Clover and Double-Cross are designed for heavier soils that are relatively flat. DoubleCross, a new Institute forage product introduced this year, provides all the benefits of Imperial Whitetail Clover, plus the additional quick establishment and late-season production of Whitetail Institute forage brassicas all in one planting. Imperial “Chic” Magnet and Chicory Plus are designed for heavier soils that are slightly to moderately drained, and Alfa-Rack Plus should be selected where the plot features heavier soils that are moderately drained to well drained. If you will be planting in a lighter or sandier soil that is well drained, Extreme is the product to select. It is designed to flourish in such conditions, which would not be optimum for other perennial blends. And Extreme will tolerate as little as 15 inches of annual rainfall, a level roughly half that required for other perennial forages. Extreme will also tolerate soil pH as low as 5.4, a level far below that required for other perennials to flourish. And Extreme is highly attractive, even rivaling the number-one food-plot planting in the world, Imperial Whitetail Clover. That’s why many field testers whose soils are good plant Extreme to give their deer variety. A special note needs to be made about Imperial Alfa-Rack Plus, which includes the Institute’s proprietary Imperial Whitetail Clover, WINA-100 brand perennial forage chicory and X-9 technology grazing alfalfas. Many alfalfa varieties can turn brown once hard frosts arrive, and in many areas this happens right before hunting season. The X-9 technology grazing alfalfas in Alfa-Rack Plus are more cold tolerant than standard hay-type alfalfas, which is one reason they offer such a huge improvement when used in whitetail food plots. The Institute offers different regional blends of its perennial forages to ensure that customers have the best product possible for their particular situations. And they are extremely economical, lasting up to five years with a single planting. Once you have selected the Imperial perennial designed for your application, be sure to not cut corners when preparing your seedbed. Planting Imperial perennials is easy and only takes a few steps, but each step is critical if you want to get the most for your efforts. Imperial perennial blends should be planted in soil with a pH of 6.5 or higher, or that has been adjusted to that level through the incorporation of lime into the soil. If possible, any lime required to raise soil pH should be incorporated (disked or tilled) into the soil www.whitetailinstitute.com

several months before planting. In northern climates, the ground is often frozen during the months immediately before spring planting dates. By opting for a fall planting, northern planters have the option of incorporating lime during the preceding spring and summer months Prior to planting an Imperial perennial, the seedbed should also be clear of existing vegetation as much as possible, and planting in the fall can offer an additional option to accomplish that. Once lime has been incorporated into the soil, smooth the seedbed and allow native vegetation to re-sprout and start to grow again. Then, spray the plot with Roundup Weed and Grass Killer. By spraying volunteer vegetation a month or so before planting in the fall, the seedbed can be cleared of existing vegetation. Most native grasses and other weeds are growing vigorously before our fall planting dates, but not in the cold months before our spring planting dates. Since Roundup must be sprayed on an actively growing plant to control it, controlling existing weeds and grasses with Roundup as a seedbed-preparation step is more available to the fall planter. And remember — Imperial perennials are not the only product options that provide the lush, tender new growth of a fall planting. Imperial Winter-Greens and Pure Attraction offer the same benefits, plus even faster forage availability. If you have any questions about spring or fall planting, how to choose the appropriate Imperial forage blend for your specific situation, or anything else related to deer nutrition or the Whitetail Institute, please give the Institute’s in-house consultants a call. Consultants are available any time from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday, at our toll-free number, (800) 688-3030, ext 2. W Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Kids Say the Darndest A Things at Deer Camp By Judy Bishop Jurek

rt Linkletter said it best: “Kids say the darndest things.” Youngsters at deer camp are no exception. You never know WHAT they may verbalize. All you have to do is listen, perhaps even eavesdrop a little or prompt an awesome answer with a question or comment. It can be most entertaining to hear remarks that may be silly, interesting, whimsical, curious, downright dumb or incredibly sharp. Other than age, there is sometimes not much difference between young and old hunters. There are pranksters, silent types, show-offs, teachers, fierce competitors, observers, know-it-alls, skill masters and, without a doubt, braggers. Some youngsters inherit their traits while others learn from imitating their elders. (Better be careful what YOU do at deer camp if kids are around!) The following excerpts of conversation were overheard at numerous deer camps during deer season. All are true. They are direct quotes from kids of various ages. Read for yourself what youthful hunters have to say about hunting and other things.    “My spike buck had antlers eight inches and ten inches for a total of eighteen inches. He was really big. Bet he’s the biggest so far.”    “Dad says I don’t have to take a bath. This is deer camp.”    “I don’t know what kind of gun I shoot but I think it’s a 500 magnet. It has really big large bullets.”    “What does being in the rut mean? I thought ruts were in the road.”    “All they do is talk about deer, deer, deer. Don’t they get tired of it? Don’t they know anything else? I think they’re obsessed but they’re too dumb to know it.”    “They call it a grunt call. I don’t know. I’m not putting that thing in my mouth.”    Young man to Mom going hunting with him in a bow blind: “You have to use scentless deodorant; put on a camouflage t-shirt; you can’t wear those white tennis shoes; you have to step in fresh cow poop to hide your smell; you can’t cough, sneeze or blow your nose. Oh, and you have to change your underwear.” (Hmmm???)    “It was dark when we got to the stand. But when we woke up the sun was shining and there were deer everywhere.”    “Why do guts stink?”    “I think it’s cool to go to the bathroom behind a bush. I like it.” — “Not me! I’m scared I’m going to fall in it.”    “But I thought you were supposed to shoot them in the neck, not where you did.”    “Play dominoes and cards. That’s all they ever do around camp. And eat. Whew! Do they eat! ‘Course it’s usually some pretty good stuff unless it’s something I don’t like.”


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


“Let’s see...we saw two squirrels, a bobcat, ten cows, sixteen turkeys, three cottontails, some sandhill cranes, a couple of roadrunners really called chaparrals, a family of javelina, a blue indigo snake I think, a covey of quail, a big jackrabbit, one coyote, all kinds of birds but didn’t see not even one deer. It was a bad afternoon hunt.”    “Man, we saw a buck fight! They were really into it. A sixpoint whipped a ten-point’s butt. It was cool!”    “Bet my spike is longer than yours. How long are the antlers on your spike?”    “You can tell a buck’s age by the number of points he has.”    “I don’t believe that those wasps won’t sting you when they’re cold and almost not moving.”    “I have to open the gates. Why can’t somebody else do it once in a while? Haven’t they ever heard of cattle guards?”    “Do deer blow snot out of their nose when they snort?”    “No, we didn’t see any deer. But we were talking and laughing and eating snacks and we had cokes but we had a good time anyway.”    “My brother was supposed to wake me before he shot a deer. I hit my head on his chair when the gun went off and I tried to jump up. I’m gonna get him back one of these days.”    “You don’t really EAT the deer heart and liver, do you? YUCK!”    “We got stuck. It was awful. We had to walk twenty, no, thirty, no… I KNOW we walked fifty miles back to camp. I don’t want to go out when it’s muddy EVER again!”    “Yes it does count as driving the jeep even if I’m sitting in my dad’s lap.”    “My daddy’s buck is the biggest one yet of anybody’s. Probably the whole world.”    “We saw two doe stand up and try to hit each other with their front legs. Kind of like my sisters swinging their arms when they try to fight.”    “My daddy said the bunny rabbits were just playing leap frog and piggy back. They were so cute I wanted to try to catch one. He said he would buy me one, but only one. But it might get lonesome by itself and wouldn’t have anybody to play leap frog and piggy back with.”    “Mom and I go shopping while they hunt. The best thing is Dad never says anything about how much money we spend. It’s not like at home.”    “You don’t have your hands far enough apart. I saw him, too. He was THIS BIG!” www.whitetailinstitute.com

“The gun went off, POW! And all the deer took off ninety miles an hour. He couldn’t believe he missed. I laughed. He thinks he knows it all. Wait ‘til I get a deer.”    “Of course I know how to use this knife. You think I just wear it around for looks or something?”    “I ate RATTLESNAKE! It wasn’t too bad. You could make some neat toothpicks out of the bones.”    “Nobody can shoot ALL the deer. One of these days there wouldn’t be any left. It’s call conversation.” “You mean conservation.” “That’s what I said, dummy. Conversation.”    “Not me. I don’t get the shakes. And I didn’t have buck fever. I didn’t feel bad or get sick when I shot at that deer. I just think my gun is off is why I missed.”    “My spike had really long horns. Yours aren’t even close. You have to add them together. That’s called the Boone and Crockett score.”    “The more points a buck has the older he is. Except for spikes. They can be any age.”    “I checked our towels and underwear on the clothesline. They’re as dry as a mud puddle.”    “Mom didn’t say anything but I know she was mad when I sneezed and kicked the stand ‘cause all the deer ran off. I sure was glad when they came back later.”    “They said the turkey had a ten-inch beard. I didn’t see anything on its face except skin. And it was ugly, wrinkly, nasty skin. It didn’t have any hair on its face.”    “Yep. That’s my deer. It’s my very first one ever. It’s the biggest buck I’ve ever gotten. But I’m gonna get more.”    “I been huntin’ longer ‘an you. I know everything ‘bout deer huntin’ ‘cause I’m twelve and I know.”    “Deer camp’s the best because you eat good stuff, tell stories around the camp fire but some are lies even though they say they aren’t, see all kinds of nature stuff, not just deer. If you’re lucky you might get a big buck, which is what it’s all about anyway. I hate when deer season ends. It’s all fun, too. You never know what somebody might say or do. I love deer hunting. I REALLY love deer camp!”    That’s it, folks. Youthful hunters (and non-hunters) don’t miss a thing, that’s for sure. Oh, maybe they miss a shot once in a while but even older hunters do that and will not admit it. Deer camp is a fun place to be any time of the year, especially with youngsters around. As you have read, kids say the darndest things! W

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Cassie’s First Buck By Brad Rucks, Cassie’s father Photos by the Author


assie, he’s right there,” I whispered as a giant buck stood downwind trying to figure out where we were. Sometimes, things aren’t meant to happen, and this was definitely one of those cases. We were hunting Wisconsin’s 2007 youth deer season Oct. 6 and 7. The weather was unseasonably hot, and my expectations were fairly low. We had been in the double ladder stand for a couple of hours when I thought I heard antlers hitting brush, but my view was obstructed, so I asked Cassie if she could see the deer. “I see a doe,” she replied. Just minutes later, I turned


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

around to see a beautiful 4-year-old 8-pointer step out only 40 yards behind us — directly downwind. I immediately had Cassie stand up and turn around, and I handed her the gun. After the gun was in her hands. she asked, “Where is he?” “Right by the birch tree,” I whispered. Of course, there were 50 birch trees around us, so she didn’t know where to look. A moment later, Cassie said she could see the body but not the antlers. I told her they were two feet over his head and that she should have been able to see them. Then I figured it out — she was looking at another deer.

Without moving her body, I told her to her retrace our entrance to the stand. All of a sudden, I felt her shaking uncontrollably. “I see him, he’s huge,” she said. Unfortunately, the buck saw her at about the same time and bounded away. “Dad, I think he was bigger than your big 8-pointer,” Cassie said after the big bruiser left. She was right. That deer would easily approach the 150-inch mark as an 8-pointer. What a start to the youth season. However, by the end of the weekend, we had come close to a couple of 2-year-old bucks, but


Cassie’s buck was caught by a camera in late October.

both deer slid through our fingers. I told her not to worry. We still had the regular gun season ahead of us. I’m sure it seemed like an eternity to Cassie, but the big day finally arrived. The weather for Wisconsin's opener was slightly overcast and fairly warm — not the best conditions for deer hunting. I wasn’t worried, however, because that summer, I had planted extra food plots around our tower blind. By widening my trails, we made a 10-foot food-plot strip that connected all of my plots. The Imperial No-Plow I planted was doing great, and deer were pounding it. The tower blind sat directly over an Imperial Clover Plot. About 150 yards to the west was 1.5 acres of Imperial Winter-Greens, and to the north was an acre of Pure Attraction. My confidence was proven correct. Soon after first light, deer were surrounding our stand. Again, however, lady luck didn’t shine on us. A beautiful 2 1/2-year-old came bounding out of the woods chasing a doe. We grunted him to a stop, but his body angle was poor, and Cassie didn’t shoot. Something spooked him, and he started to trot back toward the woods. I grunted to stop him, only to spook him worse, as he bolted into the woods. In a somber voice she said, “Why does it always work on TV?” I assured her that it doesn’t. Glassing the fields around us, I immediately recognized a buck headed our way. He was the “Pond 9,” a solid 120-class 3-yearold buck of which I had several pictures from my noflash camera. I nicknamed the buck Pond 9 because every time we saw him or got a picture of him, he was by a pond on our property. Within minutes, he had closed the distance to less than 100 yards. I slid the northern window open and told Cassie to get ready, because the deer was going to enter the Imperial Clover patch and then head north on the same trail we had just seen a doe use. I'll be darned if that deer didn’t make a fool out of me, too. He entered the plot right where I said, but instead of heading north, he went south. We needed to switch positions, and as I opened the window, Cassie slid the gun into position. Before I could focus the camera on the deer again, she shot. To be honest, I had no clue if she had hit or missed him. The buck just started www.whitetailinstitute.com

to lumber away. I told her to reload, but she was so excited that she couldn’t get the gun open. So I put the camera down, grabbed the gun, reloaded it and handed it back to her. “Cassie, where did he go?” I asked. “I don’t know, Dad, I was watching you,” she replied. I had my other two children, Jordan and Noah, in the blind, too, and I asked them where he went. No one had kept an eye on the buck. He was down or in a tall clump of grass 100 yards away. After several minutes, I looked at Cassie and said, “I think you got him.” She immediately started bouncing up and down. Of course, those words were barely out of my mouth when I looked up and saw a buck coming out of the tall grass onto the oak ridge next to us. I grabbed the glasses but never could get a good look. It was definitely a 9-pointer, but was it the same buck? One of us had to get out of the tower blind to check. So I sent Cassie out, and told her to check the first trail out of the Imperial Clover. If she didn’t spot blood, I told her she should walk down and check the next trail down the path. She did exactly what I said, but when she hit the first trail, she didn’t see a thing. I got the sick feeling in my stomach that we had somehow managed to foul things up. I put the camera on the tripod and told my 9-yearold, Jordan, to keep the camera on Cassie, because I was going to see if I could find some blood with her. The next thing I knew, Jordan and Noah were saying that Cassie was jumping up and down. I ran to the window, and there she was, jumping up and down right where I had last seen the buck before reloading the gun. We joined her at the deer, and it was truly one of the happiest moments of my hunting career. Cassie had made a perfect shot, and somehow in the excitement, she had missed the blood all over the first trail. After turning around to head back to the blind, she found the blood and only went 20 yards from that spot to find the deer. I still have not watched the footage. I’m hoping it’s good enough to air on the Deer & Deer Hunting show this fall on Versus. If not, I know I got great footage of her shooting her second deer, a mature doe headed to a Winter-Greens field. That day will live in my memory forever. W

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Jeff Brown — Missouri

We planted No-Plow in 3 plots and we have more deer, bigger racks, and more bucks. Deer won’t stay away. Here are 2 pictures of bucks taken 16 hours apart on the same No-Plow field.

stuff and we do too. The memories of that day will last forever. Here is another picture of a fine 11 point killed last January. He was taken on a field that had Imperial Whitetail Clover. This field was planted 4 years ago and the bucks and does are still regular visitors.

Bruce Damme — Delaware

Kevin Noe — Alabama

We have a 3 acre food plot of Imperial Whitetail Clover. We are seeing more deer, more bucks, and bigger bucks. Bucks are getting bigger every year. We killed 3 bucks with great racks this year within 100 yards of the food plot. See enclosed photo of two of them.

We started using Imperial Whitetail Clover on our fields five years ago. We immediately started seeing increased deer in all our plots. The 2nd year we noticed increased body size and size of the racks on our bucks. The overall health of our herd has been very gratifying since using Whitetail Institute products and the increased deer sighting and rack sizes on our bucks is well worth the time and money used to invest in our club. Keep up the good work. Here is a picture of me and my son Corey Noe. We harvested the two fine 8 points on the same day in a field that we planted with Imperial Whitetail Clover. These Big Bucks loved the

products offered. We went to see a few seminars talking about the benefits that could be obtained with your Imperial Whitetail Clover and Alfa-Rack, and the Imperial obsession began. In the first three years we planted the Imperial Clover we saw deer out in the plots in the middle of the day, sightings rarely before seen. We started to see the difference in the weight of the animals after two years, and we know the only thing that had changed in the area was the addition of the Imperial Clover. In 1999 we took the first 3 1/2 year old that weighed over 220 lbs dressed, and since then others that were, 208 lbs, 224 lbs, 195 lbs and a 2 1/2 that tipped the scale at 196 lbs. These weights were unheard of before. Other than the weights, the mass on the antlers have also increased, with bases of 4” to 5” and carrying the mass all the way through the main beams, with gross scores in the 140’s” and now a 153” 3 1/2 year old, there must be something working to obtain this! Since the first plots were planted we have learned a lot, on what will grow here and not there, what the deer prefer by their utilization of the plot. And now our plantings have increased dramatically, with the addition of No-Plow, Secret Spot and Winter Greens, we now have a complete grocery store for those critters we so enjoy and respect. And let’s not forget the camaraderie and satisfaction one has by planting food plots and giving something back along with the people one meets with the same interests as you! With trigger management, a couple hours a week on a tractor seat and Imperial products a dream has come true. Thanks very much for your assistance throughout the journey.

 Todd Zippel — Wisconsin Here are a couple of bucks we harvested this year that grew up on the Imperial products. Mine (photo 1) is an 11 point 3 1/2 years old that dressed 195 lbs and Randy harvested the 10 point 3 years old that grossed 153 inches with a 15” spread! (Photo 2) My hunting buddy Randy and I have been planting Imperial products since 1996 when we started to practice QDM on the property. Before this time we planted food plots with seed from the local feed store that was intended for cattle, sure the deer fed on the stuff, but we felt they were not getting the nutrition that Imperial 28

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


Brad Henderson — Indiana I live in Central Indiana, flat farm ground. I have a 3 acre plot of Chicory PLUS. The deer love it. I chose this because I wanted something different. We have all the corn, bean and alfalfa fields you could ever want. And as you can see it really works great for me. This deer scored 178 5/8.

Ricky Humphrey — Kentucky I planted Imperial Whitetail Clover on my farm and have had almost unbelievable deer activity in my food plots. Here is a picture of my best Imperial Whitetail Clover bucks to date. Thanks, Clover Lover Ricky.

Roy Poche — Louisiana Russell Foti was hunting  with his son, Hunter and killed a huge ten point that scored 158 at our lease. The buck was standing in one of our many plots of Imperial Whitetail Clover when Russell shot him. When they got up to the monster they looked and a doe was standing off in the woods and Hunter shot and killed his first deer too. It was a great day in “Cajun” country. Another one of our members Boo Champaign killed a 140 inch 9 point out of the same field late this past season. The other picture (2) I’ve

enclosed is of Billy Babineaux with a 145 inch eight point he killed on another one of our Imperial Whitetail Clover fields. Thanks for the great products and great service. We continue to have great success with the Whitetail Institute products.

Chris Ockert — Michigan I purchased 40 acres of land in 2001, it is a square 40 acres, and half of it is wooded. This past year I planted a small food plot with your 100 square feet samples and an acre of Chicory PLUS. I have seen more deer this year than I have in the past 5 years. I enjoy sitting in a tree and videotaping deer. When I see a deer coming, instead of grabbing my bow I grab my video camera. I would love to see a small buck grow into a 5 year old monster. November 26th, last year, it was about 50 degrees outside. Much to warm but I decided to go out and sit in my tree stand anyway. After I got out there I was sweating and didn’t think I was going to see anything because it was so warm I almost got down out of the tree. Around 4pm a car honked its horn, I hunt near a semi busy road, I looked over and here comes this buck with a very nice rack. I put him in my scope and waited for him to slow down and took a shot with my muzzleloader. He dropped. He is an 8 point with 11-inch tines with an 18 inch spread I took him to the taxidermist to get him mounted and he scored 135 5/8.

I have used your Whitetail products since 1988. To me, Whitetail Clover is the best product on the market. I am one person who has tried just about everything. Nothing comes close to Whitetail Clover. Everything is better from antler size to body weight. I recently purchased some new land in Mississippi, which I have planted Whitetail Clover on for the first time….The deer are already pouring in. The photos that I have enclosed are from bow season my first hunting season on my property. The first one is a 14-point weighing 224lbs. Then three days later I took this 11-point weighing 204 lbs. I am a successful Whitetail Clover hunter, thanks Whitetail Institute for the great products!!!

Brian Morgan — New York We use Imperial Whitetail Clover, Extreme, No-Plow and Cutting Edge Optimize and without a doubt my father and I see ten times more deer since we have been using these products. And those deer are certainly bigger, healthier, and have bigger racks. Thanks to Whitetail Institute I got a buck of a lifetime in Central New York, 148 inches. They just don’t get that big on their own in this part of the country.

John Patterson — Mississippi

(Continued on page 66 www.whitetailinstitute.com

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



QDM Harvests Not an Exact Science By Kip Adams Photos by Charles J. Alsheimer


uality deer management is a familiar term to many deer hunters today. You can’t pick up a hunting magazine or watch the Outdoor Channel without seeing or hearing about it. Although hunters are more educated than before, many still don’t fully understand QDM or how to practice it most effectively. One of the most common misconceptions is that QDM requires shooting as many does as possible. Read on to find out why that's not true — and how a better understanding of QDM can benefit you as a deer hunter and manager. 30

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

Quality deer management is an approach that unites landowners, hunters and resource managers in a common goal of producing healthy deer herds with balanced adult sex ratios and age structures. In simplest terms, QDM involves balancing a deer herd with its habitat and having deer — bucks and does — in multiple age classes. Balancing a herd with its habitat requires determining the appropriate density or number of deer relative to the available habitat, and then harvesting the appropriate number of does to achieve that density. Harvest too few, and the herd will quickly exceed or remain higher than what the habitat can support. This situation is not good for the deer herd, habitat or other wildlife species. Harvest too many, and the deer herd will decrease well below what the habitat can support and unnecessarily remove animals that could provide viewing or harvesting opportunities. In their infancy, many QDM programs had nearly unrestricted doe harvests. The adage, “Shoot as many does as you can, and then shoot three more” was commonly stated. This approach was advocated by many biologists after years of inadequate doe harvests www.whitetailinstitute.com

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that had resulted in overabundant deer herds and habitat degradation. In fact, from 1985 to 2000, the nationwide whitetail population essentially doubled from around 15 million to more than 30 million animals. Although aggressive doe harvests work well when deer numbers are high and the habitat is productive, when practiced long term in less than optimal habitats, they can reduce deer herds to less than what the habitat can support and lower than levels that provide many hunters with a quality hunting experience. A contributing factor is that as deer numbers increased the past two decades, so did the populations of whitetail predators. Early research suggested that, with few exceptions, predators such as coyotes, bobcats and black bears took so few animals that they had a minimal impact on overall deer populations. However, now that many deer herds have been reduced and predator numbers have increased, predators have the potential to affect deer densities and therefore the number of does we should harvest. That doesn’t mean we should declare war on predators or stop shooting does. Rather, it emphasizes the need to determine the number of does to harvest on a site-specific basis. Across most of the whitetail’s range, deer herds recruit an average of slightly fewer than one fawn per adult doe. Does drop more fawns than this, but some die from malnutrition, disease, predation and other factors before they are “recruited” into the population at about six months old. In the highly productive Midwest, fawnrecruitment rates can average well more than one fawn per doe. Conversely, fawn-recruitment rates can average 0.2 fawns per doe in southern Texas during dry years. At that rate, it takes five does to recruit one fawn. Obviously, doe harvest rates must be adjusted accord-


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


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ingly unless herd reduction is desired. So, how many does should you harvest? Some situations warrant as many as possible, but others require very few or none. Many properties under QDM guidelines begin to achieve their initial antlerless harvest goal during the same period they establish food plots and improve the natural habitat. This combination improves deer herd productivity, and the antlerless harvest must increase or remain high. Conversely, there are some areas where aggressive doe harvests are not justified. Possible reasons can include poor-quality habitat, a low fawn-recruitment rate, severe winter or drought conditions, or overharvesting in previous years. A target doe harvest depends on many variables, including deer density, property size, habitat quality, adult sex ratio, neighboring management practices, age structure of the doe population, your deer management goals, seasonal conditions — such as extreme winter weather or summer drought — hemorrhagic or other disease outbreaks (such as many states experienced in 2007), and the fawn-recruitment rate, which can be a function of the density of predators in your area. The appropriate doe harvest rate varies by region. For example, the average property in Florida cannot withstand a comparable doe harvest to the average property in Illinois. The appropriate harvest rate also varies locally. For properties with comparable density goals, one with low-quality habitat will likely have a lower target harvest than a property with high-quality habitat, even if the properties are only a few miles apart. This point is obvious, but it shows there is not an “exact” harvest rate that can be applied to a specific location or region. Fortunately, we can calculate a tar-

get doe harvest from survey data or use ballpark harvest rates. The key is to collect enough harvest and observation data to refine the target harvest in future years. If you have a deer density estimate, a general rule of thumb is that harvesting 20 percent to 30 percent of the does will stabilize the herd. If you do not have a deer density estimate, there are some general harvest guidelines that can help determine your target doe harvest. Whether you’re in Alabama, Minnesota or somewhere in between, poor habitats can’t support as many deer as good habitats. With that in mind, here are some harvest figures that can be used as a general guide to stabilize deer herds. Ballpark rates in poor habitats range from harvesting one adult doe for every 300 to 600-plus acres. Ballpark rates for moderatequality habitats range from one adult doe for every 100 to 300 acres, and ballpark rates for good habitats range from harvesting one adult doe for every 25 to 100 acres. Higher harvest rates will cause herd reduction, and lower rates will allow herd growth. Harvest rates for fawns can also be calculated. Ballpark rates for doe fawns range from one for every 100 to 640-plus acres, and you should harvest as few buck fawns as possible. Quality Deer Management recommends buck fawns constitute less than 10 percent of the total antlerless harvest (does and fawns combined). In reality, fawn target rates can vary widely. In some northern environments with low-density herds and extreme winter conditions, fawns might be specifically targeted for harvest over adult does because of their lower productivity and higher winter-mortality rates. In some areas, a few doe fawns are targeted for harvest so managers can collect important biological information on that segment of the population.

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Additionally, in some urban and suburban areas with high deer densities and even higher deer-human conflicts, all antlerless deer — fawns and adults — are targeted for harvest. What does this mean for your management program? The first step is to assess where the deer herd is relative to what the habitat can support. Do you have preferred tree species regenerating in the understory? Are the understory and shrub layers healthy? Does your harvest data indicate the deer are healthy and not nutritionally stressed? If you answered “yes” to these questions, the herd is likely in balance with the habitat, and your goal might be to maintain the current density. If you answered “no,” the deer herd is likely higher than the appropriate number for the habitat, and you should consider reducing it. After you determine where the herd is relative to the habitat, you can calculate a target doe harvest from the aforementioned figures. The key is to continue monitoring the deer herd and habitat and adjust future doe harvests accordingly. So, do QDM programs require you to shoot as many does as possible? Not necessarily. Instead, they are determined on a site-specific basis and might range from none to as many as possible. Local conditions and data will dictate that number and help maintain your deer herd and habitat in a healthy condition. Just as it was improper to provide blanket protection to does during the pre-QDM era, it is equally improper to blindly harvest them today without a clear understanding of local conditions. Fortunately, research provides the information necessary to guide our management decisions, and when practiced properly, a QDM-managed herd will provide better deer, better deer habitat and better deer hunting. W

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The Whitetail Institute —

239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043

“Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”


Research = Results

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



T U R N I N G D I RT By Mark Trudeau, National Sales Manager

Part Five: Seeders – Chapter One In this series of articles, The Whitetail Institute’s agricultural expert, Mark Trudeau, passes along his decades of real-world experience in farming and related matters to our Field Testers. In the first three segments of “Turning Dirt,” Mark provided his insight to help first-time buyers select a foodplot tractor and discussed tractor implements suitable for ground tillage, such as plows, tillers, disks, drags and cultipackers. If you missed the earlier segments or if you would like to review them, they are available on line at www.whitetailinstitute.com under the “Whitetail News” link. In this segment, Mark discusses seeders.

Hand-held, shoulder-carried or other small, human-powered broadcast seeders usually have a bag or small bucket to hold seed, a shoulder strap, and a hand-crank mechanism.


his is the first in a two-part segment in which I’ll cover equipment used to perform one of the most critical steps in planting a food plot — seeding. In our discussion, we’ll be using the term “seeder” to refer to any implement used to physically place seed in or on the surface of a seedbed. Some seeders can be used to perform double duty for other plot-preparation tasks, for instance as fertilizer spreaders. But, for ease of reference, we’ll refer to all of them as “seeders” in this article. There are two general types of seeders commonly used to plant food plots: broadcast seeders and drills. Within those two categories, there are different sub-types. Choosing the type of seeder you should use for a particular application will depend heavily on a number of factors. These factors can combine in lots of different ways, and the result can require a very specific seeding technique that may be accomplished better with some types of seeders than others. In order to give you enough information for you to make an informed decision, we’ll need to cover these issues in detail, and since I did not want to try to cram too much information into a single segment, we’ll cover seeders in two chapters. In Chapter 1, we’ll cover general seeder information, identify the major types and sub-types of seeders commonly used in food-plot applications, and how they are mechanically similar and different. In Chapter 2, we’ll combine that information with some of the critical issues we discussed in earlier segments to help you choose the right seeder for your application. FEATURES FOUND ON ALL SEEDERS We’ll be covering two types of seeders in Part 5: broadcast seeders and drills. We’ll also break these down farther and discuss subtypes. In our discussion of broadcast seeders, we’ll talk about handheld units (which I’ll also treat as including shoulder-carried units), ATV seeders (which include


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

those that are bracket-mounted to ATVs and others that are towed by ATVs), and tractor-mounted “cyclone” seeders. We’ll also cover two types of drills: grain drills and hard-land drills. Before getting into how these differ from one another, let’s look at features they have in common. All seeders, whether broadcast seeders or drills, share the following three features: 1. One or more reservoirs such as a bag, bucket, bin or box to store the seed while it waits to be distributed, 2. A power source, and 3. One or more mechanisms to . . . • Regulate how much seed flows out of the reservoir, and • Send the seed somewhere after it leaves the reservoir. Now, let’s break things down further and look at each of these features as they appear on broadcast seeders and drills. SEED RESERVOIR Broadcast Seeders: Hand-held, shoulder-carried or other small, human-powered broadcast seeders usually have a bag or small bucket to hold seed, a shoulder strap, and a hand-crank mechanism. ATV broadcast seeders usually hold seed in a small bucket or bin, and tractor-mounted “cyclone” seeders hold seed in a large bin. Drills: Drills also have one or more reservoirs to hold seed. Grain drills usually have one box to hold seed. Hard-land drills usually have two boxes to hold

seed, a large one for large seeds, and a smaller one for small seeds. These boxes are referred to as “hoppers.” POWER SOURCE Broadcast Seeders: A hand-held or shoulder-carried seeder is carried by the person operating it, and its mechanism is powered by his arms. Some ATV broadcast seeders are ground-driven, but most of the ATV-type seeders you’ll see are mounted to an ATV with a bracket and are powered off the ATV’s battery. We prefer the ATV-mounted type because the ground-driven type can have a tendency to skip or bounce over uneven ground. Cyclone seeders are designed in one of two ways — either to be pulled by a tractor, or mounted to a tractor’s three-point hitch and carried. Their seeddisbursal mechanisms are powered by the tractor’s power takeoff unit (“PTO”). Drills: Drills are free-standing implements, meaning that they are pulled by a tractor. Seed level in the hopper is monitored by a mechanical gauge. The seed-disbursal mechanism is powered by a wheel that rests on the ground and is connected to a gear in the implement. The faster you go, the more seed goes out. Therefore, unlike the disbursal mechanism on broadcast seeders, speed does not affect how much seed a drill puts out in a given area. SEED-DISBURSAL MECHANISM Broadcast Seeders: Seed flow through broadcast seeders is powered by gravity, and volume is


of a broadcast seeder’s hopper by gravity and falls through a gate that can be adjusted for flow. Once the seed clears that gate, it falls onto a “spinner plate,” which is a flat, horizontally mounted disk with little fins spaced evenly along its top. As the mech-

Some cyclone seeders are tractor-mounted.

All broadcast seeders use a spinner plate with fins to disburse seed.

adjusted in two ways: by pre-setting the size of the opening of an adjustable gate at the bottom of the reservoir, and by the speed at which the implement passes over the ground. The wider the gate is set, the more seed will fall out of the reservoir. The faster the implement moves over the ground, the less seed it will leave in a given area. Seed level in the hopper is visually monitored, either directly or through a viewing window on the side of the hopper. All broadcast seeders distribute seed in the same way — by launching it out in an arc. Seed drops out


ATV broadcast seeders that are mounted instead of pulled can provide more even coverage on rough ground.”

anism runs, the spinner plate rotates, and as seed drops onto the spinner plate, the little fins hit it, launching it out in an arc much like a batter hitting a baseball. The seed then lands on the seedbed wherever its arc takes it. All broadcast seeders distribute seed by way of a spinner-plate mechanism. Drills: Seed flow volume is adjusted manually, and hopper volume is monitored by a mechanical gauge. Seed leaves the hopper through the flowadjustment mechanism and enters a series of rubber tubes evenly spaced along the bottom of the implement. The seeds then fall through the tubes by gravity to the ground directly behind the openers. So far, we have covered the features that can be considered universal, or common to all seeders,

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



whether they are broadcast seeders or drills. Let’s recap those features: • HAND-HELD SEEDER Reservoir: Bag Power Source: Your arms, legs and hands Mechanism: Seed-Flow Regulation: Adjustable Gate Seed Disbursal: Spinner Plate • ATV-MOUNTED SEEDER Reservoir: Small Bucket Power Source: ATV Battery Mechanism: Seed-Flow Regulation: Adjustable Gate Seed Disbursal: Spinner Plate

Cyclone seeders cover ground quickly, but are harder to adjust precisely for small seeds.

• TRACTOR MOUNTED “CYCLONE” SEEDER Reservoir: Large Bin Power Source: Tractor Hydraulics or PTO Mechanism: Seed-Flow Regulation: Adjustable Gate Seed Disbursal: Spinner Plate • DRILL Reservoir: Box Hopper(s) Power Source: Tractor Hydraulics Mechanism: Seed-Flow Regulation: Box Adjustment Seed Disbursal: Tube Drills are pulled by the tractor’s drawbar.

WHAT MAKES DRILLS DIFFERENT — SEED PLACEMENT Now, you know that all seeders have a reservoir and an adjustable mechanism to disburse seed in controlled amounts, and that they need a power source. That’s where the similarity between broadcast seeders and drills ends. The key thing that all drills share, and that separates them from broadcast spreaders, is that drills have a seed-placement mechanism to control placement of seed once it leaves the reservoir. Unlike broadcast seeders, which all launch it out to land where its arc takes it, drills physically place seed in a specific position on or in the seedbed. They do this through a unique mechanism mounted at the bottom of each seed-disbursal tube.

We’ll be talking about two kinds of drills: grain drills and hard-land drills. Grain drills can place seed directly onto a prepared seedbed or under its surface, depending on how the operator sets up the implement. Hard-land drills do the same thing, except the seedbed need not be prepared first by disking or tilling. Let’s look at the components of these seed-placement mechanisms. “Openers” and “Packing Wheels”: Most drills have openers, and either packing wheels or chains. Openers are smooth, round disks that are mounted in front of each tube, with the tube usually fastened to the opener. Openers cut a V-shaped furrow in the soil ahead of the tubes, which then drop seed into the furrow. The furrow is then closed over the seed by either a packing wheel or a chain that is mount-

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The Whitetail Institute — “Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043 Research = Results



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ed in line behind the opener. Openers on grain drills are not heavy duty. That’s because they are designed to open a furrow in ground that has recently been disked or tilled and so is very soft. They cannot be expected to open furrows in harder ground. “Coulter Blades”: If you read “Turning Dirt, Part 2” on plows, you’re already familiar with coulter blades. These are sharp, heavy-duty disks that are either flat or corrugated. Just like coulter blades on plows, coulters are an attachment found on hardland drills. They perform the same function as they do on plows: they pre-cut the ground ahead of the openers so that the drill can be used to plant even in soil that has not been prepared first by disking or tilling. “Down Pressure”: All drills are built on a chassis, which rests on two wheels. Hard-land drills are much heavier than grain drills, so most hard-land drills have a third wheel, which is mounted on the drawbar for support and leveling. The hoppers, tubes and mechanisms of the drill ride on the drill’s chassis as the implement is pulled across the ground. To raise or lower the seed-placement mechanism, the operator uses the tractor’s hydraulics to raise or lower the entire implement’s chassis. This adds considerable weight to the seedplacement mechanism and increases its cutting power. That pretty much covers the basics about what the different seeder types are, and how they are physically similar and different. Next time, we’ll


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

Unlike broadcast seeders, which throw seed out in an arc, drills place seed precisely in or on the seedbed.

recap some of the critical planting issues we’ve covered in earlier segment, and then examine how they affect your decision as to what type of seeder you should use for a particular application. CHAPTER ONE — Q&A Q: What are the three types of broadcast seeders most commonly used to plant food plots? A: Hand-held or shoulder carried seeders, ATVmounted seeders, and tractor-mounted “cyclone” seeders Q: What is the difference between what broadcast seeders and drills do with seed? A: Broadcast seeders throw seed out onto the

surface of a seedbed, and drills physically place seed in a specific place, either on or in the seedbed. Q: What seed-distribution mechanism do all broadcast seeders have? A: A spinner plate. Q: What is one advantage of ATV-mounted broadcast seeders over ATV-pulled broadcast seeders? A: Some ATV-pulled broadcast seeders can have a tendency to skip or bounce when pulled over uneven ground. Q: What is the biggest difference between broadcast seeders and drills? A: Broadcast seeders do not control seed once it leaves the reservoir. Instead, they launch seed in an arc, and the seed lands wherever its arc takes it. Drills control the seed all the way to the ground and place the seed in a specific place in, or on, the seedbed. Q: What is the main component difference between the seed-planting mechanisms of a grain drill and a hard-land drill? A: Hard-land drills are essentially the same as grain drills, but with coulter blades attached in front of the openers. Q: What are some other differences between grain drills and hard-land drills? A: Grain drills usually have only one hopper. Grain drills also usually have two riding wheels, while hard-land drills, which are much heavier, usually have a third wheel, which is mounted on the drawbar for support and leveling. W


Since its introduction in 1988, Imperial Whitetail Clover has become the standard by which other food plot products are judged. Imperial Whitetail Clover changed deer nutrition forever. Now after years of painstaking research, the Whitetail Institute has added newly developed Insight clover to our super-nutritious blend of clovers. Insight is genetically formulated specifically for whitetail deer. With the highest level of protein available, up to 35%, Imperial Whitetail Clover provides optimal nutrition throughout the year for the entire herd. Whether your deer are producing and feeding their young or building antlers, Imperial Whitetail Clover provides them with the nutrients they need to do it well. And when the deer get what they need to maintain healthy herds and grow big healthy bucks with impressive racks, you increase your odds of bagging record-setting deer. For decades now, deer hunters all over North America have enjoyed the results of our innovative and aggressive approach to deer nutrition, and have planted over a million acres of Imperial Whitetail products. All those years of research continues to produce results – in the fields and in the record books. We do the research. You see the results.

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The Whitetail Institute 239 Whitetail Trail Pintlala, AL 36043 ®

Research = Results

“Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”



ave you ever wished that someone would develop a perennial forage blend that could also deliver the high tonnage of fall/winter annuals? If so, your wish has come true. New Imperial Whitetail Double-Cross is the answer you’ve been looking for.


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

By now, most hunters and managers are aware of the critical role perennial forages play in a food-plot system. In most cases, perennial forages can provide the backbone of a food-plot system, since they are designed to last for years and, at least in the case of Imperial perennials, provide high nutritional levels and unmatched attractiveness to deer. The role of annual forages in food plot systems is also well known. Annuals can be used to supplement existing perennial forages, or by themselves to draw deer and hold them. They can also fill targeted needs. For example, Imperial Power Plant is often planted alongside existing perennial plots to provide a massive protein boost for deer right when they need it most – during the spring and summer. Likewise, Imperial Pure Attraction and Winter-Greens are a superb comple-

ment to existing perennial plots and provide an additional high-carbohydrate food source for the colder months of the year. You may be asking, “Since the Institute already offers perennials blends and annual blends designed for almost any climate and soil type, what makes new Imperial Double-Cross so unique?” The answer is simple: Double-Cross provides the multi-year performance of a perennial AND the quick establishment and early and late season tonnage of an annual all in one planting! Like all Whitetail Institute products, DoubleCross is blended with the ideal percentages of all components. The perennial component of Double-Cross consists of Advantage and Insight clovers. These are the very same perennial clovers that are the backbone of the


Double-Cross should be planted in soils that are loam, light clay or heavier.

number-one perennial forage product in the world, Imperial Whitetail Clover. These clovers exhibit early plant vigor, excellent heat and cold tolerance, and of course exceptionally high nutrition and attraction for deer. They are the only clover varieties ever developed specifically for deer, and they are only available in Whitetail Institute products. The annual component of Double-Cross is the Whitetail Institute’s outstanding brassicas. These brassicas have already proven themselves in other Imperial blends, including Winter-Greens and Pure-Attraction. These brassicas include lettuce-type brassicas, which are vastly more attractive to deer than standard brassi-

ca varieties. The combination of these perennial and annual varieties in one blend is truly a dream come true for planters who have wanted the performance of Imperial Whitetail Clover and Whitetail Institute annual forage brassicas all in a single planting. Double-Cross establishes very quickly, and it provides more tonnage during its early growth stage. Later in the season when the weather turns cold, Double-Cross will keep performing and providing deer with a high-carbohydrate food source during the winter months. Double-Cross is designed to be planted in the fall. The brassicas establish and grow rapidly to comple-

Imperial Whitetail

ment the perennial clovers, providing higher early tonnage that is high in protein and in the carbohydrates so critical for deer during the fall and winter. As the perennial clovers continue to provide nutrition and attraction through the fall and into the winter, the brassicas sweeten with the first hard frost of fall, further boosting the plots attractiveness. When winter arrives, the brassicas can stand tall over the snow, providing deer with highly nutritious forage during one of the most stressful times of the year. As spring arrives, the perennial clovers are ready to help deer recover from winter losses, and also later to provide them with abundant protein for antler development, doe pregnancy and overall herd health. And like Imperial Whitetail Clover, the perennial clovers in Double-Cross are designed to last for 3-5 years or even longer with proper planting, maintenance and Mother Nature’s cooperation. Double-Cross should be planted in soils that are loam, light clay or heavier. One 4-pound bag of Double-Cross will plant up to one-half acre. Like other Imperial blends, new Double-Cross is available in several sizes to meet your needs. These include a one-half acre bag and a three-acre bag. Larger quantities are also available. Like Imperial Whitetail Clover, Double-Cross is specifically designed for deer. If you have wished for a perennial blend with added benefits of a highly productive fall/winter annual all in the same blend, Double-Cross is your answer. Full planting instructions are available on the Institute’s website, www.whitetailinstitute.com, and on the back of each Double-Cross product bag. Additional information is also available toll-free by calling the Institute’s in-house consultants at (800) 688-3030. W

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If you are looking for a perennial product that features the proven benefits of the number one food plot planting in the world, Imperial Whitetail Clover, establishes quickly, produces massive tonnage in both the early and late seasons, and that can carry farther into the coldest months of the year, Imperial DOUBLECROSS is the answer you’ve been waiting for.

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“Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!’


NEW Vol. 18, No. 2 /



HOW I DO IT By Claibourne Darden

Managing Deer and Turkeys in the South BRING YOUR BINOCULARS AND YOUR CHECKBOOK.

We should take pride in our places and make them better than we found them, whether we own them or lease them.


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

Charles J. Alsheimer


t was 17 years ago, but I still remember the indescribable feeling I had walking through the woods of my newly acquired place in the country. It was mine — all mine. The trees, rolling hills, open fields and six creeks running through it were mine to enjoy; to hunt on with my family and friends, and to make it a better place for us and the wildlife that lived on it. My place of 524 acres is in Taliaferro County, Ga., which has a population of 2,077 people. It's in the rolling hills part of piedmont Georgia. Alexander Stevens, vice president of the Confederate government, was born and lived there. In fact, he grew up about 300 yards from our place. The area is rich in antebellum history, and the soil is much depleted of nutrients because past generations grew so much cotton. The first thing I did was to order metal “Posted — No Trespassing” signs. The metal ones hold up much better than others. I used a yellow background and black ink. The yellow color stands out better than white or any other color. These signs should be affixed to trees with 1.5- to 2-inch aluminum roofing nails. Nail them in only far enough to get a good, firm hold in the tree — not all the way! If you do, your signs will start popping off the trees in three to four years. Second, I started cleaning up our land from numerous generations of trash and neglect. There were refrigerators, tires, furniture, household garbage, broken glass, and bottles and cans throughout the property. Two hundred large garbage bags of trash later, and our property was looking pretty good. We should take pride in our places and make them better than we found them, whether we own them or lease them. After our land was properly posted, gates had been installed on entrance roads, and the property was cleaned up, our attention turned to managing it for deer and wild turkeys. Deer and turkey management go hand-in-hand. Most of what's good for deer is also good for turkeys. Managing for deer is conceptually very easy, but operationally, it's drawn out through time and can be difficult. Managing deer requires only three things: 1. Do not shoot any small or medium-sized bucks, and stack up does like firewood. 2. Manage your woods for maximum nutrition and proper cover. 3. Have high-protein nutrition with cool-season and warm-season food plots. Mineral supplements in our mineral-poor soil are also valuable.

DON'T SHOOT SMALL BUCKS Easier said than done, you say — yes and no. The old saying, “Everyone makes mistakes” is indeed true, but good people make very few. Not-so-good people or folks who do not try hard make many mistakes. Which type do you want hunting with you? The first step is to have a plainly written hunting agreement specifically stating what someone can and cannot shoot, complete with fines for violations.

Yes, fines. It will not work without them. I know, because I tried the agreement without fines, and it did not work. I hated to do it, but I had to put in the fines to get satisfactory results. If hunters shoot buck fawns or spikes with antlers shorter than four inches, they must pay $50. For bucks that have seven points or more that hunters don't get mounted, they pay $350 “no later than returning to the deer cleaning-area or camp, whichever is first.” There needs to be a no-nonsense approach to the fines. The amount of the fines needs to be high


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enough to get people’s significant attention, but not so high as to be crippling when they must be paid. When people come to hunt deer at our place, I tell them to bring two things: their binoculars and their checkbook, because they will use one of them. When necessary, I work with the relatively inexperienced hunters, showing them photographs so they can learn to easily identify fawns. Anyone can do it. Fawns are like puppies in that they have short noses. That's what we look for. It is a much better method of identifying fawns than looking for smaller deer, because most of the time, our deer are not standing on level ground close to each other. After folks identify a fawn, we use binoculars to determine if it's a doe or button buck. Since we got our place, we've stacked up does like firewood. We take absolutely as many as we can. This helps even the sex ratio between bucks and does and also helps limit a seemingly everexpanding deer population. After several years of intense doe harvest, we began to see significantly more buck signs in the woods and significantly more buck movement. On our place, I don't think it's possible to take too many does. Our problem seems to be not being able to take enough of them.

Deer and turkey management go hand-inhand. Most of what's good for deer is also good for turkeys.

Where do you see most of your deer? In the woods. Yet most of us ignore our woods. We should not.

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Getting big bucks with big racks takes an exceptionally nutritious forage, and that can be hard to grow in hilly areas with lighter soils. Alfa-Rack Plus solves this problem. The extensive root structure of Alfa-Rack Plus allows you to grow this high-protein forage in areas that might otherwise be inhospitable to the foods deer like best. Alfa-Rack Plus includes our special blend of alfalfas, chicory, and Imperial Whitetail Clover. When the buck you are after is King of the Hill, make sure the hill is planted in Alfa-Rack Plus.

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whitetailinstitute.com The Whitetail Institute


Research = Results


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

239 Whitetail Trail Pintlala, AL 36043

“Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”


Whitetail Institute


The first thing we did in the woods was to thin our pines — too much, some would say. We wanted a lot of sunlight to hit the ground so the many natural plants, berries and grapes deer eat would grow. Some people spread a balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13, for an acre or so around some of their deer stands in the woods. We've done this, too. The next thing we did is burn the pine woods in winter. Do not burn your hardwoods, unless you want enough firewood to supply a city the size of Atlanta. A hot fire can kill many of your hardwoods. We burn up to 75 to 100 acres of pine woods per year. We burn on a one-, two- or three-year rotation in blocks — admittedly not square ones — of not more than 25 acres each. This technique gives your land a diversity of various stages of plant growth within your pine trees, and we're convinced that it's good. We don't follow a set timetable in burning, but we burn when we need it. It has been said that you get more for your money and effort from burning your woods than anything else, and I believe it. Oh, by the way, when you are new to burning, there's one thing you can count on: You will catch on fire. I did the first three or four years, but it's not a big deal. Just stop, beat it out with your leathergloved hands, and then get back to work. As with all good things, burning causes a problem. When you burn a sweetgum tree, three or four or more new sweetgums sprout from its roots the next spring. Each time you burn, you get more sweetgums until the entire understory is completely choked with sweetgums. That stops the growth

of plants that deer, turkeys and rabbits eat. You must spray sweetgums to kill them. This is a very arduous task, but we have done it and continue to do it. We use a 3 percent solution of 41 percent concentrate glyphosate (Razor Pro, GlyFlo or Roundup) to spray the sweetgums. You must spray all the leaves on the sweetgums. This is by far the least expensive chemical we have found that will do the job. We start spraying sweetgums at the end of July. Using a balanced fertilizer (13-13-13), we regularly fertilize high-producing persimmons and oaks throughout our woods. This is done in March, right before turkey season. We like to think this helps. It seems to. We also cut and poison the stumps of competing trees around those selected persimmons and oaks. The last thing we do with the woods is set aside four or five thick areas we don't hunt or even go in. That hopefully gives bucks a sense of security so they will stay on our property. HIGH-PROTEIN NUTRITION, COOL-SEASON AND WARM-SEASON FOOD PLOTS This part of management is the most fun, at least for me. Besides being of significant benefit to the deer and turkeys, I get a great deal of gratification just looking at our well-done food plots. Many of you know exactly what I mean. Many others, hopefully, will have the pleasure of finding out. There are two basic types of food plots: feeding plots and hunting plots. Feeding plots are large

plots that produce lots of food. As a rule, these are rectangular or square, because those shapes are the most efficient when using farm equipment. These feeding plots can be up to several acres in size. In many of our large feeding plots, we divide them into two or three segments and plant various items in each. This works well, and I strongly recommend it. Hunting plots are relatively small and always adjoin thick cover. There are several ingenious designs you can use for hunting plots. Some are long and narrow, but others are in a V-shape, like spokes to a wheel or like an hour-glass with a squeeze point. If you are rifle hunting, the only rule for design it that you must be able to shoot any deer that enters any part of the food plot. If you don’t have any hunting food plots on your place, you need some. After years of experimenting with many plants in food plots, I have come to the firm conclusion that you need to plant what is good for deer. That is, plants that are high in protein and digestibility, and plants deer prefer. Through the years, I've put more importance on what deer like to eat. Consequently, the foundation of our cool-season food plots is clover. Of all the clovers I have tried — and I’ve tried many — Imperial Whitetail Clover does very well on our place. It is a mix of clovers developed by the Whitetail Institute, and they're not available anywhere else. In fact, it's the only seed mix I cannot duplicate. Seed mixes sold by many companies have a very high mark-up. Imperial Whitetail Clover

Chicory Plus is part of the Whitetail Institute’s continuing effort to develop products that are both nutritionally superior and exceptionally attractive to deer. Chicory Plus contains the only chicory developed especially for whitetail deer and it is blended with the number one clover in the world, Imperial Whitetail Clover. Chicory Plus is designed to provide the high protein of chicory with a more palatable and attractive texture than other chicory varieties. Chicory Plus is an excellent perennial for areas with heavier or moderately drained soils. It will provide you with 3 to 5 years of high-protein forage from a single planting. You can be sure that it is the perfect blend for whitetail – the deer think so, too.

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Vol. 18, No. 2 /





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WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

is the only one I’ve tried that I can not duplicate for 50 cents on the dollar. I’m sold on it. Several years ago, I started to add chicory to Imperial Whitetail Clover. During years of severe drought, this chicory, with its very deep tap root, grew well and was the only green plant around. The clover took a bad hit during these severe droughts, but the deer still had something to eat. Much of the clover comes back when rain finally comes, but that does not help deer during the extended drought. Our experimentation helped lead the Whitetail Institute to introduce the Chicory Plus mix of Chicory and Imperial Whitetail Clover. You should try it. Some of our clover plots are seven or eight years old and are still very healthy and productive. Proper planting of your clover plots is critical. The planting instructions from the Whitetail Institute are very good. Follow them. The only thing we do that's not in these instructions is to first subsoil our plots. Then we put lime on our plots to increase the pH to around 7.0. We bushhog our plots two or three times a year to create new, tender growth, which deer love. But the real maintenance problem with clover plots is weeds — specifically grass and broadleaf. To kill grass in your plots, use Arrest. We mix Arrest with crop-oil concentrate (one quart per acre) and ammonium sulfate (one quart per acre). We usually spray our plots three or four times a year, starting in late March. To kill broadleaf weeds, we use Slay. You can only use Slay twice a year on your plots (no more than six ounces per acre per year). Our first spraying of Slay is in late March or early April, as soon as our ground temperature reaches a consistent 55 degrees. We do not mix these chemicals together when spraying. We spray one, wait a week, and then spray the other. Arrest and Slay are slow-kill chemicals. It usually takes about three weeks to see significant results, but they will kill almost all of your weeds. And, oh yeah, turkeys not only look for bugs in your clover, but they actually eat your clover. Look inside a turkey when you get one, and you will often find clover. Most of the time spent spraying is going back and forth to refill your sprayer. Consequently, you should buy the largest sprayer your equipment can handle and the best one you can afford. Such a sprayer makes life much more pleasant. We have modified our sprayer so we can lower and raise the arms from the tractor seat. For several years, along with hunters across the country I have been helping test brassicas (turnips, rape and kale) for the Whitetail Institute. Through this research, the company has developed a super mix of brassicas that grow extremely well, called Winter-Greens. It will grow just about anywhere, including areas with little water, and it produces a tremendous volume of forage. It's also very easy to plant, is high in protein and requires next to no maintenance. I am very pleased with it and will continue to use it. But before you go out and buy 200 pounds of brassica seed, you must realize that on our place, brassica is not the top preferred food for deer. When more preferred food is available, deer eat that. So why plant brassicas? It grows well during droughts, which we seem to have more frequently. Five years ago, we had a bad drought in late summer and early fall. We planted Whitetail Institute test brassicas, and they grew well. The clover was really hurting. The deer really hit the brassicas hard, starting in early October. During gun season, I would sit in my stand after the last shooting light and just enjoy listening — yes listening — to deer chewing brassicas. We took several deer out of our brassica plots that year. The next four years, we did not have extreme early-fall droughts, and deer didn't use the brassica plots as much. In short, our brassica plots are drought insurance. Consequently, we have taken relatively small sections of our clover plots and put them in Winter-Greens and will continue to “buy” this drought insurance. I recommend that you do the same. In terms of other cool-season plots, we are continually experimenting with various plants to see what produces well and what deer prefer. You might see some of these offered by the Whitetail Institute in the future Like most of us, I started by planting only cool-season plots for deer. We thought we were doing a good job of feeding deer, but we were not. Six years ago, we started planting warm-season food plots, and man, did the deer hit them hard. They consumed tons of high-protein forages from those plots. After the first year of planting warm-season plots, we had about a 10 percent weight gain in deer we took off our place. Weight gains have continued, albeit at a slower pace. During this past season, I took the heaviest doe we have ever shot. You need to plant warm-season plots. Several years ago, I helped with the testing of the Whitetail Institute’s warm-season mix, Power Plant. It's a good one that produces tons of forage and really attracts deer. Just one note: If deer


Whitetail Institute

Don't shoot small bucks. Easier said than done, you say — yes and no. The old saying, “Everyone makes mistakes” is indeed true, but good people make very few.

bite the tops off your soybeans, cowpeas or lab-lab in the mix when those plants have just leafed out, it will kill them. You must plant a large enough area to get the plots ahead of the deer. We put out minerals for deer. Most of our soil is low to very low in minerals, and I think mineral supplements help them develop well. We put out minerals in fairly thick places beside deer trails. Trial and error will tell you which mineral sites are being used the most. We put out minerals in late February or March, and create at least one mineral site per 100 acres. We add more minerals to heavily used sites later in the year. Through many years, I've been part of the testing of many products for the Whitetail Institute. Some have done very well on our place, and others have been failures. We've tested some products, with slight variations, several consecutive years. You will never see these failures on the market — at least not from the Whitetail Institute. The Whitetail Institute conducts extensive testing of its products before it puts them on the market. Some other seed companies appear to let customers do their testing for them — after they pay their hardearned money. We enjoy working on our place and managing it for deer and turkeys. In everything — I mean everything — we do on our place, we do it absolutely as well as we know how and are always looking for ways to improve. We take no shortcuts and never do anything halfway. I strongly recommend this approach to everyone. Now you know most of what we do to manage our land, but what are our results? During the rut, more than 40 percent of the adult deer that we see have antlers. And yes, we have some whoppers, but darn, they are still difficult to kill, and the stupid ones don't make it to 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 years old. And we have loads of turkeys. My late father had a place in the country in North Carolina. He used to say, “Son, this place has added 10 years to my life.” I think he was right. • • • • Claibourne Darden has served on the national board of directors of the National Wild Turkey Federation for 15 years and the Quality Deer Management Association for five years. He also was named the Conservationist of the Year in his area by The Soil Conservation Service. W


Vol. 18, No. 2 /



getting the greens in the ground but got them sowed on August 25. It rained the next day and within three days it was up! It grew fast and again, I was very pleased with the results. I knew some good bucks were around…I just had to hunt smart! On November 17th, the wind was right. It was one day before our gun season started and my last chance! I got in my stand at 6:45 a.m. At around 7:30 I grunted five times and waited. Suddenly, I saw movement close to the food plot. I grunted again. Out of the thicket stepped a 140 inch 8 pointer! He casually sauntered toward me, giving me a perfect 25 yard shot. I shot him right through the heart and watched as he ran 40 yards or so before dropping to the ground. I have enclosed some photos of the stages of the Winter-Greens plot being made and also the end result. Your products are outstanding. Thank you for making great products that really work!

Blake Allen — Georgia Planted Imperial Whitetail Clover and we quickly saw more deer and turkey. After the plots were established we had more buck activity. Over a period of time bucks harvested were heavier and had better racks. Also once the deer got acclimated to 30-06 Mineral they used it regularly. I suppose it helped in conjunction with the Clover. Keep up the great work and keep the great products coming. I’ve enclosed a picture of a 153 1/8 buck I took this past October.

Brad Harm — Nebraska

Steve Taylor — Illinois I use Imperial Whitetail Clover and Alfa-Rack Plus and I killed two great bucks this year out of the same stand.

house. I decided to go with Alfa-Rack because my ground was on a grade. I worked all summer on it and I sowed the seed on September 13. It rained the next day and I’m pleased to say that the seed was up in two days! I couldn’t keep the deer out! The Alfa-Rack has done really well for me. I also use Arrest and Slay and am pleased with these products as well. This summer I started a new plot for hunting. I decided on the new Winter-Greens. I was late

My wife and I bought 35 acres in 2004 so I would have a place for myself and my daughter Allison to hunt. The first year my daughter and I cleared two spots for food plots. We cleared out the trees and scrubs by hand and broke the ground by hand. We also planted all the seed by hand. I wish I had known about Whitetail Institute products back then. I had no luck getting anything to grow. So this past year I planted Extreme and it came in very well. It was planted on a side of a hill that had very poor soil conditions. I am very happy with the product. It came in thick and full. I harvested the biggest deer ever in my life this fall in the Extreme plot. It was a 10 x 10 non-typical with double brow ties and a 4 inch drop tine with massive thick beams. It was green scored at 193 1/8 and it weighed 240lbs. I planted my lower food plot with Winter-Greens and it came in thick and full and the deer loved it too. All I can say is thank you Whitetail Institute for making these products. I will always be using them in the future.

Adam Hays III — Ohio Johnny Howard — Indiana I live in southeastern Indiana where I have been using Whitetail Institute products for the past four years. I started with 4-Play blocks and the deer started using them within days. I was very pleased with the results, so I set a goal to make my first food plot on my 17 acres. It would be an observation plot behind our


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

Just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks for the great products. I shot this buck in Ohio this year standing in a strip of Imperial Clover. It grosses 214” and after being scored officially, should be the largest typical ever harvested on video. This is my 3rd bow kill over 200”! Also my friend Andrae D’Acquisto shot his 6th B & C with a bow this year (197”) coming back to bed after www.whitetailinstitute.com

long, they just loved it. Thank you for your help and your product, I recommend them to all my friends. I’ve enclosed some photos.

Jeff Rasmussen — Wisconsin

being in his Imperial food plot all night.

Frank Freise — Missouri

In 2002 my friends Charlie Schuenemeyer, Dean Faber and I bought a farm together. It was a 120 acre cattle farm located in Pike County Illinois. It had a good mix of woods and pasture with a small creek running through the middle. We bought the farm for hunting and for an investment. We immediately started planting food plots. We planted about 6 acres of Imperial Whitetail Clover and one acre of Alfa Rack. We also planted some corn and winter wheat for a total of about 12 acres. We saw some pretty good deer that fall and Charlie managed to kill a pretty nice 10 pt. That winter and the next spring is when we really started seeing things happen. As other food sources dried up the deer really started piling into our place, they just loved that clover. We pulled so many does into the property that if the bucks wanted any action they were going to have to come through our farm, and they did, and that was a mistake. We took three nice bucks that second year the biggest grossing 150 P & Y! We saw some bigger bucks but couldn’t close the deal. The third year we took three more nice bucks, the largest was right at 150 P & Y and the body sizes were incredible. We had several bucks that field dressed over 200 lbs.! I know this is the result of our hard work and patience. It was very rewarding to plant that clover and then reap the benefits. The clover gave the deer a high protein food source all year www.whitetailinstitute.com

We’ve been using Imperial products for years. The quality of antler development and overall health of our deer has improved unbelievably! I’m sold on Imperial products. Here’s two bucks that I shot out of the same clover field one year apart. I also

last 3 years because of wind direction and lack of time in the woods but out of those 5 hunts I have taken 3 bucks out of it. Two of which have won the big buck contest at work! The bedding area lays next to a creek with a trail that leads out to my food plot that is planted in Imperial Whitetail Clover. You can tell from the photo why this is my favorite stand. After I shot the buck and walked up on him the first thing I saw was his left main beam and how massive it was! It had 5 points on the main beam and 3 large stickers at the base and another on the back side. I walked to him and lifted his other side out of the weeds and couldn't believe my eyes. The buck had another pair of stickers on that side with 5 typical points making him a typical 10 point with 6 non-typical points. I was shaking so bad that all the pictures from my digital camera turned out blurred! Did I mention that I get buck fever? I am sure glad I didn't see all that before I shot! The buck field dressed 205 pounds and scored 164 4/8" gross! Attached is a picture of the deer the next morning when my nerves calmed down and someone else held the camera.

Paul Hanna — Ohio

enclosed a picture of my daughter’s first deer. Thanks.

This is a picture of a P & Y 10 pointer I shot over a 1/2 acre Imperial Clover field. I arrowed the buck on October 2nd this past season. The temperature was 62 degrees and I sat in the stand for less than 1 hour. My trail camera showed 7 different bucks working the plot in September. The 10 pointer was the first buck to come in the clover field that day.

Pat Erhart — Michigan Planted our first Alfa-Rack three years ago and the bucks are getting bigger this year. I harvested a 165 inch non-typi-

Danny Wahl — Illinois I just wanted to say thanks for a great product! I have been a customer of the W h i te t a i l Institute for several years now and have 5 food plots planted with mainly the Imperial Whitetail Clover and AlfaRack. The first year we planted it in the fall and saw more deer that season than ever before and we harvested 3 bucks and 2 does out of it in a single weekend between 2 bow hunters. Since then we have gotten a little more selective as to what we shoot and have seen some real monsters. This past season I was hunting in south western Illinois and sitting in a stand that is my favorite spot. I have only been able to hunt the stand 5 times in the

cal. My son shot a 140 inch 5x5 and my son-in-law shot a 5x6 135 inch all with bows in the area around the Alfa-Rack. W

Send Us Your Photos! Do you have a photo of a buck that qualifies for the Pope & Young, Boone and Crockett or your state record books that you grew or took with the help of Imperial products? Send it to us and you might find it in the Record Book Bucks section of the next issue of Whitetail News. Send your photo and a 3 to 4 paragraph story telling how you harvested the deer and the role our products played to:

Whitetail News, Attn: Record Book Bucks 239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Alfa-Rack Plus “Research = Results” In Action By Institute Staff


esearch = Results.” There is a fundamental reason why Whitetail Institute products continue to lead the industry, and their motto says it all. The Institute is committed to exhaustive research and development, not only of new products but also existing products such as AlfaRack Plus. When it comes to the long-term success of Whitetail Institute forages, AlfaRack Plus is among those at the top of the list. One of the reasons for its enduring performance is the diversity of the forage plants that make up the blend. These include WINA-100 brand perennial forage chicory and X-9 technology grazing alfalfas. Any examination of Alfa-Rack Plus, though, must include the third perennial group in the blend—Imperial Whitetail Clover. 52

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

Upgraded Clover Varieties: Alfa-Rack Plus contains the very same perennial clovers that are the backbone of the number-one food-plot product in the world, Imperial Whitetail Clover. The first clover ever developed specifically for deer is Advantage. Developed by the Institute’s former Director of Plant Breeding, Dr. Wiley Johnson, Advantage served as the main perennial component in Imperial Clover. Several years ago, Dr. Johnson completed his development of the Institute’s second proprietary clover, Insight. The new Insight clover is drought- and heat-tolerant and, of course, highly nutritious and attractive to deer. When Insight was combined with Advantage in the Imperial Clover blend, it also became a component of Alfa-Rack Plus. These clovers are available only in Whitetail Institute products.


Even with the huge success of Alfa-Rack, the Institute continually looks for ways to enhance existing products, and Alfa-Rack was no exception. In addition to adding Insight clover to the existing blend, certain goals were set for improving the alfalfa component as well. These included improving ease of establishment, forage longevity, drought resistance, and even greater attraction, New X-9 Technology Grazing Alfalfas: Alfalfa is well known for its attractiveness to deer. Hay-type alfalfas are at their most attractive when young, or just after mowing, when new growth appears. As they mature, though, they become stemmier, and therefore less attractive and palatable to deer. That’s why the Institute included grazing-alfalfa varieties instead of hay varieties in Alfa-Rack, the original form of what is now Alfa-Rack Plus. The original grazing alfalfas in Alfa-Rack were easier to establish than standard, hay-type alfalfas. And because they were designed for grazing instead of hay production, they were more palatable and attractive to whitetails. They also exhibited a good level of drought tolerance common to most alfalfa varieties. Even with the huge success of Alfa-Rack, the institute continually looks for ways to enhance existing products, and Alfa-Rack was no exception. In addition to adding Insight clover to the existing blend, certain goals were set for improving the alfalfa component as well. These included improving ease of establishment, forage longevity, drought resistance, and even greater attraction, Testing candidates for the new alfalfa component of

Alfa-Rack Plus involved two stages. First, specific varieties were identified as exhibiting one or more of the target goals. Second, these specific varieties were tested in varying ratios to one another until a specific blend of new, X-9 technology grazing alfalfas was identified that exhibited the targeted traits. X-9 Alfalfa Technology makes Alfa-Rack Plus easier and faster to establish than traditional alfalfa varieties. Other improvements included faster re-growth after grazing, higher total yield, improved disease resistance and extended longevity. These improvements actually were not that surprising, since these alfalfas were specifically bred to exhibit these characteristics. X-9 alfalfas are highly drought resistant, often putting down roots that can extend several feet down into the soil in search of water. Alfa-Rack Plus is also extremely heat- and cold-tolerant and, like other Imperial perennials, blended for specific regions. WINA-100 Brand Perennial Forage Chicory: This is the third perennial component of Alfa-Rack Plus. When it comes to chicory, WINA-100 is a vastly superior variety for deer. Other chicories sometimes planted for deer tend to lose palatability rather quickly as they become stemmy and their leaves take on a waxy, leath-

ery texture as they mature. This does not happen with WINA-100 perennial forage chicory, which produces foliage that is vastly more palatable to deer. WINA-100 chicory can also grow root systems several feet deep, which improves the drought resistance of the blend even further. Alfa-Rack Plus is designed to be planted in areas that receive at least 30 inches per year in rainfall, and in good soils that are moderately to well drained. As with all alfalfas and alfalfa products, soil pH is especially critical. Alfa-Rack Plus should be planted in soils with a pH of 6.5 or higher. Like other Imperial blends, Alfa-Rack Plus is available in multiple pre-packaged quantities. The 20-pound bag of Alfa-Rack Plus will plant 1.5 acres, and the 3.75pound bag plant 1/4 acre. For more information about Alfa-Rack Plus, just go to www.whitetailinstitute.com and click on the “Products” link. Also our in-house consultants are available to answer questions or take your order from 8:00-5:00, Central Time, Monday through Friday, at (800) 5883030, ext. 2. W

YOUR RECIPE FOR HUNTING SUCCESS Try a full “menu” of Whitetail Institute Products at one low price… and get a FREE 2-year subscription to “Whitetail News” and a FREE DVD as well! Your Super Sampler Pak includes:



• Imperial Whitetail™ Clover — 1/2 acre planting (4 lbs.) • Imperial ALFA-RACK™ PLUS — 1/4 acre planting (3.75 lbs.) • Imperial EXTREME™ — 1/4 acre planting (5.6 lbs.) • Imperial CHICORY PLUS™ — 1/2 acre planting (3.5 lbs.) • Imperial N0-PLOW™ — 1/2 acre planting (9 lbs.) • Imperial WINTER-GREENS™ — 1/2 acre planting (3 lbs.) • Imperial 30-06™ Mineral — 1 lick (5 lbs) • Imperial 30-06™ PLUS PROTEIN™ — 1 lick (5 lbs.) • Imperial DOUBLE-CROSS™ — 1/2 acre planting (4 lbs.) • Cutting Edge™ INITIATE™ — 1 site (5 lbs.) • Cutting Edge™ OPTIMIZE™ — 1 site (5 lbs.) • Cutting Edge™ SUSTAIN™ — 1 site (5 lbs.)


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239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043 FAX 334-286-9723

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



ASK BIG JON By Jon Cooner, Institute Director of Special Projects

Liberty Preserved! – D.C. v. Heller


s long-time readers of Whitetail News know, the Whitetail Institute is committed to not only helping its customers improve the quality of their deer and deer-hunting experience, but also promoting the health of our entire hunting way of life. On June 26, 2008, the United States Supreme Court issued its final ruling on what is certainly the most important gun-rights case, and arguably the most important individual rights case, in recent memory, District of Columbia v. Heller. Accordingly, I wanted to do something a little different in this issue and, instead of answering a specific customer question about deer management, provide a brief synopsis of the Heller opinion and what it means to all Americans, gun owners and non-gun owners alike. WHAT THE HELLER CASE WAS ABOUT Until the Heller decision, Washington D.C.’s gun laws had been among the strictest in the nation for many years. The Heller case was brought as a challenge to two things those laws did as administered by the D.C. government. First, they prohibited anyone in Washington D.C. from having a handgun in the home for self defense. Second, they required that shotguns and rifles, possession of which was allowed in the home, be kept in such condition that they would be unavailable as a practical matter for self defense (unloaded/disassembled/triggerlocked). In Heller, the United States Supreme Court struck down the D.C. gun laws on the ground that they violated the right to keep and bear arms protected by 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. Here's the link to the Supreme Court’s opinion: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/07pdf/ 07-290.pdf The critical issue resolved in the case was whether the right protected by the 2nd Amendment is an “individual” right, or a “collective” right. The 2nd Amendment is part of our Bill of Rights, and any explanation of the difference between individual and collective rights requires an understanding of what the Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment, actually does, and what it does not do. INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS VERSUS COLLECTIVE RIGHTS The amendments that make up the Bill of Rights set out specific, or “enumerated,” rights including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and in the case of the 2nd Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. Almost all of the freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights have been


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

fairly universally understood to be inherent “individual” rights, meaning that each of us has these rights simply by virtue of being a free person. Accordingly, the amendments in the Bill of Rights do not “give” these rights to us (and, in fact, they couldn’t since we already have them), but instead guarantee that the government can never blanketly take those rights away from us. Until Heller, though, the nature of one such right, the right to keep and bear arms enumerated in the 2nd Amendment, had been the source of heated debate for about a century. The D.C. government argued in Heller that the right to keep and bear arms is not an individual right, but a “collective” right of the citizenry of the United States as a whole to keep and bear arms as part of a state militia. Had the court agreed, it could have meant that the government has the authority to completely disarm every citizen of the United States who is not a member of the National Guard, do so any time it wants, and without reason. If you want an example of how unconscionable the “collective-rights” theory is, consider that it would make perfectly legal the very sort of mass confiscations of guns from law-abiding citizens we saw in Louisiana during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina! Thankfully, the court clearly stated in Heller that the right to keep and bear arms is an inherent individual right guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment. As such, the court held, the D.C. gun laws as administered by the D.C. government violated the 2nd Amendment because, in effect, they prohibited all D.C. residents from legally having any kind of firearm readily accessible in the home for self-defense, a lawful purpose that the court noted was at the very core of the right to keep and bear arms. This clear statement that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual right is potentially one of extremely broad implication. It’s also the only logical inference one can draw as to what our Founding Fathers intended the 2nd Amendment to do. They crafted the Bill of Rights in 1789, which was right after the Revolutionary War — a war prompted in large measure by England’s attempt to subjugate the people living in her American colonies by disarming them. With the Revolutionary War still fresh in their minds, the Founding Fathers took great care when creating the new American government to ensure that it could never prohibit the people it was created to serve from keeping and bearing arms for self defense in the home, for hunting and, if necessary, to prevent tyranny. In fact, that’s the very reason for the entire Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment — to prevent the government we set up to serve us from taking more power than the people choose to give it.

HELLER’S SHORT-TERM FUTURE EFFECT Obviously, the Heller decision is a huge sigh of relief to law-abiding residents of Washington D.C. Thankfully, folks like the NRA are also already moving forward to have other unconstitutional gun laws in other parts of the country overturned based on Heller, and that is truly great news for Americans who live in other places where the government may have overreached its authority. How far the NRA will be able to go in helping us remove other unconstitutional restrictions on our freedoms remains to be seen. They certainly deserve all the support we can give them. As for the rest of us law-abiding gun owners, the Heller decision may not change our lives much as a practical matter, at least in the short term. The Heller court made a special effort to point out that other freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights are subject to reasonable regulation, and that the right to keep and bear arms is no exception. For example, even though the Bill of Rights guarantees the right to free speech, that doesn’t mean we’re allowed to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there’s no fire, or that we can slander someone without consequence. Likewise, the court said that most current forms of regulation of the right to keep and bear arms are okay. That means unless and until such existing forms of regulation are overturned, we still must comply with carry-permit requirements and prohibitions against carrying guns in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings. The opinion also doesn’t roll back any prohibitions of weapons not currently in common use in our society, such as machine guns. What the Heller opinion does change, though, for gun owners and non-gun owners alike, is that ALL Americans are finally assured that the most basic protection of individual liberty is intact, at least for now. We must do two things if we are to protect this hard-won victory. First, we must elect a president who will appoint only non-activist judges to the Supreme Court. Second, we must continue to support the NRA in its tireless efforts to protect our rights. At least, that’s the case for the near future. As wonderful as this news is, no court ruling is written in stone forever, and the Heller decision is no exception. Even with this victory, there’s nothing to prevent the court from holding completely the other way later on, and if the wrong kind of justices are appointed to replace those who will likely retire from the Supreme Court soon, there is a very distinct possibility that this entire victory could be completely wiped out. W


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Mixing And Matching A Formula For Success By Charles J. Alsheimer Photos by the Author

Great hunting opportunities take place when food sources are mixed and matched to a whitetail’s needs.


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2



receive many questions as a traveling seminar speaker. Attendees want to know lots of things about whitetail deer, from how to hunt them to how to feed them. When I first hit the seminar trail nearly 30 years ago, hunters were primarily interested in how-to hunting strategies. No more. Today, one the most frequently asked questions is, “How do you lay out a property to attract deer and offer the best hunting opportunities throughout fall.”


There is no simple answer to this question because there are multiple parts to the answer. In fact, before it can be adequately answered, many other questions must be addressed. Obviously the region in question is critical, because being able to feed and hold deer on a Southern property requires a different strategy than where I live in the Northeast. Many things go into a successful program, but one of the best strategies is diversity when it comes to feeding and holding deer. If you can provide a whitetail with the best possible food sources from green-up to freeze-up and beyond, you’ll be in a position to have great hunting. NEED FOR DIVERSITY In many ways, whitetails are like people when it comes to nutritional requirements and food choices. For people and deer to thrive, they need a continuing balance of proper minerals and vitamins. In a whitetail’s case, its mineral and vitamin requirements must come from various food sources they prefer during specific times. Depending on the region, there are about 500 natural food sources and numerous agricultural foods whitetails will eat during a year. A whitetail’s preference for these foods is driven by photoperiod (shortening or lengthening length of the day) and a series of hormonal changes that drive deer metabolism. That's what causes deer to prefer high-protein foods like Imperial Whitetail Clover, Alfa-Rack Plus and Chicory Plus during spring through fall, and brassica and high-carbohydrate foods, such as acorns and corn, when autumn’s weather turns nasty.

So, being able to provide diverse food options is critical to success when it comes to holding deer and providing great hunting opportunities. If you give deer what they want (not what you think they want), they will become year-round tenants. To attain success requires a solid plan. HAVE WHAT IT TAKES Before coming up with a year-round plan that maximizes nutritional and hunting potential, it's important to make sure your property has what it takes to satisfy your goals. Here are some things to consider as you journey toward deer season. Rainfall: Do you have the rainfall required to plant what you want? The amount of rain a region receives dictates the kind of plant-growing potential you can expect. In many ways, water is like fertilizer, and some plants require adequate rainfall to grow. Therefore, certain types of plants will be difficult to grow in dryer regions, so make sure you know what your yearly rainfall is before investing in a particular forage planting. Lay of the land: A food plot’s location in relation to the angle of the sun during summer is critical when considering what to plant at a food-plot location. For example, if a plot faces south and gets more than five or six hours of direct sunlight in summer, the soil temperatures will probably be too extreme for some plants to grow. Soil: Let the soil dictate what you plant in a food plot. Well-drained soils, with pH levels of 6.5 or higher, are required for Alfa-Rack Plus to excel. However, if the soil can hold moisture and has a pH of more than 6.0, you can grow great Imperial Clover or Chicory Plus. On

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



the other hand, if soils are higher than 5.4, a forage like Imperial Extreme will work great. Remember that it all begins with the dirt, so be sure to match the seed to the quality of the soil. Deer population: Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments first-time food-plot practitioners experience is overgrazing by deer. If an area has 50-plus deer per square mile (pre hunting season), it is a safe bet that most small food plots will be cropped to the dirt line from overgrazing. So, it’s important to offer a variety of plant types that are graze-tolerant. Whitetail Institute offerings such as Imperial Clover, Chicory Plus, Alfa-Rack and Extreme are engineered to grow in areas where heavy grazing is common. MENU FOR SUCCESS Variety is the rule of choice for whitetails, so having the best food available at the right time of the year is the recipe for success. By offering various seed blends in nearby food plots (mixing), you can match the nutritional requirements of deer. Autumn and Winter: After the calendar is past August, it’s time to think of the forages that will feed your deer and offer the best hunting opportunities when the season rolls around. I’ve always recommended that a food-plot program consist of 60 percent to 70 percent perennials, with the balance being annuals. Because of this, the springsummer forages I’ve mentioned will offer a great food supply well into fall — at least until the plants go dormant or snow covers them. To complement these perennials, you need a mixture of annuals to keep a hunting property attractive to

deer. Few annuals can accomplish that better than Pure Attraction (a blend of oats, brassica and wheat) and Imperial Winter-Greens (a blend of brassicas). Pure Attraction grows fast and is very attractive and nutritious for deer. In fact, this annual forage will thrive well after many perennials have gone dormant, making it a great forage choice throughout hunting season. Winter-Greens offer a deer herd the nutrition they need in late season, when many other forages have gone dormant. Its blend of brassica plants offer high energy and protein levels to ensure deer have a quality food source to carry them through winter. Spring and Summer: Although hunting season is months away, what you offer your deer in spring determines the kind of deer you will hunt in fall. When the antler-growing switch is thrown in late March, a buck’s body needs high-octane nutrients to meet the antler’s needs. Because of the demand growing antlers place on a buck, forages high in protein are essential. Lactating does also need high-nutrient foods to provide for their health and that of their fawns. Few forages can stack up to Imperial Clover to meet a whitetail’s needs during spring. With protein levels exceeding 30 percent, Imperial Clover is one of the best meals a whitetail can get at this time. Because it's fast growing, I’ve found it to be very graze-tolerant, making it an excellent forage choice for my whitetails at this critical period. Chicory Plus contains Imperial Clover and chicory, and is an excellent forage source from spring through fall. The chicory in the blend is extremely drought resistant and can transfer minerals from the soil very well. For well-drained soils with pH levels higher than 6.5,

30-06 and 30-06 Plus Protein contain all the essential macro and trace minerals along with vitamins A, D, and E necessary for a quality deer herd and maximum antler growth.

30-06 is not a glorified salt lick or a cattle mineral. It is a true nutritional supplement developed specifically for the needs of the whitetail deer. What is good for a bull will do very little for antler growth in a whitetail.

30-06 and 30-06 Plus Protein contain our exclusive scent and flavor enhancers which mean deer find, and frequent, the ground sites you create by mixing these products into the soil. You can be assured 30-06 was created with deer, not cattle, in mind. Because of the 30-06 products incredible attractiveness, some states may consider it bait. Remember to check your local game laws before hunting over the 30-06 site.

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WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


239 Whitetail Trail Pintlala, AL 36043 “Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”


To insure great hunting, food plot locations should be near cover to maximize hunting opportunities.

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Alfa-Rack Plus is an excellent forage choice from spring through fall. It is drought resistant and has protein levels exceeding 30 percent. Deer love it. Unfortunately, not all locations have great soil pH or adequate rainfall during spring to fall. If that's the case, Imperial Extreme is a great forage that will grow in lessthan-favorable conditions. This drought-resistant perennial will grow in soils with pH levels of 5.4 or higher and withstand dry growing conditions, which can be common in many parts of North America. These perennials can be planted in spring or fall in almost all parts of North America. LAYOUT FOR SUCCESS Feeding your deer is one thing, but let’s face it; one of the reasons most have a food plot program is to ensure great hunting opportunities throughout fall. Accomplishing that requires a well-thought-out-plan to

ensure deer do not radically change their travel patterns during hunting season. I've accomplished this on our farm by strategically placing the foods deer prefer and need near each other. That way, deer use the same trails to get from their bedding to feeding areas throughout the year. As this article’s title suggests, I mix seed blends to provide a time-release food program. Meanwhile, I match them in a way to keep the deer coming back for more. Here are two examples of how I’ve accomplished this on our 200-acre farm: Example No. 1: Our main sanctuary is a deep ravine bordered on one side by a three-acre field. To keep this location attractive to deer from green-up to early winter requires that it be planted in a variety of forages. We’ve made this happen by breaking the field into thirds, with each third containing a different forage. One third is planted in Imperial Clover, one in Pure Attraction and the last third in Winter-Greens. That

Matching forage choices to a whitetail’s need is critical to meet a deer’s nutritional needs.



WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


ensures that deer will have great nutrition from greenup through snow cover. In the process, they use the same travel corridors throughout the year to get from their bedding area to food. Example No. 2: A second example of how we lay out our food plots is what I refer to as the sandwich approach. Our farm has a 400-yard-long-by-150-yardwide spruce grove that connects two large wooded areas. My son and I refer to this as the mother of all funnels, because our layout has provided a great travel corridor for deer. Along the lower side of this long spruce funnel, we’ve planted a large Imperial Clover plot, which gets heavy deer use from May through November. On the upper side of the spruce grove are a series of perennial and annual food plots. The perennial plot is planted in Extreme to provide a forage offering other than Imperial Clover. The annual plots on this side of the funnel are in place to provide our deer a variety of other offerings, made up primarily of Winter-Greens, which become available after perennials have gone dormant. This smorgasbord of highly nutritious offerings is just the ticket deer need for great antlers and healthy bodies. By surrounding (or sandwiching) the spruce grove with a variety of food plots, deer move a great deal, making for some great hunting opportunities. I learned a long time ago that food plots have to be more than one-month wonders if you want healthy deer and great hunting opportunities. It’s all about mixing the right forages to ensure your deer have the great nutrition they need. When you accomplish this, you have a set up that will provide great food at every stage of the year, and you’ll have great hunting, too. That’s what mixing and matching is all about. W


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CROP ROTATION Most Imperial perennial blends fix nitrogen, which can reduce fertilizer costs for rotational crops.

Improve Forage and Soil Quality – and Save Money!


hen you read the title of this article, you probably thought, “I know that planting Imperial blends can increase the carrying capacity of my property and drastically improve nutrient availability for my deer. But, how can planting improve the quality of my soil and save me money at the same time?” The answer starts with an understanding of how to use existing and new forage plantings to improve soil quality in a given site, so let’s look at that first. We’ll look at crop rotation, nitrogen-fixing forages and how to combine both for maximum results. CROP ROTATION — WHEN IS IT NECESSARY? The answer is, “When it appears to be necessary 62

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

based on your observations of specific things.” Now, let’s look at what those specific things are. Imperial perennial blends are designed to last three to five years or longer when planted according to directions and with Mother Nature’s cooperation. In many cases (but not all), it is possible to extend the life of a planting even further by over-seeding an existing plot with more of the same seed blend. At some point, though, the soil may become so depleted of specific nutrients or sufficiently saturated with detrimental organisms that future growth and quality of that plant type is hindered. In such cases, the answer is crop rotation. In the food-plot context, crop rotation refers to the practice of removing a long-term planting and replacing it with completely different plant varieties for a

Whitetail Institute

By William Cousins

while to help restore the soil. Crop rotation is usually not as big an issue to food-plot farmers as it can be to commercial farmers who, for example, might plant alfalfa on the same site for many years in a row. This is especially true given that most Imperial perennial blends contain multiple plant varieties, and this diversity can help keep the soil fresh. Accordingly, we generally see no problems with re-establishing most Imperial perennial plots at least once by simply over-seeding them with more of the same blend once at the end of the original planting’s life. (Alfa-Rack Plus is the exception because of alfalfa’s autotoxicity characteristics.) There may come a time, though, when you notice that your existing stand of your favorite Imperial perennial blend is starting to decline or that it is not performing as well as it did in the past. The most common www.whitetailinstitute.com

cause of these symptoms is a buildup of disease organisms in the soil. These often appear either in the form of root-rot organisms like fungus, which can cause crop failure, or an increase in root-eating insects and their larvae. In such cases, rotating out of the perennial and into Imperial Winter-Greens for one fall and winter can be a great idea and help prepare your soil for a new planting of your favorite Imperial perennial the following spring or fall. If you are noticing a stand decline in your existing Imperial perennial, diagnosis is usually simple. Just pull a few plants up and look at the roots. Disease and insect problems are usually obvious if they exist. Roots should be firm and fleshy. There will naturally be some root decay even in a healthy stand, but if most or all the plants examined have root problems, it is time to plant entirely different plant varieties in the site for at least one growing season. When you have made the decision to rotate, start by choosing what forage you will use for your rotation planting. When it comes to forages for cleaning the soil between Imperial perennial plantings, none is better than Imperial Winter-Greens. That’s because WinterGreens consists of plant varieties that are completely different from those in Imperial perennials. When you are ready to rotate out of your Imperial perennial using Winter-Greens, start by performing a soil test. Use a soil-test kit that sends soil off to a lab, and be sure to check the block beside “Winter-Greens” on the soil-test form. That way the lab can specifically tailor its recommendations. Also be sure to send the sample in early so that you don’t run out of time when your planting dates arrive. Other high-quality soil-test kits are available from agricultural universities, county

Imperial perennials such as Alfa-Rack Plus contain diverse components, which can help keep soil fresh.

agents and most farm supply stores. If you use a kit other than one from the Whitetail Institute, be sure that it is one that will actually send the soil sample off to a lab, and again, be sure to let the lab know that you will be planting brassicas so that they can more precisely advise you. Once you receive your soil-test results, take note of how much lime, if any, is recommended. Then, during the Winter-Greens planting dates for your area, spread the recommended amount of lime over your existing forage, and disk the lime and the existing forage right into the ground about four to six inches deep. Then, smooth the seedbed with a cultipacker (heavy roller)

or a weighted, fence-type drag. Then, broadcast your fertilizer and Winter-Greens seed. If you used a weighted drag to smooth the plot before seeding, do nothing further. If, and only if, you used a cultipacker to smooth the seedbed, roll the plot once again after seeding just to press the seed down and seat it against the surface of the seedbed. This is in line with our published planting instructions for Winter-Greens, which are listed on the back of the product bag and are also available online at www.whitetailinstitute.com/info/planting. Again, regardless of what Imperial perennial you have had growing in the site, Winter-Greens is an excellent rotation-crop choice. By disking any needed lime and your existing Imperial perennial into the soil during your Winter-Greens planting dates, and then allowing the Winter-Greens to grow in the site over the fall and winter, your plot site should be ready to accept your favorite Imperial perennial blend again the following year. In rare cases of extreme disease or insect infestation, it may be advisable to continue with the rotation crop for two growing seasons before returning to the original product. IMPROVING SOIL QUALITY WITH NITROGEN FIXATORS One subject about which our customers ask our inhouse consultants is “nitrogen fixation.” Most folks already know that nitrogen is directly related to foliage growth and protein production in plants. However, many folks do not know exactly what nitrogen fixation is, and we have to understand that before its role in improving soil quality can be made clear. Nitrogen fixation is the process by which some for-

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age plants, such as the legumes in Imperial Whitetail Clover, Chicory Plus and Alfa-Rack Plus, produce abundant nitrogen in a form plants can use. This process produces all the nitrogen these plants need, which is why nitrogen-fixing legumes are so high in protein. However, nitrogen comes in many forms, and while some forms are useable by plants for foliage growth and protein production, others aren’t. We’ve all seen the advertisement where the guy with the blown engine emphatically states, “Motor oil is motor oil.” The point of the commercial is that not all motor oils are equal, and the same observation certainly applies to nitrogen. The most common form of nitrogen in our atmosphere, N2, is not readily usable by plants. Nitrogen fixation is the process by which N2 is converted into NH3, a form of nitrogen that plants can readily use. This conversion is accomplished by bacteria, or “rhizobia,” that attach themselves to the roots of a nitrogen-fixing plant and live in a mutually beneficial relationship with it. Nitrogen-fixing plants give the bacteria nutrients and a safe place to live. In return, the bacteria set up what amounts to a nitrogen-conversion factory within the plant’s roots, where they convert N2 into NH3. But, how does this improve soil quality? The answer lies in the fact that the bacteria in the nitrogen-conversion factory produce far more NH3 than is used by the host plant, and the excess is available for use by other nearby plants in their own foliage and protein production. And the excess available to other plants is substantial. For example, after just two full years of production, a well managed alfalfa stand can fix up to 170 more

can use nitrogen fixators in conjunction with WinterGreens to actually save money. Let’s say, for example, that you have an existing stand of Alfa-Rack Plus that is several years old and you notice that the stand seems to be starting to decline. Let’s say that you then pull up a few of the plants and find that the roots look thin and weak. Being the educated food plot farmer you are, you then make the decision to rotate into a Winter-Greens for one fall and winter. Winter-Greens is not a nitrogen fixator. That’s why our planting instructions call for the use of a high-nitrogen fertilizer at planting and again 30-45 days later. The good news is that even though Winter-Greens is not a nitrogen fixator, there may be enough nitrogen left in the ground when you remove your Alfa-Rack Plus crop to plant your Winter-Greens without having to add nitrogen. Let’s look at how that can work. Our Winter-Greens instructions call for you to fertilize Winter-Greens at planting with 80 pounds of nitrogen at planting, and again with 33 pounds of nitrogen 30-45 days later for a total of 113 pounds of nitrogen.* As I mentioned earlier, the mature Alfa-Rack Plus you just removed may have produced up to 170 pounds of excess nitrogen (nitrogen above the amount used by the Alfa-Rack Plus) per acre. That means that there should be plenty of nitrogen in the soil to cover the nitrogen needs of your new Winter-Greens planting without any additional nitrogen having to be added. It’s important to remember that unlike phosphorous and potassium, nitrogen fertilizer tends to dissipate rather quickly once it is exposed to the air. That’s why our Winter-Greens planting instructions call for the second high-nitrogen fertilizer application. However,

pounds of nitrogen than the alfalfa plants need themselves, and a well-managed clover stand can fix up to 150 pounds of excess nitrogen. Since this process takes place on the plant’s roots, a little nitrogen needs to be applied when the forage is planted to help the seedling grow to the point that the nitrogen-fixation process can start. Once that happens, no additional nitrogen needs to be applied. Most of the excess nitrogen becomes available starting in the second year of the forage’s life. So, you can see one way in which the nitrogen-fixing forages such as Imperial Whitetail Clover, Chicory Plus and Alfa-Rack Plus can save you money — you don’t have to apply any nitrogen fertilizer to them once they are growing. USING NITROGEN FIXATORS TO SAVE MONEY IN CROP ROTATION Now let’s dig a little deeper — let’s look at how you

In addition to providing a high-protein food source for deer, what are some of the other benefits of legume planting and crop rotation? • Improves soil structure • Can help reduce erosion • Enhances disease, insect and weed management strategies • Improves yields • Can save money, especially in fertilizer costs when rotating crops

You get SIX Whitetail Institute products for ONLY $99 99 ■ Imperial Whitetail™ Clover — 1/2 acre planting (4 lbs.) ■ Imperial ALFA-RACK™ PLUS — 1/4 acre planting (3.75 lbs.) ■ Imperial EXTREME™ — 1/4 acre planting (5.6 lbs.) ■ Imperial CHICORY PLUS™ — 1/2 acre planting (3.5 lbs.) ■ Imperial N0-PLOW™ — 1/2 acre planting (9 lbs.) ■ Imperial WINTER-GREENS™ — 1/2 acre planting (3 lbs.) ■ Imperial DOUBLE-CROSS™ — 1/2 acre planting (4 lbs.)



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If you order and don’t select from the list above, the Whitetail Institute will send you the following Whitetail Institute recommendations: Imperial Whitetail Clover (4 lbs.), Chicory Plus (3.5 lbs.), Winter-Greens (3 lbs.) AND 30-06 (5 lbs.), 30-06 Plus Protein (5 lbs.), Cutting Edge Optimize (5 lbs.) PLUS a FREE 2-year subscription to “Whitetail News” and a FREE DVD — “Producing Trophy Whitetails.”

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WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2



Whitetail Institute 239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043 FAX 334-286-9723


the underground nitrogen left after the Alfa-Rack Plus is removed should last longer in the soil than nitrogen applied by top dressing. As with any new planting, be sure that soil pH is at 6.5 or higher before you plant, and if it is not, incorporate (disk in) sufficient lime to raise soil pH to 6.5 or higher. Your Whitetail Institute soil test report will tell you exactly how much lime to add before you plant. Also, remember that the fertilizer recommendations made on the back of our forage bags assume that you have not done a soil test. If you have done a soil test, use the fertilizer recommendations on the soil-test report. To get all the available nitrogen for your new rotation planting, disk the existing forage into the soil after three to four years of full production. Incorporating the existing vegetation into the soil in this way can also improve the overall quality of your soil. In addition to the benefits I’ve already mentioned, planting nitrogen-fixing legumes also improves overall soil health. For example, legume roots help break up hard pans and help soil structure. In all cases, though, planning is the key to obtaining maximum value from a legume food plot. W

*How did I come up with 113 pounds of nitrogen? Blended fertilizers usually carry three numbers separated by dashes on the front of the bags. In order from left to right, these numbers stand for how many pounds of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are in 100 pounds of the fertilizer blend. Our Winter-Greens planting instructions call for Winter-Greens to be fertilized at planting with “20-20-20” or equivalent fertilizer at a rate of 400 pounds per acre. So, “4” (from 400 pounds) times “20” (the first number in 20-20-20) equals 80 pounds of nitrogen per acre. Also our instructions call for an additional application of 33-0-0 at a rate of 100 pounds per acre 30-45 days after planting. 80 + 33 = 113 pounds of nitrogen per acre.

Don’t Get Get Caught Without It… Pre-Book Your


For the past four years we've sold out of Imperial PowerPlant. Each year more product is bagged and more is sold. This year we're offering a pre-booking sale that will guarantee you PowerPlant for the 2009 spring planting season at discounted pricing. To pre-book PowerPlant for next year at the discounted price of $99 for each 50-pound bag. Call our consultants and mention this offer. They will take your information and ship next year a few weeks before planting time.



OR FAX YOUR ORDER TO (334) 286-9723 Offer expires 9/30/08. The early booking cost is $99.00 per 50 pounds plus $19.00 S&H.

Extreme conditions call for extreme measures. And Imperial Whitetail Extreme is powerful enough to overcome the worst your property has to offer. Thanks to Extreme, dry, hot locations and soil with low pH no longer prohibit growing a successful perennial crop. Extreme requires only 15 inches of rainfall a year, is both heat and cold tolerant, and will grow well in pH levels as low as 5.4. Extreme is ideal for challenging growing conditions, but will also do great when conditions are kinder. An extreme response to extreme conditions.

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The Whitetail Institute 239 Whitetail Trail Pintlala, AL 36043 Research = Results


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FREE all new DVD; FREE N0-Plow™ FREE Imperial Clover™; FREE Extreme™ FREE Alfa-Rack™ PLUS; FREE Chicory PLUS™ FREE Chic Magnet™; FREE Winter-Greens™ FREE Double-Cross™ (each sample plants 100 sq. ft.)

Same as Offer 1 — PLUS: FREE 30-06™ Mineral (5 lbs.) FREE Cutting Edge™ Supplement (5 lbs.)

800-688-3030 whitetailinstitute.com

“Deer Nutrition Is All We Do!”

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



(Continued from page 29)

Christopher & Tony Kalna — Missouri We planted Alfa-Rack several years ago. And we have more bucks with larger racks. See enclosed photo.

Dean Stover — Ohio Whitetail Institute products are great. I’ve noticed heavy use on the Chicory PLUS. Enclosed is a photo of a 140 class buck I shot this past November.

David Wachter — Virginia Five years ago my brother and I bought 243-acres of cutover hardwoods in the central Virginia Piedmont area. This property connects to our family farm of 115acres which my brother and I have hunted for the past 40 years. Our farm and surrounding area consist of cattle fields or large blocks of loblolly pines owned by a big paper company. Deer in our area had never seen or tasted a food plot designed and planted just for wildlife consumption. Since we purchased this property, we have invested thousands of dollars in the construction of food plots and roadways around the property. Tractors were bought, dozens of soil tests conducted, lime and fertilizer tilled into the soil according to recommendations, followed by the planting of Imperial Whitetail Clover and Extreme. We are now approaching 15 plus acres of food plots spread out in over a dozen fields. This past


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

August, we experimented in two fields with WinterGreens. As of November the plants look dark green and beautiful. I can't wait to see how the deer react to this food plot after a few heavy frosts. There must be several tons of Winter-Greens within just a single acre. On November 6, this past year, at 7:15 a.m. I finally decided to take a buck that began eating my Whitetail clover when he was about 1-1/2 years old. I had been following the life of this particular buck with the aid of digital cameras strategically placed throughout the property. The cameras caught this buck year after year feeding in the Whitetail Clover fields. From viewing the cameras, I was able to determine which Clover field he visited last before heading to his bedding area on top of the ridge. What I have quickly learned these past five years is that if I can produce enough Whitetail Clover and Winter-Greens on our 360-acres, the deer will spend the majority of their life within a very small area. Hunting pressure is heavy on the timber companies and surrounding farms. No efforts of Quality Deer Management are practiced in our county. To grow a buck and have it reach age 5-1/2 under these conditions is a testament to the staying power Whitetail Clover has on deer. The local taxidermist pointed out to me that my buck was the second largest buck he received this year, further indication that bucks in our area do not normally have access to high protein and time to grow. Thanks to the Whitetail Institute and to Quality Deer Management for helping me grow bigger and healthier deer.

Daniel Young — Pennsylvania Planted Imperial Whitetail Clover in 2001 and it is still going strong. I also use all three Cutting Edge products and they hammer them hard. I’ve gotten bigger deer and more of them. A photo of one of them is enclosed. This deer was shot just off my food plot and Cutting Edge site. My friend John was amazed at how big he was. This is big for Pennsylvania. Hunting pressure

around here is so great that deer this big don’t last long. He is 3 1/2 years old, 220 lbs. I only have 47 acres but I can still grow big brutes. Thanks Whitetail Institute for outstanding products.

Kevin Patton — Virginia We noticed more deer in general always making their way towards the Imperial Whitetail Clover plot. We see 10-20 deer every evening. We also have big holes where we use the 30-06 Mineral. Enclosed is a photo of a buck we killed using Whitetail Institute products. It’s the biggest buck ever taken on our farm.

Todd Vincent — Michigan The deer really like 30-06 Plus Protein. I also started using Cutting Edge last year. This winter I placed the Sustain in a different location that is much better for the deer. I went out to replenish it yesterday and with the harsh winter we have had 30 deer leave the location. When I went in there were tons of beds all around it. The mass and tine length of this buck I got this year I know was aided by the use of Whitetail Institute prodwww.whitetailinstitute.com

there own food plots because they saw the before and after deer.

This is the second year we have planted No-Plow with fantastic results.

ucts. I can’t wait for next year! Keep up the good work.

Dave Frank — Pennsylvania Daniel Hellenbrand — Wisconsin We bought 40 acres 5 years ago. We planted Imperial Whitetail Clover and No-Plow and we have noticed more daytime activity. We have also noticed excellent growth on poor soil. We also noticed better racks on young deer. We have shot 5 great bucks. A 9 pointer 19 inch spread, an 8 pointer, two 10 pointers one that was shot with a bow that made P&Y and an 11 pointer that was shot this year. Thanks Whitetail Institute.

Matthew Royal — North Carolina

Before planting Imperial Whitetail Clover, Alfa-Rack and Extreme we hardly ever saw deer. Now we see a lot. Secret Spot planted along all our trails leading to all three food plots works great too. I’m 44 years old and wish I had done this a lot earlier. This is the third year since I planted and I harvested my biggest buck ever during bow season. See photo.

Winter-Greens is my favorite food plot. I planted Winter-Greens and it grew fast and tall. After the first hard frost the deer swarmed to my plot. I have never seen the deer so attracted. It was like kids eating candy. I sure appreciate the great products Whitetail Institute provides. My hunting is getting better every year. I see deer almost every day I go and I see more bucks. The deer on my property are bigger and healthier since I have planted Whitetail Institute products. W

Jim Altepeter — Illinois My brother and I bought this land just for hunting from a hunter who said there was not a lot of deer and the ones he saw were small. So we started putting in food plots using Imperial Clover. Now we are making more food plots, one plot Imperial Clover one AlfaRack and one Chicory PLUS. We just keep seeing more and more deer but now the deer are bigger. The deer we take now get better and better each year and all my friends want to hunt with us and are starting to make www.whitetailinstitute.com

Ralph Scalzo — New York Attached is a photo of a buck shot by Ralph Scalzo, Sr. on November 21st over a patch of No-Plow. The buck, an 11 pointer with a 22” spread was shot in Chenango County, New York. Mr. Scalzo has been hunting this property for over 40 years and this is the best buck he has ever seen. Many life long hunters that saw the deer remarked that they have never seen a buck with antlers like this, especially the mass and spread.

Send Us Your Photos! Do you have a photo and/or story of a big buck, a small buck or a doe that you took with the help of Imperial products? Send it to us and you might find it in the Field Tester section of the next issue of Whitetail News. Send your photo and a 3 to 4 paragraph story telling how you harvested the deer and the role our products played to:

Whitetail News, Attn: Field Tester Response 239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



D E E R N U T R I T I O N N OT E S By Matt Harper

Winter Nutrition is About Survival


he winter of 2007-08 was long, cold and plagued with ice storms and heavy snowfall. In fact, the snowfall in some parts of the country hit record levels. Power outages, treacherous roads and furnaces that never seemed to shut off characterized six months — and even more in some parts of the country. To say that cabin fever was running rampant would be an understatement; a better description would be epidemic. Even with all the bad weather, most of us had the blessing of a warm home and food to eat. We could sit by the fire and view the winter landscape transform into an icy, snow-filled panorama. One blustery January day, I cruised around the countryside in my heated truck when I saw a group of about 20 deer picking through a harvested cornfield. They couldn’t have been getting much for the effort, as the ground was covered with 12 inches of snow piled on top of about two inches of ice. Even if the deer had excavated the field surface, there would have been little corn to find. What the combine left had long since disappeared, because nearly every animal the deer shared the farm with had scavenged the field. However, the deer valiantly dug away, trying to find anything to eat to keep them from starvation.

becomes limited. The choicest food sources are the first to be used, such as acorns and agricultural crops. As mentioned, these highly preferred food sources are used by many animals. From those sources, deer move progressively down the list of preferred foods until they are forced to consume foods they would normally ignore. Typically, as

food-source preference decreases, so does foodsource quality. The last food sources consumed by deer are normally low in digestibility and nutrient content. The combination of energy-sapping weather combined with depreciating food sources leads to lost body weight and, in extreme conditions, even death.



WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

The combination of energy-sapping weather combined with depreciating food sources leads to lost body weight and, in extreme conditions, even death.

Tes Jolly

In many parts of the country, winter is the most stressful nutritional period for deer. The reason stems from a one-two punch by Mother Nature. First, winter conditions exact a heavy demand on body condition. When temperatures plummet, deer must use large amounts of nutrients to maintain core-temperature homeostasis. Deer, however, are very well equipped for cold weather. As the thermometer begins to drop, a deer's summer hair coat is replaced with a winter coat of hollow hairs that act as body insulation. Moisture is far more damaging than temperature, whether it comes as ice, snow or rain. Ice creates a nearly impenetrable barrier over food sources, on the ground and hanging browse. Although snow might make browsing more difficult, ice can make it nearly impossible. Snow can be detrimental in several ways to deer, but one of the worst is the increase in energy needed for locomotion. Navigating through deep snow causes a tremendous increase in energy needs, further draining an already limited supply. As we know, moisture makes cold weather feel even colder, especially with windy conditions. Rain and wind mixed with cool temperatures can be far more energy draining than cold temperatures alone. The other detrimental aspect of winter is the dwindling food supply. Being a herbivore, deer rely on growing vegetation for food. As freezing temperatures stop all vegetation growth, the food supply deer use


Tes Jolly

WINTER NUTRITION When antlers harden in late summer, a buck's nutritional needs change dramatically. Protein and mineral needs decrease. That's not to say protein and minerals are not still needed; only the amounts needed decreases. Energy needs, however, remain high, as deer eat lots of carbohydrates and lipids to build fat reserves. During the rigors of the rut, bucks can lose 25 percent or more of their body weight. This weight must be regained for the deer to sur-

vive harsh winter conditions. Likewise, does undergo a change in nutrient needs. As fawns are weaned and milk production stops, protein and mineral needs decrease while energy needs remain high. Of all deer, fawns and yearlings are the most vulnerable to winter conditions. They are smaller, making travel more difficult in deep snow. Also, young deer are more susceptible to winter-kill because they lack of good nutrition. Deer have a natural defense system against the trials of winter. They undergo a semihibernation phase during the period. In this phase, deer movement decreases dramatically as they naturally conserve energy. More important, a deer’s metabolism slows dramatically, so they have lower food-volume requirements. Intake decreases dramatically during winter. The typical consumption levels of deer average three percent of their body weight but can decrease to less than two percent during winter. That's even true for deer that have unlimited access to quality food sources, such as pen-raised deer. WINTER NUTRITION PLAN When developing a winter nutrition program for deer, the two critical elements revolve around a dense energy food source coupled with high digestibility. A third consideration is to supply a food source that doesn't adversely affect rumen microorganisms. Food plots are normally considered spring, summer and fall nutritional management tools.

However, some food plots can be used specifically as a winter food source. These food sources must produce large amounts of forage before a killing frost and should also contain lots of digestible carbohydrates. Brassicas are one plant type that provides these specific needs. Three years ago, the Whitetail Institute developed a product called Imperial Winter-Greens. Winter-Greens is a blend of specifically selected brassica varieties that combines dramatic growth, winter hardiness, high nutrient content and incredible attractiveness. WinterGreens is typically planted in late summer or early fall and provides high amounts of energy during winter. Several years ago, the Whitetail Institute introduced a product line called Cutting Edge Nutritional Supplements. Cutting Edge consists of three products, each designed to provide nutritional supplementation for three distinct periods. The genesis of this project was the development of a supplement designed to supply required nutrients during mid- to late-fall and winter. Cutting Edge Sustain is a supplement that contains a highly concentrated energy source designed to help supply needed carbohydrates and lipids. Further, it ensures that this energy is supplied from sources and ratios that maintain and even enhance rumen function. In addition, Sustain contains protein, minerals, vitamins, buffering agents and microbial enhancers. As stated, deer don't need lots of protein and minerals at this time, but they still need them. Sustain helps provide all cold-weather nutritional needs. W


for Imperial WhitetailÂŽ Winter-Greens™ í˘ą Call for planting dates ě?ˆ Sept 15 - Nov 15 í˘˛ Call for planting dates ě?‰ North: Sept 5 - Nov 1 Central: Sept 15 - Nov 15 í˘ł July1 - August 1* South: Sept 25 - Nov 15 í˘´ Coastal: Aug 15 - Sept 30 ě”ˆ North: Aug 15 - Oct 1 Southern Piedmont: Aug 1 - Sept 15 Mountain Valleys: July 15 - Sept 15

í˘ľ July 15 - Sept 15 í˘ś Aug 1 - Oct 1 í˘ˇ North: July 15 - Sept 15

South: Sept 5 - Oct 20

씉 North: Sept 5 - Oct 30

Central: Sept 15 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15

씊 Coastal: Sept 1 - Oct 1 Piedmont: Aug 15 - Sept 20 Mountain Valleys: Aug 5 - Sept 15

South: Aug1 - Oct 1

í˘¸ North: July 20 - Aug 1*

South: July 15 - Aug 15*

í˘š July 1 - Sept 15 ě?… July 15 - Sept 15* www.whitetailinstitute.com

씋 North: Sept 15 - Nov 15

Central: Sept 25 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15

ě”Œ July 15 - Sept 1 ě”? Aug1 - Sept 30

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



T H E W E E D D O C TO R By W. Carroll Johnson, III, Ph.D., Agronomist and Weed Scientist

Weed Seed and Animal Manure — Separating Fact from Poop Table 1. Viability of weed seed collected in animal feces1.


his is not a proposed topic for Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs.” And, I am not to be confused with the show’s host. Rather, I will attempt to clarify the relationship between animal manure used as fertilizer and weed seeds. Animal manure is highly touted as an alternative to synthetic fertilizers. In the eyes of farmers, animal manure is both a disposal headache and a valueadded product. In the context of food plots, animal manure can be a cheaper source of essential plant nutrients than synthetic fertilizers and help build valuable organic matter in mineral soils. Recent articles and public discussions on using manure in food plots clearly described the benefits of this alternate fertilizer source. I will continue the discussion by trying to clarify the commonly misunderstood relationship between animal manure and weed seed. For the purposes of this discussion, animal manure will be lumped into two broad categories; manure from livestock and manure from poultry. Litter is a mixture of manure and bedding material. Livestock manure has the potential to be heavily laced with weed seed. This is primarily due to two reasons. (1.) Livestock are typically grazers and many weeds that they find when grazing are palatable. (2.) The digestive system of ruminants does not readily affect the viability of weed seed. Weed seed ingested by livestock pass through the animal and are excreted in a viable state. An excellent example of this phenomenon is the rangeland weed, tropical soda apple. This weed is a serious pest of rangeland in Florida. Cattle eat the tasty tropic soda apple fruit and the seed are excreted in manure. This weed is on the Federal Noxious Weed List and infestations outside Florida usually occur in stockyards or feed lots where calves originating from Florida are temporarily located. Fortunately, these localized infestations can be effectively monitored and controlled. It is a common misconception that poultry manure and litter are laced with weed seed. This is generally not true due to three reasons. (1.) The digestive system of poultry, i.e. the gizzard, destroys the weed seed. (2.) Commercial poultry are contained (not free-ranging) and fed a carefully prescribed diet of grains of exacting quality standards. Simply, commercial poultry never see a weed seed, much less eat it. (3.) Poultry litter is often composted and the heat generated during the process kills weed seed. To illustrate the differences in weed seed in livestock manure versus poultry manure, refer to Table 1. This is data from Nebraska published in 1934, so this is not a new discovery but still relevant today. In this research study, 1000 seed from each of seven weed species were mixed with clean, ground feed


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

Germination of weed seed recovered from animal feces2 (%) Weed species












Field bindweed






White sweetclover






Red sorrel






Pennsylvania smartweed






Wild rose






Hoary cress






Average across weed species






1 Source of data: Harmon, G. W. and F. D. Keim. 1934. The percentage and viability of weed seeds recovered in the feces of farm animals and their longevity when buried in manure. J. Am. Soc. Agron. 26:762-767. 2 One thousand seed of each weed species were mixed with grain and fed to test animals.

grains and fed to different animal species. Feces from each animal were collected and seed removed by washing and sieving the manure. The recovered seed were placed in a seed germinator to test for

viability. As the data clearly shows, weed seed are capable of surviving digestion and excretion from cattle, horses, sheep, and hogs with germination varying among the livestock from 10.7 to 24.1%. In

Tropical soda apple growing in bagged cow manure. Fruits from this noxious weed are palatable to livestock. The seed readily pass through the digestive system of livestock and contaminate the manure.


Weed seeds are capable of surviving digestion and excretion from cattle, horses, sheep, and hogs.

contrast, weed seed recovered from poultry manure germinated only 0.3%. In more recent research conducted at Auburn University in the early 1990’s, exhaustive trials showed that poultry litter collected from numerous commercial broiler houses contained no viable weed seed. These two experiments clearly show that poultry litter contains miniscule

amounts of viable weed seed, if any at all. Poultry litter is generated in massive quantities and stored in large piles for composting, either outdoors or in open-sided shelters. Weed seed can be deposited by wind or birds in the stored litter. The resulting weeds eventually produce their own seed. However this type of contamination is generally

The foundation of Pure Attraction’s early-season attraction and nutrition are WINA-Brand oats which are winter-hardy and drought-resistant. Their high sugar content makes them exceptionally attractive and palatable to deer. WINA-Brand Oats performance is unsurpassed by all other forage oats tested. WINA-Brand forage brassicas are also included in Pure Attraction to provide abundant forage during the coldest months of the winter. Read the early reviews from all over the country: • From Virginia: “The Pure Attraction blend is extremely winter-hardy and lasted through the winter. It really grew well the whole time too. Even though it was heavily grazed, it continued to provide food for the deer during the cold weather.” • From Michigan: “The deer ate the Pure Attraction like crazy. The WINA-Brand oats and winter peas came up first and then the brassica. The deer hit the WINA-Brand oats and winter peas first. As of Nov. 18, both plots had been grazed low, but the plants were still green.” ®

considered to be insignificant. Despite overwhelming evidence that poultry litter does not contain weed seed, weeds still seem to be more prevalent where poultry litter is used for fertilizer compared to synthetic fertilizer. Poultry litter stimulates the germination of weed seed that are already present in the soil. This stimulation appears to be due to the high level of fertility provided by the poultry manure and presence of chemical compounds in the decaying manure that stimulate weed seed germination. In particular, pigweed seed are stimulated by poultry manure. The implications of this phenomenon may alter what forages are planted. The tendency for weed problems to be worse on sites were poultry litter is used may sway food plot managers to plant forages that have robust weed-control options. An example is Imperial Whitetail Clover, on which Slay® herbicide can be used for broadleaf weed control. Multispecies forage blends have fewer weed control options and perhaps should not be planted where sites are fertilized with poultry litter. The intent of this discussion is to clarify the relationship between weed seed and animal manure. Livestock manure should not be used as a fertilizer since weed seed readily contaminate the manure. Using poultry litter for fertilizer is an agronomically sound practice. However, be prepared for intense weed infestations due to the sudden stimulation of weed seed already in the soil. Basically, using poultry litter is a trade-off: cheaper fertilizer versus more weeds. The choice is yours. W

• From Maine:“Pure Attraction is awesome. The blend seemed to click with my soil and the deer. Another great product.” • From Missouri: The Pure Attraction blend was “among the most attractive I have ever planted.” • From Alabama:“Deer completely mowed the Pure Attraction plot down. Even so, it continued to provide forage and grew well all through the winter. Deer were in the plot every night.” • From Vermont: “In our experience in testing a broad range of oat products currently available on the market, it is our belief that deer heavily prefer the oats in Pure Attraction over all other oat products we have ever tested. ”

Plant Pure Attraction during the same dates as the fall-planting dates for Imperial perennials. Since Pure Attraction does not require the sort of deeper ground tillage required for planting some perennial blends, it is even easier to plant. Looking for a product that will establish quickly and give your deer the one-two punch of both early- and late-season attraction…?

Give Pure Attraction a try!

The Whitetail Institute • 239 Whitetail Trail • Pintlala, AL 36043 • 1-800-688-3030 • www.whitetailinstitute.com


Research = Results

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Whitetails and Water: The H20 Connection By Scott Bestul Photos by the Author


glassed the buck in late July and knew he was special. He carried only an 8-point frame, but it was a frame you could build your hunting dreams around. The buck sported long, heavy beams; sky-scraping tines; and bases so wide he had to droop his ears back to give them room. I guess in some places, 8-pointers are “management bucks.” On my lease, that dude was as good as it gets. The buck showed up often in a remote field the farmer had devoted to alfalfa and soybeans. I could spot him there almost any summer evening, and I believed that predictability would make him vulnerable during the first week of Minnesota's early archery season. Trouble was, the buck would enter the fields on any of a half-dozen entry trails. And I also knew that hunting him there was a swing-for-the bleachers proposition: Guess the right trail, and you’ve got your trophy. Make a mistake and bump the deer, and spoiling further chances was an almost-certainty. Fortunately, I had a back-up plan; a small pond my leasing buddies and I had dug nearby. The pond was 75 yards off the field in a small staging area. Bucks loved to hit the pond for an afternoon drink, dally around until almost dark, and then head out to the fields. And when I set my hunting buddy up on the pond the first two nights of the season, he saw seven bucks; animals that ambled into that waterhole like they’d done it every night of their lives. On Night 2, the Big 8 showed up and drank from the pond, turning broadside at 15 yards and exposing his broad flank for my friend’s arrow. Trouble was, that arrow went six inches over the buck’s back. WATER 101

Whitetails are attracted to water — especially small sources close to cover — that offer security from hunters.


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

I guess it doesn’t matter why — besides buck fever — my friend missed. What matters is that every buck that came to that setup was there for the same reason: to drink. Not for food. Not to escape pressure. Not even for does. Just to stick their noses in water and suck it up. Many modern hunters — me included — are obsessed with detail; growing food plots, finding a killer grunt call or making a realistic mock scrape. In the process, we forget basic whitetail biology: Deer need to drink. I learned that from my friend, Ted Marum, a former guide and whitetail fanatic who counted himself among those whitetailers who didn’t give water much thought. “I’d read all the stuff about deer getting much of their water from the food they eat,” he said. “I knew they needed water, of course, but I didn’t think about it for hunting purposes at all.” Ironically, Ted’s mother helped change his mind. Joanie Marum is a dedicated and enthusiastic deer hunter, and when she asked her son to put her in a stand one evening several seasons ago, Ted directed her to a newly hung set right behind his home. “The stand was near a logging road that came off a steep hillside,” he said. “Rains had washed the road and eroded it, so I’d made a little berm in the road to stop the runoff. A big puddle had formed at the base of that berm. I’d set the stand to cover some nearby trails, but I’d never thought about the puddle.” Mother Marum changed that situation in a hurry when she sat the puddle stand and missed a buck that night. “Then she missed a big one the next evening, and then finally killed a monster on the third,” Ted said. “On the fourth night, I put a friend in the same stand, and www.whitetailinstitute.com

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he nearly had a shot at a B&C 8-point. It had been a hot, dry, fall, and every one of those bucks was coming straight to that puddle.” The experience was an epiphany for Marum. “The more I thought about it, the clearer it became,” he said. “By fall, nearly all of a whitetail’s food sources — browse, acorns, grains, even alfalfa — are drying down and offer little moisture. Then the rut comes, and bucks and does are running all the time. Add a warm fall, which we’ve been getting a lot of lately, and it only gets worse. A big buck chasing does all night is wearing his winter coat and working hard. At some point of the day, he’s going to be thinking about water.” Consequently, Marum began looking hard for water sources where he could place stands. After some trial and error, he realized the location of the water dictated its potential as a stand site. “I learned that finding deer tracks near a farm pond, for example, didn’t take much effort,” he said. “But most of those ponds were out in the open and visited by deer only at night. I needed to find water that deer would come to when my hunters could shoot them.” That got Marum searching for water sources near some form of security cover. Deer use woodland creeks, secluded ponds, seeps and springs, even longstanding puddles during daylight hours. Though Buffalo County, Wis., is noted for its numbers of mature whitetails, these are heavily hunted deer that are notoriously reluctant to expose themselves. “And,” Marum added, “they’re like big deer anywhere; as lazy as can be. They’re always going to walk the easiest path, eat the closest food, and drink the most convenient water. If there’s a little, scummy pool 100 yards from a buck’s bed and a clear-flowing stream

■ Project GreenBank Whenever my lease partners and I dig out a new pond — something we do at least once a year and usually more often — we always save some extra clover seed as the last step of the project. We dig most of our ponds with a skidloader, which results in a lot of extra dirt lying around after the excavating is complete. As we dig out the pond, the first layer of soil (topsoil) is set aside so it’s not buried or mixed with rocky or less-fertile soil that is excavated later. Then when the pond is complete, we heap this top soil on the berm or bank as a seed bed for the clover. Then we broadcast (often by hand) Imperial Whitetail Clover seed across the banks. Because we don’t normally take the time to soil-test or fertilize these banks, we like to lay the seed on fairly heavy to ensure a decent catch. Imperial Clover not only helps to stabilize the pond bank and keep it from washing, it also offers deer the chance to snack a little while they’re drinking. When we first tried this, all my leasing partners commented on how much time deer spent nibbling on clover before or after they’d had a drink. In fact, some of my buddies compare our pond sets to bars. “The water is the nice cold beer, and the Imperial Clover is the peanuts in a bowl,” one friend likes to say. “Deer think they’re coming in for just one, but the other just keeps 'em hanging there a little longer.”


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

■ Hunting Natural Water Sources >>>>> Whitetails are water-loving creatures across their range, and savvy hunters should look for deer sign near any water source on a property. River corridors, lake edges, stream banks, seeps and springs are all examples of natural water sources that will attract deer throughout the season. Not only will deer visit them during the warm, dry weather of early fall, but also as the rut unfolds. Don’t neglect water in late fall and early winter, as the season’s last green plants will typically be found near water. Water sources are a prime afternoon hotspot in the early season, as deer will often drink before heading out for evening feeding. As the rut nears, don’t hesitate to sit all day at a water hole; bucks and does might show up at any time to sneak a drink after running hard. Even during the high pressure of firearms season, deer are attracted to water, particularly spots where nearby, dense vegetation (swamps, marshes, bogs) offers security cover from hunters. Sometimes the most attractive water sources to deer are the most difficult for humans to access. Don’t be afraid to don a pair of hip boots to wade across a marsh, or hop in a canoe and paddle to the far side of a lake. Deer are masters of making small adjustments in their routines to avoid human activity. Creative, hard-working hunters can find ways to access hard-to-reach places and be where deer feel most comfortable.

a half-mile off, the buck is going to that pool first — guaranteed. Hunters have a hard time accepting that because the water doesn’t look good to them. But whitetails have cast-iron stomachs; that water won’t bother them a bit.” SWEETENING THE DEAL Of course, not all properties have water sources.

Hiring someone to create a water source with heavy equipment is a good investment.

Even fewer sport H20 near security cover. When Marum was guiding, he realized if he could manufacture such spots, they would be ideal setups for his clients. So as a first step, he’d find an area where he’d like to steer deer, such as a ridgetop with consistent winds, easy access and nearby security cover. Then he’d look for a tree within that cover that was ideal for hanging a stand. And then he’d hire a guy with a bulldozer to scoop out a small pond that lay an easy bow shot from the tree. Marum was amazed at the results. In fact, on one pond he dug, three hunters shot Pope & Young-class bucks three consecutive days. Another buck would have fallen to a fourth client, but that guy missed. And, it should be noted, that three-day streak of activity wasn’t a fluke. Marum’s hunters have shot, missed or encountered so many bucks at that stand that it’s a fixture among his long-time customers. Mention “the pond” in his camp, and most clients will know exactly what you’re talking about. The costs of building such a pond will vary according to region, but in the upper Midwest, $400 is a pretty average figure. “They aren’t big,” Marum said. “Maybe 12 to 14 feet across and knee- to waist-deep. A good 'Cat operator can knock one out in a few hours. Because they’re fairly deep and in the woods, they hold water better since they’re not as susceptible to wind and evaporation.” On most of Marum’s properties, the soil is clay-based and holds water well. In areas with looser soils, it’s a good idea to install a heavy-mil plastic liner to make sure water won’t drain out. After digging the hole, simply overlap sheets of liner on the bottom, then backfill over them until they’re covered with at least 18 inches of dirt. The backfill prevents deer hooves from puncturing the plastic when whitetails come to drink. Naturally, Marum leased much of the land he hunted, www.whitetailinstitute.com

and although most landowners have no problem with minor pond construction in the woods, not all are crazy about 'Cat work. If that was the case, Marum asked permission to install a small (110-gallon) landscaping or livestock-watering tub instead. Available at most farmsupply or home/garden stores, these tubs are made of tough, heavy rubber (far less likely to crack and leak than plastic or other material) and cost about $50. After digging an appropriate-sized hole with pick and shovel, Marum places the tub in his excavation and backfills around it. Then he lugs water to the spot or, more likely, relies on rainfall or runoff to fill the tub. In any case, he’s created a micro-pond in a spot where deer are comfortable, yet his hunters have the advantage of a good stand tree.

Alert readers will note that Marum has placed a hunter in pond stands on consecutive days. Although such a practice can quickly burn out most stands, Marum doesn’t hesitate to make repeat visits to a pond when conditions call for it. “When the rut is on, I’m convinced that so many different deer — bucks and does — visit my ponds that it’s tough to burn them,” he said. “You may bump a deer

there one day, but the buck that cruises through the next may have been miles away the day before. When the bucks are really running does, my pond stands are at their best. Not only do bucks and does come to them to drink, but bucks come to them just to look for does. Scrapes and rubs and food are all good places to set up, but you show me a water source back in the timber, and that’ll be the first place I hang a stand.” W

These deer were killed next to small push-up ponds during the rut, a time of peak attraction for deer to water.

SNAPPING THE TRAP Like any prospective hotspot, ponds must be hunted carefully to avoid bumping deer and making their drinking sessions nocturnal events. And because Marum’s ponds are typically located near security cover, a proper approach and exit has to be determined so hunters can get in a stand without alerting deer. “That’s why I like a logging road or ATV trail that leads right to the stand,” he said. “A hunter can slip in and out of there without making a sound.” Like any setup, hunting a pond should only be done when the wind direction is right for that spot; wind currents and thermals should suck the hunter’s scent away from the pond, as well as nearby bedding areas and entry trails. Marum typically erects a stand preseason, brushes shooting lanes and then leaves the stand hanging all fall.

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Vol. 18, No. 2 /




Local hunter, Steve Hanson, shot this giant buck on a nearby farm last season, showing the area’s potential for producing top end trophies.

CREATING A WORLD-CLASS HUNTING PROPERTY The Whitetail Institute Builds the Bee & C Branch Ranch in Iowa By Bill Winke Photos by the Author


This aerial photo shows the boundary of the Bee & C Branch Ranch. You can see it has a high percentage of deer habitat and is located in a good-looking neighborhood.


WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

he Bee Branch is a small stream that runs through a beautiful swath of southern Iowa landscape. It is along this small stream that the Whitetail Institute chose to build a world-class hunting property in the Midwest. They are excited about the possibilities on two fronts. First, they look forward to the opportunity of taking a piece of raw ground with tremendous potential to the highest level possible. One that turns the potential into reality. www.whitetailinstitute.com

Second, they are very excited about the type of bucks that live in the neighborhood. Just last year a local hunter shot a buck that grossed over 210 inches on a nearby farm. The group is so excited, in fact, that they have named the property the Bee & C Branch Ranch as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the record book whose entry score they hope to surpass. This is the story of the Bee & C Branch Ranch: how it came to be and the plans that are in place for developing this piece of raw whitetail habitat into a sparkling example of maximum property enhancement and deer management in the Midwest. Over the course of the next several issues, we will update you on the progress made toward this goal. STEP ONE: DECIDING TO BUY LAND Like seemingly everyone else in the whitetail world, the management at Whitetail Institute wants to grow and shoot bigger bucks. They understand the importance of having full control over the property in question so that they can put a plan into place that will reach this goal. It doesn’t happen by accident, well not with any consistency anyway. In some cases, it is possible to make the changes that you want to make when leasing land, but by and large, if you are serious about upgrading a piece of land, you need to own it. So the decision to buy was an obvious one. The timing was also obvious. With the recent interest in owning recreational land, the prices have been rising quickly. Granted, no trend can run forever, but the Whitetail Institute guys didn’t want to be caught on the sidelines watching as land prices doubled again. The best time to buy was five years ago, the second best time is today. Assuming the demand for high-quality hunting ground in good neighborhoods remains strong, the land is not likely to get cheaper in the future. There was no compelling reason to wait. So, the decision to buy was an easy one and the decision of when to buy This aerial photo shows the management plan for the Bee & C Branch Ranch. The blue bordered areas are food plots, the purple is an established switchgrass field, the black are future planned switchgrass plantings and the green and yellow are future planned food plots.

SOIL TEST KITS Now available through the

7The Whitetail Institute is proud to offer the WHITETAIL AGING PLAQUE. This interesting plaque displays the jawbone and teeth of the critical first eight years of a deer’s life. The display measures 11 inches wide by 21 inches tall and is handmade of quality pine, sealed and protected with special lamination. The unique aging device is being used by the best deer biologists in America. It is fascinating to view and interesting enough to be displayed in your den, hunting lodge or camp. If you have serious management interest in the progress or decline of your deer herd, the WHITETAIL AGING PLAQUE is an invaluable management tool. After a few hunting seasons of aging deer using this technique, you will actually be able to determine fairly accurately the age of your deer on the hoof. Jawbones and teeth reproductions represent deer from 1-1/2 years to 8-1/2 years old. Remember, the only way to accurately age deer is by the wear on the deer’s teeth. Our WHITETAIL AGING PLAQUE shows you everything you need to know about these wear patterns and will help you make intelligent decisions about your deer management program. Every serious sportsman should have a WHITETAIL AGING PLAQUE. With it, you can determine the age of each deer harvested. With this knowledge you are on your way to developing a deer management program that will lead to bigger and better-quality deer.


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Whitetail Institute

Soil testing is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your plantings — of any kind. The Institute is pleased to now provide soil test kits and results for all Imperial products or any other type seeds. (Complete instructions and all related information will come with kits.) Test results include pH, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Fertilizer and lime recommendations for maximum performance from your plantings will be provided. The average turnaround time is 24-48 hours after our lab receives the sample. The charge for the kit and results is $9.95. If ordered alone, add $2.00 shipping and handling for unlimited number of kits. If ordered with other Imperial products there is no shipping charge.

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Mail to: Whitetail Institute • 239 Whitetail Trail • Pintlala, AL 36043 or CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-688-3030 Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Switchgrass is much quicker to establish than timber cover so many of the marginal open acres of the Bee & C Branch Ranch were, or will be, planted to switchgrass.

was also easy. It all sounds good in theory; putting it into affect is another matter. Finding the right property was not so simple. STEP TWO: WHERE TO BUY? When you consider the best places to grow big whitetails, the Midwest definitely comes to mind. Other places can occasionally produce big deer, but few with the consistency of Iowa, Kansas and Illinois. These are the big three when it comes to recent record-book entries. Any one of these three states is a good place to buy whitetail-hunting land. Illinois is the most expensive of the three, in general, with Kansas being the least expensive. Iowa is right in the middle. The Whitetail Institute settled on Iowa for this Midwest project farm in part because a good friend named Mark Rutledge owns land in the southern part of the state. Mark was in a position to help the Whitetail Institute with the fine points of selecting a farm and then getting the work done on the land. An inside connection is always good. I can’t overemphasize the importance of having someone in the area to help oversee the day-to-day work required in setting up a great deer hunting farm. STEP THREE: FINDING THE PROPERTY As in all other types of real estate, location is the most important aspect of a great deer-hunting farm. An average-looking farm in a great neighborhood is better than a great-looking farm in an average or poor neighborhood. By neighborhood, I’m referring to the farms that border the subject farm and those that are one tier removed. What happens on these farms directly affects your success as a deer manager. Because few of us can afford to buy the thousands of acres necessary to control the home range of dozens of bucks, our bucks are going to jump the 78

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

boundary fence and we are always going to be at the mercy of our neighbors. Good neighbors make all the difference in the world. If at least 25 percent of your border lies against farms managed similarly to yours, you can hope to produce acceptable results. Ideally, you want good neighbors on 100 percent of your border, but such farms are very hard to find. When they do go up for sale, they typically never reach the open market. A neighbor buys them, or a neighbor’s friend. Obviously, the Whitetail Institute was looking for a good-looking farm in a good neighborhood. For nearly a year, Mark Rutledge kept a close eye on realtor’s listings and talked to several farmers in the area he deemed to be the best within a reasonable drive of his property. Finally, a 130-acre farm that he liked came on the market through a local realtor. Mark brought the property to the attention of Steve and Wilson Scott at the Whitetail Institute and the group acted quickly and bought the farm. This became the first step a threestep purchase. Soon afterwards, by talking with a neighbor, Mark was able to purchase a portion of that neighbor’s farm, also 120 acres. Finally, during the late summer of 2007 the Whitetail Institute added the final piece, a 25-acre parcel that also bordered the original two. These three purchases were strategic because with these properties, the Whitetail Institute was able to assure access from three directions: north, west and south. An added unexpected bonus to this property is having an Iowa conservation officer living next door. Everything fell into place over the course of a short few months and the vision of the Whitetail Institute and Mark Rutledge went from dream to reality. They had their farm, all 275 acres of it. Next, they had to decide what to do with it. STEP FOUR: EVALUATING THE PROPERTY Idle ground is wasted ground. You should optimize

deer-hunting farms just like any other kind of property. Every single acre should either produce food or cover to the greatest extent possible. When evaluating a property, first determine how much food you need to support the number of deer you intend to carry. Then decide where to plant it (or create openings if they don’t exist). Second, determine what to do with the remainder of the open ground, if there is any, to turn it into the very best possible habitat. You can tell from the aerial photo of the Bee and C Branch Ranch that it has a lot of timberland. This is somewhat novel for an Iowa property. Anytime you can find a property in a good neighborhood with more than 50 percent timber in this part of the Midwest, you have found an enviable situation. The Bee & C Branch Ranch has slightly more than 50 percent cover, lots of early succession and enough open ground to give the deer manager plenty to work with. Seclusion is another enviable quality of this property. Most of the farm is not visible from any road, making for ideal food plot locations. That is the big picture. The next step is to figure out the herd dynamics to understand the starting point before determining the steps to take. This farm is in a neighborhood that has a good amount of deer cover and better-than-average deer management. As a result, the deer numbers are slightly above average for southern Iowa, estimated at approximately 75 deer per square mile. The quality is also above average. There is much to be gained by doing things right. But it is cattle country, so most of the neighboring properties have limited agricultural cropland. That creates a tremendous opportunity. The Bee & C Branch Ranch, if managed properly, can attract and hold more than its share of the local deer. Even if it is not your goal to hold tons of deer, it is nice to be the one making the trigger-finger decisions of which ones go to the meat locker and which ones get a year older. For that reason, attractive food sources are very important, even in the Midwest. There is a lot of high quality browse in the area for the spring, summer and early fall. It is Iowa, after all, the breadbasket of the nation. However, there is a notable absence of late fall and winter food — especially the easily accessible type that deer prefer. Deer are efficient, if you make it easy for them to find food, they will respond. The right mix of plots can create a hunting paradise, drawing deer during the late fall and winter. That is obviously goal number one: to improve the food sources to attract and hold more deer — protecting them from outside hunting pressure and improving the quality of the hunting on the property. With this goal in mind, the Whitetail Institute next had to decide where to plant the plots. This is where a detailed evaluation of the soil types comes into play. The goal was to produce food in the very best soils while at the same time keeping them secluded from outside eyes. It just happens that on this farm, the best soils are along the creek-bottoms and the rolling terrain shields the creek bottom fields from any roads. It is an ideal setup for producing hunting plots. The decision was actually a very simple one; the food plots go in the bottoms. STEP FIVE: COMING UP WITH THE PLAN Studying the soil types and working with the soil conservation service to come up with the plan, six acres were planted in Imperial Whitetail Clover and Chicory www.whitetailinstitute.com

PLUS in the fall of 2007. Six more acres were planted in the spring of 2008 and ten additional acres will be brought online in the fall of 2008. That produces a total of 22 acres of high-quality food plots, 8 percent of the total property. Even more will be added in future years. The largest plot is 6-1/2 acres that has been planted to soybeans. The group chose soybeans for two reasons. First, Roundup-ready soybeans are a great way to convert cattle pasture into other uses. You can drill the beans straight into the pasture ground and then spray the plot to kill the competing grasses. Also, with grain prices at high levels, the group has the option of selling a portion of the production to offset the costs of the remaining food plots. The smaller plots are scattered around the entire property as shown on the management map. They are outlined in blue and will be planted at the proper times to a combination of Imperial Whitetail Clover, Chicory PLUS, Double-Cross, Winter-Greens and other Whitetail Institute products. There will also be plots planted with experimental seed blends. Optimizing the cover came next. Switchgrass has become increasingly popular among deer managers because it is much quicker to establish than timber and deer use it for security cover just as readily. The Whitetail Institute designated switchgrass for the remaining open acres on the property that are too steep to produce food. The switchgrass seeding is a two-year plan. The first 14 acres were planted this spring in the area outlined in purple. Stage 2 will take place next spring in the areas outlined in black. All other open areas of the farm are well on their way to thickening up so no additional habitat enhancements are planned right away. A comprehensive,

phased TSI (timber stand improvement) plan is the only additional habitat improvement project that would conceivably make sense on this farm. There is no rush to jump into TSI right now and the group plans to meet with a forester to discuss these possibilities in the future. STEP SIX: DOING THE WORK Fortunately, Mark Rutledge’s own property is close to this farm. Mark has all the equipment needed to do every kind of farming short of combining the soybeans. It is easy enough to find a local farmer willing to combine a few acres of soybeans. Owning the equipment is a huge advantage. If you must rely on subcontractors to get all your food plot and habitat work done, you will be competing with many other voices when the weather finally breaks and the planting window opens. It is possible that you might miss the prime planting periods as a result. However, because Mark owns the equipment, the food plots and switchgrass seeding took place at the optimum times. Now we just need to watch it all grow and maintain the seedlings. CONCLUSION The Bee & C Branch Ranch is an exciting project for the Whitetail Institute. As the property transforms much will be learned first hand and the final product promises to be some of the finest big whitetail hunting in the country. In future issues, I will bring you updates on the progress, hunting strategies and successes that occur on southern Iowa’s Bee & C Branch Ranch. W

Winter-Greens are an important part of the Bee & C Branch Ranch management plan because they supply an attractive late fall and winter food source.



Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Unusual Velvet Buck Marks Hunter’s Birthday By James Stanford


t was Thanksgiving morning 2006, and I was hunting my land in Mississippi. I was in a ladder stand behind my house, where I had cleared some trees along a small ditch and planted Imperial No-Plow. Four fence lines come together there. I had hunted the stand earlier in the season but never saw anything. But there were some signs of a small buck in the area. I had gotten into the stand about 15 to 20 minutes before sunrise. It was pretty cool, with a good frost on the ground. At about 6:45 a.m., I heard two shots from a distant property. The hunt was on. After I heard the shots, I was confident it would be a good morning.

After about 30 minutes, two does trotted through the field from the direction of the shots. When they reached my fence line, they stopped and looked around for a while. They crawled though the fence, passed under my stand and followed the sand ditch back toward the road and the front of the property. After about 15 to 20 minutes, I heard something in front of me, but I couldn’t see anything because of trees on the fence row. Soon, a good-looking buck stepped out. I noticed the deer had a good rack and looked mature, but I was concentrating on making the shot because he was about to walk behind some trees. When I had a clear

shot, I took it. The buck ran about 10 yards and fell by an old oak tree. I sat there for about five minutes to make sure he was down, and then climbed down and walked toward the deer. The closer I got, I noticed the body was large, but I could not really see any antlers. Still, I knew I had shot a good-racked buck. When I got close enough to see how big the deer was, I almost passed out. I started shaking and getting excited like a child in a toy store. It was a monster — maybe not to other people, but it’s by far the biggest buck I’ve taken or even dreamed of. It was a 12-pointer, and the reason I couldn’t see its antlers easily when I pulled the trigger was because it was still in full velvet, and the antlers blended with the tree branches. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. To make the day even better, it was my 30th birthday. The deer represented the best birthday present a hunter or outdoorsmen could dream of. I called my girlfriend to bring my truck to where I was and see if she could help me put the deer in the truck. After she got there, I noticed a truck in the field behind the property. I waved and flagged the driver down to see if he had shot earlier. He said he was checking cows and that people on the other side of them were hunting, so it probably was them. I told him about my exciting morning, and he came over the fence to see what I had shot. I think he was in shock as much as I was. He had said that area was known for good-sized bucks, but he had never seen anything like my deer. He went back to his truck to get a camera to take a picture of it. He noticed the deer was still in full velvet and said it was probably sterile, mentioning something about how such deer don’t shed their antlers or velvet.



WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2


James Stanford shot this 140-inch monster near his Imperial No-Plow food plot. The sterile buck was in full velvet.

We also noticed that the deer’s front left hoof was injured. One of the hooves was deformed and bent upward. I called to wake up my roommate so he could help me load it in the back of my truck. We are both good-sized fellows, but we had a difficult time hoisting the deer. My girlfriend also had to help. The deer almost took up the entire truck bed. I took the deer across the road to my parents’ house to show them my birthday present. Just like the rest of us, they were amazed by the size of the deer and its unusual velvet rack. When we hung the deer to field dress it, I noticed it did not have testicles. I guess the gentleman was right about the deer being sterile. The next day, I carried the deer to a local processor. When I got there, everyone gathered around my truck in amazement. No one could believe what they were seeing. People were taking pictures of it and calling friends to tell them about it. That made me feel so proud, and it was an awesome feeling — what many hunters dream of. The processors said they had worked with deer for 15-plus years but had never seen anything like it. A buddy knew of another hunter who had killed a deer in full velvet and taken it to Johnny Hataway of Hataway’s Taxidermy Inc. I called Hataway and told him what I had, and he said he would be glad to mount the deer and would love to see it. I carried it to him, and just like everyone else, he was in awe. And this man had some awesome deer and other mounts in his shop. When he reacted like that, I knew I had a one-of-a-kind buck of a lifetime. Johnny also pointed out the deer’s injured leg and said it likely affected the deer’s antler growth. I had also read in a magazine about a buck that had a leg injury, and its antlers started webbing from that. Johnny also showed me the deer had double white spots on its chest, and the back of its ears were solid black. He said he had never seen black ears on a whitetail before. Later that night, Johnny left a message on my phone, saying he had gross-scored the deer at 148 inches. It was about a 31/2-year-old deer. My dad got me into deer hunting almost 15 years ago. We have been hunting many times, and I have shot many deer — but nothing this big or special. My dad had a big 10-pointer on his wall, and now I can say I have a wall-hanger as well. I realize how lucky I am to have taken this once-in-a-lifetime trophy. It will be difficult to top this one. I also want to thank the Lord for our beautiful environment and the game we’re able to hunt and enjoy. W www.whitetailinstitute.com

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Vol. 18, No. 2 /



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Please add $19.00 for shipping and handling for each 40 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

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Coupon Price: $69.95 or $79.95 Please send _____ 60 lb. quantities of 30-06™ ■ Original 30-06™ @ $69.95 ■ 30-06™ Plus Protein @ $79.95 TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_________ Please add $19.00 for shipping and handling for each 60 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

IMPACT™ PLANT GROWTH STIMULANT YOU SAVE $15.00 Suggested Retail: $64.95 (32 oz. Jug. - 4 Acres)

Price with coupon: $49.95 Please send _____ jug(s) of Imperial IMPACT™ Plant Growth Stimulant. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_________ Please add $9.50 for shipping and handling for each jug ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

Limited-Edition Collector’s Knife YOU SAVE $30.00 Whitetail Institute of North America Limited Edition

COLLECTOR’S SERIES Lockback Knife Features: • Limited edition — only 175 serially numbered knives • Large lockback knife (8-5/8”) with natural wood handle • Beautiful walnut presentation/display box • Blade is constructed of 440 stainless steel • Bolsters are made of the highest grade nickel silver • Made in the USA Please send me ______ Collector’s Knives.

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $ ________________

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $__________

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

Savings Code: WN182

Please send _____ 56 lb. quantities of Imperial EXTREME™ Seed Blend.

(A)____ (B)____ (C)____ (D)____

Please add $5.00 for shipping and handling. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.


YOU SAVE $7.00

Savings Code: WN182


Savings Code: WN182

Suggested Retail: $120.00 (68 lbs.)

YOU SAVE $80.00

Price with coupon: $219.95


IMPERIAL CUTTING EDGE™ Nutritional Supplements YOU SAVE $25.05


Sugg. Retail: $299.95 (56 lbs. - 2-1/2 Acre Planting)


YOU SAVE $60.00

Suggested Retail: $239.95 (24 lbs. - 4 Acre Planting)

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_________ Please add $9.50 for shipping and handling for each 9 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

IMPERIAL Savings Code: WN182


Savings Code: WN182


Please send _____ 9 lb. quantities of Imperial “Chic” Magnet™.

Savings Code: WN182

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_________ Please add $19.00 for shipping and handling for each 50 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

Price with coupon: $89.95

Savings Code: WN182

Please send _____ 50 lb. quantities of Imperial Whitetail® Brand Clover (With Insight).

YOU SAVE $50.00

Suggested Retail: $139.95 (9 lbs. - 6 Acre Planting)

Savings Code: WN182

Price with coupon: $219.95


Savings Code: WN182

Suggested Retail: $299.00 (50 lbs. - 6 Acre Planting)

IMPERIAL Savings Code: WN182

YOU SAVE $64.05

Retail: $79.95

Price with coupon: $49.95

Savings Code: WN182


Savings Code: WN182


Please add $5.00 for shipping and handling. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.


DISCOUNT COUPONS - Order Today! Savings Code: WN182


TOTAL $_________

SLAY™ HERBICIDE YOU SAVE $15.00 Savings Code: WN182

Coupon Price: $35.95 or $19.95 Please send _____ ■ 2-Pak Blocks @ $35.95 Please send _____ ■ 1 Block @ $19.95 TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_________ Please add $10.00 for shipping and handling for EACH block or $17.50 for EACH Double Pack. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

Exclusive Limited-Edition Art Print Retail: $199.00

Price with coupon: $69.95

Suggested Retail: $59.95 (4 oz. - 1 Acre Treatment)

Price with coupon: $44.95 Please send _____ 4 oz. Package(s) of SLAY™ Herbicide. Call for larger quantities. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_________ Please add $7.00 for shipping and handling for each 4 oz. package ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.


YOU SAVE $129.05

Suggested Retail: $27.95 (1 Pint - .5 Acres)

From Ray Scott’s Private Collection

Price with coupon: $22.95

MOST WANTED: The Imperial Buck

Please send _____ pint(s) of ARREST™ Herbicide. Call for larger quantities.

By Eddie Leroy This unique portrait of the Institute icon named “the Imperial Buck” was commissioned by Ray Scott for his personal collection. As owner of the Imperial mount, he wanted the distinctive buck mythically recreated and transported to the southern climes of the Whitetail Institute and set among a gentle autumn and the Spanish moss of Pintlala, Alabama. The original painting is recreated in the ultimate Giclée printing process which is able to reproduce the fullest spectrum of colors, displaying an extraordinarily vibrant palette and texture on the finest acid-free paper. • Each print is numbered and signed by both the artist and Ray Scott. (Dimensions: 26” x 31”)

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_________ Please add $7.00 for shipping and handling for each pint ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.


Price with coupon: $219.95 NEW!

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_________

Please add $19.00 for shipping and handling for each 50 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

* Important: Shipping & Payment Information

WHITETAIL INSTITUTE ® Field-Tester T-Shirts YOU SAVE $6.00

* Please Include Daytime Phone Number For UPS Shipments and Any Questions We May Have About Your Order.

100% Cotton Heavy-Weight T-Shirts Feature Whitetail Logo

Name: ____________________________________________________________

Please send me Whitetail Institute Logo T-Shirts in the quantity,sizes, colors and sleeve-length indicated:

Mailing Address: ____________________________________________________ City: ________________________________State: _______Zip:_______________

XXL ______ (Qty.), Color ___, ■ LS, ■ SS


Price with coupon: Short-Sleeves:


Suggested Retail: $19.95



Suggested Retail: $21.95

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $ __________

Please add $5.00 for shipping and handling — no charge when ordered with other products. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.


Savings Code: WN182


Savings Code: WN182

L ______ (Qty.), Color ___, ■ LS, ■ SS


Please send _____ 50 lb. quantities of Imperial Double-Cross™. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_________

Please add $14.95 for shipping and handling for each print ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.



Suggested Retail: $299.95 (50 lbs. - 6 Acre Planting)

Please send me ______ Art Prints.

XL ______ (Qty.), Color ___, ■ LS, ■ SS

Please send ___ Magnet Mix™ 6-Paks @ $84.95 Please send ___ Magnet Mix™ 3-Paks @ $49.95

No charge for shipping and handling. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

4-PLAY BLOCK™ YOU SAVE Up To $23.95 Suggested Retail: $59.90 and $29.95

Coupon Price: $84.95 or $49.95

Savings Code: WN182

TOTAL $_________ No charge for shipping and handling. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

YOU SAVE $20-$35

Suggested Retail: $119.95 – 6-Pak, $69.95 – 3-Pak

Savings Code: WN182

Please send _____ ■ 6-Pak KRAZE @ $84.95 Please send _____ ■ 3-Pak KRAZE @ $49.95



Savings Code: WN182

Coupon Price: $84.95 or $49.95

Savings Code: WN182


Suggested Retail: $89.70 and $44.85 ?????????????


Savings Code: WN182

“KRAZE” Flavored Deer Attractant YOU SAVE Up To $4.75

Shipping Address: (No P.O. Box) City: ________________________________State: _______Zip:_______________ Daytime Phone: ________________________Email: ________________________ Payment Method: ■ Check or Money Order Enclosed Charge to my: ■ Mastercard ■ Visa

■ Discover

Credit Card#: _________________________________Exp. Date:_______________ Signature: _________________________________________________________

Mail To: Whitetail Institute of North America 239 Whitetail Trail • Pintlala, AL 36043 Or Call Toll Free: 1-800-688-3030 • Fax Orders To: (334) 286-9723

Vol. 18, No. 2 /



The Future Of Our Sport Donald Clark — Alabama Enclosed is a picture of my 4 year old son Eli’s first deer. Eli is a full blooded outdoorsman. His normal routine is to have his 2 year old sister crawl through the den while he sits in his blind made out of couch pillows and he shoots her with his rifle that shoots little rubber darts. Oh yeah he stops her from crawling by bleating at her. It's hilarious to watch, she has no idea what he is saying but she stops every time, then he shoots her. He watches the outdoor channel all the time. He has been going hunting with us since he was 2. He has never been one that couldn't be still even at his young age. He knows that you have to be still and quiet and that is just what he does. I don't know if you remember the deer my daughter killed a couple of years ago but Eli was on that hunt as well. Picture enclosed. The week before the opening youth hunt we would practice shooting his 22 cricket at a target in our back yard (we live outside of the city) each afternoon when I would get home from work. The day before opening day we shot his 223 for the first time just to let him feel the kick. It didn't bother him at all. We were shooting at 50 yards each day, he only missed the bulls eye twice the whole week and that was only by a couple of inches. So I knew that if we could get a deer within 50 yards it would be in serious trouble. The night before the hunt Eli had all of his hunting gear sitting on go when I got home. This year was going to be his first year to actually be the shooter. He had watched his brothers and sisters long enough. It was show time for Eli and he was pumped. We had planned to get up at 4:30am but unfortunately he got sick with a stomach virus at about 11:00pm so our plans changed. It was so sad to see his face when I told him we couldn't go if he was sick. Fortunately he was better the next day but of all things his brother Tripp had his 9th birthday party that evening so we couldn't go hunting. Given the circumstances we got a pass to miss Sunday school the next day. Finally our hunt started the second day of our special youth hunt. Not 10 minutes after daylight a deer walked into a green strip that 84

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 18, No. 2

we had planted. It was a buck! Just what he wanted for his first deer. He was about 100 yards away and feeding. Eli was sitting on his knees in my lap with his rifle resting in the window. We watched him for a while and he got to about 80 yards I told Eli that he could take the shot. But the deer wouldn't turn broadside for him. The whole time this is taking place Eli is watching the deer trough the scope and then looking at me saying "he's a nice one Daddy". Man I was about to shake the shooting house down, even his brother Tripp (9yrs) had to stop watching, he said Eli was making him too nervous, he was shaking also. The only one not shaking was Eli. Well the deer stopped eating and started walking straight at us, when he got about 10 feet (not yards) from us he saw or heard the panic in the house and bounced off but ole Eli put the doe bleat on him and he stopped at 32 yards. Boom! Right in the front shoulder. His first deer, 9pt. 160lbs.

Tommy Martiniere — Illinois It was late November and there was a major cold front moving through Illinois and my brother, Kevin, was bringing my nephew Kyle, up to try to kill his first deer. The conditions were right. Kevin and Kyle got to the camp at 2:00 am on Friday morning because we didn’t want to have to take Kyle out of school for more than one day. Kyle had slept most of the way, so when it came 5:00 he was ready to go, even though Kevin was in no shape to hunt. I helped get Kyle dressed and ready for the big hunt. When we walked outside the snow was swirling by a twenty mile per hour wind. The wind chill put the temperature around 17 degrees, which was miserable, even for me. When daylight finally broke we had a couple of does in the food plot only yards away from the ground blind where we were set up for the morning hunt. We watched the does while they fed on the clover, often peaking in and out of the blind to try to stay as warm as possible. The does eventually moved off, back to the bedding area and it was getting to be more miserable with the snow now turning into sleet and leaking through the ground blind and freezing on impact with our skin. We decided that we would get warmed up and get some breakfast so that we could go out earlier in the afternoon and hopefully see one of the 125 inch deer that I had been seeing weeks prior to his arrival. After eating a hearty breakfast of eggs, pancakes,

and bacon we went back to the camp to catch a short nap and dream about what could happen on the afternoon hunt. After we rose, we decided to go back to the same ground blind since I had been seeing numerous bucks in this large patch of icy clover. It was around 1:15 when we finally got set up and settled in for the afternoon. Little to my surprise around 1:25 a buck stepped out at 45 yards and it was one of the bucks that we had been seeing. I was in the process of focusing the camera on the deer while Kevin was helping Kyle get the muzzleloader on the shooting sticks and ready for the shot. Kyle has been shooting guns since he was 5 years old so we were confident that he could make a precise shot. He was very patient, unlike me, and did not shoot the deer until he was at 95 yards and quartered away and it was three minutes and forty-eight seconds later according to the video camera. The footage was unbelievable and for a child to take that much time to make sure he did not wound the animal was a lesson that even some adults should learn from. He finally fired the shot! When the deer buckled up and ran over the crest of the hill, I knew it was hit solidly. We waited about 30 minutes before trailing the deer, but the most memorable time was the minutes after the shot. All of our emotions were going a mile a minute, but I will never forget the expression on Kyle’s face when he looked at me, got up, gave me a hug and thanked me for helping him kill his first deer. The experiences I have had with my family and friends in the outdoors are treasures that will never be forgotten, and make me look forward to many seasons ahead. God has created a great place for us to live, so please take care of it and leave it better than you found it for children and grandchildren’s sake.

Michael Hartman — Pennsylvania Nicholas Zehring, age 12, Harrisburg, PA, bagged this 200 pound 8 pointer at 7:10 on opening morning within a stone's throw of Imperial Whitetail Clover plots managed by his great grandfather, great-great uncle and grandfather in Jefferson County, PA. Prior to the introduction of Whitetail Institute products (30-06, Cutting Edge and Imperial Whitetail Clover) Y bucks and small sixes were the norm on their camp property surrounded by public hunting ground. Nick's 8 pointer, bagged with one shot during his first ever hunt, was one of the camp's "best ever" bucks harvested during the past several years. W www.whitetailinstitute.com



Complete the survey below and mail to

Whitetail Institute of North America 239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043, Attention: Marketing Department. Your returned survey is your entry into our random drawing for prizes from the manufacturers shown below. Deadline to be eligible for drawing is November 1, 2008. Surveys received after November 1, 2008 will not be eligible for prizes. Name _____________________________________________________________________ Age ______ ■ Male ■ Female Address ___________________________________________________________________ City ___________________________________State ________Zip ___________________ Telephone ( )________________________E-mail _____________________________ 2. Annual household income (all sources): ■ $0 – $25,000 ■ $61,000 – $80,000 ■ $151,000 – $200,000 ■ $26,000 – $45,000 ■ $81,000 – $100,000 ■ $201,000 – $250,000 ■ $46,000 – $60,000 ■ $101,000 – $150,000 ■ $251,000 & up 3. Do you own hunting property? ■ Yes ■ No How many acres do you own? ______ 4. Do you lease hunting property? ■ Yes ■ No How many acres do you lease? ______ 5. If you own and/or lease hunting property, how much do you spend in habitat improvement per year? _________ (i.e.: food plots, mowing, planting trees, etc.) 6. Do you hunt in a club/group? Total number in club/group? ______ ■ Yes ■ No 7. Number of hunters in your immediate family (household)? ______ 8. Number of days spent deer hunting last season? ______ 9. Number of days spent turkey hunting lasst season? ______ 10. How many days do you spend scouting for Whitetails in a year? ______ 11. Do you own a rifle? How many? ______ ■ Yes ■ No How many? ______ 12. Do you own a shotgun? ■ Yes ■ No 13. Do you own a bow? How many? ______ ■ Yes ■ No 14. Do you own a muzzleloading firearm? How many? ___ ■ Yes ■ No 15. How do you hunt deer? Check all that apply: ■ Rifle ■ Bow ■ Shotgun ■ Pistol ■ Muzzleloader ■ Crossbow 16. What type of scope(s) do you own? (Brands, powers):_____________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Do you plan on purchasing more in the next 12 months? ■ Yes ■ No 17. What type of binoculars do you own? (Brands, powers): ___________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Do you plan on purchasing more in the next 12 months? ■ Yes ■ No 18. Do you own a pickup truck(s)? (Make, model, year): _______________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Do you plan on purchasing more in the next 12 months? ■ Yes ■ No 19. Do you own a tractor? ■ Yes ■ No What make and model tractor do you own? _____________________________________ What size horsepower best fits you management needs? ■ 25-35 hp ■ 40-55 hp ■ 60-75 hp ■ 80 hp-up 20. Do you own an ATV(s)? (Make, size (cc), year): ___________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ Do you plan on purchasing more in the next 12 months? ■ Yes ■ No


21. Do you use ATV implements to plant and maintain your food plots? If so, check all that apply: ■ ATV Plow ■ Heavy ATV Disk ■ Flip Disk or Other Light ATV Disk ■ Sprayer ■ Mower ■ Drag Harrow ■ ATV Seeder/Spreader ■ Cultipacker (roller) ■ Rock Rake 22. In addition to food plots, do you also plant other things for wildlife? ■ Row crops? What crops? __________________________________________________ ■ Acorn/Fruit-Producing Trees? What kind? ____________________________________ ■ Other: __________________________________________________________________ 23. Do you use any type of feeders? ■ Yes ■ No What type of feeders do you use? ■ Spincast ■ Gravity Feed ■ Trough ■ Other 24. Do you use a feed or nutritional supplement in your feeder? ■ Yes ■ No If so, what kind? ■ Cutting Edge ■ Protein Pellets ■ Manufactured Deer Feed ■ Soybeans ■ Corn 25. Do you use mineral/vitamin supplements? ■ Yes ■ No If so, which of the following do you use? ■ A properly formulated supplement specifically designed for deer (i.e. – Imperial Whitetail 30-06, 30-06 Plus Protein) ■ Cattle Mineral ■ Trace Mineral Block ■ Non-nutritional substances (i.e. – salt, other attractants) 26. Will rising fuel, lime, fertilizer and seed-production costs affect your management practices? ■ Yes ■ No 27. If rising fuel, lime, fertilizer and seed-production costs will cause you to look for ways to cut hunting- and management-related expenses, please assign numbers 1-7 to the areas listed below where you are most likely to try to cut costs, with 1 being where you are most likely to reduce costs first: ____ Hunting-Related Equipment Purchases (i.e.: guns, scopes, clothing, etc.) ____ Food Plot Seed ____ Lime and Fertilizer ____ Perennial Forage Maintenance: Skipping Recommended Steps ____ Mineral/Vitamin Supplements and Attractants ____ Tractor, ATV and Related Equipment ____ Property Other _____________________________________________________________________ 28. Approximately how many other hunters, managers, friends, etc. read your copy of Whitetail News? ■ Just me ■ 5-8 ■ 13-16 ■ 21-35 ■ 31 & up ■ 2-4 ■ 9-12 ■ 17-20 ■ 26-30 29. Do you save Whitetail News issues for future reference? ■ Yes ■ No 30. What types of articles would you like to see in Whitetail News? Use a separate sheet of paper if necessary. __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ 31. How many deer did you take last season? ______Does ______Bucks 32. What was the biggest buck you have taken on Imperial Products? ___________

Prizes are furnished by these fine manufacturers:


Vol. 18, No. 2 /



Profile for Whitetail Institute

Whitetail News Vol 18.2  

Whitetail News Volume 18 issue 2

Whitetail News Vol 18.2  

Whitetail News Volume 18 issue 2