Page 1

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

PRESORTED STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID BEAVER DAM, WI PERMIT NO. 577

www.whitetailinstitute.com 速 Volume 22, No. 2

$4.95


DUSTY LUTT, DUSTY IMAGES

TURNING CLOTHING INTO GEAR NEXT-TO-SKIN | INSULATION | SOF T SHELL | HARD SHELL | HEADWEAR | HANDWEAR | PACKS

SITKAGEAR.COM | 877.SITKA.GR


… e u s s I s i In Th

Features

Ha r to By David daughte r son or as important u o y g in ts is Teach the r food plo plant you them to harvest g in h c a te s a animal. your

the trition atfor u N t h ig al The R e is Critic Right Tim s Herd Healthy er

5

Page 14

n Go? id the Fu D e r e h r 32 W rd Bernie onds By Richa Builds B g in t t lo P od 36 Fo h Kids wit rt help

Harp that By Matt arly cycle ergo a ye ed as such in a d n u r e e D ch gram. e approa should b management pro ycle l c a e n io nutrit se of th agement each pha n Because other phases, ma ll a . ts ic c e st li ff a ho ed to be plans ne une your

Hern By Brad

46

: Fine-T Extreme Mowing ner

10

oo n benefit By Jon C treme ca itetail Ex intenance h W l a ri Impe ur ma g as part uning yo by fine-t pecifically, mowin ed, first m S mowing. ance should be ti annual n y n te a in t a n e m t of prev in the plo most, to and fore erennial grasses wer. o p fl r o weeds hance to ing the c from hav ls —

14

’t Your This Ain ddy’s Greenfield Grandda

ch yers deer mu By Joe B y provide of days a d to ts Food plo the greenfields n more tha gone by. pecial

26

ts have S Food Plo Big Woods Allure in ul

in to Best an be ak By Scott d plots c town full of o fo s d o nt in a Big wo a restaura o busy to opening rkers who are to o w ld e fi oil cook.

Cover photo by Charles Alsheimer

By Tracy

rney The Jou ke in W l il B By ns for ll Plot Pla a m S 54 lts Big ResBuestul tt By Sco Food wesome ites A g in t a 58 Crets on Marginal S Plo ael Veine rs By Mich g Partne in t n u H e oos 62 Ch ely Wis ernier

sa By Cha s the pro how to or explore nd The auth and perennials a plot d ls of annua each in your foo nt impleme strategy.

20

’s Plot astinator r c o r P e Th Breen

50

nia w vs. Peren Annuals hoose them. Ho c o t w Ho em to userletshAlsheimer nd cons

Page 32

Proofing Poacher Property don

38

rd B By Richa

s t n e m t r Depa

t Ray Scot m o r f e g tes A Messa 4 nting Da la P t lo P Food 13 eport Testers R ld ie F s 24 nd Photo Stories a Bucks k rd Boo o c e R s 30 nd Photo Stories a ture — The Fu r e e D t s 68 Fir Our Sport of

Page 62

Whitetail Institute OFFICERS AND STAFF ®

Ray Scott Founder and President Wilson Scott Vice President of Operations Steve Scott Vice President, Executive Editor William Cousins Operations Manager Wayne Hanna, Ph.D. Agronomist & Director of Forage Research Mark Trudeau National Sales Manager Justin Moore, Frank Deese Wildlife Biologists Jon Cooner Director of Special Projects Brandon Self, John White Product Consultants Daryl Cherry, Greg Aston, Javin Thomas Dealer/Distributor Sales Steffani Hood Dealer/Distributor Analyst Dawn McGough Office Manager Mary Jones Internet Customer Service Manager Teri Hudson Internet and Office Assistant Marlin Swain Shipping Manager Bart Landsverk Whitetail News Senior Editor Charles Alsheimer, Tracy Breen, Jim Casada, Matt Harper, Brad Herndon, Bill Winke, R.G. Bernier, Bill Marchel, Michael Veine, Dr. Carroll Johnson, III, Ted Nugent, Dean Weimer, David Hart Contributing Writers Susan Scott Copy Editor George Pudzis Art Director Wade Atchley, Atchley Media Advertising Director

www.whitetailinstitute.com

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

3


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

A Changing Conversation

A

s usual, noted whitetail expert Charles Alsheimer hit the nail on the head in his article on page 14. He writes of annual and perennial plantings but makes a larger point of how the whitetail world has changed over the last 15 to 20 years. As a lecturer three decades ago, his audiences were interested primarily in hunting strategies. Today the questions are about management — notably forage and food plot layout. Alsheimer graciously gives the Whitetail Institute much of the credit for this. We didn’t invent deer hunting and we didn’t invent deer forage, but we brought them together in a way that made them both better with the introduction of our flagship product, Imperial Whitetail Clover. It was the first forage planting formulated specifically for the unique needs of the whitetail deer. We had a big challenge however. Imperial Whitetail Clover was and is still the gold standard of food plot products. But more was required. To reap the full rewards of our ground-breaking perennial planting, hunters and land managers would have to be educated that a commitment of their time, energy and money would produce a major pay-back in improved herds and hunting. To that end, all of our print and TV ads contained a toll-free number that connected potential customers to highly qualified consultants who were not only hunters but land and herd managers themselves. It was not long before we became a virtual clearing house of information for

4

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

hunters and food plotters across the country. We not only exchanged know-how, we developed and tested new products that our field testers needed and wanted — nutrition products designed specifically for whitetail and for varying soils and other planting conditions. The enthusiasm in the whitetail community was unmistakable. We were dealing with individuals whose interest in hunting went far beyond harvesting a deer. They were concerned with quality deer management and with being stewards of their land and their herds and playing a direct part in growing better quality deer. The conversation with hunters had changed. And it came to pass that a multitude of city dwellers became part-time farmers and learned about annuals and perennials, soil tests, pH, liming, basic planting techniques and much more. It was clear that in addition to product quality, education and information was the engine driving the success of the Whitetail Institute. To provide even more information and to make access to that information easier (before the days of the Internet) we decided to print a little tabloid we called the Whitetail News. Today, you have in your hands the descendent of those first modest tabloids — a quality publication solely dedicated to helping you derive even more satisfaction and success from your own personal whitetail experience. Read, learn and enjoy! Ray Scott

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


By Matt Harper Photos by Charles J. Alsheimer

A

s parents, we have the right (or shamelessness) to live vicariously through our children. For some, we are striving to realize accomplishments unobtainable in our youth and for others, we relive the past glory days through the actions, words and feats of our kids. My girls are now getting to the age where they are beginning to be involved in competitive activities and yes, disgracefully enough, I find myself reliving the very few glory days I had in school. In fact, just the other day I was sitting at my oldest daughter’s dance competition and… OK, I don’t live vicariously through my daughter when it comes to ballet (I was never graceful enough); but both my girls are involved in sports and I can’t help but picture myself in their shoes many years ago. The other day one of my daughters came home from softball practice and told me her coach said that the team could not drink soda for the rest of the softball season. She also said that the coach was recommending a protein-rich, energy-filled diet low in sugar and other sweets. www.whitetailinstitute.com

To a kid, this is akin to summer school sentence. She asked me, “Daddy, why is she being so strict with what we eat and drink?” I told her that if she expected her muscles/body to perform at an optimal level, she had to feed her body with the proper nutrients. If she was sitting on the couch watching TV, she wouldn’t need to be so particular with what she eats because changing channels doesn’t require much performance from your body. But if she is trying to beat out a slow roller down the third base line she needs to get everything she can out of her muscles, which is assisted by the right nutrition. Whitetail deer experience their own kind of high stakes competition. This competition however, has nothing to do with scoring points or breaking records, but rather involves survival and proliferation of the species — in particular the proliferation of their own genes. There are times in the year when deer are merely trying to survive which requires a certain level of nutrition. However, during the breeding and rearing period, deer need to be at optimal body condition in order to improve the odds that their genetics are passed on as many times as possible (bucks) or that they successfully conceive, gestate and then raise their offspring (does). In reality, deer undergo a yearly cycle that should be approached as such in a nutritional management program. Because each phase of the cycle affects all other phases, management plans need to be holistic in their development, realizing that what you do in the fall and winter will affect the success of your spring/summer management practices. Of course, the specifics of each phase may be different, but they all should work together to accomplish the greatest result.

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

5


Proper nutrition in the winter is critical for antler growth the following year.

SPRING AND SUMMER In order to explain management based on a yearly cycle, we are going to break up a year in the life of a whitetail deer into three categories. In the first cycle we will take a look at spring and summer. The months of April through September are months of plenty in many regions of the whitetail world. Extreme southern regions that experience excessive heat and lack of moisture may cause this time frame to be nutritionally stressful. But for the northern two-thirds to three-quarters of the country, the spring and summer months are a period when more food sources are available than any other time of the year. The timing of this bounty coincides with the birth and rearing of fawns which is unquestionably a great natural design, as lactation is one of the most nutritionally demanding phases in a doe’s life. All of us have seen trail camera photos of does that are nursing young fawns and often times the does look malnourished or even sickly. Does not only have to consume nutrients to maintain their bodies but also to produce milk that is more nutrient dense than cow’s milk during lactation. Furthermore, they are just coming out of winter when food sources were at their lowest, and the gestation of the unborn fawns eats away at what little fat stores the doe had in late winter. So even though food may be in abundance, the doe may have a hard time overcoming the negative nutrient balance caused by the high nutritional demand of lactation. Poor body condition during lactation can cause a doe to produce less milk and therefore supply less nutrients to her fawn(s). In some cases, malnutrition for the fawn can directly lead to premature death. Indirectly, a malnourished fawn is more likely to be killed by predators. Furthermore a malnourished doe is less capable of protecting her fawns from predators. In worst case scenarios, does in extremely poor condition will completely abandon their offspring in an innate attempt at self-preservation. This was

6

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

witnessed many times last year in the severely drought-stricken regions of Oklahoma and Texas. Bucks fare much better during this time frame but they still have increased nutrient demands as they begin to regrow antlers. Antler growth requires energy, protein and mineral levels that are much higher than maintenance levels, at least if you want to achieve maximum antler growth. The key word here is “maximum.” Bucks will still grow antlers much like does will still produce some milk, even with lower levels of available nutrition. But the goal for most is to maximize antler growth and the productivity of the fawn crop via the doe’s ability to rear large, healthy fawns. So if summer is a time of plenty, why would it be necessary to supply supplemental nutrients to your deer herd? The answer is that while the

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


nutritional plane may be at its highest during this time period, it does not necessarily mean that deer are getting the ideal amounts of specific nutrients needed to maximize genetic potential. This is especially true in areas where the natural food sources for deer are limited due to the lack of browse, such as in mature forests or properties filled with planted pines. Even in agricultural country, deer may fall short of receiving optimal levels of certain nutrients. The nutrients that are needed most during the spring and summer months are energy (carbohydrates, fat, etc.) protein and minerals. Typically, two different management practices should be implemented to supplement the availability of these nutrients. First, a solid food plot program rich in digestible protein and carbohydrates is vital. Many people plant food plots that are designed to attract deer during hunting season for harvest purposes. There is nothing wrong with that other than if you ignore supplementation of nutrients during the antler-growing, doe-lactation time frame of spring and summer, you may be disappointed with what comes into the harvesting food plots in the fall. I rely heavily on nutrientrich perennials for my spring and summer food plot programs. Imperial Whitetail Clover, Alfa-Rack Plus and Extreme form the backbone of my overall food plot program as they provide highly digestible protein and energy throughout this vital time frame. However, mineral needs are also at their highest in the spring and summer. Keep in mind that bucks are in essence re-growing a large part of their skeletal system and they require massive amounts of minerals to support this growth. Minerals are transported from the buck’s skeletal system to grow antlers; and if there is not enough mineral in the diet to replenish what was taken, a buck’s body will simply pull less mineral from the skeleton, thus producing less dense, smaller antlers. Likewise, a doe’s mineral requirements during lactation are also at their peak. For both bucks and does, the mineral needs during spring and summer may be twice to three times higher than the rest of the year. While minerals are found in plant material and certainly in the food plot vegetation, most soils are deficient in certain kinds of minerals. Therefore relying on plants to supply enough mineral to maximize productivity is not a wise management policy. The use of a quality mineral/vitamin supplement such as Imperial 30-06, 30-06 Plus Protein or Cutting Edge Optimize is the best way to ensure your deer herd is not suffering from any mineral deficiency. All three of these products supply needed minerals and vitamins, and Cutting Edge Optimize also supplies a 16 percent protein level. FALL TO MID-WINTER The fall and winter time frame approximately covers the months of October through January. The beginning of this time period (again depending on region) encompasses the all-important breeding cycle thru post rut. Leading up to the rut, both bucks and does are gorging themselves in order to put on fat stores for the upcoming winter. Being in optimal condition is also important as bucks and does in proper body condition will more likely have successful conception. Bucks burn vital energy reserves during the frenzy of searching, fighting and breeding that fills days between mid-October to early December. When the rut dwindles, bucks once again spend their time trying to consume as many calories as possible to replenish lost energy reserves. During much of the fall/winter time frame, does are gestating, and the nutrients they consume are used for both the doe’s body condition as well as supporting fetal growth. A whitetail deer gestation period runs for about six months. The fall to mid-winter time frame encompasses the first and most of the second trimester of gestation. While the majority of fetal growth does not occur until the third trimester, adequate nutrition is none-the-less needed for healthy fetal growth. If a doe is in poor condition or has limited access to quality nutrients, it is common for one or more of the fetuses to be reabsorbed by the doe’s body as a self-protection mechanism. www.whitetailinstitute.com

#69 DOE-IN-RUT® #1 performing buck lure B-TECH™ ODOR ELIMINATOR Targets the human odors that alert deer

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

7


Available natural nutrients are normally available during the early part of the fall/mid-winter time frame but gradually deplete as the days move deeper into winter. Most of these food sources are finite in that once the growing season is over, all you are going to have is whatever was produced in the spring and summer. For example, an oak tree will produce a certain amount of mast, but once it has been consumed, it is gone and the oak tree is not going produce more mast until next fall. The same goes for most browse and forages. Once the cold weather stops plants from growing, there will not be any regrowth until next spring. For the northern half of the U.S., winter brings about harsh conditions such as bone-chilling temperatures and deep snow. These conditions deplete energy supplies even faster as deer burn energy to maintain internal body temperatures and expend calories for locomotion. So you now have a double negative, a finite and ever-dwindling food supply with conditions that call for energy demands. Food plots can be used to help manage the nutritional needs of this time frame by planting forage types that will provide carbohydrates/oils/fats (energy). Winter-Greens (brassicas) are a great source of carbohydrates as well as tubers such as Tall Tine Tubers. These food plots are especially useful during the weeks that immediately follow the rut as deer, especially bucks, need to build fat stores. However, annual food plots designed for fall and winter cannot be replenished and contain a finite amount of nutrients. If the food plots you planted contain a total of four tons of forage or tubers, then that is all you have. Depending on your deer density and the amount of available land you have to plant food plots, it is often difficult to plant enough food to get all the way through winter. In these circumstances, a nutritional supplement such as Cutting Edge Sustain, can be implemented into your nutritional management program. Sustain is designed specifically for the fall to midwinter time frame and is formulated to be extremely energy dense. What that means is that just a small amount of Sustain will provide deer with a lot of calories. Sustain is also unique in that the energy found in Sustain comes from sources that help to maintain proper rumen function. Many “winter” supplements found on the market are not much more than glorified corn mixes. A deer’s digestive system and more specifically its rumen, is geared to derive energy from carbohydrates from fibrous material. Corn is high in carbohydrates but they are from starch instead of cellulose/hemicelluloses (fiber), and a deer’s digestive system must adjust to the high-starch diet for proper digestion and utilization. Sustain is designed to supply energy but does so from sources that do not require a shift in rumen microbial populations from what is needed to digest fibrous natural vegetation and browse. Also, Sustain contains minerals and vitamins at levels needed to match whitetail needs during fall and winter. Sustain also contain protein but again, only at levels needed at that particular time of the year. Finally, Sustain contains special nutrition-enhancing ingredients such as an ingredient that has been scientifically proven to increase the volatile fatty acid production which in turn increases the energy supply to the animal. LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING

Imperial Clover provides vital nutrition during a whitetail’s critical 200-day antler growing season.

8

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

Late winter and early spring (February to early April) is likely the most nutritionally stressful period for whitetail deer that live in the northern twothirds of the U.S. Food sources have all but been exhausted and yet deer are still dealing with harsh winter conditions for much of this time period. If bucks entered the winter with limited energy reserves, this is the time frame when many of these bucks will succumb to harsh weather conditions, predation or starvation. Likewise, this is the time frame with the highest death loss of fawns that enter the winter in poor body condition. Does are entering their last trimester of pregnancy which is when 60 percent of fetal growth occurs. This rapid growth results in a higher nutrient demand for does; and if these nutrients are not available, it can lead to both poor body condition for does, and lower birth weights for fawns. Both birth

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


weight and doe body condition are key factors to fawn survivability. Fawns that are born at a small body weight are far more likely to die within the first few days or even hours after birth. Further, if a doe is in poor condition prior to giving birth, she is less likely to supply adequate milk for healthy fawn growth and far less likely to raise her fawn(s) to weaning. Aside from the worst case scenario (death), poor nutrition during the late winter to early spring time frame can have negative effects that are not as easy to see. For example, bucks coming out of winter must rebuild their bodies with the nutrients they consume before the nutrients will be largely utilized for antler growth. Antler growth is secondary to body health and condition, so the longer it takes to regain lost condition, the longer it will be before more nutrients can be used for antler growth. Therefore, if a buck comes out of winter in poor condition, he will have decreased antler size the following fall since early antler growth was stunted. Also, a lack of quality protein during early antler growth has also been shown to stunt antler growth. Fawns born from a doe in poorer condition and supplying less milk may survive to weaning but they will likely be lower in body weight than their fellow fawns born to does in good condition that supply large quantities of milk. Lower weaning weights often result in lower yearling weights which can be a predictor of eventual mature weights. In other words, if a fawn gets stunted the first few months of its life, it may affect what that deer will look like at maturity. Food plots have their challenges for this time frame because deer have been utilizing the plots all winter and much if not all of the food plot forages may have been consumed. This is true unless you have planted enough food plots to supply the deer herd food all the way to spring. But in most cases this is fairly difficult to do. However, having quality perennial food plots as part of your food plot scheme can be extremely valuable especially a cold-tolerant perennial that will start growing early in spring. Imperial Whitetail Clover for example is very cold tolerant and is one of the first things on my farm to turn green and start growing in the spring. A few warm days in March and Imperial Clover plots are once again providing high amounts of protein and energy for the deer herd. But even with coldtolerant forages, things don’t always green up as fast as you need them to, so for the late-winter/early-spring “pre-green-up” period, a nutritional supplement designed for that period is a great management tool. Cutting Edge Initiate is specifically designed to provide the right nutrients for the pre-green-up, late-winter/early-spring time frame. Initiate is energy dense like Sustain but contains a higher protein level to support early antler growth and late gestation fetal growth. Initiate also contains vital minerals and vitamins that are formulated in amounts to supply the specific needs of deer during late winter and early spring. Finally, Initiate contains the same specialty ingredients found in Sustain to maximize energy utilization in the deer’s diet. CONCLUSION Deer are out there on your property 365 days a year. They are there when you’re stopping by the convenience store to buy your last minute (forgotten) Valentine’s Day present and they are there when you’re hunting Easter eggs and watching the July 4th fireworks show. We may not be thinking about them then, but they are there and the nutrition available to them during all of these times will affect the quality of deer you see when you get back into your stand in the fall. Nutritional management should be approached from a 12-month perspective in order obtain the full benefits. If you are going to run a marathon, you must train for more than a few weeks prior to the event if you want to expect the desired result. It is no different with whitetail deer management. While the thought may seem daunting at first, some good planning and using the right products can make it relatively simple, and once you start you will probably find it to be pretty fun. Plus, the results you will see come your first season after you have managed your deer for an entire yearly cycle will undoubtedly make a believer out of you. W www.whitetailinstitute.com

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

9


EXTREME:

Fine-Tune Your Mowing By Jon Cooner

Specifically, mowing Extreme as part of maintenance should be timed, first and foremost, to prevent any annual weeds or perennial grasses in the plot from having the chance to flower (make new seeds). Again, that is your first priority when timing maintenance mowing. If you don’t have such weeds in your Extreme stands, though, then consider waiting to mow Extreme until after it flowers and the seeds in the flowers have dried (and so become viable). Mowing then can shatter the seed heads and spread the seeds for new forage plants across the plot, thickening the stand. WHEN MAINTAINING PERENNIALS, KEEP THE END GOAL IN MIND. In his article, “Integrated Weed Management” (Whitetail News, Vol. 18, No. 3), the Whitetail Institute’s Weed and Herbicide Science expert, Dr. Carroll Johnson, III, classified the Whitetail Institute’s recommended perennial-maintenance steps into three categories: 1. “Cultural Practices” are those that help maximize the ability of the forage plants to thrive. Examples include choosing the correct forage for the plot’s soil type and slope, adding lime to the seedbed if necessary to achieve or maintain optimum soil pH, and fertilizing. 2. “Physical Practices” are those that mechanically destroy or remove a weed or its propagules (seeds, rhizomes, etc.). Examples include hand-pulling weeds, repeated ground tillage, and mowing weeds to prevent them from flowering. 3. “Chemical Practices” means spraying herbicides (only appropriate in certain, specific circumstances). In the same article, Dr. Johnson also identified a single, end goal of all forage maintenance practices: promoting forage health and vigor.

Photos by the Author

L

ike all Whitetail Institute perennials, Imperial Whitetail Extreme is designed to attract, hold and grow bigger and better deer for several years and from a single planting. All it takes is Mother Nature’s cooperation and a little maintenance on your part. While the general maintenance goals for all Whitetail Institute perennials are the same, Extreme can benefit by fine-tuning the timing of maintenance mowing in some cases. 10

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

“Any crop production practice that enhances crop growth and uniformity also improves the ability of the crop to compete with weeds.… Uniform crop growth is the single most powerful form of weed control in any cropping system, including food plots.” — W. Carroll Johnson, III, PhD That’s why each maintenance practice, whether cultural, physical or chemical, should be approached in a way that best serves the main end goal when you’re maintaining your perennials: keeping the forage stand as healthy and vigorously growing as possible. That’s also why all the maintenance steps are interdependent; they should be considered and, if appropriate to the situation, performed in a way that will best promote the end goal with the other steps. In the same article, Dr. Johnson described that concept as a three-legged stool, with cultural,

physical and chemical practices each being one leg of a three-legged stool. All the legs must be “integrated,” or working together, if the stool is to remain stable. It can be easy to miss that point and focus too narrowly on the result of a specific maintenance step instead of the end goal. For example, when asked what benefit mowing perennials provides, a quick answer we often hear is, “mowing before the forage plants flower helps keep them even more lush, nutritious and attractive”. Generally, that’s true for two reasons: First, mowing to prevent flowering helps prevent the parent plants from making the huge energy expenditures it takes for them to flower. Second, mowing can generally stimulate plants to add more foliage at their lower levels. What may be missed, though, is that these effects vary in degree among different plant types, and understanding the differences can help you really fine-tune your maintenance efforts in some cases. The energy expense of flowering, for example, is much greater in some types of plants than others. If you want to see the negative effects clearly, take a close look at the ordinary white clovers that appear in most of our lawns each spring. Bend down and take a close look at them before they start flowering and make a mental note of the size of the leaves and the tenderness of the stems. Then, check again after they flower, and you may be surprised at how much smaller the leaves and how much tougher the stems are. Other perennials, though, don’t suffer such drastic negative effects from flowering. If you were to try the above experiment with Imperial Whitetail Clover, for example, you

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


probably wouldn’t notice much difference, since it remains lush, nutritious and attractive even if allowed to flower. And while mowing correctly can stimulate forage growth in a plant’s lower

www.whitetailinstitute.com

levels, the effect here is again greater with some types of plants than others. Neither effect is very great with the perennial components in Extreme, Persist forb and WINA-

100 perennial forage chicory. In fact, mowing and flowering have so little effect on the nutritional quality and palatability of Persist forb that you can pretty much discount them as factors in

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

11


deciding when to mow. The same is true of Extreme’s other perennial component, WINA chicory. That can give you an additional option for timing the mowing of Extreme if you don’t have perennial grasses and annual weeds in your plot that should be controlled as your first priority. In such cases, waiting to mow until after the Persist produces seed heads can add new Persist plants to thicken the stand. EXAMPLE OF A MAINTENANCE PLAN FOR EXTREME (Editor’s Note: Several of the steps below include application of the Whitetail Institute’s Arrest grass herbicide. In all cases, check the Arrest label, which is available on-line at www.whitetailinstitute.com, to be sure Arrest will control the specific type of grass you want to control, and for mixing and application instructions. If you have any questions about how to use Arrest after reading the label, call the Whitetail Institute for assistance before you spray.) While all maintenance steps have the same end-goal of keeping the forage stand as healthy and vigorously growing as possible, they differ greatly in the importance of timing. Grass and weed control are the number-one spring main-

tenance priority, and timing is especially important. That’s true of any perennial. Priority One: As soon as spring green-up arrives, check the plot for signs of perennial grasses and/or annual weeds. If you find either starting to invade your plot, determine if any looks like it is about to flower (put on seed heads). Grass: If you see grass coming up, identify the grass and check the Arrest label to make sure it is a type of grass Arrest will control. If the grass is still young enough that flowering doesn’t appear imminent, then as soon as possible after the grass begins to actively grow, spray the plot with Arrest. It can also be a great idea to add Surefire Crop Oil Plus to the Arrest spray tank in the amount of 8-10 ounces per acre of spray solution, especially if the grasses to be controlled are perennial or mature. If you find that you’ve waited a bit too long and the grasses and weeds are mature and starting to produce seed, then mow the plot right away to prevent that from happening. Then, wait several days after mowing or until you see the grass actively growing again (whichever occurs later) and spray Arrest. Upright, Annual Weeds: If you see upright annual weeds coming up, make sure you keep them mowed to prevent them from flowering.

Grass and Upright, Annual Weeds: If you see both grasses and annual weeds coming up, then mow the plot to prevent anything from flowering. Then, wait a few days after mowing until you see the grass actively growing again, and then spray the plot with Arrest. No Grass, and No Upright, Annual Weeds: Watch the Persist forb in your Extreme stand. Once it “bolts” (puts on a seed head), then wait for the seeds in the seed head to dry to a dark, reddish brown, at which point they will be viable. Then, mow the plot. Mowing will shatter the seed heads and spread the seeds across the plot, thickening the stand. FINAL THOUGHTS Again, it’s important to keep in mind that the end goal in performing any perennial maintenance step is to help the forage stand stay as uniform, healthy, vigorously growing and free from competition as possible, and live as long as it should. That includes keeping grass and weeds in check, so try to start your grass- and weed-control efforts as soon as grasses and other weeds start to actively grow each spring. Also, weeds and grasses can, and usually do, return to our food plots at some point despite our best efforts, so try to keep a close eye out for weeds and grass during the rest of the summer. If you see grasses or annual weeds returning, then repeat the steps set out above. In many cases when Arrest is applied at the optimum time, one application will provide effective control all year. If necessary, though, Arrest may be reapplied a month after the initial application, again provided the grasses to be controlled are actively growing. If you have any questions about controlling grass and other weeds in Extreme, give the Whitetail Institute’s in-house consultants a call at (800) 688-3030. Editor’s Note: As Jon mentioned, our number-one goal when maintaining perennial food plots is “keeping the forage stand as healthy and vigorously growing as possible.” With that in mind, also remember that Extreme needs more nitrogen fertilizer than other Whitetail Institute perennials, both at planting and later once it is growing. It’s always best to perform a soil test through a qualified soil testing laboratory so you’ll know exactly how much and what blend of fertilizer to add. Absent a soil test, a good rule of thumb for best results is to fertilize Extreme every year with 250-300 pounds of 1313-13 or 17-17-17 per acre in the spring and again in the fall. At a minimum, fertilize Extreme at least once a year with 400-450 pounds of 13-1313 or 17-17-17 per acre. W

12

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


Food Plot Planting Guide‌ PLANTING DATES FOR IMPERIAL CLOVER, ALFA-RACK PLUS, EXTREME, NO-PLOW, CHICORY PLUS, CHIC MAGNET AND EDGE    

   

Call for planting dates Apr 1 - July 1 Apr 15 - June 15 Aug 1 - Sept 1 Coastal: Feb 1 - Mar 1 Sept 1 - Oct 15 Southern Piedmont: Feb 15 - Apr 1 Aug 15 - Oct 1 Mountain Valleys: Mar 1 - Apr 15 Aug 1 - Sept 15

 

Feb 1 - Apr 1 Aug 1 - Sept 30 Feb 1 - Apr 15 Sept 1 - Nov 1 North: Mar 15 - May 1 Aug 1 - Sept 15 South: Mar 1 - Apr 15 Aug 15 - Oct 15 Apr 1 - June 15 July 15 - Aug 25 Apr 1 - May 15 Aug 1 - Aug 31

   

Mar 20 - May 15 Aug 1 - Sept 15 Sept 15 - Nov 15 Feb 5 - Mar 1 North: Sept 5 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15 Feb 15 - Apr 1 Sept 1 - Oct 30 North: Sept 5 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15 Feb 1 - Mar 1 Coastal: Sept 25 - Oct 15 Piedmont: Sept 1 - Oct 5 Mountain Valleys: Aug 25 - Oct 15 North: Sept 15 - Nov 25 South: Oct 5 - Nov 30 Mar 1 - May 15 Aug 1 - Sept 1 Feb 1 - Apr 15 Aug 20 - Sept 30 Apr 15 - June 15 July 1 - Aug 15

  21  22

May 15 -July 1 May 1 - June 15 July 1 - Aug 15 May 15 - July 1

PLANTING DATES FOR DOUBLE-CROSS, PURE ATTRACTION, SECRET SPOT AND BOWSTAND    

Aug 1 - Sept 1

  

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



Call for planting dates Call for planting dates

Aug 1 - Sept 30 Sept 1 - Nov 1 North: Aug 1 - Sept 15 South: Aug 15 - Oct 15 July 15 - Aug 25 Aug 1 - Aug 31



Aug 1 - Sept 15



Sept 15 - Nov 15 North: Sept 5 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15



Sept 1 - Oct 30

 

North: Sept 5 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15

Coastal: Sept 25 - Oct 15 Piedmont: Sept 1 - Oct 5 Mountain: Aug 25 - Oct 15 North: Sept 15 - Nov 25 South: Oct 5 - Nov 30

   21  22

July 1 - Aug 15 June 15 - July 15 July 15 - Aug 31 July 1 - Aug 15

Aug 1 - Sept 1 Aug 20 - Sept 30

PLANTING DATES FOR WINTER-GREENS™ AND TALL TINE TUBERS™    

 

Call for planting dates Call for planting dates July1 - August 1* Coastal: Aug 15 - Sept 30 Southern Piedmont: Aug 1 - Sept 15 Mountain Valleys: July 15 - Sept 15 July 15 - Sept 15 Aug 1 - Oct 1

www.whitetailinstitute.com

 

North: July 15 - Sept 15 South: Aug1 - Oct 1 North: July 20 - Aug 1* South: July 5 - Aug 15* July 1 - Aug 15 July 15 - Sept 15* Sept 15 - Nov 15 North: Sept 5 - Nov 1 Central: Sept 15 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15

 

North: Aug 15 - Oct 1 South: Sept 5 - Oct 20 North: Sept 5 - Oct 30 Central: Sept 15 - Nov 15 South: Sept 25 - Nov 15 Coastal: Sept 1 - Oct 1 Piedmont: Aug 15 - Sept 20 Mountain Valleys: Aug 5 - Sept 15

      21  22

North: Sept 15 - Nov 15 Central: Sept 25 - Nov 15 South: Oct 5 - Nov 30 July 15 - Sept 1 Aug 1 - Sept 30 July 1 - Aug 15 June 15 - July 15 July 15 - Aug 31

* Earlier (spring) planting dates may be applicable. Call Whitetail institute for more information. ** For northern Pennsylvania, earlier (spring) planting dates may be applicable. Call Whitetail Institute for more information

IMPORTANT! For optimal production, plant at least 50 days before first frost.

July 1 - Aug 15

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

13


By Charles J. Alsheimer Photos by the Author

14

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


FREE TRIAL OFFER! OFFER 1 — ONLY $9.95(SHIPPING AND HANDLING)

OFFER 2 — ONLY $19.95 (SHIPPING AND HANDLING) SAME AS OFFER 1 — PLUS:


With more and more people taking an interest in being better stewards of the land, the management of both land and deer has become a primary focus of deer hunters. Much of the credit for this goes to the Whitetail Institute. In the late 1980s Ray Scott was one of the first to recognize the role that food offerings played in having better deer and better deer hunting. Since Scott founded the Whitetail Institute, hundreds of thousands of hunters and land managers have been introduced and schooled on the finer points of quality deer management. Through this magazine everything from managing natural habitat and soil pH, to seed selection, to food plot layout, to how best to hunt a property has been covered. In spite of this, questions about these things continue to come up. For many hunters interested in deer nutrition, forage is forage, be it orchard grass or clover. Though this is changing, the end result is that all too often an understanding of the difference between annual and perennial forages is lacking. In order to gain an understanding of the two it’s best to cover the basics. ANNUALS

O

h, how times have changed! More than 30 years ago I embarked on a career to become a full-time outdoor writer and nature photographer, specializing in the whitetail deer. It’s been a special journey, one I wish every hunter could experience. Part of what I’ve done for over the last three decades has centered on speaking engagements, which have taken me across North America. For the first 15 years about 90 percent of the questions my seminar attendees asked dealt with whitetail hunting strategies. Back then hunters wanted to know all they could about techniques to make them better hunters. This is no longer the case. Over the last 15 years hunting-related questions have diminished to the point that they no longer dominate the discussions. Now, today, more than 75 percent of the questions I’m asked deal with how to manage whitetails — everything from forage offerings, to food plot layout, to managing properties for better deer and hunting.

16

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

Annuals are forages that last for a season and are gone. As far as deer feeds go, corn, soybeans, annual clover, brassica, tubers (turnips and beets), rye, wheat and triticale are examples of annuals. In terms of popularity in my area of the Northeast, annual forages like red clover, oats, rye, wheat, brassica, turnips and triticale are often used by food plotters for summer and fall plantings because they grow rapidly, providing a quick nutritious food source for deer. In terms of growth, annuals are faster growing than perennials because the plant’s purpose is to grow stems and leaves, rather than the needed root base required for perennials. During certain times of the year, due to season, heat, drought, and cold, perennials might not provide the volume of nutrients deer require. This is where annuals can really shine. PowerPlant is an annual offered to fill such a bill. The beauty of PowerPlant is that it is a blend of a forage soybean with other seeds that are vining plants which produce more leaves. It can take tremendous grazing pressure and it’s available during the hot summer months when other plants are stunted from heat and dry conditions. Another benefit of planting annuals is to provide harvest strategies. Come fall and the hunting season, many hunters want a fast-growing, nutritious food plot they can hunt over. A product like Secret Spot and Whitetail Forage Oats Plus can be planted in late summer or fall and be a real whitetail magnet by the time hunting season rolls around. The beauty of Secret Spot is that it requires a minimum of effort, has a pH booster for maximum growth and grows rapidly

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


FREE TRIAL OFFER! OFFER 1 — ONLY $9.95 (SHIPPING AND HANDLING)

OFFER 2 — ONLY $19.95 (SHIPPING AND HANDLING) SAME AS OFFER 1 — PLUS:


so that there is adequate forage for deer throughout the hunting season. PERENNIALS Perennials are forages that last two or more years. When it comes to popularity, alfalfa and perennial clovers rise head and shoulders above most other whitetail forages in popularity. Unlike annuals, which are growing stems, leaves, or tubers after they are planted, perennials are busy putting down roots in the weeks after planting. It’s only after the roots are established that stems and leaves begin to be noticed. For food plotters, perennials are the real super-stars for deer forage. Though they may not be the complete package, they come close. When longevity, nutrition and cost are factored together they cannot be beat. Imperial Whitetail Clover reigns king when it comes to forage choice among North American deer hunters. Its unique blend of clovers offers diversity and resistance to drought conditions enabling it to provide the biggest benefit for the hunter/land manager. Longevity is a real plus when it comes to utilizing perennials. Being able to get 3, 4 and 5 years from a food plot makes them very attractive to serious food plotters. About the only down side of perennial seeds is that they tend to go dormant when summer stress conditions like heat and drought occur. However, because of their deep root system they will almost always bounce back when the stress period ends. Whitetail Institute’s Steve Scott sums up the whole annual/perennial debate. “There is no question that annuals offer variety and nutrients but they are very time specific. 18

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

Because of perennials’ nature I believe they should be the base or cornerstone of the food plotter’s plan,” Scott said. “If you have a reasonable amount of land and the resources to prepare the land, consider planting annuals and perennials.” Shooting for a mix of 60% perennials and 40 percent annuals is almost always a solid plan.

bucks are growing antlers and does are birthing and nursing fawns,” Trudeau said. Harper concurs with Trudeau but with an added caveat. “I used to tell people that their food plots should be 60 percent perennials and 40 percent annuals. Now I ask more questions before giving a figure,” Harper said. “If I hear that a landowner has a high deer density I know that he’ll need a higher percentage planted to perennials. On the other hand, if the individual does a lot of lateseason hunting and wants to winter deer, he’ll have to plant more annuals. I learned a long time ago that annuals can really shine when it comes to hunting because of the way they thrive once the weather turns cold and snowy.” When I discussed the perennial/annual percentage principle with Dougherty, he said. “I agree with both Mark and Matt. In general I recommend that at least 60 percent of a property’s food plots be planted to perennials because they are able to produce great tonnage for a longer period of time than most annuals. Perennials are the backbone of the programs I run.” I began utilizing food plots on our farm in the late 1970s. And like Trudeau, Harper and Dougherty I know that perennials are king — the meat and potatoes. As important as perennials are, I also know I can’t have a successful program without annuals. I hunt from October through December and want as many deer as possible to winter on our farm. Without annuals this isn’t possible in my part of New York State.

WHICH TO PLANT — ANNUALS OR PERENNIALS? One of the benefits of annual forages is that they are often easier to establish and can be time specific to deliver the nutrition deer require when some of the perennial plants go dormant or are stressed. Three of the best authorities I know on annual and perennial forages are Whitetail Institute’s Mark Trudeau, Iowa animal nutritionist Matt Harper, and northern land manager Neil Dougherty. They are outstanding deer hunters and land managers who have a strong background in farming practices. To a man they agree that the decision of whether to plant annuals or perennials is dependent on the goals landowners have for their deer herd and when and how they want to hunt their properties. Trudeau points out that planting both annuals and perennials is ideal for a successful food plot program to really thrive. “Because every property is different I’m a little reluctant to give a hard and true percentage of how much should be planted in perennials and annuals. In general terms I like to have at least 60 percent in perennial forages. Perennials are the workhorse in my programs because they are highly nutritious and available most of the year — especially from spring through fall when For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


So, I rely heavily on annuals to accomplish my hunting and feeding goals. On our farm 60 percent perennials and 40 percent annuals allows me to accomplish this. FORAGE ROTATION The proper rotation of a food plot from one forage to another is key to food plot success. This is nothing more than sound farming practices. The reason crop rotation is necessary is because each forage depletes certain nutrients from the soil. By way of example, clover adds nitrogen to the soil, so it is beneficial to rotate clover to an annual forage like Winter-Greens (which needs nitrogen). Because annuals like Tall Tine Tubers and Winter-Greens deplete nitrogen from the soil they should not be planted in the same soil year after year, even if you heavily fertilized with a nitrogen-based fertilizer. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK The decision to plant annual or perennial forages will depend on the resources available, need, locations, and time of year they are needed. In the best of all worlds a good food plot program should have some of each. Generally speaking at least five percent of a property should be planted into food plots. Following are examples that have worked for me over the years. I’m always trying something new (i.e., seed and plot location) and constantly tweaking what I plant in different locations to take advan-

tage of hunting opportunities. Five acres: A mixture of at least three forages. Plant 2-1/2 acres in a perennial forage like Imperial Whitetail Clover. The other 2-1/2 acres might be split up with annuals like PowerPlant for spring/summer and Winter-Greens, Whitetail Forage Oats Plus, and Tall Tine Tubers for fall/winter. Three acres: Similar to five acres but scaled down with 1-1/2 to two acres of Imperial Whitetail Clover with the other 1 to 1-1/2 divided in annuals to provide strategic hunting opportunities. Two acres: One acre in Imperial Whitetail Clover with two one-half acre plots in annuals for late season hunting and food options. Another option I like for this size acreage is to put half in Imperial Whitetail Clover and the other half in Whitetail Forage Oats Plus. One acre: If this is all you can plant, you may want to consider using all the space planted to maximize hunting opportunities. In this case, divide the area up and utilize Imperial Whitetail Clover and other great annual attractants like,

Whitetail Forage Oats Plus, PowerPlant, Secret Spot, Winter-Greens and Tall Tine Tubers. W View a complete description of the following Whitetail Institute’s annual and perennial offerings at

www.whitetailinstitute.com. Annuals No-Plow PowerPlant Whitetail Forage Oats Plus Pure Attraction BowStand Secret Spot Winter-Greens Tall Tine Tubers Perennials: Imperial Whitetail Clover Edge Chicory Plus Extreme Alfa-Rack Plus

IT’S “The Best D DEER BLIND B I N Ever Made” Y ND LI ®

L

IF

I ET

M

E

B

ou will not find a smarter and more more durable blind anywherree... at any pricee..” durable

SINCE 1954

BI G SE LEC T I ON BIG SELECTION

HUNT IN COMFORT

Q Choose from 14 models Q Single Blinds Q Double Blinds Q Ground Blinds QT Toower Blinds 5' t 10' t 15' Q Full Door with Stairs Q Sliding Door with Ladder

KEY K E Y FFEATURES E AT URES LARGE AND ROOMY SHIPS ANYWHERE! De Designed signed ffor or Ec Economical onomical Shipping Shipping and Set-Up Set-Up

SINGLE BLIND WITH 5FT TOWER

DOUBLE BLIND WITH 10FT TOWER

®

Q Hide-A-Way Window System with Unobstructed 360° View Q Powder-Coated Steel TToowers Q Easy Transport & Set-Up Q Tall 6' 3" Headroom Inside Q All Weather Comfort Q Maintenance Free Starboard Never Needs Painting

C CALL ALL FOR PRODU PRODUCT CT C CATALOG ATALOG

800.969.3337 8 00.9 6 9 .3 3 37

3350 IH 35 N, San Antonio, TX 78219

www.whitetailinstitute.com

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

19


This Ain’t Your Granddaddy’s Greenfield Science and a few secret steps can change a patch of grass into a field of dreams. Big bucks come to stay and sometimes bring friends and rivals. By Joe Byers Photos by the Author

O

nce upon a time, your granddaddy’s rye grass field and an old, wooden tree stand was the only game in town. He planted the greenfield, hoping seed would sprout, the drought wouldn’t be severe, and that the deer had nothing else to eat. Today, that kind of thinking runs like a Model-T at Daytona. Just because your daddy or granddaddy did it, doesn’t mean it can’t improve. Take Fred Abbas, for example, a fellow from northern Michigan who retired with

20

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

a challenging ambition to hunt trophy bucks in his home state of Michigan. Guess what? There weren’t any. Perhaps he should have moved to Iowa, Illinois, or Kansas. No, Abbas believed that he could change the environment and create an incubator for big deer in a state with more licensed hunters than the standing armies of most civilized countries. Was he crazy? Maybe — like a fox. Today, thanks to a unique approach to the basic “greenfield” Abbas and his son have become so successful that they host Away


Field-Proven Performance. The Mossberg® 4x4 adds up to the best rifle you can take into the field.

Creep-free Adjustable Trigger Lightning Bolt Action™ (LBA™) trigger system is user-adjustable from 2–7 lbs.

Fluted Barrel with Muzzlebrake Free-floating, button-rifled design makes the 4x4 an out-of-the-box tack driver.

Box Magazine Provides reliable feeding and simple loading/unloading.

Hardcore Versatility Together with the ATR® line, over 140 centerfire bolt action rifle configurations in 13 calibers.

TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS IF IT WERE LOADED.

Made in the USA

www.mossberg.com


MEETING BASIC NEEDS Abbas believes that deer are motivated by five factors: food, water, safety, curiosity and reproduction and he bases the entire Away hunting system on that premise. When selecting food plot locations, he uses topographical, aerial and plot maps to locate the best plot sites with a high interest in remoteness, sufficient cover, water or swamps nearby and fertile soil. Geographic structure also dictates food plot locations and Abbas looks for variations of the land — places where a structural change occurs because big bucks often travel those features. “I happened to hunt near the side of a ridge when I saw antler tips pass by down the slope,” said Abbas reflecting back to last season. “I couldn’t see enough of the buck to shoot, but investigated the trail later on. To my surprise, the buck followed a mini valley that allowed it to travel behind concealment. I look for anything that may harbor a buck or influence its travel without showing itself completely.” Abbas’ food plots are designed to draw and hold deer on their farms, yet they don’t stop there. “Once we draw bucks in, we give them more of what they need, such as minerals,” Abbas says. “We provide Kraze and 30-06 Minerals so that they develop another bad habit,” he laughs, “and then introduce them to mock scrapes on July 1.”

Fred Abbas often hunts trails leading to his food plots but back in the timber.

Outdoors Television where they hunt on six leased farms and one they own to entertain mega-thousands of viewers on where, when, and how to harvest big bucks in the land of the pumpkin army.

The Away properties consist of seven farms scattered over three counties in southern Michigan with an average of four food plots on each property. These modern day greenfields are located in remote areas, near thick cover or swamps. “We try to encourage big bucks to come into smaller areas where, in one jump, they can be safe,” Abbas said. The largest food plot is three acres, a tract they don’t gun hunt over. “We bow hunt the edges, but the main purpose of the field is to attract deer from surrounding farms, yet not pressure them,” Abbas said. “We do a fringe hunt where we have stands well back into the timber that surrounds the plot so that deer do not associate food with danger.” Abbas and his son do most of the planting in spring and use a wide variety of Whitetail Institute products including Alfa-Rack, Chicory Plus, Imperial Whitetail Clover, and Imperial Whitetail Extreme. They plant and maintain plots with the use of a tractor and the usual implements — disk, cultipacker, sprayer and brush hog. Variety is a staple of their planting system so that deer have a selection of plants to feed on. “Deer have different tastes and by giving a big variety, we appeal to all deer and that helps keep them on our properties,” Abbas said. 22

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

Whitetail Institute

BIG PICTURE, SMALL PLOTS

Spring-planted food plots can yield trophy results.

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Bucks like this brute often hang on the edges of food plots in the timber and this is a great spot to ambush them.

www.whitetailinstitute.com

Today’s modern food plot is miles away from granddaddy’s greenfield in a number of ways. First, instead of rye or wheat with minimal nutrition, Whitetail Institute has let science lead the way, and food plots now host a variety of nutritious plants and legumes. We’ve learned that even peas and turnips are clearly superior to the old green grass. Secondly, the very location is scientifically designed. Greenfields were just that — green fields that happened in an old clear cut or near a road so that farm equipment could harvest a crop. Hunters have learned, like the Abbas’, that small plots in out-of-the-way locations make big bucks feel safe, such that they will appear more readily during shooting light. Also, modern tilling equipment designed for small tractors and 4-wheelers allows sportsmen to create nutritious chow in locations with difficult access. Now food plots can provide much more than just attraction. They can also provide high quality nutrition that can help create a healthier herd and bucks with bigger antlers. Finally, the Abbas’ have perfected the art of hunting small food plots, usually posting stands several hundred yards from the field edge. They use a combination of ladder and hang-on stands, usually about 20 feet high. Trail cameras have indicated that bucks often leave a field an hour before dark, yet take up to two more hours to move several hundred yards further in. With a productive food source nearby, they often bed at random places rather than always seeking dense brush. The good-ole-days have nostalgia for many of us… like hunting with granddaddy’s .30-30 rifle. However, heading to the old wooden stand posted in the corner of a rye grass field is often unproductive in that YOU could be a granddaddy before a big buck steps out. Planting today’s hightech food plot products is the way to go. The field is still green; science just makes it a whole lot better. W

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

23


Howard Dixon — Kentucky My friend Dean DeBow and I understood 15 years ago that if we wanted to hunt big racked bucks, we had to let some walk, keep buck-todoe ratios in check and ensure they had what they needed to eat. Neither of us ever thought that our agreement of, “If you’re not going to mount it, don’t shoot it” would lead us to the activity we are involved in today. We started preparing for food plots in the spring about five years ago. I purchased a 1956 Ford 600 tractor, (one like my grandfather had), some implements and started planning plots. We did some research and realized Whitetail Institute also did research. I liked the fact that advertising could be backed up! I’m a substance abuse counselor, not a farmer. However, my father and Dean’s father taught us to be outdoorsman and sportsman. To have a healthy deer herd, we needed to be good stewards of the land. Our first plots were planted with Imperial Whitetail Clover. We also were fortunate at that time to run into the Whitetail News! Wow, what a blessing that publication has been to us! We started providing mineral sites in lieu of salt licks. Our ground preparation improved as we followed the directions of including lime and correct fertilizer rates. We have purchased Whitetail Institute herbicides to spray our plots. We also started over seeding plots with Chic Magnet, Tall Tine Tubers and various other Whitetail In-

24

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

stitute products to add a bit of variety. We are fortunate to have a good genetic line, good cover and plenty of water and with the extra effort of food plots, we have noticed a significant increase in body size, healthier overall deer herd resulting in very nice racks being sported around by 2-1/2- and 3-1/2-year-oldbucks. Our fawns are born healthy, which provides them with a better opportunity to develop into good bucks or good breeding stock for the future. I very much enjoy spending the time and effort doing it right so I can watch it grow… and I’m talking about the plots and the deer, turkey, quail and various other species running around on the farm. Enclosed are pictures of some of the bucks we’ve taken including a monster taken by Dean. Thanks to all the folks at the Whitetail Institute for all the effort put forth to make fellers like us enjoy our outdoor experiences so much more and allowing us to be more successful! I probably need to also thank my wife who realizes the importance of this hobby and supports our efforts. So many things need to come together to have the blessings we currently enjoy.

JJ Skalasky — Virginia I have used Imperial Whitetail Clover for several years, and I practice QDM. I also use WinterGreens and Extreme and the results are seen in the enclosed pictures. I was blessed to take a 9-

point during archery season and a 10-point with the muzzleloader. My oldest son, Forrest, also took his first doe after passing on many small bucks. The quality of the deer on the farms is improving yearly. The only thing we will change is adding to the acreage we plant in Whitetail Institute products.

Roger Guay — Maine For the past three years whitetail management has been a priority on my 180-acre farm located in Maine. Using Imperial Whitetail Clover and Chicory Plus as the bulk of the food plots along with Winter-Greens for late season attraction, we’ve watched the deer population on the property increase steadily. This summer, we saw this monster on our game camera sampling the 30-

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


for providing a quality product with great customer service.

Johnny Howard — Indiana 06 Mineral and Vitamin Supplement. He would only show up at three in the morning and was never seen at any time during the daytime. Knowing he was around, we stayed focused on keeping the does from being spooked. We kept the area as quiet as possible waiting for the rut to bring this ghost out in the daylight. On the afternoon of November 23, twelve-year-old Zacharie Chandler sat with his dad on our Imperial Whitetail Clover plot as the rain and sleet made for a miserable afternoon. The Fairbrother Farm Ghost made the mistake we had waited for all season and followed some does into the field, giving Zach a crack at his first buck! He is a 141-inch 8point. This young man’s trophy buck made for quite a celebration and a memory he will never forget. The picture says more than words ever could!

Paul Vilinski — Minnesota

I have purchased Winter-Greens in each of the past two seasons. The first year that we tried it we did not purchase a lot with not knowing what to expect. We had tried other food plots with little to no success. In that first year of planting, we saw deer on a nightly basis on the small field we had planted. The deer were walking right past a standing corn field to get to the Winter-Greens. The only problem we had with the WinterGreens was that it was almost all gone by rifle season. Between bow and rifle season we harvested four deer off of the small field. This past year we purchased twice as much Winter-Greens. It was doing great until the middle of August when we experienced a terrible drought for over one month. The Winter-Greens miraculously survived. They did not grow as well as the year before, but it still attracted the deer when other crops didn’t survive the drought. During the two weeks leading up to rifle season, the buck sign really picked up on and

www.whitetailinstitute.com

around the Winter-Greens field. On the opening morning of rifle season, I saw this buck sneaking through the back edge of the woods towards the Winter-Greens field. In the past two years, we have seen more and bigger deer. I am a firm believer in Winter-Greens and will continue to purchase Whitetail Institute products.

Rob Stone — Alabama My family owns a farm in northeastern Alabama, and it has been in our family for over five generations. My grandfather was a cattle farmer but leased the mountain land for hunting. As the grandkids got older and started gaining more interest in not only hunting but habitat management, we decided to terminate the lease and start implementing a management plan. Over the past 10 years, we have done everything from planting food plots, to planting trees to create a better and more diverse habitat. That being said, our first efforts were to create food sources to supplement the mast crop in the mountains. I heard about Imperial Whitetail Clover and decided to give the clover a shot. After just the first year we were very pleased with what we saw. The initial results for us included pictures in summer of multiple mature bucks, turkeys in the spring and summer and deer utilizing the plots during the fall and winter. But out of all the advantages for me the biggest two are providing an annual high protein food source with a seed that you only have to put in the ground once every four to six years. We have seen a significant change in our property over the past eight years. We have more mature bucks than ever before, with better antlers and bigger bodies. I’ve included a photo of a buck I killed that grossed 156. I shot this buck next to an Imperial Whitetail Clover field. There was also a 160-class buck that used this field all summer, and was killed by our neighbor’s son during the youth hunt. We have planted several more Imperial Whitetail Clover fields and have made Imperial Clover a key element of our food plot program. Thanks Whitetail Institute

First thing I want to say is thanks to the Whitetail Institute for making the best food plot seed on the market. We live on a small tract of land in southeastern Indiana farm country. It’s only 20 acres, but I have managed to harvest five great bucks off of it. And I attribute a lot of my success to using Whitetail Institute products. Thanks again for a great product! I have enclosed a photo of the last buck I took off our property.

Donald Finley — Missouri I started five years ago using Whitetail Institute products. I’ve never seen so many deer in southern Missouri. Enclosed is a picture of a buck my son took this past year. Keep up the good work.

Doug Dick — Pennsylvania Over the last six years, my two sons and I have used several Whitetail Institute products. Chicory Plus has been by far the best food plots we have put in. Over the last six years, we have obtained thousands of trail camera pictures of deer, bear and turkeys. We have photos of several bucks in the three-to-five-year age group which have developed into monster Pennsyvania deer. Our food plots are easy to maintain, and we mow them twice a summer to keep them fresh. Just recently, with about two feet of snow on the

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

(Continued on page 64) Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

25


By Scott Bestul

26

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

Whitetail Institute

T

he old saw about ethics being “the things you do when no one is watching” rang true for my friend Jeff VanDoorn two years ago. Jeff, who with his brother Tom owns a beautiful little deer camp in Wisconsin’s North Woods, had arrived at their cabin the day before the state’s firearms season opener. Jeff was busy with the usual routines to open up the camp — fueling the generator, hauling groceries, restocking lime for the outhouse — when he glanced past the front lawn. Standing in a food plot not 40 yards from the cabin door was a buck that Jeff and his family had hunted for several seasons. The monster 12-point — a buck that had been as elusive as a ghost during any open season — fed contentedly on clover, unconcerned that it was early afternoon and a human watched him.

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


Such times can try a man’s soul. With no legal hunting method available to him (Wisconsin had a two-day moratorium on hunting prior to the firearms opener) Jeff had to content himself with watching a trophy-class whitetail feed like a dairy cow for several long minutes. Naturally, the buck never showed himself to Jeff or any member of his hunting party, for the duration of their hunt. BIG WOODS BUFFET That story always serves as Exhibit A when I think of the power of food plots in the big woods. I’ve had the pleasure of deer hunting from this camp, and the nearest agricultural holding — a poorly-tended hay field baled twice a year to feed horses — is nearly 20 miles away, and serious farm country doesn’t begin until you’ve logged an hour in your truck. Many hunters from northern latitudes know entire counties that don’t contain a single working farm. In regions like this, resident whitetails eat as deer have eaten for centuries, consuming grasses and forbs in spring, summer and early fall, and browse in the fall and winter months. As my friends have learned, planting a food plot in country like this can be akin to opening a restaurant in a town full of oil field workers who are too busy to cook.

www.whitetailinstitute.com

But growing and hunting over food plots in heavily forested country is anything but a cake walk. Here are some tips to make big woods plots work. SITE SELECTION The biggest challenge to big woods food plotters is the most obvious — all those darned trees getting in the way. Not only do the trees themselves present as an obstacle, but they also block sunlight from prospective plots. While there are certainly shade-tolerant food plot offerings (Secret Spot and Bow Stand are two products I’ve used with good success), generally the more sun a plant gets, the healthier it will grow. This makes site selection a critical step in the big woods food plotter’s plan. The best, least-expensive, and most-productive option is to plant in a pre-existing opening. One example that I’ve seen used with great success is a log “landing” — a spot that loggers have cleared to store hardwood or pulp trees after they’ve been harvested, but before trucks can haul them out. Landings are typically located on relatively level, well-drained sites that logging trucks can reach without getting stuck, a happy fact that can also make them excellent spots for a food plot. Log landings vary in size, but I’ve rarely seen one too small to host a pro-

ductive plot. Other openings can sometimes be found in heavily forested areas. Old farm sites and homesteads may still be largely devoid of trees, with grass, weeds or brush presenting the only obstacle to a well-lit plot. Naturally-occurring meadows and small grassy areas can also be converted to food plots. Don’t be tempted to plant in a seemingly dry marsh or wetland. Not only are these areas frequently protected by state regulations, but even if a food plot is a legal option, lowland areas will definitely fill with water at some point. Leave such areas for the critical habitat they provide for big woods birds and other wildlife. Finally, of course, you can carve a food plot in a forest by simply removing trees. The easiest method is to start your plot in the aftermath of a logging operation (more on this later); this way you don’t have to provide (or pay for) the heavy equipment and labor for tree removal. Some landowners I know have worked a deal with their logging crew to bulldoze stumps and rocks from pre-determined areas as part of the logging contract. It’s common for loggers to own or lease bulldozers to create access roads, and carving out a plot or two is typically not a problem for them. This is also much less expensive than simply hiring someone with heavy equipment to visit a prop-

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

27


erty miles from civilization. You have likely read about the importance of soil prep — applying lime to adjust pH and fertilizing to maximize plant growth — in virtually every issue of Whitetail News, but if you’re starting food plots in timbered areas, do all you can to achieve this step. Soils in forested areas are typically highly acidic, and bringing up the pH can require a heavy dose of lime. Make sure the pH is in the neutral range, and you’ll notice a huge difference in productivity.

Deciding what to plant can also be a challenge in heavily forested areas. Expect your plots to receive heavy grazing pressure for two reasons. First, the plot you plant will likely be the “only show in town” when it comes to food plot fare. Second, because big woods plots are typically smaller, it doesn’t take a lot of deer or many visits to have a pretty dramatic effect. Plant varieties that can stand up to heavy grazing, as well as those that feature a window of attraction (such as brassicas) will be the

safest bets. Given my druthers, I’d establish Imperial Whitetail Clover in at least a third of my big woods food plots. Highly attractive and nutritious, clover will be a go-to plot for deer most of the year, and as soon as snow leaves the landscape, it is one of the first plants to green up. Northern deer can survive some pretty brutal winters, but come spring thaw they’re a hungry, scraggly-looking bunch of critters, and clover will give them the boost they need at a critical

Brad Herndon

Bruisers like this are possible by using strategic food plots in the big woods.

28

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


time. Even better, a lush Imperial Clover plot will sustain bucks, does and fawns most of the year and provide a fantastic early-season hunting opportunity when it comes time to target a big woods buck. Naturally, clover comes with a catch (at least in my experience). It can take a little more time and effort to establish, and if your trips to your property are limited, that commitment might not be practical. Other great options also exist. I planted Whitetail Forage Oats Plus near my home last year, and I was convinced this would be a perfect fit for my friends, the VanDoorns. For starters, oats are easy to plant. Though proper and thorough soil prep will yield better results, I’m convinced these large, aggressive seeds would germinate in a rock quarry if that was their only option. Oats can also be planted in late summer or early fall, which means timecrunched food plotters can make a weekend trip or two just prior to archery season, get their planting done, and have a hunt-ready plot that will provide action for several weeks or months. Finally, brassicas — like Tall Tine Tubers or Winter-Greens — are another stellar choice for the big woods. Since whitetails typically focus on brassicas after the first hard frosts of the season, this can be an ideal strategy for keeping deer from consuming a plot before you have the opportunity to hunt it. It is a problem that can arise if deer numbers are high enough, your plots are relatively small, or other natural food sources fail and leave whitetails with few options. But the biggest bonus of brassicas is that they provide big woods deer with a highenergy, highly attractive food option for the stressful conditions of late fall and winter. RAISING THE BAR While food plots are a wonderful addition to any heavily timbered property, don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re the final answer to making the ground reach its full potential. Proper timber management will also attract and hold deer on a year-round basis and result in healthier whitetails and better hunting. Remember, northern whitetails have to endure extended winters, and counting on food plots to sustain deer until snow melt may not be a realistic goal. That’s when a sound timber management program can kick in and help whitetails last through the often-brutal conditions from late November through green-up. The VanDoorn property is a classic example of a logging plan done right. This region of northern Wisconsin is known for strong populations of aspen, and aggressive logging practices like clear-cutting keep this important tree species available for whitetails and other wildlife. Aspen benefits from clear-cutting because a harvested tree sends shoots out from its root system — a process called “sucker www.whitetailinstitute.com

sprouting” — in some cases as far as 100 feet from the original stump. Though aspen trees do produce seeds, seedlings only flourish in full sunlight. In short, clear-cutting is the best method for maintaining vital stands of aspen. Consult with a forester, habitat specialist, or professional logger (preferably one with a deer hunting background) to develop a timber harvest plan that will maintain aspen stands of uneven ages throughout your property. Another, and often-neglected, aspect of habitat management in northern regions is the creation and management of conifer species. Research has proven that whitetails can withstand brutally cold temperatures and biting winds, assuming they can access thermal cover provided by species like cedar, spruce and pine. Indeed, northern whitetails will often travels dozens of miles to such winter “yarding” areas. While creating an area may be difficult, establishing and/or maintaining small groves of conifers can certainly help resident whitetails ride out a difficult winter. Again, the best method for doing this is to consult with a

forester or habitat specialist to develop a plan. Though forestry projects require a long-term commitment, they’re extremely beneficial to deer and highly satisfying to the folks lucky enough to participate in the process. FINAL THOUGHTS I’ve found food plots to be effective and fun no matter where I’ve planted them, but for me they have a special allure in the big woods. Perhaps it’s because it takes some extra time and sweat to carve a plot out in the timber. Or is it because whitetails oftentimes respond to a plot of clover or brassicas with even more enthusiasm than farm country deer? I haven’t answered those questions for myself yet, but I do know this: When an old monarch whitetail, a deer nearly impossible to see in this environment, shows up at a food plot, it’s a pretty special moment. Even if opening day is still around the corner. W

IT’S ““The The B Best est W Feeders Ever Ever Made” Made” WILDLIFE Feeders ®

LI

F

I ET

M

E

F

D EE

ER

BIG BIG SELECTION SELEC T ION Q Choose from 18 models

Barrel Feeders TTrophy rophy Feeders Q Protein Feeders Q Game Feeder Kits Q Road Feeders Q Fish Feeders Q EZ Lift Systems Q Universal Solar Chargers Q Q

ROAD FEEDERS

K KEY E Y FEATURES FE AT URES Q Exclusive EZ Set Digital Timer

FEEDER KITS Designed Designed ffor or Economical E i l Shipping and Set-Up

TF300 EZ LIFT TRIPOD SYSTEM

SHIPS ANYWHERE

PROTEIN FEEDERS

®

Q Q Q Q Q Q

with 5-YYear Limited Warranty Patented TTechnolog echnology No-Rust Galvanized Steel Reliable, Heavy-Duty Motors Stainless Steel Spinner Plates Feed Level Sight Gauges Powder-Coated Tex exas e Hunter Green Finish

CA CALL LL FFOR OR CAT ATALOG PRODUCT CATALOG

800.969.3337 8 00 0.9 6 9 .3 3 37

3350 IH 35 N, San Antonio, TX 78219

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

29


Todd Zippel — Wisconsin Well, I got my best buck ever opening evening of this past year’s bow opener. We had him in the neighborhood last year as a beautiful 3-1/2year-old 10-pointer. We got pictures of him last year feeding and coming and going to the Winter-Greens, Pure Attraction and No-Plow. This year he had been photographed in the Imperial Whitetail Clover and Pure Attraction up until Saturday evening.

He’s 4-1/2 and dressed 198 pounds and has 10 typical, and 12 total points with a 19-3/8-inch inside spread. He’s been green scored 163-3/8 gross and 145-6/8 net typical and 158-4/8 nontypical. Thanks to the nutrition from the Whitetail Institute products, genetics and age, I put my best buck to date on the ground. Thanks again Whitetail Institute. Hope you enjoy the picture with me, my wife, Nancy, and the buck.

Nathan West — Georgia I first learned about Whitetail Institute products in the early 1990s. We had recently purchased a farm in central Georgia, and my sons were beginning to get into archery at the ages of 10 and 13. I wanted to put in food plots and did some research on various products, especially perennial-type products that would not require replanting every year. 30

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

My farm is approximately 150 acres, and I strategically created five food plots of about two acres each. I have to admit I was very skeptical about Whitetail Institute products to begin with. So, the first year I planted typical grains (wheat, oats and rye) in two of the food plots and No-Plow and Imperial Whitetail Clover in the other three plots. It did not take long for me to see the difference in how the deer preferred the Whitetail Institute products. Long story short over the next 10 years, we saw the deer weights improve and started seeing larger antlered bucks. Maybe it’s just me, but the deer tasted better, too. Both of my sons killed their first deer over Whitetail Institute food plots (with their bows of course). We also experienced a tremendous increase in the number of turkeys on our property due to the Whitetail Institute food plots. Since that time my sons have grown up, and we now exclusively bowhunt several small parcels of land closer to where we live in metro Atlanta. I have continued to use Whitetail Institute products in small food plots due to the smaller parcels of land we have access to hunt. A typical parcel is five to 20 acres with very limited locations for food plots so I have come to rely on some of Whitetail Institute’s other products, especially the Double-Cross and Winter-Greens products. The brassicas in these products allow for heavy grazing during late winter and help prevent overgrazing due to the plots smaller size. I’ve included pictures of a few bucks we’ve harvested the last few years while bow-hunting around Whitetail Institute food plots.

to get to Whitetail Institute’s. I have witnessed deer walk 200 yards across a green soybean field in early October without touching one bean, jump a fence, and immediately start feeding in an Imperial Clover plot. That to me says that the Whitetail Institute products are top notch! Five years ago, my oldest son, Tristan, started hunting with me when he was six. The food plots have been a great tool while getting him started. Anyone intro-

ducing kids to this great sport can’t go wrong with planting a plot using any of Whitetail Institute’s products. Like they say, “If you plant it, they will come.” And, they do! Since Tristan started hunting he has taken seven deer and four turkeys off plots planted with Whitetail Institute products. His latest turkey had three beards, which once registered, will make the 21st biggest bird taken in Indiana.

Steve Scudder — Indiana Since planting my first Alfa-Rack plot over 10 years ago I have been truly amazed at the difference Whitetail Institute products have made on the deer where we hunt. Bigger, healthier deer and the antler growth is incredible. I have planted competitors’ products next to Whitetail Institute’s and have watched deer walk through the others For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


I have enclosed some pictures of some of our harvests from the past few years. 150s and 160s and Tristan’s first bow buck. We owe credit for a lot of our success to Whitetail Institute’s great products. Thanks Whitetail Institute for making a difference.

Lloy Quade — Missouri

I live in northeastern Missouri on 300-plus acres of land. My land consists of row-crop ground, CRP ground and hilly wooded areas with the river running through it. The deer have access to many multiple crops in a year’s time. I started using Imperial Whitetail Clover around 1990 with two plots, three to five acres each. Before that we had many deer — big herds — but the antlered deer had small racks, five to eight points to maybe 10 points but it wasn’t more than a 10- to 11-inch spread. They had very small racks. Occasionally I would find a large rack or shed, but not too often. After planting I began to see much bigger antlered deer, and within the next five to seven years we had taken five or six 120- to 140-class deer anywhere from eight to 12 points. Not really too big but bigger than I noticed before and the antler growth was more predominant in a wide range of deer. Not just one occasionally — every deer was getting bigger antler growth and they were all coming to the Imperial Whitetail Clover food plots. I started to use Arrest and Slay herbicide in the last few years and they help control the grasses and weeds much more than any other products I used before. Of course I fertilize and lime the plots as well. I don’t have a picture of the food plots, but here is a photo of a buck I took with a bow this past November. I haven’t gotten this rack scored but think it is in the neighborhood of 160-plus. Thanks for the products, Whitetail Institute. I know it has improved the deer herd on my land. Keep up the good work.

www.whitetailinstitute.com

Ryan Matzke — Illinois The forecast for Oct. 12 said the temperature was supposed to reach 90 degrees. So needless to say, I had very little hope for the morning’s hunt. I even considered sleeping in but my cameraman could only go in the morning, and because this was the first year of filming hunts, I decided I shouldn’t be too selective. So there we sat, 8:30 a.m., hot and sweaty. We were ready to get down from the stand, but there were two does bedded close by and not wanting to spook them, we decided to wait them out. As it turned out, it was pretty lucky that we did because at 9:00 a.m. this 167-inch 12-pointer made the fatal mistake of stepping into my shooting lane. We had been seeing and hunting this deer for four long years, and I was finally fortunate enough to harvest the 7-1/2-year-old. I shot this buck on his way from food to bed, and I have to give a huge thank you to Whitetail Institute products for helping grow such a magnificent animal. My grandfather and uncle have been using Imperial Whitetail Clover for more than 20 years now and have had great success. We have killed over 25 Pope & Young bucks and for years we have passed on bucks under 150 inches. This past year we put out our first plot of Tall Tine Tubers and had incredible success in the late season with them. This coming spring we are going to plant a new plot of PowerPlant and I cannot wait to see the drawing power that it has. Thanks Whitetail Institute!

ground. The plot is in a secluded area at the base of two ridges, alongside a creek and right up against a 100-acre clear-cut. It’s the perfect scenario. We broadcast some Imperial Whitetail Clover, drug the whole plot with lawn rakes and then top-sowed it with No-Plow. We were fortunate to get rain soon after and the plot exploded. I was amazed at how the No-Plow came up so fast and provided cover for our clover. We now have a great secluded food plot in an area where there are no crop fields. We simply maintain it with our hand held fertilizer spreaders and our weedeaters. It truly is a magnet for all wildlife. I’ve been fortunate to take a 130- and a 140class buck off the plot over the last two years. Without a doubt, this plot is the most vital piece of our hunting ground. We work too hard for our money to trust this plot to anyone other than Whitetail Institute. Thank you.

Robert Glenn — West Virginia I started using Imperial Whitetail Clover five years ago. My bucks have gone from 12- to 14inch spreads to 16 to 20 inches. I’ve killed two real nice bucks and seven good bucks. I have 38 acres and have seen more deer each year since

Pat Strawser — Pennsylvania I just wanted to take the time to say thanks Whitetail Institute for providing such great products. I hunted with Mr. Scott about 12 years ago and, after seeing his passion for his products, I am not surprised that Whitetail Institute is the number one food plot manufacturer for all serious wildlife managers. We began hunting on our Ohio property about six years ago. We were finally granted permission to put in a few food plots. We turned to Whitetail Institute for all of our products. We had already been using the 30-06 Mineral for several years, but now we were able to get some seed in the

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

(Continued on page 45) Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

31


By Richard Bernier Photos by the Author

“Success can be measured in many ways, a fallen buck you’ll not always find. The true blessing is being nature’s invited guest... the solitude and peace of mind.” — Hart L. Daley

32

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


H

ow would you define deer hunting success? Would you feel successful when kneeling next to a fat fork horn? What about a doe? Is your entire hunting season viewed as a miserable disaster if you come home empty handed? Or, does your success hinge entirely upon wrapping your fingers around the gnarly bases of a huge buck’s antlers, one which is sure to attract plenty of attention? For some, it seems accomplishments come effortlessly and regularly, so much so that they find themselves in a rather enviable position... or do they? Much like entertainers, sports stars and television personalities, some deer hunters of the 21st century have become household icons within the whitetail culture. They have a fan base that follows them religiously within the pages of their favorite sporting press that shows up wherever they are publicly appearing, and never misses an episode of their weekly hunting show. This phenomenon essentially took root in the mid-1980s with the increased interest in whitetails by consumers and thus spurred the influx of mass media, supported chiefly by advertisers eager to sell new products to the whitetail-crazed masses. In essence, stars were born overnight. Deer hunters that were previously content to bag their venison in ways that satisfied themselves, now show off their latest conquest to friends and relatives, only to return to a life of anonymity until the next deer season approaches. Culturally, we have become a people that are absolutely star struck with our idols. Is it any wonder that the most popular running television program in the U.S. is American Idol? What has become all the rage on the internet? Facebook and Twitter. Is it surprising that this preoccupation with star status has crept into the deer hunting fraternity? If you are fortunate enough to shoot a record-book deer you instantaneously become a celebrity, regardless of the effort put forth to attain such a prize. Historically, the deer hunter was an individual that reveled in an untrammeled sense of individuality, and cherished the sweat and toil required to bring his deer to bag. In his culturally defining 1841 essay, “Self-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson argued that individualism must be grounded in effort and responsibility. He praised those who chose to work hard rather than show off, “A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who... always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls.” In layman’s terms, www.whitetailinstitute.com

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

diligent effort and hard work are what defines you. If at first you don’t succeed, suck it up and keep trying. THE REALITY OF SUCCESS Do you remember when your mother used to say to you as a child, “Be careful what you wish for?” All that glitters is not gold. Often, the people who are most successful are the most miserable. Examples of this can be seen in the sudden premature deaths of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elvis Presley... the list could go on. A recent example of what rapid success can lead to is the story of Britain’s Got Talent vocal contestant, Susan Boyle, who at first glance was dismissed as a frumpy simpleton that had little to offer. In fact, before her singing, the audience was actually laughing at her as she spoke. But, once she began to belt out her song, that all changed, and when she finished the audience gave her a raucous standing ovation. As she rose to fame through the finals, increasingly more attention was given to her — accolades the likes she’d never received before. The end result of this attention was nothing short of disastrous. Susan was unable, and frankly untrained, to handle the pressures that came with her new-found fame and success. Sadly, there have been those deer hunting celebrities that have, like Ms. Boyle, become a fallen star due to the pressures of trying to maintain their star status. WHERE DID THE FUN GO? Isn’t hunting supposed to be an invigorating pastime to be fully enjoyed? If it becomes more than a contest between you and the animal you pursue, then perhaps the flavor of the whole experience has been unfortunately diluted. Hunting whitetails is an exercise of matching wit and wisdom against a formidable opponent where you need all you have to play Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

33


it right. It's not about comparing your level of success with some other chap who may or may not have had a greater advantage. Deer hunting is certainly not equitable; as the Good Book states, “Rain falls on the just and the unjust.” My standards may be different than yours, which doesn’t necessarily make me a better hunter or make you inferior; it is simply relevant to where you hunt, the size of the available deer and most importantly, the satisfaction derived once the trigger is squeezed or arrow released. Sadly, I’ve had some disappointing conversations with hunters more times than I care to think about. Here’s how it usually goes: Joe (we’ll call him Joe) walks up to me at a show and strikes up a conversation. Generally, the first question Joe asks is, “How was your deer season?” By him asking that leading question, Joe isn’t so much interested in how I did as much as he is in doing a comparative of his own season. Rather than responding to his inquiry, I ask one of my own, “How was your deer season; did you shoot one?” Then, out come the pictures, followed by an almost apologetic response of, “Well, he was only...” Seriously? What robbed this guy of the joy that he obviously had to have felt the moment he walked up to his fallen deer? Somewhere along the line from the point of making the decision to shoot until now he has allowed outside influences to marginalize his success. Well Joe, here’s the good news: Deer hunting is not a spectator sport, nor is it a competition, despite what is typically viewed on outdoor television programs. When I start to think about the amount of pressure brought to bear on anyone making an attempt to kill a deer on camera, well, despite the on-air smiles, it’s got to be tough; especially when you’re dealing with a living creature that excels at secrecy. Here’s how it plays out: You have a whitetail TV show with sponsors paying the bill. The hunting celebrity is scheduled, along with a cameraman, to go on a planned number of hunts with the expectation of getting kill-shot footage. So what happens when this doesn’t occur? This is when the pressure mounts, not only for the hunter who desperately needs to perform, but for the guys behind the scenes. Dollars are won or lost as the hunt has now been reduced to a business where the whitetail becomes the commodity. The tension in this scenario grows and makes perfect sense seeing that deer hunting was never designed to be a spectator sport for the entertainment of the masses. Where’s the fun? Where’s the enjoyment? Even when the deer has been taken on film, how can one possibly find any inner solace under 34

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

these stringent guidelines? In reality, another dead buck on film ultimately translates into just another buck ($). The purveyors of such programming lure us in to watch week after week, and in so doing have a continual influence on today’s deer hunter. Is it any wonder we’re seeing hero shots with large antlered bucks that look more like billboards? Should there be any doubt as to why we hear and see terms like “bam,” or “smoked him” directly after a kill? From what does this learned behavior stem? Yep, you guessed it — TV hunting celebs. Is this

fist-pumping behavior not reminiscent of the end-zone celebration; cocky to be sure with perhaps some arrogance included? Could this be why Joe and so many more like him walk around feeling inept as deer hunters and have lost the fulfillment that deer hunting engenders? THE UGLY SIDE OF SUCCESS I guess it's just human nature to want what someone else has, but that doesn’t make it right or very endearing. Here is how it goes — the hunter who works diligently at his craft, puts in the time, pays his or her dues and scores consistently is eventually viewed by some as an outlaw. Let the gossip and rumor mill begin. First, doubts about the individual’s legitimacy are raised and are soon followed with negative aspersions being cast. Usually this behavior is demonstrated by insecure, envious sorts that

cannot duplicate what the successful hunter in question has accomplished, and because of that feels it inconceivable that anyone else can achieve it legally. Finally, rather than applaud the success of another, these jealous dragoons besmirch and tear down the good reputation of the innocent. REAL SUCCESS Success in deer hunting takes on many forms. Not everyone that takes up the chase is looking to kill the next world-record whitetail. Most do not aspire to be celebrities or get their picture on the cover of a magazine. Deer hunters in general are hardworking folks that just plain enjoy the solitude of the forest, the smell of frying bacon in the predawn hours at camp, the camaraderie of friends around a camp fire, the traditions of the sport that have been passed down for generations, and the thrill that comes with each whitetail encounter. For some, just seeing a deer while a weapon is in hand is a victory, while others feel a sense of accomplishment with the downing of their first whitetail. Still others who have shot deer in the past find satisfaction in limiting themselves to using only primitive weapons or employing a specific methodology. Each person who takes up the chase must set goals fitting their experience level and strive towards that end, counting each achievement along the way as personal benchmarks and a blessing from God. Deer hunting is not a spectator sport. No one is keeping score, and comparisons only rob the joy from an otherwise enjoyable experience. It must be remembered that success is the achievement of something dared. For every victory there will be failure, for without failing, the victories would be nothing more than hollow triumphs. Let us be ever mindful of Gene Wensel’s words, “There comes a time when the beauty of simplicity overrides technology. Many of the finer things in life are among the easiest to enjoy, yet are often discarded in a rush for achievement. A real connection to the outdoors gets diluted by those hurrying their accomplishments. The true meaning of God, nature, and the circle of life lies right before our eyes. Traditional values, family participation, simple pleasures, and a respect for wildlife are essentials. The romance of the hunt is paramount to a quality outdoor experience, with memories and dreams being among our most cherished possessions.” And may we never forget, “The true blessing is being nature’s invited guest... the solitude and peace of mind.” W

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


Food Plotting Builds Bonds with Kids By David Hart Photos by Bart Landsverk

W

hen Jerry Browning was given a choice four years ago, it didn’t take him long to make a decision. His wife was going to be out of town for the weekend, but with autumn rapidly approaching, Browning wanted desperately to get out to the family farm in central Pennsylvania to work on his food plots. The problem was that he had to watch his two young boys, and the farm was an hour from his home. His son Kyle was 11, and Matthew was just eight — too young, Browning figured, to be much help.

and why they flourish in some situations and flounder in others. What they learn depends, of course, on what you teach them, so it’s up to you to use every opportunity to impart some sort of lesson they can use later in life. BABY STEPS The first steps to involve children in food plotting should be simple ones, especially if your children are young. They can include anything from chucking rocks out of the food plot itself

to spreading seed and helping gather samples for a soil test. You can also include young children in planting wildlife-friendly shrub seedlings along field edges and you can have them offer input into what plants to include in the plots. Even if you are new to food plots, including your children will help you both learn valuable lessons. Browning figures that’s one reason his children are so involved now. “I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing at first. I think one reason this has worked out so well is that we were in this together from

Getting your son or daughter involved gives them the pride to know they’ve contributed. It also teaches them that working on food plots can be fun.

“I ended up taking them with me. I wasn’t real sure what to do with them at the time, so they mostly just played in the creek while I disked the four fields I wanted to put into food plots,” he said. FAMILY TIME That turned out to be a life-changing decision. Since then, the three Brownings have been actively planting and maintaining food plots together on the family farm. They spend weekends in spring and fall working the fields, and they hunt those plots every chance they get. The boys have not only increased their labor input, helping move heavy equipment and bags of fertilizer, they have become nearly as knowledgeable as their father, who started food plotting five years ago. In other words, involving your children in all aspects of hunting, including planting and maintaining food plots, is a great way to spend quality time with them. Not only will it benefit the family as a unit, it will help children learn about all aspects of nature, including how plants grow 36

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


the beginning. Even though my boys are still pretty young, I think they feel like they own the food plots just as much as I do,” he said. Older children can take on more responsibility like actually spreading seed. The simple act of handing a sack of Imperial Clover and a hand spreader to a child gives him not only a sense or responsibility, it gives him a reason to stay involved. By planting the seed himself and watching it grow, a young boy or girl will have a vested interest in the plot even before deer season rolls around. In fact, as Browning learned, a child who starts a food plot will feel a sense of ownership of that plot and will likely continue to work on it. Of course, children might lose focus on a food plot just as they might on like any long-term project. It’s up to you to keep them interested and involved. You can do that by assigning them various tasks as the season progresses. SAFETY FIRST What tasks a child performs depends entirely on his age and maturity level. You certainly don’t want to turn the keys of your tractor over to a 12-year-old. Many children drive heavy farm equipment, but many tractors, especially older ones, have little in the way of safety accessories. Browning won’t even allow his children to ride on his tractor while he’s driving it. He understands the importance of granting children small tidbits of responsibility, and driving a tractor is indeed a major step toward adulthood. However, safety should always trump any other decision. That’s not to say his sons stand by while he does all the work. The Brownings also use an ATV to tend two smaller plots and he will allow his older boy to use the four-wheeler to tow a disk or spreader. He not only gave him a stern lecture about safe ATV operation before he took the keys, Browning carefully monitored his son’s handling of the machine before he turned him loose. He won’t allow his boys to handle or spray herbicides. Although herbicides www.whitetailinstitute.com

available through farm supply stores and through Whitetail Institute are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, they can be unsafe if handled improperly. That’s why it’s wise to handle all chemicals yourself. “I’m very conscious about wind drift onto non-target plants and I certainly want to avoid getting any type of chemical herbicide on myself, so I think it’s just better to do that work myself,” he said. “I do set an example by wearing eye protection, rubber gloves and long pants and a long-sleeve shirt whenever I handle any chemicals. Hopefully my boys will understand the importance of safety when they are on their own.” LESSONS LEARNED Building and maintaining food plots doesn’t just demand physical labor. It requires plenty of mental work, as well. Although the science of a soil test is conducted by a high-tech machine at some distant lab, it’s up to you to implement the recommendations printed out on the results. Instead of making the necessary calculations by yourself at the kitchen table, why not turn the effort into a math lesson, along with another great excuse to spend time with your children?

Gather your children, a pencil, some paper and a calculator and then head out to your plots to sketch and measure them. Have your children make a rough drawing of each plot while you pace off the measurements. Then help your children determine the area of each plot and the amount of fertilizer and lime you’ll need to spread based on the recommendations of a soil test. Lessons can be extended to the field by examining the science behind fertilizers and lime. Truth is, it’s a lesson many of us could use ourselves. Do you have a concrete understanding of the role of various fertilizer ingredients and lime on food plots? Spend time with your children on the Internet researching not just food plot plants, but farming and gardening in general. You’ll not only spend more time with your kids, you’ll learn some useful information along the way. There’s no telling how much knowledge children will actually absorb, but even if just a little, it will be time well spent. Browning, an avid naturalist, insists food plots shouldn’t be just about drawing deer into bow or gun range in the autumn. Instead, they should provide food to a wide variety of wildlife all year. That’s why he and his boys planted shrubs around the edges of their food plots. He also incorporates some sort of conservation lesson whenever he can. “For instance, we’ll identify different plants and try to determine if they provide food for birds or mammals. I don’t want my boys to think we are simply growing a bait station for hunting season, because that’s not what food plots should be all about,” he said. REAP THE REWARDS There’s no question food plots are grown primarily by deer hunters for deer hunting. That’s why hunters put so much time and effort into creating high-quality wildlife habitat. But as Browning learned four years ago, a food plot can be so much more than a great location to hang a tree stand. It can be a place to build a strong bond with your children. W

A Plot Of Their Own Turing children loose on a patch of ground with a sack of seed is a great way to give them a direct connection to their very own food plot. Set aside a strip or a corner or even an entire field and let them work up their own plot. However, it’s critical they have the proper foundation for a successful plot or they may get discouraged when it doesn’t grow well. You’ll need to help them get rid of unwanted plant growth through the use of herbicides and/or disking to help them loosen and expose soil for good seed germination. You can do that with a rake or a disk pulled behind a tractor or ATV. No matter how much help you give, you’ll be doing your children a favor by starting them with a bag of easy-to-grow seed like Whitetail Institute’s No-Plow, Secret Spot or BowStand. All three of these products germinate well on bare soil, making them excellent choices for a young boy or girl.

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

37


PoacherProofing Your Property By Brad Herndon Photos by the Author

A

few years ago during deer season, I was sitting in my easy chair late one evening when the phone rang. When I answered the phone, I recognized the voice of a landowner next to one of our leases in an adjoining county about 40 minutes away. “Brad,” he said, “a few minutes ago I heard a shot down the road on your lease, and I jumped in my car and raced down there as fast as I could. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there quickly enough to get any identification on the vehicle. I believe they probably poached one of your deer near the wooded point that comes down close to the road.” The next morning, I drove over to our lease and, sure enough, just inside the woods I could see the outline of a deer’s body. I walked to the deer and found it to have a huge body for our region, but it was headless. Obviously, a poacher had shot one of our best bucks and took only the head and antlers, which, though taken illegally, was still obviously a “trophy” to him. Instances of poaching such as this just leave us with a sick feeling in our stomachs. And although we typically associate poaching with huge bucks, this isn’t always the case. For example, six years ago, soon after dark, I was Posting your property heavily, including the interior of your timbered areas, will slow down poaching considerably. 38

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


Having a property well-posted will help assure the safety of youngsters hunting on your land.

waiting for my wife, Carol, to pick me up from my hunt when I heard a shot in a field east of me. “They’ve shot another one of the area’s good bucks,” I thought. When Carol showed up, I told her about the shot. She had seen a truck in the field, so we went and checked it out. We found a small gut pile in the field, indicating they had poached a fawn of some type. Although a trophy buck is a monster to all of us, we must remember that a fawn, doe and small buck might also be something worth poaching to many people. Even when a small buck is shot, we lose years of growing time, and our lives are only so long. Let’s examine some of the steps that can be taken to keep deer poaching to a minimum. USE THE TIP PROGRAM Regardless of whether you lease or own land, hunt with permission on private property or hunt public land, we all can help curtail poaching by using the TIP (turn in a poacher) program, which, I believe, exists in every state. In all TIP programs, the caller remains anonymous, and in some states the caller is given a reward when a conviction is attained. Montana, for example, gives a $1,000 reward and their total reward amount runs about $15,000 to $20,000 annually. Certainly, any sportsman who sees anything resembling poaching should immediately call their local TIP line. This is the deer hunter’s first line of defense against poaching. HEAVILY POST YOUR PROPERTY Obviously, all hunters who lease or own land should heavily post their property. Even many farmers and other landowners who give deer enthusiasts permission to hunt will usually agree to placing some no-hunting signs on their land. Although that seems simple enough, there is more to posting than meets the eye. For example, some rascals might tear your signs off if they are down low. It’s a good idea to take a ladder and place your no-hunting or no-trespassing signs up high where they are much less likely to be removed. Also, what the sign says can determine the amount of impact it has on a potential trespasser or poacher. A sign saying “No Hunting, Posted and Patrolled,” 40

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

has more impact than a simple “No Hunting” sign. And be sure to keep those signs fresh. Even if you have many signs up that are in decent condition, put up a few new ones every year. This tells other hunters you are there often, and they might be caught if they do trespass. Here’s another good idea to use. Back in the 1960s, I squirrel hunted a lot. At that time, hunters could hunt virtually every woods in the big bottom regions in my county without permission. Oh, a rare tract of timber might be posted, so we stayed out of it. Interestingly, though, while squirrel hunting one day, I walked into a woods that wasn’t posted. As I moved more into the timber, I started seeing nohunting signs everywhere. “This guy means business,” I thought. “I’m out of here.” There is no doubt placing no-hunting signs within the timber deters trespassers who make it that far. Without the signs being there they can say they came in the back side and didn’t see a sign, or some other lie. With bright no-hunting signs staring them in the face as they walk through the interior of a timbered tract they will be more apt to leave, simply out of fear of being caught. Another excellent idea is to make a few signs posting your position on other hunters blood trailing wounded deer onto your property. If you want hunters to call you before tracking a deer onto your land, you'd better put it in writing and be sure to list your phone number on the sign. TAKE NO PRISONERS Everyone I interviewed had the same description of trespassers and poachers they had encountered. They are all liars. “I shot from the road to get a deer because I have a heart problem and can’t walk very far.” “I’m out of work and needed meat for my wife and children.” “The landowner gave me permission to hunt here.” “I didn’t know this land was leased.” And on it goes. Alan Collins lives in northern Indiana and has a very successful antipoaching program in place. “Moreover, it is important to immediately prosecute trespassers,” he said. “No warnings. No excuses. Trespassers for the most part are a bunch of liars, and when you have a reputation for zero tolerance, you are on your way to solving the problem.” I agree with his advice wholeheartedly. Many years ago, we gave two

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


guys a break. One cried when caught, and the other one was a young man who the conservation officer told me was a good kid but came from a bad family life, and he could use a break. Believe me, letting them off didn’t work out. Since then, we have arrested several people and our poaching problems have significantly diminished. Take no prisoners.

Some of today’s surveillance cameras transmit the images to cell phones and computers. Any trespasser is automatically caught on camera, and these images can be used to assure a conviction is obtained.

LIMIT ACCESS Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall” states, “Good fences make good neighbors.” There is a lot of excellent meaning in this poem, and it is worth Googling and reading. In a similar vein, good fences and good gates mean good hunting. This is true because they limit access to your property. If you have a hidden food plot that deer flood into during the night and have an open lane leading back to it, you have a perfect setup for a poacher. By placing fences and locked gates in any access area, you have again reduced the odds of your deer being killed by a poacher. In this regard, investigate every possibility of actions you can take to limit access to your hunting land. Jon Stahl lives in Indiana, and he owns 160 acres in a river bottom region. There was an old county road leading down to the northern edge of his woods, and it continued on for a distance before dead-ending. Stahl did a terrific job of posting and patrolling his land and prosecuted several people. Nonetheless, that old road accessing his land was still used by midnight partiers and, at times, poachers. Stahl hired a lawyer, and after two meetings with the county commissioners they agreed to close the road because of the dangers it presented from a washed-out culvert. Stahl, incidentally, had smartly pointed this out to them. Today, a locked gate stands on this old road a quarter-mile mile from Stahl’s woods. Stahl is a deer hunter who considered every angle of limiting access to his hunting property, and it paid off. You should do the same. HIDE YOUR DEER If you follow the information provided thus far in this article, you will certainly save some of your whitetails from poachers. Despite this, more must be done. Let’s say you put an 8-foot-high woven wire fence around your property. Wouldn’t that help? To a degree. Charlie Alsheimer, an outstanding writer and photographer who contributes to this magazine, has 35 acres enclosed by an 8-foot-high fence. An interstate highway runs within 100 yards of this enclosure. He has whitetails within this tract that he studies and photographs year around. Five years ago, Alsheimer had just finished hunting and was walking along the outside of the enclosure when he saw a man hunkered down behind a pine tree near his fence. Three shots rang out, and the man ran back to a truck parked on the interstate berm. Alsheimer hustled down to where the man had fired the shots, kneeled down and waited. Before long, the man returned. “Stop, and don’t even look at me,” Alsheimer yelled. The guy turned around, saw the gun on Alsheimer’s shoulder and melted. Alsheimer marched the 19-year-old man to the truck, photographed the license plate, and the man’s and his dad’s hunting tags. By then, it was dark. The next morning, he discovered a dead doe and buck within his enclosure, both gut shot. With the information he had obtained, Alsheimer had the men arrested and convicted. As this true story reveals, poachers will go to any length to kill deer when they are desperate to show their buddies how good of a deer hunter they are. This is why, if at all possible, “deer screens” should be implemented on your property. Several years ago when Collins started poacher-proofing his land, the first thing he did was plant rows of Lombardy poplar. This tree grows six feet per year. Because their branches start near the ground and parallel the trunk, they form a great screen which will hide your whitetails from view in just a few years. Because Lombardy poplar have a short life span, Collins 42

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

used a variety of plantings after this to finish off his great poacher-proofing plan. He quickly described to me what he did. “In open areas near the roads, I build ‘living fences,’” Collins said. “I use spruce, pine or fir trees in the center rows of my cover plantings, or I place them toward the inside of the farm. This provides visual blocks with their year-round evergreen foliage. This definitely slows down the road hunting, On the outside of these trees, closer to the roads, I use autumn olive and/or Washington hawthorn. Good luck crawling through the tangle to access your farm. “White pine works well for me because they are native to the Midwest and disease resistant. White pine also will grow two to three feet per year, making them outrun us old folks. Be careful to understand the spacing strategy for both evergreens and deciduous plants. White pine will grow quickly and can be planted 20 feet apart and still grow together in less than six to seven years. Spruce and fir grow much slower but should still be spaced at 20 feet unless you intend to thin your planting at some point. It will take 10 to 12 years for spruce and fir to fill in the row spacing. “Autumn olive and Washington hawthorn can be spaced on 10-foot centers and should fill in to form a barrier in less than five years. Other plants that may be substituted for autumn olive in states where this plant is controlled might be highbush cranberry, silky dogwood, red twig dogwood, nanking cherry and ninebark, but none of them will compete with growth quickness nor tangle typical of autumn olive. All of the aforementioned plants, with the exception of autumn olive, can be considered deer ‘candy,’ and will be susceptible to depredation from browsing, especially Washington hawthorn.” Collins also noted that spacing from row to row for spruce, pine and fir should be not less than 20 to 30 feet if thinning is not intended. Moreover, deciduous plants can be as tight as 10 feet between rows. Collins prefers two rows of shrubs next to the roadway, and then three rows of White pine followed by two more rows of shrubs. Collins also stressed the importance of consulting your local USDA office to ensure controlled plants are not placed inappropriately. “If you can afford to fund your program privately, I highly recommend not enrolling your plantings for the most part in CRP without fully understanding the long-term implications of government oversight and everchanging regulations,” he said. DEER SCREENS FOR LEASED LAND With leased land the planting of trees is usually quite limited and should never be carried out without the landowner’s permission. Despite this, you do have options when it comes to providing deer screens in open areas. Tall forage sorghum grows to 10-feet high, so it works well. With any screen such as this, plant it wide enough so if some is blown down the screen is

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


not destroyed. Sunflowers grow to a height of 5 to 7-feet high and they can be used in some instances. Egyptian wheat provides a tall, thick, natural screen to a height of 7 to 10-feet and it is an excellent screening plant. CATCH 'EM WITH CAMERAS Security cameras are outstanding for minimizing trespasser activity, especially when accompanied by signs along the roadway that read, “This property is patrolled with infrared and satellite security cameras. Trespassers will be prosecuted!” Unfortunately, if you use standard surveillance cameras, almost always any trespasser who is aware he just had his picture taken will steal your camera. The good news is there are now cameras that will wirelessly send pictures to your cell phone or email address. Current cameras work on the AT&T and T-Mobile systems. By the time you read this, Reconyx might be out with a surveillance camera using the Verizon System. In addition, one type of surveillance camera will wirelessly send pictures to a black box hidden within 50 feet of the camera. Without doubt, these cameras are going to be responsible for catching and prosecuting many trespassers. MAKE FRIENDS Making friends with conservation officers, sheriff’s deputies, local farmers and other hunters who live near your land can help prevent poaching or catch poachers. We encourage conservation officers to use their deer decoy on our lease during the night since we have an old silo that is perfect for them to hide their vehicle behind. Sheriff’s deputies patrolling in the late hours of the night find watching for poachers helps keep them from getting bored. One hunter near our lease watches over it closely, and he has been responsible for getting some poachers caught and prosecuted for us. In closing, I think if you will take action and put these suggestions into practice, you will find your poaching problems will decrease. W

A hunter’s hunter’s paradise paradise and and world w orld c class lass fi fishing shing

Some of the best trophy hunting in the country occurs in states where spotlighting is illegal (Illinois, for example). Without question, more deer, especially trophy bucks, are poached by spotlighting than by any other method. In Indiana, for example, spotlighting can be done 24 hours per day all year, as long as a weapon is not in the vehicle. Because of this all-night spotlighting, many antlered bucks are poached in the state, especially in remote, little-populated regions. Stopping or restricting spotlighting does stop a tremendous amount of whitetail poaching and it’s important to remember that regulations can be changed if enough concerned hunters push for law changes. On Jan. 24, 2012 House Bill 1221 passed on to the next voting stage in Indiana. If it goes all the way through the legislative process, this bill will not allow spotlighting from Oct. 1 to Jan. 15, with a few exceptions. If your state has a liberal spotlighting law, you might investigate getting it changed. Be warned, however, that you will run into opposition in this regard because there are many hunters who enjoy it or use it for scouting. The poacher, by the way, is in favor of all-year spotlighting 24 hours per day. When creating a deer screen with trees and shrubs, another point to think about is that you might be able to enroll some plantings in Classified Wildlife if you meet certain guidelines. The advantage of this option is that wildlife planting enrolled in CW can substantially reduce the amount of real estate taxes one might otherwise have to pay. In Indiana, for example, the assessed value of land drops to a very minimal amount.

www.whitetailinstitute.com

Call 1-877-849-0767 or visit www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

43


Scan this with your smart phone for even more information


(Continued from page 31)

planting. Property owners around me have also enjoyed the fruits of Whitetail Institute’s amazing products. In the last five years the deer have gotten bigger and healthier. I’ve gone from seeing 10 in a week to seeing 10 to 20 per day. The last buck I killed green scored at 139-3/8 and will be going into the Pope & Young books. Thanks again Whitetail Institute for the help in growing bigger and better bucks and helping me get a Pope & Young buck. Neighbors around me have also started using Whitetail Institute products after seeing the difference they truly make.

Travis Cram — Iowa I have 150 acres of mostly timber surrounded by neighboring fields. With most of my property being timber and thickets, the deer do a lot of bedding on my property and go out into the neighbors’ crops to feed at night. After buying the property four years ago, one of the first things I wanted to do was to get food on the property so that my deer wouldn’t spend as much time on the neighbor’s. The first year I planted Imperial Whitetail Clover and noticed good results. I was getting a lot of trail camera photos and late afternoon I could glass from afar and watch numerous deer using the plots. I was still lacking something for the late season though. The hunting season two years ago was miserable for me. Due to bad weather, I wasn’t able to get any fall food plots put in and my

neighbor had about 200 acres of corn that he couldn’t harvest until spring. I spent that season watching my deer in the neighbor’s corn. I only found six shed antlers on my farm the next spring. My neighbor found a whole pile of sheds in his corn. I wanted to make sure that wouldn’t happen to me last year. I now have 5-1/2 acres of Imperial Whitetail Clover established and in August I planted another five acres of Winter-Greens, Tall Tine Tubers and Pure Attraction spread out over three plot locations. This season was the best season of my life! Early season I had deer thick in my clover and the oats of the Pure Attraction. The real fun came in the late season, though. I do not hunt shotgun season on my farm. It is impossible for my neighbors to hunt their farms without pushing the deer into my farm. I give

the deer 150 acres of sanctuary during the Iowa shotgun season. When I first went out for late season muzzle loader, wow! I had more than 60 deer that night in my one-and-a-half-acre Winter-Greens plot. Having shot four does with my bow during the early season, and not wanting to shoot a buck smaller than 155 inches, I was content just to watch all the deer that evening. The next couple of hunts were the same. I was seeing more than 40 deer a night in my three late season food plots, and the best part was watching some of the deer come from my neighbors crop fields. About one third to half of the deer in the plots were bucks. I shot a 160-class 9-point on New Year’s Day. I run six trail cameras on my farm and know my deer herd well and had never seen this buck before. It’s obvious that the food plots were drawing in deer from all over. In all I shot five does, a 161-3/8-inch 8-point with my bow in November and a 160-4/8-inch 9-point with my muzzleloader in the late season. Whitetail Institute products definitely gave me a leg up in growing and holding a healthier deer herd as well as pulling deer in from the neighbors. I also found a pile of shed antlers last spring. I’ve enclosed some photos. W

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

www.whitetailinstitute.com

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

45


THE PROCRASTINATOR’S PLOT 왘 A Plan For Last-Minute Food Plots

said. “It is extremely important to know ahead of time how much lime and what type of fertilizer to use so you can create an environment where the seeds can flourish. If you wait until late summer to plant a plot and something goes wrong, you won’t have time to plant again before hunting season is in full swing.” Scott believes regardless of the type of food plot someone is planting, a soil test is necessary for best results. However, a large percentage of people who plant food plots don’t take the time to have their soil tested even though a soil test can mean the difference between the best food plot imaginable and total failure. If you’ve waited to the last minute to plant, you can follow the general recommendations on the product bags; but you would likely be better off delaying planting for a week and using the Whitetail Institute soil testing service. The Whitetail Institute soil test lab will get the results and recommendations back out to you within 24-48 hours of when the kits are received. Put your email address on the soil test submission form and you’ll get the results back extremely quick. PLANT A FALL ANNUAL

By Tracy Breen Photos by Whitetail Institute

L

et’s face it — most of us are very busy. Between working, taking care of the kids, mowing the lawn and keeping a household in order, there is often very little time left to do the things we want to do like planting a food plot. In most cases, growing a successful food plot requires lots of time and energy. Time and energy are two things many of us are lacking. Before we know it, fall is almost here and our plans to plant a food plot have gotten away from us. There are two things you can do. Bury your head in the sand and put off putting in a good plot until next year or roll up your sleeves and knock one out quickly before opening day arrives.

If you find yourself in crunch time, you can’t plant just anything and have it be lush and green by hunting season. You need something that establishes itself quickly. “When time is at a premium, hunters need to plant a fall annual,” Scott said. “Two of the products Whitetail Institute offers that fall into this cate-

DO A SOIL TEST Steve Scott from the Whitetail Institute knows a few things about growing successful food plots. He’s been helping hunters plant great food plots for more than 20 years. When there are only a few months between the time you plant and the rut, he believes you better do things right the first time. “I strongly suggest anyone who is planting a food plot do a soil test first,” Scott

46

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


gory include Winter-Greens and Tall Tine Tubers. These two options produce a lot of food quickly for deer as long as you have 60 days before your first frost when you plant them.” Winter-Greens and Tall Tine Tubers are very drought resistant, so if you live in an area that doesn’t receive much moisture, these two options are great choices.

“No Plow consists of cereal grains, clovers and brassicas and was designed for areas where you can’t prepare a quality seed bed,” Scott noted. “The cereal grains and clovers will work well during the early season and the brassicas will work well during the late season. The nice thing with this product is there are several seed varieties in it so something is always attracting deer.”

WHITETAIL FORAGE OATS PLUS SECRET SPOT/BOWSTAND Scott also recommends planting Whitetail Forage Oats Plus for a great early-season food plot. “We are getting rave reviews for this product. Many deer hunters like this product because it grows quickly, and since it’s a high-sugar oat, the deer really love it,” Scott explained. Along with being a great early-season option, Whitetail Forage Oats Plus is very winter hardy so it can provide a great food plot for hunting in the rut and even into the late season. OPTIONS FOR REMOTE FOOD PLOTS Many hunters don’t have fancy food plot equipment or can’t get an ATV or tractor to their favorite hunting spot. If you fall into that category, realize you still have a few options. “We have certain food plot seeds that are designed for the hunter who has an out-of-the-way place where they would like to plant a food plot but don’t have a way to get bigger equipment in to till the soil” Scott said. “The annuals we have for this type of situation are great because they can tolerate a wide range of pH levels and soil types.” IMPERIAL NO-PLOW For hunters planting a half-acre or more in remote areas, Whitetail Institute offers No Plow.

Pre-Book Now!

Imperial POWERPLANT™ We have sold out of PowerPlant almost every year and some hunter/planters went without. This year we're offering a pre-booking sale that will guarantee you PowerPlant for the 2013 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 in plenty of time for planting.

CALL TOLL-FREE

1-800-688-3030 OR FAX YOUR ORDER TO (334) 286-9723 Offer expires 11/30/12. The early booking cost is $99.00 per 50 pounds plus $18.00 S&H.

48

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

A couple of great options for smaller food plots off the beaten path are Secret Spot and BowStand. “Both of these products have anywhere from 10 to 15 different types of seed in them,” Scott said. “If a perfect soil bed is created and the right amount of lime and fertilizer are added, all the seeds can take off. If the soil is less than perfect, there are still various seeds in the mix that will take off and provide a good food plot to hunt over. Having a wide variety of seeds in one bag makes it easier to be successful in a variety of soil conditions because certain seeds will pick up the slack where others fail. These blends are made for virtually every situation, from a sandy soil to heavy moistureholding soils and to places that receive lots of sunlight or less sunlight. There is something for everybody in Secret Spot and BowStand, which is why they are perfect for the procrastinator who is short on time but wants a quality food plot to hunt over.” SEED-TO-SOIL CONTACT No food plot seed is bullet proof. If planting an out-of-the-way food plot at the last minute appeals to you, realize the one thing you must have is good seed-to-soil contact. “For these food plots to flourish just like any plot, there must be good seed-to-soil contact which means grass, leaves, sticks and debris will need to be removed so the seed can get to the soil, otherwise the plot will likely not perform as well,” Scott said. “The best way to make sure this happens is by raking the soil with an old-fashioned hand rake if an ATV or tractor isn’t available. If you have enough time, using Roundup will make the plot turn out even better. Using Roundup really works well because it can kill weeds and anything else that might compete with the food plot and choke it out.” A small sprayer is extremely portable and well worth the investment for this type of food plot. PLANT A SMALL PLOT If you are a procrastinator and don’t have much equipment, a small lastminute plot may be your best choice. “There is no question that if someone is in a hurry and planting a small plot off the beaten path, a small BowStand plot or Secret Spot is probably best,” said Scott. “We have people who plant these seed blends on large acreage because they grow well and grow quickly, so it really depends on each individual’s needs. A large plot will provide more food, but a small plot is obviously less expensive and doesn’t take as much time to put in.” So there you have it. Being a procrastinator isn’t such a bad thing after all. The Whitetail Institute has plenty of options for those of us who wait until the last minute to put in our food plots. As the saying goes, it is better late than never. In the food plot world, ‘never’ means you didn’t put your food plot in and you won’t kill a big buck over it. NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS AND ATTRACTANTS If feeding or baiting is legal in your neck of the woods, you may want to try to use a nutritional product like Whitetail Institute Cutting Edge Sustain or an attractant like Acorn Obsession by themselves or in conjunction with your food plot. Deer can’t resist the odor and taste of these products and they are good for deer. W

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


Just like the protein found in Whitetail Institute food plot products, minerals and vitamins are an essential part of the growth matrix of any deer, especially a buck. Hardened antlers are comprised largely of mineral, approximately 55 percent, and most soils in North America lack one or more of the minerals vital to antler development. When you consider that a buck re-grows antlers each year, you can understand why they require such high level of minerals in their diet. If you want your deer to thrive and help them reach more of their genetic potential, then mineral and vitamins supplementation is vital. Whitetail Institute mineral and vitamin supplements are extremely attractive to deer. They are also developed by nutrition experts and are professionally formulated to provide the best nutrition possible for your deer.

239 Whitetail Trail Pintlala, AL 36043 (800) 688-3030 whitetailinstitute.com

Scan this with your smart phone for even more information


THE JOURNEY By Bill Winke Photos by the Author

The journey, not the antler size, is what really defines the trophy

A

friend of mine once told me that without the journey, there could be no trophy. It was very wise advice and that statement really crystalizes what this article is all about. After all these years of hunting nearly every day of the deer season, I have learned a few things. The most humbling thing I have learned is that I rarely shoot big deer despite my best intentions. But I shoot mature bucks fairly often, many of which I have a long history with. Interestingly, I feel just as good, if not better, about taking these old bucks with the long history as I do from taking bucks with bigger antlers. It truly is all about the journey. In this feature, I am going to focus on the journey and how you can rid yourself of antler mania and get back to what really matters — the joy of the hunt. You will never enjoy a deer season more than you will when you adopt the attitude that the journey is its own reward. Let’s face reality. As hard as we try, most of us 50

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


aren’t going to grow giant bucks every year, but we can probably grow mature bucks consistently — with a real story behind them. Going after bucks like this produces a very satisfying hunting experience. MAKING IT PERSONAL I get much more satisfaction out of hunting a specific buck than I get from just going deer hunting. Making it personal is one key to increasing the level of enjoyment we gain from deer hunting. There are several ways to do this, but the two most obvious ones I have found are video and trail cameras. I started videotaping my hunts in 2005 when I invited a TV show to send a cameraman to my farm to capture my hunting season. I was hunting a particular big buck, and I decided that even if I didn’t get him, I really wanted to have professional video footage of the deer that I could keep and watch forever. Think of the most memorable encounters you have had in the field; I bet you wish you could go back and relive them a thousand times. You invest so much time for those 10 seconds of thrill and adrenaline. But then they are gone way too quickly, and all you have is memories. It would sure be nice to have something more permanent than a mental image. No matter how well you burn that moment into your memory, it will never be as brilliant or as beautiful as it will be when you watch it back in HD video. The 2005 season started me down a road that I am still traveling. I still have a cameraman in the tree with me every time I go deer hunting. I also do this for business reasons now, but it has the side benefit of giving me the ability to go back and watch video footage of hunts years later. I can identify bucks I have passed up that I am hunting now. It is fun to see how they have changed and grown. While they might not have meant much at the time we filmed them, now they mean much more. That kind of history helps me to form a better idea of the range and movement patterns of the bucks, but it also makes the hunt more personal. Video has made it much easier for me to identify specific bucks, to organize them (even to name a few of them) and to go back later and start to form a timeline of development for those bucks. I love watching them get larger and change their behavior as they grow older. They are like a part of the farm. Not only are these individual buck stories the basis for my continued education in deer behavior, they are what make it so interesting and satisfying when I finally kill one of the bucks. The story (more correctly, the history) really makes the harvest much more satisfying regardless of the buck’s size. It isn’t all that hard to self-film bucks as they move past your stands. Sometimes, you can www.whitetailinstitute.com

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

51


even get lucky and actually film a buck as you shoot it. Self-filming hunts is a very fast growing aspect of deer hunting. All you need is a decent camera, a camera arm that attaches to the tree and some patience to learn. This article really isn’t about how to film — it's about how get to know bucks — so I am going to leave that part of the discussion for another day. It is enough for now to leave you with this thought: Filming bucks from your stand is not as hard or expensive as you might think. And it is a lot of fun.

feel that was lacking in the past. You can realistically start to hunt individual bucks with some hope of actually seeing and shooting them. Without trail cameras, it takes tons of scouting time and tons of luck to pull that off. Even with the trail camera photos it is still not easy by any stretch, but at least you are in the game. It gives you a tool to increase the joy of the hunt even if you can’t afford the hundreds of hours of scouting and glassing that otherwise accompany patterning specific deer.

TWO BUCKS I HAVE KNOWN

DEFINING THE JOURNEY

Let me give you two polar opposite examples of how the journey becomes the reward so you can see why I love deer hunting more now than I ever have. This past season, I shot one of my biggest bucks to date. But in keeping with this theme, we must first go back a few years to establish the story. This buck was an averagelooking 3-1/2-year-old in 2009. I paid him very little mind that season, even though he seemed to be everywhere my cameraman and I went. He came within bow range at least five or six times. Once, he actually bedded down only 20 yards from the stand and stayed there while Chad and I snuck out of the tree at midday. He never knew we were there. We still laugh about it. We filmed the buck often doing all kinds of things, like walking through the fog of an earlymorning sunrise, chasing does and eating acorns. You could already see in his personality at that age that he was a buck that liked to cover ground and wasn’t overly worried about moving during day. He seemed almost dumb compared to other bucks on the farm. Fortunately, he made it through the season, and in 2010 he grew into a very good-looking 11pointer. He still had the same basic rack structure and home range and that made it easy to identify him. He was still covering tons of ground during the daylight. Only now, he was 41/2 years old and had become a target buck on my hit list. I called him the G5 Buck because he had grown a crab-claw G5 on his right beam. During the 2010 season, G5 came within bow range four times. Twice, he came by right at last light, and once he heard me move on the stand and left without offering a shot. Once, I hit him high and he got away. He recovered easily from the high hit and made it through the winter in fine shape. During Summer 2011, we found him back again, eating soybeans on one of the commercial crop fields on the farm. He had really blown up into a dandy. Because of the history I had with the G5 Buck, I was excited to hunt him again. You can imagine my satisfaction when I was able to kill him Nov. 9 as he cold-trailed a doe right past my stand. That is one example. Now, let’s go back a year to the 2010 season again. That season, after the G5 Buck got away, I ended up shooting a very

Making it personal — hunting a specific buck — is just one part of the journey to me. Almost as important to me is the ability to learn more about the animals. Every year I learn something new, if only that what I thought was true in the past actually wasn’t. Even when I am failing, I am learning. I might be figuring out that one of my strategies doesn’t work or I may be learning how deer relate to a certain terrain feature near my stand or I may be learning something about the different personalities of mature bucks. Whatever it is, this quest for information and knowledge about deer makes the season more enjoyable. I now enter the season with some fresh ideas, untested strategies and new theories on what deer do, and then I try my best to prove or disprove them as I spend days in the tree. When you combine that with what I learn from my video and trail camera photos, my understanding really moves forward each season. If you really start to embrace the quest for knowledge, it becomes its own reward. While filling tags is always a lot of fun, it becomes less important when you enter the season with other goals that are just as important. It is all part of the journey.

52

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

old buck that I had only seen four times during daylight during the previous four hunting seasons. In 2008, I filmed a friend miss the buck. After that, the deer became known as Jamie — in honor of my friend’s ill-fated evening. Jamie the deer was apparent on trail cameras at night, but never showed himself in daylight during the remainder of the 2008 season, nor did he show up during the day during the 2009 season. He was like a ghost — a legend, maybe a myth. To me he had become like the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. Jamie even made it most of the way through the 2010 season without yet offering daylight photo or sighting. Finally, toward the end of November that year, I saw a heavy-horned old buck one evening. The next morning, I was back in the same stand when the buck came in to my grunt call. He had a familiar look to him. When I recognized the deer as Jamie, I was overwhelmed with satisfaction at finally besting that old buck. Whereas the G5 Buck was pushing 190 inches, Jamie was pushing 135 inches. Yet, both bucks brought out the same sense of satisfaction in me. What I appreciated about both of these deer was the hunt they led me on — the years of getting to know them and the hours spent trying to see them. When it finally came together, I felt a great sense of joy that had nothing to do with antler size. TRAIL CAMERA PHOTOS OK, so video is one way you can get to know the bucks you hunt better, but there is also a much easier and less expensive method: trail cameras. You can learn tons about the bucks you are hunting from trail camera photos. However, just as importantly, you can also gain a history with the deer. You can select certain bucks to hunt and form a strategy for going after them. In other words, you can make it personal. Finally, you have a way to gain that personal

A NEW DAY, A NEW PHILOSOPHY Bringing this full circle, we aren’t going to be hunting giant bucks very often, but that shouldn’t detract from the pure joy of matching wits with mature whitetails. Forget the antlers and focus on the age of the bucks. Focus on the hunt, on the history you have with the deer and what you have learned about that buck through years of failing to kill him, and soon you will come to the same conclusion I did: Antler size is overrated. I will always try to shoot the bucks on the farm with the biggest antlers, but that is not going to detract from the joy and satisfaction I feel when I shoot a mature smaller-antlered buck with which I have a long history. Any mature buck is a trophy and when you set out to hunt a specific buck on his terms, the hunt turns into a journey. That is when things really start to get interesting. W

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


W H I T E TA I L I N S T I T U T E A P PA R E L CAPS All our Whitetail Institute caps and visors are made from top quality cotton, and feature detailed embroidered logos and graphics. Caps: $9.95, Visors: $8.95 (Please add $5.50 for shipping and handling.)

Camo Logo Cap

Beige Logo Cap

Pink Ladies Logo Cap

Hunter Orange Logo Cap

Black Logo Cap

Camo Logo Visor

Beige Logo Visor

SHORT & LONG SLEEVE TEES All our Whitetail Institute tees are made from 100% preshrunk cotton, and feature screen-printed back and breast pocket designs. Short Sleeve Tees: S-2X: $13.95, 3X: $16.55, 4X: $17.85, 5X: $19.15; Long Sleeve Tees: S-2X: $15.95, 3X: $18.55, 4X: $19.85, 5X: $21.15 (Please add $5.50 for shipping and handling.)

Back Design

Back Design

Back Design

Front Breast Design

Front Breast Design Front Breast Design

Whitetail Institute Skull Short & Long Sleeve Tees Whitetail Institute Official Logo Short Sleeve Tees

Available sizes: S-XXL, 3X, 4X, 5X Available colors: Black, Green, Burgundy

Whitetail Institute Bigger is Better Short & Long Sleeve Tees Available sizes: S-XXL, 3X, 4X, 5X Available colors: Brown, Green, Yellow (not available in long sleeve), Black

Available sizes: S-XXL, 3X, 4X, 5X Available colors: White Call Toll Free To Order: 1-800-688-3030 or Mail Your Order With Payment To: Whitetail Institute of North America, 239 Whitetail Trail, Pintlala, AL 36043, Fax Orders To: (334) 286-9723


Small Plot Plans for By Scott Bestul

BIG RESULTS

Photos by Tes Randle Jolly

I

t was one of those hunts where I just wasn’t getting the vibe. An outing where my head tells me I’m making the right choice, but my gut carries on a nagging argument that knee-caps my confidence. On a late October afternoon, the debate went something like this: Head: Cool little ladder stand, tucked sweetly against a leafy white oak. Gut: It’s 12 feet high, idiot. No cover between you and the food plot. You’ll never draw a bow without spooking deer. Head: But I like the food plot. Strip of oats, a swath of brassicas, and even a few beans for variety. Gut: Yes, and you could shoot an arrow into your neighbor’s barn from here. Listen to all that banging, clanking and mooing. And do you recall that a nice buck has already been shot from this spot this fall? How many times do you think you can go to the well, anyway? 54

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


You get the picture. This is why I carry a book in my backpack; to provide distraction from the mental wars and keep my butt in the seat. Some of those hunts live up to my worst expectations. But this one surprised me. Within an hour, I’d seen a handful of does and a small buck, and in the last minutes of prime time a 3-1/2-year-old 10-point fed within 16 yards of that little ladder. I decided to pass on the shot, but the hunt was one of my most exciting of the fall. Such is the power of small food plots, planted close to security cover. The plot I hunted that evening is a perfect example of these tight-cover plots, and though it’s only a few years old, has always fascinated me. As described, it’s located within a stone’s throw of my neighbor’s dairy barn, which is always a busy and noisy place. Yet because of the adjacent cover — an old pasture that Dave has allowed to grow up into dense brush and young trees — the deer feel safe there. This plot sucks in not only a lot of deer, but mature bucks as well. In fact, close to a month before my evening hunt, Dave shot a gorgeous 10-point buck that grossed in the high 150s — not a bad reward for a plot not much bigger than a couple of full-sized pickup trucks. My hunting buddies and I have been experimenting with these types of plots for several seasons now, and have made enough mistakes to feel like we’re finally learning something. Here are a few of the lessons we’ve learned. NO. 1: PLOT LOCATION Small plots — which I define as anything less than one-half acre — are best situated somewhere close to dense cover. The reason for this is simple. Because a small plot is never going to feed a lot of deer for a long period of time, their main purpose is to lure deer in for a shot. And to coax any deer into an open area during daylight, you need to make deer feel safe. Situate a small plot close to cover and deer don’t have to travel far to reach the food. Plus, the presence of nearby cover affords a feeding whitetail with a sense of security. This is particularly critical when you’re trying to lure in mature bucks. While there are many areas suitable to these small kill plots, the three best I’ve helped create were all in or near naturally occurring openings. The first is just off a small clearcut close to my home. My neighbor and I made the clearcut over several winter weekends spent with a chainsaw in hand; and just off the edge of the clearcut was a small area — about one-eighth of an acre, to be exact — grown up to sumac, honeysuckle and grass. It was a small matter to clear the brush and grass and establish a plot, which I’ve maintained for several years now. The plot described in the beginning of this story is another excellent example. Though close to buildings and other human activity, the plot (actually several small ones linked together) lies tight to cover so dense it’s barely penetrable. The thick morass of briers, saplings and weeds keeps deer feeling secure; an illusion maintained because those areas are never penetrated by humans and the plots are hunted sparingly (and then only under perfect wind conditions). Finally, I’ve helped a friend establish and maintain a pair of plots on his small property for many years now. Those plots are located adjacent to the headwaters of a tiny trout stream, which flows through an old brushy pasture choked by box elder, cedar and cottonwood trees, with a smattering of switchgrass and other native prairie species. These plots attract deer throughout the year and have allowed my friend to tag many deer. While our plantings offer deer a nutritional boost, I’m convinced their true effectiveness lies in location; even mature bucks (my friend missed a legitimate Booner there last fall) feel safe grabbing a bite because safety is only a leap away. NO. 2: PLOT ESTABLISHMENT AND WEED CONTROL

The Whitetail Institute 239 Whitetail Trail • Pintlala, AL 36043 ®

Research = Results™

Small plots can be deadly, but some of them are just plain difficult to www.whitetailinstitute.com

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

55


start. Ideally, I like to work with natural openings which require less brush and woody vegetation removal and already enjoy a good dose of sunlight. But sometimes I’m forced to get stubborn. One of my friend’s plots next to the creek (mentioned above) was basically hacked out of a gnarly little stand of box elder trees. For that task I hired a buddy who owns a skid loader and a bucket. Mark ripped trees out of the ground by their roots in an hour’s worth of labor, and the $100 I paid him was chicken feed compared to the labor of cutting trees and digging out stumps by hand. Of course, your time/labor investment will be much smaller if you focus your efforts on natural openings. Here, the main concern is usually eliminating grass and weed competition, a job that’s usually a snap for a sprayer loaded with a quality herbicide. In most scenarios, I like to spray the plot and let it sit for a week or two, which allows stubborn broadleaf weeds and grasses a chance to absorb the chemical in their roots and get a great kill. When the plot has “browned up” nicely, tillage is much simpler and more effective. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked about starting food plots like these is, “Can I use an ATV to do the job?” I confess I’m torn and spoiled on this issue. As far as being spoiled, I’m blessed to have friends, neighbors and hunting buds who possess — and know how to run — some serious equipment. This means I can turn to them, point to a brush-choked thicket and say, “Hey, do you think it’s possible to get a tractor in there and work that up for me?” I’m devious this way, as I’ve learned my buddies take these tasks as a personal challenge; a test of their farming skills, as it were. The next thing I know, there’s a John Deere in a place where it shouldn’t be, turning dirt. Back to the “torn” half of the equation. I know some guys who have good ATVs and top-of-the-line accessories. In most areas — I’m stressing the word “most” — they can till up a small plot just fine, assuming they let the herbicide do its work and aren’t battling a root system quagmire. The

process just takes a little longer than it would with heavy equipment. This, of course, is fine. But every once in a while there’s a nasty, brushy, rocky patch where an ATV is just not a big enough gun for the game. In such cases, seek out someone who’ll bring in the artillery you need and you won’t regret the cash it takes to get the job done right. One surprising thing I’ve learned about small plots is the amount of continuing weed control required. When I first started planting these miniplots, I figured that when the initial weed-war was fought my headaches would be over. Wrong. In fact, I feel that small-plot farmers face even stiffer weed competition, not because of what we spray or till in the plot itself, but the stuff we ignore on its borders. A classic example is a plot I planted

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:

ONLY

$18999

• 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.)

SAVE ON BULK ORDERS! • No partial orders can be accepted • No substitutions please • Orders filled on a first-come firstserved basis • Offer may be withdrawn without notice • Limited quantities available

99 $189 (Please add $19.00 shipping/handling/insurance.)

ALL YOURS FOR ONLY

Special discount rates are available on bulk orders of Imperial Whitetail 30-06™ Mineral/ Vitamin Supplement, 30-06™ Plus Protein and all Cutting Edge™ nutritional supplements.

PLUS… a FREE 2-year

®

CALL TOLL FREE

subscription to “Whitetail News” and a FREE DVD OR MAIL YOUR ORDER TO: “Producing Trophy Whitetails” — Whitetail Institute

1-800-688-3030

60 minutes on how you can produce top quality deer on your hunting land.

56

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

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

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


a few years back that was infested with burdock. I sprayed those nasty, sprawling broadleaves like I was hosing down a house fire … and they just kept coming back. I was mystified, until I took my eyes off the plot itself. On its fringes, and growing in a sweeping arc under neighboring trees and shrubs, were hundreds of burdock plants that were casting seeds into my plot on a continual basis. When I expanded the burdock war to a broader front, I was able to nearly eliminate the competition. These days when I plant a small plot, the first thing I do is look around the perimeter and identify potential enemies that will spread their seed into the perfect growing conditions I’m about to create. NO. 3: THE PLANTING QUESTION Deciding what to plant in a mini-plot is a thorny issue. If I had my druthers, I’d plant Imperial Whitetail Clover in almost every one I could. Clover is just such a year-round whitetail attractant that it’s tough to beat, and I’ve tested enough brand names to feel that Imperial is the best stuff going. Also, I’m a passionate turkey hunter, and clover sucks in spring birds like no other food source around. Finally, getting a great clover patch established means that, with a little yearly maintenance, you’ll have a great plot going for several years. That said, weed control often forces me to consider other options for the first couple years of a small plot. One tactic that has worked well is to work up the plot in spring or early summer and plant something like a Roundup ready soybean. As noted above, mini-plots are grass- and broadleaf-magnets, and in my experience Roundup whacks weeds like nothing else. After a season or two of Roundup ready beans, I usually have weed competition defeated and I can get my clover going. Yet even beans aren’t a magic bullet. The curse of beans in a small plot is that deer can wipe them out; sometimes before they can even throw a pod or reach the hunting season. Here’s the solution to that problem; monitor your plot into the late summer months. If it looks like deer will have the thing destroyed before it can do you any good, simply till the plot up and plant a late-season annual. Two of my favorite nominees are Tall Tine Tubers, or Winter-Greens. In addition to producing amazing food mass, these offerings typically aren’t attractive to deer until the first frost. This timing can help a small plot produce well into the hunting season. Last year, I experienced a final, and highly exciting, option for small plot success. My hunting partner and I were looking for something to plant in a pair of plots that had been brassica fields for three seasons. Deer had so adored these plots that it was tough to walk away from Winter-Greens, but the experts at Whitetail Institute told me doing so was following the good agricultural practice of rotation. When I asked for a substitute they suggested Whitetail Institute’s Forage Oats. We’d never planted oats before, but after last fall they’re going to be a staple on our food plot menu. I’ve come to love Whitetail Oats for a variety of reasons, but the short list goes like this: 1. They’re simple to plant; 2. they’re a late-summer, early-fall planting (which means weed competition is minimal); 3. they’re low maintenance and, finally; 4. whitetails just hammer them. We were thrilled with the whitetail response to Whitetail oats and impressed by their ability to take heavy grazing and still rebound to grow even more. CONCLUSION Small plots will never accomplish the management goals of their larger counterparts; feeding great numbers of deer and improving herd health and survival. But I’m convinced they’re an integral part of any serious deer manager’s plans. Micro plots placed close to dense security cover allow us to add more variety and tonnage to our food plot plans, and they provide excellent spots for killing does and mature bucks. And finally, I view small plots as the perfect stepping stone into the fascinating world of food plotting. With a small investment of time, money and materials, small plots provide the ideal laboratory for learning. W www.whitetailinstitute.com

Premium Deer Feed with 20% Protein

Results is a complete deer feed scientifically formulated to provide maximum nutritional benefit to deer throughout the year. Results is designed to help maximize rack size in bucks, improve the quantity of milk production in does, increase birth weights and growth in fawns, and promote overall herd health. Here are some of the specific benefits Results provides:

Helps Maximize Antler Growth! ■ 20% Protein to Help Maximize Antler Growth. ■ Contains Vital Minerals and Vitamins. ■ Helps Bucks Devote More Nutrition to Antler Growth Earlier in Spring. Helps Maximize Doe Lactation, Fawn Birth Weights, Growth Rates and Overall Herd Health! ■ Contains Critical Protein, Vitamins and Minerals for Does. ■ Source of High Carbohydrates and Lipids for Fall and Winter. Specifically Designed for the Needs of Deer! ■ Scientifically formulated to meet the unique requirements of the smallruminant digestive system of deer. ■ Contains macro minerals, micro minerals and vitamins in the correct forms and ratios deer need to help maximize genetic potential. Extremely Attractive to Deer! ■ Crunchy texture deer prefer. ■ Contains scent and taste enhancers including Devour, which drives deer wild. Maximum Flexibility in Delivery Systems! ■ Can be use in most spin-type feeders, trough feeders, and gravity feeders. ■ Rainshed™ Technology — Moisture resistant. ■ Pelleted form reduces waste.

Call 800-688-3030 to find the dealer nearest you.

The Whitetail Institute 239 Whitetail Trail • Pintlala, AL 36043 ®

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Research = Results™

Results is a trademark of Whitetail Institute Pintlala, AL. Devour is a trademark of Whitetail Institute Pintlala, AL. RainShed is a trademark of Southern States Richmond, VA.

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

57


CREATING I AWESOME FOOD PLOTS ON MARGINAL SITES

magine this: food plot locations with well drained, loam soils that are well-nitrified with neutral pH. Let’s make these locations flat and rock free, too and as long as we’re cruising down Fantasy Lane, it sure would be nice if all food plots received just the right amount of rain as well. Reality though is a far cry from idyllic. Most food plot conditions are less than perfect, yet savvy food plotters can still create deer magnets even in tough locations. It’s just a matter of preparation, execution and good plot maintenance.

Tough Conditions Challenge Savvy Food Plotters By Michael Veine Photos by Charles Alsheimer

58

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


Even though I’ve been dabbling with food plots for nearly 20 years, all of the plots I’ve created have been on marginal sites. I’ve just never been lucky enough to own land where food plots would be a cinch. Instead, I’ve had to deal with challenges on all of them. Nonetheless, my food plots have been very successful endeavors that have improved my property and attracted the attention of deer big time.

Exclusive from the

DRY CONDITIONS

Whitetail Institute

Now you can try all our supplement products for one low price and get a FREE video

Some sites are just going to be parched, especially during the summer months. The first food plot I ever created was in southern Michigan in the 1990s and it’s still one of my best hunting spots on my property to this day. Parts of that plot though look like the Sahara Desert from July through early August. It wasn’t always like that though: When I first installed the plot the location was a relatively open area with no big trees nearby at all. The soil is pretty good too, consisting of a loamy dirt.

ALL YOURS FOR ONLY $49.99 (Please add $6.95 shipping/handling/insurance)

• Imperial 30-06™ Mineral one lick (5 lbs.) • Imperial 30-06™ PLUS PROTEIN™ one lick (5 lbs.) • Cutting Edge™ INITIATE™ one site (5 lbs.) • Cutting Edge™ OPTIMIZE™ one site (5 lbs.) • Cutting Edge™ SUSTAIN™ one site (5 lbs.) • No partial orders can be accepted • No substitutions please • Orders filled on a first-come-first-served basis • Offer may be withdrawn without notice • Limited quantities available

CALL TOLL-FREE

1-800-688-3030 or write

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

Plus… FREE DVD!

Special discount rates are available on bulk orders of Imperial Whitetail 30-06™ Mineral/Vitamin Supplement and 30-06 Plus Protein.

Producing Trophy Whitetails

60 minutes on how you can produce top quality deer on your hunting land

®

SOIL TEST KITS 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 $2.50 shipping and handling for unlimited number of kits. If ordered with other Imperial products there is no shipping charge.

Please send ______ soil test kits at $9.95 each. Add $2.50 shipping and handling for each order regardless of number of kits desired. (There is NO shipping charge if kit is ordered with other Imperial products.) Cost of kit includes test results.

SHIP TO:

Name ________________________________________________________________

Address ______________________________________________________________

City _______________________________________State ______Zip _____________

Phone _______________________Email ___________________________________ ■ Check or Money Order enclosed Payment: : Charge to: ■ MasterCard ■ Visa ■ Discover

Credit Card # _______________________________________ Exp. Date __________

Signature _____________________________________________________________

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

www.whitetailinstitute.com

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

59


Site preparation is critical when planting in marginal soils.

During the first years of the plot I was able to establish a thriving stand of Imperial Whitetail Clover and hunted from a ground blind there because there were no good trees nearby. Over the years, though, things gradually changed. When I first created the plot, there were only a handful of wild cherry and maple saplings nearby. I planted a bunch of pine and spruce trees in the area to provide much-needed cover. Twenty years later those little seedlings and saplings are a bunch of Results can be a big buck arrowed on towering trees. The cover the trees provide or near your plot. have certainly improved the deer-attracting powers of the site, but even though I’ve kept them away from the edges of the plot, their roots have still invaded under the food plot and literally suck some of the WET CONDITIONS plot dry during the hot summer period. To make matters worse, turkeys dig up one end of the plot with a Deer just seem to love wetlands. My properties contain lots of low lands vengeance. Fifteen years ago when I created the plot, turkey sightings in and it’s no coincidence that they also have an abundance of deer. The wetthe area were a rarity. Now I probably have more than 100 turkeys that frelands on my properties usually flood during the spring and then dry up quent my 39-acre parcel at certain times of the year, and it seems like during the summer. I have a bunch of food plots along the edges of those many of them like to dig up the north end of the small plot. By the end of swampy areas where the plots typically end up partially under water. I’ve summer, that part of the plot is nearly void of plant life. remedied that problem two different ways: I like to dig water holes in or Things drastically improve by late summer as the cooler temperatures near my low land food plots and dig holes in a spot that is prone to floodand more frequent precipitation dramatically bring up the soil moisture. ing. I’ve also channeled the water into the water holes, which moves standNow I maintain a stand of Imperial Whitetail Clover on the south end of the ing water and prevents flood damage to the forage. Another remedy for plot and plant annuals like No-Plow or Secret Spot on the north half, which plots that flood out is to just plant annuals on the wet spots during the dry works great. The end result is a food plot that no deer in the area can seem period. Depending on the site, some of the plots have perennials on the to resist. The deer trails leading into the plot look like cow paths during the high spots mixed in with annuals on the low ground. fall and the area is ringed with rubs and scraps like never before. One of my best hunting spots is on a food plot located in the middle of Another option for dry plot sites is to choose a perennial seed blend that a marsh that floods entirely every spring. I created the plot by spraying the is designed for arid conditions. Imperial Whitetail Extreme is an excellent site with Roundup repeatedly to create an opening and then removed the choice for dry sites. This forage blend can grow with as little as 15 inches dead debris using hand tools. If the summer weather dries up the marsh, of rain per year. It’s also remarkably heat resistant, drought tolerant and it as it normally does, then I seed and fertilize the plot during late summer. stays green in tough conditions. 60

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


Secret Spot pulls in so many deer to that plot that the trails leading there also look like cow paths. If it’s a rare wet summer, like the one we had this past year, then I just don’t plant it. Even so, ducks and geese will be drawn to the watery opening in the cattails like crazy, so it’s a win-win situation regardless.

ROCKY ROUGH STUFF Some of the most impressive food plots I’ve ever seen (judging by the lushness of the forage and the sheer number of deer using them) have been located on sites with soil best described as gravel. Rocky sites can produce awesome food plots, but they will require some hard work to get them in shape for planting and plot maintenance. If you plan on using notill practices on your plot and won’t be using a mower, then you really don’t have to remove any rocks at all. If you plan on tilling or mowing though, then all the big boulders and rocks that are in the way need to be removed from the site. This is best done with heavy equipment. I’ve rented miniexcavators to clear food plots and those machines are really nice for removing big rocks. A tractor with a rake attachment and a bucket also works great too. I’ve also removed rocks by hand plenty of times. I just dug them out with a shovel and put them into a dump trailer pulled behind my AVT. The real big ones (several hundred pounds) I had to dig out, attach to my ATV and then drag them off the plot. My U.P. land is very rocky, yet that property grows some excellent food plots nevertheless.

ACIDIC SOILS My Upper Peninsula hunting property consists entirely of highly acidic soils with pH levels running in the 5.0 range. Correcting low pH is quite simple, but certainly not easy. It just takes the application of lime and in my case, lots of the white powdery stuff. Buying bagged lime works OK for small food plots, but it’s just not practical on larger fields. On big plots, bulk lime is by far the best way to go. It really pays to shop around when buying lime. In my area, I’ve seen 50-pound bags of powdered lime range in price from $2 to $10 per bag. The same is true for bulk lime deliveries. Calling around to several co-ops that sell lime can save you a lot of cash. I have one plot that encompasses about four acres and two other plots that are about one acre in size. Those larger plots require a bulk lime delivery to get the job done. I typically lime those plots every four to five years and spread it on heavy using a pull-behind ATV, drop-style spreader. Most of my U.P. food plots though are small in size and of the no-till type. Small plots are limed lightly every year by just buying bagged, powdered lime, and spreading it by shaking the lime out onto the ground. I lime those small plots at the same time that I fertilize each spring. Imperial Whitetail Extreme is also specially designed to thrive in soils that are somewhat acidic. In fact, with a pH tolerance range of 5.4 to 7.5, Extreme can grow on just about any soils found in North America. This product provides a high-protein, nutritious food source for deer and other wildlife year round. With proper maintenance, Extreme plantings can last five years.

STUMPS AND TREES I have some extremely good food plots growing among stumps. In fact, two of my most productive deer stands are located over plots littered with old, dead stumps. These are no-till plots that I created with just hand tools and while they may not look very pretty, they do in fact pull in lots of deer. What I don’t like in plots however are live trees. They tend to suck the moisture out of the soil and cast shade on the forage, so in my opinion all trees should be removed from within food plots. I also like to keep big trees away from the edges of my plots too, except for those trees that offer excellent stand locations. W

CALL FOR SPECIAL DAY RATES

You’re invited to fish America’s most famous private bass waters Noted outdoorsman and B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott is making a long-time personal dream come true. As a proud supporter of his home state’s new initiative — Alabama Black Belt Adventures — he is opening his personal lakes, his home and guest accommodations to a limited number of anglers to enjoy great fishing and gracious southern hospitality. Guests at Ray Scott’s Trophy Bass Retreat will fish in the wake of presidents, first ladies and fishing superstars like Kevin VanDam, Rick Clunn, Bill Dance and Roland Martin — all amidst 200 acres of live oaks, Spanish moss, whitetail deer and blue herons. And they will also enjoy many outstanding amenities as well as the opportunity to visit with host Ray Scott. Ray Scott’s Trophy Bass Retreat is located just south of Montgomery, in the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt, a land of rich history, rich traditions and rich black soil that is credited with contributing to the outstanding fishing and hunting that has been treasured by so many generations of outdoorsmen. Whether you’re with your best fishing buddies, son or father, or important business clients or employees, your Ray Scott Trophy Bass Retreat will provide an exclusive, one-of-akind fishing experience to be remembered.

Your all-inclusive Trophy Bass Retreat package includes: • • • • •

3 nights lodging • 2 full days of fishing • Airport pickup All meals provided with relaxed family-style dinners Comfortable accommodations with private baths • Boats available or bring your own Two miles of private, scenic jogging road • Secluded pool Lodge area with large fireplace and big screen TV • And many other amenities

Bookings: All lodging is based on double occupancy with private baths. Booking and fishing is in pairs only. There is a maximum of eight guests. Booking groups of four in the Presidents Guest Cabin is a recipe for fun and fellowship. Bass is good business: The guest cabin for four — or the whole facility for eight — is perfect for incentive and reward trips or tax-deductible corporate team building. Be sure to inquire about the limited number of Ray Scott’s trademark marketing seminars, “From a Fishing Hole to a Pot of Gold” personally conducted after fishing hours by the Bass Boss himself. Or call to book the whole lodge and customize your own tax-deductible marketing and motivational agenda with Ray.

Named “Best Bass Lake” in America by “Outdoor Life” Magazine

Call 800-518-7222

Availability is very limited. Bookings on first-come, first-served basis.

www.rayscottbassretreat.com

www.whitetailinstitute.com

Visit us on the web at

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

61


Choose Hunting Partners Wisely “A real hunting partner is one who shares without asking a share in return, who gives without thinking, who places your well-being and pleasure above his own.” — John Madson By Richard Bernier Photos by the Author

I

n our enthusiasm and zeal to capture the biggest whitetail or fill the meat pole with numerous fine stags, have we perhaps misplaced the things that matter most in life? Has the quest to fulfill our whitetail desires become so consuming that little else can satisfy us beyond another dead pile of deer flesh beneath our feet? Has the perceived need to possess another set of antlers become so strong that our actions have become misguided? Sadly, some of the most un-endearing human qualities routinely rear their ugly head within the deer hunting community. Jealousy, envy, strife, lying, misrepresentation, unethical practices and unlawful acts are a few of those often-demonstrated traits. In most cases, the beginning deer hunter’s interest in the sport was spurred by the romance of the hunt, the camaraderie of those

62

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

he shared a camp with, the lure of matching wits with a worthy opponent, providing fine table fare and the enjoyment of the outdoor experience. All of these reasons are noble reasons to pursue whitetails. As each new participant begins to realize success, their achievements bring the necessary confidence to establish and set new goals. No longer is just shooting any deer enough to satisfy. For some, only taking a buck will now do, and for others it might be imposing a specific methodology in acquiring their kill. And then there are those who have honed their deer hunting prowess to such an extent that by only taking a mature buck can they fully experience fulfillment in their deer hunting quest. All of that is normal and acceptable as the deer hunter progresses. Where the problems start to surface and priorities become

clouded is when the passion to hunt whitetails turns into an all-consuming desire to succeed at any cost. The need to excel supersedes rationale and in most examples alienates the hunter from all that was once endearing. Far too often, marriages have suffered irreparable damage, relationships are severed and integrity is compromised because of the lure of a big set of antlers. I believe Charlie Alsheimer summed it up when he wrote, “It appears that the drive to gain notoriety among friends and peers by killing book bucks has fogged the reason why many hunt.” FRIENDS Despite how many friends you may think you might have, it’s usually far less. Filling a Facebook page with those requesting to be

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


friends isn’t validation for a definitive friendship. Popularity is much different than a relationship, and social networking can never hope to replace genuine time spent in each other's company. A true bond between comrades requires an investment from both parties, where the other places greater emphasis on the friend rather than themselves. Sadly, we live in a busy culture filled with people desperate to succeed; one that is fragmented to be radically individualist; a culture where dissatisfaction produces constant striving; and one where self-fulfillment and self-promotion has become the norm rather than the exception.

tor, I was unable to discern the self-centered purpose and motives behind his veil of sincerity. PRACTICING WHAT I PREACH

CHOOSE WISELY Acquaintances are many, but friends are few. Choose wisely. If you’re to enjoy the solitude of the deer woods and effectively hunt without interruption and drama, you’d best define and choose your hunting pals with the greatest of care. The choices you make in whom you share a deer camp with will ultimately determine your level of satisfaction. Trust me; it only takes one immature malcontent to ruin a hunting trip. Outdoor writer Ron Spomer aptly states in his article, Going Deep, Everything You Need to Know to Hunt Your Way Into the Backcountry — and Survive: "Choose your mates carefully. You don’t need whiners, wimps or quitters.” Perhaps you’re cold, fatigued and frustrated. Get over yourself. Your partner probably is, too. Don’t whine. And as Madson wrote, “Whining will ruin everyone’s day, and stamp you as a gutless wonder who has no business afield.” PERSONAL REGRET “Deer hunters give much to their hunting partners, to others who witness their actions, and to the game of hunting itself. And in giving advantage, rather than grasping it selfishly, you’ll richly reward yourself as well.” — Madson A young man 20 years my junior came to me saying he wanted a mentor and someone who could teach him the art of still-hunting the big woods. I began to sow into this man's life, sharing a lifetime of deer hunting wisdom and behavioral insight. At his insistence, I took him 1,600 miles away on a wilderness whitetail hunt where he spent most of his time in my back pocket. What I did not understand or see coming was his use of a facade of sincerity to conceal his self-centered agenda for gain and notoriety. That all changed when he, from just to my left and a bit behind me, let loose with a muzzle blast that reverberated in my left ear. He'd taken something that did not rightfully belong to him and did so without regret. He shot the buck I'd worked diligently to capture, even as my crosshairs were pinned to the animal's shoulder. Because of my genuine desire to help and menwww.whitetailinstitute.com

NOBILITY Being gracious is not a trait that comes easily to us. In this highly competitive world, we tend to strategize and position ourselves in the most favorable situations as they relate to us. I heard a quote the other day that had such an effect on me I was forced to pull my vehicle over and write it down: “The measure of a man is not in his strength, it is in his nobility.” We get so caught up in our own selfish desires to lay claim to the biggest buck in the woods that we fail to see how damaging our actions become to those we share our camp with. A whitetail, despite however large it might be, can never replace the significance of a relationship. The deer is only part of the experience. Without friends to share the hunt with, the journey becomes stale and tasteless. May we never forget to place the value of our comrades above personal agendas. LOYALTY

With each tug of the giant beast, I wished that my partner was there to help. I’d shot one of the heaviest bucks of my career, 253 pounds dressed, more than a half-mile from the road, with only a couple of hours of daylight remaining. It was physically challenging to drag this buck out alone, as he outweighed me by at least 75 pounds, and I was dragging on bare ground. Ultimately, the chore took five hours to accomplish. So where was my hunting partner? Back home, 1600 miles away. Because of his limited vacation time, we determined it best for him to fly out and meet me, hunt the final two weeks and ride back home in my pickup. So, there I was with my tag filled, four days into a threeweek hunt, and my partner not scheduled to arrive for three more days. What would you do in that situation: Head home and save a pile of dough, strike out for another state or province to hunt, or wait for your partner as planned? Neither of the first two options entered into the equation. Months earlier, he and I had discussed all of the potential scenarios, and my resolve to stay and hunt with him was never in question. (Party hunting is legal where we were hunting.) In fact, the first morning of what ultimately turned into nine hunting days before my partner shot his buck, I shared this with him, “Regardless how long it takes for you to shoot a buck, even if it takes the full two weeks I’m here, I'm fully committed to you. And you decide what buck to shoot. Don’t be killing one just because you’re feeling pressured about me being here longer than necessary.” Making that statement and meaning it was as natural to me as breathing. After all, this was my friend, a treasured relationship that has weathered time and storms without the least fracture in the foundation upon which our friendship was built.

Fortunately, the ugly side of deer hunting has not found its way into every deer camp, club, fraternity or family. There are still many enthusiasts of the sport who cherish the time they spend afield in the company of fine comrades. Many who have killed their share of big bucks have never compromised their value system nor surrendered their integrity. Rather than placing their all-surpassing value on what does or doesn’t hang from a meat pole by season's end, they invest in building, nurturing and most importantly, retaining relationships. They keep the whitetail in its proper perspective, which is to be admired, appreciated, enjoyed and hunted in a fair-chase manner, but never at the expense of or elevated above those they hunt with. BUILDING LASTING BONDS AND MEMORIES It has been written, “For a man to have friends, he must first show himself friendly.” Building relationships with deer hunting comrades will not only make each hunt more fun, but as the years begin to amass, memories will accumulate; treasured times that all can look back upon with pleasure. Madson wrote, “A hunt may be a grim trial to endure together or a dream trip to remember. In either case, it is a mutual enterprise to be shared without selfishness — sharing shooting opportunities, hunting techniques, food, equipment, and something of each other. It must never be competitive. No good thing should be hogged by one person. The only place for selfishness on a hunt is in taking more than your share of work, discomfort, or disappointment.” And when you discover such a hunting partner, we're reminded, “Mark them well, whenever you find them. They are proper folks with whom to share your campfire.” W

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

63


(Continued from page 25)

í˘ą

ground and temperatures in the teens, there were 13 deer in the Chicory Plus plot. They had it all torn up digging for food. We have noticed that over the last three years, deer body size has increased with this year’s body weight of the average doe at 143 pounds field dressed and our bucks are 187 pounds field dressed. Antler size has increased with the average buck having an 8-point rack in the 16plus-inch wide range. The antlers are also thick and heavy. Another positive thing is the doe are having twins and triplets. This past archery season, my son took an 8point, my friend took an 8-point, and I took a 10point all within a 10 day period in early November. We were seeing six to 15 deer every evening from our stands. Also, we do not hunt on our food plots. We set up on travel corridors between bedding areas and 100 to 200 yards off the plots. During the spring and summer we place out several sites of the 30-06 Mineral. We believe this helps give the doe and fawns a big boost. It also helps with antler development. We have decided to put in another two-acre plot of Chicory Plus this spring and plant a plot with Winter-Greens since it is very close to a thick bedding area. One thing is for certain: The deer sure do love the food plots and we have had as much fun getting pictures as we have hunting them. Enclosed are just a few of those pictures. Picture one is a nice 8-point with a drop-tine in a Chicory Plus plot. Picture two is of two bucks at a 30-06 lick. Thanks Whitetail Institute for a great line of products.

í˘˛ 64

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

Rick Sweeney — Tennessee Thank you for letting me share my son Garrett’s story with you. First of all, I want to praise Whitetail Institute on their awesome Imperial Whitetail Clover. It has really helped the deer on our farm over the past several years. It has totally changed not only how we hunt the deer but the caliber of deer on the farm. Anyway, this is how yesterday progressed to an unforgettable day for my son. On Nov. 7, Garrett was out of school for the day and wanted to go deer hunting because he knew the deer were really starting to rut. You’ve got to realize Garrett is only 13 but is an avid deer hunter. He harvested his first deer at the age of six. As the day progressed, I couldn’t break away from work, and the texts were nonstop from him wanting me to come home to get into the woods. At 3:00 p.m. I called Garrett and told him there was no way I could make it in time. So we agreed that he would ease up to our back field which is a two-acre Imperial Whitetail Clover food plot just below our favorite deer stand. He chose not to drive the Polaris but to walk about half-mile to make sure he didn’t spook anything, which would prove to be a very smart move on his part. He was up in the stand by 3:30 p.m. and ready for the evening hunt. At 4:15 p.m., I received a text that there was a doe that had just stood up about 100 yards from him in the other part of the field that I had let grow up for deer cover. He looked through his binoculars to see what the doe was doing and noticed a large rack turning in the brush. The deer had been bedded in the field the entire time, so it was a smart thing that he chose to walk up to the field. The doe started toward the food plot, and Garrett grunted to see what the buck would do. At that time, the buck stood up with another small buck and started following the doe into the food plot. As they approached, the large buck started chasing the smaller one all over the food plot and running back to the doe. The doe

was at the far end of the plot when Garrett decided he needed to take some action before they left. He grabbed his rattling horns, hit them ever so softly together and snort-wheezed. The big buck turned and started walking toward him. The doe ran in front of him and started leading him off again, but it was too late. Garrett was able to stop the big buck by whistling at him and shot him with his muzzleloader at 50 yards. The buck lunged forward and fell within 30 yards. That’s when I received my next text at 4:30 p.m. By this time, I was on my way home. He wrote, “Big buck down.� By this time I was pretty much breaking every traffic violation imaginable! I called him and he told me what had happened. I told him to meet me at the house and we would go back and get him. He was very confident the deer was down, but I didn’t want him to go to the deer by himself. Well, once we got back to the food plot, he calmly said, “He’s just over there,� pointing about 60 yards by a pine tree. We found the blood trail that lead straight to the huge buck. Man was I amazed at what he had just done. A buck of a lifetime! At age 13, it’s hard to realize and appreciate what he had just done but I believe by the next morning it had started sinking in. He told me he was most proud of doing it by himself from start to finish. I think I’m more proud of him than he is and what he accomplished. The buck measured 172-4/8 inches and will be the largest buck ever harvested in our county and possibly the largest buck harvested with a muzzleloader in Tennessee. I’ll have to keep you posted on this. Thanks Whitetail Institute for such a great product!

Jeffery Thomas — South Carolina The Whitetail Institute DVD emphasizes soil testing, and it is right on the money. I have tested and limed my soil and planted Imperial Whitetail Clover, Chicory Plus and Chic Magnet. The information in the video is something that

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


along with the Whitetail Institute products will result in larger, healthier and more plentiful deer. I have seen it on my property, with a 136-5/8inch 8-pointer killed.

Mark Gadbaw — Missouri I made a food plot three years ago and I wondered if I was in over my head. Everyone at Whitetail Institute was great and easy to work with. I asked a lot of questions, but they were always great listeners. I have used Imperial Whitetail Clover, No-Plow and PowerPlant, and I have more and bigger deer. My land is now a central hub for them. I have larger healthier bucks. A picture is enclosed of the 160-inch 13-point buck from this past season. Thank you Whitetail Institute for everything.

put Imperial Whitetail Clover plots on their own farms.

Bill Payne — New York I love Whitetail Institute products. Here are some pictures of some of the bucks I have shot using them. I shot my biggest buck over Imperial Whitetail Clover.

Samuel Stoltzfus — Pennsylvania

After watching him feed for almost 10 minutes by himself, he presented a good shot at less than 25 yards. Since using Whitetail Institute products we have larger, healthier does and fawns. Bucks grow extremely fast and are attracted to our farm throughout the year. Thanks Whitetail Institute for the great products, and we look forward to using them again in an even larger capacity next year!

Don Guthrie — Wisconsin Here are a few pictures of some of the bucks that I shot with bow and rifle in the past five years off a 10-acre parcel of land that I own. I’m 46 years old and I’ve been whitetail hunting since I was 12. I have shot 43 bucks so far in my life but the bucks I shot in the past five years since I started using Whitetail Institute products are huge. Whitetail Institute products are great products! W

Mark Mabry — Ohio

We have a farm in Kent County, Md. Since we started using Whitetail Institute products, we have killed some very nice bucks. We have bigger bodied deer and an overall healthier deer herd. Some of our members didn’t want to spend the money on food plots, but we made believers out of them after seeing firsthand what a magnet the Imperial Whitetail Clover was. Now, they all www.whitetailinstitute.com

Here is a photo of the non-typical buck I shot on the morning of Nov. 4, which just so happens to be my birthday, too. We have been using Whitetail Institute products for six years now. Currently we have No-Plow, Extreme, Chicory Plus and several 30-06 mineral sites. We get multiple pictures of multiple bucks throughout the year on our plots and mineral sites but I hadn't seen any pictures of this particular buck. Two buddies of mine have several pictures of this buck on a farm more than a mile and a half away, yet on the morning of Nov. 4 at 8:50 a.m. he showed up feeding on our Extreme plot.

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

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. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

65


IMPERIAL ALFA-RACK

PLUS™ YOU SAVE $60.00

Suggested Retail: $289.95 (33 lbs. - 2.25 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $229.95 Please send _____ 33 lb. quantities of Imperial Alfa-Rack PLUS™ Alfalfa-Clover Blend. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $18.00 for shipping and handling for each 33 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

IMPERIAL WINTER-GREENS™ YOU SAVE $70.00 Suggested Retail: $239.95 (24 lbs. - 4 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $169.95 Please send _____ 24 lb. quantities of Imperial Winter-Greens™. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $12.00 for shipping and handling for each 24 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

IMPERIAL TALL TINE TUBERS™ YOU SAVE $70.00 Suggested Retail: $199.95 (24 lbs. - 4 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $129.95 Please send _____ 24 lb. quantities of Imperial Tall Tine Tubers™.

NEW!

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $12.00 for shipping and handling for each 24 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

IMPERIAL DOUBLE-CROSS™ YOU SAVE $70.00 Suggested Retail: $299.95 (36 lbs. - 4.5 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $229.95 Please send _____ 36 lb. quantities of Imperial Double-Cross™. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $18.00 for shipping and handling for each 36 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

66

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

IMPERIAL EXTREME™ YOU SAVE $60.00 Sugg. Retail: $289.95 (46 lbs. - 2 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $229.95 Please send _____ 46 lb. quantities of Imperial EXTREME™ Seed Blend. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $18.00 for shipping and handling for each 46 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

IMPERIAL CHICORY

PLUS™ YOU SAVE $60.00

Suggested Retail: $289.95 (28 lbs. - 4.5 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $229.95 Please send _____ 28 lb. quantities of Imperial Chicory PLUS™. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $18.00 for shipping and handling for each 28 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

Savings Code: WN222

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $7.00 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.

Savings Code: WN222

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $18.00 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.

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

Savings Code: WN222

Please send _____ 50 lb. quantities of Imperial NO-PLOW™ Wildlife Seed Blend.

Price with coupon: $89.95

IMPERIAL WHITETAIL FORAGE OATS PLUS™ YOU SAVE $21.00 Suggested Retail: $49.95 (45 lbs. - 1/2 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $36.95 Please send _____ 45 lb. bags of Imperial Forage Oats Plus™. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $18.00 for shipping and handling for each 45 lbs. ordered. (Not available in Canada.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

IMPERIAL PURE ATTRACTION™ YOU SAVE $25.00 Suggested Retail: $94.95 (52 lbs. - 1 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $69.95 Please send _____ 52 lb. quantities of Imperial Pure Attraction™. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $18.00 for shipping and handling for each 52 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

IMPERIAL WHITETAIL EDGE™ YOU SAVE $60.00 Suggested Retail: $289.95 (52 lbs. - 2 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $229.95 Please send _____ 52 lb. bags of Imperial Edge™. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $18.00 for shipping and handling for each 52 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Savings Code: WN222

Price with coupon: $109.95

Suggested Retail: $139.95 (9 lbs. - 3 Acre Planting)

Savings Code: WN222

Suggested Retail: $149.95 (50 lbs. - 3 Acre Planting)

IMPERIAL “CHIC” MAGNET™ YOU SAVE $50.00

Savings Code: WN222

IMPERIAL NO-PLOW™ YOU SAVE $40.00

Savings Code: WN222

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $18.00 for shipping and handling for each 36 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

Savings Code: WN222

Please send ____ 36 lb. quantities of Imperial Whitetail® Brand Clover (With Insight).

Savings Code: WN222

Suggested Retail: $279.95 (36 lbs. - 4.5 Acre Planting)

Price with coupon: $229.95

Savings Code: WN222

CLOVER YOU SAVE $50.00

Savings Code: WN222

IMPERIAL WHITETAIL®

Savings Code: WN222

SAVE BIG With Whitetail News

www.whitetailinstitute.com


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.

BLOCK™ YOU SAVE Up To $24.00

Suggested Retail: $59.95 and $29.95

Coupon Price: $34.95 or $19.95 Please send _____ n 2-Pak Blocks @ $34.95 Please send _____ n 1 Block @ $19.95

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $5.00 for shipping and handling for EACH Block or $10.00 for EACH Double Pack. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

Savings Code: WN222

IMPERIAL 4-PLAY

Coupon Price: $84.95 or $44.95 Please send ___ Apple OBSESSION 6-Paks @ $84.95 Please send ___ Apple OBSESSION 3-Paks @ $44.95 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.

IMPERIAL

EE FR GHT! EI FR

MAGNET MIX™

YOU SAVE $20 to $35

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

Coupon Price: $84.95 or $49.95 Please send ___ Magnet Mix™ 6-Paks @ $84.95 Please send ___ Magnet Mix™ 3-Paks @ $49.95 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.

Price with coupon: $94.95 Please send _____ 68 lb. quantities of Cutting Edge™ n Initiate n Optimize n Sustain. TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______ Please add $19.00 for shipping and handling for each 68 lbs. ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

We Offer

For Details

www.whitetailinstitute.com

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

SLAY™ HERBICIDE YOU SAVE $15.00 to $25.00

Suggested Retail: $59.95 (4 oz. - 1 Acre); $159.95 (1 Pint - 4 Acres)

Price with coupon: 4 oz. - $44.95; 1 Pint - $134.95 Please send _____ 4 oz. Package(s) of SLAY™ Herbicide. Please send _____ Pint(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 or pint ordered. (Canadian residents call for shipping charges.) Please enclose with shipping and payment information or give code on phone orders.

IMPERIAL 30-06™Mineral/Vitamin Supplements YOU SAVE $25.00 Suggested Retail: $89.95 and $99.95 (60 lbs.)

Coupon Price: $64.95 or $74.95 Please send ____60 lb. quantities of 30-06™ n Original 30-06™ @ $64.95 n 30-06™ Plus Protein @ $74.95 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.

* Important: Shipping & Payment Information * Please Include Daytime Phone Number For UPS Shipments and Any Questions We May Have About Your Order.

Name: ___________________________________________________ Shipping Address: (No P.O. Box) ________________________________ ________________________________________________________ City: _______________________________State:_______Zip:_______ Daytime Phone: ______________________Email: ________________ Payment Method:

n Check or Money Order Enclosed Charge to my: n Mastercard

n Visa

n 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

SMALLER SIZES Of Most Seed Products Call 800-688-3030

Savings Code: WN222

IMPERIAL CUTTING EDGE™ Nutritional Supplements YOU SAVE $26.00 Suggested Retail: $120.95 (68 lbs.)

TOTAL Including shipping and handling $_______

Savings Code: WN222

Suggested Retail: $119.95 — 6-Pak, $59.95 — 3-Pak

NEW!

Savings Code: WN222

Apple OBSESSION “Super” Deer Attractant YOU SAVE $20.00 - $35.00

Price with coupon: 1 Pint - $22.95; 1 Gal.- $134.95 Please send _____ pint(s) of ARREST™ Herbicide. Please send _____ gallon(s) of ARREST™ Herbicide. Call for larger quantities.

Savings Code: WN222

Please send _____ n 6-Pak KRAZE @ $54.95 Please send _____ n 3-Pak KRAZE @ $29.95

Savings Code: WN222

Coupon Price: $54.95 or $29.95

Suggested Retail: $27.95 (1 Pint - .5 Acres); $159.95 (1 Gal. -3.5 Acres)

Savings Code: WN222

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

EE FR GHT! EI FR

ARREST™ HERBICIDE YOU SAVE $5.00 to $25.00

Savings Code: WN222

“KRAZE” Flavored Deer Attractant YOU SAVE $40-$65

Savings Code: WN222

DISCOUNT COUPONS - Order Today!

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

Vol. 22, No. 2 /

WHITETAIL NEWS

67


The Future Of Our Sport Mark George — Alabama Here is a picture of my 12-year-old daughter, Reanna, with her first deer. She killed the 8-point this past December. I have six food plots planted. Some with Whitetail Institute products and some with other products. 80 percent of the time the deer are in a plot of Imperial Whitetail Clover. The difference is amazing. Thanks Whitetail Institute for a superior product.

Greg Caso — New York “OK, Greg, nice and easy now. Get the gun on her, right in the pocket. Remember, when you shoot, squeeze the trigger, don’t pull it.” “OK,” was all I could get out with my heart pounding and my body shaking. “Good. Now just wait a minute. Wait till she gets

comfortable and stops. That’s when you shoot.” “Don’t worry. I got her in my sights. She’s not going anywhere.” My finger started tightening on the trigger, waiting to feel the shock and surprise of the bullet exploding out of the gun, hopefully heading towards my first deer. Before my finger could completely pull the trigger, the deer scattered. All of them, gone in an instant. I pulled the gun down after a minute or so, disappointed. I couldn’t understand what happened. What did we do wrong? My dad knew what happened. When he pointed it out to me, I understood. A buck had been at the edge of the woods and decided to move out into the field at the same time I was going to take my shot. Unfortunately, it was only a spike. My dad was just as disappointed as I was, not for himself, but for me. We were just hoping that the deer would come back. And they did. Our luck had changed. All of the deer had come back, except for the spike. I pulled up my gun and did what my dad said. I put my sights on the biggest one of the four. They started walking towards our stand. They were zigzagging back and forth across the field. My gun was trained on my doe the whole time, zigzagging with it. An original shot of 120 yards was now quickly decreasing. The deer were almost on top of us. The big doe made a split-second decision and stopped where she was, turning broadside. “Greg, when…” my dad suddenly cut off by the sound of a loud gunshot. The second doe had stopped, I had pulled the trigger, not even thinking about it. It was just instinct. She spun half-way around and dropped to the ground. The other three deer were already gone by the time my dad started talking again. “Greg that was an amazing shot! You did it! Congratulations son, you got your first deer,” my dad whispered excitedly to me. “Thanks Dad. I couldn’t have done it without you,” I whispered back. As we climbed down out of the tree stand to see my first deer, I was shaking with excitement. Looking at that deer, knowing that it was mine, and that I earned it, was so memorable. It was a feeling that I knew I wouldn’t forget, and one that I hoped to feel more in the future. I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting, eventful and successful first hunt. What truly made it special was that my dad was right there beside me the whole time.

first deer. It is a button buck. He used a Rossi youth gun with .410 barrel and slug as ammo. We were hunting beside a food plot planted in Extreme. Cale was six years old at the time he shot the deer.

Emily Dutzer — Pennsylvania I am nine years old from Nazareth, Pa. I just recently started to hunt with my dad and uncle Tooker not knowing if I would enjoy the experience. I always found myself looking through the Whitetail News my dad gets, and wondering if I would ever get the chance to shoot my first buck. I was not even going to hunt this year because of soccer practice, but because of a scheduling change I got the chance to get out with my dad for the Pennsylvania buck season. It was not even 45 minutes into the morning light and I had the chance to get a shot at this nice 8pointer. I love Whitetail News and enjoy seeing all the big deer and one day I hope I can get a shot at one like them. P.S.: I am now practicing with the bow and someday hope to archery hunt. W

Todd Oehler — North Carolina This is a picture of my son, Cale Oehler, with his 68

WHITETAIL NEWS / Vol. 22, No. 2

For the latest promotions, sales and news visit www.Facebook.com/WhitetailInstitute

www.whitetailinstitute.com


Scan this with your smart phone for even more information


sField point accuracy sNo “fixed blade� drift sNo premature blade deployment

Or visit ragebroadheads.com/quick

sSuperior penetration sHuge wound channels s Better blood trails & quicker kills


Whitetail News Vol 22.2  

Whitetail News Volume 22 Issue 2

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you