Thursday, October 27, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Coyotes Find Big South Dakota Buck

No matter how many hours we put in at the range, not every arrow is going to land exactly where it is intended during a hunting situation. Sometimes nerves are the culprit. Sometimes the arrow is deflected by vegetation or a twig. Sometimes we just plain miss for no explainable reason. Every hunter I have met would rather miss completely than mortally wound or injure an animal without recovering it. Everyone preaches the “wait it out” strategy for wounded deer. But how much time is enough? Even if you allow enough time for a deer to expire, you may not recover the deer in the condition you expect. Such is the case for Minnesota hunter/photographer Matt Addington.

Matt recently sat high above a clearing near the Big Sioux River in South Dakota while waiting for a whitetail to make a mistake. Across the river from him is Northwest Iowa. The Hawkeye State is well known for monster bucks. But South Dakota is no slouch and these river bottoms are home to their share of trophy animals. As Matt’s evening sit played out, a stocky ten pointer appeared under his stand. At just five yards away, the angle created a difficult but still more than ethical shot. After the arrow zipped through the buck, Matt determined his shot penetrated just one lung. He decided to leave him undisturbed for a while.

After four hours of wait time, the trailing began. As he anticipated the opportunity to put his hands on this SoDak whopper, his fears were realized. The buck popped up out of his bed and darted off. A sleepless night ensued. The next morning Matt was back on the blood trail. This time his buck would not escape. In fact, he was just a portion of what he was the evening before. Coyotes made a meal of the great buck’s hind quarters and entrails. If Matt had not found his buck, there is no doubt they would have been back the next night to finish the job. Who knows, he may have bumped the coyotes off the deer as he tracked. Mother Nature doesn't let anything go to waste. Still, it is sad to kill a deer like this and not be able to enjoy the meat. Kudos to Matt for sticking with it and finding his deer.

Thanks to Matt Addington for the photos and willingness to share his story. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattAddington

For more information on coyote control, visit
Monday, October 24, 2011

PostHeaderIcon The Pre-Rut Is Here, Time To Get In The Woods

The deer woods are undergoing a massive and dramatic change. Fresh buck sign began popping up a few weeks ago and deer movement is picking up. The October new moon is just a few days away and deer are responding. It is quite likely that a small percentage of does will begin going into estrous this week. Bucks are already starting to change physically. Case in point, this photo submitted by Paul Korn of Tombstone Creek Outfitters in Northern Missouri. Look at the neck on that stud buck. He is already displaying the classic “rutted up” look of a thick necked goliath.

Paul also says he’s seeing a lot more daytime buck pictures on his many trail cameras. This big eight pointer has no problem walking right out in the open during late afternoon hours. Most hunters equate the rut with the best time to hunt big bucks. After all, they are on their feet and moving at all times during the day in an attempt to breed as many does as possible. However, the pre-rut may be the best time to hunt, especially if you’re the type of hunter that keys in on buck sign like rubs and scrapes. As’s Will Allen writes in his latest story on pre-rut hunting, during peak rut bucks are too busy breeding does to tend to rub lines and scrapes.

Of course, the best part of this change is the October hunting doldrums are coming to an end. The next month of deer hunting will likely be the best hunting we’ll see north of the Mason-Dixon Line. I’m hearing a lot of reports of successful hunts. What’s even more exciting is that many of these successes are on trophy bucks.’s Tyler Hinner connected on a dandy Northwoods 10 pointer over the weekend. Killing a big buck in late October is becoming a tradition for Tyler. He took a meaty 10 pointer last season around the same time.

After deer hunting solely during firearms seasons in the past, I have started archery hunting this year. I was lucky enough to pass up several shot opportunities on opening weekend back in September. Temperatures were warm and I didn’t want to butcher a deer unless it was a trophy class deer. Since then I have been out chasing waterfowl and upland birds and just haven’t put a lot of time in deer hunting. In mid-October I sat in the tree for a few evenings and one morning hunt without seeing any deer move through. I spooked some bedded deer coming in and out of the stand but haven’t had as shot opportunity in five weeks. I’ll be spending three full days in the woods this weekend and look forward to having a chance at my first archery deer. With cooler temperatures moving in this week, I’ll be hunting meat from the outset. The first deer in range of my bow is in serious trouble! Good luck, and please share any of your successes in the comments section.

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