Moultrie would like to take this time to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
We hope each and everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday.
Moultrie’s photo gallery has a new look. We designed our new photo gallery so that our Moultrie users can easily share their great game camera photos. Users are required to sign in to post or rate photos. If you already have a username and password that you use to make online purchases you can use the same one to post in the photo gallery. If you do not have a username, simply create an account. This user name will also work to place an online order.
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We hope that Moultrie users will enjoy the new look and feel of the photo gallery as much as we do. Upload you own photos or comment on the photos that have already been uploaded at http://www.moultriefeeders.com.
-By Rich Miller
Every time I cut on the television to watch a hunting show everyone has some kind of helpful tips or tactics. Most of them do make sense and have a lot of good information. If you listen to them they will help you out and maybe save you a little heartache in the long run.
Last week, two of my good friends called to tell me about missing two giant bucks with their bows. The first call I got was a buddy of mine from Kansas. Now, this guy has been bow hunting for a lot of years and has taken a wall full of trophy class deer with a bow and rifle. Saturday morning he was setup overlooking a cut bean field with his deer decoy about 12 yards from his stand. He said he had several different bucks come in and work the decoy, but none of them were shooters. Around nine o’clock he rattled and grunted a couple of times and got a response from a buck that looked to be in the 160-class range. The buck circled around the decoy posturing the whole time and hung up at 30 yards. He ranged the buck and calmly drew his bow and applied pressure to the release. He released his arrow on its way to what he thought was a chip shot but the arrow landed about three feet short. What he didn’t know was that his bowstring hit his sleeve when he fired his bow. He shoots three or four days a week all year long but he doesn’t wear his bulky hunting jacket when he practices. He said it was the first time that he had worn this particular jacket hunting and he has been having nightmares about it ever since.
Later that afternoon I got the second call from another buddy that lives here in South Carolina. This guy is also one heck of a hunter and takes a lot of animals with his bow every year across the country. He had been in the stand for an afternoon hunt while it was raining. He said it had been pretty uneventful except for a doe and couple of fawns that came into the feeder. Once they had left, he saw a dark looking body coming in his direction. He thought it was a big hog at first, but as it got closer he realized it was a buck. It didn’t take him long to understand there was no need to judge this deer. This buck looked to have a 10-point rack that would score somewhere in the 150’s. Here, in South Carolina, deer of that caliber are unheard of. The buck ended up broadside and gave him a perfect 20-yard shot. My buddy told me that he thought this was going to be a chip shot, but the arrow flew just inches below the buck’s heart. He didn’t know what went wrong, he had made this shot thousands of time when practicing. The only thing he could think of other than “buck fever” is that he had on a full facemask and he could not anchor properly when he came to full draw. Even thought he had shot with it on before, he didn’t practice with it all the time.
You can have all the tips and tactics in the world, but when a monster buck steps out in front of us all that goes out the window because we are in a different zone then. These big bucks have an advantage over us mentally. A thing as small as a arm strap or not practicing the way you hunt can be the difference between a deer of a lifetime on the wall or running away waving a white flag at you.
-By Brandon Wikman
The state of Wisconsin is only a mere three days away from turning completely blaze orange. Thousands of diehard deer hunters from across the nation make their way north to participate in the annual nine-day deer firearm season. A time when families gather, jokes are passed and the sweet smell of chili lingers in the kitchen.
I’ve always been passionate about strictly archery deer hunting, but chasing big bucks with a firearm isn’t so bad either. I remember my very first opening day like it was yesterday. I was far too young to shoot a gun, but I tagged along with my uncle snacking on beef jerky and anxiously waiting to watch him clobber a deer. I would layer myself until I could barely move my arms and always made sure I stuffed my pockets with hand-warmers. I’d bring a few magazines, a handful of candy and something to drink. During the evening our hunting group would enjoy a hot meal, tell stories about each of our day’s highlights and kick back to watch a good hunting video. It’s times like those that never seem slip the mind. It’s always a pleasure to recollect and realize hunting isn’t all about shooting deer, but rather enjoying one’s company and kindling the hunting fire within. I have my uncle to thank for inviting me to experience a lifestyle enriched in deep-hearted memory.
It seems as if my hunting habits haven’t changed a whole lot since then. I always pack myself a lunch full of goodies, thermos brim full of hot cocoa, and a hunting magazine or two to keep me occupied. I still harbor the excitement of opening day and never regret the late night early morning transitions. It’s just all a part of the deer hunting experience.
This year, as always, I will be hunting with my good friends at Bluff Bucks Outfitters in Buffalo County, WI. Today I had spare time between classes and managed to escape college life, but only briefly. I spent the afternoon in a marsh I know all to well. The time was spent double-checking my gun stand, re-clearing shooting lanes and putting my Moultrie cams to work.
I’ve been capturing photographs of a few dandy bucks in the area, but all were taken during the wee hours of the morning. I am hoping with enough luck, one of those bone-headed beastly critters will wander by my tree stand during shooting hours. One thing I’ve learned is that there isn’t any telling when the moment of truth will come. I learned that last year as I climbed out of my stand at noon only to shimmy back up it to fire a bullet into my largest whitetail to date. During firearm season, anything goes. A neighbor may spook a deer your way to or from his lofty perch or perhaps a hot doe crosses with buck-baggage following.
If I were to shed any advice that I’ve learned over the years from great hunters, I’d simply say sit all day. Firearm season only last a couple weeks. It’s not like you can run wild through the woods with a loaded firearm everyday.
When it all boils down to it, firearm season in the great state of Wisconsin or anywhere for that matter has a positive rippling effect that has kept hunting traditions alive and families tightly-knit. I hope all of you have a successful hunting adventure and as always, hunt safe.
After reviewing hundreds of entries each week to choose our weekly winners, a panel of judges at Moultrie selected the 2008 Monster Buck Contest winners.
The Grand Prize Winner is this huge Wisconsin buck.
Congratulations Kevin for capturing a true monster. The Grand Prize package includes a Moultrie I-60 infrared game camera, Camera Security Box, PowerPanel, and two 4-GB SD Cards.
Our 1st Runner Up is this awesome North Carolina buck that was sent in by Jeff.
And 2nd Runner Up was awarded to this great Louisiana buck captured by Tyler.
Congratulations to all of our winners and thanks to everyone who participated by sending in so many impressive photos.
-By Rich Miller
My much anticipated Kansas hunting trip was finally here. When I arrived in Kansas the weather couldn’t have been any worse for hunting whitetails. The temperature was in the high seventies and the wind was blowing thirty-five miles per hour. If there is one thing that shuts the movement of these whitetails down, it is hot weather during the rut. The first few days I did see a good many small bucks but the big boys were staying hidden. The bucks responded well to calling and decoying; we just needed the wind to die down a little and for the temperature to drop.
The day I arrived at camp we scouted a new piece of property that we leased this year. There were a lot of deer signs in the area, but they had not cut the corn yet. So I figured I would give it a few days and maybe they would cut it. After I hunted Sunday morning I decided to hang a stand on the cornfield to hunt that afternoon. When I got there the farmer had cut half the cornfield on the side where I was going to hang the stand.
Sunday was perfect as for as the weather goes. The wind had layed and it was in the low fifties for the high. So wouldn’t you know it when I got to the cornfield about three o’clock for my hunt the combine was in the field cutting corn. To say the least I was a little disappointed, but I was already there and I really didn’t have time to go anywhere else. Plus it looked like he was about finished. Well I went ahead and set up my Carry-Lite deer decoy and got in my stand.
The combine got out of the field about 4:00 and I had the first deer come in the field about 4:45. At 5:00 I saw a doe come over the horizon about a thousand yards away. While I was checking her out in my binoculars I caught movement coming from behind her and it didn’t take me long to realize that he was a shooter. Although I considered him a shooter I figured the odds of him coming into bow range were slim to none. I did feel like the doe should be headed for the cornfield that I was in to feed. While these two deer were easing my way, another doe coming from the north cut them off and came into the field that I was in. While the buck had closed the distance considerably he was still about four hundred yards out. I kept grunting and snort wheezing hoping he would see my decoy. He would look every time I called to him but all of his focus stayed on the doe he was following. He started chasing the doe pretty aggressively and she joined the other doe that was already in the cornfield and they were feeding in my direction. The buck wasn’t paying the decoy very much attention but the two does started heading in my direction. As the does were getting closer the buck started paying more attention to the decoy. The buck came around and tried to get between the two does and the decoy and gave me a perfect broadside 26-yard shot. When my arrow found its mark the buck never made it out of the field.
When I first saw this buck I never in my wildest dreams figured that I could get him in bow range, but I just kept calling and calling. I normally would have never called as constantly as I did on this hunt but it got to the point where I didn’t have anything to lose. I think between the calling and the decoy that the curiosity of the does is what killed this buck.
Scott Bestul posed an interesting question for hunters in his November 6, Whitetail 365 blog post. Bestul sets up the scenario where you have two bucks working toward your stand. Given equal opportunity to harvest either deer which buck would you harvest? One buck is obviously the older buck sporting a huge body, a sway back, and sagging belly but has a less than impressive rack. The other buck is a much younger deer sporting a headgear that would easily be a Boone and Crockett buck. Check out the pictures that Bestul posted on his blog from a friends farm. Let us know which buck you would rather harvest and why. Would you choose the old cagey buck or the potential B&C buck?
Moultrie’s Monster Bucks Contest is quickly coming to a close. This is the final week to get your entries in for the contest. If you have been waiting to get just the right shot of that monster to send in, now is the time to do it. Check our Photo Gallery to see the winners from the previous weeks’ entries. Does your buck have what it takes to win the Grand Prize? Check out the wicked rack one this buck, which was a weekly winner in Week 4.
-By Brandon Wikman
This fall I sat perched in a Buffalo County cottonwood for nearly thirty days. I tallied hundreds of hours in the tree stand and exerted thousands of hours dedicated to planning, preparing, and pre-visualizing the brief moment I experienced Sunday morning. The moment of successful harvest!
Sunday morning I mailed a carbon shaft arrow ‘express delivery’ into a very respectable whitetail while with my good friends at Bluff Bucks Outfitters. I believe this weekend was by far the best few days in the woods Wisconsin and the Midwest has seen all season. The complex variables of weather, deer activity, rut phase, and luck finally came together. It has surely proven itself through not only my fortune, but also hundreds of happy hunters sporting grins and grabbing antler for picture perfect trophy photos.
The Midwest has just escaped a major rut melt down due to last week’s miserable 70-degree temperatures. Deer activity was sparse and much of the buck activity was during the night when temperatures were cooler. Friday the warm system pushed eastward and we got blasted with a high-pressure system that brought snow with it. Not only did it bring frigid temperatures, but it also brought back the rut.
Sunday morning I woke extra early to get ready. I had to finish washing my clothes and taking a scent-free shower. I definitely needed one after somehow managing to burn an egg omelet. As soon as I walked out the door, I felt a positive vibe in the air. A special feeling hunter’s happen to get every now and then.
In the cloak of darkness, I crept my way through the woods. Watching each and every step, I managed to dodge every crunchy twig en route to my tree stand. I decided to use a young buck decoy anticipating I’d stir a mature buck’s feelings. After placing the decoy, I scaled my tree and prepared for first light.
I sat cold and shivering the entire morning without much deer activity. I spotted my first deer at 9 o’clock in the morning. It was a buck busting through brush chasing a doe. All I could see were antlers and a blob of brown. He never came within a hundred yards of the tree stand.
An hour had passed since I had seen the buck, so I decided to fumble around in my bag for my grunt tube. I barked out a cadence of tending grunts and combined a few estrous bleats to compliment the scenario.
I swiveled my head for a glance behind me and caught movement. As I turned around, there he stood! The buck had my decoy pinned and wouldn’t keep his eyes off. I instinctively reached for my bow and waited for a broadside shot. At only 20-yards away, my arrow found its mark.
This fall has been one of my most memorable hunting experiences yet. I have had an unbelievable encounter with a 160 class 10-point at thirty yards and a handful of 140’s out of distance and camera light. So many obstacles must be overcome when trying to kill a nice buck. This fall in Wisconsin was no different than any other season for me in that it took time, patience, and a little luck.
-By Brandon Wikman
The beginning of November has always been one of the most incredible spectacles for deer hunters. It is a time when the forest ignites into a deer-chasing, rack-busting, heart-pumping frenzy! Hunters from across the country save their vacation days for this slight window of opportunity, in hope of slicing an arrow through a lovesick buck. As we approach the second week of November, I still find myself asking this simple question, where is the rut?
Last weekend I hunted hard with my good friends in Buffalo County. Typically, camp would have had at least three slammer bucks down by now. People would be sitting in a tree sunup to sundown awaiting the moment of truth and time to shine. The fact is neither is happening. Hunters aren’t seeing big bucks and the action has come to a screeching halt by 10:00 a.m. The all out buck-blitz has been severely choked by the unseasonably warm temperatures.
The temperature yesterday teetered the 70-degree mark. The weekly average temperature has been in the mid-60s. It is plain to see that the warm weather has declined nearly all mid-day movement. Instead of bundling up like an Eskimo, it feels like I’m dressing for an early season hunt in Texas.
Last Friday morning I sat until noon. The only deer I saw were a doe and a fawn making their way back from a cornfield. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a buck behind her. I called it quits for a few hours and headed back out around 2:00 in the afternoon. I sat motionless for hours without seeing a speck of brown fur, until last light. I had a small basket-racked 8-point buck pass under my tree stand. The good news was that I still had two more days to hunt until I had to go back to school. The bad news was that the weather was only going to get worse for hunting. It really put a damper on the camp atmosphere because nobody was seeing mature deer.
Saturday was spent in the same perch with the exact same results. There was really no game plan or strategy. The deer simply didn’t participate in any chasing until after dark when the temperatures dimmed a few degrees. It wasn’t until Sunday morning when my heart finally began to flutter! I heard some obnoxious crashing and crunching behind me in the brush. I listened closely and heard a few subtle grunts. I automatically grabbed my bow, attached my release to the string and waited for the buck to show himself. Nearly thirty yards behind me, a doe squirted out of a bedding thicket with her head hung low rocketing out of scene. Within seconds, here he came. A Boone and Crockett spike horn with 12-inch spiked daggers. He frolicked his way after the doe with a slightly swelled neck. It was definitely not what I was expecting or hoping for.
Needless to say, the weekend was very unproductive. I’ve been concentrating on the weather forecast at www.weather.com. Wisconsin and the better part of the Midwest will be experiencing a dramatic temperature turnaround by Friday. There is a winter storm approaching from the Rocky Mountains and brewing snow. The 70-degree temperatures are going to be cut in half. The Midwest should expect mid-30s for a high and temperatures dipping into the 20s by night. If I’d take my chance guessing, I strongly believe the deer activity should be astonishing.
The variables seem to be in our favor for next weekend. Good luck to everyone and hopefully my next blog posting will be much more positive!