The "Anniversary" Buck

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I just thought that I'd drop in and post a couple of pics of a potential hit list buck. He's called "Anniversary" because 6/20 is my wedding anniversary and that is when I pulled the card. These pics are in the food plot on the property that we live on. I wasn't even planning on checking the camera because I just put it out last Wednesday, but I had a busted bag of corn that needed to go. So, I shoveled it up and drove it down on the 4 wheeler to dump in front of the cam. I already had 18 pics on the new lick and this buck was in two of them. He's, without a doubt, the best looking deer that we've seen on our place (only lived there a year), but I'm not sure if he'll make the hit list or not. We need a few more pics to determine his age. 9 points by June 19 isn't too bad though!

Sarah, my wife, has laid claim to him. I hope she gets him! She has the thumbs up on any buck, regardless of age since she hasn't taken one yet. If he's of age and Scott or I see him before Sarah does... Well, I just hope that she doesn't kick me to the barn!

The Velvet is Growing Fast

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in , | Posted on Saturday, June 19, 2010

A few weeks ago Bo and I put a freshened up a few salt licks on one of our Missouri properties and hung a few cameras on the licks.  Yesterday, Bo had a few hours to run out in the ~100 degree temps and check two of the cams.  The first cam was put on a lick that hadn't be freshened up in nearly three years.  But every year I usually see signs of pawing at the lick.  Unfortunately, we didn't have any deer hit this first lick during the first couple of weeks.  But I'm positive it's just a matter of time before the deer find this fresh lick again and we start to get a few more pics on this portion of the farm.

The second lick was another story.  This area is always a hot spot during the summer and early season.  It always seems like the bucks really swarm to this area for some reason.  With the first picture on the camera, we started off the preseason with a new target buck.  The first pictures of him weren't the best, but as the weeks progressed, he visited the lick multiple times and we were able to get some decent pictures of him.  This buck has been named "First Pull" since he was the very first deer we got on cam this year.

As you can see, this buck all ready is starting a split G2, split brow tine and has a kicker coming off of his base.  Based on body size, this buck is definitely mature.  When Bo was walking to this cam, he actually spotted this buck and another good buck browsing in the corn field.  He wasn't able to get too close to them before they got back into the timber, but here is the photo zoomed in.

Besides "First Pull", we got pics of two more bucks that look to be at least three years old on the same salt lick.  We're going to need to get a few more pictures of these bucks before we can say one way or another if they're going to be shooters or not, but it's nice to see some really good deer hitting the salt licks.

The Picture is Worth a Million Words

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Monday, June 14, 2010

Over the past couple of years, Bo and I primarily used his handheld Sony HandyCam for all of our filming.  It worked great for what we needed and we learned A LOT with that little camera.  But since we've been fortunate enough to make the next step up into the filming industry with Midwest Whitetail, we needed to take the next step with our equipment.  

Late last week the man in the little brown truck dropped off a package that Bo and I had been eagerly awaiting - a Sony DSR-PD150 digital camcorder.  We studied and reviewed so many different camera manufacturers, models, styles, etc. before making this decision.....I was just glad we finally came to an agreement and bought the camera that met our needs the best - the Sony PD150. 

We have started messing around with the camcorder a little bit and it is easily going to take us all summer to get all of the settings and adjustments set and fully understood.  Just the smallest tweak on these cameras can make so much of a difference in the picture.  But hopefully by September 15, we will be experts with the PD150!  We are extremely excited to see how this camera is going to better our filming capabilities so make sure to check out our first Midwest Whitetail video for the Great Plains show, which should hopefully be uploaded sometime in August.  

Summer Preparation

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in , | Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2010

During the hot, summer months, many hunters have not yet started thinking about the upcoming whitetail season.  Bo and I are not like most hunters though and whitetails are on our minds all year long!  While fields are sprouting new crops and whitetails are growing their new antlers during the summer, they consume large amounts of minerals that are necessity for them to remain healthy and grow a full rack during the year.  Bo and I are adamant about supplementing our deer herds with additional sources of minerals by placing mineral stations and salt licks throughout the property.  Mineral supplements come in a variety of forms and it seems that we use a little of everything during the last couple of years.  Today, Bo and I had a couple of hours so we decided to freshen up a few existing salt licks on one of our Missouri properties.

These salt licks were started over four years ago and are still going strong.  Even without replenishment since early last fall, the deer were still pawing at and eating the mud within the old lick.

One cheap salt lick recipe that Bo and I have had success with over the years is one box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda and 40-50lbs of salt.  Our local grocery store happened to have a sale on salt pellets most people use for their water softeners.....we had a different use today.

Another great benefit of mineral and salt stations is they provide us with a great place to get an early season inventory check on some of the bucks living on the property.  The deer absolutely love these licks and will usually stick around for five to ten minutes to get their picture taken and usually provide a couple of different angles for the camera.  Hopefully the first card pull here in three to four weeks will allow us to put a couple new bucks on our 2010 hit list.

After freshening up the licks, we had a little bit of time to double check a stand to make sure it was still safe and secure and do a little bit of visual scouting.  We did come across three or four different sets of buck tracks that definitely got us excited for the upcoming season!

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A little over a week ago, Scott and I spent a little time turkey hunting with our friends Lee and Chris Schmidt. They are our KS neighbors and are quite the father/son hunting tandem. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side and the turkey hunting was the slowest it has been all year. The birds just weren't there. Nevertheless, we had a really nice time and it was good to hunt with friends. We spent the majority of the morning touring their property and doing some sporadic calling. What a beautiful place they have!

After our uneventful morning hunt, Scott and I split up from Lee and Chris to get some work done on our lease. Our 80 acre farm consists of a little timber, 55 acres of native grasses enrolled in CRP, and a bit of brush. For the first time ever, we are allowed to put in food plots. We're hoping that the addition of a few plots will make our already good property even better.

We hired a local farmer to come in at the beginning of April to do some discing for us. He tilled up about an acre and a half for us and did a really nice job. The week before we went down to plant, Lee and I sprayed roundup on the new weed growth that had attacked the plots. When we went down this time, I hooked up the Groundhog Max disc to my 4 wheeler and redisced it to loosen the soil up again.

After I retilled the soil, Scott loaded up the seeder and broadcast some Roundup Ready Soybeans into this 3/4 acre plot. I then disced it again in order to cover the beans. With any luck, the deer will leave some of them be during their early stages of growth so that we'll have a nice stand of them to hunt over in the fall. There isn't much out there that is any better than late season standing soybeans! We plan on overseeding some rye into this plot in August to give the deer something to munch on during the drying period that the beans will go through.

After planting the beans, we planted another plot with some whitetail and ladino clover. We're hoping that this plot will last a few years. We have intentions of adding 3 or 4 more plots to the property this fall.

Once the Spring food plotting was done, it was time to put out some minerals and hang the first trail cam of the year. We had a trophy rock in this spot last year and the deer really devoured it. We're hoping that they take a liking to these minerals and will pose for the camera. It will likely be July before we make it back down, so we're hoping for a memory card full of shooter bucks when we make it back down to the property.

Deer season is really a year round sport for Scott and I. It's true that the season only lasts a few months, but the preparation and scouting that we put into it literally lasts 52 weeks a year. We really never take a break, even during turkey season. It was actually quite funny the number of times that Scott and I started talking deer hunting in the turkey blind this season. If it ever got slow, one of us would start talking. "I bet there's a good trail just inside the woodline of that inside corner over there. We should get a set hung in there this summer..." That's just how it goes with us hardcore bowhunters. We eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff and love every stinkin' minute of it. The blood, sweat, and tears are a very small price to pay for the enjoyment and satisfaction that we get out of the hunting. We thank the Good Lord for giving us the opportunity to chase these wonderful critters. There is nothing we love to do more!