Daniel Schmidt’s Whitetail Wisdom

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D&DH Editor Dan Schmidt’s columns and blogs have become a must-read for deer hunters and anyone who loves whitetails. This blog is the melting pot for all the whitetail wisdom that he has gleaned over the years while working with North America’s top deer biologists, behaviorists, hunters and land managers. You can also follow him on Twitter — @DanSchmidtDeer — and Facebook.


Heaven Got a Good One in Gary Clancy

They say your value as a human being is how you treat others. If that’s truly the case, Gary Clancy was worth billions. If you’ve read Deer & Deer Hunting — or any other quality hunting publication — over the years, you surely recognize this name. He was among the best of the best....

Dan Schmidt Deer & Deer Hunting

My Deer Hunting Predator Mode

Scout. Manage. Hunt. That’s what modern deer hunting is all about. But to seal the deal we still must embrace that inner predator that’s hard-wired in our DNA. A deer will often show up sight unseen. If it’s a deer you want, you have to make the shot, and you have to make it...

Mossy Oak deer hunters

Deer Hunting’s Tailgate Ties

The spark that ignited my passion for whitetails struck me sometime 40 odd years ago when I experienced my first gathering around a bloody tailgate. It might have seemed odd the first time I saw it, but an open, blood-stained tailgate on a pickup truck was a sign of success. Back in those days,...

Dan Schmidt Deer & Deer Hunting

Dream a Little Deer Hunting Dream

“When I was young, I had the time but not the means. Now that I’m older, I have the means but not the time.” For a moment, let’s dare to dream that impossible dream of the ultimate deer season. For me, it would be an eight-month affair, and it would include a smorgasbord of...

Dan Schmidt Deer & Deer Hunting

Pursuit of Bowhunting Perfection

  It was a sticky Sunday evening in July, and I was bored. So, like most 1980s teenagers did, I relied on my imagination for entertainment. Not sure what drew me to that long-abandoned PSE Archery Citation compound bow in the corner of Pa’s garage, but I’m sure it had something to do with...

The more you know about deer densities, the better a land steward you will become. (Daniel Schmidt)

Always Stress Land Stewardship

Land management is fun, but it also comes with great responsibility. In our giddy enthusiasm to grow bigger and better deer, many hunters/landowners forget the founding tenant to sound whitetail management: responsible deer densities. A high abundance of white-tailed deer can create dramatic changes in forest understory that leads to irreparable harm to the...

A close-up at the whitetail's molting process. This doe is losing her winter coat - fast. She will soon don the clay-red hairs of summer. Stealth Cam photo by Daniel Schmidt)

Molting: When and Why Deer Lose Their Hair

If you have trail cameras out, you’ve probably noticed some really ratty-looking deer out there. I’ve received many inquiries here at D&DH, and the common question is: What’s wrong with the deer? There’s nothing wrong with them, actually. The annual molting process — the few weeks in spring when deer lose their thick fall...

What Makes Odd Buck Antlers?

Jeff Evans and his trophy 9-pointer. Photo by Dan Schmidt

Whitetail antlers come in all shapes and sizes, and the reasons why some bucks grow abnormal antlers is highly speculative — even among white-tailed deer researchers.



What’s the Best Caliber for Deer Hunting?

From today’s mail comes a question from Dave Roettger, a Deer & Deer Hunting subscriber who enjoys gun-hunting. Dave writes: “My wife and I purchased land in the Upper Peninsula. My son-in-law’s family lives and hunts across the road. My residence is in Sheboygan County, Wis., which does not allow rifle hunting. I would...

Loden Peil, 10, shot his first gobbler while hunting with his dad this morning. (photo by Daniel E. Schmidt)

Turkey Hunting Bonus: The Conversation

Allow for a slight diversion from the deer talk this week. This morning’s text volley between a long-time hunting buddy is too good not to share. My buddy Joe drove to my house yesterday for some last-minute turkey hunting action with his 10-year-old son, Loden. They spent the better part of this spring in...