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.

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...

Dan Schmidt in a Heater Body Suit

The Best Places to Hang Tree Stands

If you’re able to take advantage of a delayed spring, it might provide the benefit of getting in a few extra weeks of scouting for potential tree stand sites for this fall’s deer season. Although cover, food sources and proximity to bedding areas are the three main ingredients I look for when selecting potential stands...

Spook a buck one time, and he will most likely adopt nocturnal behavior for at least a little while.

Dan Schmidt: How Deer React to Human Pressure

Human pressure – be it from hunters, hikers or horse riders – is the No. 1 suppressor of daytime deer activity. Deer & Deer Hunting contributors Charlie Alsheimer and Vermont biologist Wayne Laroche have documented the extent of this suppressor during their ongoing study of how the moon affects deer behavior. Using trail timers...