All too often we get caught up in everything about deer hunting, or hunting or fishing, and forget about what it was like when we began all those years ago.
Remember that? Remember the anticipation, the excitement, the curiosity? Remember sitting in a blind or stand, or on a stump in a forest, and watching everything come alive, a deer walk through, a bobcat or coyote stroll past?
Remember when you actually congratulated someone for their success instead of rudely asking, “Why would you shoot that? You should have let it grow.” Too many hunters love to talk big and spout off platitudes like hunting is for everyone and a trophy is in the eye of the hunter, but they forget about and sometimes crush the joy of hunters who just enjoy it and aren’t out for someone else’s idea of a “trophy.”
Steve Bartylla gives us a great reminder about all of this in this episode of Hunt ’em Big. Bartylla has chased big bucks on private and public land for years, but he still enjoys hunting and still knows that happiness while hunting is defined by the hunter — just as it should be.
Season 1, Ep. 9. Originally aired Nov. 26, 2015.
Hunt ’em Big is brought to you by:
Bush Hog 3308 Series Multi-Spindle Rotary Cutters are designed to cut grass, weeds, and up to 2-inches diameter brush. The lift and semi-mount models are available with economical twin beam axles or heavy duty cushioned axles. The pull and the 3308SH models have only the heavy duty axles. The 3308 models deliver what you would expect from Bush Hog® which are rugged durability and excellent performance of clean cutting without windrows of cut material. The 3308SH has a hydraulic cylinder to offset the cutter 13-inches to the right of the tractor centerline. Extending farther beyond the tractor tires is ideal in orchards or hard to reach areas near ditches. Deep sidebands result in more volume area beneath the deck for extra heavy growth conditions. www.bushhog.com
Easton Axis carbon arrows provide bowhunters with numerous advantages thanks to decades of serious experience in the field and in the design labs. Axis carbon arrows are a favorite choice for serious bowhunters looking for deep-penetrating big game performance. Axis carbon arrows deliver the extreme penetration of micro-diameter carbon, while Hidden Insert Technology aligns broadheads for tighter groups. Our straightness measurements are actual, and surpass, with a far more stringent straightness requirement, ATA/ASTM industry standard. We measure straightness based on the full length of the shaft, minus two inches, which makes Easton arrows the most accurate in the industry. What we say is what you get — and better. www.eastonarrows.com
Millennium’s L200 Double Ladder Stand is ideal to share a day in the woods with your family and friends. With a 500-pound capacity, it is perfect for introducing a young hunting partner to the outdoors. The L200 is fully equipped with ComfortTech seats, adjustable shooting rails and folding foot rests. If you’re hunting solo, the ample size will give you plenty of room for your backpack or other accessories. Hunt safely by using a safety harness and lifeline with your stand. www.millenniumstands.com
Rage Broadheads’ new X-Treme Crossbow broadhead offers a bone-crushing 2.3-inch entry wound with instant deployment of its razor-sharp blades upon contact. This means you’ll get harder-hitting penetration along with mind-boggling blood trails for easier tracking. Available in 100-grain two-blade style with a larger entry tip, the X-Treme Crossbow broadhead will help you put more deer on the ground this season. www.ragebroadheads.com
Reconyx WR6 UltraFire White Flash You’ll find a host of features in the Reconyx WR6 UltraFire White Flash game camera, including Micro HDMI and USB output connections that let you play back images and video with sound directly to a high definition televisions or transfer data to a computer. High sensitivity image sensors coupled with the latest generation high energy color LED Illuminators provide exceptionally clear color night time images, even at extended ranges of up to 60 feet. The camera has two dedicated camera lenses: one specifically designed to provide rich daytime images and the other to provide clear color night time photography. No moving parts means more reliability and totally silent operation in the field. www.reconyx.com
Redneck Blinds offers a great variety of hunting blinds and products including the Sportsman Bale Blind, which is the perfect two-person ground blind for hunting, scouting, or photography. The Sportsman hay bale blind is strong, lightweight, easy to move and can be left outside all season under the harshest conditions. The strong metal frame is built to withstand heavy snow loads and strong winds. A durable, hand-sewn natural cover can last approximately three years when left outside year-round. It is replaceable. The cover can easily be removed in just a few minute for off season storage that will more than double the life of your cover. Replacement covers are available. www.redneckblinds.com
Wildlife Research Center Scent Killer Gold Contain your odors when you’re pursuing big bucks with Wildlife Research Center Scent Killer Gold spray. It incorporates Hunt Dry technology for maximum performance after it dries, so you don’t have to hunt with wet clothing. It works wet and dry, and is scientifically formulated to last longer. Scent Killer Gold has a specialized blend of advanced odor-fighting ingredients, attacks a wide range of odors and at the same time, helps prevent new odors from forming. www.Wildlife.com
From Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine, the 2016 Whitetails Wall Calendar features the work of deer researchers Wayne Laroche and Charlie Alsheimer, who reveal the 2016 whitetail rut prediction, based on years of lunar cycle research. Utilize this deer moon phase calendar to find out which days the deer will be seeking and chasing so you can time the rut for the best time to hunt.
“The DDH wall calendar is one of our most popular annual ShopDeerHunting items,” said Dan Schmidt, DDH Content Director and Editor-in-Chief. “The 2016 calendar, just like the ones before it, features some amazing whitetail deer photography that captures deer in all the seasons. It also provides deer activity charts so you can plan your hunt.”
With the 2016 DDH Whitetails Wall Calendar you’ll learn:
- When the seeking, chasing and tending phases of the rut will occur for North & South
- The predicted dates of Major & Minor deer activity in 2016
- Daily 2016 Moon-phase data
Charles Alsheimer is a long-time field editor for Deer and Deer Hunting. Alsheimer’s articles appear in Outdoor Life, Whitetail News, and many other prominent magazines. His books include Strategies for Whitetails, Whitetail – Rites of Autumn, Quality Deer Management – The Basics and Beyond, Hunting Whitetails by the Moon, Whitetail – Behavior Through the Seasons,and Whitetail – The Ultimate Challenge. He is also the co-author of A Guide to Adirondack Deer Hunting.
Wayne Laroche is a respected biologist and avid whitetail hunter who spends the entire deer season in northern Maine chasing big timber bucks. He became interested in the moon’s influence on whitetails after researching the impact the moon has on grouper in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Afterwards, as he hunted the Maine woods every year, he noticed distinct fluctuations in whitetail activity patterns. After studying the yearly changes he began to wonder if the moon was affecting the way whitetails behaved during November, just as it had influenced the fish he had studied years before.