Top Five Podcast Episodes by Whitetail Guru Fans

These are the top five most listened to podcast episodes by Whitetail Guru fans. In fact, it is hard to argue with the statistics. These are some great episodes and conversations with fellow hunters and biologists that you do not want to miss. As we draw closer to deer season you may want to listen again and see if there is a nugget you may have missed the first go-round. Either way we hope you enjoy!

5. #45: Tagged Out! Two Late Season November Bucks.

This episode highlights Nathan’s quick 2019 season where he tagged out on two nice bucks before the end of November. Both Georgia bucks, Nathan walks through step by step how he put the pieces together to harvest a five-and-a-half and three-and-a-half year-old buck.

4. #42: : Public Land Bear Hunting, Plans for the Rut and Mentoring New Hunters

This episode lays out Nathan and Daniel’s plan to make a DIY trip to north Georgia for the fall bear season. This is Nathan’s first go at a Georgia bear, and the two map out possibilities and plans. Likewise, they dive into the importance of bringing someone else alongside and teaching them the basics of hunting.

3. #41: Chronic Wasting Disease and Hemorrhagic Disease with Kip Adams

We cannot encourage this interview with Kip Adams enough. He details the detriment of deer diseases and how they can quickly become an issue if we as hunters do not do our part. What was once a western United States problem is now a problem for all deer hunters.

2. #39: Public Land Whitetail Deer Research with Gino D’Angelo

Gino D’Angelo gives insightful data on the research he and his team is conducting in the southern Appalachia region. Deer densities are light and numbers are not increasing anytime soon. He goes over his research and what needs to be done in order for the future success of deer in this part of the United States.

1. #47: Bear Biology and Behavior with State Project Leader Adam Hammond

Bear hunting is quickly becoming a fan favorite, and hunters realize there are several opportunities within their state or the state next door. Biologist Adam Hammond has years of experience with bears and shares valuable information about black bear behavior in the South.

We hope you enjoy these episodes as they will only be available for a limited time. If you would like to hear more episode please consider supporting by clicking the link below.

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WHITETAIL GURU HUNTING PODCAST #22:FIELD TO FORK WITH HANK FORESTER OF QDMA

In this episode of the Whitetail Guru Hunting Podcast we talk with Hank Forester of QDMA about recruiting new hunters.

On the latest episode of the Whitetail Guru Hunting Podcast we talk with Hank Forester of the Quality Deer Management Association about Share Your Hunt and Field to Fork. Hank is the Hunting Heritage Programs Manager for the QDMA. Hank Forester along with Charles Evans, Georgia R3 Coordinator, co-founded Field to Fork. In a nutshell, Hank travels the United States helping branches recruit new hunters into the fold. He dives into this much deeper in our interview.

We encourage you to listen to the podcast by clicking the link below. If you like the podcast please also take time to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes by clicking the link below. These positive reviews and subscriptions help us more than you know.

iTunes link: Episode #22

Whitetail Guru Hunting Podcast Episode 22

In this episode we discuss:

  • Share Your Hunt Opportunities
  • Field to Fork
  • R3 and hunter recruitment
  • Decline in hunter numbers and license sales
  • How to get involved with a QDMA branch
  • The best way to share venison with a neighbor
  • Staggering statistics about public perception of deer hunting
  • Field To Fork success stories
  • Our all new Whitetail Rally Round©

Show Notes: 

Images provided by QDMA and Pale Horse Productions.

WHITETAIL GURU HUNTING PODCAST #9: LINDSAY THOMAS JR., TALKS CWD, SOUTHEAST DEER STUDY GROUP AND SHARING VENISON

In this episode we talk to QDMA’s Lindsay Thomas Jr., about the effects of CWD and research from the Southeast Deer Study Group.

Today on the podcast we talk with Lindsay Thomas Jr., who is the editor of Quality Whitetails magazine and Director of Communications for the Quality Deer Management Association. We dive into a plethora of studies involving cutting edge deer research. Similarly, we discuss the threats of chronic wasting disease and how hunters can help prevent the spread of the disease.

We encourage you to listen to the podcast by clicking the link below. If you like the podcast please also take time to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes by clicking the link below. These positive reviews and subscriptions help us more than you know.

iTunes link: Episode #9

In this episode we discuss: 

  • CWD Red Zones
  • Southeast Deer Study Group
  • Deer antler research
  • Coyote impacts on fawn recruitment
  • Weather-related research
  • Passive trail camera surveys
  • QDMA five-year goals
  • Sharing venison
  • Use #QDMAShares

Show Notes: 

WHITETAIL GURU HUNTING PODCAST #6: SOUTHERN HABITAT MANAGEMENT AND INVASIVES WITH LAND & LEGACY’S ADAM KEITH

Today on the podcast we sit down with Adam Keith who is a land consultant and host of the Land and Legacy Podcast.

Today on the show we talk with Land & Legacy’s Adam Keith. Adam is a land consultant  for Land & Legacy. He also serves as President of the Ozark Highlands Branch of QDMA. During our conversation we discuss several different habitat options for the southern hunter. Adam is passionate about being a good steward of the land, and this podcast proves just that. We hope you enjoy!

We encourage you to listen to the podcast by clicking the link below. If you like the podcast please also take time to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes by clicking the link below. These positive reviews and subscriptions help us more than you know.

iTunes link: Episode #6

In this episode we discuss: 

  • Southern habitat management
  • Hunting timber farms
  • Options When Leasing Property
  • Invasive species in the south
  • First time turkey hunter experience
  • Food plot diversity
  • 2018 deer season goals

Show Notes: 

Three Deer Stand Locations That Will Lead to Success

These locations will be dynamite this fall. Be sure to get intel now for these deer stand locations.

By Nathan Unger

Each summer, as hunters, we’re often faced with the conundrum of where to place our deer stands for the coming deer season. Deer stand locations are important because it could be the difference between harvesting that big whitetail you’ve been dreaming about all summer long.

Hunters have to ask themselves a few questions before they set up stands:

Should I place a stand where I’m seeing summer bachelor group bucks?

Male whitetail home ranges can vary drastically once their velvet comes off and their testosterone level increases. Bucks will move from food-to-bedding patterns in the summer to  looking for and chasing does in the fall.

These deer stand locations will account for some of these changes in home ranges, and will ultimately lead to success will a little bit of buck luck.

Find the food

three deer stand locations

The first location that will be good for the entire season is on the edge of a food source that is downwind of a bedding area where it funnels into that food source. This could include a food plot or a crop field.

If your state has an early bow season this could still be highly successful under the correct weather and pressure conditions in the early season as bucks are still easily patterned. Likewise, if the bedding area is a doe bedroom those bucks will be cruising all around during the rut and into December and January.

This is probably my favorite set-up because it’s good all year long.

The key? Early season scouting before dark or with trail cameras to see where the deer are entering the food sources to help narrow down which tree to precisely put a stand in.

Locate funnels

deer stand locations
A diagram of bedding areas, stand locations and food sources.

While some of this terminology may be more familiar in the western states they can still be applied in south where I do most of my hunting.

There have been several times that I have bumped deer because I thought there was no way they would be located on a certain hillside or in a certain ravine, but over the years it seems as if they prefer certain terrain to better smell approaching predators.

Funnels are a specific point where several paths intersect that deer prefer to travel because of terrain features or obstacles.

The key? Make sure your stand is on the downwind side of these funnels and that you’ve done your research on where that buck is traveling from.

A lot of times that mature buck will make a ‘J-hook’ to sniff out the area before entering a certain location. Oftentimes this is specific to bedding, however deer don’t always follow the rules.

These can be successful during the rut primarily as bucks are chasing does and can be careless from time to time especially if the wind is in your favor.

Identify benches

These unique, topographical ledges are exactly what they sound like. Imagine a hillside being the backboard of a bench and the seat being an off-shoot of that hill. These off-shoots are some of mature bucks favorite bedding areas because they can see anything coming from below them and smell anything coming from above them.

Numerous times have I gotten too close to these areas and bumped deer because they caught my scent. Setting up a stand on the downwind side of the entrance to these benches will be great sites to place a stand.

Diagram

The diagram above highlights food sources, “F”, bedding areas are marked with a purple circle,”X” marks stand locations and the purple lines are streams running through the property. The three X’s that are immediately adjacent to the red borders are the funnels specific to this property where the terrain or stream forces deer into this specific location.

The X’s that are not located on a food sources or immediately next to the red border are benches where the deer will sometimes bed or travel in between food sources or bedding areas.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. By no means is this a one-size-fits-all formula, but for the majority it will lead to hunting success this season.

NEXT:New to Mineral Stations? This Will Help.

Shed Hunting: Where To Find Them

By Nathan Unger

It’s that time of the year again when bucks begin to drop there antlers and hunting season kicks back in! Not with a bow or a rifle but with your eyes, friends and maybe even a dog! Yes, it’s shed hunting season and not the kind that houses your lawn mower in the backyard. The kind where you cover miles of ground maybe just to find one or two pieces of bone. The reality is you can increase the possibility of finding more sheds in a smaller amount of time if you focus on these high percentage areas instead of aimlessly wondering through the woods. Here are a few to get you started!

1.) Bedding Areas

This is probably the location that even the amateur shed hunter is familiar with because you want to, with any location, find where bucks are spending most of their time. Bucks are traveling the minimum they have to in order to survive the harsh conditions of winter. Many times they’re going straight from their bed room to a food source. This is why if you can find the bedding area then there is a pretty good chance you will find antlers if they have already dropped. This leads me to our next location.

2.) Food Sources

This is arguably the second best place to search when looking for sheds because this is where bucks are going to frequent. Why? Because a buck has to eat to survive. Often times you will be able to see white bone sticking up among the food unless of course it has snowed you’ll probably have to walk the food plot. This is when training your dog comes in handy. Between the two of you (and a dog’s nose probably counts as two) you will be able to cover a lot more ground in a shorter time span.

Shed

3.) Deer Highways

This is quintessential just as much as the other two because how do bucks get between a bedding area and food source? Via the highways they travel. This is a great place to look because bucks will rub against trees or shrubs while they are traveling which can jar the antlers loose, or even when they duck below limbs it might be ample movement to lose the left or right side. You should especially be on the look out for rough terrain such as a gully, ravine or stream crossing. Anything that might force the deer to add extra movement could be just enough for that bone to come loose!

4.) Fence Crossings

Last but certainly not least are fence crossings. Anytime a deer attempts to jump over a fence or duck below a fence is perfect for finding sheds. The jump can jar sheds lose as well as barbed wire that catches the antlers when a deer tries to go underneath. If the deer have lost their antlers towards the end of winter, and you know where a fence is, there’s a high percentage chance you will find some bone. As long as the squirrels or neighbors haven’t beaten you to it!

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A Few Ways To Prepare For The Off Season

By Nathan Unger

As deer season comes to an end it’s easy to sit back turn the television on and watch a show by the crackling fire, kind of like I am right now. However, there are still tasks to be finished and things you can start to prepare for next season!

1.) Collect Your Deer Stands

It’s very easy to call it quits and leave your deer stands out until next season. I encourage you not to for several reasons! First, you want your stands to remain as safe as possible for next year, and rain, snow, wind and heat will destroy your straps quickly if they are not stored properly in the off season. Secondly, you do not want to have to go purchase another seat cushion for your stands next year after squirrels and other rodents destroy them. Additionally, you may find that deer are moving or taking a different route when hunting season arrives, and by taking your deer stand down you are one step away from placing that stand in a successful spot!

2.) Manage Your Trail Cameras

Another simple but effective item to focus on is managing your trail cameras. This will help you find where the deer are moving in the late season and where they might be bedding down which will help you get the shot you need next season when that mature buck is being elusive. For those of you that turkey hunt, trail cameras can still be effective. Turkeys are such smart birds that you’ll need every advantage possible to locate them on those days when they’re not gobbling. Last, but not least, you want to make sure you have fresh batteries so that you don’t miss anything while your camera is out in the woods.

3.) Begin Looking At Food Plot Mix

As winter will eventually turn to spring you want to have the perfect food plot mix for your location. It’s never too early to start looking! Plus, turkey season is around the corner and early spring food plots will be perfect to shoot a big gobbler. A combination of clovers is what I love to use for spring turkeys! You can also be looking at what you might plant next fall or winter for deer season as well whether its rye, brassica, oats, corn or whatever your food plot mix of choice is!

4.) Check Your Hunting Gear

One thing that never seems to fail is when I begin the next hunting season there is always something that’s messed up, ripped or broken and I find myself last minute scrambling to find what I need at a local hunting store. This will save a lot of headache come hunting season if you take care of it in the off season. Likewise, you can clean your guns, restock ammo, sight in your gun, purchase new arrows, broadheads, and fletchings. The list goes on and on of what you can do to prepare yourself for whichever season is right around the corner for you!

 

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Big Bucks: A Logical Approach

By Caleb Unger:

If you are a deer hunter like me (if you are reading this article, there’s a good chance that you are), the ultimate goal is to bag the “biggon” or take down “big brown,” otherwise known as shooting the giant bruiser buck that is on the property you are hunting. To accomplish such a gratifying endeavor, it is quite logical in the way we hunters must prepare for and pursue these beasts that can so easily evade the carefree attitudes that many hunters possess. Notice I said logical, not easy. As with the majority of impressive and satisfying accomplishments in this short journey of life,  perseverance and patience pay off in the pursuit of trophy deer. By keeping a level head throughout the process of this daunting adventure, it becomes a reality to bag and appreciate the giant trophies that lurk and thrive in their natural habitat.

Pre-Game Preparation

Championship fourth quarter and you are down by twenty making no progress. The Coach says, “keep the same players in and run the same play we have been running with the same defense that hasn’t been working all night. After all it’s the only thing we know how to do because that’s all we have ever done.” That’s clearly poor preparation for the big task at hand. Though deer hunting is definitely not the same as shooting a basketball or catching a football, they do all require sound preparation to accomplish the most prestigious goals.  And I’m not just talking about sighting in your gun/bow and practicing in every situation you can think of to prepare for that shot (which is extremely necessary and practically impossible as well because it never fails that an animal gets you in an awkward position that you weren’t expecting). I’m talking about putting yourself in a situation/environment in which you can win, in which you can kill that trophy.

Food

Now ponder this thought. What does it take to grow big and strong? A healthy diet, requiring available nutrition and plenty of water. Duh, it’s elementary. Therefore, make sure you are providing such an atmosphere on your property for the deer that inhabit it. That’s really all I have to say about that.

Caleb's Wide-guy
Caleb Unger with his 4 1/2 year old he encountered on one of the few cold days this past 2015 season.

Wait! I promise it’s worth it.

You want a big buck huh? Stop shooting little guys with baskets on their heads that make the occasional deer observer say, “oh good for him; he probably just started deer hunting this year.” That’s cute; it really is. But really?? Stop complaining that you can’t kill a big buck when you’re not even patient enough to pass up the occasional 100 inch eight point that walks in front of you. You’re better than that. It’s logical, and you know it. Deer cannot grow to gigantic standards when they are being taken out within their first years of living on this earth. Let him grow and age so as the years go on and you see him on the camera or in the woods, you appreciate him more and more for what he is, enjoying your hunt even more than before. Then, when you shoot a big buck (which there will be more of them), that same deer hunting enthusiast will say, “wow, he must be a skilled hunter. Look at that rack!”

Don’t wait on all of them.

This lesson I had to learn myself over my high school years when I wasn’t thinking nearly as logically as I do now when it comes to deer hunting. Bucks like does, just like men like women. And like men, big bucks love to pursue their women. However, if there are does everywhere and so numerous, then that big buck does not have to risk much or travel far or in the open to go find a doe, especially if he is the dominant guy in the area. Therefore, what is the logical answer to this? Shoot does. I’m not saying go on a rampage and shoot every doe you see. If you hunt enough and use a trail cam, you have a decent idea of the population of deer you are hunting, so don’t be afraid to take a couple nice-sized does to feed your family or hungry people other than yourself. This also helps prevent overpopulation and malnutrition, as it keeps the deer population just right so that everybody has enough to eat on your property. Just don’t shoot a doe that will leave a small Bambi who is right next to her helpless, not knowing how to survive. You have a brain; make the right judgement call. However, like I said before, don’t sway to the other extreme and kill every doe you see because there also needs to be a future population of deer, and she is in charge of giving birth to it.

Where do you hunt?

Obviously, you cannot kill a big deer without hunting where the big deer is. So find out where he is traveling, when he is traveling, and who he is hanging out with.

Put these logical tactics into place, and you will find yourself with a great recipe for successfully hunting a mature whitetail!

Good luck and keep hunting!

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Hunting: It’s About The Experience

By Nathan Unger

As I’m writing this I’m driving to my home state of Virginia for one last shot at a mature buck that has filled my dreams since January. The season is almost over and I’m not sure where it even went! So in an event to reflect on this past season, instead of giving out some pointers, I wanted to reminisce on what this year has meant to me and talk about some of the tokens I’ve gleaned from the experiences.

This has been one of those years where the experience has had to be more important than the kill. This is mainly because, thus far, I’ve struck out on a mature buck.   I’ve been in the woods 25-30 times this season which is pretty good considering I work a full time job. However, with limited time and fluctuating temperatures, I’ve had one heck of a time trying to match up the perfect conditions, and the few times I did, I still didn’t have any luck at a mature buck.

However, looking back on the season, I have constantly asked myself one question.

“Did I do everything possible to put myself in a position to succeed?”

My answer to that question, quite simply, would be, “No.”

Due to unusually warm southern temperatures the deer have been suppressed to nocturnal movement much of the season.  The two opportunities I had were difficult and required extreme patience which is my first token I took from this season.

1.) You can never have too much patience while hunting

I was hunting the weekend before Thanksgiving in northern North Carolina which during that time of year, during the rut, I typically see several deer. This specific day I hadn’t seen any. My first mistake was assuming that I wouldn’t see anything just because I hadn’t seen anything the first two hours in the stand.

I knew better than this.

At 9:30 a.m. after three hours in the stand I decided to adjust my swivel seat in our box blind. Low and behold I didn’t get a chance to spray some WD40 on it and it squeaked as I rotated. Next thing I know something behind me less than five yards away jumped up out of the thicket and pranced off. As I turned around trying to get a peek at what it was I caught a glimpse of white bone bouncing through the pine trees which leads to my second token I took from this season.

2.) Preparation leads to success

Had I either not moved or properly fixed my seat beforehand I would have had a nice mature 10 pointer at less than five yards. As I sat there mentally beating myself up for squabbling the opportunity, within minutes I heard more movement. After seconds of looking to see what the noise was, there was another mature buck trotting in the thicket behind me having no idea I was even there. My Horton crossbow was still sitting next to me because I never would have thought a second mature buck would have followed the first one I spooked. Clearly I was wrong!

3.) You HAVE to maintain mental toughness

Deer hunting, especially archery hunting, can be one of the most mentally taxing endeavors a hunter can experience while he or she is in the field. As I continue to gain experience bow hunting I never stop learning this. As many of you know, and many of you will learn, you will hunt often times without shooting anything, and sometimes you may not even see anything. This has discouraged me all season, but until you can learn these valuable lessons you can never truly enjoy the experience of being outdoors. As I’m writing this a young spike buck walked 30 yards from me and, for me, just seeing that young deer makes my hunt worth every hour even if I don’t shoot anything.

All this to say, don’t give up, don’t be discouraged, enjoy the experience and keep hunting!

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Hunting Bad Weather Conditions: Is It Worth The Trouble?

By Nathan Unger:

First of all I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope that you have had valuable family time as well as some rest and relaxation.

Any opportunity you get to hunt a torrential downpour or a blizzard you should. I’m not advocating hunting in a tornado or lighting storm, but just enough nasty weather to use it to your advantage. Here’s why.

  • Rain eliminates scent

Anytime it’s raining you probably have a distinct advantage against a deer’s nose. The rain seems to wash away any scent you may leave behind, and personally, I have seen a lot of deer movement during the rain both in mild and cold conditions. The only time I have not seen much movement is during warm, rainy days, however that can be said for most warm days. In addition, I believe immediately after it rains is a prime time because deer will be eager to eat the moist vegetation.

  • Snow is great!

Okay, maybe not for you, but there is nothing some hand warmers and several layers of clothes can’t fix. The cold temperatures that come with snow are ideal because deer have to keep and maintain body warmth during these harsh temperatures which inevitably leads them to search for food. These cold temperatures also produce day time movement because the deer have to be on their feet so often in order to survive which plays right into the hands of hunters. During these cold temps be sure to hunt around high calories food sources such as corn that deer prefer in the dead of winter.

  • Wind

It’s exactly that – wind. It can be advantageous or it can really kill a hunt. I’m not really talking about seven to ten mile an hour winds. I’m more so talking about in the 20-30 range. Strong winds can dampen noise, and if you use the wind correctly deer will have to get down wind of you to smell you which hopefully will offer you a shot which is why it is important to have a stand placement downwind of the deer. However, we’ve all been busted by a deer’s nose before, so I don’t really need to explain what happens if a deer catches your wind, but in short you might as well find a new location to hunt. This is really up to you to decide whether you like hunting strong winds. I’ve heard experts say that they love hunting strong wind conditions, but I’ve also known deer to bed down and wait the strong winds out. I’m still personally trying to learn more about this myself.

IMG_5041
Nathan Unger’s doe he took during a hard rain in 2014
IMG_5047
Caleb Unger’s 4 1/2 year old he shot in rain storm in 2014
So comment below, and I would like to get your thoughts on these and which you like to hunt and the ones you don’t! Good luck and keep hunting!

Keep scouting and good hunting!

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