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Posts Tagged ‘Season’


Chasin’ Tail team uses old car parts to hide themselves while hunting deer.

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Fawn birth (Late spring/early summer)
Most fawns are born by the last week in May — into the first week or two of June. There are always early-birds and late bloomers. The key here is the abundance of forage for does to consume and produce milk and ultimately — a healthy fawn.

Fawn nursing (Summer)
Fawns begin nursing immediately and continue to nurse throughout the warmer months. Most fawns are completely weened by September. Every now and then you may notice a fawn during the fall trying to nurse, but adult does normally aren’t very receptive and the fawns are able to digest forage by September.

Antler growth (Begins in early summer)
You can start seeing the beginnings of the racks by mid June. By the end of July it’s much easier to see what the buck will likely be (main frame 8-pointer, 10-pointer, etc.) by late August the rack is basically fully grown.

Shedding Velvet (Early fall)
Most velvet sheds in early September. In all the years I’ve hunted, photographed and filmed whitetails, it seems the antler shedding may begin as early as the last week of August, but the bulk occurs the first week of September. By mid September (normally opening day of bow season) the majority of bucks have shed their velvet. Every now and then you may see a buck with velvet but consider it fairly uncommon.

Losing spots/coat change
(Early Fall)
Most fawns shed their spots the first couple weeks into September. Adult deer are also transitioning from their orange-colored summer coats into their thicker, darker fall coats. The transition can occur anywhere from late August into early September. However by mid September most coat changes are complete.

Bachelor group dispersal
(Late summer/very early fall)
Deer begin to get more independent in August. Most buck groups disband by the last week of August to first week of September.

Deer Rubs (Fall)
Aside from velvet shedding rubs, the first rut-related rubs of the season begin to pop up around the 15th of October and increase into the end of the month. Rubs are continually made, visited and refreshed throughout November, with varying degree of activity due to rut phases and conditions.

Deer Scrapes (Fall)
Typically linked in occurrence to rubs, these markers begin to pop up the last couple weeks in October and can increase in frequency into November. In the areas that I hunt in Northern Minnesota, I almost always find the season’s first rubs before I find scrapes.

Main Deer Rut Phases (Late fall)
These can vary every year depending on different factors such as deer density, buck to doe ratio, weather, moon phase timing and hunting pressure but overall the days and occurrences are normally very close from season to season.

Seeking Phase
(Late October – early November)
Chasing Phase
(Early November – mid November)

Breeding Phase
(Mid November – late November)
can even last into December, sometimes with a large deer heard and abundance of food, a second, less aggressive rut takes place. Often young does are bred during this time.

It’s also important to note here that when an adult doe reaches estrous, it lasts for around 36 hours while the entire breeding phase of the rut can last for many days given the fact that more than one doe enters estrous.

Key back in on food sources
(Late November/into winter)
Can depend on region and weather. Normally deer focus heavily on food sources after the rut into winter and really hit the food hard after the first major drop in temperatures and/or first major snowfall. In northern Minnesota most deer begin to consistently focusing on food sources by the first two weeks of December. This behavior continues throughout winter, as food becomes the main drive. When it comes to late season hunting the way to a buck is through his stomach!

Shed antlers (January/February)
Can depend on climate and availability of food. Sometimes bucks lose their antlers as early as late December and I’ve even watched deer keep their headgear into late March. This is not common however and the majority of antlers are shed mid to late January into February.

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It’s pretty tough to beat a beautiful fall day on the grouse trail with great companionship in the likes of your best four-legged and two-legged hunting buddies. It’s even nicer when the birds are cooperating! Well that’s just exactly what many hunters across Minnesota are experiencing. For many hunters, ruffed grouse hunting is much like a right of passage. The sound of a flushing grouse is unmistakable and once heard — unforgettable! Many hunters can look back and recall the early years of their hunting career beginning with a pocket full of shotgun shells, walking along-side Dad down old logging roads and trails in hopes of bagging this elusive bird.

So far this season, wonderful weather coupled with birds at near peak population has kept many hunters returning to the woods and putting miles under their boots.

Successful reports are coming in from all over the state on both private and public lands.

Hunters are experiencing especially great numbers in the northland, with some local hunters near Duluth reporting upwards of 30 flushes a day! One popular hotspot seems to be the Canosia WMA, with many hunters reporting success on its extensive trail system. Those taking advantage of public trails along the north shore — all the way to Grand Marais are burning powder, spraying pellets and walking back to their vehicle feeling prosperous!

My golden retriever Gunnar and I have hit the trails in both St.Louis and Carlton county and haven’t had to put too much leg work in before flushing birds. We experienced great numbers of grouse and woodcock last season and so far this year is shaping up to be a good as well!

Considering the Ruffed Grouse ten-year population cycle and hunter success this season, now is the time to get out and enjoy the large constellation of upland birds!

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Preparing For Hunting Starts at Home

The hunting season has ended and it’s time to collect piles of camouflage and blaze orange laying on the floor and behind the seat of your truck. You’ve listen to complaints from your spouse all season-long, and finally — you decided it’s time to pick up your gear! Sound familiar? This scene is repeated daily in many hunting households.

Hunting apparel is an investment

Before you purchase your next jacket, I want to share with you simple advice that will keep your investment long-lasting and in great shape. (more…)

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Got a little Red Green in you?

After waiting in line for 2-hours, I finally got a chance to personally meet and shake hands with the Canadian legend.

Do friends think you look like Red Green? Send in your picture and let our community decide!

Pictured Right: Red Green look-a-likes

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