Scout

In-Season

How to In-Season Scout for Deer

Scout

How to In-Season Scout for Deer

As I wrapped up a long weekend in northern Wisconsin, I decided to take advantage of a late-season rainstorm to look around an 80-acre parcel of public land. The deer activity where I’d been focusing my efforts had been pretty slow, so I figured I was missing something. After sneaking up a long...
Tony J. Peterson Oct 5, 2020
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Fact Checker: Can You Identify a Mature Buck by Droppings?

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Fact Checker: Can You Identify a Mature Buck by Droppings?

Myths, lies and old wives’ tales loom large in the outdoor pursuits. Here at MeatEater, we’re dedicated to separating facts from bullsh*t, so we created this series to examine suspect yarns. If there’s a belief, rumor or long-held assumption you’d like us to fact check, drop us a note at factchecker...
Spencer Neuharth Nov 6, 2019
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How to Find Buck Bedding on Aerial Imagery

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How to Find Buck Bedding on Aerial Imagery

You’ve graduated whitetail pre-school if you’re using satellite imagery to identify a buck’s destination food source. E-scouting for and successfully finding a mature buck’s bedding area is a different story. This is higher education stuff and starts with a 30,000-foot view of your hunting grounds...
Tony J. Peterson Jan 21, 2021
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The Best Public Land Food Sources for Whitetails

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The Best Public Land Food Sources for Whitetails

Whitetail hunters often think of food sources in a way that doesn’t do the deer’s adaptability justice. More often than not, this involves a serious focus on agricultural fields or food plots. Everyone knows deer love a picked cornfield or lush food plot full of clover, but what if you don’t have...
Tony J. Peterson Oct 13, 2020
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How to Identify a Big Buck Track in Snow

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How to Identify a Big Buck Track in Snow

When there’s snow in the forecast during hunting season, you can bet I’ll be heading to the whitetail woods. That’s for one simple reason: Snow shows deer patterns like a black light exposes invisible ink. Tracks are what tell the story. Whether it be to follow a buck on foot or verify the presence...
Mark Kenyon Dec 22, 2020
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How to Kill a Buck Hunting Rubs

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How to Kill a Buck Hunting Rubs

When it comes to deer sign, it’s what we can see that gets us most excited. A  6-inch-thick cedar shredded from serious tine-work along a rub line will always catch our eyes. Our focus on the aesthetics of sign is, of course, due to our olfactory capabilities being orders of magnitude poorer than...
Tony J. Peterson Oct 9, 2020
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Offseason

5 Best DIY Whitetail States for 2021

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5 Best DIY Whitetail States for 2021

It’s becoming increasingly common to travel outside of home states in pursuit of North America’s most popular game animal. Although nearly every state hosts huntable whitetail populations, there are a few that stand above the rest. These states have exceptional public land opportunities, economical...
Spencer Neuharth Dec 31, 2020
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Whitetail Hunting’s Best Kept Secret

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Whitetail Hunting’s Best Kept Secret

If you give hunters a platform to gripe, you’ll hear a wide variety of complaints that generally fall into a few categories. One of the most popular centers on access to ground, or lack thereof. It’s true that outbreaks of strip malls and McMansions are eating up whitetail habitat on a daily basis...
Tony J. Peterson Mar 11, 2021
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How to Find Whitetail Buck Bedding

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How to Find Whitetail Buck Bedding

Let’s say we’re engaged in a high-stakes game of tag. If I tag you, I get your house, your truck, and your bow. You, of course, will be wary of my presence. You might not leave your home too often, and if you do, it will probably be with minimal travel and under the cover of darkness. I likely won’t...
Mark Kenyon Jun 4, 2020
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The Fool's Gold of Deer Scouting

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The Fool's Gold of Deer Scouting

Summer is the whitetailer’s season of anticipation. At no point during the year does the excitement rise more rapidly or to such a fever pitch than those last months leading up to opening day. For that reason, we deer hunters exert a whole lot of energy each summer seeking out, watching, and...
Mark Kenyon May 14, 2021
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3 Whitetail Tags You Should Buy Preference Points For

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3 Whitetail Tags You Should Buy Preference Points For

If you’re not sure if you’re an optimist or pessimist, start researching hunting lottery preference points and draw odds in random Western states. You’ll figure out pretty quickly whether your glass is half full or half empty. You’ll also find that if you’re interested in high prestige, limited...
Tony J. Peterson Feb 17, 2021
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How to Find Hunting Permission

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How to Find Hunting Permission

I remember the first time I ever knocked on a door for hunting permission. My hands were clammy, my voice was shaky and my speech was stumbled. I’m not entirely sure if the landowner denied my request because he didn’t want me hunting there, or if he simply couldn’t understand what I was trying to...
Mark Kenyon Dec 31, 2019
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How to E-Scout for Public Land Whitetails

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How to E-Scout for Public Land Whitetails

This time of year, chasing big whitetails couldn’t possibly feel further away. That doesn’t mean your downtime between deer and turkey season should be wasted though. If you want to capitalize on the long offseason, now is the perfect time to download onX, put your virtual boots on the ground, and...
Dylan Tramp Feb 10, 2020
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Sheds

3 Reasons You Suck at Shed Hunting

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3 Reasons You Suck at Shed Hunting

Shed hunting is one of those outdoor pursuits that sounds easy: Walk some trails, check some fence crossings, and fill up your backpack with antler. If you’ve got primo spots and plenty of time, this is probably true (and you likely don’t need to read an article about why you suck at shed hunting...
Tony J. Peterson Jan 27, 2021
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How to Find Whitetail Sheds on Public Lands

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How to Find Whitetail Sheds on Public Lands

Public land deer hunting is all the rage lately. It seems as if you can’t swing a tree saddle in a WMA parking lot without hitting at least a couple up-and-coming YouTube stars that hunt “beast” style. This focus on public ground, and the deer that call it home, is not relegated simply to hunting...
Tony J. Peterson Jan 24, 2020
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3 Guaranteed Places to Find Whitetail Sheds

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3 Guaranteed Places to Find Whitetail Sheds

Son of a bitch. That’s typically what runs through my mind when I see a buddy walking towards one of those spots while shed hunting. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve shed hunted long enough, you’ll recognize that those spots almost always hold an antler or two. When this kind of...
Mark Kenyon Feb 26, 2020
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4 Tricks for Finding More Whitetail Sheds

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4 Tricks for Finding More Whitetail Sheds

The basics of shed hunting are well known, but the devil is in the details. Efficient use of time is the golden rule of shed hunting, so let’s not beat around the bush. Here are four simple tricks that will help you gain shed hunting success. Scout Like it’s Hunting Season The best DIY whitetail...
Mark Kenyon Feb 4, 2021
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How to E-Scout for Shed Hunting

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How to E-Scout for Shed Hunting

Shed hunting, from the outside looking in, can seem quite simple: walk a lot, look on the ground, and find antlers. But the search for whitetail sheds is rarely this straightforward. Consistent shed hunting success requires both an understanding of deer habitat and behavior, and a smart strategy...
Mark Kenyon Jan 29, 2021
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3 Things You Can Learn from Whitetail Sheds

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3 Things You Can Learn from Whitetail Sheds

Shed hunting is a dang good time. Let’s be clear about that right out of the gate. But there’s more to it than just scooping up antlers. Whitetail sheds can hold a treasure trove of information if you know what to look for. Here are three valuable pieces of intel you can glean from the antlers you...
Mark Kenyon Feb 12, 2021
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