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  • How do you tell the difference between a jake gobble and a tom? What is the best way to do a flydown cackle on slate or glass call?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    Great question, and honestly in some circumstances it is impossible to tell the difference. In many cases jakes that run together can be the dominant turkeys and when they gobble they do it together. But, for the most part a jake gobble sometimes is a half-gobble and can and will have yelping attached to it.
    The fly-down cackle is a build-up of soft clucks and then a fast series of clucking or cutting imitating the hen leaving the tree. There is no definitive amount of notes; you just want to sound like you are leaving the roost. Best of Luck.

  • If a mature buck breaks some tines fighting, does that mean it was done by a larger buck?
    Answer:

    Rick White's reply:

    I have seen a lot of smaller bucks win fights over bigger bucks. So that is not always the case. Sometimes smaller bucks will break bigger bucks antlers. But not as often as the other way around.

  • Does hunting all day during early season make sense? Don't mature bucks feed in the late morning/early afternoon?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    You are spot on. Late evening and early morning are your best times. Hunting deer coming from or going to bed or some sort of food source is your best bet. Save those all-day sits when we get colder weather and closer to the Rut. Best of luck.

  • While I was getting out of my stand in the dark, a large buck walked within 20 yards of me and spooked and snorted 2 times while running out of the area. How long should I wait before hunting from this stand again, and should I move the stand?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    There are many opinions on this. For the most part an old buck is cagey and smart that is why he is living. Our recommendation would be to probably wait a few days or a week until you return to that stand. That will give it time to rest and to let the rut jump into gear (that is when he will lose a little self-defense). The good thing is that now you know that he is in the area and that gives all of us hope that he may show up at any time. So your best bet is to hang a couple of other set-ups in that area that you feel he is using, keep the wind right, and always hunt "Scent-Free." Best of Luck.

  • What is better to hunt near a rub line or a scrape line? And how do you try to see the buck that is doing the rubbing and the scraping?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    Great question, and honestly it is a hard one to answer. The bottom line is that you have some animals in the area that are making the sign and you know that you have some bucks in your area. A buck may rub a tree and never be back again and the same goes for scrapes for that matter, but a scrape will have more chance of revisiting.
    As far as telling which deer is making the sign it is hard to tell, because many bucks may use the same scrapes and rub areas. If you are finding some big rubs that is generally a good indication of a big buck.
    Rub and scrape lines are great, but if you can figure out a main food source or if it is dry, a water source in early season it can be a good choice, and as the rut gets closer try to find land changes that pinch deer movement to get you a close shot. Areas that deer are moving through and have to come by your stand what are called "Funnel Areas" or "Pinch Points" can be key.

  • I have watched several deer hunting videos and have seen the "deer highways" that the hunters always seem to find. We hunt hardwoods, with no agricultural fields, and can't seem to locate trails. How can you find a trail or pattern the deer?
    Answer:

    Rick White's reply:

    There should be trails somewhere. Sometimes it can be hard to locate major trails in thick or big timbers. If you can locate feeding areas or water sources you should be able to find sign there. Try and hunt those areas. Early in the season you can usually pattern deer around food sources. In the timber it might be an oak ridge. If you get snow in your area you can find those trails late in the season.

  • After getting in your deer stand, how long should you wait before either rattling or using a deer call?After getting in your deer stand, how long should you wait before either rattling or using a deer call?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    There is not really a certain time to wait before rattling or calling. When you get in your stand just give the woods, and yourself, a few minutes to settle down. Then see what the deer are doing. Normally if you are rattling or calling you are trying to make something happen. If the deer are moving a lot on their own be patient and let things happen.
    As a rule, a grunt call does not excite deer that much; it just plays on their curiosity or dominance and forces them to come have a look. On the other hand, horns crashing together excites everything in the woods for various reasons. If the time of the year is right and the buck-to-doe ratio is close, rattling can be some of the most productive and heart stopping action you will ever have. However, sometimes it pays off to just sit still and let the deer tell you what mood they are in. Good luck!

  • What is the best way to go after a deer in velvet? August 29 open season. Use a decoy? What scents to use? Any mock scrapes? Any calls to use? I usually do not see deer till dark and the morns are cold and later real hot in ND.
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    Food Source is probably the best way to hunt these early season bucks. For the most part, evening hunting will be your best. Pattern your deer pre-season; at this time of year your deer will still be in feed pattern mode for the most part.
    Remember to play the wind in your favor, take your True Talker and hunt scent free. If your going to use a scent, just use straight Natural Doe Urine. Best of luck.

  • When using a buck decoy, how do you consider the wind when setting it up?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    When you are using a decoy in most cases you are utilizing an open area. If the wind is blowing from your decoy to your stand that is optimal. Select your stand sights carefully with different wind directions in mind. As a rule, when the deer does approach in most cases he is going to put the wind in his favor, keeping the decoy in sight. Best of luck to you.

  • When making or using an existing scrape how often should you rescent it and when is a good time to start making them?
    Answer:

    H.S. Pro Staff:

    There can be many answers to this question. First, if a mock scrape becomes active you have accomplished what you want as far as refreshing them; this is rely at your discretion but you do not want to do it too often. You do not want to let the deer pattern any of your human movement in your hunting area. If we had to put an amount of days I would say every 10-14 days until season and then only when you are planning to hunt that area. It's real important to remember to be totally scent free and utilize the scent elimination process in the deer woods.
    Your second question has many variables also. You start seeing some scraping usually around September 1, sometimes earlier. It will not hurt to start then. Best of luck.

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