Food Plot And Feeder Basics
One of the biggest mistakes most deer hunters make in food-plot management is at the very beginning of developing a food plot. For successful food-plot management you must test the soil to see what type of supplemental fertilizer or lime it needs for maximum production. Many hunters simply till up the soil, plant expensive seed and hope they have a good food plot. However, if they don’t know what the soil may or may not be lacking, they may be surprised when they have a crop failure or limited crop production in their green fields.
When a crop doesn’t produce what the hunter thought the seed blend he planted should produce, the hunter immediately thinks he’s gotten bad seed. However, you can’t plant good seed in deficient soil and grow a good green-field crop. Therefore, I advise a hunter, before he ever plants, to do a soil test and determine how much lime and/or fertilizer he needs to use before he ever buys the seeds he wants to plant.
Another tip I give on this tape is the use of a sanctuary. For instance, if you’re hunting 200 acres, then I believe you should put a 5-10 acre food plot that you never hunt in the center of that 200 acres. You even may want to put a feeder in or near this food plot. Except for refilling the feeder, don’t get near this food plot, and definitely don’t hunt near it. Leave it as a sanctuary where the deer will feel safe. This sanctuary will help keep deer on your property and prevent them from leaving your property and straying over to your neighbor’s property.
You will find many more tips and suggestions on this tape, which not only will aid you in locating and planting better food plots and putting out feeders, but also help you keep more of the bucks your food plots produce on your property.
Game Care Basics
On the game-processing tape, you’ll learn how to cape a deer for a shoulder mount as well as how to skin an animal for a life-size mount. I will also show you how to butcher and process your animal and how to get your animal from the field to the taxidermist and the meat to the freezer. One of the most-important keys to having delicious-tasting wild game is cooling the meat down as quickly as possible. If you want your venison or any other wild game to produce the best-tasting meat, then the way you care for that meat in the field is critical. I’ve found one of the major reasons most people have off-flavored wild game is due to improper care of the meat in the field before the hunter gets it home.
Rifle Care Basics
Editor’s Note: Many of Jack Brittingham’s video consumers have asked him to make some instructional tapes to help them enjoy the sport of hunting whitetails even more. Today Jack will preview “Rifle Care Basics.”
Brittingham: I believe, pound for pound, the whitetail deer is one of the toughest animals that lives. For this reason, I suggest that hunters select a 7mm or larger rifle for hunting white-tailed deer. I know many people have taken plenty of bucks with a .22-250 and a .243; however, if you see your trophy buck of a lifetime out there at 300 yards, and you need to be able to put him down quickly and efficiently, I believe you need a larger-caliber rifle.
Another situation where larger calibers will offer you a better chance of taking a real trophy buck is when you can’t wait for the animal to turn perfectly broadside and give you the perfect shot. When you know you’re not going to have the perfect shot, larger-caliber rifles with better knock-down power can put a buck down quicker and more efficiently than smaller-caliber rifles can. Larger-caliber rifles give you much more margin for error than smaller-caliber rifles do.
My current favorite deer rifle is a Winchester 300 Short Magnum or the Remington 300 Short Action Ultra Magnum (SAUM). Both of these rifles push a 180 grain bullet at about 3,100 feet per second, and I always shoot the Premium cartridges, regardless of the brand. Both are very flat-shooting and very accurate. I don’t think you’ll go wrong in choosing ammunition for your rifle, regardless of the company who makes it, as long as you only shoot the Premium grades.
Here’s my favorite venison recipe:
I prepare a marinade consisting of 50% Viva Italian Salad Dressing and 50% Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce. I soak my venison steaks (either the backstrap, the tenderloin or round steak) in the refrigerator for six hours in this marinade. Then I cook the steaks on the grill with either mesquite charcoal, hickory charcoal or wood. I also baste my steaks with this marinade while I’m cooking them.
The real key to remember when cooking venison is to not overcook it. If you generally will grill a beef steak for about 20 minutes, then only grill the same-size venison steak for about 14 minutes. Venison is one of the leanest of all meats. If you try and cook it like beef, you’ll overcook it. Venison doesn’t have to be cooked until it’s done all the way through. Venison is the most tender and most delicious when it’s been cooked rare to medium rare. If you overcook wild game, the meat will be very dry and tough.