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Gary Howey

” IN 2017


Entered by Gary Howey

Former tournament angler, hunting and fishing guide. Inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing "Hall of Fame" in 2017. Active member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW), Past Executive Director (AGLOW). Howey has been an outdoor communicator since 1980 with his award winning syndicated "Of the Outdoors" columns appearing in magazine, newspapers, and tabloids throughout he upper Midwest and nationally.

October 27, 2023

This 7 X 7 buck was taken a few years back, it was an older buck and after cutting it up, the back straps were soaked overnight in milk and made for some good eating. (Heather Howey Photo)

When you’re new to deer hunting, it can seem hard to figure out your first hunt.

  More than likely, you’ve read up on it and watched some YouTubes on hunting.

  Over the many years that I’ve hunted deer, both with my bow and my rifle, I’ve has very decent luck, actually taking a 7 X 7 buck as well as several others excellent ones.

 In a recent study at Mississippi State University, they found that a deer’s sense of smell, like a dog’s, can be anywhere from 500 to 1,000 times more acute than a human, which means that hunters need to use everything in their arsenal to keep from spooking the deer.

  Scent free clothing is a good start, and some sort of cover scent will help if you’re hunting properly.

  On one of my early season archery hunts, I had the wind in my face, camo scent free clothing, and rubber boots that I sprayed down with scent killer before entering the woods, I was hunting into the wind as it’s the only way to hunt deer or they’ll pick you out shortly after you enter you hunting area. If you aren’t hunting slowly with hunters will have very few opportunities to see deer if you aren’t hunting with the wind in his face, which means that your scent is being carried away from the deer.

  I’ve found that before entering the woods, everything you need to remember everything trees, bushes, shrubs are all vertical, so it’s a good idea to scout for horizontal images (deer) rather than vertical.

  On one hunt, I hunted with my bow, walking slowly to get to my tree stand, I came across a doe standing between two trees, with only part of her body visible, I froze as she tried to figure out what I was, stomping her feet and grunting, trying to figure out what I was and when she went back behind the tree, I held my bow up over my head and slowly moved in her direction.

  And with my bow held aloft, it may have been that the doe thought I was a buck with some sort of ugly nontypical rack and didn’t spook until I giggled when I got too close to her.

  I’ve also used set of rattling horns and had bucks to mosey my way close enough for a shot.

  The main thing that you need to remember, is to hunt slowly, don’t get in a hurry.

  As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better eating than deer backstraps, which can be made in several different ways.

  They can be grilled, smoked and in numerous ways, some folks soak the meat in milk overnight, with the acidic with low ph. levels help to break down the tissue to tenderize the meat, others indicating that it helps to remove the gamey taste.



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