The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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October 8, 2012

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Gobble, gobble!

Hunters prep for Ohio’s fall turkey season


Quick tips

A Good Mount Begins in the Field: You’ve just taken your best buck ever and you are so excited you can hardly think straight. While you should be on cloud 9 after taking such a buck, you need to think clearly if you plan to have it mounted.

When field-dressing your buck, do not cut up through the brisket like you normally would. Keep your incision back as far as possible and reach up into the body cavity and pull the entrails back through the opening.

When skinning your buck, pick an area well back past the front shoulder as your cutoff point on the hide. The middle of the rib cage is a good choice and should give your taxidermist enough hide to work with.

You’re may end up loosing a little neck meat but if it’s the buck of a lifetime it will be well worth it every time you look at your mount and remember back to it’s harvest.

Harvesting doe’s improves the quality of bucks in your area. There is nothing wrong with taking a doe. If it is food you’re after, the steaks and burger of a young buck won’t taste near as good as a fat doe. In fact, taking a doe is something we need to do especially if you’re after trophy bucks. Everyone talks about genetics and food supply but taking a buck before he is 3 years old never allows that buck to grow to his full potential.

If you forget about your ego, and take a doe instead of a young buck, it allows that buck to grow another set of antlers. Taking a doe will also help provide more food to the bucks in your area and create a better buck-to-doe breeding ratio. Harvesting does is a way of improving the quality of bucks in your area.

Tips for Deer attractants: Animals are naturally attracted to food, so anything they want to eat will generally attracts them. Minerals, on the other hand, contribute to long-term animal health. Calcium and salt help promote antler and bone growth in deer and elk, and a variety of minerals will contribute to the general health of animals (just like with human).

While food and minerals will attract wildlife, knowing where to put them will improve effectiveness. The key is to put the material where animals feel comfortable. Some liquid gel products can be effectively spread over a decaying log or stump and will slowly soak into the wood, making the whole thing a treat that your deer will consume.

Reapply until the entire stump or log is consumed. It can be used to create a lick on bare ground by just pouring over the site and letting it soak in.

Feed can be put before or during the hunting season (depending on the laws of the state you reside in), while minerals tend to have a longer lasting effect. Putting a mineral mix in the ground will bring animals back over and over.

Remember, pass it on or it will surely pass on.

Sunderlin is a freelance writer from Geneva. Reach him at

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