It’s amazing what whitetails teach us all the time and how much the experts think they know about them. When it comes down to the push and shove, they know some stuff, no question about it, but when you put the whole thing together, all these moving parts have to be very successful year after year. Dillan Porter of Trophy Whitetails R’Us grew up around whitetails and he said he can’t imagine anything different. He’d been to over a hundred sportsman shows and enough events to have an understanding of how they’re run, and they wanted to see if they can do it better. Learn from Dillan as he shares some tips and techniques on hot to grow and hunt trophy whitetails.
We’re going to head up to Northern Minnesota. By northern Minnesota from where Dillan Porter is, you can see the Canadian border. Dillan works for his dad, Steve Porter, and they grow trophy whitetails. His dad gets into the business a long time ago and now it’s grown. Even more important than that, he’s got some tips and techniques about using deer urine. He’s going to knock your socks off with some insights that maybe you haven’t thought about. The other thing Dillan is doing is Minnesota Monster Buck Classic and it’s going to be a big buck classic. He’s going to have some of his dad’s deer on display. They take live deer and they display them at this sportsman show. All in all, Dillan Porter has got one heck of an interview coming up.
Listen to the podcast here:
Trophy Whitetails R’Us with Dillan Porter
We’re heading up to the corner of Minnesota, North Dakota and the Canadian border. We’re a long way from nowhere but that’s like Dillan Porter liked. He worked for his dad at Porters Trophy Whitetails. Also, Dillan is the Founder of Minnesota Monster Buck Classic. Dillan, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me.
I have a good friend, shout out to John O’Brion at Grandpa Ray Outdoors. John referred me to you and he thought you’d be a great guest. Let’s start right off with the Minnesota Monster Buck Classic, what it is, where it is and why you started it?
Minnesota Monster Buck Classic is going to be a sportsman show that will be located in Perham, Minnesota. Perham is more rural area but it’s within an hour of Fargo, twenty minutes from Detroit Lake, not that far from a bunch of big towns. The people of Perham, Minnesota enjoy their hunting. We’re going to have a live trophy whitetail buck that we traveled with at that show. We’re going to do things a little bit different. We’re not going to have any boat campers or RVs at the show.
We want to dedicate the show’s floor space to the smaller mom-and-pop run companies, guys, gear, outfitters, anything and everything to do with hunting and fishing. We’re going to have at the show. We’re going to have a lot of stuff going on there. We’re going to be a live dog demonstration, a working dog. We’re going to have bird dog, hounds, we’re doing a coyote hunting. The pointers and retrievers and we’re going to try to get a canine unit on scene to show what dogs learn and how they work with people.
Why did you start this? What was the impetus to get a Monster Buck Classic?
My dad’s been traveling with our whitetail deer display since 1997. We’ve been to probably over a hundred sportsman shows in that time with a live whitetail buck. We’ve been to over 100 schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota area. We’ve been to probably 50 or 60 small stores with the Whitetail buck. We’ve been to enough events where we have an understanding of how they’re run and we want to see if we can do it better. We figured we’re expecting all these show promoters to pay us a nice check, come to a show as a paid attraction. Why don’t we have our own show?
That was basically it?
That’s pretty much it. It’s a, “Why not and let’s see if we can do it.”
Some people are going to have to drive ways to get there. Is that correct?
That is correct. What we’ve seen, people are not afraid of driving an hour to two hours to come and see the deer. There’s an event we go to every year in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. People will tell us they’ll drive an hour to two hours just to come see the buck at Glen’s Army & Navy Store in Grand Rapids.
Your family’s been in whitetails. I think you said 1992, your dad started raising whitetails. What was it like growing up in a whitetail family literally?
I can’t imagine anything different. I’ve enjoyed it every step of the way. Ever since I was able to hold a bottle, I was born in 1994, so when I was two, three years old I was helping dad feed the fawns. We didn’t have a lot of deer for a long time. We were normally 20, 30, 40 and then about 2000 and we’ve got up to 60 deer. It got a little bit busier but I’ve enjoyed growing up on the farm, working on the farm, working with my dad almost every day.You can have the best in the world but if there's no deer in the area, you're not going to get anything. Click To Tweet
Do you sell these deer for breeding or is it just a hunting operation? Tell me the business end of that if you can.
We do a little bit of everything. We do things that most deer farmers don’t do. As far as we know right now, we’re the only people that travel with live whitetails. What I mean live, we actually bring three live bucks in a custom-built trailer, do sportsman shows around the country. We’ve had people think we’re bringing head mounts, they’re actually live here.
We do that and as far as we know, nobody else does that. We collect and sell doe urine that we ship all over the country and we freeze it upon collection. We do sell fawn, does, bucks to people who want to start raising whitetails or change their genetics. We sell antler pieces. We sell DVDs that we’ve made. We have a poster that we put together. We sell a little bit of everything. Then we also do runs on our own property.
Let’s talk about a hunt. Even Minneapolis, can they fly up to you or did they have to drive from X?
It depends what they want to do. Minneapolis is about a six-hour drive south. From the farm, you’ve got to go six hours or so to get to Minneapolis. We have a lot of guys drive up. They could fly in potentially to Thief River Falls probably the closest place that you could fly into and that’s 45 minutes from the farm. You could fly into there and then they can have a quick little drive right up to the farm. We even picked people up in Thief River Falls. I believe it’s actually only $50, $60 a trip. They do flights in Minneapolis every day.
Do you ever have a lodge where you house people that come in to see the deer or hunt the deer?
We actually went and got a camper from one of our friends. It’s a nice huge camper, 30-plus foot I think. We’re going to have a hunter staying in that. We do have an idea for putting up a lodge in the work. It’s just getting the money together and deciding on where to put it.
There are probably aren’t too many Holiday Inns or Hampton Inns in the neighborhood.
There are a couple of smaller hotels but they’re about twenty minutes away. We are out in the middle of nowhere.
It’s all high fenced so you don’t have to worry about the wolves, right?
Yeah, it is eight-foot high fence. It’s 140 acres, roughly a two-mile perimeter over a thousand telephone poles four feet in the ground. The fence isn’t there necessarily to keep the bucks in one area to make it easier to hunt them, the fence is there to allow them to mature. That’s actually why we started to deer farming in the first place.
My dad got sick of seeing the yearling bucks get killed by a car or a coyote or a wolf or our neighbor, and he wants to be a buck mature. That’s why we have the fence is to allow the bucks to mature and keep them safe from the wolves, coyotes, our neighbors, cars on the road. We want to allow a buck mature to harvestable size before we actually harvest it.
Is it a three-day, two-day hunt if I come up from Minneapolis? I say in Minneapolis because that’s what I think is the closest, largest city to you.
Probably it’s the largest one in the State. Grand Forks is an hour and a half. How the hunts probably work is if you book a hunt, you’re actually guaranteed a buck at that point. You’re guaranteed a buck whether it takes you a year or you get the first day or you have to come back repeatedly at no extra cost. After you give us a down payment, whether you get a buck the first day, the fourth day, however long your hunt ends up being, if you don’t get one, you can come back every year until you harvest an animal at no further cost.
If I’m picky on the hit list, I sit and talk to you and say, “X, Y or Z and if I don’t see X, Y or Z, then come on back when you can?”
Exactly. The guy we actually have coming to hunt, he is coming back for a second time. He hunted five days for one specific year. The buck he was after was a three-year-old deer, that’s for roughly 220s and it definitely weighed over 300 pounds. He did not see that deer. We had seven hunters and it was a hot season, so we actually ended up hunting quite a bit for seven people. That buck has been seen for exactly 30 seconds from a tree stand in daylight hours. He said he’s going to come. It’s unbelievable. It’s in 140 acres but the buck simply disappears.
Some listeners are saying, “No way, no how.” That’s how stealthy or wildly whatever you want to call it a whitetail buck is because here we have a controlled environment. Let’s put it that way. If that deer doesn’t want to move, he’s not going to come pass that stand and you have one picture of them. Let’s talk about all your years of hunting. Why do bucks know they’re pressured? They shut it down and they could be laying 50 yards from that guy’s stand and he’ll never see it.
There are so many things going on. For one thing, once the velvet comes off and they polish the antlers, they’re starting to climb. If you’ve got a few bucks in the area and let’s say your big buck, he doesn’t necessarily feel like he’s the dominant buck. Maybe he doesn’t have as high testosterone level as the younger bucks. The others start getting picked on by the other bucks and they’ll disappear. We’ve had bucks disappear for three months in our preserve and no trail cam pictures, nobody sees them. Nothing. They’ll completely disappear because they’re getting picked on buy another buck. Sometimes you have to get the dominant buck out of the area before they’ll even move.
There are a lot of things that go into it. Number one, buck feels very comfortable. If you’re the type of hunter who uses a four-wheeler frequently, which we do, and your deer used to hearing a four-wheeler drive around, they will actually lay their 50 yards away, 50 feet away and just listen to the four-wheeler drive by and knock it up and move because they’re used to hearing a four-wheeler. You have to do something out of the ordinary to get them to spook if that’s what you want them to do. I’ve actually literally almost stepped on bucks, not in the fence outside of the fence when we’re doing our own hunting. They’ll lay there and if you don’t stop and act vicious, they’ll actually let you walk right up on him occasionally.
It’s the lockdown period, especially during the rut. One piece of evidence that you said, some bucks get intimidated. There’s no question about it. They say, “I’m not going to get my butt kicked anymore, I’m going to go hide.” They have a place they can lay down, they can get some food and water and they’re perfectly safe and they’re going to stay there.
If you have multiple buck in the area that may be dominant or you have a dominant buck in the area and he may not be the biggest, but the one year after he maybe isn’t even there anymore. Sometimes if you have a dominant buck in your area, the smaller or the bigger, depending on the situation, bucks will actually leave. They’ll leave five, six, seven, eight, nine miles to go find a place where they can be dominant. We’ve shot a buck on our property during hunting season that we’ve never seen the buck before. They just appear not inside the fence, but they appear when we’re hunting. Our neighbor will say, “We saw that buck three miles from there. We’ve been watching them all summer.” Then he shows up on our property.
When you’re hunting outside the fence, how many acres do you have on your farm?
We own 280 and then 140 fences for the preserve hunting. We own quite a bit.
When you start thinking about hunting, do you do archery hunt and rifle hunt your farm?
Growing up I did a lot archery hunting. I don’t as much as anymore because at this time of year ripe for archery season starts, I am so busy with everything that’s going on and guiding hunts. I definitely rifle hunt and then muzzleloader if I get an opportunity. I have hunted all three in a single year before trying to get a buck.
What are your top five tips that you’d like to share with my listeners about hunting wild bucks? Not the ones in the farm but the ones on the other 140.
Number one, scent control. That is by far the most important thing you can do is scent control. You can fool a deer’s eyes and you can fool their ears. If you’re sitting in a tree stand bowhunting and they see you move, they might think, “It was a squirrel or a bird. It’s nothing to worry about.” If they hear you. You can often fool their ears and they’ll again think it’s just a bird or a squirrel or the wind blowing something around, and they might not get worried about it. If they smell you, that’s it. Keep yourself scent-free as possible is the number one thing you can do, especially bow hunting. Rifle hunting is not as fussy because you can reach out and touch them, but bowhunting it’s scent. That’s the number one thing.
Number two, get on stand early. We built a stand when I was younger. When I was thirteen, my dad built me a buck stand. We bordered 2,000 acres and I would get up opening days, season, get dressed. My clothes were all hanging outside, scent-free, bow out, climb up in my buck stand and I will be there 45 minutes to an hour before daylight. About twenty minutes after the sun comes up, we would have people walking by us on state land, finally going out to their stance.
If you’re not standing before daylight, that can actually ruin your whole hunt because they’ll hear you walking through the woods and they’ll see you and now if they hear you and see you, they’re going to leave. If you go in the dark, they don’t know if it’s a person or if it’s a moose or it’s a bear. They don’t know what walking through the area. The air feels so comfortable in the dark. Get on stand early, get off stand late.
We like to sit at least a half-hour past legal shooting hours, half-hour past dark to remain hidden. You don’t want the deer to see you climbing into your stand, you don’t want them to see you climbing out of the stand. They can remember that. If you can have somebody drop you off on a four-wheeler, if that’s a viable option in your area that is a huge benefit. If the deer is used to seeing four-wheelers, they can’t do math.
They don’t know that the four-wheeler drove to the stand with two people and then left with one. They have no idea how many people are on the floor with it. They just know the four-wheeler came and the four-wheeler went. That’s something you can use to your advantage as well. If you drive a four-wheeler on your property all year long, keep doing that in deer season. The deer aren’t going to think anything of it. We’ve literally seen and shot deer five minutes after the four-wheeler has left the stand.
Isn’t that something? Because they were right there watching the four-wheeler go by. Five minutes unless they’re flat through the wood, they were there. It’s amazing what whitetails teach us all the time and how much the experts think they know about them and then when it comes down to the push and shove, yes, they know some stuff, no question about it. When you put the whole thing together, there are all these moving parts to be very successful year after year. That’s my two cents. You’ve talked to me early on. You don’t use Estrus urine. What’s up with that?You've got to eliminate your scent. Click To Tweet
We don’t collect and we don’t use Estrus urine. It’s actually simple when you think about it. When a buck smells doe urine, they have two different scent chambers in their nose. We actually have a video on our Facebook page and our website where we actually have a cross section of a buck’s nose. They have two different chambers where they can smell things.
When a buck does a normal inhale, he’s smelling with one chamber. When he does normal inhale, like you and I, he can smell doe urine, he could smell gun oil, he can smell your dog. He can smell what you had for breakfast. He can smell everything when he does a normal inhale, but he has no idea if that doe’s in heat, he can’t tell. He can’t tell if a doe’s in heat until he does what’s called a flaming curl. You’ve seen that before where they curl their upper lip and they hold their head back and they have a weird look in their eyes, but they’re checking to see if the doe’s in heat. They can’t do that until they have their nose on the puddle or the source of the urine. They have to have a strong concentrated source of urine.
I could dump a gallon of urine out in front of a buck, and if he can’t bend on to smell it, he has no idea if that doe’s in heat, he can’t tell. When they do that flaming curl, they’re actually sending the doe urine directly to their brain to check for pheromones. With that in mind, their long-range receptor, when they do a normal inhale, that’s the only thing you need to fool. You don’t need to have Estrus urine. When they do the normal inhale, they can smell doe urine. They’re going to come in to find that doe urine to see if that doe’s in heat. Estrus urine, pheromones don’t even matter because he can’t tell until he’s already at the base of your tree stand.
Because he’s inhaling doe urine, he doesn’t know what it is because it doesn’t do the flaming or the lip curl or whatever and it goes up. Isn’t the brain amazing how it takes those chemicals apart? Think about that. Sheep do it, elk do it. I don’t know the right name of the class animals but they all do it because that’s how they procreate and pass on their genes. It’s important to them. Having said that Mr. Buck, he comes and he takes a sniff and he goes, “That’s doe urine.” He has to put his nose right in the urine to check it to see if she’s ready.
He can’t tell from 100 yards away. He can’t tell from ten feet if she’s in heat or not. He has to physically put his nose in the puddle of doe urine or on her behind or on her hawks where she’s peed on herself to find out if she’s in heat or not.
Look at what marketing has done.
It’s incredible what marketing can do. I found that a lot of the products are marketed more toward hunters than the actual deer. When you see at the bottom there’s a special golden Estrus or Estrus urine, everyone hears Estrus and are like, “Estrus, that doe is in heat, the buck is going to love it,” but he can’t tell so it doesn’t even matter. By the time he can tell he should be dead unless you’re a really bad shot.
It just weighs down there and there’s enough in the atmosphere atoms of doe urine that he can take a whip of it and go, “I’m going to go check that out.” He’s not going to check that out all year round, is he? He’s only going to check it out during the rut periods.
Actually, they will check it out not necessarily all year but I have bucks that have been checking right now and they’re still in velvet. They just have to find out. They’ve got to put together a calendar in their mind of when each doe is going to come in to heat. They want to start gathering information as soon as they can. Bucks will come in and scent check urine definitely once they polished their antlers all the way through until they shed their antlers, they’ll scent check urine.
Doe urine actually is a good option to use in early bow season but it gets more effective the closer it gets to the rut. However, once it’s in the rut, if a buck is actually on a hot doe, he will not leave her. If you catch a buck in between does with doe urine, he’s going to come and find out, “When does this doe come into heat and when do I need to breed her?” When he does that flaming curl, he knows her exact timing. They will start gathering information right away as soon as they can.
Isn’t that amazing just by whiffing he can tell where her pheromones are and how ripe or ready she is to breed? They can get it down to 24-hour period.
Our main breed buck, he didn’t miss. He can do the math and he can know when each doe needs to be bred, how much time he needs to spend with that doe to breed her and then how much time he has before he has to move on to the next one.
Some bucks are scent checking now and some bucks scent check from does that are down on the field, and I get all that. If I’m hunting, I’m going to hunt pretty all November, so I’m pretty much to rut and then the post-rut. I’m thinking early season, why won’t you put out doe urine? Forget about the Estrus, just get some doe urine and put it out.
One thing is you don’t ever need to use Estrus doe urine. Just doe urine will work all the time. When we collect our doe urine, we just use doe urine. At the end of August, does are definitely not in heat but if I hold that bottle of urine up to a buck in a week, some of them will do a flaming curl to find out if that doe is in heat.
There is no reason to ever use Estrus urine. Straight up doe urine is going to work every time because the bucks have to come in to find out if she’s in heat. When we collect doe urine, we do things a little different than everybody else. We freeze them upon collection so it doesn’t rot or break down and we collect them fresh every fall. There’s no pheromones, there’s not additives, there’s nothing in urine but pure doe urine. Collect it, freeze it, ship it all over the country.
We sell an eight-ounce bottle because we want people to use more. When a doe goes to the bathroom, she doesn’t use two or three drops from expensive bottle. She puts out everything she’s got thus make her smell pretty. Have you ever seen it when a doe pees on her hawk? They’ll pee on their back knees. They do that so the buck can find them. They’re putting their cellphone number out there saying, “This is where I’m at.”
If a doe walks through a field just after peeing on her knees, a dumb, blind buck could follow that doe through that field without a problem. You’ve got to emulate that behavior when you’re using doe urine. Better use a lot. More is better. That’s why we sell the eight-ounce bottle. We want people to use more. If you’re using more, you’re going to be emulating natural behavior and you’re going to have better results.
That’s why I like to use drags sometime in the season. I do it right from my truck and I’ve got a quarter mile, maybe more, maybe less to my stand. Then I’ll just put out a drag and it’s just urine that I’ve got. It’s amazing what will happen. All of a sudden, you see bucks that will be crossing. They will be spinning right around and I’d have them come right up to my tree.
The only thing that’s hanging is my drag. I put it on the tree so it weighs down. I found that very effective and other people don’t. I think if you use it effective, it’s an attractor. Basically you’re saying, “Here I am, come check me out.” If they’re doing all those, then that makes sense. Your thoughts?
Yeah, exactly. We’ve used the drag before and I know a lot of our clients have used drags before as well with fantastic success. If somebody is not having a drag work form, odds are either a buck didn’t trust the trail or they were using a doe urine that wasn’t fresh. If it’s been sitting on a shelf for any amount of time, it’s going to rot and break down. Or if they’re not watching their own scent, the buck knows, “A person just walked here and a doe.”
You’ve got to watch your own scent. I don’t really believe in cover scents and the reason why is let’s say you came in to my house in Thanksgiving dinner. You came into my house, I blindfold you, sat you down the table. We have turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, all the tradition Thanksgiving stuff and then it’s on the table and I put a dirty diaper on the table. What are you going to smell? You’re going to smell all the Thanksgiving food and the dirty diaper.
If you can pick out those smells with our nose, which isn’t near as a deer’s, what can a deer smell? He can smell everything. You can’t cover your scent. You’ve got to eliminate your scent. Drags work very well. Bucks want to find the does. If there’s an abundance of urine in the area, they want to figure out where that doe is, who she is, they want to get to know her and find out when she’s going to come in to heat. They’re going to follow her until they find where she feeds or they can get enough urine to do a flaming curl.
For the audience, this is some information that nobody’s really talked about the lip curl and the pheromones, maybe one or two people have talked about the pheromones. Basically, you’re out there in the woods whenever your seasons starts and you can use doe urine from here on out throughout the whole season, and you’re going to track bucks given you don’t smell like a turkey dinner or gasoline. You have to do your job on it. Then the bucks have to be in the area. That’s the other thing, sometimes people hunt where the deer aren’t. It’s amazing that people hunt where the deer aren’t and they expect to kill a deer. How does that work?
You can have the best doe urine in the word, you can have gallon of it, but if there’s no deer in your area, you’re not going to get anything. It’s not going to do you good at all. I’ve had a few guys say, “I tried your doe urine and it all makes sense but I didn’t get a single deer.” We get to talk then I’ll say, “Do you got wolves in your area?” “Yeah, we got lots of wolves.” “Was there any fresh activity the morning you went hunting?” He said, “Yeah, I walked over three or four pairs of wolf packs on my way to my stand.” “That’s why you’re not seeing any deer. If you just have wolves in your area, there’s no deer within a mile.”
Let’s talk about the deer urine, how does somebody get a hold of that? How do they buy it? What is your website?
If somebody wants to order the doe urine, we ship it out frozen all over the country. It’s two or three days shipping. If you want to order it, you can go on our website, PorterWhitetail.com, or you can go on our Facebook page, @StevePortersTrophyWhitetail and there will be a link for our website there. Or if you happen to be in Minnesota, there are a few stores in the area that sell it. We have a list of sales reps that are going to carry the urine and will sell it as well. You can go on our website, see if there’s a store near your or if one of our sales reps happens to be in your area.
Thanks for that. Let’s talk about what rifle hunting is today versus what it was when you started when you were just a little kid?
It has changed a lot. When I first started hunting, dad started me out with a rifle. I actually shot my first deer when I was seven, eight, nine years old. I go hunting with dad, he wraps his arms around us, he would hold the gun but he would allow us to aim and pull the trigger. Dad started us off very young. I remember early years when we’re hunting, the amount of deer we would see back then was phenomenal.
We would see ten, fifteen, twenty deer a night and we were actually back then allowed to shoot five a person. I think it was a bit much. Our deer numbers right now are really low. I took my wife hunting and she’s not been hunting before, we went hunting and we saw a total of five deer all season. The deer numbers are way down but as far as the method I use for rifle hunting now is what I did back then. Back then I just stay over food plot or stand with nice shooting lanes and wait the deer to come to me. What I’ve changed is once they start archer hunting, which I got really big into when I was sixteen years old, I now rifle hunt the way I bow hunt.
When I’m going out to put up a stand, I’ll actually go deeper in the woods. We live right next to 2,000 acres of land. We’ll actually go back in there three quarters of a mile, a mile instead of where you can only shoot 20, 30 yards. Set that up just like we’re bowhunting. That’s where the bigger bucks were at. They like to hang out back in the woods, away from the people, away from the cars and away from all the farm equipment, everything that’s in the area. I’d say the biggest change is I’d hunt like I bow hunt when I’m rifle hunting, if that makes sense.
Are you using hang-ons or you’re using ground lights? What kind of setup do you have?
I’ve never enjoyed hunting from the ground. I’ve done it once or twice. I don’t like the vantage point. My personal favorite is a climber stand. I think it’s so easy to set up. It’s so fast. They’re comfortable and they’re secure for shooting. You’ve got a good rest on there for you to shoot with. I do prefer the climbing tree stands whether I’m bow hunting, rifle hunting or muzzle loading.
What do you think the future is for hunting in Northern Minnesota with the wolves? Because you’re getting hammered. The wolves are taking a toll on the deer herd.
Yes, wolves have guesstimated our deer herd and there’s some interesting math on that as well. I think unless they do something with the wolves, the future of deer hunting, it’s going to change. I think we’ll still have a lot of people hunting but there’s going to be less young recruitment for people hunting.
The reason for that is as a young kid, if you go out and hunt for four or five hours, you freeze your butt off and you don’t see any deer, you’re not going to enjoy that. If you do that one weekend or the whole season, you’re not going to think hunting is that great. I think honestly, we’ve got to get the wolves under control so that we can get our deer numbers back up to where they need to be. Then we’ll have more hunter recruitment and we’ll be seeing bigger bucks, we’ll be seeing more bucks. I think getting the population back up a little bit will be a huge help.
Is the DNR working towards that? What’s their stance?
I think they underplayed how many wolves are on the State. They claim I think it’s 2,500 or 3,000 wolves in the State of Minnesota. I could be off on those numbers. Let’s say that they’re right and there are only 2,000 wolves in the State of Minnesota. I believe there to be a lot more than that. I talked to the guy who raises wolves. He claims that a wolf needs about ten pounds of meat a day.
Little bit of math. There are 2,000 wolves in the State of Minnesota at ten pounds of meat a day, that’s roughly one deer per wolf. That is 52,000 or 104,000 deer being eaten every year in the State of Minnesota just by 2,000 wolves. That’s if they eat only one deer a week. They could eat two because there’s only about 40, 50 pounds of meat on a deer. If they’re eating one deer a piece, that’s 104,000. If they’re eating two dear a piece, that’s 208,000.
The Minnesota deer population the last time I checked was around 600,000 whitetails. You factor in, I believe hunters shot either 27,000. Let’s say 208,000 eaten by wolves, 27,000 killed by hunters. Let’s factor in 30,000 car hits and miscellaneous diseases. Then you factor in coyotes and bobcats. You’re looking at roughly close to half the population being killed every year in the State of Minnesota. That’s not sustainable. That’s not even possible. You can’t imagine sustaining that type of predation on a 600,000 animal herd.
It’s sad you’ve got the traditional camps as we had in Wisconsin, grandfathers and their fathers had that hunting. I know one such camp in Wisconsin, they don’t see them anymore. They still go up and they still play cards and they still have a great time and talk about the old days. They go out once a awhile to the stand for a little bit, then they’ll come back in because it’s over.
I like what you say about recruitment because a kid, he’s going up to camp, he hears all the stories great. They get to camp and they do all the camp stuff and then the anticipation of opening day, open in the morning and you go out there and there’s nothing to see. I agree 100%. One kid’s going to go, “This isn’t so fun. I want my iPad. I’m not going to freeze my butt off.” Why would they?
There are very few kids that enjoy it like that. My younger brothers are really die hard. My two younger brothers, one’s fifteen and one’s thirteen. The fifteen-year old, when he was thirteen years old, he literally spent 60 to 70 hours in a tree stand, bowhunting, rifle hunting and muzzle loading. He never shot a deer, but he sat and sat and he actually has not shot a buck other than a spike buck and he’s fifteen years old.
He’s very selective on what he shoots but he’s one of the few kids where he’s willing to put in that time. He’s willing to freeze his butt off. He enjoys it. My youngest brother, you’ll go out. He went out in youth season, got a buck, then he went out in rifle season and he failed two more of tags. He got three bucks in one year all in 125s. He’s a lucky little bugger. He didn’t have to put in the time and it really makes his older brother a little bit jealous.
Think about it, he’s going to be in a funnel or a pinch point. He’s got a little hunting hoes going on where the deer are coming through.
It was hilarious because the fifteen-year-old, Brody, he sat in a stand for a couple of days, didn’t see a deer. He switched to a different stand. Nolan, the youngest one went to his stand and got a buck that night. Wherever Nolan was sitting, he would get a deer.
Sometimes, that’s just the way it happens. Let’s let the listeners know about the Monster Buck Classic, how to get in touch with you or how to find out more information about it?
If people want to come to the show or want more information or want to be a vendor at the show, email me at MNMonsterBuckClassic@Gmail.com or they can shoot me a text or give me a phone call. My number is 218-526-0318. Or they can go on to our website for the show, MNMonsterBuckClassic.com/home. Just Google Minnesota Monster Buck Classic or even go on to our Facebook page. We have a Minnesota Monster Buck Classic Facebook page. There are a lot of ways to contact me. My personal Twitter is @DeerManDP. There are a lot of ways to get ahold of me, just make your choice.
Dillan, thank you so much for being a guest. I learned some things that I frankly didn’t know before. On behalf of thousands of listeners across North America, thank you, Dillan Porter, for being a guest on Whitetail Rendezvous.
Thanks for having me.
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