Monthly Archives: November 2009

Guide Bags Montana Mega-Muley

I’ve seen a small handful of true blue mule deer toads in my time – and such occasions have almost always occurred when I didn’t have a mule deer tag in my pocket – but this big bruiser from Montana is a bona fide freak nasty mule deer.

And then some.

Taken a few weeks ago by 24-year old Connor, Mont. outfitter-turned-hunter Remi Warren, this huge 5X5 was arrowed somewhere in Montana’s Hunting District 270 near the East Fork of the Bitterroot River.

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Remi Warren used a down time in his fall big game guiding activities to arrow this massive Montana mule deer.

It’s just a massive typical frame,” Warren told the Billings Gazette. “You don’t see that too often.”

Indeed you don’t.

In fact, it was reportedly Warren’s lack of bowhunting clientele this fall that enabled him to be able to see the massive muley buck up close and personal.

With his own coveted archery mule deer tag burning a big antlered hole in his pocket, Warren struck out on Sept. 12 to locate the deer that he had heard rumors about.

After finding the buck – which spooked with some others and ran off – Warren put his legs into high gear and eventually found the deer again.

After a careful stalk into shooting position, Warren reportedly found the massive muley right below him.

But again, the deer spooked and ran off. This time, however, the hunter was able to blow on his grunt call and stop the deer while it was still in shooting range.

With his rangefinder showing 47 yards and the deer looking in his direction, Warren steadied the sight pins on his Mathews LX bow and let the Carbon Express arrow fly.

After the Wac’em broadhead did its deadly deed on the buck’s vitals, the deer went less than 70 yards before expiring.

So just how big is the Remi Warren buck?

Well, the Billings Gazette says the Safari Club International score is 205 inches.

Here’s what Boone & Crockett says on its “Trophy Watch” Web site:

With an unofficial green score being roughly 214, the early archery kill will rank very high in the overall state rankings. While this buck appears to have great mass and symmetry, preliminary reports have indicated significant deductions. Whether the current state record is in jeopardy of dropping down a spot will be left up to speculation until the 60 day drying period has passed. Remi has indicated he will have the buck measured for B&C in addition to P&Y when the 60 day requirement is met.”

As I’ve mentioned several times already this fall, while I am an official measurer and dig record book critters, I’d have to say that when a massive muley like this is in front of your sight pins, who cares what the buck scores?!?

I sure wouldn’t!

The Remi Warren buck from Montana is a marvelous mule deer specimen, a western big game trophy for the ages, and one that the guide-turned-hunter should be thankful for every time he looks at his wall.

And most especially when he looks at his outfitting date-book and sees the empty spot left open on Sept. 12th!


White-Tailed Deer Foods: Native Choices

Once again, great information from Grayson County (Texas) Ag Extension agent Chuck Jones’ October/November newsletter.

And while this information will be most useful to H-365 enthusiasts after the current deer season has run its course, print it off now, bookmark it, or otherwise file it away for use later on because it is good stuff.

Not to mention that it could save you some bucks of the George Washington kind while helping you grow bucks of the Boone & Crockett kind!



Southern Red Oak acorns / Noble Foundation photo

White-Tailed Deer Foods: Native Choices


By Chuck Jones / Grayson County Ag Extension Agent

Before you go buy a pretty bag with a big buck picture on it containing high dollar food plot seeds, you should know that Mother Nature provides some great cheap options. The information that I’m going to share with you comes from a lot of hard work and research done by employees at the Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Their results are written in a publication called, Quality of Native Plant Forage Species Important to White- Tailed Deer and Goats in South Central Oklahoma.

What deer eat

Let us begin our discussion with what type of forage White-tailed deer utilize. The table below came from yet another Noble Foundation source titled, White-Tailed Deer: Their Foods and Management in the Cross Timbers.

Forage Class / Percent Use

Forbs (broad leaf weeds) / 44%

Browse (woody material) acorns / (41%) 8%

Grasses and Grasslikes / 3%

Other / 1%

Deer eat roughly 66% of everything in the woods. The table above shows you that deer eat a wide variety of foods. So a good deer habitat is a diverse habitat.

Nutrition value of native plants for deer

If you have livestock, then you are always thinking about their food source. You are asking – Is the grazing of good quality? Does the hay I purchased have a high crude protein (CP) and total digestible nutrients (TDN, estimate of forage energy)? You would love to see the CP in the 10-14% range and TDN 55% and above. Have you ever wondered about the CP and TDN of native plants already found on your property? Let us take a look at a few. I=ll list figures for plants tested in April. When you see these high, almost unbelievable numbers, just remember that they will decrease as the growing season progresses. This is especially true for crude protein. So consider these numbers on the high end, but at the same time, realize the potential of already present native forage for its nutritional value. These numbers are also variable according to environmental factors. However, with all that said. . .deer do have access to some good stuff that didn’t come from a bag.

Greenbrier smilax sp. = CP 37.9% /  TDN 71.4%

Smooth sumac Rhus glabra = CP 23% /  TDN 89.7%

Poison ivy Toxicodendron radicans =  CP 29.3% /  TDN 89.7%

Osage orange Maclura pomifera = CP 28.5% /  TDN 66.7%

Hackberry Celtis laevigata = CP 22.5% /  TDN 79.8%

Coralberry Symphoricarpus orbiculatus = CP 17.7% / TDN 76.4%

Roughleaf dogwood Cornus drummondii = CP 22.3% / TDN 87.7%

Post Oak Quercus marilandica = CP 20.6%  / TDN 81.9%

Partridge pea Chamaecrista fasciculate = CP 22.4% /  TDN 75.6%

Three-seeded Mercury Acalypha virginicus = CP 12.7% /  TDN 77.6%

Tick clover spp. Desmodium spp. = CP 20.2% /  TDN 59.9%

Mare’s tail Conyza Canadensis = CP 14.4% / TDN 73.9%

Giant ragweed Ambrosia trifida = CP 37.8% / TDN 88.8%

Western ragweed Ambrosia psilostachya = CP 17.3% / TDN 81.4%

Food plots. Do we really need them?

So – Do you really think you need to put all that money into buying that high dollar seed? In most cases, I would say no. If your land has a diversity of native plants, you will grow and hold White-tailed deer on your property. There are three reasons I might establish food plots. The first reason would be because the habitat is not diverse and the plants present aren’t deer preferred foods. My second reason is based on research from the Noble Foundation study showing that crude protein was limiting (fell below deer’s optimal needs) between the months of June through November. So this is where I would recommend some food plots — peas during the warm season and oats or wheat during the cool season. These seeds can be purchased inexpensively at a feed store so don’t buy a pretty bag. My final reason? To increase deer frequency to a site. In simple terms, increase the odds of seeing and harvesting does by luring them to fertilized “tasty” food.

Pea vine hay (sorry – don=t have #s on fresh pasture) = CP 10% / TDN 60%

Wheat = CP 20% / TDN 71%

Oat silage (sorry – don=t have #s on fresh pasture) = CP 12% / TDN 60%

Kernel corn = CP 9%  / TDN 88%

Six Inexpensive Ways to Improve Deer Habitat

This topic is probably better suited to the off-season rather than right in the heart of deer season, but I received this in an e-mail earlier today and thought I would pass it along to the H-365 crowd.

This information comes from the October/November newsletter from Grayson County (Texas) County Extension Agent Chuck Jones.

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Looking for one inexpensive way to improve your deer habitat? North Texas Ag Extension agent Chuck Jones says getting rid of invasive cedar trees is a good start (FWS photo).

Six inexpensive ways to improve your deer habitat

1. Cut your cedars. One cedar with a six-foot crown takes up 28 feet. That is a lot of area that you could be growing food for deer.


2. Disk up areas to stimulate forb growth.

3. Fertilize already present native vegetation — the nitrogen will increase the crude protein and enhance mast production.

4. Thin some trees to allow light penetration thus stimulating understory growth and creating more browse opportunities.

5. Shred some areas. This will stimulate regrowth and the newly grown leaves will be very palatable to deer.

6. If you need food plots to add a little more diversity or to help hold some deer, then I recommend the area not to exceed 5% of your overall habitat.