November 06, 2020
By Game & Fish Staff
Roger Culpepper, a Realtree pro staff member from Fortson, Georgia, depends on a scent-free approach when bowhunting.
By hanging multiple stands, Culpepper is able to pick the right stand for the day he is hunting. "I'll hang at least two stands on the most used deer trails, and often multiple stands on large fields, to play the wind to my advantage," he says.
Culpepper continues, "Having the wind in my favor is the most important factor when selecting a stand. I use my knowledge of the predominant bedding areas, and the deer's access to water adjacent to the field to determine where the deer will enter, and which stand to hunt."
Culpepper also considers the time he'll hunt. "Time of day, whether hunting morning or afternoon with a different sun location, must be a consideration. I don't want the sun setting right behind my target area at prime shooting time."
Culpepper says, "Remember when hunting ag fields, food is the attraction so keep up with what's available. Be willing to move your stands as it becomes necessary to remain out of sight and mind."
The Georgia native further counsels, "The rut is on its way. Big bucks often skirt the ag field staying just inside the wood line while scent checking feeding does in the field; have shooting lanes cleared to take advantage of that opportunity."
Culpepper relies on Wildlife Research Center products to cloak himself from a deer's nose, and wears Realtree Edge or Timber patterns to melt into the surroundings.
Culpepper leans on Wildlife Research Center's Scent Killer clothing wash and body wash and shampoo to minimize the chances deer will detect him via their sensitive noses. — Dustin Prievo
No tree? No problem.
Ground blinds can be great tools for hunting agricultural fields when a good tree isn't available from which to hang a treestand. Consider the predominant wind direction and set it just inside the bordering edge of the field, making sure to keep your shooting lanes clear. For maximum effectiveness, use native foliage and even crop trimmings (like corn stalks) on and around the blind to help it blend in with the surroundings. — Dustin Prievo
Every year, hundreds of hunters are injured and some even killed from falls from a treestand. Staying harnessed and connected from the moment you leave the ground until you return to terra firma is the only way to hunt safely.
Hawk offers both a safety line and a full-body, fall-arrest harness to keep you safe while hunting elevated. The Hawk Safety-Line ($49.99; hawkhunting.com) keeps you connected at all times, even while climbing. It is 30-feet long and is simple to install. The safety line is a quality unit and built to last years.
The Hawk Elevate Lite Safety Harness is a particularly lightweight (1.8 pounds) harness that's easy to put on. The lightweight design lets hunters move easily while remaining safely tethered to the tree. The Elevate Lite comes with a linemen's belt, suspension relief device and tree belt. The 300-pound capacity harness is available in Chaos Camo and retails for $109. — Dr. Todd A. Kuhn
Knowing when and where deer enter ag fields is made much easier with a cellular trail camera that transmits images and videos to a device. Traditionally, these cams have been expensive to purchase and operate, but Moultrie's new XV-6000 (the V is for Verizon; the XA-6000 is identical and runs on AT&T's network) offers hunters an inexpensive alternative, with an MSRP of $119 and data plans that start at $4.99 (moultriefeeders.com).
The camera is controlled remotely with the Moultrie Mobile app, which offers a variety of sorting and tagging options for simple browsing of your photos and videos. It shoots 16-megapixel images and HD video and features a .9-second trigger speed and 70-foot flash range. Now, monitoring the action in your favorite ag field in real-time is a simple and inexpensive affair. — Dr. Todd A. Kuhn