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Chris Kirby Hunts Small Spots in New York State for Better Bucks

provided by John Phillips

Chris Kirby, the president of Quaker Boy Calls, and his wife, Michelle, are now the owners of Quaker Boy Calls in Springville, New York. Here at Mossy Oak, we’ve seen Chris grow up working with his dad, Dick Kirby, the creator of Quaker Boy Calls. Following in Dick’s footsteps, Chris became a major national and world’s champion turkey-calling champion and also is involved in the Quaker Boy videos and television shows. He’s been calling game and taking game since he could walk. As Chris Kirby says, ‘I’ve been a Mossy Oak Pro as long as I can remember. Under our ownership, Quaker Boy will continue to produce its award-winning, quality calls in the USA.” Chris hunts all over the nation for not only deer and turkey with his bow and guns, but about every other type of game that can be called or decoyed into the hunter. 

buck eating in snow

New York is a highly populated state, even though it’s primarily rural. I hunt three different farms - one 40 acres, a 135-acre farm and a 240-acre farm. The real secret to consistently taking older-age-bucks is not to put too much hunting pressure on any one farm. We always try and leave sanctuary areas that we don’t hunt to give the deer a place to feed and rest without being harassed by hunters. The other secret we’ve learned is that we have to hunt the deer, so the deer don’t know they’re being hunted. We try and get in and out of our hunting sites without being seen, heard or smelled by the deer we’re hunting. 

Oftentimes, I’ll park further away from my stand site than I may want to have to walk. I may have to walk all the way around the property I’m going to hunt to hunt the deer without them smelling me. We also vary our food plot planting. For instance, in one of my food plots, I’ve got three acres of BioLogic Deer Radish, and five acres of corn. So, we’ll plant larger green fields than most people do when planting green fields for deer and turkeys. We have around that acreage about five acres of fallow ground that’s grown up in weeds and bushes. Then the deer have cover to come through before they step into the green field. And they have escape cover within one or two jumps of the green field. 

deer tracks in snowAs the season gets ready to close, we will hunt over the food source. But our method is to use a buddy system. I’ll get one of my buddies to drive me up to my tree stand and not leave, until I’m in my stand and sitting down. At night when he comes to pick me up, the vehicle spooks any deer off the green field. I don’t leave my stand until the deer are gone. Using this system, the deer never see or hear me, and they are accustomed to hearing the vehicles like trucks and tractors all year long on the agricultural fields. So, even though I’m hunting over the food source, I’m not spooking any of the deer coming into or leaving the food source. The best way to move to a stand, is if the landowner has a tractor, and someone can drive you on the tractor to your stand and pick you up on the tractor at the end of your hunt. The tractor is a natural sound that doesn’t spook deer. 

If the weather’s bad or the ground’s muddy or wet, and we can’t get a vehicle to my stand, I’ll often give a coyote howl just before I leave the stand. I let the sound of the coyote run the deer out of the field before I come out of my stand. If there’s a trail camera on that green field, the next day when I check my trail camera, I’ll generally see that the deer start filtering back into the field within 20 minutes after I’ve made the coyote call, and we’ve left. So, I know that vehicles don’t spook deer off a field like seeing or hearing a hunter will. One time I was driving to drop someone off at a stand and drove right past several deer, bedded-down in a thicket not far at all from the stand site. They never even got up. So, I kept on driving and let my friend out where the deer couldn’t see him or the vehicle. I’m sure the deer came into the green field that afternoon. 

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