In years past, hunters would anticipate what their next hunt would be like. The days before the hunt would consist of checking the weather and wind directions. This would typically be followed by becoming so-called deer experts when discussing opinions of moon phases, different changes of weather and of course what phase of the rut was going on at that particular time. Knowing all of these combined things would result in how good the upcoming hunt would be. Even though a lot of these theories have proven over the years to be reliable sources informing deer movement, in reality, the average hunter isn’t going to take the time to check weather, wind directions, moon phases, barometric pressures, sunrise and sunset times, as well as rut activity in every part of the United States to see how good the next hunt is going to be. This is why when I first heard about Drury’s New DeerCast App, I was very intrigued.
Like many hunters, I first heard of this revolutionary app while watching an episode of Drury's Thirteen on the Outdoor Channel. Longtime TV personalities and whitetail experts Mark and Terry Drury have been gathering data to predict deer activity for over 70 years combined, which is the backbone of the DeerCast App. The Drury brothers developed the app to provide an hour-by-hour, real-time, algorithm-driven deer movement forecast for one’s precise location. The app matches local weather to a specific zip code. The predictions include weather forecast, wind direction and barometric pressure that over several years the Drury’s have learned aid in predicting deer movement. This information has the characteristics of each of the thirteen phases of whitetail season, which they have become known for, and makes it one of the best hunting predictors to ever hit the market. Of course, I knew that I had to try it for myself.
In early October, I began using the DeerCast app while bowhunting near my home in southern Missouri. It wasn’t until mid-October that I really got excited to see that dark green circle at the bottom of the forecast that indicates great deer movement. With the wind direction in my favor, I chose to hunt in a ground blind during an evening hunt. Sure enough, that evening I was able to watch a small buck come through following a doe but not really seeking her as they do closer to the rut. Then around 5 p.m. a small, approximately 100-inch 8-pointer came in and made a scrape a mere 20 yards from my blind. I was able to get video footage of him scraping and licking the overhead branch where I had placed scent as I walked in a couple of hours prior. He licked the branches, then stood up on his back legs and rubbed his antlers back and forth in the branches, thus leaving his scent from the forehead gland for the next deer to smell. That night I encountered several deer, but no shooters.
Throughout the next month, I followed the advice of the DeerCast App with the results being pretty accurate. I even tried hunting on an evening when the app indicated a yellowish orange circle which means poor deer movement. It was right that time as well, as I only encountered a couple of deer the whole sit. However, my best result so far with the app came on the first Thursday of Missouri firearms season. On Tuesday of that same week, I saw a weather forecast on the app that predicted an unusual snow storm for the time of year to occur late Wednesday into early Thursday morning. Again, the indicators were dark green, stating deer movement was going to be great. When Thursday arrived, it was right; we had approximately an inch of snow on the ground with temperatures in the mid 20s early and a high to be in the mid 30s. That morning, I bundled up in the warmest clothes I had and decided to sit on the ground, overlooking a large field where I had been witnessing several deer the entire week prior. At approximately 7:45 a.m., a few does with a smaller buck chasing them came through. With the rut now in full swing, I was in hopes that a more mature buck would appear at any time. My prayers were answered when a mature buck appeared from over a hill that entered into the field at approximately 200 yards.
With my gun attached to the Swagger Bipods, I peeked through my scope only to see all antlers. My heart immediately began to pound as the buck made his way up the hill, eventually giving me a broadside shot at 150 yards. I was able to make a successful shot, resulting in the buck running a mere 30 yards before crashing nose first into the snow. Even though I was by myself, I did a few celebratory fist pumps in the air to express my emotions. While giving myself and the deer a few minutes before getting up, a few more does and two other small bucks went through like nothing had occurred. With all of the bucks with their nose to the ground in pursuit of the does, I realized the DeerCast App was right again!
Not only does this new app provide an accurate weather forecast and deer movement forecast, it is also an entertaining app that is packed with tips and tactics from the Drury Outdoors team. Hosting great information breaking down what each phase means and how it should be hunted, it also has a huge selection of videos of their most recent hunting successes posted literally right after they happen, so hunters and fans can keep up with the crew to see how their season is going. It also informs the hunters of when hunting is good in other areas, giving them another form of proof as to when deer movement is good. I catch myself every evening checking my DeerCast app instead of other social media to see what's going on in the hunting world. With Mossy Oak being a longtime partner of Drury Outdoors, they have also provided a lot of informative videos as well as entertaining hunts from Mossy Oak on the DeerCast app. This truly makes the app a one stop shop full of information that can help hunters be successful.