Editor’s Note: Allen Treadwell from Seligman, Missouri, was a world champion in the international skeet shooting discipline and was on the Olympic team as a shotgun shooter. He was first sponsored by Bass Pro Shops as an Olympic shotgun shooter, then on the Bass Pro Shops’ professional hunting team and the company’s “King of Bucks” TV show. He’s also been featured on the “Winchester Rack Masters” TV show. His main focus is white-tailed deer. Treadwell says, “I wear Mossy Oak on both shows, but I’d wear Mossy Oak even if I wasn’t on television. I believe in the Mossy Oak patterns, and I know they help me take more deer. But more importantly, I believe in the Mossy Oak philosophy of family, fraternity, conservation and passing on our outdoor heritage. I like that Mossy Oak has more than one pattern. When I’m deer hunting, I like to wear Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity. When I’m turkey hunting, most of the time, I wear Obsession. Both of these patterns are open patterns that blend in with the terrain where I hunt. In early deer season, when there's still a lot of green in the woods, I wear Obsession rather than the Break-Up Infinity.”
For the last few weeks (end of May and first of June), I’ve spent my time spraying my seasonal green fields with Roundup to kill all the weeds. Within the next few weeks, I’ll till the ground. Then, I’ll come back and start planting soybeans, milo, BioLogic Clover Plus and corn - not only for food, but for buffer zones between the woods and the food plots. Then deer have cover to transition between the food plots and the woods. I plant a lot of winter bulbs and turnips for late season. Right now, we’re creating mineral sites. I prepare a game plan to have the food the deer love best planted somewhere on my property, during the time they prefer that food. Luckily Mossy Oak BioLogic has food plot plantings that can help deliver the food the deer prefer best in the area you hunt, at the time of year you’ll be hunting.
Another element of a successful hunt and finding and taking mature bucks is putting out mineral sites. Remember I said to study your competition. Most hunters don’t put out mineral sites in the summertime. Yet, I'm confident that minerals like BioLogic BioRock help the bucks grow bigger antlers and the does to be much healthier, when they’re carrying fawns and when they’re producing milk for the fawns. Many states that don’t permit baiting do permit hunting over minerals. For instance, in Missouri, my home state, you can’t hunt over bait, but you can hunt over a mineral site. Another reason for using minerals is: if the deer has been going to a mineral site all summer long, he's gotten comfortable in that area. More than likely, he hasn’t been hunted over a mineral site like he’s been hunted on a trail or green field. Too, the more food, minerals, cover and sanctuary you provide for the deer all year long, the less likely that the older-age-class bucks will leave your property and go to your neighbor’s lands looking for food, minerals, cover, sanctuary and girlfriends.
This time of year, I also put-up trail cameras on my mineral licks, on deer trails and at piles of corn (bait). I use a PlotWatcher Pro camera to look for older-age-class bucks coming into my green fields, just as my green field crops are coming out of the ground. I think that’s when the plants are most tasty to the deer, especially BioLogic’s Clover Plus. I want to see: how many deer, what size and what sex, and how many older-age-class bucks are coming out on the green fields. I want to see if the deer are using one side of my food plot more than the other side, because if they are, I may need to lime or fertilize the side of the food plot they're not using.
Starting in the spring and all the way through the summer, there’s an awful lot you can learn about your deer herd and your older-age-class bucks before game day (the opening of deer season). If you study your deer and your older-age-class bucks during the summer months, when most hunters aren’t even thinking about deer hunting, you'll get the edge you need to consistently take the bigger bucks that most hunters never see.