Terry Drury on Thirteen and Deer Phases

Video deer phases

Terry Drury Explains What Thirteen Is


Editor’s Note: Mark and Terry Drury have been a part of the Mossy Oak family as long as there has been M.A.D. Calls and Drury Outdoors that produces videos and TV shows. But the history of the Drury brothers and Mossy Oak goes back even farther than the history of Drury Outdoors. Mark Drury was a salesman for Mossy Oak in Missouri, Iowa and Kansas while in college, but Mark did more than sell Mossy Oak camouflage. He was one of the early members of the Mossy Oak family. When Mark and his brother Terry founded Drury Outdoors, Mossy Oak was right there for them and with them. According to Terry Drury, “Some of our best friends in the early days were Toxey Haas, the creator of Mossy Oak, and his dad, Fox Haas, Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, Bill Suggs and the late Bob Dixon. Our company and our family plans to continue with Mossy Oak, until we go out of business, or we pass away.” Drury Outdoors produces “Bow Madness,” “Dream Season,” and “Thirteen,” all TV shows airing on the Outdoor Channel. The company also produces “Natural Born,” which airs on the Pursuit Channel. Also “King of the Spring” may return in the spring of 2015 on the Outdoor Channel.

“Our show, ‘Thirteen’ is the way Mark and I have divided-up deer season from what we’ve observed, documented and used to predict the movement patterns of older-age-class bucks throughout the 13 weeks of deer season,” Terry Drury explains. “In the 13 weeks that the show airs, we’ll be sharing all the information we have and use each season to consistently take trophy bucks all across the United States. We also allow the viewers to see the mistakes and blunders that we make as well as our successes.”

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DruryTerry1_llPhase one of “Thirteen” is titled, “In the Beginning” and runs from September 13 – September 25. At this time of year, not having much wind and having warm-to-hot temperatures are the factors that most impact deer movement. Here’s what we do. We study the most recent Reconyx trail-camera pictures we have, and we hunt the does. We never hunt in the mornings, and we never try to take an older-age-class buck during this period. Everyone needs to assess the buck-to-doe ratio of the whitetails on their properties every year before deer season starts. In areas with many more does than bucks, then you need to harvest does with a bow then, if your state allows harvesting does with bows. That’s exactly what we do. We try not to hunt anywhere we know a mature buck has been seen by our trail cameras, and we try to hunt the fringe regions of our property.

EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) hit our deer herd pretty hard last year, especially our mature bucks. To balance the buck-to-doe ratio on our land, to sharpen our skills as hunters and to improve the accuracy we’re attempting to achieve with our bows, we use the “In the Beginning Time” of deer season to prepare to hunt and take older-age-class bucks. Many hunters prefer to take does at the end of the season after the bucks have finished breeding. However, we prefer to take does at the beginning of the season to sharpen our hunting and woodsmanship skills and also to reduce our doe population before breeding season starts.

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We don’t hunt in the mornings during Phase 1, because just before daylight and right at daylight is when the older-age-class bucks are moving. We’re more likely to spook them then than we are to harvest them. If your trail cameras don’t produce pictures of a mature buck moving during daylight hours, then you’re almost doing more harm than good by hunting early in the morning.

Here’s the exception to that rule. If an unusually cold front moves through our hunting lands, giving the mature bucks a reason to move, then we may hunt them. But at this time, the pictures you’ll most often get on your trail cameras will be from 4:30 pm until 4:30 am, which means you won’t have an opportunity to take them with a bow. When we’re hunting deer, Mark and I have our own Hippocratic Oath – do no harm. We feel you’re doing more harm than good for your hunting area, if you’re walking around there and having your scent there at a time when you’re less likely to see a buck.

Too, one question Mark and I often are asked is, “When hunting in hot weather, how do you keep the biting flies, mosquitoes, gnats and no-see-ums off you?” Mark and I both use Thermacell that puts out an odor that I’m convinced won’t spook the deer but do get rid of the bugs. If the bugs are going to be really thick, I’ll use two or three Thermacells.

Tomorrow: Terry Drury Explains Phase 2 – Greener Pastures Deer Hunting – September 25 – October 12

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>