Contributors to this thread:
I just finished up my deer season and I'm looking forward to sharing more thoughts and theories on successfully hunting big, mature whitetails. My calendar for 2020 is starting to fill but I have optional dates open right now to include weekend events for the next several months. If anyone is interested in me visiting their local area please contact me. I use a shorter program for banquets/dinners and a longer one for shows/events, be it your local retailers; rendezvous/shoots; organizational banquets/meetings; private or public hunting and fishing clubs, etc. If you know of anyone interested in hosting an educational and entertaining seminar on new whitetail hunting techniques, let's talk. My email is: email@example.com. I'm offering some secrets that are not common knowledge. I guarantee all attendees will walk away better deer hunters for the rest of their lives. It's a great investment in time and efforts for yourself and your future deer hunting ventures. Thanks for your consideration. Barry Wensel
Hi Barry... How'd you do this year?
Tdvorak: I didn't intend to open a can of worms or insinuate I knew more than the next guy, and I apologize if that's the way it came across. Hunting big whitetails my whole life, and now being in my mid-70s, I have learned a lot. I don't know anyone who hunts them harder than I do. I've learned a lot from trial and error as well as great woodsmen over many decades. My fear is our youth are being taught the only way to hunt whitetails is from a shooting house over a food plot. I'm not necessarily against that but I've never shot a deer in a food plot my entire life. I just prefer close encounters being in the woods with them. My purpose is to hand down hunting techniques and strategies that will get folks into the timber, sharing thoughts and knowledge while building new foundations they can share with family and friends. BW
Zbone: I had one of the best seasons I've ever had in my life. I hunted long and hard.. very hard and ended up with many close encounters on great bucks. I only shot twice. The first was a 160"+ probably 5 or 6 yr. old. No excuses other than I rushed the shot trying to film him and kill him myself. I thought I got him but the arrow dropped just under his heart for a clean miss. The second one hurt. A giant 6.5 yr. old with white antlers and a very distinct chocolate forehead patch. He got by me one morning checking his scrapes. I wheezed, he inflated, turned on a dime and walked right to me. He was a frontal angle so no shot until he got about 13-14 yds. then turned broadside. I couldn't have asked for a better shot. I was in that same cedar tree I killed that 173"er from in 2017. I wasn't nervous or anything. Excited but not nervous. When I shot my arrow hit the very tip of a tiny twig that had those "feathery" needles on the end. Because the morning light passed right through the needles I never even saw them. But it sure work great for him. Ha. He made it through the season so should be even bigger next year. My biggest disappointment was I found a real monster in another area. We try not to shoot bucks until they are fully mature at 5.5 yrs. Although this buck was B&C both my hunting buddy and I thought he was only 4.5. He had all the potential to be a 200" typical in another year or two. I saw him 4 times in the timber and my buddy saw him six times. You guessed it, he got blown away the last couple days before the end of season by a late season muzzleloader. Yes, as far as I know it was absolutely legal but it's just a shame to take a buck with that kind of potential before he's fully mature. I ended up having close encounters and passing up some bucks I probably should have taken but didn't. I'm okay with that in that next year is another year. bw
Hey Barry. Hope you’re doing well. Tell Gene I said hello.
Really enjoyed the DVDs Barry and thanks for your contributions!
Barry, I haven't seen that many mature bucks in my life time that you see in a season. I need to attend your presentation. Is Wisconsin on your itinerary?
Here’s a newsflash for you Groundhunter, there are a ton of bow hunters out there that would love to hear Barry talk about the lessons he’s learned and the wisdom he’s gained from a lifetime of bowhunting trophy Whitetails all over the country. And as someone that has attended one of Barry’s “Bootcamps”, and several of his seminars, I can say from experience that the things these hunters will learn from Barry will be invaluable. Conversely, there is absolutely no one out there that wants to hear your opinion. You repeatedly embarrass yourself here on this website and add nothing that helps anyone. A legend like Barry Wensel comes on here and offers his help to educate bow hunters and you respond by saying that you’re sick of guys that self promote and hunt managed herds in great areas? Get a life dude. T-roy has it right, please do us all a favor and just move on already.
I got your last video Barry and I really enjoyed it if you ever make it close to Kansas City I will be there!
Glad you had a great season Barry... Good luck with your seminars and scouting....
For the younger folks and those who don't know who Mr. Wensel and brother Gene, along with Mr. Rothhaar are the greatest whitetail hunters and enthusiast ever in my mind... True ambassadors of the sport...
Hopefully I can facilitate his appearance at our 28th annual trad shoot this August.
When these guys have regular and annual occurrences with mature deer, they have more knowledge and ability than average guys like myself. I live in some of the best whitetail country and am lucky if every 5 years I have a five year old deer within bow range.
Their knowledge is superb but I still say some of it is natural ability just like the Chief's quarterback. I could have all of their knowledge and still would have significantly less encounters. They have a gut instinct that is honed beyond a normal level, and thankfully a passion for sharing. Best wishes.
What I think that Barry is trying to say, is that a whitetail who has the genes to grow a truly world class set of antlers is a very rare thing. And when you find one and watch him grow, and then somebody kills him a year or two before he hits that "world class" stage, is truly frustrating. Having been there, I can relate. A trophy is in the eye of the beholder, and I have no problem with that, it's just sometimes, I really wish the deer would win a little bit more.
I would gladly pay to listen to people like Barry, Gene, etc. They have incredible knowledge and are willing to share it. Unfortunate that I have never had the privilege. I can say as a coach and AD I also encourage our coaches to reach out to others to pick their minds to get better. I try to surround myself with the best people I can to improve. Why would any of us not do that. When an accomplished person offers to speak I'll listen and pay to learn as well.
Barry - Thanks so much for the info you have shared across all sorts of media over the decades. Bowhunting October Whitetails, watching that in high school on "Beta" lead to backyard practice with balloons in tires and all sorts of fun. Really appreciate all you have contributed, and the knowledge I have gained from reading/watching your work. Thank you!
Congrats on the fine year, also!
Barry, was your area hit with the EHD?
Timbrhunter- do some research before you jump to conclusions. The Wensel bros have killed some of the biggest free range whitetails to wander Iowa.
Any time I pick up a publication with an article by either Barry or Gene their articles are the first thing I read.
ground hunter - "Two 'feathers..... its not how you hunt but where you hunt"
I remember listening to a very successful whitetail hunter giving a public presentation. Someone in the audience asked him what he could do to get a mature whitetail. The man hunted the same piece of property for 15 years and wasn't seeing mature bucks. The advice of the speaker was "hunt some place else".
True that, ya can't kill them where they don't exist...8^)
When younger, huge bucks seemed like ghosts to me, ya see them one time and never again... Then one thing that clicked the light on for me was reading one of the books back in the day (I think is where I heard it, maybe Barry can confirm) but if a big one exists, he's gotta be somewhere throughout the 24 hours of a day... Its just being where he's gonna be at the right time,,, it's all about timing...
I've killed my two biggest on public land, a 164" and a 186". I got both after multiple seasons of hard pressure in Kansas and Colorado. Growing up, it was not uncommon for farmers and ranchers in my area let a dozen people hunt. A lot of hunting is hunting on faith that eventually something big will come through. As pressured as most private land is today, most bucks can't tell the difference between public and private. Complaining you don't have access just indicates you're not willing to try the spots that are available.
I have bowhunting friend who with his two sons have shot several dandy whitetails on their 60 acres in WI. I asked him how they were able to be successful on big deer with neighbors that rifle. He said the neighbors never shot big deer as they had no idea what they were doing. They more than anybody need to listen to Barry.
Do we really even have to discuss something as obvious as “you have to hunt them where they live” anymore? I mean really, are there still guys out there that might not realize that if you hunt in south Florida you’re never gonna shoot a 180” buck? It’s stupid to keep repeating such obvious crap. But it’s even more stupid to suggest that that all a guy has to do to consistently kill big bucks is to hunt where they live. This all started when Groundhunter posted his ignorant response above suggesting that all you had to do was hunt a place like Iowa or Nebraska where “big bucks are in a bag”. So I suppose every hunter in those “buck in the bag” states Groundhunter is referring to are killing giants every season and doing it with very little skill or woodsmsnship required simply because they are hunting such great spots? Gimme a break!
Barry, do you still do the bootcamps?
What conclusion did I jump too Thorton ?
Wow I see my post was actually deleted wondering why ! Didn't think I was critical of anyone just don't get someone calling another hunters harvest a SHAME !
Come'n you guys, geeze younenz are like kids,,, show a little respect...
Barry came on here to speak and youenz should be privileged,,, the man has more knowledge of whitetails than any man, and please don't turn him off, ya might learn something... Hopefully we can get him to tell some "tails"...8^)
This group can be worse than a bunch of cannibals
If you do miss the opportunity of a lifetime, don’t become this guy.
Looks like Colin Kapernic.
I am sure that Mr. Wensel did not need me to post this but I have to. I recieved a private message from him although he really didn't have to explaining the reason he posted the shame comment. He answered my question and he has my respect for that. He seems to be a man of integrity .
Getting back to the original post. If you have a chance to hear Barry or Gene speak.....do it. You will learn something. Guaranteed. The other thing I want to point out is they are killing these deer with recurves/long bows at close distance. They are learning these animals and somehow putting themselves within mere feet of them. All of us know, even IF a big deer is in the area......getting yourself a shot is not a given. Much less within stick bow range. I for one am glad they are sharing their knowledge after a lifetime of lessons.
Published in 92 I picked it up in 96 and couldn’t put it down.
Published in 92 I picked it up in 96 and couldn’t put it down.
After I filled my head with the glut of knowledge and experiences during the extremely hungry first 10 years of my hunting and Deavors the words of Barry Wensel still ring true. I don’t enjoy the regurgitation that seems to be the status quo across articles and the Internet these days like I used to. But what a true whitetail master speaks ya might want to listen. Thanks for doing what you do Barry
Iconic hunter and teacher
Oh, I can assure you having access to great whitetails doesn’t mean you’re going to get them. Really. I promise you.
I grew up hunting whitetails in SW Michigan and had access to some of the finest agriculture/wetland/wood lots all to myself. Can’t tell you how to get them but can tell you how not to. :^)
Missed you at Coyote Creek last year in Rochester NH. If you back in New England I’ll be there
Tonight I stuck a decent buck thanks to the tactics that I learn from Gene and Barry.
Younger guys need to show a hell of a lot more respect for these Legends of the Whitetail.
Awesome. Post some pics!!!
"My fear is our youth are being taught the only way to hunt whitetails is from a shooting house over a food plot. I'm not necessarily against that but I've never shot a deer in a food plot my entire life. "
My kid agrees with you. Barry, we met you in July at a event near Chippewa Falls. I can tell you my 16 yr old son will never hunt over a food plot or bait. He got his first deer this year, with a shotgun not a bow. Nothing to be sad about but he really wished it was with his bow. We hunted after firearm season closed here and last time out he had three(3) bucks in front of him The only one he had a shot at hung up about 28 yds out. He thought it was too far, didn't shoot. To help pass the time in the winter we shoot video archery. Kid does really good at 18-20 yds with his recurve. Can't wait til turkey season, he is going after them again with his recurve even though he has three birds under his belt with shot gun.
Along the Namakogen 2 years ago-Won first place Youth P &Y pics
Along the Namakogen 2 years ago-Won first place Youth P &Y pics
I grew up there and northern Bayfield county around the Delta, before we moved further north into the UP,,,,, I am not 70, to give you some perspective
I have known Gene and Barry for several decades now and I am blessed to call them friends. I have known no one that loves bowhunting more than they. Their passion for mature whitetail has forged their lives. Their devotion to the pursuit of, and their understanding of, these old warriors is nearly unrivaled by anyone, with the exception of Roger Roothhar. One thing I can assure you about both of the brothers is that neither have ever presented themselves or implied that they are “”Whitetail eletist”. They are extremely confident in their knowledge and hunting abilities, but this is a product of their decades of experience This knowledge is what Barry is now attempting to share with the next generations. To put things in perspective I will share this with you. Barry and I have stayed in touch throughout the past seasons, discussing the days events and encounters, kilis and misses. He sent me dozens of photos of Pitchfork, the 4.5 yrold typical that a neighbor shot. Winds, stand locations, and stratigies were batted around But the most telling texts and mesaages were brief apologies and updates that said he was going straight to bed. Barry hunted every moment possible, many days dark to dark. No matter how cold, how tired, he was in a tree. Granted, he killed me with photos of bucks he was passing. An Excitement of getting the opportunity, was also in each story of a miss. He loves just being out there. My little boy probably said it best. He said “Uncle Barry hunted more this year than other people do in their whole lives.” Gabe is right. Mupltiply this season by over fifty years and you begin to get an idea of their knowledge. And they hunt smart, under the right conditions. Granted they hunt some incredible areas but they worked for the opportunity. They also hunted, and been successful on public land too. Best of all is they both are students of the whitetail, always learning from the deer, and eagerly open to techniques and opinions from other hunters. Barry and Gene have graciously shared their knowledge for decades. Barry’s willingness to share this knowledge should be taken advantage of by all that love whitetail hunting.
Amen Alan! Very well presented.
Well said Alan, and I couldn’t agree more.
Alan, always great to see you post. When you talk, I listen. For those of you that don’t know, Alan Altizer is a total class act that has been at this game and doing it right for a long time. I still remember the old vhs videos with him and Bob McGuire back in the day. Wasn’t a big McGuire fan but instantly recognized Alan as the real deal. Also remember an old post here somewhere when Gene Wensel mentioned Alan’s “security efforts”, I think he called it, for the country following Sept 11 and Hurricane Katrina. Alan, you have my utmost respect, thanks for your input.
I sure do miss the days of the VHS videos. I will always remember Bowhunting October Whitetails and Whitetail Eye to Eye. The Wensel's and Alan Altizer are both all time greats. Thanks guys for what you have done for bowhunting.
Mike the carpenter, that pic and annotation is hilarious. I thought it was Mitch Rampola "recollecting on his World Record Whitetail", however...lol
Barry, I'm still busy with mule deer hunts but hey the Out and About DVD set was very informative, glad I purchased it (some time ago). Talk later, cheers.
I love the writings that you and your brother do. I am pretty sure I have all of them, Tree Stand Strategies is out on loan. Some of these are worth a small fortune.
Thank you for all the positive comments in the last couple weeks. I've been on the road since Kalamazoo. I'm presently in Harrisburg, PA. For those interested I'll be giving a one hour seminar all nine days Feb. 1-9, 2020 at the NRA's Great American Outdoor Show. I haven't seen the program times yet but it's supposedly one seminar per day on whitetail hunting strategies and techniques. Some of my secrets are not common knowledge so are usually very well received because they're proven and work. I'll be in the Archery Hall Booth # 1024. Hope you can stop by and say hello. Thanks. BW
Don’t pass up the opportunity to meet Barry. Industry icon and plain old great guy.
Just finished the first day at the Harrisburg Show. Just to note, they have me scheduled to do a free one hour seminar on whitetails every day except Tuesday. Met lots of very nice people today. I was really impressed with some of the giant bucks attendees showed me pictures of today. Some really huge bucks fell to bowhunters this past season. Good job guys and gals, bw
Barry.....Have you ever been contacted or asked to do a seminar at the Iowa Deer Classic? That’s a seminar I would DEFINITELY attend!
Yes, I've already done both the Iowa Bowhunters Assn. banquet and the Iowa Deer Classic. bw
I just read a book by a Don Higgons, on various deer hunter. The guy Gene Wenzel, spoke about the state of bowhunting in his outlook, man was this guy right on the money...You should all read that part,, good book too