Aaron James - Maine

I have been using Whitetail Institute products for going on seven years now and all I can say is WOW!

I have been hunting on my family’s land all my life. I am 31 years old and I started deer hunting when I was seven on the 280 acres that my grandparents have owned since before my dad was born. Dad was around and hunting during what I call the easy years where he said it was nothing to see ten deer a day on this same piece of property where growing up he shot some beautiful deer. A few tipping the scales at well over 200 lbs. Back then in the 60s when Dad was hunting, the farms were well maintained, and the blueberry fields that were on this land were taken care of. Around the 70s that all started to change. The deer hunting got harder and less and less deer were being seen. My father who had hunted there all his life found himself traveling to other areas to find deer.

Then I came along in the late 70s and started hunting as soon as I could carry a gun. I’d go with my dad chasing squirrels and rabbits and anything there was a season for. By the time I reached seven my dad talked my mom into letting me hunt by myself. He would give me three bullets for my single shot .22 and tell me what time to be home and either show him what I shot or give him back the shells. Well a year or so later he let me hunt during deer season with my 410 and I made myself a tree stand with help from no one and sat and watched one of the apple trees every morning before school and every day after school all season long and never saw a deer. I did that for several years in a row. It used to drive me nuts. The longer I went without seeing deer if felt like I was losing and the deer were winning and I hated that. The year I turned 16 and could hunt off our property was the year I shot my first buck, a 170 lb. 8-point. Since that day I have day dreamed about hunting everyday.

Sometime later one of the kids that I coached in wrestling shot a nice deer and his father shot a nice deer both over 200 lbs. on the first day of the season. I got to talking with the father and he said he planted some Imperial Whitetail Clover so I said tell me more about this. I was sold. The way I looked at it, the proof was in the pudding. He went 14 years of hunting without shooting a deer to shooting a double. Two trophy bucks on the first day! I asked for a chainsaw that year for Christmas and Dec. 25 I was clearing the grown up field that I sat on so many years ago and watched that apple tree which is still there!

By spring I had a little over an acre cleared and through my clearing efforts I had found several apple trees which I left that all produced apples that year which was an added bonus. That June I carried a ton of lime to my little clearing and bought a bag of Imperial Whitetail Clover and seeded it. It was the greenest patch of clover and I had a huge sense of pride. It took a lot of work to get where I was at this point. I did not own any trail cameras at this point. You have to remember I am doing all this on a tight budget. I started seeing deer tracks and I can’t tell you how long it has been since I had seen a deer track. Then one day that September I was walking down in the middle of the day and I saw my first deer ever down back. It was a buck and I sat and watched that deer for twenty minutes and he hardly ever picked his head up. His face was buried in the clover. I had logged more hours in the woods down there than I would like to admit not seeing a deer and to finally see one was amazing. I only had three days to hunt that year because of my work schedule. I didn’t need two of them. On the first morning I shot a 150 lb. 6-point while I was looking right at the apple tree across my clover patch that I had watched for so many years without seeing anything. I had shot bigger deer but none of them to that point had meant more to me!

That was seven seasons ago and that day my dad and I made a deal we would not shoot any deer smaller than 8 points. People in Maine generally do not pass deer. You just don’t see that many. There is so much timber. It just makes it so hard to have a deer do the same thing twice. We have been adding to the food plot and it now looks like something you would see in a hunting show.

Every year its been getting better. A few more deer, then a few more deer. Now you have to remember this is a place that I NEVER saw deer and I hunted it for years. I have pictures this past year of 10 different bucks. That may not sound like a lot of deer to someone from the Midwest but in Maine that is amazing! Three of them are 10 points or larger. A friend of mine and I sat down there this past season in the middle of November and I had a nice 10 point buck walk in front of us through a Chicory Plus patch.

I do not work for the Whitetail Institute but I have sold more Imperial Whitetail Clover than some of their salesmen I bet. All of my circle of friends that deer hunt have an Imperial Whitetail Clover patch somewhere. I will use Whitetail Institute products as long as I live! Thank you so much for great products Whitetail Institute. I am a lifelong customer!