Whitetail Hunting Interview with Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Mike Magrew

By: Tim Anderson

Mossy Oak Pro Staff Member Mike Magrew

Q: What time of the year do you do your scouting?

A: I’m scouting the entire year. From shed hunting in late winter and early spring to my time working up food plots throughout the spring, summer, and early fall. I do spend more time afield late summer and early fall just for the purpose of locating deer movement and determining which deer are using a particular area.

Q: Do you use trail cameras to help you scout?

A: I’m utilizing scouting cameras from mid-summer through the entire deer season. I am able to learn so much from these tools, which deer are using my hunting areas, what times they are moving, and their travel directions.

Q: Do you use food plots or other food type attractants?

A: I use a variety of food plots on my hunting property, from greens to grains. I want enough food plots and enough variety of crops in these plots to keep the deer using my hunting ground throughout the entire year. I also know that the work I put in on my plots is going to make the overall deer herd healthier.


Q: How do you hunt big bucks before the rut and early in the bow season?

A: During the early bow season, I want to put my efforts into patterning a big buck’s feeding habits. Setting up between his bedding area and where he is feeding is key when their minds are on their bellies and not on the does.

Q: How do you hunt scrapes during the pre-rut?

A: I look for scrape lines – groups of scrapes along a travel corridor. This is an area that I need to pay attention to.

Q: Do you use scent control products?

A: I use scent control sprays clothing and keep myself as scent free as possible. I don’t believe that I can keep myself completely scent free but I do believe in controlling as much of it as possible to give me a few more seconds when that big boy shows up down wind.

Q: How important is wind direction when deciding where to hunt?

A; Wind direction is key to stand placement. I will not hunt a stand unless the wind is perfect. You can beat a deer’s eyes and ears but you can’t beat his nose.

Q: Do you use attractant scents?

A: I don’t worry too much about attractant scents until we start getting into the rut phases of the hunt. Once I’m in these phases I mainly use drags with estrous doe urine and often use a buck urine drag with it. Once I get to my stand area I leave these drags downwind of my stand. When I use these drags I pay special attention to wind direction and look to cross several travel corridors where a buck might pick up the scent I have left.

Q: Do you use calls? If so, which ones and how much?

A: I always take a grunt call, an estrous bleat call, and a snort wheeze when I’m hunting. As I get closer to the rut I also take a rattle bag with me. My rattle sequences last about a minute and I wait anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before I do another sequence.

Q: What is your favorite time of the hunting season to hunt?

A: My favorite time to be in the deer woods is the pre-rut into rut, when the bucks are cruising for does and deer seem to be moving all day long. Can’t beat it!

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The Mossy Oak ProStaff is a group of top outdoors men and women from across the country that act as spokespersons for the Brand. Members of the Elite ProStaff are people the hunting community will recognize from their hunting expertise and accomplishments, videos, TV and magazine articles. Our Regional ProStaff is a group of accomplished hunters who promote Mossy Oak in various regions across the U.S. They also manage a more localized Field Staff in their regions. From event support to retail store grand openings to radio and TV appearances, our ProStaff adds value to the Mossy Oak Brand nationally, regionally and locally.

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