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Decoy and setup wisdom

Mitchell Johnson feels that when hunting a field, too many hunters set up too close to its edge. Try this approach: position decoys about 15 to 20 yards inside a fence line and a hunter another 20 yards or so back. Look for trees that lie in deep shade. The decoys should keep an approaching gobbler’s eyes from wandering too much. Once the tom steps inside the fence line, he will be within range.

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Deer Hunting

Fond of Funnels

Gary Barrett, a lifelong resident of Rockingham County, has undergone a metamorphosis over the past 40 years, going from trophy deer hunter to hunting tutor, a journey that has seen him kill several hundred deer, 30 of which most hunters would consider trophies.

Nowadays, Barrett manages Oakhaven, a 1,300-acre hunting operation near Pelham that offers guided hunts for whitetail deer.

With Rockingham County being one of North Carolina’s most-productive areas for trophy bucks in recent years, the things Barrett has to share about hunting tactics are worth writing down, and it’s useful to learn how three particular bucks shaped his hunting career and outlook. […]